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post #1 of 7 Unread Yesterday, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Processor vs Receiver Noob Question

I've been enjoying high end audio for so many years now and yet here I am with a super noob question. Guess I've never ventured down this path.

I currently have a 5 channel setup, no sub. Three Paradigm Studio's up front (S100 v.3 L/R) powered by an Anthem MCA-30. In back I have two Polk Audio RC85i in-wall speakers for surround that are powered by a Cambridge Audio Azur 540R receiver's integrated power. I'm ready to replace the receiver (considering a Yamaha RX-A860BL), but wondering if I should go with the same type of setup, or instead get a nice processor and an adequate 2-channel amp to power the surrounds since my power up front is already taken care of. Is that even a thing? My budget is $1k and the Yamaha RX-A860BL would solve the problem, but I'm wondering if there is a wiser solution. Other gear includes Oppo BDP-95 and Nvidia Shield TV. I don't know much about processors.

I once was lucky to own an Underwood High-Fi modded Denon DVD Player that made SACD's sound ridiculous but the last time I spoke with him he really emphasized that now it's all about the DAC. Based on what I've read I think I prefer the sound of Burr-Brown vs
Sabre, if that helps at all!

Thanks for the insight!
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post #2 of 7 Unread Yesterday, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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To help answer my own question:

"Preamp/processors are the brains behind any high-end home theater system. They're similar to A/V receivers in that they provide source switching and decoding of all the various surround sound formats as well as audio and video processing and volume control. But unlike receivers, preamp/processors have no built-in amplification. In order to maintain the best sound quality, preamp/processors include only low current circuitry and processors. By housing the power amplifiers in a separate box (or multiple boxes), noise and interference between components is minimized, leading to the highest possible sonic performance."

- http://www.bigpicturebigsound.com/Do...-s-Guide.shtml

So the new question is, with a $1k budget, does one go with a processor and a small 2-channel amp, or an integrated A/V receiver like the Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A860? My guess is the latter, but I'd appreciate any bit of guidance.

Happy listening!
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post #3 of 7 Unread Yesterday, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by VeteranAVSMember View Post
So the new question is, with a $1k budget, does one go with a processor and a small 2-channel amp...............................
I do not know if there is such a combination available for under $1000.

Kal Rubinson

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Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile
http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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Buy used - it's the only way you'll find a multi channel preamp processor under $1k. FWIW a decent older AVR should work just fine. I've used both over the years. I'd be using a Denon 4520 today had I not gotten a great deal on my latest processor. The Yamaha A5000 isn't up to date with Atmos and 4k etc etc but I don't need either so it does just fine.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeteranAVSMember View Post
To help answer my own question:

"Preamp/processors are the brains behind any high-end home theater system. They're similar to A/V receivers in that they provide source switching and decoding of all the various surround sound formats as well as audio and video processing and volume control. But unlike receivers, preamp/processors have no built-in amplification. In order to maintain the best sound quality, preamp/processors include only low current circuitry and processors. By housing the power amplifiers in a separate box (or multiple boxes), noise and interference between components is minimized, leading to the highest possible sonic performance."

- http://www.bigpicturebigsound.com/Do...-s-Guide.shtml

So the new question is, with a $1k budget, does one go with a processor and a small 2-channel amp, or an integrated A/V receiver like the Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A860? My guess is the latter, but I'd appreciate any bit of guidance.

Happy listening!
The A860 should work well for you.
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post #6 of 7 Unread Today, 03:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post
Buy used - it's the only way you'll find a multi channel preamp processor under $1k. FWIW a decent older AVR should work just fine. I've used both over the years. I'd be using a Denon 4520 today had I not gotten a great deal on my latest processor. The Yamaha A5000 isn't up to date with Atmos and 4k etc etc but I don't need either so it does just fine.
This was a consideration. Once I better understood the difference between processors and receivers, I was going to take a trip over to Audiogon to see what I could pick up in terms of a processor and adequate 2-channel amp, but I'm leaning in the direction of sticking with a traditional AVR so that I can enjoy the latest decoding. That being said, by the time I finally get some height speakers rigged up for Atmos, there will probably be a whole different tech (speakers under our feet?) that will require a new receiver.

Thanks!
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post #7 of 7 Unread Today, 04:00 AM - Thread Starter
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The A860 should work well for you.
I think this is the winning decision. Thanks!
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