Pioneer is keeping the silver disc alive with the PD-70AE, its new flagship SACD player and digital to analogue converter (DAC). Featuring original technologies for pickup control and ‘Quiet Drive’, the player incorporates dual ESS DAC chips, XLR terminals with fully balanced circuitry, and discrete analogue/digital power supplies.
From digital to analogue conversion to analogue signal output, the whole analogue process is routed via a full-balanced circuit featuring independent left and right channels. Specially selected analogue balanced output (XLR) terminals to maximise the quality of signal transmission. Machined and gold-plated RCA terminals are used for the analogue unbalanced output. In addition to being a SACD/CD player, the PD-70AE also functions as a standalone DAC for other digital audio sources. Both digital and analogue circuits each have their own discrete power supplies. Custom electrolytic capacitors for high-grade audio have been selected through repeated trials while listening to SACD and CD sound.
The lock and range function allows fine adjustments in the DAC’s lock range to reduce jitter in the input signal. Adjustments can be made in six steps, with the default set at Range 6. Ranges 1 to 3 are intended for fine-tuning by expert users. The digital filter lets you fine-tune the sonic characteristics of the DAC – ‘Slow’ for soft and warm, ‘Sharp’ for solid and tight, and ‘Short’ for a quick and forward sound.
The PD-70AE uses Pioneer’s trademark Rigid Under Base designed to eliminate external vibrations and provide stable bass reproduction. The CD drive is housed in a shielded case with a honeycomb-imprinted top cover and “anti-vibration paint”. The drive base is securely fixed to an aluminum-alloy frame and placed within a damped, floating structure. This helps to minimise vibration, both within and outside the drive. The disc tray is made of die-cast aluminium, which enhances the tray’s rigidity and helps to further stabilise the drive. The Anti-Standing Wave Insulator Feet were created to prevent cavity resonance. The PD-70AE retails for £1999.99 in silver and goes on sale in November.