By: Barrie McKenna
15th Nov 2012
"Pioneer F-656, a hidden classic?"
Had the A656 amp many years ago but couldn't stretch to the matching tuner, so I purchased an F225 relatively inexpensively to go with it, a fairly mediocre performer. I recently managed to pick up an F-656 in really good condition from fleabay very cheaply. It has replaced an Arcam Alpha ( 3 ?) with the rotary analogue type dial/display, which I've always considered to be very nice and very musical.
Got to say that the Pioneer beats it hands down, sounding sharp and detailed but not at all harsh, kind of delicate, if that makes sense. My wife likes the sound of it too, and she's got a very critical ear.
We get a terribly weak signal on Absolute radio in our area and the Arcam often suffered from interference, no such problems with the Pioneer. In short, I love it, and as long as FM continues to be broadcast (DAB is "the kings new clothes", if not a retrograde step, at the minute) the F-656 is well worth considering.
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