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I have a Pioneer VSX-1121-K receiver and I've never ran my mains off it it, it just powered the center and surrounds, so the other day I decided to swap my speakers from my amp, a 200wpc B&K EX442 Sonata and run them straight off the receiver. My main use is music, with movies being secondary.

No difference whatsoever. I'm not really that surprised by this, as amps are amps for the most part, but it played just as loud as I need it to, sounds identical, it's exactly the same. I'm having a hard time justifying using the amp any more. I mean I have it, so it doesn't hurt or cost anything, but it seems to be a needless component now.

Now the VSX-1121-K is no slouch, and my JBL Studio 530's are not the hardest speaker to run by any means, so it should be no surprise, and it really isn't, but I guess I almost hoped the amp did "something" worth while. It doesn't seem to.
 

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I'm sure if you were running the 590 towers (or similar) full range with no sub it would make a difference. So it seems you need to upgrade to the 590s so you can justify running your amp. ;)
 
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A good nice receiver will get the job done - and many times it will help to save some money.
 

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My receiver is 90watts/ch and I don't come close to using it up. But my speakers are an honest 98db/w/m effeciency. I even have amps going unused, but why turn them on if it's uneeded. It's sometimes hard to admit we don't need these things, but once you do you feel better and can move on to spending money elsewhere.
 

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I paid a grand for my amp. I've never done an A/B comparison and I'm never going to. It sounds better because I have it and I paid for it. So there! At the end of the day you have the thing. Might as well use it. If nothing else it extends your bragging rights. Plus mine has this cool blue light on it that makes people go "Woah"!
 

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I've never been able to tell the difference between a 200 watt amp and a receiver. Now a high powered amp was a different story for me.
 

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I have a Pioneer VSX-1121-K receiver and I've never ran my mains off it it, it just powered the center and surrounds, so the other day I decided to swap my speakers from my amp, a 200wpc B&K EX442 Sonata and run them straight off the receiver. My main use is music, with movies being secondary.

No difference whatsoever. I'm not really that surprised by this, as amps are amps for the most part, but it played just as loud as I need it to, sounds identical, it's exactly the same. I'm having a hard time justifying using the amp any more. I mean I have it, so it doesn't hurt or cost anything, but it seems to be a needless component now.

Now the VSX-1121-K is no slouch, and my JBL Studio 530's are not the hardest speaker to run by any means, so it should be no surprise, and it really isn't, but I guess I almost hoped the amp did "something" worth while. It doesn't seem to.
Were you watching a power demanding movie action sequence on bluray? Many applications for separate amplifiers are for situations that are not the typical listening experience. So your separate amplifier is there to carry you through the rare instances where your system is asked to reproduce some crazy lossless audio in an action movie that was recorded very hot.
For my situation I have large active speakers with beefy amplifiers that can overcome my extreme listening distances as well as dynamic action movie audio sequences.
Separate amplifiers are overkill in many cases, but just like my old minivan has a speedometer that goes well beyond my daily driver speeds, and an engine that has a couple more cylinders than I really need, it is really nice to have that extra power when needed.
 

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In my experience a separate power amp, under normal listening conditions, could be mistaken for doing nothing. Power amps are capable of driving speakers harder it is if you choose to take advantage of them. My speakers at low to medium levels sound the same on both my 90wpc Onkyo receiver and my NAD 150wpc amp. Now, I want to play some dubstep. I also might want to increase the bass with the tone controls or eq. Now I turn it all the way up to 6 above reference. There is an amazing difference. The Onkyo will start to break up approaching reference, has nowhere near the bass weight of the NAD and the drivers physically move less. A good way to look at it is subs. A 100w amp on a sub is NEVER going to drive the sub as hard as a 450w amp. So to sum it all up there is an improvement in speaker performance it just depends if you need or want that performance.
 
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