You are here

Log in or register to post comments
KenCalgary
KenCalgary's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 15 2008 - 4:08pm
Stereo Amp versus AV Receiver?

I'm currently using a Yamaha RX-V730 AV receiver for both TV/movies and music (Cambridge Audio 640C CD player as source) but wish to move towards "better" sound. I will upgrade my speakers - presently Mission 762s - but am considering amplification questions at the moment. I would appreciate advice on two levels: 1) Will a higher-end AV receiver provide decent sound compared to a two-channel integrated amp? 2) Can I connect both an integrated amp and AV receiver to one set of main speakers - being careful not to turn on both at the same time - thus using those speakers for music (powered by amp) and movies (powered by AV receiver)?

dbowker
dbowker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: May 8 2007 - 6:37am
Re: Stereo Amp versus AV Receiver?

Generally speaking, if you have x dollars to spend, you will get a better 2 channel amp than for the same money for an AV receiver. It's just that they cram so much into those things, they have to cut corners. On the other hand, that doesn't mean AV receivers all sound bad of course. The cheaper ones aren't so good, but as you move up they actually assume you might be listening to real music, not just movies.

I just got a Marantz SR5003 and it sounds really very good in it's Direct/2 Channel mode. Still, for the money (around $900) I bet a Creek integrated or even Marantz integrated would provide better resolution, not to mention more current. It's not my dedicated "music" amp, which is my Krell integrated, but I find myself often putting on a CD or using my iPod with my Marantz when I'm just hanging out or playing with my kid. My old Onkyo I almost never used for music because it just wasn't up to snuff, but this one is definitely an acceptable second system receiver.

As far as having both in one system. I would not attempt to hook up both- could be sending current back into the un-used amp and have weird if not dangerous results. However: Some integrated can be used as a pass through amp for your front 2 channel speakers so you could go that route. Just hook up the pre-out front channels from your AV into the pre-in to the integrated.

mrlowry
mrlowry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: May 30 2006 - 1:37pm
Re: Stereo Amp versus AV Receiver?

Yes, the sound quality of a high end integrated is going to be SIGNIFICANTLY better than a mass market receiver. Are you currently using the surround capabilities of the receiver or are you just using it to run two speakers?

Connecting an AV Receiver AND an integrated amp to one pair of speakers at the same time isn't a good idea. A better way to accomplish the same goal would be to use an integrated amp with what they call a home theater bypass. A home theater bypass is an input that has zero gain from input to output. So your regular sources would be connected to the integrated amp except home theater sources, which would be connected to the AV receiver. Connect the left/right front pre amp outputs to the home theater bypass input on the integrated, and the left/right front speakers would be connected to the integrated amp. The center, rears, and sub would be connected to and powered by the AV Receiver.

You could also use the receiver as a preamp only and run it's preamp outputs into a 5 channel amplifier. It wouldn't be as good as a dedicated preamp/amp set up but it could be used as the first step moving in that direction.

jackfish
jackfish's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 1 week ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Re: Stereo Amp versus AV Receiver?

Higher end AV receivers have a better build and most have a HT bypass which allows the use of a 2-channel amplifier section for music. Component AV generally offers better sound than an AV receiver and most preprocessors have HT bypass and can be mated to very well built and good sounding power amps.

Look at Emovita, Adcom, NAD, Rotel.

RGibran
RGibran's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 12 months ago
Joined: Oct 11 2005 - 5:50pm
Re: Stereo Amp versus AV Receiver?


Quote:
I just got a Marantz SR5003 and it sounds really very good in it's Direct/2 Channel mode. Still, for the money (around $900) I bet a Creek integrated or even Marantz integrated would provide better resolution, not to mention more current

It should be pointed out that something like the top of line Marantz SR8002 or SR8003 as well as Denon 5308 are more than capable of serving HT as well as audiophile 2 channel needs. I would put them against any entry level 2 channel seperates and certianly against the numerous underperforming seperates available.

