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I trying to decide (like many on this forum) between seperates and a High End Receiver. I'm wondering which component influences the sound of your speakers more? the amp or Preamp/Processor. The Anthem AVM20/MCA combo is on my short list but the upcoming Yamaha Z9 with its video switching and upscaling features is also very tempting. I'm wondering if I got the Z9 if I could get a "smoother" sound out of the Yamaha if I paired it up with Rotel or Anthem Amp? Or will my speakers sound be more infuenced by the yamaha preamp/processor? I personally prefer the sound of receivers like a Marantz or Rotel over a Yamaha when paired up with my Studio 100's.
 

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A Z9 as maybe just a pre-pro....!


If I were you, I'd just hold off a bit longer and wait and see what the people like Anthem and a few others, offer in their new pre-pros that are not yet out but soon to be comming out. Before I'd consider using something like the new Z9 for just a pre-pro, and not as a receiver.


And as for you question about if either a pre-pro or a amp can influence the sound speakers, well they both can have a influence on how your speakers end up sounding. Also some say certain pre-pros sound better with certain amps, and that certain amps sound better with certain pre-pros.... So who really knows????

But in theory, I would think the pre-pro might have the most influence, but when you consider that many people like the "sound" of tube amps, that kinda also blows that theory away it seems. So only your ears can tell you, what sounds right for you. Theory's can't
 

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Processing processing processing in most cases will have a greater effect then the amp you use UNLESS you have some very ineffecient speakers and an underpowered amp driving them to clipping. Having said that, the problem is most recievers internal amps are underpowered and not as well designed (because of space limitations mainly)


The thing is, a good amp will be a good amp now or in 10 years from now. Once you get a good amp thats it. Sooo imo buying used amps are the way to go, there are some incredible deals out there for not a lot of money. Having owned over 30 or so amps I have FINALLY came to the conclusion that a well designed amp with sufficient power will sound very similar to any other well designed amp with sufficeint power. (there will be differences but small in comparision to other portions of your system). I wouldnt try and change the sound characteristics of my system by adding a so-called "bright" or "warm" amp jsut get an amp thats well designed and has enough power for YOUR needs......because processors, speakers and your room have much more of an effect imo


Processing has a major impact on sound. The drawback here is that a great processor now is **** 5 years from now as we all know technology moves with lightning speed in this area.


If your planning on keeping your processor for a long period of time then I suggest NOT skimping in this area, on the other hand if you know that you will want the latest and greatest in a year from now, go with a more modertly priced processor or receiver that you wont lose your shirt on.


Either way an external amp will always outperform a recievers internal amps...even a 350.00 sherwood am9080 120X5 would kill the amps in a denon 4802,, trust me on this example as Ive owned both.
 

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I disagree somewhat about processors 5 years from now being much better than today. Yes, they may go to 12.2 channels as has been suggested, but I doubt seriously if anyone will be able to hear the difference between DD 7.1 through a current processor and 7.1 through a processor 5 years from now. Movie soundtracks are not hi-fidelity, and the listener is more focused on the visual action than the audio. What you may see done better in future processors is room correction, probably the next big improvement, especially considering the room greatly affects sound quality.


I do agree, however, that a really good high current amp is a joy forever (or at least for many years) and can definitely provide an improvement in sound over a receiver, especially at higher levels. Using a receiver as a pre with a separate is a great idea IMO, and I am doing that now with a H/K AVR520 that I paid $369 for at Ubid. That is a very cheap price for a top quality pre. But paying $4,000 for a receiver to use as a pre does not make sense to me. You would be better off getting a good separate pre/pro, such as an Anthem AVM-20 or Lexicon MC-8, or getting a good mid-priced receiver as a pre for a fraction of that cost. Just be sure the receiver has pre-outs for all channels.


Dsmith
 

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Dsmith,


Yes I agree, let me rephrase. I should have said a processor 5 years from now will have all the latest and greatest but that doesnt mean that it cant be outperformed from a "pure sound" point of view from a 5 year old processor no doubt. But you can bet that it will have many new features that ALOT of people are gonna want to have.
 

