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Building system - need Pioneer Amp, which one?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Neil Fellows, Sep 8, 2004.

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  1. Neil Fellows

    Neil Fellows
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    I am putting together a system to purchase in the new year, that consists of:

    Pioneer PDP-435XD freeview plasma
    Pioneer DV-868AVi-S DVD player

    I am looking for an Amp to go with this, and would like a Pioneer one to match. Knowing nothing about amp’s (in fact, whats the difference between an Amp and a Receiver?). But basically, I need a resonably decent Apm to go with this to handle all the audio. I don’t have a huge budget for this (i’ve blown it all on the above!) but looking at about £300 - £500 for it. The only thing (I think) I would like it to have would be te iLink. I’m guessing this is what connects the Amp to the DVD player, then the DVD player to the Plasma via HDMI? Or would the Amp connect directly to the plasma media box?

    I already have speakers, and as I live is a semi, I dont really need it that loud, or in fact as ‘high quality’ as the DVD player.
     
  2. WYNIR0

    WYNIR0
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    My suggestion :

    Wait untill closer to the time you'll be purchasing. This sector of the market moves so fast that the items you pick out now will probably be superseeded by the time you come to buy.
     
  3. Neil Fellows

    Neil Fellows
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    I have a feeling that this would happen - you are right, expecially as that DVD player has been around a while now. Any idea of a Pinoeer Amp I should be 'keeping an eye on' though?
     
  4. WYNIR0

    WYNIR0
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    'Fraid not, I know nothing about their stuff. Currenlty got my eye on the new Denon Amps.
     
  5. mikemccon

    mikemccon
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    The cheapest Pioneer amp with ilink is currently the AX5i (soon to be replaced with the AX5Ai) but it is well outside your budget @ approx £900.

    You may be able to pick one up 2nd hand though.


    I don't know if Pioneer plan to release any new amps with ilink within your budget.
     
  6. scanneb

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    I recently submitted a query to Pioneer tech support and they came back to me to say that they were planning to launch several receivers with iLink later this year - to quote them "We do have a few new Ilink amps coming in the near future if the cost of the AX10 or AX5 are a bit much, but if you want the best then the AX10 is one of the finest, if not the finest, AV amps for less than £5000."

    Having said this, I somehow doubt that the new models will fit with your budget - although with the launch of the AX5Ai, there might be some older model AX5i available at discount prices.

    Is there some specific reason you want to use iLink? As I understand it, the main benefit is if you listen to multi-channel music, as it allows the decoding of DVD-A and SACD to be done in the receiver, making use of the set-up information (speaker distances, sizes etc) you have provided for the DVD-V sound. The alternative is to specify the configuration in the DVD player itself and allow it to do the decodign and output the signal on the 5.1 multichannel analogue outputs. Most receivers these days have 5.1 analgue inputs, so you would have a much wider choice (including lower cost options). Of course if aren't worried about multichannel, it isn't an issue.
     
  7. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    The Pioneer 2014i will be cheaper than the AX5Ai and will feature i-link. It should be out in the next 6 weeks or so!
     
  8. lapman22

    lapman22
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    to complete the setup of the 435 and 868 only VX5i or VX5Ai would do.

    Don't compromise , and based on many treads you will not be disappointed!

    iLink is just a bonus for using Pioneer's plasma and DVD , the main benefit is a top class AMP.
     
  9. Neil Fellows

    Neil Fellows
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    Thanks guys for all your help, this really is usefull. After considering what Scann said, I agree that I don't really need iLink (now I know what the bloomin thing does!) so as you said, I will wait until Jan and see what they have on offer. As Lapman says though, I always kind of feel that I should not compromise when i've gone to the effort of building (what i would consider) a very good setup (at least visually). It's just a budget thing now though!

    Thanks for all your help again.
     
  10. John7

    John7
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    Just jumpin in here guys

    I bought Pio 434 last year along with Denon 2900 DVD. Then upgraded to Pio 868i DVD. Wow! What an improvement in picture quality. Youve definitely made the right choice with these two components (assuming the new Pio display is as good or better then the 434) so why compromise the amp?

    I was at that time using a Pio VSXD2011 receiver (the difference between a receiver and an Amp is that receiver has a built in FM/AM tuner) and just had to upgrade to an AX5i.

    I now have just one small digital link from the 868 to the AX5 which is all that is needed for video DVD, SACD, CD and DVD-A - all detected automatically and synchronised via the i-link connection - its a brilliant concept that works well. As I understand it, as well as tranferring digital audio, the i-link also maintains perfect digital synchronisation between the 868 and receiver decoders so that an accurate signal is maintained, improving sound quality for CD/SACD and DVD audio.

