This amplifier's brother, the A-A6-J, scored the overall 5 stars once we examined it in March 2008. The A-A9-J, although, finds itself plunged into the thick of essentially the most competitive price-point for two-channel amplifiers.
In other phrases, there are some remarkable amps round at this cash, all ready to boss round the ones new products that enter the fray with ideas above their station.
The Pioneer no less than has the showroom bases coated. Like its more cost-effective sibling, it is eye-catchingly curvy – no rival can touch its visual drama. The specification is on the money, combining a USB enter with a shifting magnet/shifting coil phono stage.
The fascia is attractively uncluttered, too: purposes comparable to tone controls are handled by the cheap-feeling and even cheaper-looking remote regulate.
As seems compulsory with Pioneer amplification, the A9 is an assertive concentrate, especially the place the upper frequencies are involved.
Broad soudstage but lacking substance
Play Elvis Costello's Couldn't Call It Unexpected and the Pioneer presents a quick, attacking sound on a wide soundstage. It keeps a prepared eye on fine details, and renders Costello's vibrato well.
Despite the extensive soundstage, even though, the Pioneer sounds just a little congested – it can not center of attention musical strands as successfully as some.
There's also a lack of frame and dynamic substance here, that means track doesn't elevate the mass or momentum that the most productive opponents can offer.
Like we are saying, this charge level is a minefield – and we can't lend a hand considering Pioneer has bitten off reasonably more than it will probably chunk.