Is a Stereo Integrated Amplifier better choice than an AV Receiver? - Page 4 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #91 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 03:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alanlee View Post
In recent years I have used Yamaha, Pioneer and Denon Audio Video Receivers (AVR). I also have Emotiva, NAD, and Sunfire separate amps. Call me crazy, but I cannot hear a whole lot of difference between any of these devices. There does seem to be a difference in room correction software, and I am partial to the Audyssey software in the Denon 5200 which I am currently using, although I can appreciate folks who are partial to other software. Either way one goes can be used in the future. If you buy a two channel amp and pre-amp now and choose to use an AVR in the future, you can hook the amp to the AVR and reduce the load on the AVR. If you buy the AVR now and only use two channels, you will not be taxing the AVR to any great extent, and you might decide to add a few speakers in the future.

As I think about it, I am not able to comment on a two-channel integrated amp. It has been many years since I had one. I do remember thinking I was very cool with my Sansui amp, Teac reel-to-reel tape and Pioneer speakers. That was before surround sound and separate sub-woofers. No, no I think I am going with the 9 channel Denon 5200 even though it is now obsolete. It's on 5 or 6 hours a day playing music and movie and the new Dolby Surround (DSU) format is great.
Thanks for your comment.
I just realized that Denon & Pioneer do not produce Stereo Amps anymore!
Last models were Denon PMA-50 and Pioneer A-20.
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post #92 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 04:05 AM
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fwiw, the human brain is the most powerful thing on this earth.it can make you see, smell, feel, hear and taste things that are not there. it can be tricked very easy especially when any of the senses are mixed. so where am I going with this. it is so easy for people to be brain washed into anything that they know "nothing" about. that's what makes manufactures spend big money on marketing because the human brain is very easy to fool. just my 3 inflated cents

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #93 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by jaddie View Post
I've heard of a well-known high-end writer who did his serious listening drunk and at high volumes. I don't know if the room was dark.

I think I know who you're talking about, but can't think of the name, which is becoming more and more frequent these days.


Frankly though, most of us didn't listen that loud. The quieter the noise floor and the more resolving power you had, the less loud you needed to listen. I rarely listen louder than 90-95db and most of the time around 85db.


I used to work with the friend of mine that I've known for 35-40 years who has the $800,000 system. When he'd come down to LA for a company meeting he'd stay at my house so we could listen until late in the night. And same arraignments when we had a meeting in the bay area and I'd go up there. Now we did the dark alright, but we also did about three bottles of champaign between us so we felt like s**t the next day for the meeting. Now there's a story here about something that happened to a very expensive cart due to this. All that stopped in later years until I had a couple when we went to see John Mayall at Yoshis almost two years ago.

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post #94 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by balky View Post
I'm not sure it can be better explained than this...

Just to share a bit of my experience, the Pioneer 1018ah-k is rated at 110W/ch and the NAD at 50W/ch...

As far as 2-Channel audio is concerned all the digital capabilities on the Pioneer totals to zero value when you hear the NAD sing...

Pick one of each and audition at home... you won't regret it...

My little brother has a NAD integrated that he brought over here one night to do some listening. It's not bad at all. I think better than the little Yamaha, but not quite the Hegel. Still a decent sound for relatively little money.
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post #95 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 08:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by balky View Post
I'm not sure it can be better explained than this...

Just to share a bit of my experience, the Pioneer 1018ah-k is rated at 110W/ch and the NAD at 50W/ch...

As far as 2-Channel audio is concerned all the digital capabilities on the Pioneer totals to zero value when you hear the NAD sing...

Pick one of each and audition at home... you won't regret it...
Since you are in a sharing mode, would you mind sharing the details on how to set up the audition at home?
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post #96 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by LFEer View Post
Since you are in a sharing mode, would you mind sharing the details on how to set up the audition at home?
I am loosely using the term "audition" in way of saying purchase or borrow one and try it out at home...

i.e. connect it to your current gear play music that you know well and determine in your personal opinion if one sounds better than the other... hope that is clear enough... LOL...
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post #97 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Alex F. View Post
....

PS: I read the letter in the pdf. It was amusing to me because I really dislike Krell power amplifiers (Dan D'agostino's products). They give me a headache. Too much bass and way too much energy in the upper midrange and treble. Krell amps make my ears bleed.

