graham67

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Hi Eddie, i still have an A300R Precision for occasional back up duties and IMO its better than the A400. It was also a fair bit more exxy at £460 in 97 or so. Plenty of grunt, pace, energy and insight, but needs careful matching as the top end is very extended so works better with quality source and speakers.

the A300 precision is the amp Tom Evans used for his highly regarded full monty versions, in the process losing the MM only phono stage. this is an area I think the a400 was superior as IIRC
as

the A400 had both mm and mc .

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Hi Eddie,

hehe, neither could I afford it, they rose to over £3k for the last of line models which I heard at Definitive in 2001.

I always hankered after one, so i picked up a nice early gen model off the Wam some years ago for sensible money and although not as good as the outboard PSU full Lithos model its close enough to satisfy my now occasional Digital listening. It works very well with the A300R Precision having a smooth presentation but still times well for CD.

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47 minutes ago, graham67 said:

Hi Eddie, i still have an A300R Precision for occasional back up duties and IMO its better than the A400. It was also a fair bit more exxy at £460 in 97 or so. Plenty of grunt, pace, energy and insight, but needs careful matching as the top end is very extended so works better with quality source and speakers.

the A300 precision is the amp Tom Evans used for his highly regarded full monty versions, in the process losing the MM only phono stage. this is an area I think the a400 was superior as IIRC
as

the A400 had both mm and mc .

I never got around to owning a A300r but had plenty of experience of others using them. The A400 was something special when released, I actually had several of those, it was a bit of a go-to amplifier for me at one time just outstanding value for money. I did try a A300 (non Precision) as well (terrible I thought) and the upgrade A400X also which was just as bad. I remember my neighbour bought an A400X after hearing my A400 and we did a comparison where his lip hit the floor :D It had nowhere near the authority, and he swiftly sent it back :) I know the A300R P had a little less power than the 400 but again it had the Tom Evans touch. The guys at my local Audio Excellence at the time swore it was basically the same amp, and even though I didn't do any side by side comparisons myself, they sounded fairly similar to me with the speakers they used in the store and then when I used the same speakers at home.

I do have very fond memories of the A400, but I eventually become less besotted with its abilities after comparing it to numbers of other amps, still a fine amp though, classic status easily. The minimalism of it, grunt, clarity and yes as you say not a bad phono stage at all, it was just a great package, especially for the money. But it was quite fussy with the speakers I thought, could sound magical and also horrible very dependant on the partnering.  

Edited by eddie-baby

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happy to defer to your greater hands on experience Eddie, your description of the A400 could equally apply to the A300R Precision. As you say the A400 was and remains a classic bargain, still commonly available for less than 100 squid.

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8 minutes ago, graham67 said:

happy to defer to your greater hands on experience Eddie, your description of the A400 could equally apply to the A300R Precision. As you say the A400 was and remains a classic bargain, still commonly available for less than 100 squid.

Yeah, both great amps, the A300R was around the time of the Naim Nait 3 and I think the Pioneer was the smarter buy. You got to love Pioneer though for what they were putting out to the audio crowd. They dont seem to have that now, but I have lost touch with a lot of the newer equipment. I did try to reignite the fire once after reading some rave reviews about their air studios range, think I had the CD and Amp, definitely was the amp anyway (my memory fails me, there's been so many :D ), but sadly they  didnt last long with me :)

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On 31/12/2018 at 21:55, TheFlash said:

There are pretty big differences between some models, and "higher up" versions including:

PIONEER PD-S601
PIONEER PD-S602
PIONEER PD-S603
PIONEER PD-S604
PIONEER PD-S605
PIONEER PD-S701
PIONEER PD-S702
PIONEER PD-S703

...are actually inferior to the PD-S505. It's the suffix number (05) which is more of an indicator. In fact, not even the PD-S605 has a dedicated SPDIF output board

Untrue, because these players (PD-S6xx-7xx) are DAC PD2026 and PD2029. This is an entry-level DAC. PD2026 - 1 bit, cheap, the sound is not so hot. PD2029 - 1 bit, cheap 1 bit with built-in Legato Link. Good models start with PD-S8xx and PD-S9xx series, there are DAC PD2028 - 1 bit, the best of Pioneer, without built-in Legato Link. And of course your PIONEER PD-91 is even better, many times better, it is PCM65 - one of the best, expensive and rare multi-bit, with parallel input.

The best DAC that stood in Pioneer is PCM 63 and PCM 65.

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11 minutes ago, Tim_ said:

Untrue, because these players (PD-S6xx-7xx) are DAC PD2026 and PD2029. This is an entry-level DAC. PD2026 - 1 bit, cheap, the sound is not so hot. PD2029 - 1 bit, cheap 1 bit with built-in Legato Link. Good models start with PD-S8xx and PD-S9xx series, there are DAC PD2028 - 1 bit, the best of Pioneer, without built-in Legato Link. And of course your PIONEER PD-91 is even better, many times better, it is PCM65 - one of the best, expensive and rare multi-bit, with parallel input.

