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Discussion Starter #1
my system right now is:


Yamaha RX-V 871 (factory refurbished)

Klipsch RF82II x 2

Klipsch RC52II center

Klipsch RB61II x2 for surrounds

Outlaw Audio LFM1+ sub


using this in a 5.1 system


ive been thinking of going to seperates, but im not sure what i need. is it a matter of just buying a 5 channel amp unit, or buying 5 seperate monoblock amps, then getting a processor? are the pre-amp and processor the same thing or is it a seperate unit? would i need to buy a preamp, a processor unit, and the amps?


would my yamaha work as well as the pre/pro if i purchased amps for it, or does getting a dedicated pre/pro unit, (or a seperate preamp and a seperate processor) usually sound better?


and lastly, would i gain any sound quality going this route over the AVR? ive also been thinking of maybe just getting a new 7.x channel AVR from accessories4less.com.


For example:

YAMAHA RX-A3020 9.2 Network AVENTAGE AV Receiver Airplay $2199 new, A4L has it fac. refurb. for $1099


or

DENON AVR-4520CI Denon's Flagship Home Theater Receiver 150wpc new is $2499, A4L has it fac. refurb. for $1299.


so, if you had $1000 to $1300 to spend, would it be better off going into an AVR such as one of the ones listed above, or would it be better used starting to build seperates?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
also, i'm curious. i need to do a lot of reading in these forums to find the information i want, but was hoping you folks could give me a quick idea of what im looking for. ive only owned 2 brands of AVR's. First was a yamaha RX-V471 (cant remember if that is the actual model number). Then I owned another yamaha that was a more expensive unit. I want to say it was an RX-V1100 or some such. Then I owned a Sony STR-DG820. Now I own a Yamaha RX-V871.


Ive heard about Onkyo, Denon, Marantz, and Pioneer in the past. Other opens like krell, anthem, etc i believe are out of my price range. So, of the afore mentioned 3, ive not actually tried them out. For some reason, and I know this is silly, but ive always stopped at the display, and the general look of the case. Most Onkyo's ive seen, with that fat green letter display, just makes the rest of the case look cheap, which makes me think that sound quality is going to be poor as well. Same thing with Denon. Like I said, I know that is a silly reason not to try one. So, now that i'm looking to change AVR's, or move to seperates, im curious of what people think of the Yamaha brand.


I know that sound is subjective, but i'm curious to where most people rank Yamaha compared to Denon, Onkyo, and Pioneer.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDB553  /t/1526980/need-information-on-seperates#post_24598361


my system right now is:


Yamaha RX-V 871 (factory refurbished)

Klipsch RF82II x 2

Klipsch RC52II center

Klipsch RB61II x2 for surrounds

Outlaw Audio LFM1+ sub


using this in a 5.1 system


ive been thinking of going to seperates, but im not sure what i need. is it a matter of just buying a 5 channel amp unit, or buying 5 seperate monoblock amps, then getting a processor? are the pre-amp and processor the same thing or is it a seperate unit? would i need to buy a preamp, a processor unit, and the amps?


would my yamaha work as well as the pre/pro if i purchased amps for it, or does getting a dedicated pre/pro unit, (or a seperate preamp and a seperate processor) usually sound better?


and lastly, would i gain any sound quality going this route over the AVR? ive also been thinking of maybe just getting a new 7.x channel AVR from accessories4less.com.


For example:

YAMAHA RX-A3020 9.2 Network AVENTAGE AV Receiver Airplay $2199 new, A4L has it fac. refurb. for $1099


or

DENON AVR-4520CI Denon's Flagship Home Theater Receiver 150wpc new is $2499, A4L has it fac. refurb. for $1299.


so, if you had $1000 to $1300 to spend, would it be better off going into an AVR such as one of the ones listed above, or would it be better used starting to build seperates?

Given the market, AVR's really tend to offer a much better value than separates.


