Amp or Receiver - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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2-Channel Audio > Amp or Receiver
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 05:56 AM 01-13-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by jevans64 View Post


I would think a stereo preamp/amp would sound better than a 5.x AVR simply because they are different beasts even putting aside the fact that Denon and Marantz share component designs and R&D. The Marantz PM6004 lists for $600 and all that only has to go into an audio path. The Denon AVR-1713 lists for $450 and that has to be shared between very expensive video components and equally expensive audio components. Something has to give and it is usually audio for a receiver of this price. A more fair comparison might be the 2113 or 2313.

For 2-channel only, I would definitely go with a decent 2-channel amp rather than a similarly-priced AVR.

The market for 2-channel receivers has neither the volume nor the competitive fervor of the market for 5.1 AVRs. You generally get a lot less for the money with the specialty item.

If you look at the specs and how they line up with system requirements, there is actually very little or nothing sonically speaking that the AVR misses.

BTW here is the inside view of a Marantz PM6004



Here is the best picture I can find of the inside of a AVR 1713



There's a lot of similarity in the the appearance power amp sections of these components, its just that the Denon has more copies of the same basic circuit. The Marantz is more of a big empty box.

That becomes more apparent when you look at a complete Denon AVR (different model)



The box is somewhat more full but not crowded.

2tvsonecup's Avatar 2tvsonecup 09:05 AM 01-13-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

You generally get a lot less for the money with the specialty item.

May be so but it all comes down to what you want from your item. If SQ is what you're after and you don't care about anything else but 2-channel stereo, then a feature-packed AVR with poorer SQ is certainly less valuable than a bare-bones better SQ amp.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 09:18 AM 01-13-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tvsonecup View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

You generally get a lot less for the money with the specialty item.

May be so but it all comes down to what you want from your item. If SQ is what you're after and you don't care about anything else but 2-channel stereo, then a feature-packed AVR with poorer SQ is certainly less valuable than a bare-bones better SQ amp.

That would seem to be a presumption on your part. I've been doing some detailed technical analysis of AVRs using various technical tests that are on the web, reviewing schematics in service manuals, and of course my own personal experiences.

The tricky part of your assertion is finding the amp with better (as I define it - more sonically accurate) SQ. Because of some of the advanced features of the newer AVRs even the lower end ones, they have unique SQ advantages as system components that no bare-bones amp can possibly have. However if you turn those features out they are truly out of the picture, and you still have problems beating the SQ of the AVR.
K Shep's Avatar K Shep 09:38 AM 01-13-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tvsonecup View Post

Thanks! Yeah, I'm very happy with my system now. I'm looking forward to upgrading in the future but I can see myself satisfied with what I have for years.

Perfect!

But don't worry you'll get the itch to dip your toe in the audio experimental pool again soon. Especially since you were able to listen to different gear in your room.
diomania's Avatar diomania 10:17 AM 01-13-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tvsonecup View Post

If the hobby is about hi-fi, then it makes sense to me that the hobbyist tries to find the best sound (best being a very subjective thing) in their environment.
Try this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hi-fi
Quote:
I'm not sure I would call myself a hi-fi hobbyist
Then what would you call yourself?
diomania's Avatar diomania 10:20 AM 01-13-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tvsonecup View Post

You make some incorrect assumptions. Just because I didn't mention in my post, you can't conclude I didn't level match. I did.
How closely did you match? Any decibel numbers?
Quote:
And of course I listened to the SAME PARTS of the recordings when comparing. Doesn't take a lot of brain power to figure that you need to do that for an accurate comparison. No blind test as I wasn't prepared to go through that much trouble. But I am certain I heard a difference in the quality. I have excellent aural memory and there was no doubt of the difference when listening to the SAME PART of a recording at the SAME LEVEL to one amp and then the other.
How did you confirm that you have excellent aural memory?
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 10:26 AM 01-13-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tvsonecup View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Very nice but the above is a good example of how to do everything wrong.

First of, this was obviously a sighted evaluation. Secondly, the way you did things, it is likely that much of the time you were listening to different recordings or different parts of the same recordings, Finally, no mention of level matching. With all of those mistakes in place there is virtually no way that you wouldn't think that there was a difference between the two AVRs, even if they were the same AVR.

