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Pioneer system; AX10 ; 757or 868 ; 5100H ; 434HDE - jump or wait? (long newbie post)

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by WindBag, Feb 7, 2004.

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  1. WindBag

    WindBag
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    Posting here as the amp is the heart of the matter

    Hi folks - huge first post from a forum newbie - hence the handle.
    Have an old HiFi with the Cyrus 1 base needing replacing since 1998 - I copped out then 'cos the new version was low on connections, and its woinderful sounding CD partner couldn't even play CD-R, let alone CDRW & MP3 - all of which I had then. I could see obsolescent kit then.. and still can.
    Been sorta limping since waiting for amp with Digital in (why so many DAC's when that one good one in top-end CD would do just fine ? )
    Dipped into mags every now and then, saw nothing; now realise it was all copyright-protectionism that was holding up the chain.
    So I stuck to speakers (got MS208's, used old Wharfedale 505.2's for Kitchen & Landing - great to have sound all over) as at least they wouldn't go "obsolete". Then a sub (Strata III), off ebay, which has wonderfully thickened the soundstage.
    Knowing that my two Nicam VCR's won't last forever, my Tosh 28" TV is looking a bit long in the tooth, noting that I need a class CD & DVD player, noting the emergence of attractive HD/DVD burner units, I've been genning up & re-entering the fray. The Technics DAB will still need a socket home, as will the trusty cassette, there's nothing wrong with the CD recorder, plus I do listen to ad-hoc bits like portable MP3 players and minidiscs. And I still need to plug my LinnLP12 into something. The freview box is a Nokia 221T with RGB & digital audio out, but sorta takes over the VCR it's plugged into at the moment.

    Looking at high-end AV kit as the way out of "not enough inputs", I've been buying the mags for 2 months - and was intrigued to fund a lot of good words about individual Pioneer kit across most of the board. The appeal of having an integrated system which works from one remote is strong, so I'm well pulled in that direction. So I was looking at:

    Pioneer VSA-AX10i Receiver (omitted i originally, sorry)
    DV-757Ai DVD/CD/CDR/CDRW/SACD/MP3
    DVR-5100H as workhorse recorder/archiver of interesting vid bits
    and possibly
    PDP-434HDE (would double the outlay, but it does seem a real cool beastie).

    Pioneer also get a lot of points for having the maunals downloadable & give a chance of looking at what is on offer. I note that even the AX10 is only just coping connection wise with all of the above, but is old enough to appear in the discount lists - as is the 757.

    Here's where the trepidation & fun starts, and where this forum comes in.
    Trepidation: I hate trying to set up equipment auditions. I need to trust folk in the know, but I find a lot of dubious approaches. With £60k of AV kit in the shop, they can't plug a plasma to off-air aerial because "they have to split it too many ways". Ple-ease. Some shops are superior (we don't find AV good enough for audio), or you can get the response as the loony on the bus ... (AX10 is a special order only, sir).
    - how the heck am I supposed to know if I want to buy it? Audio telepathy? Does the AX5 sound the same?
    Then comes the confusing info;
    "You can't get the 757any more, the replacement 868 is much better with HDMI - but it isn't in yet".
    Where can I plug it's HDMI output into?
    "Oh, the AX5 has has that, it's an upgrade of the AX10".

    But I know I need to hear the sound. Several thousand CD's say so. Last time, the Cyrus sound was great, the Arcam equivalent was way thin. But, I have to take off work to hear auditions, and the above doesn't inspire.

    I'm not going to be ripping the heart out of the system for a upgrade in two years. I want to listen and watch, not tinker or tweak. And I want to plug a new camcorder/whatever in if I get one....

    I've noted the forum threads 113540 (HDMI on AV Amps) and 98530 (Pioneer AX10i v AX10i-S), which gave me food for thought, but in some ways clouded the "do I fork out the wonga now" decision.

