Pioneer VSX Vs Yamaha for music

S Bibby

Active Member
Hi,
I have been looking at Pioneer AV Receivers in the VSX line like the 918 and 818. I have also seen a few Yamahas in the entry level like the 363/461 but also an 861 and a few other high-end models. What I consistently read and hear is that 1) Yamaha have a better sound quality for music and 2) the more you spend on AV Amps, the better they are in this regard. To be honest, I am looking to spend less than £300 since this is my budget and I would appreciate if someone could help me with this issue - is there a really discernable difference between Pioneer and Yamaha?

I know new models are coming out with different features and possibly more sound formats/channels, I just wanted a rough idea. I own some Pioneer and am familiar with their Hifi stuff but am gravitating toward Yamaha.

Cheers, Simon

P.S. Have not ruled out others but Onkyo is possibly not quite right for my interests (haven't heard any of theirs yet though), and Arcam are expensive. Would consider Marantz.
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
To be honest with you Bibby, at that price range, no av amp will sound as good as the pioneer you already have. You will need to spend 2 or 3 times as much on a AV for comparative musical ability of an hifi amp.
Cambridge Audio 540r V3 is a decent sounding av amp musically, but still it was found wanting. I've heard onyko 606 and was severely disappointed.

I have a Yamaha 763 and although it is ok to good with music but definitely not up to par with an equally priced 2 ch amp.

However, if you can do a side by side demo then you can tell for yourself.:smashin:
 

S Bibby

Active Member
Thanks Don, that is good advice. I will definitely have to demo the ones I mentioned with music since I think that is the main area where I will hear these differences in sound. I think I will discount Onkyo for now and check up with the others. Yamaha are of interest and Pioneer and Marantz still in the frame.

One Yamaha I am considering is the AX563, maybe the 763 if I can find one (and can afford it!)
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
The 763 is being replaced with the RX-V465/565 ( i think the 763 falls somewhere in between) so if you can get hold of one, you done well :thumbsup:. However, they have shot up in price to nearer the £400 mark in which case you might as well look at the 465 or 565 both can be found around the £350-400 price range

YAMAHA RXV465 AV RECEIVER BLACK £299.95 at hifix.co.uk
YAMAHA RXV565 AV RECEIVER BLACK £389.95 at hifix.co.uk

The ax861 I've heard sounds a lot better but if you are after the latest film sound formats as well then look at the ax 863. But at £600 it may be too much and if you are not bothered about the latest formats, stick with the 861.|There are BDP's that can decode them anyway.

With Pioneer you are paying for the privilege of having 'THX' dolby, true hd, etc which makes it pricey. Have not heard them musically so can't comment on that but more than likely same as the rest.

As for Marantz, and from what i've read, are probably the best of the bunch when it comes to music but again this comes at a price. The equivalent Marantz, SR5003, is about £470 when googled. The SR4003 is about £100 cheaper but obviously lacks some features. Both cost more than their Yamaha rivals. Which Marantz was you considering?

If i was looking now, i would save up the extra pennies and go for the Marantz SR5003. Pretty much the same as a 763 specwise and quality but a little better with music and as i already have a Marantz CD5003 and PM7001 ki stereo amp, it would give continuity to my setup, so i don't mind paying a little extra for that. :D
This is strictly for my own personal satisfaction and not for you to take as the thing to do. :thumbsup:
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
The 763 is being replaced with the RX-V465/565 ( i think the 763 falls somewhere in between) so if you can get hold of one, you done well :thumbsup:. However, they have shot up in price to nearer the £400 mark in which case you might as well look at the 465 or 565 both can be found around the £350-400 price range

The 763 is being replaced by the Yamaha RX-V765 £595, which is expected to be available in June.

The clue is in the model names ;)
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Dante01 - Mate, you are everywhere- lol:D

I stand corrected :thumbsup:

There is another thread that talks about all the latest Yamaha AV Releases

http://www.avforums.com/forums/av-a...ha-rx-v365-465-565-available-early-may-2.html

What threw me is that the 863 replacement is called RX-V1065 other than 865 which may of been to simple for yamaha to do

£565 is a whopping rise in price. :eek:. OK, it now has a tuner and a couple more hdmi ports but weak pound or not that is more than the 30% price hike that was expected.
In saying that, i undertsand the 763 was £600 when 1st launched, which i would of never of known about as i was not looking to spend that much-then. Only notice them late last year when RS were selling them for £300 and became big news.

