Posted on 21st September, 2018


Pioneer has now gone official with its flagship universal disc player. The Pioneer UDP-LX800 has been elaborately engineered and could see itself as the new choice of player since Oppo's departure.

Top of the LX800's feature list is its extremely rigid construction which achieves a high S/N ratio for quality audio and video performance. Additionally, there's support for the latest Ultra HD Blu-ray format for impressive visuals. Furthermore, a pair of ESS SABRE PRO Series DACs is used in parallel to provide audiophile sound. Throw in an SDR/HDR Preset Mode, Direct/Transport Function, and XLR balanced output terminal, it adds up to quite the spec sheet.

Pioneer’s UDP-LX500 has already earned it some fans, and the LX800 follows with similar DNA. That means the mechanical structure of the LX800's body has been specifically designed to handle rotation speeds of up to 5,000 rpm. The combination of a lower centre of gravity and a bunch of other techniques to suppress vibration including a three-block internal layout (Power Supply, Drive/Digital Processing, Analogue Audio). By separating and segregating the interior arrangement of the player into three distinct physical ‘blocks’, electromagnetic interference between each block is hugely reduced. Furthermore, the insertion of a rigid frame structure inside the player, to contain and hold each ‘block’, takes structural integrity to a new level.

UDP-LX800 and remote

There's plenty of metal. Firstly, a solid 1mm thick steel plate is used for the top panel while aluminium is employed for the side panels. The player has been designed to operate without the need for ventilation holes in the top and side panels, a source of internal noise leakage from transport mechanisms. There is also the 4.6mm thick, double-layer composite chassis. By adding a 3mm steel plate to the 1.6mm thick steel-sheet chassis, you get high rigidity, as well as enabling a very low centre of gravity. Pioneer’s focus on construction results in a player that weighs 13.8kg (the UDP-LX500 weighs 10.3kg).

Additional engineering includes the UHD BD Drive being housed in a rigid, honeycomb-stamped case, coated with anti-vibration paint. The spring-damped tray effectively seals and isolates the disc, preventing rotational noise from being transmitted from the drive to the outside world via the front panel.

Pioneer claims to have also reduced digital noise on the main printed circuit board, stating that it makes the most of the high-speed signal transmission capability of Ultra HD Blu-ray discs.

UDP-LX800 exploded

Like the UDB-LX500, the UDP-LX800 features twin HDMI outputs, presets for SDR and HDR content, Dolby Vision support and compatibility with Pioneer's trademark PQLS (Precision Quartz Locking System), which can be used with compatible Pioneer AV receivers to improve the accuracy of the signal information being sent from the player.

The newest 4K spinner expands the feature list to SACD playback, too. The analogue audio section of the UDP-LX800 is directly derived from Pioneer’s flagship PD-70AE SACD/CD player, hence the two 32-bit, 8-channel Parallel Drive ESS Sabre DACs.

UDP-LX800 rear ports

Additionally, a ‘Transport Function’ cuts the power to the analogue audio transformer circuit when connecting with HDMI, with only digital circuitry being fed power, while a ‘Direct Function’ turns off the digital audio and video circuits for enhanced music playback.

As you would expect from all the additional engineering and tech, there is a premium to be paid for this premium player. The flagship UDP-LX800 4K player will land in October for £2200.

For more details go to Pioneer.


Jay Garrett's avatar

Jay Garrett

StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi Home Theatre
Tags: pioneer