Pioneer iLink

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Stereo Steve, Jun 27, 2004.

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  1. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
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    Well, I got my AX5i and 757 hooked up at last via iLink. I must say I am well impressed with the results. I was immediately blown away by the clarity and resolution of CD replay. As a marker, I would say it is on the level of my old Tag AV32R (5.1) with digital coax.

    I tried connecting both coax and iLink and setting up one for CD and one for DVD/LD on the amp with identical settings (Direct) so I could switch instantly between them and the digital interface was the only difference. The iLink was clearly and by a mile superior, lifting a veil from the sound. There were instruments you could not hear with the coax. Also, the soundstage was noticably 'bigger', the speakers dissapeared at the front and the sound seemed to 'come forward'.

    I'm very impressed with this set up. Also, being able to apply proper bass management and more importantly, tone controls to SACD and DVD-A is excellent. Unlike most cheaper amps, the EQ section is actually worth having and appears to leave the sound unharmed. My room is solid slate floors and bare walls so EQ is a must. The results are SACD like I have never heard it. I was able to play DSOTM at quite high volumes without it descending into mush as it normally would in my room. I know I lose DSD this way but it still sounds superb.

    So, I'm blown away by this combo. As a straight amp, I would say it rivalled my A11SR, maybe not as 'easy' on the ear but the A11 I always felt only had one 'sound'. It was a very very nice sound though. The Ax5i is a flexible beast and can go from in yer face to warm and smooth. I think if I had to choose, without iLink I might just go for the A11SR, although the Pioneer remote is better. With iLink though it's no contest. I'm well impressed and can see me finally settling down with the amp for some time, at least until a processor with a proper digital interface comes about.
     
  2. Paul D

    Paul D
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    Hi Steve
    That's pretty much what i found myself with my 868i-AX5i combo using i-Link.
    I'm not into "high end" sound, but even i noticed instruments i never heard before.
    I posted a little review last November saying good this modest(in audio terms!) combo was.

    I have found i-Link to offer other nice features(apart from "Jitterless sync locking"/SACD DSD etc etc), such as device naming on the AX5i etc.
    Considering how much you can end up paying for high end cables alone, i would view i-Link as a must have feature.
    I had to buy a slightly longer i-Link cable, but at £4 i don't think it broke the bank!!! :laugh:
     

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