Still, it a hell of a price hike.

Anyhoo, the threads also leads you to a site that has the 763 for £350. I don't know whether they have any or not so best call to check stock if you do decide to go for one.:smashin:

Yamaha DSP-AX763 AV Amplifier - Quantum Electronics (UK) Limited
 

S7M0N

Active Member
Hello mate

I have a Yamaha 861 and in the past had Pioneer 915 and the old slimline model they did.

IMO the Yamaha is better than the 915 with both music and movies, but then it was a newer model and was a lot more cost.

I like the DSP's on the Yamahas for both music and watching TV, you can create surround sound with the prologics and DTS neo, for music I tend to use the 7-stereo (equal to all speakers).

The Pioneer did this as well but I think the Yamaha does it with more detail.

Only my opinion, and still think the pioneers are great, but I paid £350 for my Yamaha 861 when it listed for around £600. I had seen it for around £250 since then, but you might need to look hard as it has been discontinued now for a while.

It also does HD audio via the HDMI if you player can send the HD decode to the amp. My pioneer didn't do that.

Hope this helps.

Si
 

S Bibby

Active Member
Thanks to all, I have had some really good advice on this forum and it is all very much appreciated. :)

Don,
Agree with you that Yamaha 763 is one to watch, I mention the 563 as I have actually seen it in stock online and it has a decent spec minus a tuner so I would guess there is possibly more sound potential in it's place - saw it at £280 anyway. Another member Tone-UK said he used the next up Yamaha (861) and I think basically chimed with what you and others have said. In short, a fine amp with music and IMO at £300-350 very good value.

My local Hifi shop had the 861, mentioned the UK tuning and said it apparently doesn't have a direct replacement -they had it at around £500 I think? They too recommended it quite highly alongside an Arcam which they had discounted - that one was still £450 though (it's an Amp, no tuner involved)

Si, you mentioned the HDMI audio in and I have seen that a few Yamahas have this feature plus I think the 763 has decoding. Personally I am still a bit divided on this point but if the price is right then it is a plus. The Pioneer with HDMI audio is the 918, Marantz has it on most of theirs I think from 4002 up? Again, it is isn't a major issue for my price bracket but still good.

I'm not ruling out the new models but I think there aren't many differences except the new HD format decoding and clearly the price (!) ATM I think I will be checking up on some of the models mentioned plus maybe a couple more. I suppose they might be getting out of stock now they are discounted but will see what I find. I am trying to be realistic in that I won't get everything I want for my money but at least I will get closer to finding it!

Edit: Oh yeah, I am thinking of getting Wharfedale speakers to go with, but haven't decided on that yet.

Cheers,
Simon
 
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S7M0N

Active Member
Going over the HDMI on audio, I "think" all the new models and most of the previous models of amps will do this, mine Yam 861 is soon to be 3 models old and takes audio over hdmi but doesn't decode the new HD formats. The 863 does decode the newer formats, and would imagine everything new will do.

My 861 will give me the new HD audio formats direct from my players, and they sound great, better, imo, then standard DD DTS. I have never heard an amp with the decoding built in to know if it is any different, but apparently it is not.

The 863 had come out when I bought my 861 and I was happy not to decode the audio thru the amp and save some money :thumbsup: on the older amp.

Cya
Si
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
There should be no difference in quality whether the player or the amp is doing the decoding. So if you have the option to buy a 861 for £300, seriously consider it. Not sure if the sr4002 has hd audio but it's worth checking out. Just remember to make sure the player you will eventually buy has onboard decoding.:thumbsup:.

