Sorry this has taken a lot longer to post than I had intended. The test systems varied slightly from my initial AVR600 testing. 2 channel listening was done in the main HT, which is in mid install, with the Genelec HT330A active speakers. These are large, accurate and dynamic. Each speaker having 1300w of remote active tri-amping. These are the units Ive chosen for the front 3 in my main HT install.Subbage was courtesy of the HTS6. This system was used simply to test both units as processors and thus eliminate the amp stages. Surround listening was carried out, in receiver mode, in the media/games room using a Dynaudio Confidence 7.1 arrangement with a Gotham sub. This room is treated and the system is fully corrected and EQ'd and has good general acoustic performance, including RT60. Visuals were provided by a C3X1080/ISCOIII combo using a 10.5ft Stewart masking screen. I don't have time to fully describe both units, so anyone unfamiliar with either should do some research. Suffice to say that the LX90 is certainly seen as a heavy weight in the receiver stakes, in terms of function and fidelity. I have no intention of comparing every function, or facility, but will concentrate on sound quality alone. This brevity may lead to the assumption that the tests were rather brief, that's not the case. The installer who provided the Susano is very familiar with the unit and the test would not have been possible without this familiarity. I consider myself familiar enough with the 600 to be able to handle any relevant points regarding that unit. In 2 channel listening there was very little to choose between the 2 units. The preference expression was pretty evenly distributed and probably reflected the similarity rather than the differences.The self generated noise floor of the AVR600 was lower than the Pioneer. This was only noticeable at SPLs vastly higher than either units own amplification could produce anyway, so its a not issue for for most. There was a slight anomaly with the 600 in that, at high gain, and in the absence of a signal, the noise floor would raise noticeably. The presence of even an inaudible source removes this, so it wasn't a real issue. Both units were fed CD and SACD and the results were crystal clear. Imaging was impeccable on both units. It was a revelation to see what great receivers are actually capable of when freed from the shackles of their amplification Moving to the smaller room saw both units used fully as receivers. Both units certainly performed well, and presented a fantastic soundstage with great detail. Localization was also great when called for. Both units were initially run with manual distance and levels set, neither had any correction applied at this stage. We followed the same sort of test protocol as the initial test routines. It emerged after looking at the results from 3 different listeners that on certain passages there was a definite preference. This was due to a slight increase in detail and voice ineligibility. Dynamics were also slightly better with faster transients. Parts of the beginning of Master and Commander are great for that as there is some very low level ambient detail and then the obvious sonic violence of the first exchange of fire. As an aside, I do have to say that the great bass performance delivered by the Gotham is exceptional. Similar response was returned when using SACD. An expression of preference was returned in close to 60 % of cases, 40% with no preference. Of those where a preference was indicated, just over 70% were in favor of the AVR600. Both machines then had their correction software run and engaged. As noted earlier, the room itself has had extensive treatment at the structural level and had the requisite absorption and bass trapping.This meant that the effect of the correction was less than would be seen in the average room. For that reason I cant comment on the performance of either. Both did add a touch of clarity and definition. On spec alone, it seems obvious that the Pioneer is the more sophisticated system. The results of preference expression was basically the same when tests were re run. At this point we were able to experience what could only be described as a truly incredible surround experience. One of my fellow testers is a mastering engineer and had brought some rather special BD software with him. Whether or not anyone likes Gregorian Chant is a matter of personal taste, but the long reverb tails can be a test for many systems. This particular BD (not yet released) was recorded in 7.1 with the monks actually arranged in a circle around the listener. Individual voices were easily located in a unison performance and solos were obviously very localized. The whole envelopment was utterly incredible. The real kicker came when the monks were singing and then began walking round the circle. I have NEVER heard anything like it. it was mind blowing. In this test the AVR600 was able to handle the low level ambient detail with greater clarity, the decision was unanimous on that point. Obviously that will have a carry on to normal movie viewing. This was apparent on a couple of street scenes in The Dark Knight, as mentioned in my earlier review. Low level ambience and subtle cues were more revealing. Further 2 channel testing was carried out at this point. Both units were solid performers, but the 600 again returned a statistically significant number of blind preferences. This was mainly reported as fine detail and vocal ineligibility. With some really dynamic classical pieces (1812 cannons etc) and some full on dance music, the 600 handled they heavy lifting with a little more poise than the Pioneer. Kraftwerk's Minimum/Maximum DVD provides a very stern test of bass handling in some parts, again listeners reported an elevated rate of preference for the 600 in this round 2 channel testing. The Bottom line here was that the AVR600 was able to edge out the Susano on some critical tests and easily hold its on in any tests where it wasn't ahead. I don't want to sound too gushing here, but the AVR600 is certainly looking like king of the hill for the current crop of receivers. As well as the friends who have helped me run these tests, there have been a few others who have participated in critical listening tests. All have had nothing but praise for the sound quality. One has actually dumped his Halcro for an AVR600 to use as a processor till the new AV888 arrives. I am in a similar position. The 600 was simply for an apartment, but it has now been pressed into duty in my games/media room. On release of the 888 I will be looking towards that unit to take over in the games room and another to quarterback the main HT with an active install. The 600 with then go to its intended work place, I will then not need to upgrade for some time. I hadn't intended to comment an the feature set of these machines, simply the sound quality, but I must make one exception here. Over the last few weeks I have grown to love Dolby Volume and what it does for the lower SPL experience with movies. I am fortunate enough to be able to listen at reference level in both rooms at any time and not disturb anyone in the house, but I don't always want to. The linearity of response that happens at higher volumes can be replicated fairly well with a carefully set Dolby Volume. Thats something I don't want to do without at any time in the future. Thankfully its rapidly becoming standard. I only include the above to explain the effectiveness of this new technology. Obviously the inclusion of this feature could have no possible effect on the statistical results posted above, so the integrity of the blind test results remains entirely intact. I hope i have provided sufficient clarification as to negate any possible accusation of bias. Perhaps, time permitting, I will start a new thread on this subject. Here are some other points on the 600 that are being looked at. If I get time I will add to it.... 1.Dolby Volume calibration offset needs to be retained in non volatile memory. Being looked into and should be fixed soon 2.When using Sonos, use analog ins if you need to sync a number of zones. There is a 100ms delay on the digital side. Being looked into. 3.Management of added URLs is being looked into, but Im not too hopeful on that one. Any sensible comments or questions are more than welcome. I hope this is helpful, and is in some way informative.