Pioneer Elite A-20 Integrated Amplifier: Audiophile on the Cheap?

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by admin, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    1,615
    Looking for some clean power on the cheap to drive a small two-channel system in a bedroom or den?

    Pioneer has your answer with their Elite A-20 Integrated Amplifer.

    For $299, you get an integrated amp rated at 30wpc x 2 into 8 ohms and 50wpc x 2 into 4 ohms; both channels driven.


    [​IMG]

    Read our Pioneer Elite A-20 Integrated Amplifier Preview

    Are you using an Integrated amp in your system? If so, which one.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2013
  2. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    489
    I have the older A-35R. It is a terrific product for the money. Mine has been driving my exercise room system for about 8 years.
    fmw,
    • Like Like x 1
  3. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

    haraldo
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Messages:
    6,338
    Likes Received:
    1,217
    I would like to see much more bare bones simple audio products, which means.... get rid of all these unnecessary features.... it's ridiculous that some products today require a master's degree in electronics just to turn it on and get sound out of it.

    Back to basics is good :p

    I just wonder what it is that makes this "mildly interesting", to me it looks like a very good product that offer a lot for the money :D
  4. scott911 Full Audioholic

    scott911
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    30
    Pioneer calls it an integrated amplifier -- but you're calling it a receiver.

    Isn't the term receiver reserved for a integrated amp WITH a tuner ?
  5. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    4,026
    Likes Received:
    2,060
    Location:
    38.89°N, 77.01°W
    Suffice it to say I don't foresee a reasonably priced 30WPC integrated amplifier garnering as much interest/attention as an Emo XPR-1, PSA Triax, Funk 18.2, etc. ;)
  6. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    4,026
    Likes Received:
    2,060
    Location:
    38.89°N, 77.01°W
    Where is it called a receiver?
  7. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    19,586
    Likes Received:
    4,306
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    Yeah, especially when a $276 Sony STR-540 AVR can output 142 WPC x 2Ch driven into 8 ohms. :D

    Sony 520: 141.7W x 2Ch ohms/160.6W x 2Ch 4 ohms.
  8. scott911 Full Audioholic

    scott911
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    30
    opps - my error, I confused the intro sentence talking about receivers with a reference to product being reviewed.
  9. scott911 Full Audioholic

    scott911
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    30
    A good option to consider too, if this article is catching your eye, is the NAD integrated units.

    I've been doing research for an integrated, and although I can't offer a personal recommendation yet - this puppy's at the top of my list right now:
    NAD - C326BEE - Integrated Amplifier-Spearit Sound

    Nad has a unit ( C 316BEE ) that seems a close match to specs to this article's pioneer - although it's $80 more.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2014
  10. slipperybidness Audioholic Ninja

    slipperybidness
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    4,178
    Likes Received:
    923
    You buy the Sony and I'll buy the Pio and we will see who is more satisfied with the product.

    Spoiler Alert: Me :D

    I am Sony anti-fanboy all the way.
  11. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    19,586
    Likes Received:
    4,306
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    You won't see any Sony amps or AVR in my house either. :D

    I was just calling out the 30WPC part - I mean in this day and age when almost everyone has a 100+ WPC amp. :D

    Is 70 more WPC THAT expensive?

    I mean how much money to go from 30WPC to 100WPC?

    A $300 Sony can output 140 WPC, so how why don't they put that power into the IA?

    A $300 Pioneer AVR can output 110 WPC 8 ohms/150 WPC 4 ohms. Why not just put this same amp inside the Pioneer IA?
  12. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    489
    There is no question that low end AV receivers are the best buy in audio thanks to huge volume. Not sure I would recommend the integrated either in this day and age. The Pioneer VSX-522 has a street price way below this unit and is a perfectly competent digitally oriented 5.1 channel receiver. My A35 seemed like a good buy at the time I bought it. I don't think it would be today, however.
    fmw,
  13. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    19,586
    Likes Received:
    4,306
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    Yes. A $199 Denon E200 AVR is rated for 75WPC x 5CH @ 0.08% THD 20-20kHz, which probably means 100+ WPC x 2Ch @ 1% THD.
  14. scott911 Full Audioholic

    scott911
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    30
    Decide you need 100 watts before you go looking for it. not the mention, what is 100 watts really? in a particular brand.

    Audioholics just ran an article about what vendors do to get to put a magic 100 watts label on a box. . I'd rather they focus on good sound.
  15. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    489
    Yes but this amp won't sound any different than an AV receiver so AcuDef is making a perfectly reasonable point. There is no doubt this little amp sounds great. I know my A-35 sounds great. The problem is that it is a low manufacturing volume product compared to an AVR so the AVR will provide the same sound with more power overhead for less money despite its added complexity and features. Like AcuDef, I wouldn't recommend it because one can get more for less with a different product. But if what you want is a smallish two channel amp with enough power to drive a normal pair of speakers in a smallish room and you want simplicity, this little amp might be just the ticket. But it isn't really a very good value. My A-35 cost me about $160 several years ago and AVR's at that time started around $300 or $400. So the A-35 was perfect for my exercise room. But today I wouldn't buy the A-20. I would buy an entry level AVR instead. It would cost less, have more power and things like HDMI inputs, bass management etc, etc etc. My entry level AVR even has Airplay.
    fmw,
  16. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

    haraldo
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Messages:
    6,338
    Likes Received:
    1,217
    You're assuming, how can you say it's not good value if you never seen the product and not heard it...? This is not facts but just your thoughts
    Maybe it's a bleeding good amplifier.......
  17. slipperybidness Audioholic Ninja

    slipperybidness
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    4,178
    Likes Received:
    923
    Well, the other side of the coin is build quality. The Pio may have better build quality overall, so that is something to consider.

    Next, let's assume the receiver dies (out of warranty). Receivers are complicated, and often obsolete and not worth the effort or $ to repair.

    The IA on the other hand is much simpler topology and will not be any more obsolete than the day you bought it. It would most likely be worth repairing (and possibly could be repaired by a reasonably skilled hobbyist).

    It just all depends on your needs and goals as to where the $ is best spent.
  18. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    19,586
    Likes Received:
    4,306
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    The IA will retain value better for sure.

    It looks better aesthetically.

    With power being so cheap these days, I just question why they can't just put the same amp from the $200 AVR into the $300 IA.
  19. Mark of Cenla Audioholic

    Mark of Cenla
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    central Louisiana
    Why can't they put the same amp from a $200 AVR into an integrated amp and charge way less than $300? Peace and goodwill.
  20. slipperybidness Audioholic Ninja

    slipperybidness
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    4,178
    Likes Received:
    923
    Do these $200 receivers typically have phono inputs? RIAA equalization and phono pres take extra circuitry and parts. That could be a good example of the cost differentials.

Share This Page

  • EMPTek.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
  • CEDIA