Pioneer M-22 Power Amp - Epic Japanese Gear From the Past

Discussion in 'Power Amps' started by Armaegis, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. PTS

    PTS Friend

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    That's a stunner!

    Make sure you don't insert/pull interconnects before turning the amp off. The M-22 is super sensitive to it, winders and I learned the hard way.

    Was the Japanese auction site easy to deal with? The language barrier seems steep.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  2. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    I was thinking about selling my Pioneer Spec system I inherited from my Dad but this has me on pause. I know the Spec 1/2 is highly sought after as seen on Ebay. I'm down on funds with some recent purchases but an inspection down the road is in order.

    My Spec 2 power amp starts smelling like heated plastic or something and one time while using HE-6 on speaker taps it started to have a sine tone feedback and get louder and louder. I quickly pulled my headphones and shut it down. I've been using it with speakers occasionally but it still will smell after a while.
     
  3. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    For better results: grab a paint pen from the local car shop

    For cheaper than paint pen but more expensive than marker: nail polish
     
  4. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    Wouldn't those have a gloss finish?
     
  5. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Stunningly beautiful IRL

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    You'd be surprised by the variety of finishes you can get paint pens in. I found a matte black for my TH600 headband...
     
  6. manatworks

    manatworks Friend

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    https://imgur.com/v8IrzBE
    ran into this place today, they are still in line for restoration. might need to go visit them next time to see how much they are asking for a unit (Bangkok). Before you asked , this is hole-in-a-wall kinda place here so i can't even tell if they will be repaired correctly.
     
  7. ak2angel

    ak2angel Acquaintance

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    I found an Pioneer/Exclusive M4a for sale today, which seems to be a larger, more exotic M22 (50wpc in class A, and VU meters). The seller asked for $800, quite steep tbh, but I couldnt resist that sheer beauty :( Pictures are from the seller.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Stunningly beautiful IRL

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    The Exclusive line by Pioneer was Japan only "premium" hifi gear. So its for sure 100v if that's an issue with you. But I have a boner for that Japan only culture stuff, so that makes me interested...

    I'd have zero worries about sound quality, but it might be a different flavor then the M22.

    If you want more boner material, check out the Pioneer P3 and P3a Exclusive turntables and horn speakers made by NAD...
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017
  9. winders

    winders Know-it-all boomer, prob racist

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    That M4a is supposed to be a great amp. I came across information on it when I was researching the M-22. It is not quite as exotic as the M-22 though. The M-22 is a dual mono design and has superior THD and cross modulation numbers.

    The interesting amps are the Pioneer M6 mono blocks with RCA and XLR inputs. 300 watts of class A power at 8 Ohms. That jumps to 700W at 4 Ohms and 1000W at 2 Ohms. I have never read a review of these powerhouses or read any feedback. They are basically the M-22 on steroids with upgraded circuitry.
     
  10. ak2angel

    ak2angel Acquaintance

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    My M4a arrived yesterday, and so far I'm enjoying it, except when I almost broke my back trying to bring it upstairs (it weighs whooping 65lbs!). Source is Theta DSPro Basic 3a feed to Saga. Speakers are ATC SCM7v3 (84dB/1W).

    Mid and high is a considerable step up from my Quad 606. Volume-matched, it offers much more detail and microdynamics than the Quads (it seems like a veil has been lifted from the music). Vocals and instruments sound more 'full' and realistic, without any grain. Soundstage is bigger, deeper, more '3D'. Bass has good clarity and texture, but a bit light and uncontrolled compared the Quads. Maybe my ATC needs more power to control the bass, or maybe that is the amp's weakness. But even then, I'm keeping this beauty for sure :D
    Voltage transfromers are plenty around here, so 100v gears wouldnt be much issue. As for other Pioneer line, I havent heard their turntables, but the speakers are real good, worthy of praises (the model is Exclusive 2401, with dual 15'' woofers, matched with a compression driver in wooden horns, all made by TAD).

    The M5a monoblocks (the same as M6, minus the XLR inputs) are also availble here, with matching C5 preamp, but the price is a bit too steep for me. $4000 for both, and $2300 for the power amps only. I heard from the seller that while they are powerful in paper, they dont like too demanding loads, and work best with high-sensitive compression horn systems (TAD, JBL and Altecs).
     
  11. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. JK47

    JK47 Guest

    I finally picked up the Mitsubishi DA-A10DC that my friend was holding while I was at work in Houston. It was already in the mail when I got that the last minute call to head East, so my friend was kind enough to scoot by after work and take it to safety, so it wasn't sitting for 3 weeks at my front door.

