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Upgraded Pioneer VSX-D2011 to VSX-LX53 - disappointed!


Established Member
I bought the LX53, admittedly on an exceptional deal, to replace my excellent and much-loved but ageing VSX-D2011.

My partnering speakers for the system are not exactly high-end, they're Kef KHT2005.2s with the matched sub, but the D2011/Kef combo is actually very good. I have an Oppo BDP-83 hooked up to the D2011 via the multi-channel inputs, but the lack of HDMI was starting to make me think of upgrading, and the LX53 came up at very decent b-grade stock price.

Considering the What Hi-Fi award for the LX53 and its original RRP of £1300, I was hoping it would match or even better my current amp, sonically speaking. I know one can take WHF awards with a pinch of salt, but it's a good starting point at least - and looking at its original RRP I assumed the LX53 should at least be the equal of the D2011. Hmm.

Whilst the LX53 certainly has all the bells and whistles one should expect of a modern AV amp, purely from a quality of amplification point of view the D2011 beats it hands down, in my opinion - the build quality of the older amp is way better too.

Somehow the LX53 just sounds thin and lacking in weight and authority. I've listened to it every way I can, including in "Pure Direct" mode with no MCACC equalisation applied. It just sounds lacklustre somehow.

After wading through these forums for advice on MCACC, I've even taken it through some fairly extensive manual tweaking using some steps on a thread I found, but nothing can seem to correct what appears to be a basic weakness in the amplification stage. I think it's going back.

Opinions? What should I be auditioning as a successor to my D2011? Or am I missing something crucial about this new AVR?
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Distinguished Member
Or am I missing something crucial about this new AVR?

It's a class D amp, I'd guess.
Look at the weights for the 53 (10kg), the 55 (you mention both, 13kg) and the 2011 (19kg).
And it sounds like you don't like class D amps.

I'm with you, fwiw


Established Member
The same is true of The LX-53 IMO, which is not a class D, so that isnt the issue. Seems to me Pioneers's engineers are doing some questionable sound tuning.


Established Member
Sorry, I've looked at a lot of amp model numbers recently! For the avoidance of doubt, I've only auditioned the VSX- LX53 against my D2011.

Osamede, I've noted your comments on the LX53 elsewhere on these forums with interest, and I'm inclined to agree with your conclusions. So back to my original question - what should I be looking at as a successor to my 2011? If I have to spend a small fortune to avoid a retrograde step, perhaps I should just stick with what I've got and put up with the lack of connectivity?

What about the Yamaha RX-V2067? On paper at least the amplifier specs looks more robust, plus I've read some encouraging things about it - and Badger0-0, its weight looks more healthy!

Many thanks for any opinions offered.


Established Member
I had the same dilemma 3 years ago.

The facts are the d2011 was what i call an over-engineered product at the price point when it was launched by pioneer 7 odd years as thier re-emergence as a AV force.

I still have mine and am loathed to sell it for peanuts as it will kick most £1k av recievers into touch for its muscle and sound quality.

You really need to be looking at its real world replacement which is the LX81/82/83/85 or the denon 43 range. I replaced mine with a denon 3808 as a stop gap to going fully pre pro. It was only when i added a prarsound 5 channel monster amp in the mix did i get that real slam/muscle effect feeling of the original d2011. yes it was that good :eek:

My advice is to retain parity with what you have to gain HD and HDMI the above is your option and will probably only be a sideways move in reality.

To truly better the D2011 you need separate amp/s or the real muscle AV receivers which cost a arm and leg.

However i may have a solution for you, check out the new anthem receivers with the brilliant ARC room eq. It has worked brilliantly for me coupled with my parasound muscle amp.

Hope this helps.


Established Member
Many thanks for your reply rjrodders, extremely helpful. I thought this might be the dilemma I faced - I've always felt there was something a bit special about the D2011, and I'm starting to understand why.

I was about to blow £750 on a Yamaha RX-V3067 as a replacement for the LX53 - that may well be good value compared to its original price, but I'm glad I saw your post first!

And I'll definitely look into your suggestion, sounds intriguing. Thanks again.
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