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407958 VSA-AX10i-EN 210
VSA-AX10i-S Multi-Channel Stereophonic Amplifier
The evolution of a sound revolution.
In 2001 Pioneer introduced the VSA-AX10, a new reference standard amplifier for high fidelity sound reproduction in the home. Since its launch it has won awards and accolades from audio experts all over the world who regard it to be the finest amplifier in its class. Designed for connoisseurs who desire the very best in stereo and multi-channel music replay, together with reference-class decoding of both todays and tomorrows movie soundtrack formats, the VSA-AX10 was designed from the ground up to be a true reference standard for all audio and audio/video system applications. Pioneers most experienced audio amplifier designers teamed up with engineering experts in sound recording at Londons famous AIR Studios to design an amplifier that was worthy of the task of studio reference monitoring. State-of-the-art digital signal processors were employed for decoding of future 96/24 DTS-encoded movie soundtracks and the VSA-AX10 was the first amplifier in the world to receive THX Ultra2 certification. The very latest incarnation of the AX10 is the new VSA-AX10i-S, featuring Pioneers revolutionary Advanced Resolution Digital Audio Interface. IEEE1394 alternatively known as i.LINK or FireWire is the new industry standard interface for the secure digital transmission of high-resolution audio from DVD-Audio and SACD sources. Pioneers state-of-the-art universal DVD player features an i.LINK output, while the VSA-AX10i-S now includes a matching i.LINK input for unprecedented fidelity when playing the latest music releases on DVD-Audio and SACD. With sufficient power delivery and transparency to preserve the enormous dynamic range and pure clarity of todays higher resolution digital recordings, the VSA-AX10i-S includes 7.1-channel line inputs and outputs for all requirements. Under the bonnet are 7 channels of power amplification for THX Surround EX and DTS Extended Surround A/V systems. And for high-end 5.1-channel systems the VSA-AX10i-Ss seven power amplifiers can be configured for bi-amping a systems main front left and right channels. At Pioneer we describe it as a multi-channel stereophonic amplifier. At AIR Studios they call it their monitor reference. In your home youll hear your favourite stereo and multi-channel recordings as the professionals heard it at the mixing desk. The VSA-AX10i-S amplifier will be your monitor reference standard.
Advanced Multi-Channel Stereophonic Philosophy
Why cant home listening be just like sitting at the recording engineers mixing desk? This is the question that Pioneers Advanced Multi-Channel Stereophonic Philosophy answers. Designed to reproduce music and film soundtracks as close to the original master recording as possible, this concept truly focuses on recreating the natural sound and spine-tingling passion of the original performance. To transform your home system into a professional sound studio, Pioneer adapted three basic professional recording principles to the VSA-AX10i-S design process. First of all, premium-quality sound requires the choicest parts, like state-of-the-art Burr Brown converters, Sharc processors and i.LINK, for high-quality digital audio transmission. Secondly, reproducing precisely accurate sound means acoustically calibrating all equipment to create a studio-quality listening environment suited to each living room. To achieve these fine sound field adjustments Pioneer created an easy-to-use automatic Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration system. Its Reference Calibration Disc makes even the subtlest adjustments precise and simple. Thirdly, the aim is to reproduce the art in sound. To do this, Pioneer partnered with the worlds most experienced sound engineers from AIR Studios in London. Their expertise along with meeting the demanding requirements of THX Ultra2 and reproduction of the latest surround formats substantially contributed to the fact that this revolutionary multi-channel stereophonic amplifier can reproduce emotional and passionate sound precisely as the original artist intended. A concert at home has never been so spectacular.
Highest Quality Equipment
The use of the highest quality parts, superior design construction and i.LINK digital audio data transmission ensure the ultimate sound quality.
Precise Sound Reproduction
Pioneer MCACC automatically calibrates the sound to create perfect audio for your living room, just like in the recording studio. New software enables even more precise calibration.
AIR Studios has collaborated on this concept to provide professional sound tuning techniques. Additionally, THX Ultra2 certification and the latest surround formats let the artistic qualities of the sound shine through.
Exclusive professional-level equipment for perfect sound
The physiology of the human ear hasnt changed. Yet amazingly enough, Pioneer has been able to improve audio technology so that we are truly tuned in to the very soul of music. The Pioneer VSA-AX10i-S is an engineering breakthrough, reproducing unquestionable quality stereo and multi-channel sound at home. It begins with the intelligent use of hardware: from the deployment of the industrial interface standard i.LINK for high-quality digital audio transfer to the spare-no-cost and leave nothing unturned mentality of utilising the best possible parts and materials available in the world. As an extra touch, the engineers also increased the quality of the speaker terminals for improved audio transmission. With this attention to detail, the VSA-AX10i-S clearly was designed on the drawing board of sound perfection making it a true reference standard for audiophiles and A/V enthusiasts alike.
