AV Receivers vs. Separates: Which One Is Better?

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by admin, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
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    If you've ever spent much time browsing the Audioholics forums, the odds are good that you will find someone asking which is better: AV receivers or separates. Oftentimes, such a question brings about a fierce debate with solid arguments on both sides of the table. Ultimately, what's best for the end user depends on what he or she is looking for. Keep reading (and watching) as Audioholics analyzes the topic and gives you the skinny on what AV receivers and separate preamplifer/processors and amplifiers bring to the table.
    [​IMG]

    Read AV Receiver vs Separates: Which One is Better?

    What are you using and why? Share some pics of your setup.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2014
  2. ImcLoud Audioholic Ninja

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    Gene, How about both, an AVR for processing and powering surrounds and a 3 ch amp for the front sound stage? Kind of the best of both worlds? good write up, thanks...
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  3. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

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    That is a great approach assuming you pick an AV receiver that can do a clean output unclipped before the preamp itself clips. Some of the lower end AVR's clip at > 1V. It's always good to check this.
    gene,
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  4. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

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    Actually Steve wrote the article. I just assumed you thought Gene wrote it because you addressed it to him. I could be mistaken though.
  5. ImcLoud Audioholic Ninja

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    I seen Steve wrote it, just addressed it to Gene because I thought he posted it? I could be wrong...
  6. ImcLoud Audioholic Ninja

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    I noticed most avr's that have preouts are in the upper quality range, where in the specs will this be recorded?
  7. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

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    IME, it usually won't be in there, unless tested by a third party.
  8. ImcLoud Audioholic Ninja

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    That sucks, I never even heard of this, just one more thing to worry about... I thought the amp clipped not the preamp, this is new to me...

    I read the amplifier voltage gain article too, maybe I missed something...
  9. ahmedreda Audiophyte

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    Great article!
    I use a receiver (Denon 4311ci) with preouts along with 2 amps (Emotiva XPA2,XPA5) to power my 7.3 system. The receiver has pretty much most of the features of the corresponding processor and when it becomes obselete, I can still use it in my living room as opposed to a processor which would need amps to work somewhere else.
    [​IMG]
  10. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

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    Clipping of the pre outs can be a real problem. I've never had that issue with a receiver before, but then again I've only had 2 receivers and now my 8801. However, with the Antimode I bought I had this problem. This is also one reason why pro amps sometimes have a hard time being driven by receivers, especially for subs. If a pro amp needs something like 1.4V to be driven to full rated output, but the receiver is only capable of 1V, then you've got some issues for those big peaks.
  11. ImcLoud Audioholic Ninja

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    Holy Crazy Component Rack Batman....
    LOL, nothing a visit to mono price and a swiffer can't fix, some wire ties, short length power cables, ect will clean that rite up... nice gear and welcome to the forum...
  12. ahmedreda Audiophyte

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    LOL I didn't think it was that bad :)
  13. ImcLoud Audioholic Ninja

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    WHAT this guy just had a stroke [​IMG]
  14. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

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    Actually Steve plagiarized my video to write the article per my instruction ;)
    gene,
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  15. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

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    That sounds like something Steve would do. That sonuva....:p
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  16. godey Audiophyte

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    After reading your comment I quickly checked on the pre-out voltage from my yamaha rx-a2010. It says 1.0V/1.2k-ohm while my outlaw 7200 amp it is feeding ask for 1.43V for Full Rated Output . Is it possible I am underfeeding the 7200? I never knew this is something to look out for. And is there a way to determine if the pre-amp is clipping?
    Thanks

  17. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

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    The Yamaha spec is not at clipping. I measured the RX-A1010 which is a lower model than the 2010 and it did over 2.8Vrms unclipped. After years of bugging Yamaha they've finally increased the output drive of the preamp sections of their latest Aventage receivers. Score one Audioholics ;)

    See: Yamaha RX-A1010 AVENTAGE A/V Receiver Review Measurements and Analysis | Audioholics
    gene,
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  18. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

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    Both components are rated oddly. The Outlaw is rated to have 28db of gain, yet reach 200W/ch with only 1.43v. Hmmm. Maybe I'm slow today, but the math doesn't appear to work on the Outlaw. As for that Yamaha, I can't see the owner's manual online without signing in, and I won't, but 1v into 1200 ohms is an odd output spec. The input impedance of the Outlaw is about 50K ohms, so the Yamaha is rated into a much more demanding load. Without measuring it is impossible to know how it all works out.

    That Yamaha does appear to have a weak pre-out section. Great pre-amps and good pre-outs on receivers often do 5v, or more, into 50K ohms, and sometimes a lot more. If you're really worried about the last iota of quality I'd trade out that Yamaha.

    On the other hand, at most volume levels with speakers of at least average efficiency in small to medium-sized rooms I doubt you're clipping that pre-amp section of the Yamaha. Maybe you are, and maybe a more capable pre-amp or receiver would sound better, but there's a good chance, IMHO, that the difference would be inaudible.
  19. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

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    That sounds more like it.
  20. godey Audiophyte

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    Thanks @Gene and and Irvrobinson. I checked the review of the 1010 out.

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