Is there really a difference between an AV receiver and a processor?

B

Blair387

Enthusiast
I understand that these are two physically different devices, but my question is right now I have a Yamaha AV receiver and I'm on the verge of purchasing an external amplifier. So is there really a difference in using my AV receiver to process everything rather than purchasing an actual processor? I know people swear by doing separates and say that it's much better, but honestly aren't they all processing the same exact signal such as DTS X ,Atmos, HDR blah blah blah.

I guess the reason why I'm asking is if I should stick with my Yamaha AV receiver and use the pre outs on the back of that to send everything to the external amplifier or if I should get an actual dedicated processor from emotiva or monolith or something like that?

Thank you all.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
The specs for noise/distortion may be a bit better on a pure processor since it doesn't have the amps in the box and it's not sharing the power supply, and the lack of the heat generated by the amps might speak to longevity. Audible differences not likely. I've not gone the dedicated pre-amp route since 2ch stuff, and I have used a variety of amps with my avrs. If I were to get a processor I'd probably look to Yamaha or Marantz to start at least for your proposed speaker setup....if you were to expand that speaker layout then maybe a 16ch processor like that Emotiva you're considering, or Monolith, JBL, etc. If you did get the JTR speakers I'd stick with the Yamaha 3070 to start tho until it proves incapable.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
I understand that these are two physically different devices, but my question is right now I have a Yamaha AV receiver and I'm on the verge of purchasing an external amplifier. So is there really a difference in using my AV receiver to process everything rather than purchasing an actual processor? I know people swear by doing separates and say that it's much better, but honestly aren't they all processing the same exact signal such as DTS X ,Atmos, HDR blah blah blah.

I guess the reason why I'm asking is if I should stick with my Yamaha AV receiver and use the pre outs on the back of that to send everything to the external amplifier or if I should get an actual dedicated processor from emotiva or monolith or something like that?

Thank you all.
I think it depends on your requirements. I do need balanced outputs. I have four pre/pros all Marantz, but the oldest one is in storage, so I have three in use. I think that longevity is likely to be better, though I don't know if you never use any of the amps. However you have a bunch of power amps doing nothing, wasting electricity and generating heat. A pre/pro only uses 60 watts max and barely makes any heat at all. The case only gets very slightly warm. My biggest objection to receivers is the power amps, which I personally dislike, especially in later models. However I guess if you don't use the amps and only need line outputs I doubt you will see any issues except may be longevity.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
If you already have the Yamaha RX-A3070, which can output about 300W x 2Ch into 4 ohms, you should be all good without external amps.

Pre-pros won’t improve the sound quality.

However, if you should still have the itch for pre-pros in the future, the Yamaha CX-A5100/5200 and future pre-pros are great. There’s really no reason to spend more money than that unless you must have certain auto-room EQ software.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I understand that these are two physically different devices, but my question is right now I have a Yamaha AV receiver and I'm on the verge of purchasing an external amplifier. So is there really a difference in using my AV receiver to process everything rather than purchasing an actual processor? I know people swear by doing separates and say that it's much better, but honestly aren't they all processing the same exact signal such as DTS X ,Atmos, HDR blah blah blah.

I guess the reason why I'm asking is if I should stick with my Yamaha AV receiver and use the pre outs on the back of that to send everything to the external amplifier or if I should get an actual dedicated processor from emotiva or monolith or something like that?

Thank you all.
I can see that your questions have been answered and there seem to be consensus that if your AVR can do the job then no you don't need to get a dedicated processor from Emotiva or Monolith. TLSGuy mentioned balanced connections, that is an example of why your current AVR may not be able to do it for you as even their flagship model AVRs don't have balanced I/O for all channels. Another example would be if you need more than 11 channel processing. No current Yamaha model offer 13 channels or more processing options.
 