Digital-to-digital transmission technology for unprecedented fidelity
Clearly high-resolution sounds (multi-channel and 2-channel) from DVD-Audio and SACD have enhanced the realism of listening to music at home. But some of the fine details are lost in the digital-to-analogue conversion and subsequent analogue transfer from the player to the amplifier, where possibly an additional analogue-to-digital conversion is performed for extended digital signal processing. Now, the VSA-AX10i-S includes the very latest i.LINK* interface, the new industry standard for digital-to-digital audio transmission. Paired with a specialised Mercury chipset co-developed with Texas Instruments Inc., i.LINK supports device-to-device digital audio data transfers including operational commands. With pure digital transfer without data loss you will hear information from recordings as never before. Simply stated, this advanced digital audio processing translates into one digital cable instead of multiple analogue cables. A superb match to Pioneers philosophy, VSA-AX10i-S with i.LINK can be connected to an i.LINK-equipped component, for example a DVD-Audio/Video/SACD player, to handle multi-channel DVD-Audio and SACD discs, not to mention digital audio from DVD-Video and CD, in all compressed and uncompressed formats for the first time in the entire history of hi-fi. Thanks to Pioneers Advanced Resolution Digital Audio Interface, jitter is suppressed to further increase audio quality**. With the simplicity of i.LINK connectivity, high-resolution audio recordings will deliver a level of sound quality previously unattainable.
* The i.LINK interface is also known as IEEE1394 or FireWire. FireWire is a trademark. i.LINK and the i.LINK logo are trademarks of Sony Corporation. ** When connected to a DVD player with the Advanced Resolution Digital Audio Interface. For DVD-Audio, audio CD and SACD only.
For maximum preservation of digital data with the utmost quality, connect the VSA-AX10i-S with the i.LINK-equipped Pioneer DV-757Ai DVD-Audio/Video/SACD player.
Professional-quality 32-Bit Digital Signal Processing
The VSA-AX10i-S uses 32-bit Sharc and 24-bit double precision equivalent to 48-bit Motorola DSP engines, such as those found in pro audio equipment. These devices process the data with extreme precision, enhancing multi-channel sound decoding and processing.
Ideal DVD Audio Converter
Pioneer has mounted highly accurate 96 kHz/24-bit A/D converters on all eight channels individually to precisely reproduce DVD-Audio and SACD sound sources when using players with 6-channel analogue outputs. For two-channel analogue sources, four A/D converters are used for each channel. This ensures truly superb 2-channel stereo reproduction for the very best high fidelity performance. Of course, directly routeing the analogue input to the power amplifier is equally possible.
Innovative Frame Design Concept For Superior Support
This revolutionary chassis design fixes all parts to a 3-D frame instead of the weaker 2-D frame. So the unit has the strength to support the 10 kg transformer, as well as allow optimum functionality of each part. In addition, the chassis is copper-plated to suppress signal interference between circuits and reduce impedance.
Concentrated Direct Construction Design
To minimise signal interference, each circuit is separated allowing a more direct signal route. This concentrated direct construction works simultaneously with the 3-D space frame to create an extremely pure signal transmission with an open and fresh sound.
3-D space frame construction
Easy Connection And Simple Conversion
With this flexible video converter feature, hooking up video components is foolproof. There is no need to connect every terminal to the amplifier because it converts the input video signal to all available video output terminals (except component to S-Video or composite video). With a selection of connection options you can easily set up the configuration for your home installation. Important for high-end systems, composite and S-Video input sources can be output at component video level for maximum transfer quality to plasma monitors or projectors.
Direct construction: 1) Power supply 2) Video block 3) Amplifier 4) i.LINK block 5) Audio block 6) DSP block 7) D/A converter
More Realistic Movie And Music Experience
Pioneers exclusive DSP technology lets you experience movies and music like never before with two customised DSP modes: Advanced Cinema and Advanced Concert. Advanced Cinema enhances movie soundtracks and other audio/visual sources. You can experiment with the six modes to create six different types of acoustic environments. Advanced Concert lets you transform your living room into a variety of virtual sonic environments when you play two-channel or multi-channel sources.
