Difference between Pioneer ELITE 47Ai and 59AVi?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by NicholasL, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. NicholasL

    NicholasL Second Unit

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    Hi all, I'm now in the market for what I will use stricly as an SACD/DVD-A player.* I will not be using it for CD playback, or DVD playback of any sort.* I was wondering who owns one of these units, and what the differences are between last year's flagship model, and this year's.

    As far as I know, the differences are mostly video.* The 59AVi has HDMI output capability.* I've heard both units employ exactly the same audio chips and DAC's, but I've also read that the 47Ai sometimes emits a "sqeaking" sound after 2 hours of use.* I've also read that the 47Ai require a burn-in period of 100 hours, whereas I've read no such thing about the 59AVi.*

    If anyone has any input, please chime in!
     
  2. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    The 59avi is simply heralded as a god by anyone that owns it. I'm considering it myself. If you have the budget, get it without hesitation.
     
  3. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Not mine, and not mine. And I have had mine for almost 2 years. [​IMG]

    The 59AVi does not use the same DACs and analog output section as the 47Ai. Both have been improved. (You might want to check on your sources for info on the 47Ai and 59AVi. Way off. The 47Ai got Product of the Year last year by Home Theater Magazine mostly due to the i.Link connectivity to appropriately designed receivers.)

    But you are correct, most of the improvements have been to the video section. Better deinterlacer (but still not as good as Faroudja or Silicon Image a la Denon, Panasonic, etc), and they have eliminated the chroma bug, finally. But the layer change delay is actually worsened slightly on the 59AVi vs the 47Ai.
     
  4. NicholasL

    NicholasL Second Unit

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    Eric - LOL, heraled as God haha, wow, must be pretty good then!

    Kevin - my mistake...I just did a product comparison on Pioneer's website, and it seemed like they featured all identical chipsets, sonically speaking. Have you listened to the 59avi before? How does it compare to your 47ai?

    And while I do understand the video section of the 59avi has been vastly improved over the 47ai, I was wondering if that was primarily the extent of upgrades? I can afford both, but since I will be using this unit ONLY for SACD and DVD-A (DVD's will still be played on my post-September 2002 Denon 3800, which I think is better in video quality than either of these units), I was extremely curious to know if there was any sonic difference between the two Pioneer Elite units?
     
  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I can only give you my impression. [​IMG] Personally, I have always liked Pioneer's analog output stages, except for the original 47a where they used Cirrus DACs. (The 47a got horrible reviews for SACD sound quality, and Pioneer relatively quickly "moved on" to the 47Ai and went back to Burr Browns, which is what they've used on their CD players for years. In the mid to late 90's, Pioneer CD players were renowned for their low jitter measurements in Stereophile.)

    I would say that if you can afford it, go for the 59AVi. There is less of an improvement in audio performance vs video, but IMO, that's because the 47Ai was already quite a competent performer.

    One other route, is to get a 47Ai and get it modified:

    www.tweakaudio.com
    www.modwright.com

    Are some relatively well known modders for Pio units.
     
  6. NicholasL

    NicholasL Second Unit

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    Very interesting! These mods are not out-of-this-world priced, but they're almost as much as the player itself! I wonder how noticeable these mods are? Afterall, I would think companies like Pioneer, Denon, Sony, and so forth invest a good amount of R&D in their higher-end products, and so for a company to simply switch out the power supply and change the audio and video circuitry...well...it seems like that's defeating the purpose of even buying that particular player in the first place? You're essentially getting a different player in the same chassis, aren't you?
     
  7. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Get the 59 if you can afford it. You'll never look back. So sayeth any and every owner that has it. [​IMG]
     
  8. NicholasL

    NicholasL Second Unit

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    I am 99.99999% ready to buy the 59AVi now. I've concluded that I might as well get the best Pioneer has to offer, and not look back. But...

