AVR with audiophile level audio? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Since dedicated pre-amp/power amp is on the decline and AVR is on the rise, I am looking for a receiver preferably less than $500-700 that has audiophile quality (can rival the pre-amp/power amp setup in the old days) 2-channel audio but can also do 5.1. This is mainly for 2-channel music listening but I watch movies occasionally.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 01:09 PM
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What speakers are you trying to drive? Do you have one or two subs? As you probably know, speaker efficiency matters a lot.

It's true that most AVRs can't keep up with the impedance swings of woofers and do have under powered power supplies driving multiple amps, but if you have a well treated room with a sub (best to have dual matching subs), you can set the cross-over high in the AVR to take load off the AVR's amp and get great sound. I wouldn't expect a $500-700 AVR to provide "audiophile" quality, but if you invest your money in highly efficient speakers and dual subs you probably can get a very nice sounding system.

Honestly with HDMI 2.0 coming, why not buy used? You can get an older $2000+ AVR used for less money and have a good unit. I'd make sure it has Audyssey XT32 though.

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post #3 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 01:13 PM
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Disagree with seperate pre-power is on the decrease. My back still hurts after taking up my 45kg monster power amplifier
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can rival the pre-amp/power amp setup in the old days)

Good luck with that lol

As for AV amps with excellent sound quality, checkout Arcam, Anthem, NAD, HK. Would it equal pre-power? No. But be more affordable.

Krell Evolution 900e x 7

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post #4 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seiyafan View Post

Since dedicated pre-amp/power amp is on the decline and AVR is on the rise, I am looking for a receiver preferably less than $500-700 that has audiophile quality (can rival the pre-amp/power amp setup in the old days) 2-channel audio but can also do 5.1. This is mainly for 2-channel music listening but I watch movies occasionally.

Thanks!

All modern solid state high fidelity amplifiers are linear. So that means none of them have any sound of their own. Which you choose is immaterial in terms of sound quality.
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post #5 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by etc6849 View Post


It's true that most AVRs can't keep up with the impedance swings of woofers

Not true. Most AVR's handle mostt speakers without any difficulty at all. There are exceptions but not that many.

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and do have under powered power supplies driving multiple amps,

If that were true the AVR manufacturers would be going out of business because of wholesale equipment failures.
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I wouldn't expect a $500-700 AVR to provide "audiophile" quality,

Why not? Can you name an AVR with noise, distortion and variance from a flat frequency response that are above the level of audibility?
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Honestly with HDMI 2.0 coming, why not buy used?

To avoid buying someone else's problems?

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You can get an older $2000+ AVR used for less money and have a good unit.

Or buy a brand new $500 model and have a good unit with fewer features.
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I'd make sure it has Audyssey XT32 though.

A matter of opinion and preference. Audyssey is the one room calibration routine I won't have.
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post #6 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom View Post

Disagree with seperate pre-power is on the decrease. My back still hurts after taking up my 45kg monster power amplifier

Weight has never been a meaningful characteristic of high performance in audio.
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As for AV amps with excellent sound quality, checkout Arcam, Anthem, NAD, HK. Would it equal pre-power? No. But be more affordable.

If you defeat room calibration, there would be no audible difference between them in a bias controlled listening test.
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post #7 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Speakers are Ascend Sierra Tower, but I sit 5-6 feet from them so I don't need them to be loud. I don't plan adding any subwoofer in my room.
My room is acoustically treated (corner bass traps, panels on the side, behind speakers, and behind me smile.gif ) so I would rather not use software calibration.
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post #8 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 01:31 PM
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If you defeat room calibration, there would be no audible difference between them in a bias controlled listening test.

wrong
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Weight has never been a meaningful characteristic of high performance in audio.

Large power supplies are heavy. One channel in my amp has more clean power than your entire Pioneer AV amp has for all channels.

Krell Evolution 900e x 7

Bose Jewel speakers.

 

Jealous of my speakers?

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post #9 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Speakers are Ascend Sierra Tower, but I sit 5-6 feet from them so I don't need them to be loud. I don't plan adding any subwoofer in my room.

I'd still recommend a sub, just to take the lowest bass. Even a SB1000 would do a better job than your mains <40hz.

Krell Evolution 900e x 7

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post #10 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom View Post

I'd still recommend a sub, just to take the lowest bass. Even a SB1000 would do a better job than your mains <40hz.

Maybe next year, the tower really stretched my budget for now. biggrin.gif
By the way, I mainly listen to classical music, so there is not much to lose by not having a sub anyway.
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post #11 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 01:41 PM
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What you are looking for will not exist... A good amplifier needs a well designed power supply... Amps with good power supplies are generally heavy. Then you want better components, caps, resistors, DACs, etc. All this costs money. Inexpensive AVRs sound weak because the power supply cannot meet the demands of the amplifier. Cheap components will not perform as well as better ESS or Burr-Brown DACs. There is a reason why AVRs go up to $3000 or more. They are built and sound better than $300 units. If they can make a AVR that can out-power and sound better than a $3000 unit, you would have heard of it by now...

If it's not a BIG screen, it's not a theater...
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post #12 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I see, that's fine I was just checking.

$3k is too much for me, going back to reality what's considered some of the most bang for the buck in $500-700 range, quality wise?
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post #13 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 01:55 PM
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I like Yamaha AV ampslifiers personally. Great relability and sound quality.

If you want a power amplifier later, consider a model with pre-outs.

Krell Evolution 900e x 7

Bose Jewel speakers.

