Originally Posted by Cavendish
Too true! The latter route looks much better on paper as far as the ol' wallet is concerned. I was just curious if there would be a large difference in the quality of the sound when using receiver preouts.
Yes, the AVR preouts are just as clean but are likely to have better features. I've checked out the schematics in service manuals for these components, so I know parts numbers and how things are laid out.
In times past the added features had a cost in terms of analog circuits and switches that could harm quality and cut reliability, but modern AVRs now implement all of those features in software, which adds neither switches nor circuitry to the signal path. The software is effectively out of the signal path when it is not used.
I've read that they can be of questionable quality.
Old school, and a vain attempt to overcome the fact that the AVR with pre outs usually costs a lot less due to the economies of scale.
I also like the enhanced video connectivity options of the receiver.
The be fair there is a common kind of preamp called the surround processor that typically has video features. So fi you want to compare apples to apples...
But then, I hear far more complaints of receivers kicking the bucket prematurely or even not working out of the box than I do with preamps. Which makes sense because they jam so much circuitry into one device, whereas the "separates" route has simpler circuits.
Again if you balance the comparison and consider surround processors, the only real difference is the absence of somewhat bulkier circuitry in the form of power amps and their power supply. There is a reliability bonus to AVRs because of their high volume.
So it would seem that a preamp/amplifier combo would last longer and perhaps be worth a more hefty initial investment.
You aren't dealing with a very real question, which is do you need separate power amps in the first place? The AVR gives you the option of trying out not using them before you invest in them.
I'm just looking for some opinions from people who have had experience with any of this to broaden my general knowledge before I make any purchases
I'm like a lot of people that have shelves full of large heavy power amps that went onto the shelf at some point, and stayed there.