Originally Posted by trackfan
Originally Posted by arnyk
These pictures of the A-9070 (upper photo) versus a lower end Onkyo AVR product (lower photo) may provide some hints:
My eye sees bigger transformers, heat sinks, and other potentially heavy items in the upper photo. In some cases these weighty parts may be twice as large and may also appear in twice the quantity as the lower end AVR. There is your weight.
No, you changed the comparison. You are comparing apples and oranges - a high end device versus a mid-fi device.
Nevertheless, most of us don't buy audio gear to accumulate weight. We buy audio gear to have good sound. All the weight in the world is worthless to me if it doesn't give me better sound quality. That's my particular value system, I don't know if it yours or if it should be yours.
Of course I don't buy equipment for the weight, but at least when it comes to amplifiers and receivers, I've always accepted the axiom that extra weight (heat sinks, transformers, etc.) usually comes with more power.
Let the spec sheet and technical testing be your guide.
For example I have two power amps that are both about 125 wpc @ 8 ohms very clean, and one (the older one) weighs about twice what the other does. What changed in the intervening 20 or so years is that due to advances in technology, it became permissible to operate (fewer) power transistors and smaller power transformers at higher temperatures which means that they could be smaller and lighter. Those large filter caps in power amp power supplies have also become quite a bit smaller and lighter for the same capacitance and low ESL and ESR. Neither amp works much different and I've had and stressed the newer one long enough to rate it as being as reliable as can be. But when I'm going to carry them to a gig, I know which one I'll pick first! ;-)
If we were discussing tuners or preamps, weight would be irrelevant. I guess my bottom line question is whether or not a high-end AVR or integrated amp (eg. Yamaha RX-A2020BL, Onkyo TX-NR1010, Denon AVR-3313CI, Onkyo A-9070, etc.) offers anything over $400 AVR's other than more power and more inputs? More specifically, is it your position that the DAC section of $400 AVR's performs as well as the DAC section of $1500 AVR's?
I have looked at many of the issues you've raised by inspecting the actual hardware, looking at service manuals, examining online photographs. In general the more expensive AVRs are better made. Nicer power transformers and sometimes more of them. The converters are better. They use better op amps. The power amp circuits are more sophisticated. But, as I pointed out in another thread, even the converters in one of the cheaper AVRs around, the Yamaha RXV-371 are overkill for the real job at hand. Ditto for its IC-based power amps, packed 3 to a board instead of on individual boards.
In the end, for me it is all about the sound. I've expounded here at length many times how the dynamic nature of music means that we can benefit if we remember that we are building audio amps, not arc welders! ;-)