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Can someone tell me why they would buy and expensive receiver (over $3000) when in a year or two they will need to sell it and buy another one because of a new format like DD, DTS and EX/ES did to pro logic? It seems to me that the best route would be to buy a processor and put the bulk of the money into an expensive 7 channel amp. If in two years you need to upgrade the processor at least you are keeping your initial investment and only turning over a small portion of it due to upgrade.


In the long run as an audiophile it is worth it to go the route of the all in one every couple years rather that seperates which you can keep for a lifetime with small upgrades?


Comments appreciated.
 

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Romy,


Expensive receivers are the way to go if you want the entry level hi fi audio quality without the extra $$$'s. I don't think it's possible to get the same level of sonic quality and "features" with separates. Most separates in the same price range usually don't include all the latest surround formats. In other words, to get the same number of features you'd have to pay more with separates. The sound would be better, but in the end you pay more.


There is one option comming up on the horizon that may be a good alternative to the 3k receivers. The much talked about outlaw 950. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any other pre/pro in this price range that could be mated with external power to achieve the same level of quality and options as a Flag ship receiver.


The options I usually see missing are the following.


1: 7.1/EX

2: DPL II

3: SACD/DVD-A support

4: Good two channel performance. I throw this in since options such as a used Lexicon MC-1, which apparently has poor stereo performance, exist.


If there is a lower cost pre/pro that can do this, I'd like to know.
 

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(1) Physical space contraints.

(2) Fewer interconnects required. Lower cost.

(3) Easier to operate for those not technically-oriented. Fewer buttons, knobs, power switches, etc.

(4) Not everyone jumps on all the latest formats as they come out.

(5) Wider availability. Even low-end electronics stores often carry one or two hi-end receivers. Separates are usually sold at more upscale shops, which are not as ubiquitous as BB, CC, etc.
 

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Salvatore,


Good points you make. I'd add only one thing: some folks want to make an appreciable initial outlay for a good receiver and then forget about it for some time (much like my brother-in-law did). They are content with something that sounds good and will continue to do so for quite a while, unlike us addicts who crave the latest and greatest.forget
 

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A small point, pretty much all of those receivers have 8 channel inputs. Meaning upgrading it in a few years is not necessary. And besides, whats coming up in a few years that will make enough difference for me to want to upgrade on the account of a new sound format? More than likely ill upgrade because of another feature like more inputs higher wattage, better controls hd switching etc.


If you intend on getting a lower priced receiver just because you know you will upgrade in the future you will always be stuck with a quality that is lower. Of course I always for bang for buck, that is why I wanted the denon avr4800 a little over a year ago.
 

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Actually, when I was considering the receiver versus separates question earlier this year I found that the least expensive combination of separates (power amp and pre/pro) that made me happy was about US$5000. The Denon receiver I eventually purchased does not sound as good, naturally, but the difference between the two options was hardly worth triple the cost to me. The absence of great-sounding pre/pros below $3000 limits options (for separates) in this price bracket.


That said, I do agree that those with sufficient funds should really consider separates. Like speakers, power amplifiers can last many, many years -- much longer than processors. Also, a good, strong power amplifier opens up speaker choices (difficult loads) that would be out of the running for a system powered by a receiver.


Like all other classic debates you'll find on HT/stereo forums, you can argue effectively for either side. It all comes down to the performance of specific products, the individual tastes of the hobbyist and any applicable room and budget constraints. For every surviving A/V product, there is a market niche.
 

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Um, not to mention the flagships are usually upgradeable. And there are features in expensive receivers that just aren't available in a $500 model. Like more inputs, better construction, better components (esp DACs), better remote, more amp channels, multizone capability, component video switching....
 

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I too consider myself an audiophile who own seperates for 2 channel (even a seperate pre pre amp for phono) and a receiver for surround. In the last couple of years high end Integrated amps became popular again. Companies such as Classe, Cary and even Totem have made integrated amps costing as much if not more than the combination of entry level seperates (pre/power). One benefit that some manufacturer's (or was it the retailer) state with the integrated amp is that the pre / power is better "matched" and there is no need for expensive interconnect cables. Most of the integrated amps also have remote controls which are seldom found in high end preamps. I trust the benefits of the integrated amps also hold true for high-end receivers. In addition there is the good ol' PITA factor - some people just want to plug it in, use minimal wiring (interconnect and power) and turn it on with a minimum of hassle. The reason why I didn't go with seperates for surround is purely $$$$ as mentioned in previous responses by other respondents. My perception is that I can get about 80%-90% of the performance for 1/3 of the price.
 

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Hopefully with the launch of the new Outlaw pre/pro a new group of affordable separates will be coming out. Having just switched to separates I can say that none of the amps in receiver I've owned compared to my new 5 channel Sherbourn. There does not seem to be enough room in a receiver to get standout amp performance
 
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