Looking for upgrade advice from Pioneer SC-LX87


Active Member
I'm currently running an SC-LX87 into my B&W 802D / B&W M1 (2nd gen) speakers and I'm very happy with it, but unfortunately Pioneer decided only to provide a firmware upgrade for the subsequent model (SC-LX88) to enable Atmos support.

I could look for an SC-LX88 on the used market, as I believe that it's more or less identical to my LX87 with added Atmos support, but should I be looking elsewhere for a similar outlay?


Bad time to buy any AV amp either new or on the secondary market. Prices are still very high for new units considering this is the time of year that units from the likes of Denon and Marantz traditionally have considerable price drops. Covid and a huge fire in a microchip factory in Japan have conspired to keep supplies on the low side and demand is outstripping demand. That gives a knock on effect on the secondary market driving prices higher.

If you can hand on for a while, perhaps until the end of the summer then that might be beneficial to you.

As for Atmos, what layout are you hoping to achieve? That would determine on how much you need to spend right now on a new unit.


Active Member
Thanks for your message @gibbsy .

To be honest I'm not in a massive hurry to upgrade, it's kind of a nice-to-have path rather than an urgent requirement, so the end of the summer is no big deal.

The advent of spatial audio based on Atmos from Apple Music got me thinking about Atmos compatibility in general, and although the Apple TV 4K I use suggests that it decodes Atmos internally and then delivers uncompressed PCM over HDMI, I've read various things that have sufficiently muddied the waters as to whether Atmos-encoded audio would even be delivered as a PCM 5.1 stream to my existing equipment.

Layout-wise, I'd probably only aim for 5.1.2 given the available space, so that would be 9 driven channels plus LFE, as I run my 802D's bi-amped.


Even though it's decoded by the TV you will still need an AV that is itself Atmos capable as it would downmix a 5.1.2 signal to it's highest capability with the speakers connected so if you have a 7.1 layout that's what your Pio would output.

As you have a Pioneer then Onkyo, Pioneer's parent company, will be bringing out new units that will have Dirac Live onboard which is a massive upgrade over the old MCACC which you now have. It's something that could also really shake up the whole AV amp industry as Denon, Marantz and Yamaha will be left behind with Audyssey and YPAO. That in itself is perhaps another good reason to hang on a while.

As for bi-amping you are actually passive bi-amping and all that is doing is taking power from a single PSU basically robbing Peter to pay Paul. A far better option is to use a standalone power amp to boost the power availability. I use a stereo amp with HT by-pass to power my stereo pair, not because of power issues but to run all my music sources through that stereo amp as I think my Denon X6500 isn't up to snuff for stereo music. Although my Denon has bi-amping capability it's simply not worth the extra wire.


Active Member
That's interesting about the Dirac Live incoming changes, I'll watch that with interest and certainly hold fire on an upgrade for the time being.

With regard to bi-amping, I'm sure this is something that's been debated here ad nauseam, but my understanding was that even though there is no additional power available in that configuration, there was some benefit to be had by having drivers with dramatically different characteristics driven by ostensibly separate amplification channels - even if somewhere up the chain they all feed off the same power supply?


Standard Member
Sorry to jump on this topic with another query but as current SC-LX87 users I'm hoping you might be able to tell me what I'm doing wrong ?

I am trying to set up my SC-LX87 with an old Panasonic flat TV in a domestic system, having removed it from my home cinema in order to update it to Atmos surround etc -

The immediate problem is simply that I can't seem to save my new custom INPUT LABELS

I had set them for equipment in my cinema and now I want to change them to suit the new system so I go into Setup and change the Input Name - BUT - I can't save them - - - - or reset to default ??

Any suggestions on how to save the new lettering would be most gratefully received

Many thanks)

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