    So, I've got a few questions which you good AV folk may be able to help with:

    * Any useful comparison points for the AX10 sound?
    * If I don't like the AX3/5 (which I can hear), might the AX10 change my mind?
    * Is using HDMI that much better?
    - if so, what on earth are Pioneer doing selling us DVD's with the output but no AV amp with an input?
    - is an AX10-with-HDMI imminent?
    - will an integrated HDMI or HDMI-2 implementation make the "new" kit redundant?
    - is the 868 *worth* the extra?
    * The AX10 has one bear of a remote - is it practical (important if it controls everything)?
    * Is the plasma OK off-air with a decent aerial?
    - I've heard there are "noise issues", but haven't seen it on anything but tethered DVD source yet.
    (I know I can watch it via freeview, but I often simultaneously record that & watch direct-off air).
    * will LCD's take over from plasmas in 2004?
    * Has anyone got a Pioneer "suite"? Do the "control interconnects" actually synchronise all the units as a whole properly?
    * Has anyone heard if Pioneer will respond to the challenge of Onkyo's "modular" approach
    - seems a sensible way forward to cope with a changing technology, but isn't here yet & would lose the "integrated system" - unless Pioneer come out fighting.

    Yeah, I know, a dozen topics all in one post. Trouble is, they're all wrapped up together in the "jump/don't jump" decision.

    Over to you.

    PS one respected dealer was sliding me towards the Arcam FMJ/AV8 for the sound angle, but it just doesn't have the socketry I need, plus no "system" again..
     
  2. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    Out of curiousity, why doesn't the Arcam AV8 / P7 have the socketry you need? If we are missing something that can't be "worked around" I would really like to know.

    Sincerely,

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     
  3. Ettepet

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    I didn't read all of your message, WindBag, but I own an AX10 with which I am very happy. There is a dedicated forum, here, which has a lot of information by people who own the Pioneer flagship.

    I don't know what deal you can get, but I found the Pioneer very much a worthwhile option for the money. I considered other options, like Rotel, Denon, and Yamaha, but none offered as many new and useful features, like M.C.A.C.C. and the latest soundmodes. Furthermore I didn't like the "warm" sound of Rotel, which many people suggested would be a much better option.

    If money is no object I would definitely go for the Arcam combo, as it will sound much better. I would love to trade in my Pioneer for the Arcam AV8 / P7!
     
  4. gandley

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    ok


    first if your going to get an ax10 get the ax10i. you get ilink for one but you also get sound delay function which with plasma can be a god send.(this is due to the extra processing the plasma does which slows down video) so sound can be delayed to sync with video.

    also go with the 868i as this is an improvemnt over the 757 as it has an improved mpeg decoder.

    the Ax10 is a fair bit better than the ax5. it others better clarity which is noticable the more volume goes up. its a beautiful bugger too.(weighs a tone so needs a good cabinate)

    also if you get the 868i and you decide to get the 434 then you will have a very good match for the money as the 868i is HDMI capable(its not too bad via component either)

    ax10 remote is great and can learn your other remotes and it does the job quite well
    there no real need to have an amp that has hdmi.
    and in the ax10i case 1 lead to i-link from dvd player and 1 hdmi lead from dvd to plasma hdmi input. simple and job done.

    we will see hdmi more on amps when hdmi can pass multi channel audio. but again its not that big a deal.
    dont expect hdmi on pio amps for at least this time next year.
    hdmi on an amp will only be usefull if it will allow upconversion from say s-video or component etc, but then that would defeat the idear od hdcp (copy protection) so not sure if they will do that.
    until all source products such as sky, freeview etc have hdmi out just cant see the need for hdmi to be on an amp.
     
  5. gandley

    gandley
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    LCD will take a few years (id say 3)to compete as equal to plasma.
    the response times of the pixels are off the ball and will need to hit 10ms to compete with plasma today.then theres contrast ratio
    Its kinda the same with LCD and DLP PJs

    as for modular amps. dont see how that is useful realy. unless as in the onyako case u adopt the tech a bit early so u need to cover your bases( which means charging for new modules as they become availble and i dont think that sounds cheap)also the amp seems a little underpowerd. + i hope they have sorted out there sound characteristics which dont normaly compete to well to denon yamaha and pioneer

    better to wait for full tech adoption then hit with a solid proven tech player.

    but even if hdmi 2 tomorrow was on all amps current teck will still be ok as in real terms there is no new tech but the combining of 2 current info transports ie HDMI and ilink= HDMI 2( as hdmi bar a few extra bit capacity is DVI-d+2 channel audio).

    so you wont realy loose out buying today,

    the latest to be pioneer amp has dolby PL11x on its spec as well,
     
  6. bobbypunk

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    i've found that within brands although the items get better there is a kind of similarity to the sound of the whole range.
    We stock the VSXAX3 and it is a stunning amp, according to the forums the only difference on the AX5I is the I-link which is good if you have the DV868AVI.
    Having heard the AX10 a while back set up in a house it is a much better amp but you could kinda tell it was part of the same range.
    if you can only get demos on the £1000 level amps listen to brands all within that it might give you an idea.
     
