Originally Posted by Andrew Jensen
I have been thinking about buying a new receiver for two reasons:
1) I'm currently using an Optimus STAV-3690 from 1998 and my assumption is that if I buy a high end brand, newer receiver, I'll get better sound.
2) I assume something that can stream music directly without Bluetooth reliance will sound better. I play a lot of vinyl, but I also will stream Amazon Music via my phone through a $25 Bluetooth receiver connected to my receiver with A/V jacks.
I've been eyeing receivers like a Denon DRA-800h or Onkyo TX-8270. Both meet my 2 criteria above, but I wonder if I would be better off buying a separate streaming music player and/or buying a more expensive receiver? And will either really produce a noticeable sound difference just because they are 20 years newer and a "better brand?"
I'm a big "the proof is in the pudding" guy and don't really understand what it is about a more expensive receiver that would produce better sound and hate that I can't easily try different receivers in my with my current setup to see if I can tell meaningful differences. I'd be happy to pay an additional 500 or 1000 bucks if it could lead to a "wow! I can really hear the improvement!" moment, but feel like a lot of audio talk online is driven by hype and the satisfaction of knowing you own a really expensive setup - regardless of an objective quality increase.
Any thoughts or advice?
Interesting thread. I am not seeing HEOS mentioned here -although you are looking at the DRA 800H.
Question: if you are so concerned about fidelity, why are you insisting on using blue tooth? I am of the opinion that (audio) friends don't let friends use BT! At least in a "permanent" set up ( BT has its place, but in not a home audio set up where fidelity is important).
There are plenty of streamers that can be had inexpensively.
You can get a HEOS link ( preamp) used via ebay for typically less than 200 ( 349 new. same as Sonos connect) . Or a play -fi streamer can be had via amazon for ~30 ( Phorus pr5, Klipsch gate).
Both HEOS and Play-fi can stream from your NAS. HEOS supports higher bit rates than Sonos.
But to answer the broader question of "should you consider a unit with built in streaming"? I say, yes. However, this is based mostly on the convenience-of-control factor, as well as an outward sense of simplicity(everything is in the case).
As for sound quality, well, that's another thing...can you perceive an audio/audible difference between a modern unit and a vintage unit? Only your ears can tell.
hope it helps