Krell amplifiers are fairly linear. The 'bad sound' that made your ears bleed must have been caused by the loudspeakers used or the room or a combination of both.
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post #98 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 12:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LFEer View Post
Your senses would be at normal level of concentration as anyone else doing X number of tasks at once. When you reduce the number of tasks, your sense can be more concentrated, thus the blind listening test allows the listeners to have higher concentration on their aural sense, contrary to your claim.
I never claimed otherwise. You imagined I said it. Indeed, I prefer to do evaluations of components in a darkened room with my eyes closed. You apparently think blind testing refers to a participant not being allowed to use his or her eyes. Blind testing means not being permitted to know which of two components is being utilized as you're listening. It is the participant's choice whether to have eyes open or closed.

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Originally Posted by LFEer View Post
You must have a different definition of double blind listening test. Who said you're not allowed to have long term test with DBT?
I do not even know what you're talking about anymore. As I already said, normal long-term testing means an audition of a component over several days in one's home. A blind test of the same component could be performed as well if the person is so inclined. But I never heard of a long-term blind test (i.e., over several days), if that's what you mean.

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Originally Posted by LFEer View Post
What was it that I preached? Can you quote it?
I said that the best way to evaluate a newly purchased amplifier is via a normal long-term test at home. You then took me to task--in multiple posts--and said a blind test is a better method. You don't know what you are saying in this thread?

You still have not told us which amplifiers you blind tested when you made your most recent purchase. Do you practice what you preach?
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post #99 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
I also use cable elevators. I'm cheap though so I use the Cardis.

But so does Bernie Grundman

at 2 sec in the vid and clearly at 17:05. If it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me.


Who is Bernie Grundman?
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post #100 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post
Who is Bernie Grundman?



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Grundman


One of the big cheeses among mastering engineers.
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post #101 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 12:58 PM
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I would say that if you're only planning on doing 2channel listening going with an integrated amp could lead to better sound than a receiver, but it ultimately depends on which products. I have a Peachtree Nova 220, also had the original Nova and Nova 125. I also have a Pioneer SC-1323k receiver and a stack of Emotiva XPA-100 monoblocks and an Emotiva XPA-2 Dac/Pre. I've also had receivers from Denon, Yamaha and Onkyo. I would say that none of the receivers have sounded as good as any of the Peachtree products for just music. I also prefer the Peachtree to the Emo stack, but they're both very good and have different strengths.

A receiver could be a good choice if you want 2 channel music, but also may want to go into home theater or surround modes later. Its not that 2 channel music isn't good on the receiver or that you won't be happy with it. Its just when I went from a receiver to the Peachtree I noticed a big difference in overall sound quality, especially on the imaging, sound stage and overall dynamics. The one thing with receivers I would ignore is their watts per channel ratings. They're almost always stated with 2 channels driven, so when using multiple channels for home theater or surround you're getting a fraction of that. Plus, watts per channel don't translate to good sound all the time. The Pioneer receiver I have is probably the best I've heard for 2 channel. It uses class d amps and it has a decent ESS Sabre DAC. I usually listen in direct or pure direct mode and it can image pretty well. I would also look for receivers with full pre-outs. That way you can add your own amps later and just use the receiver as a preamp/processor. You could upgrade the DAC by getting an external unit like the Emotiva, Peachtree Dac-It, or any other stand alone DAC, and I think that could really improve your sound for 2 channel audio with most receivers.

In my little theater room I currently use my Emo XPA-100s hooked up to the Pioneer pre-outs for the front L/R channel. My amps are hooked up to the receiver using RCA (unbalanced) cables, but they're also hooked up to the XDA-2 using XLR (balanced) cables. There's a switch on the back of the amps to toggle between using the balanced or unbalanced outputs. This way, when I want to listen to music in that room I just switch them to balanced and use the XDA-2 as the preamp (stream through a google chromecast music). When I want to use the amps for theater or watching tv I flip the switch to unbalanced and then they're running through the Pioneer as a pre/pro with the Pioneer powering the center and surrounds. I have the Peachtree 220 upstairs in the living room powering a pair of Totem Hawks. Sounds great, and looks great in the living room which makes my wife happy . I feel like I'm getting the best scenarios all the way around.

To summarize, if you're committed to just 2 channel audio I'd go with an integrated like a used Peachtree or something similar. If you want something that can do 2 channel plus have the option for home theater I'd get a decent receiver that also has full pre-outs for the most flexibility.
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post #102 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 01:06 PM
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Those are not cable elevators, look carefully. Those are the legs for his rack, and are on casters. I've worked with him, he is not a cable elevator kind of guy.
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post #103 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Who is Bernie Grundman?
Mastering engineer to a lot of the baby boomer generation pop/rock musical icons. If you have more sophisticated musical tastes then he'd probably be unknown to you.
While talented at what he does, it doesn't also make him an expert at all things sound-related, per se.