  7. WindBag

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    >Out of curiousity, why doesn't the Arcam AV8 / P7 have the socketry you need? If we are missing something that can't be "worked around" I would really like to know.

    I have no info on what could be "worked out", but I'm trying to move away from a system where things are currently "worked out"..

    I'm aiming for a slight excess of immediate connectivity needs. I can only see that I'm going to have to plug more and more in future, (it's never gone down so far) - so to be "full up" on day 1 is short-sighted. For me, I reckon there is an AV8 connectivity shortfall (based on the brochure which I got last week, and the handbook I dowloaded next day):
    I can usefully use 7 audio digital in's (including one "ad hoc") -AV8 has exactly 7, and only two opticals, which woudl immedfiately be filled, leaving little scope for future change ; mind you, the AX10i doesn't have a coax digital out, which seems a problem, too.
    I need 1 audio tape & 2 VCR tape loops, so it seems 1 VCR or tape shy.
    I could also use 2 digital audio outs & may well need more later - but I can only see one present.
    My minidiscs need an optical in, but again, I don't see an optical digital out.

    I have some peculiar system issues which I shouldn't delve into now - but with a lot of separates, the issue of system integration issue is getting ever stronger. It appears that future HDMI/iLink really helps there, as control via HDMI should be manufacturer independant. The AX10i has iLink, which solves much of the immediate problems, and the Arcam doesn't. But the future integration may need HDMI, which is another reason why I think the HDMI issue my prove important in the longer term.

    The audio improvements by getting multichannel digital transfer from iLink DVD's is reported as substantial. Combined with the extra price, the iLink enhancement, the MCACC facility, the lipsynch facility (a problem which periodically drives me nuts on BBC 4 and some DVD's), the system integration plus the difference in price means the cited Arcam audio superiority will have a lot of gap to bridge.
     
  8. WindBag

    WindBag
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    OK, so if I like the 5, I should like the 10 - thanks, that *is* helpful.
     
  9. WindBag

    WindBag
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    >There is a dedicated forum, here, which has a lot of information by people who own the Pioneer flagship.

    Thanks for the link - I read posts there with interest. The different model numbers get a bit confusing, though (the spec suggests the 59X is the same as the AX10i no?)

    > ...none offered as many new and useful features, like M.C.A.C.C. and the latest soundmodes.

    MCACC is a strong point for me too (but I'd Winbagged quite enough)

    >If money is no object I would definitely go for the Arcam combo, as it will sound much better. I would love to trade in my Pioneer for the Arcam

    Interesting. Have you heard an A-B? While money is not *no* object, I can be persuaded by what I hear, but I perceive quite a facility gap that the Arcam audio quality increase would need to bridge (see my reply to John Dawson)
     
  10. WindBag

    WindBag
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    >first if your going to get an ax10 get the ax10i.
    Sorry, meant to say AX10i - have now edited post.

    >you get ilink for one but you also get sound delay function which with plasma can be a god send.

    True & important (see my reply to John Dawson)

    >also go with the 868i as this is an improvemnt over the 757 as it has an improved mpeg decoder.

    I can get a 757 for £490, an 868 for £760 - worth it? Also, the 868 has HDMI, & as you say...

    >the combining of 2 current info transports ie HDMI and ilink= HDMI 2

    ...but with no HDMI on the AX10i, the central architecture to handle it isn't there...

    >the Ax10 is a fair bit better than the ax5. it others better clarity which is noticable the more volume goes up.

    I may not be able to *hear* an AX10i before I order one, but maybe I can an AX5. If it's "more", then I can get an idead. If it's different, I can't. (Bobby punk has helped here)

    >ax10 remote is great and can learn your other remotes and it does the job quite well

    two handed? a problem?

