Originally Posted by graphicguy
jasen....quite frankly, there are plenty of bookshelf and mini-monitors that are much harder to drive than "large" speakers.
True. Speaker efficiency is not tied to size, sorry.
Separates aren't really difficult to set up. More connections between the pre-pro to the amp, yes. Difficult, no!
But _BUYING_ separates creates another whole set of components and manufacturers to choose from. The poor newbie is already confused by HDMI, TrueHD, Audessey, YPAO, multi-zone, Watts vs Watts per channel, THD, etc., etc.
Different rooms require different needs, too. A room with lots of reflective surfaces (hardwood floors, high ceilings, lots of glass) will have different requirements than a room with carpet, heavy upholstered furniture, etc.
None of which is known about the original poster - or many other posters I've seen pre-outs recommended to.
I've had both separates and high end AVRs. While the gap is very, very close between a high end AVR and separates (and closing), someone mentioned the one thing that can't be accounted for by using separates. That is, when new codecs or connection schemes come around, with separates, you only have to replace the pre-pro, not the entire system (including amp).
Again, for a newbie just starting out, if the gap is that close why not just recommend the simplest, most newbie-proof solution? My limited experience has shown that good pre-pros cost as much as good receivers - and people have noted they buy receivers and just use them as pre-pros.
It's next to impossibly to say that 50W, 100W, 200W is enough power. There are so many other variables involved that it's impossible to say when "enough is enough".
Right. And I don't think there's enough known about the original poster's situation to make any kind of power decision. I think he mentioned he wants TrueHD and otherwise is feeling a bit overwhelmed by the number of choices and variables involved in this decision. Tossing separates into the mix seems counter-productive.
To get back to my original premise: The blanket recommendation to "make sure" a receiver has pre-outs because the person asking "might" need or want separate amplifiers seems like a disservice to newbies coming in and trying to figure out this home theater craziness.
This forum has a sticky FAQ thread that explains many of the terms and technologies in the AVR world. I wonder if there shouldn't be a "How to pick your first receiver" sticky, too.