High-end 192 kHz/24-bit D/A Converters For Solid Sound
Exclusive for Pioneer, specially chosen top-of-the-line Burr Brown 192 kHz/24-bit digital-to-analogue converters drive each of the eight channels independently. Sound is accurately reproduced, true to the original signal, with a remarkable signal-to-noise ratio. These are the best multi-bit type D/A converters for high-resolution, strong and stable sound, with a perfect signal from input to output.
Solid High Performance Audio
One of the secrets to this amplifier is Pioneers exclusive Advanced Direct Energy MOSFET. This highly advanced piece of circuitry produces an amazingly efficient, high-end sound quality with an impressive 170 watts (DIN) of equally amplified power for each channel and improved linearity to ensure consistent sound quality for multi-channel applications. To achieve this, the internal sound stage must remain as smooth and stable as possible. That is why the MOSFET is designed with heat compensation circuitry in the power chip with an AC/DC isolated amplifier module to minimise power imbalances that can cause distortion in the sound stage.
Burr Brown PCM1704 DAC
Advanced Direct Energy MOSFET
Efficient Heat Radiation and Low Resonance
Since this amplifier incorporates 7-channel, high power units, it generates a huge amount of energy. The chimney-shaped heat sink helps release the excess heat from the power elements. The design is also far less resonant than traditionally shaped heat sinks.
Precise Sound Imaging
To balance both electrical and physical elements between the 7 channels for the most precise sound stage reproduction, Pioneer designed each power amplifier on each side of the heat sink in order. This symmetrical power train creates a uniform sound field for all channels.
Chimney-shaped large heat sink
Stable Power Output
Amplifier with symmetrical power train design
To reproduce the latest wide range audio formats and rapidly changing sound levels, your amplifier needs a solid and stable power supply source. Therefore, Pioneer designed a state-of-the-art transformer, weighing in at 10 kg. This transformer is uniquely designed to suppress internal energy loss and prevent magnetic leakage as well as eliminate vibration during sound reproduction.
Highly Responsive And Clean Power
VSA-AX10i-S uses two 33,000F large capacity condensers, exclusively for audio, for extra stability and instant response to large power swings. The low loss thick copper bus-bar ensures clean and smooth power transmission at all times.
Large power supply transformer
The Ultimate S/N Ratio For DVD-Audio
For this amplifier, Pioneer aimed for a 110 dB S/N ratio to faithfully reproduce the latest wide range audio formats. This was achieved via Pioneers volume control circuitry design Precision Gain Management Volume. This feature checks the gain in each amplification stage and selects the best combination of gain in each stage. For example, at regular volume level the gain for the variable amplifier stage is kept as low as possible; when the volume increases or decreases, the variable amplifier stage adjusts the signal as required. This fine management of volume ensures the best possible signal-to-noise ratio at all monitoring levels.
Large electrolytic capacitor
High-Quality Audiophile Speaker Terminals
Another example of improved material choice is the heavy-duty rigid speaker terminals for stable connection. Not only does this mean an easier connection when installing your system, it will also provide a higher and more precise signal transfer when using best quality heavy-gauge speaker cables.
Larger size speaker terminals
Calibrate your system for accurate studio monitoring
The Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration system is an extremely sophisticated, yet amazingly easy way to achieve truly accurate sound replay in your room, regardless of size, design and physical structure. Easy because everything is done automatically. Using a calibration microphone, it precisely measures the characteristics of your room and then adjusts sound reproduction to the correct parameters suited to your listening environment. A new feature has been added for the VSA-AX10i-S, the Reference Calibration Disc. It brings the advantage of even more precise sound measurement, for an even higher level of fine-tuned audio. What you get is professional studio-quality sound personalised for your home. In other words, high fidelity music reproduction heard exactly the way the recording engineers intended.
MULTI-CHANNEL ACOUSTIC CALIBRATION SYSTEM
The Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration system (MCACC) is an automatic sound field adjustment system created by Pioneer experts in co-operation with AIR Studios professional sound engineers. MCACC works just like a professional sound stage right in your living room, but on a smaller scale. The beauty of this automatic adjustment system is that you are able to fine-tune your home system just like a sound professional, but with minimum effort. Using a microphone (included) that plugs into the amplifier, the MCACC system monitors your sound environment and measures the acoustics in the room. It then automatically adjusts various sound parameters on each channel to neutralise characteristics that tarnish the original sound. Thats it professional studio-quality sound truly tailored to your living room.