    >there no real need to have an amp that has hdmi.and in the ax10i case 1 lead to i-link from dvd player and 1 hdmi lead from dvd to plasma hdmi input. simple and job done.we will see hdmi more on amps when hdmi can pass multi channel audio. but again its not that big a deal.dont expect hdmi on pio amps for at least this time next year. hdmi on an amp will only be usefull if it will allow upconversion from say s-video or component etc, but then that would defeat the idear od hdcp (copy protection) so not sure if they will do that. until all source products such as sky, freeview etc have hdmi out just cant see the need for hdmi to be on an amp.

    In terms of "here and now" I can see what you mean. but if Pio do a 5100H with iLink/HDMI what then? But may copy-protectionism means that will never happen, I see your point.
     
  11. WindBag

    WindBag
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    >LCD will take a few years (id say 3)to compete as equal to plasma.

    Fair enough-helpful

    >as for modular amps. dont see how that is useful realy. unless as in the onyako case u adopt the tech a bit early so u need to cover your bases( which means charging for new modules as they become availble and i dont think that sounds cheap)

    I was more thinking if Pioneer responded. I'd bet many folk would rate a modular AX10i with HDMI a very attractive prospect. I wasn't thinking of going down the Onkyo route (though a few years ago I bought an Onkyo CD after an A-B audition with the then-fave Marantz as I thought it was better; I don't dismiss until I've heard)

    >but even if hdmi 2 tomorrow was on all amps current teck will still be ok ...so you wont realy loose out buying today

    True, but not the current AX10i...
     
  12. gandley

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    why not

    would not one just buy a hdmi switch box
     
  13. Joe Fernand

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    Hello WindBag

    Just had a 'speed read' through your questions - as you say 101 questions in one post!

    I sell Pioneer kit and I can say with all honesty it is the most un-joined up series of components you can imagine - there is absolutely nothing 'harmonised' about the kit; if they didn't have the same badge on the front you could quite easily believe the DVR, DVD, AV receivers, Freeview and PlasmaTV were all designed by separate companies.

    Individually the kit is excellent but there is no 'Master Plan' that says you will benefit from a one brand solution.

    I guess all AV kit is designed to a 'norm' or perceived norm within a 'usually' already identified price band in mind - if you have twice as many sources as the 'average' system you will need to combine a pre selector/switcher with a 'Mr Average' AV amp; very easy to do as there are far more 'Mr Not Average' than you would imagine; and the pre selector can be hidden away and made to operate seamlessly with the 'Main' system component.

    To get what you are after you should consider budgeting for a decent System Designer, AV racking (such as Mid Atlantic - to enable easy system access and service), a System Installer and or Programmer and if possible an RS232 controller from Crestron or AMX; you can then built as complex a system as you want combining Control, Signal Distribution, Signal Switching, and Standards conversion with the type of Source andn Replay kit you have on your shopping list.

    If you consider the switching, distribution and control as one element of your system you can then consider the 'sound' and 'visual' elements as another 'component' - the best sounding amp for you may only have two inputs on it; not a problem if you consider we can add about 2,500 pre switched sources using a suitable AutoPatch switcher (it'll cost you an arm and two legs but it can be done).

    If you have a ''Borders Books' near you go buy a couple of the US Home Theatre magazines they sell - UK Magazines on the whole have still to catch up with the requirements to build systems not just review individual units.

    Very few multi channel AV Receivers are going to give you decent stereo replay from your LP12 - if you use it a lot you'll need to consider a 'modular' approach with a decent outboard phono stage feeding into a multi-channel receiver that has a decent stereo mode (though possibly Mr Dawson's AV8 is one exception to that idea!).

    Pioneer stock is 'due to high praise from the magazines ' pretty low on the ground at present - and if you have a customer who's been waiting on his or her new £2K AV Receiver amp you do sometimes have to let the dem unit go.

    The Pioneer VSX-AX3, 5i and 10i have all been 'voiced' by the same design team so do have a 'family' sound; much as I'm sure you can always recognise a Cyrus, Linn or Naim amp in a system.

