The Pioneer SX-10ae Stereo Receiver
Pioneer SX-10AE Stereo Receiver
There are a lot of fancy terms flying through the air in hifi world. Amplifiers, receivers, tuners; on and on it goes and it confuses the sh*t outta people – including us! But the distinction between an amplifier and a receiver, which for all intents and purposes do almost exactly the same thing, is a pretty simple one. A receiver is, like Pioneer’s brand spankin’ SX-10AE, simply an amplifier with a broadcast radio tuner built into the chassis. That’s it! So next time you’re hit with the lingo you’ll know that a receiver is still an amplifier, but an amplifier isn’t necessarily a receiver – aye!
So, not only is the all-new Pioneer SX-10AE loaded with 100 watts per channel of amplification (yes, that’s 100W per chan), it’s also home to an AM/FM broadcast radio tuner. And why would that matter in our digital day and age? Triple R, people, that’s why. But perhaps what helps make this a modern-day receiver, and something that should be looked at in the world of contemporary receiver/amplifier categorisation, is that it’s also loaded with a ‘bluetooth’ receiver. Yup yup. Pair your smart device to the SX-10AE and listen to any or all of your streaming services, podcasts, YouTube clips, whatever. In a day and age when we’re all doing just as much streaming as we are playing records, if not more in some cases, this is a highly prized operating feature and a massive incentive for customers wanting an amp that’ll help stream tunes too.
Video may have killed the radio star, but vinyl got its revival so why not the humble disc jokey too, right!. The AM/FM tuner itself will preset up to 40 stations and allow you to name each station up to ten characters. It’s a handy feature with all those stations floating though the air. It has a sleep timer, auto standby, and comes with a SR remote control too, so you can kick back on the lounge without having to get up to do your listening.
But what about your records? Well, sad to say the SX-10AE doesn’t come with inbuilt phono preamplifier. However, this is not such a bad thing. Should you pair it with Pioneer’s very tasty PL-30 fully automatic turntable, like we have, you’ll be playing sweet sweet analogue tunes thanks to the turntable’s inbuilt phono preamplifier. (Click the link to read all about the fully automatic Pioneer PL-30) But what if you’re using a table that doesn’t come with an inbuilt phono preamp? Not to worry. You use an external one. And this can be a pretty positive thing, because using an external phono preamp gives you much greater control over your tunes, delivering much better detail from your LPs. So not having an inbuilt phono stage in the SX-10AE isn’t such a bummer. You have options, and a lot of them work out better for your sound quality.
But it’s the 100 watts of grunt that’s so impressive about Pioneer’s new receiver. There’s a lot of horse power for such a modest price point, making it terribly easy to match with a wide variety of speakers. Often it’s the case with lower priced amplifiers that you’re only garnered 30-40W of power, meaning you need to be selective when it comes to speaker matching. Choose something that isn’t all that efficient and you’ll end up underwhelmed. Not so with the SX-10AE. This little baby is a beast.
If you’re on the hunt for a modestly priced amplifier with a few extra functions, Pioneer’s SX-10AE might very well be your weapon. For radio junkies it’s a no brainer. For those streaming through any number of services available in this country, the bluetooth receiver is a big plus. And for people needing a bit of grunt to match their speaker requirements the SX-10AE has you covered there too. All in all, this is one of the best priced all-rounders on the market and great accompaniment to Pioneer’s line of stereo electronics.