Test Report: Pioneer A-20 Integrated Amplifier Page 2


With just four knobs and a couple of buttons, the A-20’s ergonomic issues, good or bad, are few. The remote, one that is evidently supplied with several other Pioneer products, includes keys irrelevant to the A-20 like SACD/net-player play/pause skip and a five-way cursor pad. These make locating the important ones (mostly volume/mute) a bit less natural at first, but the thumb soon finds its way. But the remote scores points for reproducing every front-panel control, and aside from its zero in-the-dark visibility, it otherwise passes muster.

Bottom Line

The A-20 doesn’t feel like a sub-$300 piece of kit. It doesn’t feel like a plus-$1,000 one either, but the knobs, while a bit light in mass, turn smoothly, the buttons depress positively, and its substantial 16-pound heft feels reassuring.

While today’s market still includes higher-end integrated amps to tempt more fully committed (and employed) audiophiles, there are very few entry-level examples like the A-20 to offer the acolyte serious sound. Thank you, Pioneer.