    Its way too early in the development of HDMI and Digital Connectivity to build a system solely around that standard - there are only a handful of source and replay devices with HDMI on at present; I'd suggest building a system that has an eye on full digital connectivity as future products come along.

    Trust this helps.

    Joe
     
  14. Ettepet

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    No, it's the new model, of which I have heard nothing in Europe yet. The 49TX(i) is the American Receiver version of "our" AX10(i).

    I think there is no such solution as you are seeking at the moment, so if that is of prime importance you will have to wait or buy an intermediate system.

    Another solution is to buy a seperate switch-box, and use a learning remote with (simple) macros. This way you can buy the Amplifier of your choice, where you can let your ears decide.

    I haven't listened to the Arcam AV8 / P7, but when I was looking for an Amp last year I fell in love with the sound of an outdated middle-range Arcam on some KEF 203's. It sounded very true, not warm or overly bright. I read so many positive notes on the AV8 / P7 that (given the money) I think I would buy it blindly! And then find some matching KEF Reference's or B&W Nautili (sp?), costing me another fortune.. :D (there is an Arcam forum: here)

    Good luck on finding a match to your requirements! :)
     
  15. WindBag

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    From: Joe Fernand

    Thanks for a very helpful response, Joe:

    >If you consider the switching, distribution and control as one element of your system you can then consider the 'sound' and 'visual' elements as another 'component' - the best sounding amp for you may only have two inputs on it;

    Now that is what I've been looking for since 1998. I must admit, I haven't stumbled across that concept in equipment yet, but it's all too likely I've not been looking in the right place.

    >To get what you are after you should consider budgeting for a decent System Designer...a System Installer and or Programmer and if possible an RS232 controller from Crestron or AMX; you can then built as complex a system as you want combining Control, Signal Distribution, Signal Switching, and Standards conversion with the type of Source andn Replay kit you have on your shopping list.

    >not a problem if you consider we can add about 2,500 pre switched sources using a suitable AutoPatch switcher (it'll cost you an arm and two legs but it can be done).

    >If you have a ''Borders Books' near you go buy a couple of the US Home Theatre magazines they sell - UK Magazines on the whole have still to catch up with the requirements to build systems not just review individual units.

    I know not of what you speak in these three instances (yet) so plainly I have some more genning up to do. If you can recommend a place for "further reading" that would ber welcome.
    Never heard of "Borders Books"...

    >Very few multi channel AV Receivers are going to give you decent stereo replay from your LP12 - if you use it a lot you'll need to consider a 'modular' approach with a decent outboard phono stage feeding into a multi-channel receiver that has a decent stereo mode (though possibly Mr Dawson's AV8 is one exception to that idea!).

    I can't pretend I play a lot of vinyl, but when you need it, you need it. My Cyrus still does a good job there, and I was considering setting it to permanently be my "phono stage", using the tape out to feed the new system. Only fly in that ointment is that it also does a good job of driving all three current sets of front speakers at once without complaint (which is nominally a rarity in new eqpt), so I could have used it, fed by the new amp out, to drive the Kitchen & Landing speakers - so there is a "conflict of interest" there.

    >Pioneer stock is 'due to high praise from the magazines ' pretty low on the ground at present - and if you have a customer who's been waiting on his or her new £2K AV Receiver amp you do sometimes have to let the dem unit go.

    I had fears this might be the case - haven't tested the "availability waters" yet, mostly 'cos I don't want to waste their (or my) time if that's not the best route. Both dealers and internet *say* it isn't a problem tho.

    >The Pioneer VSX-AX3, 5i and 10i have all been 'voiced' by the same design team so do have a 'family' sound; much as I'm sure you can always recognise a Cyrus, Linn or Naim amp in a system.

    This seems a recurring theme, so I'm getting more confident in trusting the "family sound" being a good indicator.

    >Its way too early in the development of HDMI and Digital Connectivity to build a system solely around that standard - there are only a handful of source and replay devices with HDMI on at present; I'd suggest building a system that has an eye on full digital connectivity as future products come along.

    Which is why an HDMI-capable AX10i could be a very enticing beastie as the "heart" of a new system. I suppose I just dread shelling out £2k for an amp and finding a six-month wait would have been best. I *have* been wating since 1998 already...

