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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am building a new apartment and want to upgrade my system at the same time. So I am seeking advice on a Hi-fi music and movie system. First component is the AVR or Pre/Processor. Speakers have been mostly decicded upon. I will likely have B&W 802D for Front L/R and then some B&W CI 700 series for the rear surround (in ceiling) and Front speaker (in wall).


So onto the AVR / processor questions


1. What is the difference between a pre/processor and AVR?


2. Is a 3D processor or AVR needed to play 3D DVDs and process the signal to pass through to the TV?


3. Upscaling. My current AVR (3 year old mid-range yamaha has an upscaler but I barely notice any real quality improvements when viewing standard TV). Is upscaling really just marketing or does it turn standard TV and downloaded movies into much better resolution with the right equipment?


4. The apartment is open plan (lving room, dining room and kitchen are all one room). It will be about 60m2. So would Audessy eq really help that in adjusting for room dynamics?


5. Which Pre/pro or AVR would you recommend for a good system (up to about $1500). I am not sure I would really notice the benefits of those horribly expensive pieces and I still need to buy an amp and other components I suspect
 

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1. The pre passes the audio to a separate power amp while the AVR has both in the one box.

2. In most cases, yes .. AVR must be HDMI 1.4.

3. Mostly just marketing ... might improve somewhat, but much better off just upgrading to HD sources.

4. Most likely, yes, especially the most advanced version, MultEQ XT32.

5. Denon AVR-4311CI (give AV Science, Electronics Expo, 6Ave, and ABT a call and ask for their best price which should be near your budget level). This AVR includes XT32 and likely will not require an additional amp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Jdsmoothie


Given the advantages of processor vs AVR, I would likley prefer to go with a processor and amp. Alternatively, I was also considering taking an emotiva amp for driving the B&W 802D speakers in the front and using the AVR for the 3 other speakers (rear and center).


Regarding the XT32 calibration, is there a real advantage to having an installer do the calibration versus yourself?
 

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Most likely yes, as the installer will use the Audyssey Pro Kit in conjunction with the XT32 which can fine tune the EQ process to even more detail. An installer will likely charge at least $300-$400 though but you can also buy the kit yourself ($550+$150 license =$700) as other 4311CI/A100 owners have done which allows you to run it anytime you choose. See the Audyssey Pro Install Kit thread for more details.
 

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Which CI 700 speakers are you using? Some can be quite inefficient, so I would avoid the 4311ci and go with separates, especially if you think you hear differences in sound quality. Or you could use an AVR with pre-outs and an external amp. Rotel might be worth considering as it is designed with B&W in mind (same parent company).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by confusedxx
I am building a new apartment and want to upgrade my system at the same time. So I am seeking advice on a Hi-fi music and movie system. First component is the AVR or Pre/Processor. Speakers have been mostly decicded upon. I will likely have B&W 802D for Front L/R and then some B&W CI 700 series for the rear surround (in ceiling) and Front speaker (in wall).


5. Which Pre/pro or AVR would you recommend for a good system (up to about $1500).
This was a typo, right? You are going to spend $25K + on speakers and $15,000 on electronics, right?


B.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B
This was a typo, right? You are going to spend $25K + on speakers and $15,000 on electronics, right?


B.
$1500 may be a bit low, but $15000 probably doesn't give him anything that $2500 - $5000 won't unless the room is enormous or there are other user specific variables involved. Not saying spending $15K will make it worse, just suggesting it won't, generally, make it better.


A good AVR with XT32 and a decent, non esoteric/snake oil amp will drive those speakers without issue.
 

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The main advantage I see with an AVR is that they are cheaper. You can get a fully functioning AVR with pre outs that will undercut almost any processor by 100's of dollars.


The counter arguements are usually heat and sound quality. An AVR may run hotter than a processor because of the idling transistors (few AVRs let you totally turn off the amp circuits.) Note though, that a lot of the heat in an AVR is from all the chips.


As for sound quality, I don't see the need for concern. I guess maybe a processor might have a bit less noise all variables being the same. Some may have better digital to analog conversion stages. May use better electronic volume chips. Etc. But that's mostly speculation. When testers do measure just the preamp stage of receivers, they usually measure very well.
 

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I'm a big fan of using a receiver as a pre/pro with separate amps. With technology changing so quickly, it's a hell of a lot cheaper to swap the receiver and keep the amps in place. I swapped a boutique processor with an upper level Onkyo receiver; my system never sounded better. Maybe it's Audyssey? My theory is with everything digital these days, as long as the receiver processes everything correctly, you should not notice a big difference, if any, compared to a high end processor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks. I think I will go that route. I would like to have the rear and center powered by the avr and fronts by a stereo amp. Now to research and see if the denon avr-4311ci can power the rears and center properly.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie /forum/post/20889175


Even if the CI 700's are 4Ω speakers, they are used as surrounds, although the 4311CI would just as easily drive them as front speakers as unlike the lower level models, it is rated for 4Ω speakers.

That feature has always perplexed me, because Denon doesn't really explain it.


Do you know what it means? Beefier power supply with higher current output?


As you know, speakers do not present a constant load to an amplifier, the impedance is non-linear and most dip into the 4's, 3's or even lower. So I'm confused, they obviously mean nominal impedance, but I don't think speaker manufacturers are consistent in this.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitaraficionado /forum/post/20891236


That feature has always perplexed me, because Denon doesn't really explain it.


