Originally Posted by bwhitmore
I'm a little confused about adding an amp to my 8001. I guess that's just plug-n-play? I've been really happy with how the 8001 has performed and it's integrated well into my setup. If I can simply add power that might be an option.
The question is do I spend $2000 on a new amp and use my older receiver OR spend $2000 on a new receiver? It's seems like buying the amp is the way to go? What are the pros/cons of each option?
It really depends, it's not about the power, it's about the control of the speakers. I think once you have 4 ohm speakers, you need to look into dedicated power. Both my hifi speakers and the home theatre speakers (front three) are 4ohm, and dip to 2ohm. No way could a AVR handle that. I "only" have 60W but they can drive them much better than a AVR. Now I'm using 60W+100W for the hifi and 200W for the home theatre (those figures into 8ohm) so about 50%-75% higher for 4ohm. The power supply in that 200W for only 3 channels is higher rated than a 11 channel AVR.
Try and find a AVR with 2 x 1600VA and 3 x 30.000uF. ;-)
Of course that means you may no longer want or need a full blown 9 channel AVR. Why pay for power amplifiers in a AVR that you won't use? But then you might buy a 3 dedicated amp then use the AVR for sides and surrounds. You just have more flexibility.
Flagship AVR cost about £2000. I can't see the point of spending that much every few years, only to lose vast sum when you come to sell it when it's out of date- just to get audio over HDMI, more advanced room EQ, etc.
Cons are of course money, but then what is a couple of thousand pounds/dollars for a quality power amplifier you will keep for several generations of pre, and getting full potential and sound quality from your speakers.
Also if you want to get a AV pre-amp they're stupidly expensive, Lexicon etc.. couple of brands that are affordable, Audiolab (quite basic) Emotiva. Things like brand new Lexicon MC-12 HD EQ balanaced are WAY out of my price, unless second hand units go down to £1500 I'd never be able to afford the £15,000 price (nor that I would spend that much anyway) £1500 is my limit for a pre.
To get the ATI 2003 + 2004 amps would cost about £4000, however they don't go out of date, and should last 20 years so not too bad investment.
fyi my pre/power system
ATI 2003 3 channel
Audiolab 8000PX 100W 2 channel
Audiolab 8000SX 60W 2 channel
Audiolab 8000SX 60W 2 channel
Audiolab 8000PX 100W 2 channel.
Something like Anthem 710 could cover my needs, but that's £2200 and I've seen how hard it is for people to sell the old Anthem's, and seen many £2000 go for peanuts, especially once HDMI came out- none HDMI units don't sell, even if they have 7.1 RCA input.
Also you may notice same amps, I have moved amps back and forth from system, either as I upgrade, or if amp is repaired, I still have a fully working system. With a AVR it's one unit, so without it, you have no system at all.