MCACC on-screen display
Automatic Surround Set-up
It has never been easier to set up your system, and at the same time, recreate the perfect listening environment. MCACC works by using the included microphone and a series of test tones to measure room acoustics. To start, the microphone checks and tests ambient noise and speaker levels. The system automatically confirms speaker presence and type/size of speaker, and creates a sound stage by equalising the distances between speakers relative to the listener, neutralising differences in sound pressure level, and compensating for timbre variations. Following this surround analysis, the MCACC checks and adjusts the speaker distance (channel delay) and channel level. These settings will be at the optimum levels for your room, for the utmost in high-quality surround sound, to create a truly three-dimensional sound field. If preferred, The speakers distance and tone are not uniform individual settings may also be manually adjusted. before the adjustment. The microphone then
determines size and number of speakers, distance from the listener to the speakers, and timbre and tone of speakers. After the adjustment the system is automatically equalised.
AUTOMATIC MUTUAL DISTANCE ADJUSTMENT
Automatic Frequency Response
Next, the system automatically calculates the frequency balance, essentially equalising the speakers for your room. The amplifier emits a series of timing pulses and frequency sweeps that are read by the microphone and sent to a 9-band digital equaliser for final calibration of up to seven channels. There are two automatic settings that can be selected depending on your needs: All Channel and Front Align. In All Channel mode (flat curve), each speaker is set individually. This setting more closely represents the source material. The Front Align mode (front speaker curve) adjusts all speakers to match in timbre as closely as possible with the main front left and right speakers. You can also manually set each speakers frequency balance and memorise it into two user memories Custom 1 and Custom 2. Now you can keep the original automatic EQ and easily compare it with your own preference.
AUTOMATIC TONE ADJUSTMENT EFFECT OF MULTI-CHANNEL ACOUSTIC CALIBRATION EQ
All Channel Mode Front Left Channel Example Before Calibration Before Calibration
100 (dB) 100 (dB)
Front Align Mode Surround Channel Example
100 1k 20 k
1k 20 k
Adjusts surround channel to front channel characteristics Each channels frequency characteristics are adjusted for the actual listening environment (9 levels). All Channel mode flattens each divided range for all channels; Front Align mode synchronises other channels to the front speakers characteristics.
Adjusts high range of front channel
The VSA-AX10i-S features a new tool to calibrate the speakers physical position even more precisely a Reference Calibration Disc (included with the amplifier). This special DVD-Video disc contains two types of signals in DTS format: one for fine speaker distance adjustment and one for fine speaker angle adjustment. With fine speaker distance adjustment, you can set all your speakers distance to an accuracy of less than 1 cm by moving the speakers in turn so that the test tones emanate from precisely between them. The fine speaker angle adjustment uses a voice moving around the listening position in 30-degree steps like the hours on a clock face so the speaker angle can be adjusted to the ideal direction that the sound designer aimed for (ITU-R speaker setting standard used for multichannel music monitoring). These two adjustments work perfectly with MCACC to present the best possible sound stage in your home.
Fine Distance Control
Fine Angle Control
407958 VSA-AX10i-EN 207
170 W x 7 DIN
VSA-AX10i-S Rear Panel Connections
VSA-AX10i-S Open Front Panel
VSA-AX10i-S Reference Calibration Disc
VSA-AX10i-S Set-up Microphone
VSA-AX10i-S LCD Touch Panel Remote Control
407958 VSA-AX10i-EN 204 11-12-2002 13:55 Page 2
VSA-AX10i-S Features and Specifications