There is a very interesting thing. Just about every time that kind of comparision was done doing everything right, people couldn't tell any difference.

As things stand there is no way that you were able to do a direct comparison between the two AVRs. If you can't do a direct comparison, you will not be able to remember exactly what each AVR actually sounded like, and of course they will sound different to you.

I guarantee you that I could take two AVR 1713s, put them into black boxes that concealed their identities, put a big A on one and big B on the other. You'd come back a week later and tell us similar things only you'd be forced to refer to them as A and B.

You make some incorrect assumptions. Just because I didn't mention in my post, you can't conclude I didn't level match. I did. And of course I listened to the SAME PARTS of the recordings when comparing. Doesn't take a lot of brain power to figure that you need to do that for an accurate comparison. No blind test as I wasn't prepared to go through that much trouble. But I am certain I heard a difference in the quality. I have excellent aural memory and there was no doubt of the difference when listening to the SAME PART of a recording at the SAME LEVEL to one amp and then the other.

Two words: Sighted evaluation. They make everything else moot.

I'm pleased that you are so self-affirming, no matter how much what you claim violates modern science and perceptual studies. ;-)
beaveav's Avatar beaveav 03:50 PM 01-13-2013
I'll take a different approach in my interrogation of the witness:

2tvs, did you implement the Audyssey room correction in the AVR1713 during any of your testing?
2tvsonecup's Avatar 2tvsonecup 04:21 PM 01-13-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Try this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hi-fi
Then what would you call yourself?
I'll be happy with my system for some time, I think. To be a hobbyist, one would need to be more active in their hobby than I have or plan to be. I had gone 5 years without a dedicated stereo system after I sold my ageing speakers. Now that I have a system whose sound I love, I'll just enjoy my music listening to it. To me that's not being a hi-fi hobbyist.
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

How closely did you match? Any decibel numbers?
How did you confirm that you have excellent aural memory?
I used a sound level meter. Matched both to 75 dB

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Two words: Sighted evaluation. They make everything else moot.

I'm pleased that you are so self-affirming, no matter how much what you claim violates modern science and perceptual studies. ;-)
I wanted to like the Denon better as it was $300 cheaper plus it gives me the option to use as AVR in case I want to in the future (I got it on sale for $350) so if anything, my self-affirming worked against me smile.gif

I couldn't care less what my experience violates. I like the sound of the Marantz better and that's all that counts to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

I'll take a different approach in my interrogation of the witness:

2tvs, did you implement the Audyssey room correction in the AVR1713 during any of your testing?
Yes, I did run the Audyssey eq. Didn't notice any change in sound. Maybe it works better for 5.1 surround setup than 2-channel.
beaveav's Avatar beaveav 04:28 PM 01-13-2013
^Did you use a tripod or mic stand to hold the mic in place when you ran Audyssey?

It works for 2 channel, 2.1, 3.1, 5.1, whatever you have. It can be a bit of a pain to set up properly, however.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 05:38 PM 01-13-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tvsonecup View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Try this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hi-fi
Then what would you call yourself?
I'll be happy with my system for some time, I think. To be a hobbyist, one would need to be more active in their hobby than I have or plan to be. I had gone 5 years without a dedicated stereo system after I sold my ageing speakers. Now that I have a system whose sound I love, I'll just enjoy my music listening to it. To me that's not being a hi-fi hobbyist.
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

How closely did you match? Any decibel numbers?
How did you confirm that you have excellent aural memory?
I used a sound level meter. Matched both to 75 dB

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Two words: Sighted evaluation. They make everything else moot.

I'm pleased that you are so self-affirming, no matter how much what you claim violates modern science and perceptual studies. ;-)
I wanted to like the Denon better as it was $300 cheaper plus it gives me the option to use as AVR in case I want to in the future (I got it on sale for $350) so if anything, my self-affirming worked against me smile.gif

I couldn't care less what my experience violates. I like the sound of the Marantz better and that's all that counts to me.

I'm sure that you have that idea in your head, and like I said you want to affirm your beliefs. One of the characterstics of a good test is that its results are what they are regardless of your beliefs or preferences.

