Pioneer HiFi : Why is it sidelined?

admin_exported

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Aug 10, 2019
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I was reading about Pioneer's latest HiFi range.

CD Player: PD-D6-J (EISA Award Winner / What HiFi 5 Star holder / AV Review 9/10 )

Amp: A-A6-J (What HiFi 5 star winner) & A-A9-J (AV Review Group Test Winner)

I wonder why nobody recomments this player/combo. Its Cambridge Audio everywhere! Followed by Marantz and occational NAD. Please dont tell me it has something to do with being British?

Any particular reason?
 

gregory

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Sep 9, 2007
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price as well as there not that cheap to be classed as budget. but i like them,although i had a tough time finding speakers that matched with them maybe that's anohter reason.
 

Clare Newsome

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Jun 4, 2007
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We certainly are fans of the Pioneers ( hence the five stars!) and often recommend them, but they do need very careful partnering,so we may not suggest them if people are looking to pair them with a particular set of speakers they may not suit...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I would like to know objectively and scientificaly why a particular amp can be difficult in finding a good set of speakers to partner with.

If it was found through your testing then I would like to know how many different speakers were tested with them and how and why you came to that conclusion.

Lastly, if it was the case that it was objectively determined that it was indeed a amplifier with limited application, why was it awarded five stars ? Is that good value for money ?
 

Clare Newsome

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Friendly as ever, Susanoo - I can see why you keep coming back...

It's not the Pioneer amp that's the issue, but the combination of the CD player and amplifier together - using them in tandem gives you many advantages(pace, detail, drive) but can exacerbate their tendency towards stridency. Partnering them with the right speakers - or indeed mixing and matching them with different components - makes this a non-issue, and just emphasises what excellent products they are.

We're not saying they're right for everyone in every set-up (you'll note they haven't won Awards), but in the right system they are exceptional for the money.

As with all our tests, products are reviewed with a range of reference equipment and price-compatible rivals,and as we - uniquely - have access to a stockroom of kit, we can try all sorts of combinations to test any product's true potential (not just the ones suggested by its tech-spec or brand name).

That's why we have Now Add These panels for all our Group Test/Supertest/Lead First Test winners,to indicate good partners for the best kit.

More on the whole system-building issue in our January issue, out next Thursday, which has some very interesting examples of both good and bad one-make systems, and suggestions on optimising each.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Funny that - today tried a A-A9-J amp at home (long story...).

This is all compared to the (£100 cheaper Cambridge Audio 740A). The Pioneer was much more 'in your face'. Very detailed, but much lighter bass. To be honest I played 3 CDs I know well and put it back in it's box - it's going back tomorrow! It was partnered with MA RS6 speakers and CA 640Av2 CDP, so they probably aren't well suited. But in my opinion, the 740A is much nicer. Other gripes include build quality - OK but not a touch on the 740A and the display is horrid, and the remote is horrid, and the remote volume adjustment is coarse and unpredictable. This is all just my honest opinion.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
To be honest, i think the reason the Pioneer amps and sacd player arent on many peoples lists is due to the design of the facia,

yes, the design looks good, i dont think anyone disagrees with that, but the facia doesnt match the traditional seperate facia look thats in 99.9% of peoples racks,

Id love to buy the cheaper A-A6-J amp myself but just cant see it with the rest of my gear.

One other little thing thing thats just a little anoying for me is that there is no manual treble and bass control on the amp, and no manual skip buttons on the player.
 
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Anonymous

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I would turn it around and ask what's special about Pioneer compared with, say Sony?
 

Andrew Everard

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May 30, 2007
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[quote user="Nigel Proctor"]I would turn it around and ask what's special about Pioneer compared with, say Sony?[/quote]

If you turn it around, those who don't like the front panel styling would probably find it even less appealing.
 

Gerrardasnails

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2007
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I like the front (not the back - that would be silly!) of it. I've ordered the cd player to go with the Creek Evo amp (similar minimalistic look). Why have big sticking out knobs and buttons when they are not needed. I think the obvious answer to the initial question is that we are snobs at some point and hifi enthusiasts and even more so, self proclaimed "audiophiles" would not be seen dead with Pioneer involved in their set-ups. They want names like Nad, Cyrus, Marantz, CA, to Naim but a few. These companies specialise in stereo and do not make plasmas.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
[quote user="Gerrardasnails"]I think the obvious answer to the initial question is that we are snobs at some point and hifi enthusiasts and even more so, self proclaimed "audiophiles" would not be seen dead with Pioneer involved in their set-ups. They want names like Nad, Cyrus, Marantz, CA, to Naim but a few. These companies specialise in stereo and do not make plasmas.[/quote]

I think this quote really hits the bullseye!

I have always believed that a HiFi purist would persue his qeust with out giving undue importance to brands. If clear music and personal taste is to be put as criteria, does it really matter what brands are playing it?!
 

Andrew Everard

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[quote user="Gerrardasnails"]They want names like Nad, Cyrus, Marantz, CA, to Naim but a few. These companies specialise in stereo and do not make plasmas.[/quote]

No, you're right - Marantz only makes LCDs.
 