    3-1.jpg
    I listened to a few tracks last night and this evening, and I find the Mitsubishi slightly leaner sounding than the Pioneer M-22, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's almost like comparing the HD650 to the HD600 in a way. The Mitsu has 100 W/ch class AB vs the M-22 30 W/ch class A. The Mitsu has a damping factor of 100 where as the M-22 is 60, this could possibly account for the M-22's slightly warmer sound. Guitars and brass horns have a tendency to have a little more how should I say... fullness and richness, almost tube like. Neither of these amps have been re-capped, so these impressions are on 40 year old gear. Eventually I'll re-cap them and bring them to their full glory, but for now I'll just enjoy.

    The Aficionado still has a deeper stage than both these amps, and a delicate touch that these vintage SS amps can't replicate in their current state.

    The other day when @shaizada stopped by, we were playing around with the Freya in my system and got the idea to try my system without it in the chain, because some tracks we were maxing out the Freya in passive mode and Aficionado, and still seeking a little more volume. VPI CLassic 1 --> RSA Nighthawk --> Freya --> Aficionado/M-22 --> Fostex Sigma speakers. I tried substituting the Freya with a Schiit Sys, with the exact same interconnects that were plumbed into the Freya, and geez it was like veil was lifted, things gained another level of clarity, and there was more volume to play with. It was almost like the Freya was attenuating and coloring the signal a bit, even in passive mode... Anyway the Freya is now sold to a SBAF friend that will make good use of it in their system. I always suspected the Freya did a little something something when listening to headphones, but with my speaker set up and killer amp's feeding them, this coloration became quite apparent. The Freya is a top notch piece of gear, but will reveal it's limits when pushed by more resolving carefully matched components.
    2-1.jpg

    The Mitsu is only aproximatley 2/3 the size of the M-22 and does not quite have the same build quality, but none the less, I would like to thank @dBel84 for bringing this amp to our attention. Another solid but still reasonably priced vintage amp from the days of yore. I absolutely love the raw design of both these amps
    side.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2017
  13. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

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    That is quite the power stack. It would be interesting to now throw a modern equivalent into the mix.

    looks phenomenal regardless !

    ..dB
     
  14. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    The saga is far and away the better preamp. The Freya is mid end, the saga is the best preamp I've ever owned to the point where I feel it's a good investment using ungodly expensive unobtanium tubes in it. It's amazing how much better I found my main system when I swapped them. The Freya has awesome utility but the saga is, in my opinion, the high end offering.
     
  15. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    DITTO! (Ditto, you provincial putz??!!)
    I have experienced many preamps from the days of McIntosh C28 through today. Jason (@schiit ) deserves major props for the Saga.
     
  16. Tachikoma

    Tachikoma Almost "Made"

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    Hah, the Sys being more transparent than the Freya is interesting though. A cheap potentiometer is better than a stepped attenuator?
     
  17. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Red eyes from too much anime

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    Saga != Sys
     
  18. winders

    winders Know-it-all boomer, prob racist

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    See post #112.
     
  19. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    My $300 $400 war veteran M-22 arrived yesterday. First impressions: differentiation of timbre etc in the treble is really good. Maybe better than anything else I heard so far. Funny I was going to use the exact same phrase "delicate touch" that @JK47 used in reference to the Aficionado.

    Then the right channel kinda died so the level is quieter than the left. Hoping this is down to my home made speaker taps and not a fault with the amp.

    Obviously there is way more power and gain than I really need for 100dB/mW planars. Noise floor is inaudible with the following chain: Pavane > Phonitor > Garage1217 20dB attenuator cable > M-22. Without the attenuator a bit of noise from the Phonitor gets through. The SYS should be even more transparent, but I would miss the excellent crossfeed.

    Also I compiled a list of owners, mainly to fuck with @Marvey about how much influence one innocent review can have (PM me if you want to join).

    Pioneer M-22 Owners Club
    @foo_me
    @Tachikoma
    @Marvey
    @PTS
    @winders
    @AdvanTech
    @JK47
    @bozebuttons
    @bengo
    @ak2angel [+ M4a]
    @thegunner100
    @skem

    Honorary Members
    @Drakkard [A-0012]
    @cskippy [Spec 2]
    @Lasollor [M-25]
    @dBel84 [HK 775]

    Wannabes
    @zerodeefex
    @bazelio
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  20. winders

    winders Know-it-all boomer, prob racist

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    If your M-22 has not been recapped, connections cleaned, and adjusted I think you are in for a nice surprise when you get around to having all that done. I had mine checked over, connections cleaned, and it had it adjusted. It came back sounding noticeably better than when I received it. The caps had already been replaced when I bought it. Heck, it did everything better than Vidar before I had it gone over....now it is just a monster!!

    Freya is not up to the task and is on her way out. I have Don Sachs custom made line stage on order to replace her. If this preamp works out as I hope, I think I will be extremely happy with my 2 channel system. That would mean no more component or tube hunting. I will just sit back and listen to the music instead of the equipment! Well, at least for a little while.....;)
     

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