Stereo (DIN) Surround (DIN) Front Centre Rear (Surround) Surround Back 170 W + 170 W (1 kHz, 1 % THD, 6 ) 170 W + 170 W (1 kHz, 1 % THD, 6 ) 170 W (1 kHz, 1 % THD, 6 ) 170 W + 170 W (1 kHz, 1 % THD, 6 ) 170 W + 170 W (1 kHz, 1 % THD, 6 ) (ULTRA2) Concentrated Direct Construction Double Layer Chassis Trans Stabiliser 33,000 F x 2 (A.D.E.MOSFET) Sound Delay Custom Installer Ready (RS-232C) 200 msec/5 msec step 2 7.1 ch 8 (assign) (includes Front in) 2 5A/7AV 2A/3AV + 2V 7/4 (includes Front in) 3/1 (assign) All (7.1 ch) FL/FR (In/Out) Versatile Speaker Configuration (High-grade) 150 W + 150 W (6 ) 130 W + 130 W (8 ) 4.7 mV/47 k 382 mV/47 k 20 20,000 Hz +/- 0.3 dB 5 100,000 Hz +0 dB, -3 dB
i.LINK Multi-Channel Input RF Input for Dolby Digital (Demodulator) Digital Input Coaxial Optical Digital Output (Optical) Audio/Video Inputs Audio/Video Output Phono Input S-Video Input/Output Component Input/Output Preamp Output Power Amp Input A/V Input on Front SR (System Remote) Terminal Speaker A/B Large Speaker Terminals
Accurate Imaging System Large Electrolytic Capacitor Thick Copper Bus-Bar Discrete Output (all channels) Front L & R Bi-Amplifier Function
MULTI-CHANNEL ACOUSTIC CALIBRATION SYSTEM (MCACC)
MCACC Acoustic Calibration EQ EQ User Memory Auto Surround Set-Up Trim Delay Speaker System Reference Calibration Disc (with MIC) 9-band (Auto/Manual) 2 Sharc 32-bit x 2, Motorola 24-bit double precision equivalent to 48-bit +/- 6 dB (100 Hz/10 kHz) LCD Touch Panel Preset & Learning LCD Backlight 4 steps
Dolby Digital Dolby Digital EX /THX Surround EX DTS DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 DTS-ES Matrix 6.1 DTS-Neo:6 Cinema DTS-Neo:6 Music DTS 96/24 Dolby Pro Logic Dolby Pro Logic II Movie Dolby Pro Logic II Music THX THX Cinema THX Ultra2 Cinema THX MusicMode MPEG BC
Advanced Resolution Digital Audio Interface DSP (Digital Signal Processor)
Rated Power Output (20 Hz 20 kHz, 0.09 % THD) Input (Sensitivity/Impedance) PHONO (MM) Line (DVD, CD, etc) Frequency Response PHONO (MM) Line (DVD, CD, etc) Signal-to-Noise Ratio (DIN; continuous rated power output/50 mW) PHONO (MM) Line
PIONEER ORIGINAL SURROUND MODE
Advanced Cinema ACTION MUSICAL DRAMA SCI-FI MONOFILM 5-D/7-D THEATER Advanced Concert CLASSICAL CHAMBER JAZZ ROCK DANCE 5-/6-/7-CHANNEL STEREO
192 kHz/24-bit D/A Converter 96 kHz/24-bit A/D Converter (multi-channel) Flexible A/D Converter System (2-channel) Audio Scaler (Hi-Bit/Hi-Sampling) Precision Gain Management (PGM) Volume Control Analogue Downmixing for Centre Channel DNR (Digital Noise Reduction) Midnight Listening Mode Source Direct Bass/Treble Tone Controls Loudness
Video Signal Selector Video Converter
70/68 dB 93/73 dB 1 V p-p/Hz 40 MHz +0 dB, -3 dB AC V 50/60 Hz 660 W 0.65 W 440 x 203 x 476 mm 29.8 kg
On-Screen Display (GUI) Remote Control Multi-Operation System (Macro) Remote Control Illumination DVD Control Satellite Tuner Control MCD Control DTV Control Function Rename FL Dimmer
Frequency Response (720p compatible)
Power Requirements Power Consumption Power Consumption in standby mode Dimensions (W x H x D) Weight
3-D Space Frame Construction Symmetrical Power Train Design Copper-Plated Chassis
The VSA-AX10, precursor to the VSA-AX10i-S, was clearly an all-around favourite with industry trendsetters as proven by the numerous prestigious awards and sensational trade press reviews. Heres a brief taste of what audio experts said about the VSA-AX10, considered to be the finest amplifier in its class.
The VSA-AX10 is worthy of the best integrated AV amp in the world tag. What Hi-Fi? Sound & Vision, September 2002 The European Imaging and Sound Association has recognised Pioneer Europe NVs development of home cinema technology by honouring Pioneer with the European Home Theater Innovation of the Year EISA Award for its flagship AV amplifier, the VSA-AX10. VSA-AX10 recreates professional quality studio sound in the home. EISA credited Best AV Amplifier by Home Cinema Choice Magazine in their annual Awards ceremony for the best products currently available. Every so often in this business something amazing comes along that just blows you off your feet. Home Cinema Choice, April 2002
The enhanced VSA-AX10i-S is certain to dazzle the critics once again, as shown below in the first review of this new model.