    As you are now aware, the AX5i is soon to be replaced by the AX5Ai. This has a few added "bells and whistles", the most prominent of which is probably the ability to up-sample all video inputs to Component level.

    You can currently get a UK spec AX5i from krishav.co.uk for £829.00 +p&p (or collect from Hammersmith) but I would expect this price to drop over the coming weeks as the new models appear. Its definitely worth keeping an eye on the prices closely and extending your budget a bit if you are able - you won`t regret it. You could also look out for second hand deals, although I understand the AX5 does not appear that frequently (btw i`m not selling mine yet) although I expect there will be a few out there who will just have to upgrade when the new models arrive!

    Good luck

    John7
     
  11. Neil Fellows

    Neil Fellows
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    Thanks John, that's really really made me want to extend the budget! I guess it is best to hang around and keep price checking the old model, as it's a 'total itegrated' system I want - I really want everything to run as seemless as possible. Out of interest, does the remote control for the Pioneer AX5i control all 3 devices?
     
  12. Neil Fellows

    Neil Fellows
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    OK, had a re-think. I'll wait until the price drops and resellers stop stocking it, and pick up maybe an ex-demo or old stock model. I'm really only waiting until Jan 05 to give the new Pio digital screen a while to 'settle in' to the market, plus I don't have £4500 at the moment! And i'll buy the rest then. Probably. Jesus, i'm so easily talked into things....!
     
  13. John7

    John7
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    Oh yes!

    As well as having loads of built in codes for various devices, its a learning remote, so you can program it to control any infra controlled equipment.
     
  14. John7

    John7
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    Oh - I thought you already had the DVD and PDP - expensive new year coming up then!

    You could try the second hand market for the 868i - I think one went on here the other day for £600.00. I paid £750.00 for mine at a local dealer.
     
  15. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello Neil

    Interesting exercise this thinking out loud - though it can be hazardous to the wallet; and its easy to get carried away with everyone's enthusiasm.

    If your intent on sticking with a Pioneer AV Amplifier or AV Receiver you can be assured that moving up from one of the 'D' Series AV Receivers to one of the 'A' Series AV Amplifiers will bring you sonic benefits.

    More important for me and many of our customers than the inclusion (or not) of i-Link in the various products is the inclusion of Pioneer's excellent MCACC set up routines which get more automated, sophisticated and tweakable as you go up through the ranges; if your not into spending hours with a Sound Pressure Meter and don't have the ability to alter speaker positions in your room this feature is a great asset.

    The VSX-AX10Ai even has a PC interface and with the supplied set up Disc you get 3D room equalization using its Advanced MCACC routines - the VSX-AX5Ai will also have the Advanced MCACC; which will be a benefit over the outgoing VSX-AX5i.

    If the VSX-AX5Ai or an VSX-AX5i are outside your intended budget the VSX-AX3i is also due for release - its got the Automated MCACC routines of the current VSX-AX5i model.

    Keep in mind too that the higher quality AV Amplifiers and AV Receivers will retain some dynamics and detail when listening in Midnight mode - the lower quality units tend to fall to bits (sonically) at low volume levels.

    Also please keep in mind that whilst all the bits of kit your considering have a Pioneer badge on the front the ability to 'function' as a system is not always as joined up as you would assume; there are plenty of anomalies that pop up whenever you bolt an all Pioneer system together.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  16. lapman22

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    Joe,

    you're last remark worries me. As I'm considering all my kit to have the Pioneer badge (as u well know) , I'd like to have some more info on that please... :confused:

    I assumed that by using Pioneer throughout , all the components can "talk" to eachother in the same language , Is that not the case?

    Cheers,

    Lapman.
     
  17. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello Lapman

    Pioneer don't sell 'systems' - once you get past the 'all-in-one' units.

    The kit your considering all recognise that you have one or more additional bits of Pioneer kit attached to some extent but not every 'function' is as Interactive as you would envisage/imagine/want!

    Depending on which units you are assembling you will find some oddities when you start to use the 'system' - this is true of every one brand 'system' I've ever come across that's assembled from a manufacturers 'separates' list.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  18. Neil Fellows

    Neil Fellows
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    This is a great help guys, thanks Joe / John. I’m really going to keep an eye out on the price of the VSX-AX5i-S and go for that one, (although wait a while to see what the Pioneer 2014 is like) and like Lappman says, I really don’t want to compromise if I’ve gone to the effort of building a decent system with the other components.
     

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