To buy or not to buy...(Pioneer Elite 45A)

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Drew_W, Oct 17, 2003.

  1. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Note: I've read all the 45A threads, but it seems to me that they've most all been farted on because of the 45A's (supposedly) lacklustre video performance. My requirements for this piece right now have nothing to do with video, so please, fart elsewhere.

    Okidokes. So I would like to have the ability to play SACD and DVD-Audio discs in my bedroom HT system (H/K AVR225, Energy Take 5.2). The problem I have is I can't justify spending more than twice as much as the 563 costs on the 45A. Sure it says Elite (which would match well with my 53TX when I eventually get them into the same system), and it's black which would match the rest of my components, but from what I keep hearing, it still has its fair share of problems audio wise (mainly, bass management), even if it has better DACs over the 563 (and does the 563 really have better BM than the 45A?). I don't really want to buy a 45A AND an ICBM just to correct for its shortcomings in that department. All I want to do is to enjoy my multi-channel audio...why does this seem so hard to do?

    Are there any alternatives in this price range? The 45A is actually stretching my budget after getting a whole bunch of other components, but SACD/DVD-A is something I feel I need to have. I can't really imagine this player is as bad as it's made out to be, I have 3 other Pioneer DVD players here and I love them all. Comments? Suggestions?
     
  2. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Other than BM concerns, I don't recall seeing too many negative reports on the audio performance of this player.

    I have it (if you read the threads, you know that), and I am VERY pleased with its audio performance with ALL media, including redbook. As you also will note, I do have it mated to an ICBM.

    While I have not auditioned a 563, its crossover for DVD-A is 200Hz. That, IMHO, is a fatal flaw that would prevent me from reccomending it unless you were planning to go with an ICBM, or you had a rig that were optimized for that frequency.

    FWIW, I don't think there are any other Uni players in that price range. The Denon 2200 is about $600, and I have not read any reports on its BM. If it nails it in all formats, it will be a first. Even the Denon 2900, at a grand still has some quirks.

     
  3. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    I heard from an audiophile friend who picked up a 563 just to fool around with it that it performed only average for CDs and SACD, so I was more inclined to go with the 45A. Only once I get it, I can't return it.

    How inadequate is the bass management on the 45A? Is it bad enough that it'll drive me up the wall, and force me to shell out another $250US for the ICBM?
     
  4. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Well, I tend to take any user reports of sound quality from digital sources with a grain of salt unless the test was done in a very controlled way, with perfectly matched levels, and with no other variables.

    Since the BM in virtually EVERY uni player is different, that would be a major source of differences in subjective performance.

    Unless the test was done with an external BM device, or with no BM, then it can't be considered anything buy anecdotal evidence.

    Then again, the 563 has a 200 Hz crossover for DVD-A. That for me would be a fatal flaw, and mandate an ICBM. S&V in the current issue reported some oddball noise figures as well, but its unclear if they are audible.

    OK, now that that is out of the way.....

    IIRC the BM on 45A was not as bad as it could be. The crossover is 100 Hz, but the slopes change with format. That may or may not be audible. I could not find the report for S&V, but that is what I recall (don't have the issue handy).

    The major flaws where that it does not redirect .1 bass to the mains with no sub, and does not direct bass from the mains to the sub with some 4.0 material (Chesky).

    The level from the sub channel is also low relative to the mains. I am not going to say any more about that here. Search "Low LFE", and you will find lots to read. There are workarounds for that, however, and it does affect many different players.

    Other than that, with 5.1 SACD and DVD-A, played through 5 sats and a sub, you would normally be OK.

    Its a shame you will have no option to return the 45A. Testing it in your room with your gear is the only way to know for sure if it will work for you.

    BGL
     

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