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GlocksRock

GlocksRock

Audioholic Spartan
Don't pre/pros typically use higher quality dacs than receivers, especially those with balanced XLR connections? I was looking to upgrade my Denon AVRX-4300H to a pre/pro, preferably something with dirac, but the new Denon 6700 has my attention, especially since it has a preamp mode and two presets for different setup configs. But I don't want to put money into a receiver that is going towards amps I'm not going to use if I can buy a pre/pro that has higher quality components. My thing is, neither of my Emotiva amps use XLR, but I still feel there may be an advantage a pre/pro over a receiver. The one upside to a receiver is that if your amp(s) ever crap out or have issues, you still have a receiver to drive the speakers.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Don't pre/pros typically use higher quality dacs than receivers, especially those with balanced XLR connections? I was looking to upgrade my Denon AVRX-4300H to a pre/pro, preferably something with dirac, but the new Denon 6700 has my attention, especially since it has a preamp mode and two presets for different setup configs. But I don't want to put money into a receiver that is going towards amps I'm not going to use if I can buy a pre/pro that has higher quality components. My thing is, neither of my Emotiva amps use XLR, but I still feel there may be an advantage a pre/pro over a receiver. The one upside to a receiver is that if your amp(s) ever crap out or have issues, you still have a receiver to drive the speakers.
The DAC in your 4300 is already very good. You can find some with lower distortion and better measurements, but we're talking in ranges below audibility to begin with. I personally think that Audyssey MultEQ XT32 is one of the better room correction programs out there. In short, I think spending more on a prepro is a waste. The 6700 also has a very good DAC. Most avrs at that level do. Any better is more for bragging rights, if you're a numbers guy and that matters.. It's really really unlikely you'll hear a difference tho.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Don't pre/pros typically use higher quality dacs than receivers, especially those with balanced XLR connections? I was looking to upgrade my Denon AVRX-4300H to a pre/pro, preferably something with dirac, but the new Denon 6700 has my attention, especially since it has a preamp mode and two presets for different setup configs. But I don't want to put money into a receiver that is going towards amps I'm not going to use if I can buy a pre/pro that has higher quality components. My thing is, neither of my Emotiva amps use XLR, but I still feel there may be an advantage a pre/pro over a receiver. The one upside to a receiver is that if your amp(s) ever crap out or have issues, you still have a receiver to drive the speakers.
I have used pre/pros all along since the AV revolution. I suspect that the front ends of these units have a lot in common with the top end receivers of the range.

If you are not going to use the amps of a receiver then the cost of a pre/pro is very competitive. You can usually get a decent discount from an authorized dealer. I got my AV receiver a Marantz 7705 for $1750. The equivalent receiver is $1000.00 more than that at least. So you have a thousand dollars to put towards your amps. I think that is a far better solution.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Don't pre/pros typically use higher quality dacs than receivers, especially those with balanced XLR connections? I was looking to upgrade my Denon AVRX-4300H to a pre/pro, preferably something with dirac, but the new Denon 6700 has my attention, especially since it has a preamp mode and two presets for different setup configs. But I don't want to put money into a receiver that is going towards amps I'm not going to use if I can buy a pre/pro that has higher quality components. My thing is, neither of my Emotiva amps use XLR, but I still feel there may be an advantage a pre/pro over a receiver. The one upside to a receiver is that if your amp(s) ever crap out or have issues, you still have a receiver to drive the speakers.
I think if you’re going all-out for Separates pre-pro + amps, I think it needs to be the Yamaha CX-A5100 or Marantz AV8802A/ AV8805. I guess the AV7705 could work, but @PENG might disapprove. :D

Otherwise, just stick with your current X4300 (4K/Atmos), which is already a great component.

I don’t see the point of going to the X6700 just because of this “preamp mode”, which I think is a gimmick most of the time.
 
Auditor55

Auditor55

Audioholic Chief
Don't pre/pros typically use higher quality dacs than receivers, especially those with balanced XLR connections? I was looking to upgrade my Denon AVRX-4300H to a pre/pro, preferably something with dirac, but the new Denon 6700 has my attention, especially since it has a preamp mode and two presets for different setup configs. But I don't want to put money into a receiver that is going towards amps I'm not going to use if I can buy a pre/pro that has higher quality components. My thing is, neither of my Emotiva amps use XLR, but I still feel there may be an advantage a pre/pro over a receiver. The one upside to a receiver is that if your amp(s) ever crap out or have issues, you still have a receiver to drive the speakers.
Higher quality DACS? How does one measure the quality of DACS? XLR connections, why do you need those? Do you have long runs between your electronics ? You believe there's an advantage of Pre/Pros over receiver, what are the advantages?
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Don't pre/pros typically use higher quality dacs than receivers, especially those with balanced XLR connections? I was looking to upgrade my Denon AVRX-4300H to a pre/pro, preferably something with dirac, but the new Denon 6700 has my attention, especially since it has a preamp mode and two presets for different setup configs. But I don't want to put money into a receiver that is going towards amps I'm not going to use if I can buy a pre/pro that has higher quality components. My thing is, neither of my Emotiva amps use XLR, but I still feel there may be an advantage a pre/pro over a receiver. The one upside to a receiver is that if your amp(s) ever crap out or have issues, you still have a receiver to drive the speakers.
At the level of your avr not so much. Some even use the same chipsets. Higher quality components don't necessarily translate to anything in particular like sound quality or even longevity....ymmv.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
I think if you’re going all-out for Separates pre-pro + amps, I think it needs to be the Yamaha CX-A5100 or Marantz AV8802A/ AV8805. I guess the AV7705 could work, but @PENG might disapprove. :D

Otherwise, just stick with your current X4300 (4K/Atmos), which is already a great component.

