AV Receivers vs. Separates: Which One Is Better?

gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
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.
200 watts @ 8 ohms is 40Vrms. 40/1.43 = 27.97 20*log (27.97) = 28.9dB or 29dB, sounds about right to me.
 
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Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Yeah, I hear ya, but I did the math the other way, and 28db came out to 168w, which didn't look "about right" when the spec is 200w. I was probably just being too picky.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Better in terms of sound quality?

Given the same features (ARC vs. ARC, Audyssey vs. Audyssey, etc.) and same power output/requirement, separates and AVR are equal.

Better in terms of reliability?

Higher-end separates probably have the edge.

Better in terms of aesthetic and prestige?

Higher-end separates definitely have the edge.

Just because something is a "separate" doesn't mean anything in itself. Not all "separates" are even good.

If Bose made "separates", would that be good? :eek:

Would separates from OSD, Pyle, etc., be any good?
 
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Steve81

Steve81

Audioholics Five-0
Just to answer the question from the article:
So now the question is: are you using a receiver or separates, and what do you prefer? Please tell us in the dedicated forum link below.
I'm running separates in both of my setups these days: a UMC-200 + Outlaw 7125 in the basement, and an XDA-2 and XPA-200 in the bedroom. I'll admit that having a separate amp is nice in the surround rig if for nothing other than peace of mind (particularly since all of my speakers in the HT setup dip down to the 4 ohm mark or below). It's also helpful in terms of heat, as the components don't get more than warm to the touch, whereas my old Onkyo could double as a space heater.
 
M

Mo Noyz

Banned
A few months ago when I stepped up from my Harman Kardon AVR-120 to my current Emotiva rig the difference was quite pronounced. So just from that experience alone my personal preference is definitely separates. But, to be fair, I paid $500 for that HK about 14 years ago, whereas the current Emotiva rig is almost $1300 worth, so it's likely not a fair comparison.
 
R

ReUpRo

Full Audioholic
IMO, going from using pre-outs on a receiver to dedicated pre-pro does not offer any real world benefit. I'm in the same philosophical group as ImcLoud on this one, AVR with all the features powering surround and 3ch amp for LCR or 5 if one had FW.

I'll make an exception for someone with active mains and surround speakers.
 
M

Mo Noyz

Banned
That was the biggest downfall of my old HK. It had no pre-outs.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
In terms of audio quality, you’ll also find some separate components offer balanced inputs/outputs for improved noise immunity,
Yes, balanced interconnects are fashionable item right now, but does it really make any sense what-so-ever for 2-3 ft interconnects in reality??? C'mon
 
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RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
Yes, balanced interconnects are fashionable item right now, but does it really make any sense what-so-ever for 2-3 ft interconnects in reality??? C'mon
Maybe. My system suffers from wire-entropy. When I was running unbalanced, there was more hum in my system than balanced but that could be because I cleaned up the wiring at the same time. Not sure.

It may also depend on your components:

Yamaha CX-A5000 AV Preamp and MX-A5000 Power Amp Measurements | Audioholics
Using balanced connections lowered the distortion products an additional -3dB. It is recommended to use balanced connections whenever possible.

As far as using separates. I have all of the above:
A Yamaha receiver for the game room,
a Marantz AV8801/Parasound A51 for my main system, and
an Onkyo Receiver/Sunfire 7200 in a vacation home.

- Rich
 
jinjuku

jinjuku

Moderator
Yes, balanced interconnects are fashionable item right now, but does it really make any sense what-so-ever for 2-3 ft interconnects in reality??? C'mon
If it's affordable for you why not? While not needed in some instances I like having XLR as an option. 3 dB better noise performance and a more mechanically solid connection.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
IME, it usually won't be in there, unless tested by a third party.
Yup, that is the problem with this approach....

Of course, most of us AHers are only looking at units that have the 3rd party numbers
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
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...
I believe that any gain stage can clip.....
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
If it's affordable for you why not? While not needed in some instances I like having XLR as an option. 3 dB better noise performance and a more mechanically solid connection.
Yep. I wish consumer amps had speakon options. Not sure why consumer devices shy away from locking connectors.
 
DannyA

DannyA

Audioholic
Yes, balanced interconnects are fashionable item right now, but does it really make any sense what-so-ever for 2-3 ft interconnects in reality??? C'mon
Man I fell dumb for asking but what are "balanced interconnects" and how do I know if I have them?
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Maybe. My system suffers from wire-entropy. When I was running unbalanced, there was more hum in my system than balanced but that could be because I cleaned up the wiring at the same time. Not sure.
No sure on what was causing the hum - it could be many things from faulty ground to ground loops.
Just curious - did you used shielded interconnects or unshielded?
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Which is better depends on the environment that they are used in and the speakers attached to them. Having a prepro/power amp in an environment that is small enough to be comfortably covered off by an AVR is just a big of a money waste as buying an AVR thats trying to power diffficult loads loudly in a large room. It really depends on the application.
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
No sure on what was causing the hum - it could be many things from faulty ground to ground loops.
Just curious - did you used shielded interconnects or unshielded?
They are over 10+ year old Monster. They seem OK though.

- Rich
 
M

Mo Noyz

Banned
Which is better depends on the environment that they are used in and the speakers attached to them. Having a prepro/power amp in an environment that is small enough to be comfortably covered off by an AVR is just a big of a money waste as buying an AVR thats trying to power diffficult loads loudly in a large room. It really depends on the application.
That played into my purchase since I was going to be running 4 ohm speakers and most receivers I looked at didn't have 4 ohm ratings.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
That played into my purchase since I was going to be running 4 ohm speakers and most receivers I looked at didn't have 4 ohm ratings.
This is really rare day if I will quote stereophile, but it happens I do agree with them on this topic:

However, while Dynaudio specifies the X12 as having a nominal 4 ohm impedance, its plot of impedance magnitude and phase (fig.1) reveals that it doesn't drop below 6 ohms, and then only in the lower midrange, when it reaches a minimum value of 4.8 ohms—which, like the combination of 6.6 ohms and 30° capacitive phase angle at 125Hz, will not tax any well-designed amplifier.
 
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