    >Trust this helps.

    It does, sir, and thanks for taking the time to respond

    Regards, Windbag
     
  16. WindBag

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    But that would naff-up the integrated system control, no?
     
  17. WindBag

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    Interesting - I got a summary spec sheet for the 59, but could see nothing that the AX10i didn't have. Probably a redundant question, but what are the additions, then?



    I was fearing that might be the position. It was another reason that I re-entered the fray with trepidation.



    Again, thanx for the link. A third of me wants to find the ideal solution, a third of me wants to just get on and order some new kit and a third of me wonders why it all has to be so difficult.

    I'll need that luck - and thanks for your time in responding - Windbag
     
  18. Ettepet

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    They're mentioned in the topic:

    http://pub106.ezboard.com/faussiedvdandhtforumfrm24.showMessage?topicID=517.topic

    And consists of improvements to the M.C.A.C.C. (extra parameters, such as wall-reflection), new sound modes, a new remote, other stuff I forgot, and some support for HDMI - which might have been withdrawn. I have no idea how much some of these improve the qualities of its predecessors. I would love to see a test... :)
    --

    You might find some useful info here, as some people replying actually bought/compared this newer Pioneer model:

    http://www.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages/1/7739.html
     
  19. WindBag

    WindBag
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    Yeah, I had visted that thread - but all the pioneer press links now fail, and it's not obvious which one is which, as I tried to find them.

    To summarise, it says "The 59TXi has i-link and USB, better MCACC, new remote control, surround processing in 96k, and Dobly Prologic IIx but no HDMI."

    The thread also highlights what I feel has been the problem for years; players (digit retrievers) having D-A units built into each one of them rather than passing the information to *one* unit that is designed to do the job well. It's almost like the digital equivalent of building in a power amp into each separate - much better to put the resources into only one quality unit. Yeah, I know copy-protection(ism).

    The thread also discusses the weird (Pioneer) state of having HDMI in the player and TV, but not in the receiver (which I think more of of a a central router - like the Arcam pre-amp concept)
    ("Strange then that all the other news items on the pioneer site are about including HDMI in their HT-line.")
    It is that "HDMI hole" that bothers me - it's an obvious next step for the AX10i/59Txi, and the AX10i is already "old" and being discounted...

    Your second useful link (ta!) also highlights the AX10i/no-HDMI illogic. (I had sympathy from Dertman there, who wanyed an integrated receiver, and said: "I just want it to "work" and I feel that separates would require more of my time (to research, setup, etc.). If I want aggravation, I stick with computers which is my primary hobby" ;-)
     
  20. WindBag

    WindBag
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    Joe, the more I think about this part of your response, the more I could do with you expanding what you mean.

    Many of the *audio* reviews have cited both the 747 and the 868 as being ideal partners for the AX10i, and many of the *video* reviews have cited the 757 or 868 as being ideal partners for the 434HDE. The only one obviously on a limb is the 5100H, which doesn't "fit", (it would be good if Pio though this should be in the same hi-end fold with appropriate iLink/HDMI; copy protectionism rears it's head again) but should at least be picked up by the Pioneer control links, no? So it *should* all work together - or am I missing something?

    Obviously, if you sell the kit, you should be able to tell!
     
  21. WindBag

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    It seems you are on the right track. I thought I'd "ask Pioneer a question":

    The current Pioneer flagship DVD player is the 868, with HDMI output.
    The current Pioneer flagship TV's are the 504/434 Plasma TV's with HDMI input.
    The Pioneer flagship Receiver is the AX10i which has no HDMI.

    When will "new" AX10i model come out with HDMI?

    Here was the reply:
    Response (JDLCS) - 09/02/2004 04:34 PM
    Hi,

    Thanks for your email.

    There are no immediate plans to launch an amplifier with HDMI in and out, however, the AX-10i-s will be upgraded to the AX-10Ai-s being compatible with Windows Media 9.
     
  22. Ettepet

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    WindBag, could you keep us informed of future developments or findings regarding your choice? (if you decide not to wait) Thanks in advance!:)
     
  23. ancientgeek

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    Just to say I'm happy with my setup (see below). I'd wait for the new remote though - I really don't like the AX10/AX10i remote. But my opinions are deeply suspect, so you'd probably best ignore them, as I do now that I've done my research and setting up:

    Personally, I prefer a plasma display to a TV. So I'd wait for the 434/504MXE or whatever it's going to be called if you want HDMI.

