Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 (North American version)
- 11.2 channels
- 11.2 channel processing
- 140 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven)
- Dolby Atmos, DTS:X capable
- HDR10, Dolby Vision, 4K Upscaling, 4K Passthrough
- AirPlay, Chromecast, DTS Play-Fi
- Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- USB and Phono inputs
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Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 was introduced in 2017 and represented a flagship model of a manufacturer. It is equipped with 11 channel amplifier with 140 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven) power per channel and is capable of 11.2 maximum channel processing. It supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, passes 4K/60Hz and upscales up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4) video signal.
We evaluated the a/v receiver and gave 91 overall score out of 100. Our ranking system is based on the amplifier specifications, audio and video features, connectivity, multizone capabilities, radio and many other details.
Pros and Cons
In this section we present pros and cons of Pioneer Elite SC-LX901.
|11.2 Channel Processing|
|DSD via HDMI|
|Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.|
|New HDCP Version|
|4K or 8K Video Passthrough|
|4K or 8K Signal Upscaling|
|Analog To HDMI Upconversion|
|Many HDMI Inputs|
|Many RCA Line Inputs|
|Many Optical Inputs|
|Composite Video Inputs|
|Component Video Inputs|
|Low Leakage Flux Power Transformer|
|No Front Wide Channel Support|
|No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization|
|No IMAX Enhanced|
|No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer|
|Does not Work with Amazon Alexa|
|Few 8K Inputs|
Here we are comparing Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 to its predecessor SC-99 and displaying the major changes.
|UPGRADES||Pioneer Elite SC-LX901||vs||Pioneer Elite SC-99|
|Music Playback via USB||MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD, Dolby TrueHD||vs||MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD|
|High Resolution Audio Formats via USB||Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSD, Dolby TrueHD||vs||Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD|
|BT.2020 color space||vs|
|Analog To HDMI Upconversion||Component**, Composite||vs||Component****, Composite|
|Works with SONOS||vs|
|More RCA Line Inputs||6||vs||3|
|More Optical Outputs||vs||1|
|Zone 2 Outs||HDMI, RCA Pre/Line Out||vs||RCA Pre/Line Out|
|Longer Warranty||3 Years Parts & Labor||vs||2 Years Parts & Labor|
|Higher Multi Channel Simultaneous Drive (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 1.0%)||880 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 1.0%)||vs||850 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 1.0%)|
|Higher S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)||108 dB||vs||103 dB|
|Higher DSD Sampling Rate via USB||11.2 MHz, 5.6 MHz, 2.8 MHz||vs||5.6 MHz, 2.8 MHz|
|Newer Bluetooth Version||4․1 + LE||vs||2․1 + EDR|
|Wider AM Frequency Range||530 kHz - 1710 kHz||vs||530 kHz - 1710 kHz|
|DOWNGRADES||Pioneer Elite SC-LX901||vs||Pioneer Elite SC-99|
|Front Wide Channel Support||vs|
|Dolby Digital EX||vs|
|DTS Neo||vs||Neo:X (before firmware update)|
|DSD to PCM Converter||vs|
|Sound Retriever||Advanced||vs||Advanced (Multi-Channel / Auto with ARC)|
|Sound Retriever AIR||vs|
|Digital Noise Reduction||vs|
|High-resolution Music Enhancer||vs||Hi-bit32 Audio Processing|
|Virtual Speakers||vs||(Surround Back/Height/Wide)|
|Higher MCACC Memory||3||vs||6|
|Video Parameter Adjustments||vs||YNR, CNR, BNR, MNR, Detail, Brightness, Contrast, Hue, Chroma, Black Level|
|MHL Input||vs||1 Rear (Version 2.0)|
|Less HDMI Outputs||2 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2)||vs||3 (2 for MAIN, 1 for MAIN/HDZONE)|
|Less RCA Line Outputs||vs||1|
|XLR Line Inputs||vs|
|Less Composite Video Outputs||vs||2|
|Less RCA Pre-Outs||11.2||vs||13.2|
|Less Powered Zones||2 and 3||vs||2, 3 and HDZone|
|On-Screen Display||Icon-based Graphical User Interface (GUI)||vs||Graphical User Interface (GUI) with Album Artwork (HDMI only)|
|Smaller Power Supply||340 W||vs||370 W|
For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 vs Pioneer Elite SC-99.
