Robn78

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Just a quick question, I’m looking to pick up an old pioneer a400 at some point soon to replace an old cheap Sony AV receiver I’m currently using. However I’m interested to see what the moden alternatives are that offer the same bang for buck. I have seen a couple of offerings from Cambridge Audio and Marantz that fit in to the “budget “ spectrum. Would these be as good or would it be better to pick up and refund the pioneers. I know how to use a soldering Iron in anger lol.

For those interested, the amp will be driving my old Tannoy NFM ll 8, and music of choice is 80s - modern rock and metal.
 
Just a quick question, I’m looking to pick up an old pioneer a400 at some point soon to replace an old cheap Sony AV receiver I’m currently using. However I’m interested to see what the moden alternatives are that offer the same bang for buck. I have seen a couple of offerings from Cambridge Audio and Marantz that fit in to the “budget “ spectrum. Would these be as good or would it be better to pick up and refund the pioneers. I know how to use a soldering Iron in anger lol.

For those interested, the amp will be driving my old Tannoy NFM ll 8, and music of choice is 80s - modern rock and metal.
What is / are your sources?
 

Fandango Andy

Well-known member
Just a quick question, I’m looking to pick up an old pioneer a400 at some point soon to replace an old cheap Sony AV receiver I’m currently using. However I’m interested to see what the moden alternatives are that offer the same bang for buck. I have seen a couple of offerings from Cambridge Audio and Marantz that fit in to the “budget “ spectrum. Would these be as good or would it be better to pick up and refund the pioneers. I know how to use a soldering Iron in anger lol.

For those interested, the amp will be driving my old Tannoy NFM ll 8, and music of choice is 80s - modern rock and metal.

You often see those amps come up on eBay for around £150 , never looked into what they actually sell for. You could always sell it on if you don't like it.
 
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Just a quick question, I’m looking to pick up an old pioneer a400 at some point soon to replace an old cheap Sony AV receiver I’m currently using. However I’m interested to see what the moden alternatives are that offer the same bang for buck. I have seen a couple of offerings from Cambridge Audio and Marantz that fit in to the “budget “ spectrum. Would these be as good or would it be better to pick up and refund the pioneers. I know how to use a soldering Iron in anger lol.

For those interested, the amp will be driving my old Tannoy NFM ll 8, and music of choice is 80s - modern rock and metal.
Why, out of all the budget amps available, have you earmarked a Pioneer A400? Problem is it was made in the 1990s so can't rely on reliability.

Also, the Pioneer had its own distinctive sound.

What amp are you currently using?
 
Bangs for bucks is a bit odd expression when it comes to the A400. Are you talking about what they are available for now or what they were when first made?
Many modern amplifiers offer more, many include a dac, so depends entirely on what you are going to connect as source.
Many modern amplifiers do not include a phono stage.
Many sound better than the A400 so it really is like comparing apples and oranges.
 
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Fandango Andy

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Why, out of all the budget amps available, have you earmarked a Pioneer A400? Problem is it was made in the 1990s so can't rely on reliability.

Also, the Pioneer had its own distinctive sound.

What amp are you currently using?
I wouldn't worry too much about reliability. They have a solid reputation. I have a Sony TA-F246E in my bedroom that gets more use than my main amp. I think it's from '95. I got it 2nd hand in 2013 for £30 and never had a problem.
 
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My2Cents

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Why would anyone buy a 25-30 year old amp over something new that has a warranty and brand new components in it?
Have you any idea what 30 years can do to electrical components? Even if the amp is NOS, never used and in the original packaging there will be oxidization of the components/circuit boards and most likely leaking caps.
At the very least the amp should be opened up and checked out by a tech. (unless you are one and can do it yourself)? before purchase.
If you're lucky, you will only be looking at 100-200 bucks for a cleaning and basic service. If unlucky, you are now the proud owner of a new door stop.
 

Robn78

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Why would anyone buy a 25-30 year old amp over something new that has a warranty and brand new components in it?
Have you any idea what 30 years can do to electrical components? Even if the amp is NOS, never used and in the original packaging there will be oxidization of the components/circuit boards and most likely leaking caps.
At the very least the amp should be opened up and checked out by a tech. (unless you are one and can do it yourself)? before purchase.
If you're lucky, you will only be looking at 100-200 bucks for a cleaning and basic service. If unlucky, you are now the proud owner of a new door stop.
The same reason people by HiFi from the 70s, because they like it and they want too.
 