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Depends on which amp and which processor, and your goals. If all's your interested in is movies, I'd say go with the processor that has the features you want and an amp that meets the power needs of your speakers. I've run the gamant from flagship receiver to high end pre-pro. Movies have sounded wonderful on all of them. Now music is a completely different matter altogether. Most receivers and pre-pros do not do music to the "level" of dedicated audiophile 2-ch systems. And by "level" I mean the abiltiy to create a live as there feel. I've worked real hard at finding a HT/music system that does, and I've gone through a number of amps and pre's looking for the magic that would make it all happen, and though I'd just about given up the quest, my latest amp/pre purchase hit pay dirt. I would not however recommend it for those whose primary interest is HT, it's just not worth the price of admission. Go with features and adequate power and you'll be happy as pig in a poke :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by vphan13
I'm wondering if I got the Z9 if I could get a "smoother" sound out of the Yamaha if I paired it up with Rotel or Anthem Amp? Or will my speakers sound be more infuenced by the yamaha preamp/processor? I personally prefer the sound of receivers like a Marantz or Rotel over a Yamaha when paired up with my Studio 100's.
In my experience your sound will be much more influenced by the Pre/Pro. But they both will have some impact. Many people like the Yamaha sound, I'm not one of them (of course that's using the internal digital amps, I've never heard it as a pre/pro). I am a big advocate of getting the best features possible as well, but.... to me it's all about sound "first", features later!


As far as what effects sound the most, there's alot of opinions out there. But here is "my" list on what has the most impact on sound in your listening environment. (listed in order of impact)


1. Speakers

2. Room acoustics (actually this could easily be first as well)

3. Pre/Pro processing (in this case, I'm including DACs, etc.)

4. Source

5. Amp

6. Cables

DISCLAIMER: Those are just the basics, and of course, "My" opinion only. Many may disagree ( and I'm sure we'll hear from them soon :D ), but that's what makes the world go round ;)!


Hope this helps a little!


Good Luck and Best Regards,

Patrick
 

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Quote:
As far as what effects sound the most, there's alot of opinions out there. But here is "my" list on what has the most impact on sound in your listening environment. (listed in order of impact)


1. Speakers

2. Room acoustics (actually this could easily be first as well)

3. Pre/Pro processing (in this case, I'm including DACs, etc.)

4. Source

5. Amp

6. Cables
Well, to paraphrase from the Audio Critic:


The most important factor is missing from the list...THE SOFTWARE. Buy good software, or the rest will not matter.


And I do agree that the room and the speakers can have equal influence on what you are hearing. But I would say that the room perhaps would be first, followed by the speakers.


The rest, if they are doing there job, should just get the hell out of the way.


BGL
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by BGLeduc
Well, to paraphrase from the Audio Critic:


The most important factor is missing from the list...THE SOFTWARE. Buy good software, or the rest will not matter.


And I do agree that the room and the speakers can have equal influence on what you are hearing. But I would say that the room perhaps would be first, followed by the speakers.


The rest, if they are doing there job, should just get the hell out of the way.


BGL
LOL :D That last line was great! Thanks BGL!


Although I agree with the software being right at the top of the list (how could I forget that one, Duh...), good software without good speakers and room, will also be defunct, so I guess all three rely heavily on eachother. ;)


Anyway thanks for reminding me of the software, and for that last line, that was classic. Made my day :D


Best Regards,

Patrick
 

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Different processing (Dolby Digital->Logic 7; Dolby Prologic -> Prologic 2, Logic 7, or Tri-field; etc.) makes a huge difference on movies. The DACs used can make a substantial difference, especially with revealing speakers.


Competantly designed solid state amplifiers sound the same if you don't clip them. The bar for "competant" varies with speaker load. If you hook an amp up to a speaker with low resistance (big and/or short) cables and measure frequency dependant .5dB dips at the speaker terminals using your scope or true RMS volt meter the design is not competant. Clipping at high output levels is more likely when you have a small power supply, which is more likely on a receiver, and more likely on home-theater equipment than 2-channel home equipment (the power spec wars resulted in more stringent FTC requirements there than on multi-channel and pro-gear).


Personally, I buy used stereo amplifiers (apart from the first one that I bought new 10 years ago). The power supplies are often comparable to what you get in a home theater amp with the same rated output but many more channels, they're more flexible (you can pickup two channels and move them to a different system), and depreciation is often higher.
 

