Author Topic: Pioneer A 400 rescue  (Read 899 times)

Offline christowp

Pioneer A 400 rescue
« on: August 06, 2020, 03:16:29 PM »
On a recent visit to a local tech I spotted a Pioneer A 400 in a corner of his workshop. after enquiring about it he indicated it is in full working order and just occupying space. It found a new home with me for very little $$. What a magic amp this is: clean, accurate good sound stage and detail. Nice authoritative bass and good PRAT. It  matches nicely with Technics SBC 250 speakers and I am really enjoying it in desk top system. Only problem initially was the nicotine smell it had - aired it for a few hours and all good now. Special amp in my opinion, NAD 3020 with b@ll$

Offline naughty

Re: Pioneer A 400 rescue
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2020, 05:04:37 PM »
well done .... congratulations - i love these little Pioneer amps - these amps and their stable platter mechanism CD player cousins are legends  :thumbs: - i had an A400x and tried looking for a vanilla A400 which is arguably better but never could find one to buy - thankfully though i did have the stable platter CD player with my A400x and the combo sounded totally amazing for the amount spent on those

while you say it sounds great with your current speakers - it sounds just as good as you scale up the speakers too - my A400x really made the mission 733i that i was using at the time sing  :dance:

Offline AudioEars

Re: Pioneer A 400 rescue
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2020, 05:37:15 PM »
Congratulations Chris
Defiantly a part of the family, never let it go as you will regret it
This amp is a classic
I am using a Pioneer AA9 at the moment and am totally in awe as to what this integrated amp does
Enjoy enjoy :thumbs:

Offline Audioholic

Re: Pioneer A 400 rescue
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2020, 01:58:04 PM »
Awesome find, awesome amp! Small money with big reward - win win  :thumbs:

I had the A400X which was awesome. I was surprised by the spacious and detailed sound from this little box. I was then lucky enough to find an A400 with the "Tom Evan's upgrade". It was a tweaked A400 which was supplied brand new by Pioneer in the UK. Out of interest, Google for info - its an easy upgrade which consists of replacing a few caps with upgraded ones. It sounded incredible. Sold it on the way down the rabbit hole...big regret.

Enjoy your A400!
Stereo: Pioneer, pioneer and more pioneer, Valve Audio, Yamaha, Linton Heritage 85th Anniversary
HT: Onkyo, Energy, Sunfire

Offline Nidri

Re: Pioneer A 400 rescue
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2020, 06:48:59 PM »
Classic amp, that A-400.
My brother had one running Mission speakers (760 or 780, can't remember).
And a Philips CD850 MKII.
Good memories.
Whilst Nidri takes reasonable care to ensure that the information in this message is correct and up to date, this might not always be the case. Nidri does not give any warranties as to the accuracy and safety of any information appearing in this message.

Offline christowp

Re: Pioneer A 400 rescue
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2020, 02:34:44 PM »
Thanks for affirming responses. Its just getting better the longer I listen and the slight cosmetic challenges are bothering me less and less, in fact not at all any more. Been swapping interconnects and having fun - amazing how revealing this amp is of changes like that. For the record, tried out another old friend with it last night, Pioneer PL12 with AT 95 cartridge. The phono stage is quiet, detailed and while not the last word is good and very enjoyable. Only using MM at this stage.  :dop:

Offline M.H.Hugo

Re: Pioneer A 400 rescue
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2021, 09:50:13 PM »
The general consensus on the British Hi-Fi press was that you would have to spend in excess of 1000 on an integrated amplifier to improve on Pioneers extraordinary A400. No one bothered to argue about that.  It ruled the roost of Japanese minimalist integrated amps for several years. Sony, Marantz and Denon also entered the market with integrated minimalist amps. Tom Evans at Trichord did a few tweaks to create the "A 400 GTE". Thereafter the A400X and A300X made strong impressions but the A 400 still seemed to be the "one". A period went by and Pioneer issued another cat among the pigeons. The Pioneer A300R. This pretty as a picture integrated amp didn't even have a rec out selector. It did however, have a powered potentiometer. But yet again it punched way above its weight group, dazzling listeners with sparkling detail, deep controlled bass and a free-breathing midband. Then Pioneer issued the A300R Precision. This was accompanied by a Stable Platter CD player  I seem to recall the PD-505 and the excellent CT-S550S Precision "Dolby S" cassette deck. I heard that Tom Evans was, this time, directly involved with Pioneer UK. The A300R Precision repeated the success of the A300X and A400X,  being a concurrently available sibling but pricier at 400. Again an instant ☆☆☆☆☆ Rating. Not to mention deadpan silence from other manufacturers.

The short version is, if you see any of these gems (and generally you don't for obvious reasons) snap them up. Don't be shy. It's your grab 'n gloat day.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2021, 10:00:58 PM by M.H.Hugo »