11 channel Class D3 (Direct Energy HD) Amplifier
Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 features 11 channel power amplifier with Class D3 design (Direct Energy HD). It is rated at 140 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven) and is able to drive 4 ohm speakers.
Pioneer Elite SC-LX901's 11 channel amplifier can be assigned for different speaker configurations.
- Dolby Atmos Configurations: The following speaker configurations are supported for Dolby Atmos:
- 5.2.2, 5.2.4, 7.2.2, 7.2.4 with internal amplifier.
- DTS:X Configurations: The speaker configurations for DTS:X are the same as for Dolby Atmos:
- 5.2.2, 5.2.4, 7.2.2, 7.2.4 with internal amplifier.
- Configurations without height channels: There are also other speaker configurations available which do not include height channels:
- 5.2, 7.2 with internal amplifier.
- 4-ch Bi-Amp: Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 allows you to bi-amp up to 4 main channels simultaneously. During bi-amplification two amplifiers are used for one speaker. One amplifier powers the midrange and tweeter section of the speaker and another amplifier powers the low frequency woofers. Each amplifier is less loaded and performs better. In order to use this feature speakers must have 2 pairs of connectors.
Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 supports Dolby Atmos. It is a cinematic audio format in which sounds exist as individual entities, called audio objects. In Dolby Atmos, any sound can exist as an independent audio object, free of channel restrictions. They can be precisely placed and moved anywhere in your room, including overhead, to flow above and around you in three-dimensional space. Through the use of audio objects, overhead sound, and all the richness, clarity, and power of Dolby sound, Dolby Atmos turns your room into an amazing place for entertainment. The format supports up to 128 simultaneous independent audio objects in a mix for rich, realistic, and breathtaking sound. It recreates the director's original concept through descriptive metadata to provide customized playback for home theater and delivers sounds above you through overhead speakers, special upward-firing Dolby Atmos speakers, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar.
- Dolby Surround Upmixer: If the content is not mixed in Dolby Atmos then the Dolby surround upmixer will expand the audio to all channels including ceiling speakers. The upmixer has replaced the Dolby Pro Logic II family with improved upmixing algorithms.
Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 supports DTS:X. A technique used in DTS:X is similar to the one used in Dolby Atmos. Instead of a fixed number of channels, DTS:X defines object locations from the listener in polar coordinates. An a/v receiver then dynamically renders sound according to the current speaker configuration. The speaker layout employed by DTS:X is the sum of Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D. It has standard 7.1 channel base layer, a 5 channel height layer above the base layer on the front and side walls, and 3 rows of speakers on the ceiling.
- DTS Neural:X: DTS Neural:X is an advanced upmixer that can take non DTS:X content and upmix it to the DTS:X speaker layout. It has replaced the DTS Neo family with improved flexibility.
- Advanced Sound Retriever: Compressed music enhancement in Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 is done by Pioneer’s Advanced Sound Retriever. Hear the detail, warmth and clarity, the way the artist intended it, from all of your highly compressed MP3 and WMA files stored on USB, Smartphone and portable media players. By restoring data that tend to get lost in the digital compression process, Pioneers Advanced Sound Retriever Technology enhances audio reproduction all the way upto 20 Khz frequencies.
Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 comes with MCACC Pro room correction system and includes the calibration microphone.
- MCACC: Pioneer’s exclusive Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System (MCACC) delivers an easy-to-use, automatic sound adjustment system to precision-tune your Pioneer and Pioneer Elite receivers with minimal effort. Every MCACC system comes with a microphone to measure and analyze reverb characteristics. The equalizer optimally adjusts sound parameters to fit the size and shape of your home environment while maintaining the integrity of high-resolution playback without any degradation to the quality of your music.
Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 features 8 HDMI inputs. It has 2 outputs: 1 MAIN and 1 SUB/ZONE 2.
- 4K/60Hz Passthrough: All inputs pass up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4) video signal.
- 4K Upscaling: Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 can upscale up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4) from HDMI sources.
- BT.2020 Color Space: BT.2020 or Rec. 2020 is a color standard which delivers a wider color gamut compared to Rec. 709. It covers approximately 75% of the total visual spectrum while the Rec. 709 covers only 35%.
- HDCP 2.2 Copy Protection: All inputs and outputs are HDCP 2.2 compliant which is a requirement for 4K/HDR copy-protected content transmission.
- 3D Ready: Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 is able to pass 3D video through HDMI.
HDR (High Dynamic Range)
Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 supports HDR (high dynamic range) video formats such as HDR10 and Dolby Vision. High dynamic range video has greater dynamic range than standard dynamic range (SDR) video with brighter whites and deeper blacks. The result is greater contrast and more details in dark and bright areas, better color and depth.
- HDR10: HDR10 uses the wide-gamut Rec. 2020 color space. It sends static metadata via video stream to the TV which calibrates its screen brightness and color according to that. HDR10 supports 10-bit color which corresponds to 1024 shades of the primary RGB colors. It is technically limited to a maximum of 10,000 nits peak brightness, however common HDR10 contents are mastered with peak brightness from 1,000 to 4,000 nits.
- Dolby Vision: Dolby Vision is a set of technologies developed by Dolby Laboratories for high dynamic range (HDR) video. It covers content creation, distribution, and playback. Like HDR10+, it includes dynamic metadata that are used to adjust and optimize each frame of the HDR video to the consumer display's capabilities in a way specified by the content creator. Dolby Vision allows for a maximum resolution of 8K up to 12-bit color depth, maximum peak brightness of 10,000 nits and a color gamut up to Rec. 2020. It uses Dolby's proprietary dynamic metadata defined in SMPTE ST 2094-10.
Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 offers multi-zone playback which allows you to play different input sources in 3 different rooms.
- Powered Zone 2: You can use the unit's 2 amplifier channels by connecting Zone 2 speakers directly to the speaker terminals. The remaining 9 channels will be left for main zone amplification.
- HDMI Output: Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 offers HDMI output for Zone 2. This means that it can send two different HDMI signals to two displays.
- Audio Pre/Line Output: If you have a dedicated amplifier for Zone 2 you can connect it to the a/v receiver via pre/line outs and use "pre out" option to control volume from the a/v receiver or use "line out" option - send fixed signal and then control volume on the Zone 2 amplifier.
- Powered Zone 3: You can use the unit's 2 amplifier channels by connecting Zone 3 speakers directly to the speaker terminals. The remaining 9 channels will be left for main zone amplification.
- Audio Pre/Line Output: If you have a dedicated amplifier for Zone 2 you can connect it to the a/v receiver via pre/line outs and use "pre out" option to control volume from the a/v receiver or use "line out" option - send fixed signal and then control volume on the Zone 3 amplifier.
Inputs and Outputs
- Analog Pre-Outs: Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 has 11.2 preamplifier outputs which allow you to connect the a/v receiver to the external power amplifier. You may want to use a high quality external amplifier for certain channels, usually for front L/R and center, and use the a/v receiver to power the rest.
- Analog Line Inputs: There are 6 line inputs for analog audio connection.
- Digital Inputs and Outputs: 1 optical input, 3 optical outputs and 2 coaxial inputs are available for digital audio connection.
- Headphone Output: There is a 6.3 mm (1/4") headphone output jack on the front panel.
- Inputs: 8 (1 front) Outputs: 2 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2)
8K Inputs: 0
- Composite Video: Connect you VCR, Laserdisc player and other old video equipment with composite video cables.
- Inputs: 2 Outputs: 0
- Component Video: Component video connection gives you the higher quality video compared to the composite video connection. So in case your old DVD player and other equipment do not have an HDMI output but have Component video output use this connection over the composite one. Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 supports up to 1080i resolution on Component video connectors.
