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  1. #1
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    North Carolina

    inital review of the Pioneer 563

    My wonderful wife gave this player as a gift. The player is slim and lightweight, but doesn't feel delicate. Hookup was straight forward with 5 (no center channel). Menus are extensive and the manual covers every feature and setup option. However, the manual lacks explainations on why to select a specific option.
    Playback was through my HK AVR525 that has Bass Management for both dvd-a/sacd OR I can choose a "direct" path from player to receiver that uses the Pioneer's BM settings.
    For my setup, i had to allow my receiver to handle BM since the direct path didn't use a "phantom" center channel. The downside to this route is an analog-to-digital conversion the HK applies to ultilize its' BM. So, this may not apply (see your receiver's owners manual).

    First disc was the SACD of Norah Jones, because this is a hybrid, i know this disc well. Improvements were obvious, imaging was the clear winner her as her voice was dead on, centered and well defined while her piano positioned next to her voice. The soundstage was a bit wider than the standard CD layer. "Wide stage" is what comes to mind. The multi-channel layer provided enough action to compliment, but not distract.
    Next, was Sintra, Live at the Sands DVD-A. This disc has 5.1 digital layer, a 96/24 (5.1) analog layer and a 192/24 (2.0) analog layer. You can see the audio format playing by pressing the "audio" button on the remote which displays the format in use. This disc is amazing, recorded in 1966, the inside cover gives alot if detail about the recording engineer, equipment used and converting it to hi-rez. Overall, an enjoyable disc and i preferred the 192/24 format. To me, it sounded superior and still filled the room, even though its 2.0.
    Third, i played 3 doors down in SACD and Celine Deon: Decade of Song also in SACD. Both were outstanding. On Celine's track from Titanic, another song i'm familar with, i heard more detail verses the CD version. Even more detail than the digital version which plays over the credits on the DVD.
    Overall, my inital impression is very favorable. Did i set everything up, press play and then get blown away like my first 5.1 demo? No... but overall I can say the new player and formats did take my system to another level. And ultimely, if your reading this then you can ask no more of a purchase. I must add that I do need to work with the BM, calibrate the speaker levels and intergrate the sub better which hopefully will improve my enjoyment.

    Further, these discs are expensive...i bought 5 discs total, 3 SACD and 2 DVD-A's and the total was $92 w/tax. The DVD-A format has a way to go, on Everclear's disc, the words are on-screen, but you must manually scroll to keep up with the music. I also threw in my burned pictures off a Kodak camera and they loaded and began a slideshow on the tv. Colors are excellent.

  2. #2
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Nice review!

    I'm in total agreement about the new high rez formats. The increased performance is obvious.

    I'm sitting on the fence right now trying to decided if I get a multi-player, or an SACD dedicated player, as I already have a DVD-Audio player.

    This review has pushed me just a little bit further toward a multi-player.
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  3. #3
    Oldest join date recoveryone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970


    Thanks Tarheel, I have the 45-a and have not used the DVD-A or SCAD yet. I guess I need to go down to BB and pick up 1 or 2 and check it out.
    Pioneer Elite SC lx502
    Pioneer Elite N50
    Pioneer Cassette CTM66R
    Pioneer Elite BDP 85FD

    Vizio P series 2160p
    Panamax 5300 EX

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