Integrated Amp vs Stereo Receiver with sub - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-13-2012, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey Everyone,

I need some help on deciding on an upgrade for my current set up with a budget at $600 for a new receiver/integrated amp. The inputs would be a record player, and a desktop PC for digital music and games. Bookshelf speakers will be paired with the receiver/amp.

Now, I had thought I would order the Marantz PM6004. However, I noticed that it does not have a sub output. While I don't require a sub for music, I do want one for gaming. I am fully aware that I can connect a sub through the high-level speaker inputs/outputs, however I have read contradicting statements on whether or not I will get the best sound and bass out of that setup. Any integrated amp with sub output that I have found is out of my price range.

So what I am wondering, is if I will be perfectly fine using the high level inputs/outputs, or if I would be better off getting a quality 2-channel receiver like the HK 3490 or Marantz SR4023 for my needs. Thanks all for any help given, I appreciate it.
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-13-2012, 04:28 AM
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The outlaw ausio stereo reciever is highly thought of, although its a little more costly than the HK 3490. It's here. It has base management. Another option is just to use two channels of an avr. Then you can use audyssey to help blend the sub to the mains.
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-13-2012, 08:10 AM
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How about the Onkyo "TX-8050 NETWORK STEREO RECIEVER"

It's a dedicated 2-channel reciever. And it does have pre-outs ... to include a sub pre-out.

Works with your WiFi modem too for streaming music via the internet or listening to songs stored on your home computer.

Also has a USB input on the front panel.

Supported Files: MP3, WMA, WMA Lossless, FLAC, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, LPCM audio
Music Streaming: Pandora, Rhapsody, Slacker, Sirius-XM, vTuner, LastFM, Napster, Aupeo

Can be had for $349
http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-8050-.../dp/B004UR486G

Onkyo's web page + specs:
http://www.onkyousa.com/model.cfm?m=...s=Receiver&p=i

Features Video: http://www.onkyousa.com/Video/TX-8050.swf








BTW ... An integrated amp is a good way to go, but if you want to stream music or play music files you have on your computer, you will also need to buy something like a Squeezebox ... With this Onkyo 2-channel reciever, you don't need to buy a Squeezebox too.

.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-13-2012, 08:13 AM
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There is no problem using the high-level inputs to the subwoofer (from the speaker terminals). As a matter of fact, there are some who claim this is a better method, since the characteristics of the amplifier are passed through to the sub that way.

There are also many integrated amplifiers that have preamp outputs which can be used to go to the sub (but not the 6004). The Cambridge Audio 550A might be a good one to look at.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Jobie111 View Post

Hey Everyone,

I need some help on deciding on an upgrade for my current set up with a budget at $600 for a new receiver/integrated amp. The inputs would be a record player, and a desktop PC for digital music and games. Bookshelf speakers will be paired with the receiver/amp.

Now, I had thought I would order the Marantz PM6004. However, I noticed that it does not have a sub output. While I don't require a sub for music, I do want one for gaming. I am fully aware that I can connect a sub through the high-level speaker inputs/outputs, however I have read contradicting statements on whether or not I will get the best sound and bass out of that setup. Any integrated amp with sub output that I have found is out of my price range.

So what I am wondering, is if I will be perfectly fine using the high level inputs/outputs, or if I would be better off getting a quality 2-channel receiver like the HK 3490 or Marantz SR4023 for my needs. Thanks all for any help given, I appreciate it.

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post #5 of 14 Old 05-13-2012, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

There is no problem using the high-level inputs to the subwoofer (from the speaker terminals). As a matter of fact, there are some who claim this is a better method, since the characteristics of the amplifier are passed through to the sub that way.

Interesting. I agree with the idea that that using the speaker-level input terminals will pass the characteristics of the amp to the sub, but that strikes me as a good reason to avoid them.

Quote:
There are also many integrated amplifiers that have preamp outputs which can be used to go to the sub (but not the 6004).

Agreed.
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-13-2012, 07:28 PM
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Just remember that the OP has a budget of no more than 600 bucks!
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-13-2012, 08:48 PM
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Either the HK 3490 or Onkyo 8050 will do what you want to do. I'm not that familiar with the 8050 but I'm familiar with the 3490 - I have a 3390 and had a 3480 prior. Connect the sub to sub out 2 and your main speakers to #1 and you can turn input to the sub on and off by remote. And who cares if the sub gets a full signal while gaming? Gaming isn't a critical listening session is it?

When all else fails - RTFM!

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post #8 of 14 Old 05-13-2012, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey all, thanks for all the responses. I appreciate all the willing help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glangford View Post

The outlaw ausio stereo reciever is highly thought of, although its a little more costly than the HK 3490. It's here. It has base management. Another option is just to use two channels of an avr. Then you can use audyssey to help blend the sub to the mains.

That looks like a great choice, but is unfortunately just a bit out of my price range. I definitely could just use an AVR, I just feel like I would be paying for a bunch of stuff that I would not be using and might sacrifice some sound quality in the process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flt Simulation View Post

How about the Onkyo "TX-8050 NETWORK STEREO RECIEVER"

It's a dedicated 2-channel reciever. And it does have pre-outs ... to include a sub pre-out.

Works with your WiFi modem too for streaming music via the internet or listening to songs stored on your home computer.

Also has a USB input on the front panel.

Supported Files: MP3, WMA, WMA Lossless, FLAC, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, LPCM audio
Music Streaming: Pandora, Rhapsody, Slacker, Sirius-XM, vTuner, LastFM, Napster, Aupeo

Can be had for $349
http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-8050-.../dp/B004UR486G

Onkyo's web page + specs:
http://www.onkyousa.com/model.cfm?m=...s=Receiver&p=i

Features Video: http://www.onkyousa.com/Video/TX-8050.swf



BTW ... An integrated amp is a good way to go, but if you want to stream music or play music files you have on your computer, you will also need to buy something like a Squeezebox ... With this Onkyo 2-channel reciever, you don't need to buy a Squeezebox too.