Pioneer by name, Pioneer by nature. Pioneer's use of an encrypted digital connection for all formats is a tremendous step forward. Hi-Fi News, December 2002
407958 VSA-AX10i-EN 204 11-12-2002 13:53 Page 1
Art, emotion and professional expertise working in concert
The final step to high fidelity reproduction according to Pioneers Advanced Multi-Channel Stereophonic Philosophy is reproducing the art in sound. Here, the role of professional expertise really comes into play and Pioneer pulls it all together with a two-sided approach: a finely-tuned product design with professional sound studio input thanks to AIR Studios, and a plethora of Pioneer experience and knowledge regarding surround sound formats and technology. When creating the VSA-AX10i-S, Pioneer consulted one of the worlds leading recording studios for advice on replicating a sound studio situation at home for sound reproduction with the same passion and emotion as the original artist intended. And since Pioneer is always a step ahead, you can be sure that this THX Ultra2-certified amplifier is packed with the latest sound format technology including Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS 96/24 as well as THX Surround EX, Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES and DTS.
THE SOUND STUDIO BEHIND YOUR SOUND EXPERIENCE
Some of the most talented sound engineers from one of the worlds leading recording studios, AIR Studios in London, contributed an unquestionable amount of expertise to this revolutionary multichannel stereophonic amplifier. AIR Studios rsum is impressive. The founder is Sir George Martin, the legendary Beatles producer and an Academy Award-nominated composer. Established in 1969, AIR Studios is now a state-of-the-art recording complex with matchless facilities for film scoring, rock, pop, classical and orchestral work, post-production and live events. Many popular and renowned musical talents, like Madonna, Paul McCartney, Mark Knopfler, Elton John, Robbie Williams and Coldplay have worked in this unique and inspirational recording environment. It has also served as the soundstage for movies such as Harry Potter, Fantasia, Gladiator, Lord of the Rings and David Arnolds scores for contemporary James Bond blockbusters.
AIR Studios control room
THX ULTRA2 PROCESSING AND CERTIFICATION
What THX Ultra2 means for you is that youll enjoy exciting eight-channel playback performances from any multi-channel programme over the widest possible seating area. With THX Ultra2 certification, the VSA-AX10i-S clearly sets the pace for the next generation. Whereas original THX Ultra was intended for Dolby Pro Logic sources, THX Ultra2 is entirely adapted to recent high-quality digital formats such as DTS and Dolby Digital. A true breakthrough in home entertainment technology, THX Ultra2 ensures optimal multi-channel music and film pleasure. In addition to THX Cinema and THX Surround EX, THX Ultra2 technology includes two new modes featuring THX ASA (Advanced Speaker Array). THX Ultra2 Cinema allows non-Surround EX-encoded, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 material to be played on a seven-speaker configuration. For music playback, THX MusicMode can handle all types of music formats, whether it is 5.1encoded music or high-resolution DVD-Audio and SACD multi-channel music recordings.
FL C FR
Surround EX was created by both Dolby Laboratories and Lucasfilm Productions for Star Wars Episode 1. The idea was to create a new channel for the rear of the cinema auditorium with the same matrix technology of Dolby Pro Logic. The technology was first introduced to the cinemas and soon after adapted to home application. Surround EX is compatible with existing Dolby Digital 5.1 so that a Dolby Digital decoder can decode signals of Surround EX as normal 5.1 signals.
FL FC FR
DTS NEO:6 SURROUND
This mode applies conventional 2-channel signals to the high precision digital matrix decoder used for DTS-ES Matrix 6.1 to achieve 6.1-channel surround playback. High precision input signal detection and matrix processing enable full band reproduction (frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz or greater) for all 6.1 channels, and separation between the different channels is improved to the same level as that of a digital discrete system.
DTS Extended Surround, better known as DTS-ES, has developed another home format in addition to DTS-ES Matrix 6.1 DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 for true 3-dimensional surround sound. This format takes advantage of the larger DTS bandwidth to create a subtle centre back channel that restores the original cinematic left surround and right surround channels independently. Moreover, each channel is encoded and decoded individually, enhancing channel separation. The VSA-AX10i-S features a DTS-ES decoder that will allow you to play back discrete 6.1-channel content from DVDs. You will also welcome full compatibility with any DTS-ES or 5.1-channel recording.