Also, not putting you off the 763, but it does have an drawback which is it only has 2 HDMI inputs whereas other make/models have 3. The newer Yamaha models have 4. Some may screw about this, some won't
However, this is only a minor problem as most tv's today and of the last of year or 2 has 2 or 3 hdmi inputs on them so you can always plug devices directly into the TV if required and sound to the amp via optical/coax connection. :smashin:
 

S Bibby

Active Member
Hi all and thanks again for your replies,

There should be no difference in quality whether the player or the amp is doing the decoding. So if you have the option to buy a 861 for £300, seriously consider it. Not sure if the sr4002 has hd audio but it's worth checking out. Just remember to make sure the player you will eventually buy has onboard decoding.:thumbsup:.

Also, not putting you off the 763, but it does have an drawback which is it only has 2 HDMI inputs whereas other make/models have 3. The newer Yamaha models have 4. Some may screw about this, some won't
However, this is only a minor problem as most tv's today and of the last of year or 2 has 2 or 3 hdmi inputs on them so you can always plug devices directly into the TV if required and sound to the amp via optical/coax connection. :smashin:

I just thought I'd point out that the amp I referred to when I mentioned Tone Uk's comments was the 763. He said it was a good listen although I think he actually owns an 861 or 863 which is higher up in their range and naturally dearer. As far as Marantz is concerned, to answer your question I was looking at the SR4002 as Hyperfi had deals on it brand new for £250/300 plus delivery. My research showed that it does have audio via HDMI but only 2 HDMI inputs (for some reason the NTSC/US model has 3).

On the subject of HDMI I agree that 2 isn't much but for my current needs should be ok. If not there is a switcher option to the TV. I am also interested in upconversion to HDMI on the video side but doubt I will get this with my budget. I am mainly looking at Blu Ray, which as you both rightly mentioned usually does decoding onboard - I think the Denon players seem to lack this feature but they are meant to be used with an Bitrate-type decoding Amp (preferably a Denon one I suppose :)) and they are at the more expensive end of the market anyway. All in all, more food for thought :)
 

Tone-uk

Active Member
The 861 will upconvert from component to 1080i. Think the 863 manages up to 1080p? But, the 863 has BTB and full range RGB issues which the 861 doesn't.
Hmmm crazy and frustrating!
 
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S7M0N

Active Member
Doesn't sound like a concern of yours, but the 861 only has 2 hdmi inputs...

:)
 

S Bibby

Active Member
Si Dee,
Yeah it is less of a concern for me than others as I do not anticipate I will be getting anything in the near term other than an HDMI Freeview box - the reason being the TV I am going for has no tuner whatsoever and only HDMI input. Even this does not really need to be switched through the amp.

In fact at the moment all I have with HDMI is a DVD player (Pioneer DV400) but Blu Ray might be of interest to me in the future.

Edit: The new Pioneer VSX 919 has upconversion to HDMI on the video side (think it is the first in the VSX series to offer this), plus decoding for HD Audio onboard (as has new 819) but the price is £570! http://www.petertyson.co.uk/ebuttonz/ebz_product_pages/pioneer_vsx919v.shtml?fshop

Peter Tyson's were selling the 918 at £250, just for reference. Pioneer seems to be pushing more for the home entertainment market with all these Receivers and DVD/BR Players with glossy finishes...

Anyway, I think the Yamaha 763 is a better bet since I think it does have HDMI upconversion, the 563 upconverts to Component only (720p/1080i?)
 
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Don Dadda

Distinguished Member

S Bibby

Active Member
Hello again,
I just wanted to say that I have just purchased a Yamaha AX763 on clearance at Richer Sounds for £290, (plus the cost of petrol to get there) and am very happy. :)

I dithered as usual over the choice of amp for a number of months until I saw this one on the website at one of my local branches, rang up the next morning and picked it up in the afternoon. As this was a quick decision I didn't have the possibility to demo others and compare them so I went with the advice here and my own best judgement. It is an 'ex service' ie. refurb model and came with a discount as a result but all in all I cannot fault the value of this deal and the service from Richer. The only thing I am looking at is extending the warranty with Yamaha (it is currently on a 3 month). It came with warranty card included but the staff member at Richer suggested that as it is no longer a current model it will not be covered - worth a try though I suppose. Just one last thing - I was honestly sweating over this since it is the literally the biggest and most expensive component I have ever bought but IMO well worth the effort to track down.