Do you know what it means? Beefier power supply with higher current output?


As you know, speakers do not present a constant load to an amplifier, the impedance is non-linear and most dip into the 4's, 3's or even lower. So I'm confused, they obviously mean nominal impedance, but I don't think speaker manufacturers are consistent in this.

You need a power supply that can hold the voltage under the heavier load (another option would have been to reduce 8 ohm performance at the expense of 4 ohm performance by lowering the voltage supply to the amp.)


You also need sufficient heatsinking to not overheat with the higher current.


They (Denon) do refer to nominal impedance when they say 4 ohm compatibility.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antibayi /forum/post/20889743


I'm a big fan of using a receiver as a pre/pro with separate amps. With technology changing so quickly, it's a hell of a lot cheaper to swap the receiver and keep the amps in place. I swapped a boutique processor with an upper level Onkyo receiver; my system never sounded better. Maybe it's Audyssey? My theory is with everything digital these days, as long as the receiver processes everything correctly, you should not notice a big difference, if any, compared to a high end processor.

I also like the idea of using an AVR as a pre/pro - sound quality is subjective of course - but I've not noticed much if any difference between an AVR and a pre/pro. I've used 3 AVRs as a pre/pro - and owned 2 pre/pros. I started out thinking I'd just use AVRs - then one night Onkyo had their SC-885 on sale for $525 - that ended that! The problem with the pre/pro is the prices never drop on them like AVRs do unlike the soon-to-be discontinued AVRs that get cut in half price-wise just to get them offloaded from the dealer shelves. Since I have an amp I really like and it drives my speakers just fine my next purchase may well be a higher end Denon Yamaha or Pioneer - maybe even Onkyo. But for now my Integra DHC 40.1 is holding its own driving the Emotiva UPA-7. Unlike most AVRs I've owned the UPA-7 is very cool when running. And the Integra stays very cool as well.


I like the idea of having the option of shutting off the amps on an AVR - The Denon 4310/4311 is the only one that does this that I know of. What would the cost be to install a manual switch to turn the amps off and have a true pre/pro? And what sales spike would it create? It might be a marketable feature on a low to mid level AVR.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 /forum/post/20891385


I like the idea of having the option of shutting off the amps on an AVR - The Denon 4310/4311 is the only one that does this that I know of.

As has been pointed out before, the amps are not shut down but merely disconnected from the signal. It seems to be there to let Denon make point about these units and that's fine with me.

Quote:
What would the cost be to install a manual switch to turn the amps off and have a true pre/pro? And what sales spike would it create? It might be a marketable feature on a low to mid level AVR.

I think it would be a gratuitous gesture. Now, an arrangement that actually removed power as well as signal would be more meaningful but, unfortunately, also more costly.
 

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Thanks Kal. I thought the juice and signal was shut off on the Denon.


What is your view/opinion on using an AVR as a pre/pro?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 /forum/post/20891433


Thanks Kal. I thought the juice and signal was shut off on the Denon.


What is your view/opinion on using an AVR as a pre/pro?

Why not? I do it occasionally.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman /forum/post/20891318


You need a power supply that can hold the voltage under the heavier load (another option would have been to reduce 8 ohm performance at the expense of 4 ohm performance by lowering the voltage supply to the amp.)


You also need sufficient heatsinking to not overheat with the higher current.


They (Denon) do refer to nominal impedance when they say 4 ohm compatibility.

Thanks. Wouldn't a continuous power rating at 4 ohms indicate compatibility if output was high? I've heard a general rule of thumb that output should be roughly double at 4 vs. 8.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitaraficionado /forum/post/20891581


Thanks. Wouldn't a continuous power rating at 4 ohms indicate compatibility if output was high? I've heard a general rule of thumb that output should be roughly double at 4 vs. 8.

The keyword is 'should' as it pertains to doubling output at 4ohms vs 8ohms. Many stand-alone amps do - most AVRs don't come close - and for that matter don't come close to their rated power with all channels driven with an 8ohm load. Which is one large reason why those who have separate amps buy them. No matter which prepro or AVR I use I know I'm getting the same quality power to my speakers. Not that I'm using all of it but its there if I want it. And it'll likely I won't get clipping very often.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 /forum/post/20891385


I like the idea of having the option of shutting off the amps on an AVR - The Denon 4310/4311 is the only one that does this that I know of. What would the cost be to install a manual switch to turn the amps off and have a true pre/pro? And what sales spike would it create? It might be a marketable feature on a low to mid level AVR.

Outlaw has started offering amp disconnection as a mod to the Marantz SR5005:

Quote:
Introducing the custom-modified SR5005 "processor."


For that reason we're now offering an exciting new upgrade option for those using, or planning to use, the SR5005 as a dedicated processor.


To increase A/V performance by reducing system noise while running the SR5005 as a 7.1 processor, we will, upon request, safely disengage the amplifier section of the receiver and then thoroughly test the modified unit. This modification will not only deliver improved A/V performance, but by lowering heat production it will increase system life and reliability. This "green" modification will also lower your system's overall power consumption by eliminating the unnecessary current draw of the SR5005's seven, 100-watt amplifiers.*
http://ubb.outlawaudio.com/ubbthread...617Post87617


AJ
 
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