- Inputs: 2 Outputs: 1
Here we list all the available features and specifications of Pioneer Elite SC-LX901.
|Front Wide Channel Support|
|Amplifier||Class D3 (Direct Energy HD)|
|Continuous 6 Ω Rated|
|Certified 4 Ω Performance|
|Bi-amp Capability||Front, Center, Surround, SP-B|
|Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Engine||Cirrus Logic (Quad Core) x 1|
|DAC||ESS SABRE32 Ultra (ES9016S)|
|DAC Specs||192 kHz/32 Bit|
|Maximum Channel Processing||11.2|
|Air Studios Monitor Certification|
|Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization|
|Dolby Atmos Music|
|Dolby Digital Plus|
|Dolby Surround Upmixer|
|Dolby Pro Logic|
|Dolby Digital EX|
|DTS-HD Master Audio|
|DTS-HD High Resolution Audio|
|DTS-ES||Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1|
|Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer|
|Music Playback via USB||MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD, Dolby TrueHD|
|High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Network||64, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz/24 bit|
|High Resolution Audio Formats via USB||Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSD, Dolby TrueHD|
|DSD via HDMI||2-ch/Multi-ch Input|
|DSD via USB||2-ch Input|
|DSD to PCM Converter|
|Jitter Reduction||PQLS & PQFA|
|Dialogue Lift||via Dialog Enhancement|
|Sound Retriever AIR|
|Digital Noise Reduction|
|Tone Control||All Channels|
|Compressed Music Enhancer||Advanced Sound Retriever|
|High-resolution Music Enhancer|
|Audyssey Dynamic EQ|
|Audyssey Dynamic Volume|
|Audyssey Sub EQ HT|
|Pure Direct Mode|
|Advanced Surround||11 + 1|
|Front Stage Surround Advance|
|Independent Subwoofer Outputs|
|Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.||MCACC Pro|
|Full Band Phase Control|
|Standing Wave Control|
|Distance Adjustment||0.5 feet|
|Auto Subwoofer Crossover|
|HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma)|
|BT.2020 color space|
|QMS (Quick Media Switching)|
|ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)|
|VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)|
|QFT (Quick Frame transport)|
|Video Signal Passthrough||up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)|
|Video Signal Upscaling||up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)|
|Analog To HDMI Upconversion||Component**, Composite|
|Component Video Upscaling|
|Analog to Analog Video conversion|
|Component Video Maximum Resolution||1080i|
|Video Parameter Adjustments|
|isf Certified Calibration Control|
|Works with Amazon Alexa|
|Works with SONOS|
|Apple Product Connection||Made for iPhone, iPod and iPad (Airplay only)|
|Remote App||iControlAV5 (for iOS and Android)|
|InstaPrevue Input Source Prevue|
|HDMI Inputs||8 (1 front)|
|HDMI Outputs||2 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2)|
|USB Input||1 Front|
|USB DC Out Port|
|RCA Line Input||6|
|RCA Line Output|
|XLR Line Inputs|
|Composite Video Input||2|
|Composite Video Output|
|Component Video Input||2|
|Component Video Output||1|
|Front A/V Inputs||HDMI, USB|
|Headphone Out||6.3 mm (1/4")|
|Powered Zones||2 and 3|
|Zone 2 Outs||HDMI, RCA Pre/Line Out|
|Zone 3 Outs||RCA Pre/Line Out|
|+12V Trigger Output||2 (A: 100 mA, B: 25 mA)|
|Remote (IR) Input/Output||2 / 1|
|On-Screen Display||Icon-based Graphical User Interface (GUI)|
|IP Control for CI|
|Versatile Speaker Configuration||Surround Back/Height 1/Height 2/Speaker B/Bi-Amp/Zone 2/Zone 3|
|Detachable Power Cord|
|SiriusXM Internet Radio|
|Solid Aluminum Front|
|Advanced Direct Construction||Advanced Direct Construction|
|Large Speaker Terminals||11|
|Color-Coded Speaker Terminals|
|Ceramic Speaker Terminals|
|3D Space Frame Construction|
|Gold plated RCA terminals|
|Power Supply||AC 120 V, 60 Hz|
|Low Leakage Flux Power Transformer|