Acoustical measurements are completely inadequate for matching levels. The right way to do it is to play CDs with test tones and measure voltages across speaker terminals. Far easier, more stable, and reliable along with higher resolution.
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

I'll take a different approach in my interrogation of the witness:

2tvs, did you implement the Audyssey room correction in the AVR1713 during any of your testing?
Yes, I did run the Audyssey eq. Didn't notice any change in sound. Maybe it works better for 5.1 surround setup than 2-channel.

Maybe you ended up getting a better job of room correction on one day than the other for a number of reasons including the location and orientation of the microphone.

If you want to say that one AVR sounded better than another then you have to hold as many influences and variable constant as you can. Doing the evaluation sighted and with imprecise acoustical measurements overlaid with something like Audyssey introduces a lot of variables that are out of your control.
kiwi2's Avatar kiwi2 06:58 PM 01-13-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tvsonecup View Post

If SQ is what you're after and you don't care about anything else but 2-channel stereo, then a feature-packed AVR with poorer SQ is certainly less valuable than a bare-bones better SQ amp.

But maybe that's just a preconceived perception.

I have lined up my dedicated 2ch preamp against my AVR in direct mode level matched with a A/B switch so I could instantly toggle between the two with the same input source playing and could not detect any differences in sound.

I was therefore reasonably confident that at least I wasn't going backwards by using the AVR for 2ch music.

I was then able to get very noticeable improvements in SQ in my room with the AVR by utilising its bass management with subs. Something my 2ch preamp did not offer. It now sits in the storage room with a lot of other obsolete technology.
jevans64's Avatar jevans64 01:46 AM 01-14-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

The market for 2-channel receivers has neither the volume nor the competitive fervor of the market for 5.1 AVRs. You generally get a lot less for the money with the specialty item.

If you look at the specs and how they line up with system requirements, there is actually very little or nothing sonically speaking that the AVR misses.

BTW here is the inside view of a Marantz PM6004



Here is the best picture I can find of the inside of a AVR 1713



There's a lot of similarity in the the appearance power amp sections of these components, its just that the Denon has more copies of the same basic circuit. The Marantz is more of a big empty box.

That becomes more apparent when you look at a complete Denon AVR (different model)



The box is somewhat more full but not crowded.

One thing I see right off that would make the Marantz PM6004 a better unit is the toroidal transformer vs. the inferior E-I transformers in that older xxx3 or xxx5 Denon AVR and, most surely, the Denon AVR-1713. We are talking 2-channel here though, so the AVRs wouldn't have to work as hard when driving two channels. They are STILL going to be less power efficient than units with toroidal transformers. That is another sad cut-back in order to make stuff cheaper. E-I transformers are half the cost of toroidal for a reason -- they take more power from the outlet in order to deliver the same wattage and run hotter as well.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 06:18 AM 01-14-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by jevans64 View Post


One thing I see right off that would make the Marantz PM6004 a better unit is the toroidal transformer vs. the inferior E-I transformers in that older xxx3 or xxx5 Denon AVR and, most surely, the Denon AVR-1713.

The alleged superiority of toroids is yet another audiophile myth.

They have their strengths and weaknesses like everything else. The world is full of audiophile, even high end gear that uses conventional transformers.

For example:



and



Quote:
We are talking 2-channel here though, so the AVRs wouldn't have to work as hard when driving two channels. They are STILL going to be less power efficient than units with toroidal transformers.

The power efficiency of amplifiers is primarily dependent on their output stages. If toroids are so great for power amps, why this?



(100s of other examples possible)

The truth is that toroids are generally smaller and have reduced external hum fields, but many of the efficiency advantages disappear when the power line voltage is not sinusoidal. You don't often see them used for output transformers because music isn't sinusoidal.

Here's your challenge, actually show an AVR whose efficiency or performance was materially improved by changing the power transformer to a toroid while everything else was held exactly the same.
rntlee's Avatar rntlee 09:10 AM 01-16-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

The alleged superiority of toroids is yet another audiophile myth.

They have their strengths and weaknesses like everything else. The world is full of audiophile, even high end gear that uses conventional transformers.

True dat.
Both types have positives and negatives...it's a metter of balancing trade-offs to achieve what you want in a given application.
Nice thing about using an EI transformer in a power supply is the lower bandwidth vs. a toroid. Acts as a filter to remove any crap from the mains.
You know, "the smaller the window the less s**t that flies in"
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