What are you looking for performance wise that you are not currently getting?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, really, it's all about sound quality. Is it possible to increase sound quality by changing your AVR to a better brand/higher line? I know the speakers play a major role, and I think the Klipsch speakers, at least for what I can spend, are pretty good. Short of being able to upgrade to a $1500+ per speaker set, I like the brightness and clarity of the Klipsch RF speakers. Without having any place to demo speakers, I think this is probably the best that i'm going to get, that i've been able to hear. The frys where I picked these up carries Polk, Martin Logan, Infinity, JBL, Klipsch and a few other brands. When I went to demo the Klipsch speakers, I was wanting to listen to some Polk RTIa speakers, but they didnt have any. Best Buy Magnolia home theater stores carry Klipsch, B&W, Martin Logan, Polk and a few other brands.


I know I can do better in the speaker department, but again, without spending more money than I can afford, I think the Klipsch are pretty good. Maybe a few years down the road, when i'm ready to upgrade speakers again, i'll try to demo more brands.


So, is it a matter of, if you want to improve sound quality, you have to upgrade speakers, or can an AVR do that? And, if you do upgrade to better speakers, THEN does changing AVR's make an improvement in sound quality? For example, if I had a set of expensive speakers, say, a set that would cost $2000-$3000 each. If I were to change from an AVR that cost $800 to an AVR that cost $2000, would there be any change in sound quality?


I live in an apartment, so I cant blast my system, so, I want to be able to get the best sound quality at lower to moderate volumes that I can.
 

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Going into seperates (whether hifi or av) is a good thing, but you need quality gear. Considering your speakers, I personally wouldn't bother. When I went from Kef Q to Kef Reference, that is when I went I would recommend to go into seperates.


My mix of seperates are Lexicon, Kef Reference, Celestion A series, Audiolab, ATI. I wouldn't spend money on a flagship AV amp, I'd rather put that towards seperates.


For example the ATI 1807 costs about the same as a flagship AV amp. It's not much more to just buy a pre on top, maybe £300 to £1000...and hell of a lot better. Plus can change the pre whenever, and keep the poweramps for many years. You're Klipsch are easy to drive.


I'd upgrade your speakers. That would result in probably then looking at pre/power.


Don't get seperates with budget speakers- it's not worth it. Unless you plan to buy speakers within a year or so, and you know you will upgrade.
 

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Not sure I'd buy a refurb tbh. AV amps are pretty complex, many things to go wrong.So if you're looking at new, no I wouldn't spend £2000 on a av amp.


Rather put my money into something this. Upgrade from your AV amp power stages. Then, look into a av pre, or perhaps just continue using your av as a pre (generally av pre's are very expensive)

http://www.superfi.co.uk/p-14143-rotel-rmb1555-5-channel-power-amplifier.aspx?_$ja=cgid:3652068862|tsid:52064|cid:84819382|lid:37793773942|nw:search|crid:42342399742|dvc:c|adp:1o1|bku:1&gclid=CPzY59-a270CFUTMtAodKmwArQ


That amp will destroy £2000 av amplifiers. The thing about flagship av amps is how much they depreciate, and everytime you buy a flagship av amp, you're putting £1000 into the amp stages...which you'll sell for nothing when you want to buy another £2000 av amp.


Just seems like false economy, over the long run. I've had my amps for 10 years now, had good use out of them, can sell some off to pay for a new ATI, and perhaps keep one or two of the bigger amps to power my hifi. Selling off two of my amps paid for about 1/3 of the ATI. Not bad at all. Still have four to sell
 

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I beg to differ. Stick with what you have now if it's working. Amplifiers add nothing but volume which you don't need. Wait until the new models of AVRs come out in seven or eight months. Lots of changes are coming. Good pre-pros cost more than great avrs which is why I use an avr as a pre-pro, well I need the amps to use active crossovers in my DIY speakers but that is digressing.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks for the replies.


from what im gathering, given my current speakers, seperates would be pointless. until im ready to spend $5000 on a set of speakers, AVR is the best option?


as far as not buying refurbished units. from what i can tell, the units sold on accessories4less.com are all factory refurbished, which means they are sent back to the factory, checked and repaired and re-sold as refurb units. I am under the impression that, for the most part, with the exception of perhaps some cosmetic flaws, or perhaps something that does not alter the functionality of the unit, it's basically new. Is this not correct? I mean, would it be better to buy a $950 AVR new from the store, or buy a $2500 refurb from A4L for $1300?