|Power Consumption||340 W|
|No Sound Power||90 W|
|Standby Power||0.15 W|
|Auto Power Standby|
|Auto Power off|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||435 mm x 185 mm x 441 mm|
17-1/8" x 7-5/16" x 17-1/3"
|Weight||18.0 kg (39.7 lbs)|
|Warranty||3 Years Parts & Labor|
|Power Output (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2||140 W (0.08% THD)|
|Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 2||200 W (1.0% THD)|
|Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, FTC)||200 W (1% THD)|
|Power Output (4 Ω, 1 kHz, 2||255 W (1.0% THD)|
|Rated Power Output (4 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel Driven)||280 W (1% THD)|
|Maximum Power Output (4 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel Driven)||340 W (10% THD)|
|Multi Channel Simultaneous Drive (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 1.0%)||880 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 1.0%)|
|THD||0.04% (1 kHz, 100 W)|
|Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Line)||200 mV/82 kΩ|
|Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Phono MM)||3.5 mV/47 kΩ|
|Rated Preout Level and Impedance||1 V/470 kΩ|
|Rated Headphone Jack Output Level and Impedance||43 Ω|
|Rated Headphone Power Output||57 mW (32 Ω, 1 kHz, 10% THD)|
|Phono Overload||70 mV (MM, 1 kHz, 0.5%)|
|S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)||108 dB|
|S/N Ratio (Phono MM, IHF-A)||90 dB|
|DSD Sampling Rates via HDMI||2.8 MHz|
|DSD Sampling Rates via USB||11.2 MHz, 5.6 MHz, 2.8 MHz|
|Video Input Sensitivity/Output Level and Impedance||1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component Y)|
0.7 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component PB/PR)
1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Composite)
|Wi-Fi Standard||IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n|
|Wi-Fi Terminal Frequency||5 GHz, 2.4 GHz|
|Bluetooth Version||4․1 + LE|
|Bluetooth Frequency||2.4 GHz|
|HDMI Output Type||5 V, 55 mA|
|USB Terminal||USB2.0 (Type A) 5 V, 1 A|
|FM Frequency||87.5 MHz - 107.9 MHz|
|AM Frequency||530 kHz - 1710 kHz|
* - 480i/576i and 480p/576p only
** - 480i/576i only
*** - no 1080p/24 upconversion
**** - 1080p signal is not converted
In 2019 Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 was replaced by SC-LX904. Let us now have a look at some important changes that the successor brought.
|UPGRADES||Pioneer Elite SC-LX904||vs||Pioneer Elite SC-LX901|
|Higher DAC Specs||384 kHz/32 Bit||vs||192 kHz/32 Bit|
|Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization||vs|
|Newer HDCP Version||2.3||vs||2.2|
|Works with Amazon Alexa||vs|
|More HDMI Outputs||3 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB, 1 ZONE 2)||vs||2 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2)|
|USB Input||2 (1 Front)||vs||1 Front|
|Solid Aluminum Front||vs|
|Newer Bluetooth Version||4․2||vs||4․1 + LE|
|DOWNGRADES||Pioneer Elite SC-LX904||vs||Pioneer Elite SC-LX901|
|Air Studios Monitor Certification||vs|
|Music Playback via USB||MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD||vs||MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD, Dolby TrueHD|
|High Resolution Audio Formats via USB||Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSD||vs||Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSD, Dolby TrueHD|
|Video Signal Upscaling||1080p to 4K||vs||up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)|
|Analog To HDMI Upconversion||Component**, Composite||vs||Component**, Composite|
|Component Video Maximum Resolution||480i/576i||vs||1080i|
|Less HDMI Inputs||7 (1 front)||vs||8 (1 front)|
|Less Component Video Outputs||vs||1|
For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 vs Pioneer Elite SC-LX904.