new amps to see off pioneer a400

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looking for a new amp to compete with pioneer a400 using mission 751 speakers (reside in standard sized kitchen)
budget £300
also looking for suitable interconnects/speaker wire? budget £70
listen to rock/metal/vocal/acoustic/80's/current charts....
 
A

Anonymous

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I have tested the A400 against many amps around the £500 to £800 mark and found that the a400 was on par with these amps so to find a new amp under £300 that beats it is impossible IMO...
 
T

the record spot

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Interconnect: QED Qunex 2 currently on Gumtree for a tenner. Great little cable, reasonable price (i.e. about £20-30) if you don't want to buy a generic cheapo one.
 

Sizzers

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On the back of this and your previous post I unboxed my A400 to do a quick comparison with my Marantz.

It's been a very long time since I've heard the Pioneer so didn't really know what to expect to be honest. I used to have it hooked up to a pair of 780SE's but I was pretty surprised at the result, even though it may not necessarily be the best speaker pairing (with the Dali's, that is) .

To my ears it sounded pretty harsh, with no real control over the bass compared to the Marantz. From memory I may have got a better result with the harshness with the Missions but no way with the bass.

Just my thoughts, of course, but just glad it gave me the impetus to get the Pioneer out (never again, though!)
 

matthewpiano

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The A400 was a great amp in its day and still performs very well now, but I personally think its qualities tend to get overstated. Like Sizzers, I would rather use a Marantz PM6003. Better control, more stable soundstaging and imaging and more body to the sound.

Still, each to this own, and many many people still hold a very bright torch for the A400. I've had 2 but I certainly won't be going back to one again.
 
A

Anonymous

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Cheers RS, Ifitsoundsgood...., Sizzers and MP for your replies,

Yes, the Marantz PM/CD6003 sounds like a good match for Rock/Acoustic with its fuller/warmer sound compared to the Pioneer!

How would the Mission 751's perform when partnered with the Marantz 6003 components and any recommendations for good speaker wire/interconnects ?

Matthewpiano, how does your current setup: Creek 4330R.... compare to the Pioneer A400 and where was it purchased ?

Thanks all
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
I think the Creek is considerably better than the A400. Its a great amp - bit of a tardis in that it looks very small and unimpressive but produces a very dynamic and involving sound.

I purchased my amp and CD player from sellers on Ebay - £180 and £90 respectively. The speakers were purchased brand new from Richer Sounds in Manchester.
 
Can't personally about the A400, but have owned a Pioneer amp, vintage 1976/77 and loved it. It oozed power - for my bedroom - and kept it for 17 years. However, when it started to go wrong I listened to few newer models and there was a distinct improvement over the Pioneer. It still had its own sonic charms but not the overall ability.

Like Matthew says about Creek. I heard the EVO 2 and it's rather damn impressive with very understated looks. If a turntable isn't important I'd look at s/hand Creek, whether it is the model Matthew has or the early EVOs.

Hope this helps.
 
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Anonymous

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You've got a £300 budget and desire a upgrade from your existing Pioneer A-400?

Forget it! Unless you are considering to buy a 2nd hand amplifier, threre's no way of getting it!

For a real upgrade (better performance in all senses) , you'll have to extend your budget to £1000.
 
A

Anonymous

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Someone mentioned Creek 4330. I know this amp quite well (I own a Creek 5250SE). I like Michael Creek's amps a lot. Creek 4330 mids and highs are subtler and warmer but Pioneer A400 has better macrodynamics and tauter bass lines. If I have to choose between A400 and 4330, I would prefer Creek's amp, but it's not the case.

In my opinion, it's just worth replacing an existing audio component when we have the chance of a real upgrade. Moreover, Creek 4330 is discontinued. Anyway, a second hand integrated amp like Creek 5250SE or preferably 5350SE wouldn't be a bad idea. They are a real step up from Pioneer A400.
 
T

the record spot

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Usual caveats with older gear - condition, pre-existing issues, need for servicing, etc. Other than that, if all else remains equal, just do a bit of research into the older brands and you'll beat the A400 for £300 alright.
 
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Anonymous

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I have a heavily modified A-400 which sounds great. Unmodified it walked over my NAD C370 which I had to sell at a loss! In comparison the NAD had a big sound but just smeared over the detail.
 

theadmans

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I have had a Creek 4330 for about the last five years. Bought secondhand in mint condition off eBay for £120 - it was a bargain.

Not sure why this amp gets such little discussion in the UK. In the States I think Stereophile gave it best amp under $500 award and it is still fairly popular over there.
 
A

Anonymous

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plastic penguin said:
have owned a Pioneer amp, vintage 1976/77 and loved it. It oozed power - for my bedroom - and kept it for 17 years. However, when it started to go wrong I listened to few newer models and there was a distinct improvement over the Pioneer.

Capacitor technology has greatly improved over the last two decades, and the Pioneer's will have been drying out and losing their sparkle. Also switches get old and some transistor legs corrode causing issues - look out for ones with black legs.

It would have been interesting to re-cap it and then compare them, I replaced a fair few in my SX-838 and it sounds very nice.
 

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