Pioneer integrated amps compared to Pioneer receivers.

Discussion in 'Pioneer Audio' started by playittwice, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. playittwice

    playittwice Well-Known Member

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    Hello to all,

    I just completed a restore on a SA8500II. It sounds very nice, the separation and detail with added warmth is engaging. So I’m wondering how the early 70’s receivers would compare sound-wise. I’d like to expand on the Pioneer line a bit more, but was wondering if I should I look for another integrated or receiver.

    Sorry if this has been hashed over before but I didn’t find anything on this topic.

    Thank you.
     

     

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  2. playittwice

    playittwice Well-Known Member

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    631
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    After doing a bit more research on this subject, I’ve read the general consensus seems to be the integrated amps have the edge.
    What say you? Like I said earlier, I don’t have any Pioneer receivers nor have I heard any for that matter. I do know my 8500II sounds nice, so just wondering what to persue next.

    Thanks.
     
  3. nbndtrain

    nbndtrain Active Member

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    I have an SX-1010 and SA-9100 and the 1010 is far better, almost twice the WPC though.
     
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  4. charles 1973

    charles 1973 Super Member

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    It may be that Integrated amp and receiver amp boards come from the same crib, Just tweaked slightly for each application. Much the way many of GM's cars and CUV's use the same engines with a few tweaks. If that's the case, It is entirely conceivable a higher end receiver may have better SQ than their mid range Integrated amps.

    At the very least, I'm pretty sure many integrated amps and receivers of comparable power share 90% of the design. So again, The higher end receiver could out perform a lesser integrated amp.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  5. KeithD

    KeithD AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I think the issue is how the boards are arranged in the unit. I love the look of the Pioneer receivers from the "blue dial" era, but on the higher end models, there is a lot jammed in there, which can lead to issues, as well as service nightmares. I have an SA/TX-8100 pair, and there is a lot more room in each, especially the tuner unit. Very easy to work on, nothing to get really hot and slowly kill components. So, I agree receivers and integrated amps from the same era have many same/similar boards, but the overall design of placing those boards in each unit is also a factor in the overall quality of the unit.
     
  6. charles 1973

    charles 1973 Super Member

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    Even if a receiver and integrated amp share many of the same boards or design, There is more to SQ than that. KiethD has a point about stuffing components close together. Also the power supply and output devices play an important role too and may be different in the receiver and integrated amp. Please note the dual mono layout of the 8500II power supplies. That alone has some distinct advantages over sharing a transformer. And if they carefully matched the output devices, Even the same ones like some high end amps do, that also improves SQ.

    Pioneer (and others too) made some really fine sounding receivers and integrated amps back in the day. As far as SQ goes, I wouldn't say all integrated amps are noticeably better than their receiver counterparts from the same line. We would have to compare a specific receiver and integrated amp. It's more a matter of personal preference. The best option is the one you are most comfortable with.

    That said that Pioneer 8500II with it's dual mono design looks like a pretty darn nice amp to me. I have never heard it so can't say for sure, But if it is up to spec, It might hold its own with a lot of very good amps, and best a bunch more when operated under clipping. Looks like a keeper to me.
     

     

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  7. playittwice

    playittwice Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to all who shared their thoughts on this. Yes the 8500II does have a nice sound to it.

    My question is, if I was looking for another Pioneer piece, which one, amp or receiver, should I be looking for? I do realize its all subjective just like everything else, but should I seek out an earlier amp or an SX something? Read good things about the 9100.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Balifly

    Balifly Listening Subscriber

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    The Pioneer SA-8900 II is a very nice unit with 80 watt per channel.

    Because it is under 100 per channel, it is not in the desirable "monster" class and is not as highly sought after.

    It does have a very nice phono section with a pretty useful cartridge loading section.

    The 80 watts per channel are usually sufficient to drive most floor standing 3 way speaker of its day like the Yamaha NS-690 or even the KEF 104ab. :)

    https://www.hifiengine.com/manual_library/pioneer/sa-8900.shtml
    http://audio-database.com/PIONEER-EXCLUSIVE/amp/sa-8900ii-e.html
     
  9. OutlawSun

    OutlawSun Active Member

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    It's definitely worth a listen if you ever get the chance. It's a really clean sounding amp plus doesn't seem to run particularly hot. Also it's built like a tank.

    I think the best bet is to go with what's interesting to you in terms of specs and features hifiengine's database is pretty good for skimming through models and specs. Then if there's one's that stands out you can always reference opinions on it. It seems like you can't really go wrong with a lot of their late 70s work though. If I went with another piece of pioneer solid state gear I'd probably go with a SX-980 or something of its ilk always liked the black meters. What kind of speakers are you driving? Odds are I'll probably find something in the realm of tube audio at some point before then.
     
  10. KeithD

    KeithD AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I would also gravitate toward the earlier gear, at least to hear it/give it a try. Many like the "warmer" sound of the early Pioneers (me included). However, I would look for an SA-8100 rather than a 9100. The 9100 has the same physical dimensions as the 8100, but there's bigger and higher power components in there. The result is more heat. On top of that, they put the large transformer right in the middle of the unit next to the two power amp boards and the control amp board. Other's have found this leads to failures in those areas. See this thread for some comments: http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/sa-9100-vs-8100.787830/

    I had a 9100 for a brief while. It did run much hotter than the 8100 I have. The 8100 barely generates any heat, and was way cooler than the 9100 under similar conditions. The 8100 is also less sought after and generally less expensive than the 9100 because everyone goes after TOTL units. Usually the unit 1 step down in any line is just as good and much less expensive. I love the sound of my SA/TX-8100 setup.

    The SA-9100/8100 overlap with the SX-828, which was TOTL receiver in the SX-x2x series. I have one. Plays well, looks good, have not had issues, but I have not restored it. The main nightmare from a service standpoint is the control amp, which is a double sided board. I have never worked on one of those, but many have stated what a pain it is. Again, less room, so space compromises needed to be made.
     
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  11. playittwice

    playittwice Well-Known Member

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