It is a good way to get a $2500 AVR for under $1500 a lot of times. I'm kind of thinking of that Denon unit they have for $1299. But, this goes, sort of, along with my previous questions about seperates.


When you purchase an AVR, i'm assuming that quality rises with price, correct? So, i'm assuming that most AVR's now days support pretty much the same specs. They all have multiple HDMI in/out, they all do Dolby True HD, DTS MA, Neo, PLIIx. The only thing I can assume is that the rise in price means that the actual components used to build the units are of a better quality, and with better quality means that the sound gets cleaner, with less distortion. Higher AVRs usually have more wpc, which, really, from what i gather, the difference between an 90wpc AVR and a 110wpc AVR is only, what, .2 dB? The one thing that I can't seem to get out of my head, however, and im sure you folks can correct me on this, but, i view higher wpc as a good thing. To me, a 100wpc vs 130wpc AVR means that I can get cleaner sound at lower volumes, because im not having to turn the volume knob up as far. I guess this would be called gain, or voltage gain.


Am i correct in assuming that, in order to achieve the same volume between the two AVR's, you'd have to turn the 100wpc up a little higher? Am I also correct in assuming that, the more you turn an amplifer up, not only are you increasing volume, but you are increasing distortion? I guess this is why i think that higher watts is better. But then, the difference of 30wpc between them is probably insignificant.


Also, standard reference theater levels are, 105dB? Is that correct? So, if you can achieve that with 32watts, then, what is the point, really, of having 130wpc amps, unless you are going to be playing in an extremely large room, like a confrence hall or auditorium, in which case, most would upgrade to professional grade AV equipment. Seems like having over 50wpc for the average home user is not necessary, except for the fact that you can play your audio without having to turn the amps up as far, to stay well under the distortion level.


If i'm wrong about this, please correct me.
 

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"Am i correct in assuming that, in order to achieve the same volume between the two AVR's, you'd have to turn the 100wpc up a little higher? "


No.

As for AV amp versus a big poweramp, it's the sort of thing you have to hear for yourself. But generally.


low impedence and insensitive speakers with a av amp is a no-no.


You'll get the same people (lol) saying a av amp will sound exactly the same as a pre-power, but those people don't have pre-power so their bias is of course "mine is as good and sounds the same as a $10,000 prepower"


I've had AV amps, they're ok to a certain point, and once they start getting expensive, it's wiser to put that money into seperates. Like I said what AV amp offers that Rotel's clean power, and ability to drive low impedance spakers? Maybe one at double the price?
 

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If sound quality is the goal, don't bother replacing your receiver. Replace it only if you want different features.


What you can gain with separates is more power, which means that it will play louder, assuming that your speakers can take the power. If your Klipsch speakers are even close to their ratings, you should be able to get volumes in a normal room with your Yamaha that can cause permanent damage to your hearing, so you probably should not be looking for more power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDB553  /t/1526980/need-information-on-seperates/0_100#post_24599410


... The one thing that I can't seem to get out of my head, however, and im sure you folks can correct me on this, but, i view higher wpc as a good thing. To me, a 100wpc vs 130wpc AVR means that I can get cleaner sound at lower volumes, because im not having to turn the volume knob up as far. I guess this would be called gain, or voltage gain.


Am i correct in assuming that, in order to achieve the same volume between the two AVR's, you'd have to turn the 100wpc up a little higher? Am I also correct in assuming that, the more you turn an amplifer up, not only are you increasing volume, but you are increasing distortion? I guess this is why i think that higher watts is better. ...

No. Amplifiers do not generally significantly distort until they near their limits of output. Thus, with a 100 watt amplifier and a 100000 watt amplifier, if they are both putting out 50 watts, there is absolutely no reason to suppose that the more powerful amplifier will distort less.


If you look at a graph of the distortion of a power amp (with distortion as one axis, and power as the other), typically it will be very low and pretty flat up until it nears its limits of power output, and then the distortion will go up dramatically and suddenly.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom  /t/1526980/need-information-on-seperates#post_24599421


"Am i correct in assuming that, in order to achieve the same volume between the two AVR's, you'd have to turn the 100wpc up a little higher? "


No.