The best DAC that stood in Pioneer is PCM 63 and PCM 65.

Thanks for that, it's interesting. I thought the PD91 was a storming CD player myself when I owned one. Very un digital like (which I very much like, and quite a rare phenomenon unless you spend big money in general). I'm not sure Nigel (Flash) was so keen on it though, and I think he even favoured his Arcam player with ring DAC over it. Whether that might have been an age-related thing though I'm not sure, I know capacitors etc do wear with time, and where in the world are you supposed to get something like the PD91 properly serviced? Anyway, I remember it as being one amazing CD player when I owned it. I practically don't even use CD anymore so CDs are starting to become a bit of a thing of the past for me and I don't think I would ever take on another even, I'll always make room for fancy DACs though :D

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19 minutes ago, eddie-baby said:

Thanks for that, it's interesting. I thought the PD91 was a storming CD player myself when I owned one. Very un digital like (which I very much like, and quite a rare phenomenon unless you spend big money in general). I'm not sure Nigel (Flash) was so keen on it though, and I think he even favoured his Arcam player with ring DAC over it. Whether that might have been an age-related thing though I'm not sure, I know capacitors etc do wear with time, and where in the world are you supposed to get something like the PD91 properly serviced? Anyway, I remember it as being one amazing CD player when I owned it. I practically don't even use CD anymore so CDs are starting to become a bit of a thing of the past for me and I don't think I would ever take on another even, I'll always make room for fancy DACs though :D

The best pioneer PD-91 was only the pioneer PD-93, it installed a PCM63 20 bit DAC, one of the Best existing audio in the world. Such a DAC were placed in the best model for CD players, for example, ACCUPHASE DC-91, AV SC2000MC, balanced audio tech. VK-D5, COPLAND CDA 289.

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1 minute ago, Tim_ said:

The best pioneer PD-91 was only the pioneer PD-93, it installed a PCM63 20 bit DAC, one of the Best existing audio in the world. Such a DAC were placed in the best model for CD players, for example, ACCUPHASE DC-91, AV SC2000MC, balanced audio tech. VK-D5, COPLAND CDA 289.

Never heard one but it was an amazing piece of hi-fi gear that. Sadly these CD players are getting old now and with the moving parts I think they are just too risky an investment. Still, think about the sound I used to get from my PD91 though and it must have been gone at least 20 years ago now, it was the velvety organic midrange (among other things) that I used to find spellbinding. I got other DACs now which do other things well but I just loved my time with the PD91.  

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Just now, Tim_ said:

Here's my humble Pioneer

IMG_20190527_105312.thumb.jpg.e365f730e41d2bca05cf24d886cddb19.jpgIMG_20190527_105318.thumb.jpg.aee2414874730b078409ad3850b5a97a.jpg

Nice set up!

I had one of those CD players. And I had one of those equalisers, and I had one of those tape decks :D

The equalisers were pretty cool actually as you could digitally store settings and switch between them. better than the old slider methods.

I recently got rid of a full size eq (not pioneer) as I find with everything going streaming or file based as I am here, I can just do it digitally anyway.  

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7 minutes ago, eddie-baby said:

Never heard one but it was an amazing piece of hi-fi gear that. Sadly these CD players are getting old now and with the moving parts I think they are just too risky an investment. Still, think about the sound I used to get from my PD91 though and it must have been gone at least 20 years ago now, it was the velvety organic midrange (among other things) that I used to find spellbinding. I got other DACs now which do other things well but I just loved my time with the PD91.  

Of course PD91 is great, even look very nice. Even 20 years ago, it was worth serious money, and now even more. In principle CD players Pioneer have a very high reliability with Stable Platter and Magnetic Stable Platter .

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6 minutes ago, eddie-baby said:

Nice set up!

I had one of those CD players. And I had one of those equalisers, and I had one of those tape decks :D

The equalisers were pretty cool actually as you could digitally store settings and switch between them. better than the old slider methods.

I recently got rid of a full size eq (not pioneer) as I find with everything going streaming or file based as I am here, I can just do it digitally anyway.  

And conversely, I love equalizers. In another rack, I have the first Pioneer EQ with a spectrum analyzer.147706317334467341.jpg.9fdb7839cd295def73b175a10079b0e6.jpg147706319456929429.jpg.2f5d7dfb5e850a26bdacc35cd3192f6a.jpg

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26 minutes ago, Tim_ said:

Of course PD91 is great, even look very nice. Even 20 years ago, it was worth serious money, and now even more. In principle CD players Pioneer have a very high reliability with Stable Platter and Magnetic Stable Platter .

Still moving parts, best to have none :) 

20 minutes ago, Tim_ said:

And conversely, I love equalizers. In another rack, I have the first Pioneer EQ with a spectrum analyzer.

I used to like equalisers as well, but when it can be done at the source its one box less to worry about and I do like minimalism :)

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