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The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard P. Feynman
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post #104 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 01:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Frank Derks View Post
Krell amplifiers are fairly linear. The 'bad sound' that made your ears bleed must have been caused by the loudspeakers used or the room or a combination of both.
Sorry, but you are incorrect. I have heard many of Dan D'Agostino's* Krell power amplifiers over many years in many different rooms with which I was familiar (all acoustically treated), using many different loudspeakers. When the Krell was removed from the system and a different amp was inserted, my suffering went away. The same applies to Bryston power amplifiers. My ears cannot tolerate both of those brands' power amps due to their elevated upper midrange and clinical treble. I don't mind Krell preamps and CD players, though.

A good example was auditioning a pair of B&W 803s I was considering for purchase in 2001. I visited a new dealership. I brought my usual CD reference disc (Linda Ronstadt's What's New). The salesman ushered me into a dimly lit room. I had no idea what components the dealer was using. By the second or so song I told the salesman that the B&Ws were way too bright for my taste. I asked what components I was listening through. He said an all-Krell system (preamp, stereo power amp, and CD player). I didn't even know he was a Krell dealer. At my request he substituted a different power amp (I cannot recall which brand). Ahh, the B&Ws sounded much better. (In case you were wondering, I didn't purchase the B&Ws.)

My preference is toward neutral or slightly warm power amplifiers, such as McIntosh, Conrad-Johnson, and Quad.

-------------
*I mentioned D'Agostino's name to differentiate his amplifiers from those developed by his former company after he was pushed out. I have not yet had an opportunity to hear Krell's current amplifiers, nor those from D'Agostino's new company.
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post #105 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by CruelInventions View Post
Mastering engineer to a lot of the baby boomer generation pop/rock musical icons. If you have more sophisticated musical tastes then he'd probably be unknown to you.
While talented at what he does, it doesn't also make him an expert at all things sound-related, per se.

Yes, I remember now. I have some of his remasters somewhere in my collection. He has done some jazz as well as pop.
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post #106 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by CruelInventions View Post
Mastering engineer to a lot of the baby boomer generation pop/rock musical icons. If you have more sophisticated musical tastes then he'd probably be unknown to you.

While talented at what he does, it doesn't also make him an expert at all things sound-related, per se.

You are doing a major disservice to someone you've never met. His expertise and credits go so far beyond that.
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post #107 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Alex F. View Post
Sorry, but you are incorrect. I have heard many of Dan D'Agostino's* Krell power amplifiers over many years in many different rooms with which I was familiar (all acoustically treated), using many different loudspeakers. When the Krell was removed from the system and a different amp was inserted, my suffering went away. The same applies to Bryston power amplifiers. My ears cannot tolerate both of those brands' power amps due to their elevated upper midrange and clinical treble. I don't mind Krell preamps and CD players, though.

A good example was auditioning a pair of B&W 803s I was considering for purchase in 2001. I visited a new dealership. I brought my usual CD reference disc (Linda Ronstadt's What's New). The salesman ushered me into a dimly lit room. I had no idea what components the dealer was using. By the second or so song I told the salesman that the B&Ws were way too bright for my taste. I asked what components I was listening through. He said an all-Krell system (preamp, stereo power amp, and CD player). I didn't even know he was a Krell dealer. At my request he substituted a different power amp (I cannot recall which brand). Ahh, the B&Ws sounded much better. (In case you were wondering, I didn't purchase the B&Ws.)

My preference is toward neutral or slightly warm power amplifiers, such as McIntosh, Conrad-Johnson, and Quad.

-------------
*I mentioned D'Agostino's name to differentiate his amplifiers from those developed by his former company after he was pushed out. I have not yet had an opportunity to hear Krell's current amplifiers, nor those from D'Agostino's new company.

Huh. Did you listen to the Krell with the brick or brick-free?
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post #108 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jaddie View Post
Those are not cable elevators, look carefully. Those are the legs for his rack, and are on casters. I've worked with him, he is not a cable elevator kind of guy.
It sure looks like the cables are elevated when crossing the walk-ways. While hard to really see, there are certainly shadows underneath them.
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Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence


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post #109 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 01:54 PM
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I'd suggest, if you want to have a stereo amp and pre-amp only, integrated is an option.
If you want something like an integrated amp, but with a "radio tuner" and other "bells and whistles" get a receiver.
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post #110 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 02:58 PM
 
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Huh. Did you listen to the Krell with the brick or brick-free?
No brick. But the dealer did use Forbidden Planet-brand interconnect cables.
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post #111 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by jaddie View Post
Those are not cable elevators, look carefully. Those are the legs for his rack, and are on casters. I've worked with him, he is not a cable elevator


kind of guy.