As for AV amp versus a big poweramp, it's the sort of thing you have to hear for yourself. But generally.


low impedence and insensitive speakers with a av amp is a no-no.


You'll get the same people (lol) saying a av amp will sound exactly the same as a pre-power, but those people don't have pre-power so their bias is of course "mine is as good and sounds the same as a $10,000 prepower"


I've had AV amps, they're ok to a certain point, and once they start getting expensive, it's wiser to put that money into seperates. Like I said what AV amp offers that Rotel's clean power, and ability to drive low impedance spakers? Maybe one at double the price?
 

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So true. For exaple I never had an Arcsm driving a Bryston into either Sonus Fabers or Magnepans.


Oh, wait.


Feel superior in the privacy of your own mind and abood syupid wsgs about people you don't know.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom  /t/1526980/need-information-on-seperates#post_24599494


You don't have to spend big money to get quality. Rotel had a RMB-985 Mk II, and RMB-1076 power amplifier years ago- it wasn't that expensive and it would outclass AV amps.


But keep on parroting the "all amps sound the same" nonsense


http://www.avforums.com/threads/rotel-rmb-1075.1183838/


I tried 4 ohm speakers with AV amplifier, it sounded bloody awful.

Squawk! Don't listen to this nonsense. AV amps, like all AB amps, are a perfected technology that matured forty years ago. There is no secret for the "botique" (sp?) brands to utilize that the rest don't have.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theresa  /t/1526980/need-information-on-seperates/0_100#post_24600127


... There is no secret for the "botique" (sp?) brands to utilize that the rest don't have.

It is "boutique." (You left out the first "u.") And yes, there is no secret magic that expensive brands know about, or in putting the gear in separate boxes instead of one box. It is quite interesting the kinds of prejudices that people have about all sorts of things. Some people judge audio gear by counting the number of boxes the gear is housed in, and others have other prejudices.


With very powerful amplifiers, then things tend to be put into separate boxes. The reason being, otherwise the one box would get too big. But it could be done if a manufacturer chose to do it, and it could perform as well as anything put in separate boxes. But in most cases, massive power is unnecessary and would be a wasted expense. And many people who are willing to blow vast amounts of money on amplification are prejudiced against receivers, so from a marketing standpoint, it would not make sense to put the most powerful amplifiers in a receiver. And frankly, when having to pick up the gear and move it about, I would much rather not have anything too heavy if it can be avoided, so there comes a point when having separates makes sense. But in general, it is not a practical way to go.
 

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Yes, there are reasons to have separates, there are also AVRs that cannot handle 4 ohm loads. Its the inference that all AVRs cannot handle 4 ohm loads or that they are poor in general.

Thanks for the spelling, I couldn't figure out how I was getting it wrong.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom  /t/1526980/need-information-on-seperates#post_24599494


You don't have to spend big money to get quality. Rotel had a RMB-985 Mk II, and RMB-1076 power amplifier years ago- it wasn't that expensive and it would outclass AV amps.


But keep on parroting the "all amps sound the same" nonsense


http://www.avforums.com/threads/rotel-rmb-1075.1183838/


I tried 4 ohm speakers with AV amplifier, it sounded bloody awful.

assuming you were responding to me, your response contains no basis on which to rule out your prior apparent view that people who haven't heard good enough stuff cannot understand how the good stuff sounds. So I assume you think I'm just stupid. In my own defense, I suspect I am not significantly stupider than other folks for whom standard IQ tests are not adequate to assess their IQ . . or your average National Merit Scholar, just to name a couple.


I held fast to biases like those you are clinging to for quite a while. It didn't kill me. If a person opens their mind, knowledge may flow in. If a person views themselves as above improvement or learning or greater understanding, of course, they won't open their mind and will remain . . . what's the word . . . ignorant (to be distinguished from stupid, which suggests inability to learn . . .)


and of course, the sugar pills cured my cancer, etc etc. (I know that some folks see themselves as immune to human biases, but I'm not sure whether that is because they are superhuman or because they don't buy the idea that science can figure things out, and if science cannot figure things out, why do they expect their vehicles and radios and televisions and AVRs to work at all?)