.

I had seen that one, but like I said above I am afraid I would be paying for a bunch of things I don't need. I should have been more clear before, the PC will be directly connected to the Amp/Receiver via a DAC, so I won't be needing a squeezebox or network capable receiver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

There is no problem using the high-level inputs to the subwoofer (from the speaker terminals). As a matter of fact, there are some who claim this is a better method, since the characteristics of the amplifier are passed through to the sub that way.

There are also many integrated amplifiers that have preamp outputs which can be used to go to the sub (but not the 6004). The Cambridge Audio 550A might be a good one to look at.

So you would say that using the high level inputs wouldn't really be a problem for games? Like I said, for music I don't care as my music isn't at all bass heavy. I had seen the Cambridge Audio 650 but unfortunately it was out of my price range. I can't seem to find the 550 anywhere. Do you know of any retailers that have it in stock?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Flt Simulation View Post

Just remember that the OP has a budget of no more than 600 bucks!

Indeed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

Either the HK 3490 or Onkyo 8050 will do what you want to do. I'm not that familiar with the 8050 but I'm familiar with the 3490 - I have a 3390 and had a 3480 prior. Connect the sub to sub out 2 and your main speakers to #1 and you can turn input to the sub on and off by remote. And who cares if the sub gets a full signal while gaming? Gaming isn't a critical listening session is it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Interesting. I agree with the idea that that using the speaker-level input terminals will pass the characteristics of the amp to the sub, but that strikes me as a good reason to avoid them.


Agreed.

So you guys would say that I would be better off just getting a stereo receiver that has sub out? The reason I was thinking integrated amp was because I was of the understanding they tended to sound better because they focus on the sound and that alone. I agree that gaming is not a critical listening session. I am wondering however, about getting the most out of the sub during gaming. I had read many contradicting things about using high level connections and losing some of the bass during home theater applications.

If I were to go the 2 channel receiver route, would the Onkyo but just as good sound wise compared to the Marantz or the HK? I currently have a Pioneer VSX - 1021 in my living room that I have been happy with and had an Onkyo before that, so I am familiar with those. I have not however, ever heard a Marantz or HK receiver.
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-14-2012, 05:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jobie111 View Post


So you guys would say that I would be better off just getting a stereo receiver that has sub out?

Since the market for receivers is far larger than the one for integrated amps, you probably have more options in that market segment. Since receivers are made in far larger numbers, you generally get better price/performance there.

Quote:


The reason I was thinking integrated amp was because I was of the understanding they tended to sound better because they focus on the sound and that alone.

Unfortunately, that's outdated thinking.

Quote:


I agree that gaming is not a critical listening session. I am wondering however, about getting the most out of the sub during gaming. I had read many contradicting things about using high level connections and losing some of the bass during home theater applications.

I think that stereo receivers as compared to multichannel AVRs makes the bass management much more reliable for games.


Quote:


If I were to go the 2 channel receiver route, would the Onkyo but just as good sound wise compared to the Marantz or the HK?

In your application, yes.

Quote:


I currently have a Pioneer VSX - 1021 in my living room that I have been happy with and had an Onkyo before that, so I am familiar with those. I have not however, ever heard a Marantz or HK receiver.

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post #10 of 14 Old 05-14-2012, 07:36 AM
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Quote:


I had seen that one, but like I said above I am afraid I would be paying for a bunch of things I don't need.

Except you probably aren't paying any more than you would for something less feature-laden. The makers of mass-market receivers enjoy massive economies of scale compared to the makers of integrated amps, which have a much narrower market. So all those features really come for free. If you don't want them, you don't have to use them. You aren't sacrificing anything.

Quote:


The reason I was thinking integrated amp was because I was of the understanding they tended to sound better because they focus on the sound and that alone.

There's no evidence that they actually do sound better than receivers, however. Remember, the receiver companies can buy the same quality for less.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #11 of 14 Old 05-14-2012, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jobie111 View Post


I had seen that one, but like I said above I am afraid I would be paying for a bunch of things I don't need. I should have been more clear before, the PC will be directly connected to the Amp/Receiver via a DAC, so I won't be needing a squeezebox or network capable receiver.

The TX-8050 is reasonably priced (I think I paid $260?) so it's additional features aren't costing you much.

I have a similar setup - computer directly connected to the 8050 (without the DAC), so I didn't need the network features either, but the convenience can't be denied. I use Onkyo's android app to control the player and another to control foobar2000 from anywhere in the house. Additionally with the built in Onkyo streaming services I can see what's playing, skip tracks, like etc. without having to walk to my computer. It's really changed the way I listen to music, and I listen much more often.

I don't need a sub, can't help you there but I can't imagine any problems.

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post #12 of 14 Old 05-16-2012, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey Guys,

I just wanted to thank you for pointing me in the right direction. Amazon had great open box prices on both the Marantz SR4023 stereo receiver and the Onkyo 8050. So with what I was planning on spending for an integrated amp ($600), I was able to buy both! I put the Marantz where I was planning on originally and am going to start a bedroom setup with the Onkyo since it is perfect with its networking capabilities. So thanks much for the excellent advice.
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post #13 of 14 Old 11-02-2012, 03:36 PM
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Will media servers like media monkey stream to that onkyo receiver?

John
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post #14 of 14 Old 11-02-2012, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAmmer32261 View Post

Will media servers like media monkey stream to that onkyo receiver?

I think so. But best place to ask questions about media streaming is in the networking and media server forum on AVS.

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