Basically I have just unboxed it, looked round the back and through the manual and am pleased so far. Once I have it connected to my existing speakers I am sure I will get a taste of what it is like and I hope to upgrade to surround speakers at a later date (and once I have saved up enough!)

Once again thanks to all here for your comments and I hope to have many good times with my new amp.

Cheers,
Simon
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Congrats!!:thumbsup:.

Nice bit of kit you have there.

Didn't RS offer a 5 yr extended warranty as they usually do with everything else? I would enquire it if i were you.
Not being a current model shouldn't stop you getting one or a least 1 yrs manufacturers warranty. They are still selling it arent they? It maybe 'shop soiled' or 'Open Box as they call it, but that excuse they given you seems very feeble to me.
You mention is an earlier post about wharfdale speaker but didn't say which model. Did RS have the one's you are interested in?
 

S Bibby

Active Member
Hi Don,
Yes I did enquire about the 5 year when I got it but I think they said the same thing - not current model or refurbs cannot be covered, something to that effect. What I was interested to find was that the manual was sealed and the Yamaha warranty card still inside, I don't know if they knew that when they handed it over (from the sound of it, the amp came straight from Yamaha). I will try to find out what I can, if anyone has filled out a Yamaha registration form feel free to PM me with the details, I would be very grateful.

As far as the speakers are concerned - I am already looking at what type of setup will be possible with this amp and whether I can possibly use my stereo amplifier with it (it comes with several pre-outs). Wharfedales are of interest, the Diamond 9.1 or probably 9.2 would be good for the front end. Seems like the KEF IQs might be worth a look as well, or possibly DALI; I was thinking of getting a decent centre to balance them out for films then maybe look at the surrounds later. I am still not sure whether a subwoofer is needed but will look into this. One thing is I can now demo speakers with the amp at my local Hifi shop since they have a good selection and were also very helpful to me with the AV stuff. ATM I am using our old Pioneer CS series speaks that came with packaged with a Hifi unit. They are quite large and fairly powerful (50 watt each) but are just a temporary measure really.

To be honest I am still staggered by the number of connections on this Yamaha (9 phonos!) and really hope to put its capabilities to the test with different material. It is also an amplifier rather than a receiver so I hope I am getting some good sound for my money - 95 watts RMS is the claim. :) I know the response will differ but my own Hifi amp is quite weak by comparison, so it will be interesting to see what the sound is like.
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Bibby,

I'm having trouble finding my reg form but definitely fill it in and send it. You might still get a year's warranty form Yamaha. Hopefully somebody else has one at hand.

Did you ask what they mean by 'ex service'? My 763 was last in the shop and on display when i bought it and was sold as 'Open Box' also for £290 with a 5 yr warranty on top. Being an ex display isn't that classed as 'ex service' also? :confused:

your stereo can work with the 763 with pre outs as you mentioned so long as it has aux cnnection (763 pre outs to stereo's Aux in )

Sorry Mate, but your description of the amp as 'quite weak in comparison' doesn't quite cut it. Its severely underpowered in comparison to 763. I would go as far to say that they don't even compare and although it has the minimum required wattage (25/35w per ch) for the speakers you mentioned (20w-100w) it still very low to drive them with any real conviction. It may sound decent but not powerful enough. You will need to upgrade the stereo amp or just use the 763 which at 95w per ch, is cutting it close to the speakers max. But how often does anybody has their amp at full blast for any length of time?

Personally i would go for speakers that could handle a little more than the amps max. Just in case there's any momentarily spikes of wattage, there's room to maneuver, But your choices are fine with a stereo amp between about 40w-70w per ch

ACOUSTIC ENERGY AEGIS NEO 1 SPEAKERS

KEF C3 SPEAKERS (PAIR)

The acoustic energy speakers are part of a 5.1 setup which the center can be bought separately.

Where ever possible the center speaker should be of the same make and range as the fronts for best results :thumbsup:
 

S Bibby

Active Member
Hi again Don,
Bibby,

1)I'm having trouble finding my reg form but definitely fill it in and send it. You might still get a year's warranty form Yamaha. Hopefully somebody else has one at hand.

