Originally Posted by bobknavs
What do you consider "higher end"? A Denon AVR-X3500H (7.2) has pre-outs for all 7 channels. It's a 2018 model, current closeout price around $550. The 2019 X3600H is twice that, but it processes 11 channels and has 9 amps, and resembles the X4500H more than a 3500.
What's a "digital" amp? Most AVRs are Class A/B. A few are Class D (switching mode), which isn't really digital. (Analog in, analog out, no ADC or DAC in the amp.)
Current AVRs mostly seem to be designed so that their 1 or 2 channel rated ouputs aren't available if you wanted to drive all channels at the maximum level. The amp channels are often identical, so it's presumably a power supply limitation.
I'd want separates, given an unlimited budget.
By higher end, I mean exactly that. Take the Denon line. Their X series is their higher end line above their S series. In the Yamaha, you have to go to their higher end Aventage, and then, up to the 8 series before you get full pre outs. It did not used to be that way as the RX series used to offer models with pre outs as well. Before you say it, yes, I am fully aware there are more expensive “high end” boutique brands like Rotel, NAD, etc.
A “digital” amp is a class d amp. In the common parlance, they are often referred to as a “digital” amps. Yes, I understand there are analog components. There are analog components to everything “digital”. I also get that receivers are not able to drive their RMS ratings across all channels. In fact. I said that very thing earlier
Lastly, of course with an unlimited budget, we would all go separates. As for me, while I could throw money at a system just to say I did, I try to be a little more fiscally responsible and am not big on paying top dollar for diminishing returns. Again, the point going back to the original post is has the tech in current AVR amplifiers become “good enough”.
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