    ...ONE LAST QUESTION! Just as I was about to make the purchase, I started hearing things from guys on AVS that if I'm strictly into SACD and DVD-A playback - which is solely what I'll be using this player for - that I should look into Marantz, because supposedly, they are superior. Thoughts?!?!?!
     
  9. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Negligible difference, probably none.

    Put it to you this way: You could go both ways and never look back. I think Marantz is coming out with a new universal player here pretty soon. It's really going to come down to how much you're willing to pay and wait.

    Beyond that, you really could flip a coin at this rate. [​IMG]

    EVERY Pioneer 59avi owner I have EVER, EVER run across declares that player as a god amongst men.

    DO IT! [​IMG]
     
  10. NicholasL

    NicholasL Second Unit

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    Ok I will do it! I'm just now trying to find an authorized dealer to get it from...but if their prices are too steep, I've had good experience with soundpros.com. does anybody have any contacts to authorized dealers of pioneer elite that they've had good experience with, that they would kindly like to refer me too? =)
     
  11. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    PM thebland at AVS. He'll tell everything you need to know about this unit and where to get some awesome, legit deals.
     
  12. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Marantz *does* have a better analog output section than Pioneer. But, you pay for it too. [​IMG]

    You shouldn't have to pay much more than $900 for a 59AVi if you look around.
     
  13. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    I have a modded 47Ai and provide a review here. You can save some $ by not going with the tube mods. Alternatively, you can get a used Denon 2900 and get that modded (can save $ here as well by foregoing tubes). Haven't heard it with mods, but I would guess it would beat out the 47Ai. IMO, if you're using it only for hi-rez, the best value is to buy a used player and get it modded. There are other choices and other modders.

    Doug
     
  14. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Doug- You have the 555 Sony SACD player? Is that the US carousel, or the European single disc player?
     
  15. NicholasL

    NicholasL Second Unit

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    So while I'm waiting for my new 59AVi player to arrive in the mail, who knows what the deal exactly is regarding it's upconversion capability? I know the unit doesn't have a DVI output, but only component and HDMI. However, unless you own a newer Pioneer Elite receiver (which I don't, I use a Parasound Halo C2), the only choice I have is to connect it via component cable. And correct me if I'm wrong, but that only gives me 480p right? In other words, 1080i is only possible using HDMI, which in turn is ONLY possible with the use of a Pioneer Elite receiver?

    So to put it simply, for 99% of us out there, this player only does 480p.
     
  16. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    You don't need a Pioneer receiver for HDMI, you just need a display with an HDMI input. Alternatively, if your display has a DVI input you can buy an HDMI->DVI adapter cable and still use the HDMI output of the DV-59AVi for upconverted video. You are correct about the component output though - it only does 480i/480p, albeit VERY, VERY GOOD 480p.
     
  17. Rob Kramer

    Rob Kramer Second Unit

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    Yeah, and the Onkyo SP1000 has a better analog output section than the Marantz - and its even less expensive than the Marantz.

    No i-link on the Marantz (not future proof). If you are going to drop this kind of dough, make it the last universal that you will ever have to buy.
     
  18. NicholasL

    NicholasL Second Unit

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    Doug, where might I find an HDMI -> DVD adapter that is solid quality but won't cost as much as the player itself? =)
     
  19. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    $49.95 at www.bettercables.com. You could probably save $10 or so if you hunt around, but these people make quality interconnects and have fantastic customer service. They also carry DVI->HDMI cables but ehy're significantly more expensive.
     
  20. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I don't think the Onkyo has been out long enough or reviewed by enough people (i.e., experts) for that to be stated as fact. Just because a player is more expensive or newer doesn't necessarily make it better. [​IMG]

    And... If we are comparing to the Marantz 9500, it isn't even out yet in the U.S. Plus, if the Onkyo is indeed based (again) on a Pioneer platform, personally, I'd be really surprised if its analog audio quality can compete with a Marantz player.
     

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