 

Jealous of my speakers?

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post #14 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom View Post

wrong

Not wrong.
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Large power supplies are heavy. One channel in my amp has more clean power than your entire Pioneer AV amp has for all channels.

Maybe, maybe not. But the important point is that my Pioneer AVR is more than powerful enough to handle my home theater.
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post #15 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

What you are looking for will not exist... A good amplifier needs a well designed power supply... Amps with good power supplies are generally heavy. Then you want better components, caps, resistors, DACs, etc. All this costs money. Inexpensive AVRs sound weak because the power supply cannot meet the demands of the amplifier. Cheap components will not perform as well as better ESS or Burr-Brown DACs. There is a reason why AVRs go up to $3000 or more. They are built and sound better than $300 units. If they can make a AVR that can out-power and sound better than a $3000 unit, you would have heard of it by now...

Unfortunately none of this has anything at all to do with sound quality. Zero.
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post #16 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom View Post

I like Yamaha AV ampslifiers personally. Great relability and sound quality.

If you want a power amplifier later, consider a model with pre-outs.

At last, we agree. Who would have thought?
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post #17 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 02:08 PM
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Will you take your nonsense elseware. You have your own "all amps sound the same thread" go and sulk in there.

You bought a crap sounding AV amplifier with 40W per channel output at 10% THD one channel driven, Pioneer melting and shutting down, and now parroting about they all sound the same as that's all you need regardless.

Krell Evolution 900e x 7

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post #18 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom View Post

I like Yamaha AV ampslifiers personally. Great relability and sound quality.

 


But you said...

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1524217/amp-power-to-speaker-wattage-rating#post_24526743

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Funny then how the treble driver died on me after playing music loud on a Yamaha AV amplifier. Replaced with a dedicated stereo integrated amp with real rated power and no problems since. 
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post #19 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

What you are looking for will not exist... A good amplifier needs a well designed power supply... Amps with good power supplies are generally heavy. Then you want better components, caps, resistors, DACs, etc. All this costs money. Inexpensive AVRs sound weak because the power supply cannot meet the demands of the amplifier. Cheap components will not perform as well as better ESS or Burr-Brown DACs. There is a reason why AVRs go up to $3000 or more. They are built and sound better than $300 units. If they can make a AVR that can out-power and sound better than a $3000 unit, you would have heard of it by now...

bang on. To get the same clean power as my ATI I'd have to spend £3000 on a AV amplifier, and even then it's not even close.

I remember reading reviews on a AV amplifier shutting down with 4 ohm speakers, over heating. That's why I never bothered with higher end models, you might as well go pre-power once you get low sensitvity/low impedance speakers.

I mean some people...buy B&W Nautilus, Kef Blade or JM Lab Grand Utopia....and spend £200 on a Yamaha 363? rolleyes.gif

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post #20 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 02:15 PM
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I didn't say Yamaha's had great reserves of power, I said they sound good and are reliable. The amp probably clipped, and burnt out my treble.

That's why I bought a Audiolab 8000S. MUCH better sound than the Yamaha, and real 60W power.

Krell Evolution 900e x 7

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post #21 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom View Post

Will you take your nonsense elseware. You have your own "all amps sound the same thread" go and sulk in there.

You bought a crap sounding AV amplifier with 40W per channel output at 10% THD one channel driven, Pioneer melting and shutting down, and now parroting about they all sound the same as that's all you need regardless.

Well at least I agreed with you for a minute or two. smile.gif
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post #22 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, let's steer it back to the right direction.

Would a $500 pre/pro + $200 amp provide better sound quality than a $700 receiver?
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post #23 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 06:44 PM
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Ok, let's steer it back to the right direction.

Would a $500 pre/pro + $200 amp provide better sound quality than a $700 receiver?

No it won't sound better.

A $3000 separate combo won't sound better than $300 AVR, assuming both are ran within in their normal parameters.

Speakers and room treatments will make a lot of difference, but your amp, no.
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post #24 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by seiyafan View Post

Ok, let's steer it back to the right direction.

Would a $500 pre/pro + $200 amp provide better sound quality than a $700 receiver?

Highly unlikely. More likely the $700 will have one, two or all three:

(1) More power
(2) More channels
(3) More features

Reasons why:

(a) Separating the functions into two boxes pushes expenses up
(b) AVRs generally sell in higher volume - economies of scale
(c) AVRs are a more highly competitive market
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post #25 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by seiyafan View Post

Maybe next year, the tower really stretched my budget for now. biggrin.gif
By the way, I mainly listen to classical music, so there is not much to lose by not having a sub anyway.

My wife that plays string bass in our local orchestra might beg to differ ;-)
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post #26 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 07:11 PM
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My wife that plays string bass in our local orchestra might beg to differ ;-)

Yeah, you really never appreciate how much you gain with a sub until you get one, especially a musical one.
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post #27 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I am looking at Denon AVR-X1000 and TSR-6750WA. Are they good for $500?
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post #28 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 07:21 PM
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A lot of people on this forum like Denon for Audyssey.

Crutchfield had it for $450 with fabulous support and a great return policy, so you have little risk in trying it.
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post #29 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seiyafan View Post

I am looking at Denon AVR-X1000 and TSR-6750WA. Are they good for $500?

Even better for $300

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/denavrx1000/denon-avr-x1000-5.1-channel-networking-receiver-w/airplay/1.html
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post #30 of 41 Old 04-04-2014, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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That's a good price indeed. What about Yamaha or Marantz? Are they all similar under $700?
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