Pioneer LX500 BD player vs. Arcam BD players

Though a Sony OLED will likely be my next TV, unless quasi-free services like Kanopy, via my public library, are 4K, the rest of my source material will largely be from my own DVD and 1080p BD collection. I love the overall quality and features of my Oppo 95 but unlike my JVC XV-NA70BK DVD player the Oppo's zoom control does not let you “center” the zoomed image on the screen. I want a second BD player anyway and the manuals of the Pioneer LX500 and at least one of the Arcam models at least imply that they have this specific extra zoom functionality-though thanks to the BD Assn’s Oracle BD-J authoring platform some BD movies disable the player’s zoom and/or slow motion features.

LOL, but more of us than you may think detest the CE industry’s omission of BD player zoom controls. We are okay with losing resolution due to their occasional but hardly use as tools for eliminating bars, as aptly explained here, for example.

As my luck has it none of the stellar performing Oppos have this advanced zoom control; some like the Panasonic, Sony and McIntosh BD players have no zoom control at all. Ditto for any models from Marantz, and who like Arcam, Sim Audio and numerous other high end brands have phased out BD players from their lines.

And there’s talk among LX500 owners that pandemic or not Pioneer may not resume production of this or other players due to market perceptions and/or relations with their Onkyo parent or their marketing partner.

As the LX500 and the Arcams likely all have Source Direct, my Sony OLED will handle the DVD and 1080p BD upscaling duties. But would anyone know how the LX500’s other video and audio performance aspects compare to any or all of the Arcam models?

I rarely use hardware players for music. But how might stereo DAC SQ via the RCA outputs from DVD and BD movies from the latest Arcam models compare to the LX500?

And please confirm that the Arcam BD model you have can zoom at least 2x or more, AND that it lets you then center any part of the zoomed image you want on the screen.

Does the Arcam’s slow motion have at least 4 steps and frame by frame control?

Does your Arcam remote let you adjust the volume and mute of the analog RCA outputs when fed to a non-Arcam amplifier or AVR?

Last but hardly least, how old is your Arcam BD player and do you know how much longer Arcam intends to stock critical replacement parts?

I love my Pioneer LX 500.  I haven’t tried the zoom thingy that you are talking about, or even understand what you are talking about.
  Every Arcam component that I have ever heard has been a piece of trash, but no, I do not have direct comparison with the Arcam player in the OP.  I find the Arcam “house sound” to be like thin oatmeal gruel compared to the very meat and potatoes three dimensionality of the Pioneer, but ymmv.

Thanks for the warning about Arcam BD players, though these reviews generally give it high marks for both video and audio performance.

The UDP411’s lack of DVD-A support is no biggie, as I have no SACDs or DVD-A discs And if I did (e.g. Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds”) I’d play them via JRiver and feed the audio via USB to a multi DAC like Exasound’s e38. I’d do the same for BD and DVDs movies with kickass music in DTS MA. JRiver decodes it and outputs the video via HDMI to my screen. In addition to slow motion JRiver gives you advanced zoom control over any decrypted BD. JRiver is fully remote controllable via several kinds of “learning” modules, like this one. 

But I still want a high end standalone BD player with excellent analog stereo sound for movies. Depending on your ears the Arcam may provide a smoother sound than the Oppo 105, say one of these reviews. How its video and audio performance may compare to the Pioneer LX500 is another matter. I could probably find this over priced player selling for half that and brand new But Arcam discontinued their BD player line and buying a five year old player puts it closer to when critical replacement parts are no more. Had Arcam committed themselves to offering long term factory service like Oppo has I might have jumped on the 411. So it’s got to be the LX500.

Well, that decision wasn’t too hard. Thanks for chiming in.  


Have you looked at the Sony Universal players?  They aren’t built like a tank but get good reviews and are cheaper thanthePioneer

 Yes, I’ve scoured the manual pdfs of every top Sony and Panasonic 4K player, including the very unaffordable McIntosh.At least according to the manuals, I think some have slow motion, but I’m sure none of them have even the basic zoom that my Oppo 95 has, much less the advanced zoom control in my JVC XV-NA70BK DVD player, at ~ 1/8 the price of my Oppo. Again, zoom and even slo mo are some of the ways cineasts get close to the action and settings of the movies and TV shows we enjoy, albeit at some loss or resolution. But it certainly isn’t for removing black bars, as doing that crops off content.

Why Sony and Panasonic don’t get this is beyond me, since these features were standard on virtually all DVD players. That the BD Assn locks those slo mo and/or zoom out on BDs is hardly an excuse for omitting them from a player’s feature set. And we can still enjoy using them with our DVD collections, or the few BDs that aren’t disabled by BD-J.

So it’s the Pioneer LX500 for me.


I was listening to a DVD-A on the Pioneer today.  I know this disc well Maurice Abravanel and the Utah SO in Tchaikovsky Swan Lake.  I had played this many times in the same system with a Pioneer Elite 20 year old universal Player.  With the LX 500 I was greatly aware of the Hall ambience.  Previously there were spots where I thought that the Conductor was taking long pauses, but with the new player one could hear echoing in the hall from loud passages, and that Abravanel was waiting for the echoing to dissipate.  Front to back Orchestral layout was much better delineated.

Until I get to build my USB audio surround sound system, thank goodness the LX500 has stereo analog outputs, unlike this bad joke.

Not that I would ever buy another Cambridge BD player (or Cambridge anything), and risk getting ripped off again by these factory service geniuses, who Cambridge had recommended for service on my 650BD.

I just hope the LX500 DAC makes downmixed DTS MA tracks on DVDs and BDs sound at least almost as  good as it did the DVD-A recording which you enjoyed so much.




Have you found one in stock somewhere?
I ordered it from Best Buy store on Long Island two weeks ago and picked it up from there last Tuesday. They started out with five in stock but I couldn't place my order (thanks to their buggy online app that kept rejecting my Sony Visa card) until there were three left. Perhaps despite the pandemic more are being produced. Good luck if you're after one.  

I will get one with BT and the Sony with LDAC is supposed to be quite good. My wife cooks all the time, fabulous food I must say and exceptionally healthy as well. I need to place a BT speaker near her as my office is in the middle of the audio system and when the range hood is on just to loud if I turn it up so she can hear it well. I love great sounding loud music but not all the time.

So far the Sony BDP-S6700E seems to be a nice very small unit and cheap really, I do not care how it looks, just how it performs and takes up little room.

I do not need wifi as only run a wired setup here except when need to use the BT speaker.

Sony BPD-X800M2 has BT


UBP-X700M, good reviews, no BT but at least when watching video the TV had it and time delay adjustment.

bdp-s6700 has BT