[Going to retry my previous question in a different form. ]
Based on the assumption that "all decent amps are basically equal", i'd like to ask about the path *to* the amp.
I've got, what many would consider, a decent amp for my front channels. When I swapped out my old receiver for a new one I felt like the sound was missing some fullness (overly bright perhaps some would say?) A diagram of my setup:
My music is served by a SqueezeBox [SB] (via analog now to make as few changes to the pathway as possible). R1 is the old AVR and R2 is the new one. FWIW, the amp A was recently checked out by the shop I purchased it at and was decreed to be "functioning to spec".
I tweaked R2 in an attempt to make the path from the SB to A as unprocessed as possible but still felt it was lacking. So, I started to think about putting an integrated amp into the mix (one with AVR bypass) in hopes that my situation would be improved. Am I kidding myself this would make *that* much of a difference? I would have believed this was a very different conversation than the AMP vs AMP debate. Isn't there something to be said for improving the path from the source to the AMP (or is it more likely that any investment would only bring negligable return?)
I conceed the points arnky made in his response to my previous post (no to mention the numerous other times he's made similar comments) regarding controlled experiments. I also conceed the point that speakers and room treatments are going to have the most impact on SQ. Is this new configuration even worth considering?
For those who are curious: R1 = 20 yr old Nak AV-2; R2 = Onkyo TX-NR818; A = McIntosh 7100D.