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Pioneer VSX-AX3 opinions? Alternatives?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by kay, May 23, 2005.

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  1. kay

    kay
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    Hi all, I'm brand new here :hiya:

    I've been trying to find out more about the Pioneer AX3 - the spec looks just perfect to me, the lack of component video doesn't bother me much and the rest is simply great. It is last years' model so it is available to me at a pretty good price (about 500 UK Pounds) which may not sound cheap to you guys, but locally (South Africa) is awesome value.

    The other amp I'm considering is a Yamaha RX-V750 which is newer but comletely outclassed on paper at least - it is also more expensive than the AX3! I've listened to the 750 a lot and I loved it, but I haven't been able to find a AX3 to audition. So I'm a little afraid to order online without having heard it.

    Any owners on this forum? Strengths, weaknesses? I've only read one review of the AX3 and two of the AX5i (which I understand is rather close sonically) and all are glowing, especially with movies, but don't mention much about music.

    Unfortunately more up-market brands (NAD, Marantz, Denon) are only carried by specialist audio shops locally and carry a huge mark-up in terms of price, so in a way I'm limited to the Yamaha and Pioneer mid-range models which are available through larger retail chains.

    I have wooden floor but otherwise not too bright room (lots of squishy furniture, exposed thatch roof, bookshelf). Have not yet decided on speakers, thinking of Wharfedale Evo's, Mordaunt-Short Avant's or maybe B&W 300/600's. I love and listen to all kinds of music, from rock through heavy metal, drum&bass, trance, classical. System use will be roughly 50/50 split between music and movies.

    Any helpful comments would be most appreciated! :)
     
  2. kay

    kay
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    *Bump*

    Anyone? :lease:
     
  3. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    I'm an AX3 owner and would say on balance.
    Plus Points Monstrous power reserves, decent processing, fairly easy to use, auto setup no more wayward than any of the others, sounds very good with films, Tuner not half bad.
    Negative points Useless in stereo (not an issue for me), limited number of optical inputs- face it, the front one is useless, bulky, learning remote seems able to only control elderly stuff and unless you are absolutely sure you'll never need component video switching, it would be unwise to dismiss it.
     
  4. kay

    kay
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    Thanks :thumbsup:

    Lack of component video switching doesn't bother me, but what you say about stereo does - a lot! Hmm. The problem is, this is an online vendor so I can't go and have a listen.
     
  5. skinnyfat

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    Hi Kay

    I'm also in SA (Durban) so maybe I could help. Where about r u ?

    Have you considered purchasing a demo or second hand amp from a reputable dealer. You get pick up a good 1 or 2 year old Denon/Yamaha and IMHO Amps get better with use so dont worry about it being second hand. Unfortuantely we do get a lousy deal here in SA when it comes to decent electronics. The public has been brainwashed into believing an All in 1 for R2000-00 does the job. How much are you prepared to spend and how desparate are you to get your amp?

    Skinny
     
  6. kay

    kay
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    Hey Skinny!

    I'm in Jo'burg. I'm not at all desperate to get anything, it's my first foray into HT and I'm taking my time. The Pioneer AX3 seemed like a good deal at R6000 new but the more I found out about it the less I am tempted to get it. That's more or less what I'd like to spend if not less.

    I know about second hand stuff but frankly I've no idea where to go look? I'm not at all against the idea. I've been checking out the AVSA classifieds but they seem to be updated very infrequently.

    I thought I was more or less set on an amp but it appears I won't be buying this one. That's fine, I was planning on auditioning speakers in the next few weeks so I'll just make that speakers AND amps :)

    I'll PM you my email address, would be nice to hear from you!

    Cheers,
    kay
     
  7. skinnyfat

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    I'm not too familiar with the retailers in Joburg. I know the Denon AVR 2105 retails for R5900-00 (at Govan-Mani) and that amp is essentially last years AVR 2803 with the auto set up added. Depending on your choice of speakers, this Denon is always a good choice and a good place to start. Concerning the Yamaha, I've also heard the 750 but opted for the 2500 instead, more money but definately worth it. My neighbour has an old Yamaha 2095 (I think that is the model number, will confirm) and he MIGHT be looking to sell. Its rated at 100 Watts RMS X5 channels but doesnt have all the latest sound formats(DD-EX, DTS -ES). Ive obviously heard it, played through his Paradigm Monitor 11's and the amp still kicks like a mule!

    Send your email, will keep in touch

    Skinny
     
  8. kay

    kay
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    Update: I got the Denon 2105, looking for speakers now :D
     
  9. skinnyfat

    skinnyfat
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    Nice amp :) Speaker thoughts ????
     
  10. alphabet

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    Hi Kay

    I am also in SA - Cape Town in fact.

    I saw your post a bit too late as I would have suggested the Cambridge Audio Azur 540R as well. Shines in both movie and music modes and that for R6000 including a CA DVD-79!

    I suggest you go listen to Mordaunt-Short 900 series. They are competively priced and sounds incredible. I think there is a branch of Audio Councel in JHB or else look for Audio Imports retail shop in Village Walk. You can also look at Audio Imports Promotions on http://www.audioimports.com

    Cheers
     
  11. kay

    kay
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    Thanks, skinnyfat! Very happy with it - I haven't tested it properly yet but I demo'd it with a pair of AR towers and it sounded amazing :)

    Hey alphabet, nice to meet another South African on here ;) I've looked at the B&W and Mordaunt-Short ranges at Audio Counsel, but their demo rooms were being redone so I didn't listen to anything. The Avant's are definitely on the list though. I knew about the Cambridge Audio amp but I got the Denon 2nd hand for a very good price.

    I started a new thread about speakers over here:

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1753776
     
  12. simonjanda

    simonjanda
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    Hi
    I live in the UK and have a AX3 connected via a Digital Coax with a Denon 2900 DVD and a set of Monitor Audio Bronze 5.1 speakers.

    The Amp sounds beautiful in DVD or when listening to music.
    In fact for music it cant be faulted. If you use a normal interconnect the sound isnt as good, but I play music through the DVD channel and its fantastic. Movies are great too. Never had a problem.

    I just bought a Onkyo 875 purely because of HDMI etc, but I am gutted at how cheap the AX3s are selling for second hand.

    If your not bothered about HDMI then this is a terrific Amp.
     

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