    AV amp should be fed digital input. Upsampling and interpolation of the digital stream helps significantly. Otherwise they all ought in principle to sound exactly the same. I can't see how transports or interconnects in the digital domain can make any difference provided they actually work (gasp of disbelief - bring on the double blind trials). Even input jitter seems unlikely to be a problem wtih a modern AV processor.

    I have been disappointed by SACD and DVD-A for music, which was one of my reasons for getting the 868 rather than, for example, Momitsu. Not significantly better than CD in the real world. The quality of the original recording is far more important.

    Room acoustics and loudspeakers outweigh all other factors affecting sound quality. Not having much experience, MCACC was very helpful to me in learning about my room, and in easily setting up after furniture move-arounds etc. But I preferred to tone down its adjustments to retain some influence from room acoustics.
     
  24. Joe Fernand

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    Hello all

    WindBag - I'll PM you with some thoughts on the 'system'.

    Borders Books - is a chain of book stores that are US owned and tend to carry a few US HT magazines you dont see in many other outlets in the UK. See http://www.borders.co.uk/

    HDMI on an AV Receiver - I dont believe Pioneer are not in the race to be first to market with this feature on a top end AV Receiver! And I'm pretty certain they already have this in Japan; maybe someone who can read Japanese can confirm if D4 is HDMI - see http://www.pioneer.co.jp/components/avamp/kihon/converter.html

    PDP-434/504MXE - dont expect to see HDMI inputs on the video cards launched with these models. These are aimed at the Digital Signage, Presentation and Corporate world where HDMI is a non issue.

    DVI/HDMI switchers - these can be IR controlled and as such can/could be made to operate using the same codes your AV Receivers uses to select video inputs so once installed would be 'invisible' in terms of integration with your system.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  25. gandley

    gandley
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    yep

    HDMI is D4 and it also does up conversion so thats great news.

    looks like a late 2004 or early 2005 release.
     
  26. WindBag

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    Will do. Am off to hear the AX5 with a Denon DVD
    & an AX 5/686/434/5100 on Monday (latter just arranged by email after the former).

    No-one round here has an 868 or an AX10, let alone connecting the two together. All are special order. It's not just a case of "selling the dem model sometimes", there aren't any dem models.
     
  27. WindBag

    WindBag
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    I'm in the doubtful camp, too, so I've sent a follow-up question:

    "Bit puzzled by your Japanese website, then:
    http://www.pioneer.co.jp/components/avamp/kihon/converter.html

    which seems to be showing an AX10i-N with "D4", which looks suspiciously like HDMI...

    If that D4 isn't HDMI, what is it.....?"

    I'll see if I get a reply

    I thought the 424 has an HDMI on the rear of the tuner box - no? I'll check tomorrow.
     
  28. Brogan

    Brogan
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    I'm guessing you mean the 434 (HDE)?
    Yes, the 434 and 504 HDE have HDMI inputs on the rear of the media receiver but these are for home use whereas the MXE models are primarily aimed at commercial use (no media receiver).
     
  29. WindBag

    WindBag
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    Oops, yes, 434 HDE - I'm getting confused with the letters after the numbers, which seem to mean a lot in this instance.
    I haven't actually *seen* anything but a 434 HDE in the showrooms. Neither downloadable manual indicates a model without a tuner.

    Anyone know why the simplest surface stand for the 434HDE costs over a £100? That seems ludicrously expensive...
     
  30. Brogan

    Brogan
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    HDE is the "domestic" plasma panel with the media receiver (tuner).
    434 is the 43", 504 is the 50".

    MXE is the "commercial" plasma panel which requires various video cards depending on the connectivity you want (no tuner with this model).
    You need to go to the PC, Business & Display section of the Pioneer site for these panels: http://www.pioneer.co.uk/uk/product_overview.jsp?category_id=502&taxonomy_id=43-105

    The current versions are the 433MXE and 503MXE which are due to be replaced by the 434MXE and 504MXE this year.
     

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