Pioneer Elite A-20 Direct Energy Design Integrated Amplifier
The Pioneer Elite A-20 Integrated Amplifier was designed for those who pure music is important to. The Pioneer Elite A-20 lets you build a serious two-channel system with money left over for speakers worthy of this impressive new integrated amplifier and your discerning ear. There’s a lot of excitement in the world of music these days. With a whole new generation of high-resolution digital audio, Internet radio, and powerful apps, listeners can network, stream and share music like never before and when it comes to delivering all this exciting technology, nobody has a reputation for innovation and product excellence like Pioneer. Audiophiles know there’s nothing better than a dedicated stereo system that presents pin-point imaging, an incredible soundstage and infinite sonic detail. The Pioneer Elite A-20 delivers 50 watts-per-channel and packs more than enough punch to effortlessly drive revealing, lower-efficiency speakers that will fill your listening room with distortion free sound. The Pioneer Elite A-20 Integrated amplifier was designed with the upmost attention to detail, and one look at the motorized, precision volume control tells you that the Elite A-20 has a build quality you’d expect to see on far more expensive components. The heavy, aluminum front panel and sleek design make the A-20 a truly impressive piece of gear.
So what exactly can this baby do? As you might guess from the price, hundreds of watts aren’t exactly in the cards here. The A-20 is specified to deliver a relatively modest 30W into an 8 ohm load (20Hz-20kHz, 0.05% THD, both channels driven) and 50W into a 4 ohm load (20Hz-20kHz, 0.1% THD, both channels driven). Needless to say, these numbers aren’t extraordinary as compared with the $349 Harman Kardon HK3390; however, next to the $449 Marantz PM5004 (rated to deliver 35W/45W into 8/4 ohms respectively) the A-20 doesn’t look too shabby. And of course for those that would write off this Pioneer already, it does bear mentioning that an honestly rated 30W into 8 ohms is nothing to sneeze at; coupled with a reasonably sensitive pair of loudspeakers (90dB+ w/ 2.83V), this little integrated amplifier can deliver levels around the 100dB mark in small and medium sized spaces, which is subjectively quite loud.
Now as most Audioholics know, power is only one aspect of performance. Unfortunately, this is only a preview, so we can’t give you a complete performance analysis of the A-20 just yet. Still, as far as other specified performance metrics go, there doesn’t seem to be much amiss here. SNR is rated at 105dB (A-weighting), and frequency response is rated from 5Hz-100kHz (+0dB, -3dB); both of these ratings are quite adequate for high fidelity sound.
Are you looking to build a simple 2.0 system, and trying to avoid a lot of unnecessary junk that you’ll never use? The Pioneer Elite A-20 might just be what you’re looking for. At $299, it won’t break the bank and you get the bare necessities for a high quality 2 channel system, including a phono input. Of course at this price point, you can’t expect huge output capabilities, though the A-20’s rated power should be adequate with reasonably sensitive speakers in small and medium sized spaces. In short, if you’re sick of useless features, Pioneer Elite might just have the cure you’re looking for.