Last year,was an imposing piano-black box that was so large it didn't even fit into our AV rack. With the arrival of the LX83 it's business as usual on this count: it's still big, black and kinda boxy. This time around, the company has cut down on the bling a little and given the receiver a matte rather than gloss finish. The result? An exceedingly macho but quite enticing home theatre component.
The front fascia is simple, with two control knobs, a large display and a drop-down flap concealing the more fiddly controls.
As you'd expect from a high-end receiver the remote control is a learning model and it features a bright OLED display. It's a lot easier to use than last year's model but it's also substantially heavier. The LX83 is as heavy as a six-cell laptop battery!
Apart from the subtly different, yet effective paint job, it's difficult to see the differences between this and the model it replaces. Pioneer has kept the power output at 190W per channel and the receiver will decode all the important audio standards such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD.
Missing from last year's model was RF (Radio Frequency) integration — handy for large installations where the gear is kept in another room or cupboard — and the learning LX83 remote now communicates both RF and IR (infrared) commands.
Further control is available with the addition of the free Pioneer iControlAV iPhone app. It connects your iPhone to the receiver via your home network (Home Media Gallery or "HMG"), and while we're on the topic this device also streams DLNA content and features internet radio stations via the rear-mounted Ethernet port.
Connectivity is the name of the game, with a receiver and six HDMI version 1.4 ports and two outputs, three component inputs, three optical, a front-mounted USB (for iPhone or a QWERTY keyboard) and four coaxial inputs.