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Pioneer S-71B Standmount Speaker

T

the record spot

Guest
A few months ago, I noticed a pair of speakers on Richer Sounds site; Pioneer S-71B standmounts. £750. Smart looking, concentric driver speakers. Looked the part, not much on the web, but what was there was generally pretty positive. Very similar write up to my current Tannoy DC4. I really like the concentric driver arrangement - the embedded tweeter in the middle of the main driver results in a wide dispersion of sounds, music or effects. It's one I like, so I was curious when these Pioneer speakers cropped up.

Fast forward a few months, and I thought that having upgraded the amp and the source player, I could maybe investigate the speaker options too. The Pioneers stood out for a couple of reasons, one being the aforesaid design, the other being the company's return to 2-channel audio, plus the rave reviews their entry level speakers - just available in the States - and designed by Andrew Jones had received. That and the fact I quite like to fly against perceived hifi wisdom at times meant I started to hunt them out again.

Not surprisingly, very few outlets had them, but a few did. Richer Sounds were down to a Clearance pair in Exeter for around £720. One of two other dealers had them for over £450. Ask in London had them for £499 online, but £199 instore. Phoned up today and the guy gave me the instore price over the phone. I didn't need to be asked twice and they're on their way. Should be with me tomorrow but I'll post up a few more thoughts on these interesting speakers in the next week or so when I've had some time to play.

 
T

the record spot

Guest
No idea - I could speculate and say that outwith the "regular" hifi brands, Pioneer aren't a big speaker brand at the moment, so heads don't automatically turn their way. The S71B was also part of a wider 5.1 offering as well, but mostly it seems like a speaker that's slipped under the radar. May have been overpriced to start off with, but the two reviews I've seen have been positive and share many of the characteristics of the Tannoys I have. Or appear to anyway!
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Yes, I like them too. Quite sleek. They're bigger than the Tannoys but I can live with that to try them out.
 

ID.

New member
Feb 22, 2010
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Looking forward to your review. They are a bit more popular in Japan, but mainly seem to be used in home theatre set ups when I see them in store.

Some of the higher priced Pioneer speakers that I have briefly heard sounded quite good too.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Yes, I liked the design but the proof of the pudding and all that...! Looking forward to hearing them on Friday. Had to change the delivery as the depot is miles away and I didn't want to have to traipse all the way across the city.
 

MattSPL

New member
Jan 4, 2010
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the record spot said:
Yes, I liked the design but the proof of the pudding and all that...! Looking forward to hearing them on Friday. Had to change the delivery as the depot is miles away and I didn't want to have to traipse all the way across the city.
You'll have a fun weekend setting up and testing them anyway.

Myself and a friend installed an all Pioneer system in his car. It comprised of 6 speakers, a 2ch and a 4ch amp and an active sub called the pump. It was all great sounding kit, so I have a feeling your speakers might just impress.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Actually, it will be a busy weekend; I'd landed a pair of Mission 761s the other week as well, which are due to arrive any day now. These were twin main driver with a centre mounted tweeter. Kind of a 731 double, but I was keen to hear them. Mission didn't make many speakers of that type (in fact, they might be the only example they did) so they're interesting from that point of view if nothing else.

Like I said earlier though, the Pioneer return to form on the audio gear front got me interested in these speakers. Fingers crossed they pan out; the reviews sounds positive, so hopes are cautiously optimisitc!
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Not sure Matthew - they might be. I wondered if Mission tried these out as an experiment. The approach didn't take off for them though I think, although not too many others produce anything like that either I guess. Picked them up for chump change though, so they'll be fun for a couple of weeks. Just need to store 'em somewhere first....!

EDIT: They were produced by MIssion in the early 90s. Think they were around the £300 mark or so. Found some info on the Audiokarma site.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
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Yes, I'm pretty sure they were the next model up from the 760s. I used to have some 760s. They seem to have been forgotten in the ravages of time a bit, but they were a very enjoyable speaker that pulled you into the music. Could occasionally have a slightly shiny treble but that may well have been the partnering electronics - the 760s were supplied as part of a Sansui-Mission package called 'The System' (which won a WHF Award at the time. Having looked at Google images I had remembered the 761s correctly. I reckon they could be interesting.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Yes, agreed. They were between the 760 and before the 731. Just with the twin main driver. I shall have a very speaker full house. Luckily, the Tannoys are easy (and small enough) to hide away in their box without taking up much room anywhere!!
 