DTS 96/24 DECODING
Heir to the VSA-AX10s world-first 96 kHz/24-bit decoder, the VSA-AX10i-S reproduces high-quality sound, exactly as recorded on 96 kHz, 24-bit master tapes in the studio. The latest audio format by DTS the multi-platform DTS 96/24 was the first compressed surround format technology to support 96 kHz and 24-bit sound resolution and multi-channel capabilities. With its super low audio compression rate, all your discs with DTS-encoded audio soundtracks will sound rich and sophisticated. Backwards compatible with existing DTS decoders, youll also be able to enjoy traditional DTS discs.
Forget yesterdays limits, this is tomorrows technology, Pioneer style. So surround yourself with Pioneer at work or play. Youll come alive. We promise.
In-Car AV Enter tainment
TA D P r o f e s s i o n a l Speakers
The excitements all there and more @ Drop by soon!
GREAT BRITAIN: PIONEER GB Limited, Pioneer House, Hollybush Hill, Stoke Poges, Slough, Buckinghamshire SL2 4QP. Tel.: +44 (0)789
SWEDEN: PIONEER SCANDINAVIA AB, Nyckelvgen 2, S-Trngsund. Tel.: +46 (0)Fax: +46 (0)10 15
DENMARK: PIONEER DANMARK A/S, Helgeshj All 26, DK-2630 Tstrup. Tlf.: +00 Fax: +01
NORWAY: PIONEER NORGE AS, Sinsenveien 53A, N-0585 Oslo, Postboks 353 kern, N-0513 Oslo. Tlf.: +47 (0)Fax: +47 (0)30 01
Dolby, the double-D symbol, Pro Logic, Surround EX and Dolby Digital are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories. DTS, DTS-ES Extended Surround, Neo:6 and DTS Digital Surround are registered trademarks of Digital Theater Systems, Inc. Lucasfilm and THX are registered trademarks of Lucasfilm Ltd. The i.LINK interface is also known as IEEE1394 or FireWire. FireWire is a trademark. i.LINK and the i.LINK logo are trademarks of Sony Corporation. SACD and Super Audio CD are trademarks of Sony Corporation. Recording equipment and copyright: Recording equipment should be used only for lawful copying, and you are advised to check carefully what is lawful copying in the country in which you are making a copy. Copy of copyright material such as films or music is unlawful unless permitted by a legal exception or consented to by the rightowners.
PIONEER EUROPE N.V. Haven 1087, Keetberglaan 1, B-9120 Melsele Tel. + 32 (0)Copyright 2003 by Pioneer Europe N.V. All rights reserved.
Your local Pioneer dealer
Features and specifications of the products described or illustrated in this catalogue are correct at the time of printing but could change as production changes might occur. This catalogue may contain typographical errors and the colours of the depicted products may deviate slightly from reality. Consult your Pioneer dealer to ensure that actual features and specifications match your requirements. This catalogue may contain references to products that may or will not be available in your country.
02-A-AX10i-CONS-EN Printed in Belgium.
As a part of Pioneers commitment to a cleaner environment and the protection of the earth, this catalogue has been printed on chlorine-free paper.
038 EHC 19 Pioneer VSA-AX10Ai-S
Pioneer has upgraded its powerhouse flagship amp Simon Croker revels in the improvements
ORGET THE S SUFFIX, WHICH JUST MEANS IT HAS A
silver finish. What makes this amplifier special is the Ai bit not forgetting the VSA-AX10 at the beginning. If you know your home cinema amplifiers, youll know already that the Pioneer VSAAX10 was introduced about three years ago, and that it is one of the true heavyweights of its type, the nearest competitor being the Denon AVC-A1SR. What marks the Pioneer out from other top-ofthe-line AV amplifiers that came earlier however, is the MCACC microphone-assisted multichannel acoustic calibration, an automatic system setup tool that has become a benchmark for this type of feature, and which helps take a lot of the pain out
What we like about this amplifier
Enhanced MCACC delivers better room matching and X-Curve (Academy Curve) equalisation option Improved physical structure has direct influence on sound Powerful, clean and immersive sound quality
What we dont like about this amplifier
Remote control, needs a clearer display, preferably colour LCD (or electroluminescent) No HDMI digital video input, even though top Pioneer DVD players are so equipped
of getting a complex system up and running. You just connect the microphone and speakers, hit the MCACC setup button, and come back a few minutes later. Part of the routine includes room equalisation, considerably improved over the previous version, which attempts to extract a flat frequency response, taking into account the contribution made by the room acoustics to each speaker. Two equalisation patterns are stored, one an absolute setting which aims for the flattest response from all speakers, and the other correcting the centre and surround speakers to match the main front speakers which can be used uncorrected, usually a better choice where high quality main speakers are used, or the system is used extensively for two channel stereo. The THX Ultra2 certified VSA-AX10Ai-s is a direct replacement for earlier versions of the VSAAX10, and has the same basic feature rollcall. THX Ultra2 is partly a quality standard, but also has features aimed, for example, at helping improve the way that suitable matching subwoofers behave (using Boundary Gain Compensation), and to enhance musical quality over the previous THX Ultra standard. The Pioneer is a full 7.1 channel