RG

JIMV
JIMV's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 5 days ago
Joined: Jan 31 2008 - 1:46pm
Re: Stereo Amp versus AV Receiver?

I am going to ask some astoudingly stupid questions here so please bear with me. My PrimaLuna amp has an HT circuit. My Energy speakers have bi-amp posts and I have two emotive monoblock amps that I have no idea how to use. I would like to amp my speakers low end with the Emotives as they are solid state and my high end with my tubes and the PrimaLuna...I ave no idea how to wire such a thing.

First, how does one connect the system and next, will the prima luna volumn control control the system or the emotive controls????

Or, is this a completely wacky idea.

dbowker
dbowker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: May 8 2007 - 6:37am
Re: Stereo Amp versus AV Receiver?


Quote:

Quote:
I just got a Marantz SR5003 and it sounds really very good in it's Direct/2 Channel mode. Still, for the money (around $900) I bet a Creek integrated or even Marantz integrated would provide better resolution, not to mention more current

It should be pointed out that something like the top of line Marantz SR8002 or SR8003 as well as Denon 5308 are more than capable of serving HT as well as audiophile 2 channel needs. I would put them against any entry level 2 channel separates and certainly against the numerous under performing separates available.

RG

Well, granted- to a point. That's an $1800 receiver your talking about, so of course you're getting excellent quality. Like I said- I really like my own Marantz AV receiver at half that price. But still- put it up with an $1800 integrated amp and it's highly doubtful that it's going to match up in a two-channel listening session. Not that it couldn't ever, but in my experience you usually do get what you pay for. But on the other hand, I'm not asking an AV receiver to be the best 2 channel anyway, so that's OK with me.

mrlowry
mrlowry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: May 30 2006 - 1:37pm
Re: Stereo Amp versus AV Receiver?


Quote:
I am going to ask some astoudingly stupid questions here so please bear with me. My PrimaLuna amp has an HT circuit. My Energy speakers have bi-amp posts and I have two emotive monoblock amps that I have no idea how to use. I would like to amp my speakers low end with the Emotives as they are solid state and my high end with my tubes and the PrimaLuna...I ave no idea how to wire such a thing.

First, how does one connect the system and next, will the prima luna volumn control control the system or the emotive controls????

Or, is this a completely wacky idea.

JIMV-

First you would need to have preamp outputs on the Prima Luna to run into the Emotive mono blocks. In general the best way to bi-wire is to use two amps of the same manufacturer and model or at least the same manufacturer. The reason is because if the input gain specification of the amp on the high side of the speakers and the input gain spec. of the amp powering the low side of the speakers are different you will shift the tonal balance significantly. If the Emotive amps have an input gain adjustment that problem can be solved to a certain extent. Under this scenario the problem that can't be solved is the fact that both amps will have different dynamic capabilities, therefore when there is a dynamic event they will track that event differently. That makes perfect sense if you think for example the tube amp is 50 watts and the solid state unit(s) is 200 watts. That difference in the volume change between the two amplifiers will again lead to a shift in the tonality of the presentation. If you listen at lower volume levels that issue may not rear it's head too often. But it will still be there.

In summary, it sounds like a good idea (the best of tubes and the best of solid state amplification) until one starts to really think about all of the consequences and how amplifier works. In fact I know a speaker manufacture that refuses to make bi-wire speakers anymore in part because he doesn't want people using his speakers in the very way you've described. He just got tired of people calling angry because his speakers didn't "sound good" only to discover after many questions that they goofy bi-wire configurations were the cause. The best way to do a tube/solid state hybrid system is a tube preamp and solid state amp. That gives you some of the tonal "benifits" of tubes, but the dynamics, bass extension, and slam of solid state.

JIMV
JIMV's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 5 days ago
Joined: Jan 31 2008 - 1:46pm
Re: Stereo Amp versus AV Receiver?

Thanks...I'll think about it.

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading