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Is the pIoneer VSX- AX5i the real deal?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by DonMaico, Jul 1, 2004.

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  1. DonMaico

    DonMaico
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    Just had a quick look at its spec and was amazed- future proofed( essential in thia age of built in obsolecence) iLink ,THX , plenty of welly and all th gizmos one could possibly want . All for less than £ 900. This coupled with a DV 757 dvd player must be the perfect combo- or is it?
    Actualy I am spitting nails because I spent £ 800 on an HK and it comes nowhere near as well specified,. GRRR! :spam:
     
  2. DonMaico

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    Seves me right for my constant impatience!
     
  3. cwoj

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    yep...but things are moving fast...denon have a nice offering with the 3805 now!!
     
  4. Kazman

    Kazman
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    Marantz are also releasing updates to their range soon, and Pioneer are upgrading the AX5i to the AX5ai in the next few months too.

    With the next gen machines just around the corner (and some already here, Denon, HK) it may be worthwhile just waiting a little while longer.
     
  5. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    The only way to buy a "future proof" amp is to buy the most feature packed unit you can and then stop reading magazines forever. The well written law of sod dictates the "next big thing" will be released a week after you bought your amp. It will be forever thus.
     
  6. kocl

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    I have a set of ax5i and 757 via ilink and its amazing.
     
  7. DonMaico

    DonMaico
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    In the good old days you would buy and an integrated hi fi amp and it would just do you coz it only had to amplify unless you wanted to go down the several boxes route. Noew its a bleeding nightmare trying to keep up with it all. As you suggest better to ignore mags. As I like HK products( very musical) I shall probably stick with them. Nevertheless that Pioneer combo looks very tempting.
    The thing that most irks me is the depreciation . Good old hifi amps ( well known brands such as Arcam ,Sugden, Linn ,Naim, seem to hold their value but these receivers dont .
     
  8. Barend

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    Consolation:
    I'm pretty sure a HK has a better sound quality than the Pioneer.
    Barend
     
  9. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Exactly what do you base this on? :confused:
     
  10. karkus30

    karkus30
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    Which is great, cos I bought a 1300 quid Denon amp for less than 400 quid :laugh: Simple answer is to leave the latest alone, because it will be an also ran :rolleyes: just after you buy it and loose 2/3rds of its cost when you sell it.
     
  11. bluesfan

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    I demoed the denon 3803, ax5 and HK 5550. The HK was by far the most musical for stereo. The tone defeat did nothing to lower the treble and bass responsiveness. (I need the tone controls to up the frequencies to my ears).

    Having said this the 3805 and AX5 are solid well built machines.

    This is one area where HK fall down. The exterior, flexibility of controls and build quality are not as good as Pioneer and Denon.

    Of these two I prefer the Pioneer as Denon sounds too clinical to me (maybe for explosions and voices but not good for music).
     
  12. Barend

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    First excuse the SPAM icon - pressed the wrong button...
    Base my opinion on my HK AVR-5550 and my listening experience with a couple of Pio's (not the AX5 though) and Japanese kit in general, apart from some quite expensive ones I don't consider them very musical.
    Even my other receiver, a Denon AVR-3805, is just on par with the HK in stereo.
    Barend
     
  13. DonMaico

    DonMaico
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    "Which is great, cos I bought a 1300 quid Denon amp for less than 400 quid Simple answer is to leave the latest alone, because it will be an also ran just after you buy it and loose 2/3rds of its cost when you sell it."
    __________________
    Itas a different market and one learns the hard way. I lost about £550 on my frist dvd/ amp purchase whithin 18 months.Now I shall bide my time and make shrewd purchases in future. I shall stick with my HK5500 and maybe look at an HK dvd audio player in future as I think they are probably more musiical
     
  14. Barend

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    Yeah right, the AVR5500 is a great receiver (predecessor of my AVR5550).
    Don't take my wrong, I like my Denon AVR-3805, but I try to be honest too...
    HK has a very detailed AND warm sound which is a rather unusual combination.
    Barend
     
  15. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
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    The AX5 with the iLink attatched to a similarly equiped player is a very different proposition to the same amp with a standard connection. The difference between iLink and coax is audible and staggering. I set up a test with mine so I could switch between them and it's quite clear. I can even tell if I walk into the room and my wife has left the amp on the DVD input (coax) playing a CD.

