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pioneer ax4 or ax5

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by adam.philpott, Sep 17, 2005.

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  1. adam.philpott

    adam.philpott
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    hello all, can anyone help?
    i've been in the market for a new amp for some time now and like most i have done lots of shopping around, anyway to cut a long story short, does anyone know much about pioneers new amp the vsx ax4avi-s, i know it has 2 hdmi outputs, a more modified auto speaker set up and most of the same functions as it predisesor the ax5avi-s, but what i'm not sure of is, if its better, as stated by the guy in my local dealer, why is it cheeper? and is it better, does it have all the functions of the ax5 and if i don't use 7.1can i bi amp my front speakers from it?
     
  2. carrera79

    carrera79
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    yes, please answer to this very good question ?
    and more generally, are they good receivers
     
  3. jwramsay

    jwramsay
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    Bought a Pioneer 1014 and decided that 7.1 was wasted on 95% of my viewing so sold my centre rears and biamped my Tannoy 613s instead.

    This amplifier kicks serious but, I can run it at full volume with no distortion, but generally 0db is loud enough for CD/SACD.

    Love this amp to bits, and the SR+ is a total joy if you have a Pio Plasma.
     
  4. Ekko Star

    Ekko Star
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    Good question but one which I answered for myself today.

    I got the AX5Ai for £650 with 30m speaker wire thrown in today, not bad for something that was selling at £1300 a year ago.

    The AX4i looks like it's going to be around £875 minimum net price and £999 RRP and tbh I think in order to hit that price it must have had some corners cut. I'm sure it's going to be OK but is it as good if not better than the AX5ai or worth the extra ? Hmmm not so sure.

    Looks wise the 4 looks ugly to me, something about it aesthetically just doesn't look right. Still that counts for nothing since amps don't tend to be too hot in the looks dept anyway.

    HDMI switching and the Windowsmedia sounds good on the AX4 but bottom line for me is I'm buying an amp for it's sonic abilities not it's switching ones. The AX5i is proven and it's top notch and it's going for a song. Better just grab one while you can at that price.

    I actually auditioned the new Yamaha RX4600 as well today which has HDMI switching and is a lovely beast. However that was £1000 and up against the AX5ai at £650 the difference of £350 just wasn't justified.

    The final thing that swung it for me was the AX4i weighs in at 15.6Kg and the AX5i at 21.6Kg. Now I know technology moves on combined with performance but there is something reassuring about a heavyweight amplifier. Use of top notch components means there is nothing lightweight about top end equipment. In order to shed that kind of weight I'm sure compromises have had to be made in order to hit a favourable price point.
     
  5. danb

    danb
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    Hello

    Any ideas where i can buy an AX5ai from for around £650!? As i've just blown mine thanks to a leeking ceiling and no accidental insurance

    Thanks
    Dan
     
  6. Llanowar

    Llanowar
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    Agrees...
    Check the thread i made about the ax5 compared to ax4 here: http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=245419

    I think it's a big letdown, and i also think the new design isn't as good as the old series anymore (especially the ugly rectangular buttons on the outside :thumbsdow )
     
  7. russraff

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    I haven't had time to read the link, so appologies if I am repeating what is written there. However, I believe (from what I have heard) that the poweramp section of the AX5ai-s (I have one of these) is considerably more powerful than the AX4 in terms of current delivery. Processing I am not sure about, but of all the manufacturers out there Yamaha have the best processing (in my opinion). Given that, I would be tempted to forget either Pioneers and plump for the new 4600 Yamaha amp.

    Russell
     
  8. Ekko Star

    Ekko Star
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    Yes aesthetically I personally don't like the AX4, those cheap looking buttons don't do it any justice. Still that counts for very little as long as it sounds ok.

    The biggest indication for me was the drop in weight and after reading that AVS thread I think it's apparent. Shedding 5kg and upping the features smells suspiciously of cost cutting covered by feature count.

    It may not be the most scientific way of evaluating equipment, but when you shed 5kg off an amp it usually implies changes in the power supply, capacitors etc etc. Yes of course newer amps offer more sound processing options and more connections etc etc but generally amp technology I would say the fundamentals move forward very slowly. 5kg seems like an awful lot to rip out. I think I'm safe with my £650 on the AX5Ai cos at that price it remains a terrific bargain irrespective.

    I got mine from Spatial as they are a Pioneer Works dealer and you will benefit from a 2 year Pioneer warranty because of that.

    £650 at Spatial Hifi on TCR 0207 4365358 or www.tottenhamcourtroaddirect.co.uk
     
  9. Llanowar

    Llanowar
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    The reason for the lower weight from a pioneer rep:

    The lighter weight is due to an amplifier redesign from Mosfet to Class AB Bipolar.
    ..

    I am sure you will be happy with any of the receivers you are look at.

    Chris Walker
     
  10. russraff

    russraff
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    Didn't notice the weight decrease. It looks like the 2014 chassis with extra features and decoding options. This was a good amp, for the price (~£450 if memory serves?) but nowhere near the performance of the AX5ai-s
     
  11. jon smith

    jon smith
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    Anyone know of any good deals on the Ax5ai (around the £650 mark), beem umming and ahhing about it all week then went to order from tottenhamcourtroaddirect but they don't have it listed anymore.
     
  12. Peachey

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  13. Jack the lad

    Jack the lad
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    Bit steep that. Should be going for sub £600 now if you can get one :)
     
  14. alanmcd

    alanmcd
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    I ordered the ax5 from Spatial Audio Visual in Tottenham Court Road yesterday (Saturady) for £650. Tel: 020 7637 8702 Thought I might wait for the ax4 but it seems to cost about £1000
     
  15. jon smith

    jon smith
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    Not been able to find one this cheap.. cheapest i've found with stock is £700... have to keep looking I guess.
     
  16. Ekko Star

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    You'll have trouble finding it for under £600. Spatial Audio bought up pretty much all of Pioneer UK's last stock and they're doing it for £649. They are a Pioneer The Works dealer so you'll get 2 Years warranty on it.

    Or for £1200 you get both an AX5ai and an 868AVi, which is a great package deal :thumbsup:
     
  17. goatlips

    goatlips
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    A amp like that for £649...that's a bargain!! I know because I have one!
     
  18. Nabs

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    '.....The lighter weight is due to an amplifier redesign from Mosfet to Class AB Bipolar....'

    Ok if the amplifier has been redesigned, which is the better design - I guess that is the important feature, also the double casing has changed.
     
  19. Nabs

    Nabs
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    He is a reply from pioneer which may answer some questions:

    Response (RJFCS) - 11/11/2005 10:53 AM
    Hi,

    Thanks for your email.

    The electronic design of the VSA-AX4AVi is similar but not the same as the VSA-AX5Ai, the output stage uses different MOSFET transistors to increase the power output whilst not increasing the heat output, enabling the use of a lighter heat sink.
    In absolute terms the amp section of the AX5 is better but not allot different in real life, they both do a very good job and audio quality at this level is a subjective thing anyway.

    The construction of the chaise is also changed and this, in combination with a lighter weight but more efficient power supply, is the reason for the weight differences between these 2 units.

    We do not have plans at this point for an AV amp to fit between the AX4AVi and the AX10Ai in the European model range.

    If you have a good local dealer they may be able to demonstrate the differences and similarities between these two units.

    Regards.
    Customer Relations
    PIONEER GB LIMITED
     

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