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Pioneer AX3 and AX5 Comparitive Amplifier Quality

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Buckster, Feb 15, 2004.

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  1. Buckster

    Buckster
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    I've almost definately decided upon buying a new Pioneer AX3 - ( Denon 3803 is also a possibility but leaning towards the AX3 at the moment) - but concerned about people's views about there being quite a cut in quality of the internals of the AX3 compared with that of the AX5 and the older 2011.

    Now I've done tonnes of forum research across both this forum and the avsforums, for that one under the US name of 53TX and 55TX and still haven't really come to a conclusion.

    Just wonder what peoples honest opinions are to which of the following is potentially true:

    (1) AX3 is very similar internally to AX5 but with less features (like loss of ILInK, USB etc)

    OR

    (2) AX3 is the above - and also the circuitry/amplifiers etc are of not so good quality of the AX5.

    Anyone done an A to B test ?

    I'm going to try and get a demo of an AX3 this week - but most places can't seem to bothered to setup any AV amp to do a demo which is rather frustrating, let alone setup so I can do an AX3, AX5 vs 3803 test.

    Thanks for any help,

    Mark.
     
  2. Daneel

    Daneel
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    IMO if you aren't desperate for the digital multi-channel link, grab a 2011. It seems you are paying an extra £300 for the feature as the AX5 doesn't have anything else of significance.

    I've been told that the gap between the AX3 and AX5 is greater than that between the 1011 and 2011 which I looked at very hard when making my decision.
     
  3. EasyTiger

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    The main 'feature'difference I have seen is that the AX3 doesn't have a phono (Moving Magnet) or audio sync time delay, whereas the AX5 does.

    As for the internals, I haven't seen a comprehensive answer, some say yes, others no!
     
  4. Dimmy

    Dimmy
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    There are important differences between the AX5i and D2011, but unless you've got a use for iLink or need audio delays, I don't think they add up to double the cost of a S/H D2011 for the AX5i.
     
  5. Buckster

    Buckster
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    Thanks for all the opinions I think I'll get there in the end - seems 2 complete separate "camps" to whether the internal gubbings in the 2011 and AX3 and AX5 (minus of course the additional features) are the same. There obviously must be some difference as the AX5 is 2 KG heavier - but do those changes make an audible difference. I don't care about features just overall sound quality.

    The link below makes interesting reading - scroll down to the Pioneer FAQ - sure its just to get people to buy the amps they have in stock though (reckons AX3 sounds better than 2011):

    http://209.167.103.167/AX5kht.htm

    Mark.
     
  6. emad

    emad
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    Buckster

    The construction of the AX5 is different to that of the AX3. I weighs 2Kg more than the Ax3 and that is not because it has i-link! It is built using a double chasis construction for better sound.

    There is ofcourse the extra features
    1-2 i-link
    2-USB
    3-Phono
    4-advanced learning remote

    The audion delay is a feature in both the AX3 and AX5

    IMO if you will use the i-link and might connect a PC via USB - then go AX5 otherwise AX3.

    Regards

    Emad
     
  7. emad

    emad
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    OOps, just read the link you posted above! It answers all questions.
     
  8. Buckster

    Buckster
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    Well I've gone for a Ex-dem 2011 (yes they are still around !) - OK a bit pricey for an ex-dem its 620 - but apparently in perfect nick and has a full 12 month Pioneer warranty - which is good.

    I know I could get a brand new AX3 - for 599 - but to be honest I'm not going to take the risk that the AX3 has poorer internals for the sake of getting an ex-dem model.

    I also could buy a 2nd hand 2011 - but the extra 120 quid is worth it for a warranty in my eyes anyway.

    Mark.
     
  9. Dimmy

    Dimmy
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    Buckster, mate, they're still selling new for £599 (D2011s, that is).
     
  10. Buckster

    Buckster
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    Dimmy,

    Where from please ?

    Mark.
     
  11. emad

    emad
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    cheapest I found new £750! at £599 it is a real steal!!!
     
  12. Dimmy

    Dimmy
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    Buckster...

    Try Superfi, Hi-Fi Confidential, Krish-AV, hi-fi bitz. One or all of them had a few left last I checked...
     
  13. Buckster

    Buckster
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    Tried Hifi-bitz, Krish, so far none in stock.

    Any contact number for Hi-fi confidential ?