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vphan13,

I'm kind of in the same boat. I'm going to be replacing my Denon 3300 soon, and I was all set on separates. But, there has been quite a buzz in some of the other Audio forums about the Sony all-in-ones and their new AV receivers that are using digital amps. Now I'm starting to drift in that direction a little, simply because most of what I've read stated that they do a fantastic job with 2 channel music (a major concern of mine). Bear in mind this is coming from someone who never really dug Sony, but at the very least I'd recommend waiting until the new Sonys hit the street and check them out.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by woodrow
I know this is a stupid question but what is clipping? As in the speakers clipped or the amp clipped.
Draw a sine wave on a piece of paper, or musical signal if you have some of those comitted to memory :)


Draw a dotted line accross the top and bottom which chops off the peaks - this represents the highest positive and negative voltage your amplifier can output at a given load (the rails sag some unless you have a very high-end amp with regulated rails. That might be the case if your amp weighs more than you in spite of having just 1-2 channels).


Any place the curve passes one of your dotted lines, the amplifier is clipping and outputting the dotted line rather than the solid signal.


It doesn't sound good, the resulting signal is the sum of sine waves at increasing frequencies, and your tweeters are sized to handle music-sized high frequency signals rather than test-signal ones....
 

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Thanks Drew. I'm really new to this stuff. Is clipping something someone very new to this should worry about. I am going with the Infinity Primus line of speakers. I know they are budget speakers but for now they are a huge improvement. Also the Denon 3803. What kind of combo would this be considered? When would clipping be an issue, high volume? Is this too much receiver for the speakers, which are 150 watt? Sorry for all the questions but when I find someone here willing to answer questions I try to get as many in as possible. THANKS again for your time!!!
 

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Clipping is definitely something to be concerned with. Clipped signals are a lot more likely to damage something (like a tweeter) than a more powerful but clean signal.


Clipping usually occurs when the amp runs out of gas, usually from trying to get more volume than it can really deliver. For this reason, you're a lot more likely to blow out a "100 wpc" speaker with a 50wpc amplifier than you would with the same speaker powered by a 400wpc amplifier - the 400wpc model is highly unlikely to clip.
 

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Room acoustics is a huge factor in sound quality. The problem with room acoustics is that it can be expensive as hell to correct or also the fact that you have to really know what your doing to measure and correct it. This is where the auto-eq feature in some new recievers is the wave of the future imo.


As this technology moves on (say 3rd or 4th generation to improve and iron out all the bugs)..manufactures that dont jump on the wagon will be left behind. I personally wont by another reciever or pre-pro without it.
 

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blw, wow I had no idea it worked like that. I thought a 50w amp could never hurt a 100w speaker. Glad I found out before turning it up too loud!!

johny, yea room accoustics are a real problem for me I think. As to that, I continue to get what "seems" like more volume or something from the right main than from the left. What BESIDES room accoustics could cause this? Or is it the sources doing this? I have a brick fireplace pillar next to the right front. I can't move the bricks and the speaker is in the only place it can go. Thanks guys.
 

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Woodrow,


My left and right speakers are both positoned exactly 8 ft from my listening postion in a square room and yet my right speaker needs to be 1 db higher then the left to get them to sound meter out the same. Ive also had my audio in other rooms with the same thing happening.


So since you cant knock down your room and build another one (assuming your not Bill Gates son)...all you can do is try and position them at equal distance from your sweet spot and adjust the levels as required (with a radio shack meter) or if you have the Yammie or Pioneer it will do it for you...either way your problem isnt unusual and can be overcame.
 

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Woodrow,


The room is the single most important component in your system! Depending on the construction, size, materials, placement, furniture, etc it can make an enormous difference in sound. For example, I discovered when I moved my equipment into its current room that I don't even need a sub at all any more. Although my speakers are rated flat to 35 Hz, measuring in the room shows that the speaker+room combination yields flat at 20 Hz (not a typo) and +11 to +14 dB all along the range from 31 Hz to 70 Hz. And until I messed around with the room, I had a great image in the right channel - significantly wider than the speaker and far deeper - and only a decent one in the left channel.


Incidently, you CAN blow a "100wpc" speaker with a 400wpc amp - it's just that it's a lot harder to do so than with the little one.
 
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