Cypher

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Jun 8, 2007
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I liked your joke Andrew, some people just don't have a sense of humor
emotion-1.gif
 
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Anonymous

Guest
[quote user="Andrew Everard"]
[quote user="Nigel Proctor"]I would turn it around and ask what's special about Pioneer compared with, say Sony?[/quote]

If you turn it around, those who don't like the front panel styling would probably find it even less appealing.
[/quote]

I would turn it around again while being very careful not to pull the wires out.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
i was in buying some banana plugs today and i had a look at the new pioneer hi fi stuff. How can anyone say they dont like the look of them? They are stunning looking. Very modern and minimal design and what felt like great build quality.If they sound as good as they look then they have to be worth a listen. Pioneer have in the past made some excellent hi fi separates.The precision range being excellent at the time, so i dont know if anyone has a right to be snooty about the fact its pioneer. As for no bass and treble controls, that is as it should be as a well balanced amp should not need them. They only make an amp look cluttered anyway.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
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...and with reference to the comment about Sony, you only have to look at the current Pioneer and Sony offerings to see the difference. One manufacturer is making the effort to really make a comeback with 2 channel hi-fi whilst the other has pretty much let its 2 channel presence fade into insignificance. Pioneer is to be applauded for making such a strong return to 2 channel. I remember a time when What Hi-Fi was full of great products from Pioneer (A400, the original Stable Platter CD players etc.), Kenwood (KA-3020SE), Sansui (the Sansui/Mission System) etc. alongside equally great stuff from the brands we still hear a fair amount of today. If its great kit, its great whatever the brand name on the front.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
[quote user="Fraziel"]i was in buying some banana plugs today and i had a look at the new pioneer hi fi stuff. How can anyone say they dont like the look of them? They are stunning looking. Very modern and minimal design and what felt like great build quality.If they sound as good as they look then they have to be worth a listen. Pioneer have in the past made some excellent hi fi separates.The precision range being excellent at the time, so i dont know if anyone has a right to be snooty about the fact its pioneer. As for no bass and treble controls, that is as it should be as a well balanced amp should not need them. They only make an amp look cluttered anyway.[/quote]
,

I bought (tried) a Pioneer A-A9-J the other day and was jolly excited about it but:

* To my ears it sounded harsh, bright and forward and lacked wieght and punch. Uncomfortable and unpleasant to listen to. This is just what I found - I was dead chuffed with new box to open and wanted to like it but didn't :(
*Remote was very poor - unreliable and inconsistant control of volume and tone.
* Remote was only way to adjust tone
* Screen was very poor. Couldn't read it properly on my sofa from 4m. And, lacking tone 'nobs, was the only way to see setting, see things changing (useful with erratic remote)
* Volume pot felt cheap. Remote build quality was quite honestly laughable (had one not spent £600)

On the other hand

* With less bright equipment it might sound better.
* If it sounded good enough, maybe I could have forgiven other issues!
* Had USB input (not useful for me but surely will for some
* Had a sound expander (can't remember what it was called) setting to combat overly compressed MP3s etc. Might be good - dunno. Might point towards target audience?

So, there are my very honest opinions, but I'm sure others will have other opinions which is jolly good! But, brand name and image was not a contributory factor in it going back in the box and back to the shop!

Sorry if tone of message is unforgiving, but lost message once and had to retype but 2nd time round coldn't be bothered to dress it up!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
apparently the little brother of the A-A9-j is a better performer. I thought the build on the one i saw today was v good. it was solid and weighed a tonne. certainly a lot better than the rotel 04 i had a look at too. Still, if it didnt sound good then looks and build count for nought.
 

Gerrardasnails

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Sep 6, 2007
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That's what I've been saying Fraziel.

By they way, Bloney, the A-A-9 got only 3 stars from WHF. I have read decent reviews of this but for the money it lacks wattage for me. The A-A-6 would have been bought by me but it doesn't have USB and is less powerful still. However, it's supposed to be wonderful. I have opted for the cdp from Pioneer. £330 five stars and plays sacd, cd, cdr, mp3 and wma - just what I've been looking for. And as I've mentioned, it looks good (in my eyes anyway). I would like to hear it first but I've not seen it many shops and Richer Sounds tell me that they don't have demo rooms anymore!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Yeah, I agree the Pioneers look stonking! Not heard the A-A-6, but it may well be a corker! The '9 might be great in another system, but not in mine. I ended up splashing out a further £150 to get the CA840A after the 740A failing again and not liking the Pioneer. The 740A was good, but never really expected the 840A to get any better - particularly with the 640C cd player I have, but I'm really quite shocked how good it sounds! The Cambridge Richer Sounds have just moved location and are planning to have a demo room out the back. I hope this is a sign of things to come now CA are going to be selling some higher end power amps etc.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
[quote user="Fraziel"]i was in buying some banana plugs today and i had a look at the new pioneer hi fi stuff. How can anyone say they dont like the look of them? They are stunning looking. Very modern and minimal design and what felt like great build quality.If they sound as good as they look then they have to be worth a listen. Pioneer have in the past made some excellent hi fi separates.The precision range being excellent at the time, so i dont know if anyone has a right to be snooty about the fact its pioneer. As for no bass and treble controls, that is as it should be as a well balanced amp should not need them. They only make an amp look cluttered anyway.[/quote]

What puts me off is the continuous references to the amps being the spiritual successor to the Pioneer A400 which is easily the second most overhyped amp of all time. If the A6 or A9 sounds in any way like the A400 then I cannot be far enough away from them when they start playing. I have no beef against Pioneer the company though- I owned an original A-9 which was a giant gold 30w Class A leviathan which was very good indeed,

The styling is also a double edged sword- the units look fine together but don't look anything like as clever mixed and matched,
 

Thaiman

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Jul 28, 2007
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[quote user="Leonard Hatred"]A400 which is easily the second most overhyped amp of all time. [/quote]

What is your top most overhyped amp then?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
[quote user="Thaiman"][quote user="Leonard Hatred"]A400 which is easily the second most overhyped amp of all time. [/quote]

What is your top most overhyped amp then?[/quote]

The top three are *drumroll*
1) Audiolab 8000A- would rather listen to the cooker they stole the knobs off
2) The aforementioned Pioneer A400
3) NAD 3020. A reasonable budget amp. Not a giantkiller and cure for the worlds ills that some would have you believe.
 

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