Min 2:49 - 2:55 way off to the right. Sure looks like cable elevators.


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post #112 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mrlittlejeans View Post
It sure looks like the cables are elevated when crossing the walk-ways. While hard to really see, there are certainly shadows underneath them.

And given the trip hazard there'd be, he wouldn't use them unless they did something.






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post #113 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 03:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Alex F. View Post
I never claimed otherwise. You imagined I said it. Indeed, I prefer to do evaluations of components in a darkened room with my eyes closed. You apparently think blind testing refers to a participant not being allowed to use his or her eyes. Blind testing means not being permitted to know which of two components is being utilized as you're listening. It is the participant's choice whether to have eyes open or closed.
These are your claims which are incorrect
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Originally Posted by Alex F. View Post
No, it does not work that way. Very little about an amplifier's specific and general sonic traits can be obtained via blind testing. Such testing provides only snippets of what the component sounds like. Only through long-term testing can every trait be discovered.
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Originally Posted by Alex F. View Post
A DBT merely makes the differences more difficult to detect.
and I explained to you why they are incorrect.
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But I never heard of a long-term blind test (i.e., over several days), if that's what you mean.
It's time you give that a try and get over this imaginary claims about what DBT doesn't do.
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I said that the best way to evaluate a newly purchased amplifier is via a normal long-term test at home. You then took me to task--in multiple posts--and said a blind test is a better method. You don't know what you are saying in this thread?
This is what you said about evaluating component,
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I answered your question in Post 39: "He can audition the components any way he desires."
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Originally Posted by Alex F. View Post
He can audition the components any way he desires. Single-blind or double-blind testing if he wants to try and mask audible differences, or normal long-term listening over several days if he wants to thoroughly evaluate all aspects of their sonic performance.
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You still have not told us which amplifiers you blind tested when you made your most recent purchase. Do you practice what you preach?
I asked you to quote what I preached but you haven't. Would that be because you can't find what you claimed that I did?
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post
Yes, I remember now. I have some of his remasters somewhere in my collection. He has done some jazz as well as pop.
He just released Wes Montgomery One Night In Indy. Excellent live recording from 1959.
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post #115 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jaddie View Post
You are doing a major disservice to someone you've never met. His expertise and credits go so far beyond that.

I don't go back any further than this, but starting with Bob and Wilma Fine, Grundman would be in the all time top ten in my book.
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post #116 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 04:16 PM
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One thing that has interested me is the significance of differences. I accept DBT as the best way to see if there’s a difference in sound, though I wonder whether brief comparisons can detect everything. But suppose we hear a difference. What does that mean? There are great differences between rooms, between positions within a room, between recordings. We can probably hear a 1 db difference in balance between low and high frequencies, but the ear certainly adapts to this kind of difference pretty quickly, so I’ve got to wonder how much it actually matters.

But there are certainly differences that do matter. I've had systems that I just couldn't like. They're not always what I would have expected. I have two NAD amplifiers with very different design characteristics and very difference price, both of which seem about equivalent. However I was much less satisfied with a receiver which I would have expected to be if anything better. Similarly I've heard two DACs, both reviewed well, but one of which I never felt did well. On the other hand, the headphone / line out of both my Mac and a Sony TV are virtually indistinguishable from the better of my two DACs. This is what you'd expect, since as far as I can tell, DACs are now a mature technology. The chips used in a Mac should be good enough that any improvement is not audible. But the fact that one external DAC was a problem is surprising.

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post #117 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 04:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LFEer View Post
These are your claims which are incorrect and I explained to you why they are incorrect. It's time you give that a try and get over this imaginary claims about what DBT doesn't do. This is what you said about evaluating component, I asked you to quote what I preached but you haven't. Would that be because you can't find what you claimed that I did?
I answered every one of your questions.

No, I will not conduct or participate in a continuous blind test of two amplifiers over a period of several days to decide which one to purchase.
.
As for supplying your own quotes about your preference for blind tests to audition gear, just go back and read your own posts in this thread. It's not my fault you cannot remember what you wrote several times here.

I am finished wasting my time going in circles with you. I suggest you go participate in your own long-term multi-day blind test.

Last edited by Alex F.; 02-25-2016 at 04:45 PM.
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post #118 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jaddie View Post
Those are not cable elevators, look carefully. Those are the legs for his rack, and are on casters. I've worked with him, he is not a cable elevator kind of guy.

HA HA HA HA Min 6:30 Michael Fremer knocks the cable elevators over. Now what ??????




And then at min 8:00 he says EVERYTHING makes a difference.


Holy s**t what's this world coming to?