Did you ask what they mean by 'ex service'? My 763 was last in the shop and on display when i bought it and was sold as 'Open Box' also for £290 with a 5 yr warranty on top. Being an ex display isn't that classed as 'ex service' also? :confused:

Well, the ex-service means it had a 'fault' and was sent back to Yamaha for some reason. The receipt said £300 with a £10 discount for this reason, I was quite happy with it and didn't think twice to be honest. :) Thanks for your reply, I will give the warranty card a try since there is nothing to lose after all.

Sorry Mate, but your description of the amp as 'quite weak in comparison' doesn't quite cut it. Its severely underpowered in comparison to 763. I would go as far to say that they don't even compare and although it has the minimum required wattage (25/35w per ch) for the speakers you mentioned (20w-100w) it still very low to drive them with any real conviction. It may sound decent but not powerful enough. You will need to upgrade the stereo amp or just use the 763 which at 95w per ch, is cutting it close to the speakers max. But how often does anybody has their amp at full blast for any length of time?

Well I'll tell you the story - I saw these old Pioneer SAs coming up on Ebay about a year ago and I thought they would go well with the oldie kit I had left (Technics tuner and old turntable still in the loft somewhere). I was going for a 45 watt originally then settled for my 20/25 watt little fella since I thought it would be OK for my needs. I will probably look for one with up to 50 watts RMS in the future though, but sound quality would still be high up my list of priorities I think.

Yes, I do listen at lower volumes and bass is probably more important to me but I sometimes leave the loudness setting off on the Stereo amp just because I don't like it so much. Anyway, I agree with what you said but I thought if my stereo amp could act as the control/pre-amp I could use the power from the Yamaha to drive the front speakers? I have been told that more power is always a good thing for most speakers and will take that into account. Another Stereo amp might be my next investment but speakers will come first.

Personally i would go for speakers that could handle a little more than the amps max. Just in case there's any momentarily spikes of wattage, there's room to maneuver, But your choices are fine with a stereo amp between about 40w-70w per ch

ACOUSTIC ENERGY AEGIS NEO 1 SPEAKERS

KEF C3 SPEAKERS (PAIR)

The acoustic energy speakers are part of a 5.1 setup which the center can be bought separately.

Where ever possible the center speaker should be of the same make and range as the fronts for best results :thumbsup:

Right, I am really not sure about these at the moment - the only ones I am somewhat put off are the Mordaunt Shorts since from what I have read they seem to be the opposite to the sound I want (ie. harsh, highly driven). Will check up on Acoustic Energy since I don't know much about them, I read they have metal cones though which might not sound right for me. KEF are certainly of interest and I would consider the C3s also, they got some rough reviews from What Hifi but maybe that means they are alright after all. :) My local Hifi shop has Dynaudio and Dali, which they recommend quite well, they are a bit more expensive though. The Wharfedale Diamonds are more affordable and they do have both centre and rear (surround) speakers available so they give me some options. I will probably try to demo the 9.2 first since this has a larger driver, probably not quite as big as the Kef Q3s but similar. I am not sure if KEF do the full 5 speaker package though, so I might have to consider the others.

Thanks for your replies, Simon
 
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Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Well, the ex-service means it had a 'fault' and was sent back to Yamaha for some reason.

Hi Mate, I thought that this might be the case but still it should be sold cheaper unless it just a minor fault. i pray that you don't see or hear of this 'fault'.

stereo amp could act as the control/pre-amp I could use the power from the Yamaha to drive the front speakers?
mmmm, the opposite to what is the norm. I've not heard anybody trying that way around but could be visable. Very interested to know if it works out.

I have a pair of those AE Neo 1 as part of my 4.1 setup ( No sub as yet) and use AE Neo 3 for fronts. I haven't really used the neo 1 to any real level as fronts but only for testing purposes and they sounded good then. The Neo3's are joy to behold, warm, detailed and well rounded. I throw everything at them and it handles it with aplomb and like you, Music is my main priority.

You are right about the Kef's, like you said, not sure if they are part of or could be part of a 5.1 setup. The 9.2's have some solid reviews all round and can't go wrong with those. As for the Dynaudio and Dali -expensive but go have a listen and see for yourself. :thumbsup:
 

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