    I had a Denon A11SR before which is a different league to the 38xx series and this thing persuaded me to change. Also has a brilliant remote. I think I mentioned on here before that the AX5/757 is the closest I have ever got to my old Tag set up with a receiver.

    I would urge anyone to demo before they buy anything else. I think we have to be careful on here to only give advice on the basis of personal experience, not on forum 'known facts' like HK is musical, Pioneer is not etc.
     
  16. d.waters

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    Steve

    I too have a Denon A11 SR and a Pioneer DV 757Ai and was tempted to replace the A11 with an AX5i when it came out for the i link (as you appear to have done). I didn't in the end because of the advice I received - are you saying that the AX5i has turned out to be better than the A11 in your opinion?
     
  17. Stereo Steve

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    In my opinion yes. The A11SR is a very nice amp and sounds great out of the box. To be honest I didn't expect to find a receiver that could beat it. However, I bought a second hand AX5 off the forums just so that I could have a play with iLink. The amp was initially dissapointing and took a long while to set up and calibrate for my room but the results were fantastic in my view. It's a very flexible machine which means there's a big potential to have it not set up right and get less than brilliant results. The A11 on the other hand is sweet, straight away.

    I will admit it was a close call but the Ax5 certainly won on convenience, interface and the remote is superb. In the end I was happier with the sounds I was getting and decided to stick with it.

    I would recommend a demo as you may well prefer the sound of the A11.
     
  18. DonMaico

    DonMaico
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    I thought the AX5 had an automatic setup facility?
     
  19. Barend

    Barend
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    The A11SR was reviewed here www.areadvd.de in English and German. Good read, although Areadvd is always a bit too enthousiastic for my taste...
    Do read between the lines!
    They also do the AVR-3805, The AX5i and many others.
    Barend
     
  20. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
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    It does and when I tried it, it set my surrounds 4db too high and said one was 3 metres away and the other .1m. They are both about 1.5m. It did do a good job of the EQ though.
     
  21. Slickeeboy

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    I have just invested in an AX5i myself andhave be completely satisfied with the results I've had. I used the auto setup feature ( as I'm not that much of a boffin ) and it got the distances to my speakers etc spot on.
    Got it connected up to my DV868 via iLink which came with the DVD player and it sounds great but I'm wondering if there are better iLink cables out there that will improve quality still further?
     
  22. Brogan

    Brogan
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    If that's how you think, you'll never buy a single piece of AV equipment.
    There's always something newer/better/bigger 'available soon'...
     
  23. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Do a search - there has been lots of posts on this.
    IMO, it's impossible to change the sound of a digital signal travelling along a cable 1 metre long that does not degrade the signal in any way.
    i.e. it's impossible to improve on an unimpaired signal.
     
  24. DonMaico

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    mY conclusion is I shall wait til HK release an iLink amp and universal dvd player. HK told me there are no plans to do so in the near future but I am sure they'll follow the market in time. Like Barend I tend to favour the musical output of HK products. Also if I spend any more money now on a new amp bearing in mind the one I have is only 18 months my wife will do one of three things
    a) Have me shot
    b) Have me committed to an asylium
    or worst of all
    c) buy a horse- a most daunting proposition

    :D :D
     
  25. DonMaico

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    This is one area where HK fall down. The exterior, flexibility of controls and build quality are not as good as Pioneer and Denon.


    Exactlly what do you mean by build quality? My Hk seems fairly robust and so far I have had no problems with it. Are you saying the internals components are not very good? The only minus I have found is that the instructions are a bit complex thats all :confused:
     
  26. Slickeeboy

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    Brogan - I never really thought of it like that. After all it is just a straight digital data transfer huh?

    Still a bit of a noob I'm afraid. Cheers for your thoughts though. :D
     
  27. Brogan

    Brogan
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    I should clarify that's just my opinion.
    There are plenty of people on here who swear that a £100 iLink cable will sound better than the one that comes in the box.

    Each to their own and all that...
     

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