T

the record spot

Guest
They're here....!

They arrived at half-twelve and I've had them going all afternoon. They're a lovely looking speaker; a satin black which is very sleek. Pioneer have added thoughtful little touches too like replacement rings to cover up the gaps in the fascia if you take the grille mesh off. Good quality spikes and little pods on which to rest the spike so you don't damage a surface also come with the package.

Run them for a few hours and first impressions are good. There's a nice even tonality here. Good bass, no sharp highs and plenty of refinement are all on offer. No nasty surprises with any of my preferred discs yet, lots of nice ones though. The S71s only come with one set of speaker cable terminals at the back but do feature two rear tuning ports. So, no bi-amping but they sound very impressive nonetheless.

Thee aren't any UK reviews of these speakers yet, but they deserve to be. The two I read were from Dutch publications (I think) online and they were both very positive.

These went on the market for over £700 but seemed to have settled around the £450-500 mark. Mine were in a sale from Ask on Tottenham Court Road in London, so a blind buy but so far so good.

Pioneer have done a great job with these speakers, and I'd recommend anyone who's finding a lot of the current crop of speakers to be too sharp and bright to give these a spin if you can. You might be nicely surprised!
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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How do they compare with the Tannoy; and how far up the Tannoy ladder would you have to go, to better them?

Nice catch, btw.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
They're a different animal really Cno. The DC4 is still a terrific speaker, probably a little more detailed in as much as it majors on midrange and treble detail without fishing refinement but making up for lower bass which it lacks.

The Pioneer is bigger, comes with more bass, albeit the drivers aren't massively different in size. The cabinet design is different but again not the traditional box.

Sensitivity at 83db is lower, but at 180w to each channel I'm not worried here. The treble is more rolled off in the Pioneer, but it's early days and I'll form a more rounded opinion on this in the next few days. Right now, the gut feeling is that I could listen to these for hours, which coincidentally, I have!

Edit: Apologies, I missed your other query; how far up the Tannoy ladder would you go? The DC 6 is the next logical point. After that, I think you're into Precision 6.1 territory and I understand the main criticism of those is a very noticeable lack of bass. Never heard them but at £900 a pair, I think they'd be very impressive, opinions aside. No idea where the Pioneers would come there but they are a worthwhile addition in the £500-750 speaker space I think. And it's good to see them (Pioneer) turning out some great two channel gear again.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
No worries Cno, though I would add that I'd recommend careful auditioning. I'm not convinced that particular speaker is a straight plug in and play. Could be fussy with what it goes with.

Bit like me really... :)
 
T

the record spot

Guest
They're doing very nicely thanks Matt. Got them positioned just right now and they've been run in aplenty since arriving at lunchtime on Friday. Probably a good 20 hours now. Very happy with them.

They need to be positioned with more toe-in (to suit my ears at any rate, or my listening preferences). This really focuses the playback and brings it into sharp relief. Positioned as I'd have had my Tannoys, they lose their cohesion to my ears and the performance lacks. They have a lovely sound to them. Not exactly lush, but I can see these satisfying many users who'd otherwise have balked at buying some of today's more strident speaker efforts out there.

I think they need some room to breathe however, and wouldn't be ideal in a smaller room. Mine sit about two feet out, and I wouldn't put them against a wall. The bass is quite prodigious and could be a problem. Give them some room to breathe and they're quite the treat. In my old house, I think they'd have been something else with more room to spare and a detached place to spare it in! Fit and finish is exemplary and as I mentioned before, the little touches that Pioneer gave us (the additional driver rings when used with the grille mesh off and the spike pods) are a nice bonus.

Yes, very pleased so far. I'll be keeping the Tannoys for a while yet. No plans to move them on for now.
 

MattSPL

New member
Jan 4, 2010
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Sounds good, it looks like you got yourself a bargain :)

How are you finding thier low sensitivity? I've often found advertised sensitivity specs a bit hit and miss between different brands, where one apparently lower sensitivity speaker sounding louder at any given volume setting on the amp than the higher sensitivity speaker :?
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Not much of a difference. Have to turn it up a little but not massively. The amp's got enough under the lid so driving them hasn't been a problem. They're pretty insightful and I occasionally hear things in some well known CDs that bring out a bit more detail. Still early days though and the next few weeks as they bed in properly will be interesting. I am impressed though, more so than I had expected to be.
 

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