Pioneer A-717 Integrated Amp

A-717 front 1

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen my Pioneer A-717 amp.  This was my pride and joy that I bought in High School while working at a stereo shop back in 89′  I used it all during college and when I moved out on my own after college.  When I got my Elite components I put it in storage about 10 years ago when I simply had no space to set it up, but last night I decided its time to check up on it and to get it ready for a local audio group gathering in a few weeks.  Plans are to compare it to an earlier Pioneer SA-9500 which is one heck of nice Integrated amp in its own right.

So last night I spent some time with mine checking to see if it all worked ok and to clean it off a bit.  Thankfully it was fine since I stored it in its original box.  However, I took the cover off to dust out the inside a bit, because when I put it away the last time, I hadn’t taken the cover off to do any cleaning on it in probably 7 years prior that.  The front face was fine, but in the photos below I need to work on getting dust out of the notches at the top of each control.  Last time I did that took an hour with a cotton swab.

Anyway,  after cleaning the inside up, I put it up on the bench to do some tests and this is what she’s still able to do :-)

Using a Scope and Signal Generator to monitor all this….
Input 600hz 1v peak to peak
dummy Load 4 ohm
measured output before clipping 72v peak to peak
Peak output voltage 72v/2 = 35v
RMS output voltage 35/sqr2=25v
Output Power in Watts = 25×25/4 ohm load = 156 Watts at 600 hz

Not bad considering the manual states 140 watts from 20 to 20khz and 150 watts at 1khz

Lucky for me, no Caps got warm during the initial turn on.  I was really worried about having issues with the Capacitors sitting around for so long.  Other then that I’m looking forward to our little face off with the SA-9500 in a few weeks with another enthusiast.  This should be fun.

Here’s a nice Inside view.  Notice the direct connect shaft to the volume control.  The two black tubes below that are the flexible flat steel mechanisms that slide the Tape Record selector and Input Selector switch inside that Honeycomb box on the right side.  All low voltage signal paths are inside that box, thus reducing noise from the high voltage power amp signals

A-717 top

Here’s a rear view of the amp connections…. I need to find my jumper cables for the adapter output.  Just remembered that

A-717 rear2

Front View

A-717 R side

Side view with the transformers and Honeycomb heat sink in the middleA-717 L side

I’ve held on to the original box since I bought this new in 1989.  Still has my name addressed on one side as I ordered this direct from Pioneer through there employee purchase program back then.

A-717 Box

And finally a nice front shot of the unit

A-717 front angle

4 thoughts on “Pioneer A-717 Integrated Amp”

  1. Hi — this is “lorne” from Audio Karma. I have one of these and I believe we both contributed to a discussion about this amp on AK years ago. I am thinking of rebuilding my A-717, but my Phono EQ section is busted. Can you give me your impressions about the phono amp. I am wondering if I should just use an outboard unit. Thanks and nice to see this here. — Lorne

    1. Hey Lorne,
      I remember that discussion on AK, its been a while since I’ve been on there. Anyway, I’ll be honest, I’ve had limited exposure to various phone pre-amps over the years, but when I actively used my 717 with a turntable, I had it paired up with a Ortofon OM-20 cartridge. I made plenty of recordings to tape with that setup and was always pleased with its performance. Later when I switched to using the C-91 phono preamp, I continued to use the OM-20 cartridge until changing it out for a Shure M97 and finally a Grado Gold cartridge. While using the OM-20 with the C-91 I honestly didn’t notice any audible change and felt that it was,, how should I say accurate or sterile, not colored with excessive bass or treble. It seemed to me to do what it was supposed to do quite well. I noticed more of a change with switching to the Grado Gold as the sound is a little warmer in the low end. I like how the Grado performs very much and I’ve had no hum issues with my PL-610. However, the Grado didn’t work well with a Project Carbon TT with the Acrylic platter. I ended up going back to using my PL-610 with Grado Gold, but the Grado has a little lower output then some of the other MM cartridges I’ve used. So when I have it set to the MM setting I have turn the volume up tad louder to match the same output level, and thus if you use inferior patch cables it could introduce some low level hum. If I use the MC setting has way to much gain to use. To me it almost requires a middle setting to really be optimized.
      So I think if you decide to repair the phone stage, it’ll really depend the cartridge you use. If the cartridge matches up nicely with our phono stages, then I’d fix it. Otherwise, a nice upgrade that I’d consider is the Project Audio Tube Box S. It has 3 different gain settings, impedance and capacitance match settings too. The cost I believe is roughly around 400 dollars. Not cheap, but not completely outrageous either, and to me would make a logical upgrade to what I already have.
      Take care, Pioneernut

Leave a reply