    Thanks for the help, Mark.
     
  14. emad

    emad
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    www.hificonfidential.co.uk


    Contact Information


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you wish to make any enquiries or wish to place an order with us, please contact us:

    Phone: 020 7233 7225
    Fax: 020 7233 7226
     
  15. Buckster

    Buckster
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    No luck there either - thanks anyway.

    Just superfi left to try.

    I spent 2 hours on the net last night trying to source one of these amps new.

    Mark.
     
  16. emad

    emad
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    Superfi don't have it

    I work near the London branch!
     
  17. Buckster

    Buckster
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    Thanks - I have up - phoned almost every Superfi branch in the country - some had them for 599 ex-dem but would have to pick up so went with the original ex-dem I found - should be here tomorrow.

    Thanks for all of the help everyone,

    Mark.
     
  18. Buckster

    Buckster
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    Well my ex-display 2011 arrived today - and I'm more than pleased with it -perfect condition - I wasn't expecting such build quality from Pioneer! Not even in the same league as my Pioneer 656 which is very plasticy. The amp is like its hewn out of a chunk of metal. Sounds great too.

    Only 2 questions that could help me though.

    (1) Is there any way to set L/R front speaker volume for when listening to CD in "Direct" mode ?

    (2) I'm getting subwoofer hum - but only after switching off the Pioneer and after about 5 mins - any ideas ? Subwoofer is not plugged into same socket as amp as on the other side of the room.

    Movie stuff has obviously impressed me - but more so stereo playback - the combo of the bright-ish Pioneer amp + warm-ish NAD C541i seems to work very well - sounds better than the CD-player with my NAD C350 amp - which I'm now going to sell.

    Thanks for any help,

    Mark.
     
  19. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    Why would you buy a 2011 (an older model now) for £600 when you can buy a brand new AX3 for £650 from any Sevenoaks store.
     
  20. Buckster

    Buckster
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    Sounds daft doesn't it Crusty - but in fact 2011 has more features than the AX3 - there was must question on these forums + US forums that the internals have been compromised quality wise for the AX3 compared with the Pioneer 2011 - wheras on the AX5 they haven't but it has an ILink that 2011 doesn't have.

    It was 600 for an ex-display - but you wouldn't tell it was ex-display its looks absolutely perfect and has a 1 year warranty.

    Mark,
     
  21. Daneel

    Daneel
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    1. No.

    2. Not a clue, but I'm sure someone can help you.

    I'm glad you are pleased with your purchase. Your last comment is telling.
     
  22. Montana

    Montana
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    There is another biggish difference between the 2011 and the AX3i, that (on this thread anyway) no-one else has mentioned.That is the 2011 has component switching (2 input and one output).The price difference between the 2011 and the AX5i is almost to much to be worth iLink etc.
    On the subject of subwoofer hum, can I ask if you get a slight thump when you change sources ? I say this because because I am in the process of my 2011 being tested, as I got a hell of a thump every time I changed sources ( and that was with NOTHING else being plugged in to the amp other than the sub, just a word of warning.
    If there is anything else I can help you with give me a shout.

    Andy
     
  23. Buckster

    Buckster
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    Montana - thanks very much - I'll take your offer up if you need any assistance - and I'll offer the same (if I can provide any help)

    I don't get any Subwoofer thump when changing sources.

    Mark.
     
  24. Buckster

    Buckster
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    Andy and everyone - there is one thing you could hopefully answer for me:

    After doing Auto-setup (MCAAC) - I get the following levels listed

    Front L +1.5dB



    Front R -1.5dB etc etc etc


    Now I know from listening and from previous amps that my Front R speaker has to be set to a higher gain to the Front L as it is further away - is the MCAAC setup done something odd and thinks it should be the other way round ? Or am I reading the results wrong ? I'm reading them as FR has been setup to -3dB compared with FL ?

    I tried the auto-setup twice and it came to the same result.


    Thanks, Mark.
     
  25. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    Sounds like you have the FL and FR speakers plugged into each others terminals on the receiver.
     
  26. EasyTiger

    EasyTiger
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    Re Subwoofer hum, do you have high and low level connections to it?

    I got subwoofer hum when the -ve high level cable came out of the amp speaker binding post.

    I would be tempted to try different leads and see if you still get the problem.
     

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