amplifier (not a receiver most top of the market amplifiers dont include tuners), with a host of features, including an extra pair of speaker outputs which, if not used in a second room, can be reassigned to biamplify the front main speakers in the primary listening room. The Pioneer can also dynamically change which speakers it uses for different purposes if up to 9 speakers (plus sub) are connected and positioned appropriately. Every surround sound format is included, including recent additions like Dolby Pro Logic IIx, and special modes are available for long, narrow rooms to improve surround sound coverage. Future improvements can be included by upgrading the internal firmware through the RS232 socket. There have also been improvements to the Pioneers digital hardware, which now includes two i.Link sockets for use with Pioneer (or other branded) DVD-Audio, SACD or universal players with i.Link outputs, with improvements specifically designed to enhance sound quality from SACD. There are also some powerful bypass features which cut off circuits not needed for particular applications (video for example, when playing CD or SACD discs), again in
ESSENTIAL HI-FI & HOME CINEMA
Key Features 150Watts/channel x7 THX Ultra2 certified Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Digital 5.1/EX DTS 5.1/ES, DTS 96/24, DTS Neo:6 WMA Pro 9 New touch screen coded, programmable, macro capable remote control with charging cradle Connections Front AV input composite video, stereo audio 6.3mm headphone socket Rear 3x S-Video & composite video input & 3x tape in/out 1x stereo audio inputs, 1x phono input & 2x tape in/out Dimensions 440(w) x 210(h) x 476(d) mm
Auto MCACC microphone assisted room setup microphone supplied Video conversion reduces number of leads to display/TV Includes anti-resonance base High definition (HD) video compatible Weight 34kg 7.1 channel audio input 3x component video inputs 8x digital inputs 2x i.Link audio encrypted audio USB for computer based WMA audio RS232 control + trigger sockets
Any portable audio device with analogue or digital audio outputs can be hooked up to the front Digital audio in/out i.Link audio sockets Video monitor out Component video in/out Zone A speakers
Analogue audio in/out
Zone B speakers
Analogue AV connections
RS232C PC control
the interests of enhanced sonic performance. Last but not least, the already very rigid space frame construction of the amp has been enhanced with a heavy cast iron base. This is a tremendously impressive amplifier, clearly superior to previous incarnations, and not obviously bettered by most of its rivals. For much of this test, it was run via its i.Link input from a Pioneer DV-868AVi DVD player, which announces itself across the i.Link in
soundstage. It just feels more like the real thing, and DTS and Dolby Digital soundtracks sound a little less like the data reduced and vaguely cardboardcutout like codecs that they are. Even those sceptical about the sound of film soundtracks as a means of delivering high quality sound, will find in the VSA-AX10Ai-S one of the first amplifiers that straddles the line between home cinema and the high-end multichannel separates
Sales Web www.pioneer.co.uk
Sound quality via i.Link is very clean, agile and open
the amplifiers display, and makes all necessary input and surround sound settings automatically to suit the disc inserted. Sound quality via i.Link is very clean, agile and open: an essentially good but ordinary player is transformed by i.Link into an audiophile and videophile quality player. Improvements in the performance of the VSAAX10Ai-S are audible wherever you look. The digital processing is more transparent, less obviously electronic in flavour than before, and upgraded, more accurate digital processing helps deliver a finer grain, more articulate and more immersive produced by Krell and others. With the available bypasses engaged, this is a seriously good amplifier, which can produce stereo (from CD) or multichannel sound (from SACD or DVD-Audio) with the kind of resolution and discrimination that you may not have previously experienced from a home cinema amplifier. This new version of Pioneers flagship is now a very refined amplifier, which shows useability and sound quality improvements in just about every operating mode. It is a first class amplifier with films, but the benefits really pay off with CD and SACD source material.
EASE OF USE LOOKS FEATURES SOUND VALUE
VERDICT Powerful yet easy to set up, this is an amplifier for high-end video and multichannel audio enthusiasts, and is significantly improved over its predecessor.
Denon AVC-A1SRA Sony TA-DA9000ES
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