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post #119 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 04:55 PM
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And then there's this 5 part series at Wax 2015 at Crapital Records a few months, much of it on digital vs anal log


So in Bernie's own words. Especially starting at 35 secs


And min 4:15 on




HA HA HA HA

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post #120 of 362 Old 02-25-2016, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Tony_Montana View Post
Hello guys!

All this time i was thinking that stereo integrated receivers have more value than AV receivers for 2-Channel Audio.
...
(i.e. an Yamaha A-S501 instead of a RX-V679 or an A-S801 instead of a RX-A850, a Marantz PM8005 vs SR6010 etc)
I stunned at how quickly the discussion of a simply question goes off the rails and descends into the same people arguing the same points again and again.

First, there is no right answer, only the right answer FOR YOU.

By and large -

If you want a Music system, then get a Music system, meaning a Stereo. It will still do a nice job for movies.

If you want a Movie system, then get a Movie system, meaning a Surround Sound system. It will still do a nice job for music.


Next, for a fixed amount of money, an AV Receiver is very high in features. But, you don't get something for nothing. The more items you get for a fixed amount of money, the less each item is worth.

A Stereo Amp is going to have fewer features. Definitely not Room Correction, extremely likely it will not have Electronic Bass Management, and a low probability that a Stereo will have Network Streaming.

These are all standard features on an AVR, but again, remember, you don't get something for nothing.


But my point is, you don't match your choice to some theoretical ideal, you match your choice to that which best serves your specific needs and circumstances. Your Preferences, your Priorities, your Budget, your Room, your Feature Requirements are the deciding factors, not simply stereo vs surround sound.

For myself, all things considered, I chose Stereo. My priority is music, though I do watch movies several times a week. And, though slightly unique, my Stereo does not leave me wanting with regard to any aspect of movie watching or music listening.

However, to a person more focused on movies, and for whom Surround Sound has a real appeal, I can't fault them for choosing an AVR. But that's just not me.

So, who are you? What are your preferences and priorities? Does you room and circumstance lend itself well to Surround Sound? Are movies the highest priority?

In terms of time, I spend more time watching movies, but in terms of personal priorities, music is highest which is precisely why I have a Music (stereo) system.

Also keep in mind for a fixed budget in Stereo, to get the same value, you have to spend more on a AV System. Though this is derived through pure math, to equal a $500 Stereo, an AVR needs to be around $1500. More likely around a $1000 or more.

If we look at speakers, you can get two speakers for $1000 or you can get 5 speakers plus an expensive Sub for $1000. Which would logically be the better speakers?

So, indeed you can get an AVR/Surround system that is the equal of a Stereo, just not for the same price. For AVR/Surround, you have to spend more money. How much more money is subject to debate, but I would say twice as much on the AVR, and about 2 to 4 times as much on speakers.

There is no right or wrong. Don't focus on it with that attitude. What is right is what best suits you personally. So focus on that.

What do you really want?

If you want a Stereo, then ...done... decision make.

If you absolutely want a Surround Sound system, then ...done... decision made.

If you are not sure, then again look inward. What is it you want? What are your priorities? What is your ultimate goal? How much do you have to spend? And so on.

To get what you want, you have to know what you want
.
In discovering that, you will discover the right choice for you.

I know what I want. I would not consider a full surround sound system unless I had the very considerable money to create a dedicate home theater room. And even then, I would still have a Stereo. So, you see how my preference, priorities, and circumstances dictated the choices I made. This is right for me, that doesn't mean it is right of you or anyone else.

Certainly with an amp like the Yamaha AS801 you could build a system that would serve many masters. To equal that in a Surround system, I think you would need a higher end ($1500 to $2000) AVR and considerably more money for speakers. I would say at least double the money for speakers. That is, if you have $1000 pair of Front speakers in the hypothetical Stereo, then you would need another $1000 for Center, Surround, and Sub to flesh out the Surround Sound.

So, either budget goes up, or quality goes down

As to the argument about Double Blind Tests, forget that. The odd of the average person ever being exposed to a Scientifically valid Double Blind Test are virtually ZERO. And for that Double Blind Test to included equipment you are specifically interested in is probably less than zero. And for you to receive the results of that test in a meaningful way are also less than zero.

You listen, and you like what you like or you don't. Then you move on.

In summary -

If you want a Music system, then get a Music system, meaning a Stereo. It will still do a nice job for movies.

If you want a Movie system, then get a Movie system, meaning a Surround Sound system. It will still do a nice job for music.


Keep in mind for a fixed budget in Stereo, to get the same quality, you have to spend more on a AV Surround System.


It really is just that simple.

Steve/bluewizard
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Last edited by bluewizard; 02-25-2016 at 05:32 PM.
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