If something sounded wrong, it was because it was inappropriately designed or utilized or tested. Certainly without actually trying to match output levels, the first likely culprit is the well established reality that between two sources the louder one usually sounds "better." more detail (because it's louder, unmasking detail that fell below audibility) more bass and treble (see Fletcher and Munson). People who are fully attuned and listening carefully ought to theoretically be able to hear the difference in the crossover region of their speakers from a few inches (really even an inch) of vertical movement. Personally, I think I'm immune to it, just because I've listened to two way loudspeakers for my whole life . . . But if you have golden ears and don't put your head in a vise, the differences in crossover region FR should dwarf whatever a non-distorting amp (reasonably linear otherwise) can possibly do. IDK what your experience is, so I cannot really comment. Certainly in the '80s a comparison of a typical British amp to a typical non-high end American amp would yield sonic differences because the Brits pretty much all rolled off the highs in an audible (and of course measurable) way.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ok, so what i'm taking away from this converstaion is:


1. Going to seperates is pretty much only going to increase power, but not generally increase performance or sound quality. I was just thinking that, moving to seperates would mean that power is delivered better. I.e., most AVR's rate their power at 2 channels driven, but moving to seperates would mean that the power would be rated at all channels driven. I do understand that, most of the time, all the speakers will not be under power at the same time, that in any given scenario in movies and music, it appears that the load will generally be distributed to 1 or 2 speakers at any given time, but not to all speakers at the same time, which means that the ratings given by the companies of 2 channels driven actually doesnt really matter too much at all? A 100wpc AVR is as good as a 150wpc AVR due to the fact that, the 100wpc or 150wpc will never be achieved unless you have it turned all the way up. Since reference levels are 105dB and that is achieved with 32 watts, then i'm assuming that, most people, in their homes, probably are only using...5-32 watts? Correct? This means, you have plenty of headroom and there is no reason to move to a 150wpc setup?


2. Apparently, from a sound quality standpoint, as long as an AVR has the features you are wanting, seems that all the digital processing is about the same. There will be no difference between an $800 Yamaha AVR compared to a $2000 Denen/Onkyo/Marantz AVR who all support dolby, dts, trueHD, dtsMA. You are basically paying for the extra features? Internals of all the afore mentioned brands are going to be very similar and one company doesnt really have a cleaner or better sound than the other? Makes me wonder then why there are so many different brands and price ranges of AVR's. I mean, you can find an AVR that has 7 or 8 HDMI inputs, 2-3 HDMI outputs, optical, XM, AirPlay, all of that. Since power is irrelevant and most companies include the same processing formats, what reason is there to spend over $400-$500 for an AVR compared to some of these $2000-$4000 AVR's? Seems the same with seperates. You can spend $3000 for a pre-amp, $3000 for a processor, $5000 for a 7 channel amp, or $1500/each for 7 monoblock amplifers, but from what I gather, none of that is going to sound any better than that $500-$600 AVR, the only difference would be in the power output.


3. There apparently is no sound quality difference between yamaha, denon, marantz, onkyo, pioneer, etc. From what i'm to understand, it's all about the features that are provided on the unit, but, since everyone has the same technology, see paragraph 2.


4. It appears that, in my setup, there really isnt any way to improve the sound quality short of replacing all of my speakers, and in order to do that, i'd have to look into the upper high end of speakers to make any improvements. In other words, i need to be looking at the $2000-$5000 per speaker range before im going to see any improvements? Even then, if i did spend $20,000 on new speakers, would my RX-V871 be enough to make them sound good or would I, at that point, need to move to seperates, or to a $5000 AVR? But, from what I gather, even the most expensive AVR's/seperates really only provide more power, but not improved sound quality, so, with a $20,000 set of speakers, I could still use that $500 AVR and get pretty much as good quality as i'm going to get?


5. Seems sound quality is pretty much 100% dependant on speakers and not on your amps or processor.


I may be way off base here, but this is the general consensus that i'm getting, that the changes need to be made on the speaker end, not the electronics end. In which case, i guess im set with what I have lol. I cant afford to spend $5,000-$15,000 on speakers lol. Was hoping that I could upgrade AVR or move to seperates and improve the sound from the speakers I have.
 
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