My2Cents

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The same reason people by HiFi from the 70s, because they like it and they want too.
As he is looking at new budget alternatives, I interpret his questioning as, he thinks buying old used gear that was once good may get him a better deal.
His statement "Would these be as good or would it be better to pick up and refund the pioneers" is somewhat confusing? Any idea what that actually means?
I guess if he knows his way around an amp with a soldering iron, vintage could be good for him.
 

Fandango Andy

Well-known member
Why would anyone buy a 25-30 year old amp over something new that has a warranty and brand new components in it?
Have you any idea what 30 years can do to electrical components? Even if the amp is NOS, never used and in the original packaging there will be oxidization of the components/circuit boards and most likely leaking caps.
At the very least the amp should be opened up and checked out by a tech. (unless you are one and can do it yourself)? before purchase.
If you're lucky, you will only be looking at 100-200 bucks for a cleaning and basic service. If unlucky, you are now the proud owner of a new door stop.
Value for money. Entry level hifi equipment from the 80s and 90s was often plastic and rubish, but just above the entry level there is a lot of budget equipment from Sony, Pioneer, Technics, Marantz that sounds great, and they were built link tanks. The price of second hand equipment seems to have shot up recently, but in the not too distant past you could pick un an amp for less than £50. I have a Sony TA-F246E that I paid £30 for 11 years ago. I use it all the time, and from what I have heard you would need to spend ten times that much for a new amp that comes close. Yes, there is a risk in buying second hand but if you buy buy sensibly it can be a risk worth taking.
 

Stuart83

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I have a pioneer a400 along with a few modern equivalents I tried to better it with costing north of 2000 £.
Only recently I found myself in the position of wanting to update and build a new system.

I demoed and owned a few amps to get something that's in my opinion similar to the old a400 and maybe a little better.
I'm of course talking sound not connectivity as my main goal was to include it exhaustively with the new amp which I've done.

The modern equivalents are rated good amongst the other budget equipment but the pioneer a400 was good and better than things in the mid tier and some above to give you a comparison.

The pioneer a400 is not only legend in its own right but sound you will never forget.
It boxed way way above it's weight on release and as I found still does.

It's age shouldn't put you off I've had 2 both work fine, one was in a garage for 5plus yrs and dropped on the way out.
It's a case of if you get a faulty one it was because it was indeed faulty regardless.

It's in the what hifi hall of fame and well covered throughout the hifi world.
This pedigree doesn't gather for nothing.

To this day I still power mine on and listen in joy to it.
The click from the power supply letting me know I'm in for a good time.

I've been through more vintage kit and now modern to know what's decent.

Its of course still in the ear of the listener and to help you along I'd describe the pioneer as warm and very musical.
A talent for vocals and bass of the plenty.

My main system is around 3800 £ for a comparison (not a boast especially with what some spend 😀) and I still go back to the pioneer in the living room sporadically for it's unique sound.

Unless spending higher it's unlikely you will better it with the modern budget line as I tried some I've heard myself including the Marantz.

I did look to get a budget amp to replace the a400 originally and couldn't get there despite demoing things that were very good for the money.
Instead having to up the budget and even then box shifting a few times after that.

All that aside out of the many speakers I've had hooked up to the pioneer over the yrs some budget some mid tier one pair were tannoy m15s and they sounded very good.

I use the pioneer now as a reference to all things amplification.
 

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KeesWIjn

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A lot of people here criticising OPs idea to buy an A400 but only one person who offers a decent answer. Fine if you think old equipment is unreliable or new equipment offers more options, that's your opinion and you are entitled to it. I too have an A400 with a CXN1 and BW606-2 and am happy. I would like to consider a different amp too but am not sure what would be an equivalent and have few to no auditioning options. Should I consider a Marantz PM6007, a CXA81, A Rotel R11, an Audiolab ?. Maybe no-one can offer much advise in which case I wait, borrow something, take a gamble.
 

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