Replacement Amp or repair help

Mr DPG

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Jun 12, 2024
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Hello,

First of all, I'm not an audiophile, mainly due to lack of funding, but I do appreciate a decent sound.

I've had a Pioneer VSX-321 amp and speaker package for about 12 years, which has been brilliant for what I wanted. Recently it's started behaving weirdly though. I think it's a common problem form the Googling I've done , but whenever I turn it on it doesn't actually produce any sound from the ARC input straight away. Sometimes it will kick in on it's own after 5 minutes but sometimes it won't make a sound until I start switching sources and generally fiddling with settings and then after a while it will produce sound.

Anyway, what that basically boils down to; Do I get it repaired(when it works it's fine) do I buy another amp..... or a soundbar or something ?
I've had a bit of an investigate and I know that I could use the same speakers with a VSX-534, though the sub wouldn't work without extra amplification as it's passive(I'm not too fussed to be honest)
The trouble is, I'm in a position where I can't afford much and although you can get the VSX-534 for just over £300, if there were any cheaper options that would do the job, I would consider them.

My main aim is to achieve a decent sound for dialogue as my Samsung's built in speakers are rubbish and you end up with the situation where the sound is so loud to hear the words, any music and effects make your ear drums bleed.

With the VSX-321 I found that the Extended Stereo mode worked nicely to give a good bit of body to the sound with clear speech which is why I'd be tempted to stay with Pioneer, but I know others would be capable of producing a similar experience.

Anyway, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Maybe you'd miss the convenience? of ARC, but is there not an alternative way of connecting TV sound to your Pioneer?

I ask because any repair is not likely to be as cheap as you'd like.
(Intermittent faults can be difficult to diagnose and permanently rectify).

If you do decide to repair - get a reliable estimate beforehand.
Ask if the estimate charge will be deducted from the eventual price.
Ask how long the repair itself is guaranteed for.
But I fear the price would be a very large proportion of the£300 you mention.

Hopefully you've got an acceptable, alternative (working) connection option 👍
 

Rodolfo

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Jul 31, 2023
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I'm not especially demanding with my video setups. Have you considered headphones? I've gotten to prefer them in the past decade with my older but bluetooth-equipped Samsung TV. I watched a blu-ray of the original Dune flick and the sound from my modest TV-dedicated Soundcore Q30s was plenty good.
 
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Mr DPG

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Jun 12, 2024
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I'm not especially demanding with my video setups. Have you considered headphones? I've gotten to prefer them in the past decade with my older but bluetooth-equipped Samsung TV. I watched a blu-ray of the original Dune flick and the sound from my modest TV-dedicated Soundcore Q30s was plenty good.
Yeah, to be honest I'd probably enjoy that when watching films etc. It's when I'm watching stuff with the wife or kids really that I need the better quality.
 

Mr DPG

Member
Jun 12, 2024
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Maybe you'd miss the convenience? of ARC, but is there not an alternative way of connecting TV sound to your Pioneer?

I ask because any repair is not likely to be as cheap as you'd like.
(Intermittent faults can be difficult to diagnose and permanently rectify).

If you do decide to repair - get a reliable estimate beforehand.
Ask if the estimate charge will be deducted from the eventual price.
Ask how long the repair itself is guaranteed for.
But I fear the price would be a very large proportion of the£300 you mention.

Hopefully you've got an acceptable, alternative (working) connection option 👍
Sadly, just to clarify, it doesn't actually produce any sound on any channels initially, not just the ARC. I think it's an issue with the muting circuit, that stops it making a pop or bang when you turn it on, malfunctioning. Thanks for the tips re quotes before committing to any repair, will bear that in mind.
 
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Messiah

Well-known member
It came with the Pioneer speaker package HTP-071 with a passive sub
To be honest, I do tend to just use it for stereo most of the time.
Personally, I would always recommend a full surround set up over a sound bar IF surround sound is a priority (or even just to give you the option).

However, the concern here would be finding a (new) receiver (plenty of options 2nd hand) that has an output for a passive sub.

Whilst you say you can live without it, have you tried it without the sub connected? You may miss it more than you think.

This is easily rectified mind you by getting an active sub but this will add to the expense.

With all that being said, if you really don’t want/need the full surround option, there are plenty of soundbar options within your budget and some that offer a pseudo surround effect.
 

Jasonovich

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Jul 28, 2022
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Sadly, just to clarify, it doesn't actually produce any sound on any channels initially, not just the ARC. I think it's an issue with the muting circuit, that stops it making a pop or bang when you turn it on, malfunctioning. Thanks for the tips re quotes before committing to any repair, will bear that in mind.
Seems like you need the Arc feature. As Gray mentioned get an estimate for the repair from a reputable vendor, if the costs are disproportional to the value of the amp, it might be worth considering a replacement.

If you decide on a replacement, and apologies I don't know your budget, the amps below all have arc, price ranging from £181 to £399. With the exception of SMSL, they all have streaming, don't know if that's your thing :)


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https://www.amazon.co.uk/WiiM-Amp-Multiroom-Streaming-Chromecast-Silver/dp/B0CGCLXH4H/ref=sxin_15_pa_sp_search_thematic_sspa?content-id=amzn1.sym.803e081f-6180-4d77-98c0-0c7141eb9092%3Aamzn1.sym.803e081f-6180-4d77-98c0-0c7141eb9092&crid=33MJSTZT33U6I&cv_ct_cx=ARC%2Bamplifier&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.D-zJeep_ZGGGjPJuPM0WOjMQirEHyWKJhKKbp7Q1yiWk8VoMeD2R3qzaNG1VwYmNGn2uj-ZYbhy4MnKKbCAt4A.Y-_aaXRRfF15Z_RUC9S9HjB8dNnKMmdu7IhdaOrmgrg&dib_tag=se&keywords=ARC%2Bamplifier&pd_rd_i=B0CLGMPMFN&pd_rd_r=da6968b1-5155-4eff-8f94-304682c87593&pd_rd_w=bJjxf&pd_rd_wg=efL25&pf_rd_p=803e081f-6180-4d77-98c0-0c7141eb9092&pf_rd_r=4C8CY68ZXJJ4XJHZZ0VW&qid=1718361262&s=electronics&sbo=RZvfv%2F%2FHxDF%2BO5021pAnSA%3D%3D&sprefix=arc%2Bamplifier%2Celectronics%2C112&sr=1-4-ad3222ed-9545-4dc8-8dd8-6b2cb5278509-spons&ufe=app_do%3Aamzn1.fos.4c560c31-6601-464f-a219-d10a40a4ca65&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9zZWFyY2hfdGhlbWF0aWM&th=1
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