I don’t see the point of going to the X6700 just because of this “preamp mode”, which I think is a gimmick most of the time.
Apparently it is now on the approved list. The 7705 just has two less ceiling channels, otherwise no difference. 4 ceiling speakers I think is the optimal number for this room, otherwise the speakers get too close together.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Don't pre/pros typically use higher quality dacs than receivers, especially those with balanced XLR connections?
The fact is, you AVR-X4300H has exactly the same DAC as the Marantz prepros except the $4,999 top model AV8805 prepro, that has exactly the same DAC as the top model Denon AVR-X8500H. So if you are talking about D+M's, I am not sure if you can consider that "typical".

The Yamaha prepros' DAC has a different brand DAC, the ES9026Pro, but it's DR and THD+N specs are comparable to the AV8805/AVR-X8500H's AK4490.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
it is now on the approved list.
I don't think the Marantz AV7705 is on @PENG approval list since it has the same DAC as the Denon X4300 AVR. Probably has all the same components as the X4300, except the Amp section has been removed and XLR connectors added.

The Marantz AV8805/ Denon X8500 and Yamaha CX-A5100/5200 have the higher-end DACs.
 
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K

Kleinst

Audioholic
I don't think the Marantz AV7705 is on @PENG approval list since it has the same DAC as the Denon X4300 AVR. Probably has all the same components as the X4300, except the Amp section has been removed and XLR connectors added.

The Marantz AV8805/ Denon X8500 and Yamaha CX-A5100/5200 have the higher-end DACs.
That's really good info to know. I had looked at a Marantz AV7704 on Ebay but I have a Marantz SR6013, bet it has the same components so no real value. Good to know i'd want to go up one level.

On the Yamaha's, are they the same chip as the 3070 as an example? Or are they much better?
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
That's really good info to know. I had looked at a Marantz AV7704 on Ebay but I have a Marantz SR6013, bet it has the same components so no real value. Good to know i'd want to go up one level.

On the Yamaha's, are they the same chip as the 3070 as an example? Or are they much better?
@PENG would know more about the specs on the DACs.

But the RX-A3080 has one SABRE ES9026PRO 8CH DAC for the main channels + one SABRE ES9007S 8CH DAC for the remaining channels.

The CX-A5200 has two SABRE ES9026PRO 8CH DAC for all channels.

So technically, the CX-A5200 has "more". :D

This is probably an example where they would put "more quality" into separates than in AVR.

The Marantz AV7705 is not this example as it has the SAME DAC as the Denon X4300 AVR. :D
 
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GlocksRock

GlocksRock

Audioholic Spartan
I'm looking to upgrade my AVR to either a Denon 6700 or maybe a Marantz 8805, possibly the Emotiva XMC-2 due to Dirac. I already have a pair of emotiva 7 channel amps, and I'm mainly looking to upgrade so I can add top middle atmos speakers, not that I need it, but I have the ability to easily install them in my theater room, plus the amp channels already, so why not? My amps don't have XLR, and I don't care about that, I'm only running a 3 ft. RCA cable anyway, so long runs and noise are of no concern. It will be a couple years until I can do anything real upgrading anyway, so till then I'm very pleased with my current setup, I just want to add a second sub.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I'm looking to upgrade my AVR to either a Denon 6700 or maybe a Marantz 8805, possibly the Emotiva XMC-2 due to Dirac. I already have a pair of emotiva 7 channel amps, and I'm mainly looking to upgrade so I can add top middle atmos speakers, not that I need it, but I have the ability to easily install them in my theater room, plus the amp channels already, so why not? My amps don't have XLR, and I don't care about that, I'm only running a 3 ft. RCA cable anyway, so long runs and noise are of no concern. It will be a couple years until I can do anything real upgrading anyway, so till then I'm very pleased with my current setup, I just want to add a second sub.
When you say upgrade, coming from a X4300H, what are the "upgrades", (connectivity, amp power, build quality/better look to you, other features, such as?) that you are looking for? If you have a list of that, then it should lead you to a decision.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
When you say upgrade, coming from a X4300H, what are the "upgrades", (connectivity, amp power, build quality/better look to you, other features, such as?) that you are looking for? If you have a list of that, then it should lead you to a decision.
Right, my thinking is aside from possibly some newer features it really isn't much in the way of an "upgrade" if improving sound quality is the goal. I'd be looking at new speakers with that kind of budget if I were wanting a sonic upgrade.
 
GlocksRock

GlocksRock

Audioholic Spartan
I want extra channels so I can add top middle, but the 6700 also has dual speaker presets so I can have a setting for when it's just me watching, and another setting for when I have guests sitting in the back row. Also, the 6700 has bluetooth so I could use my bluetooth headphones when I want to keep things quiet if the wife is sleeping. DTS: X pro would be good too once I add the extra atmos channels. Another reason to upgrade is so I can replace one of my other aging Denon 1080p receivers with the 4300 so when I eventually get a 4k tv in the living room or bedroom, I'll be all set there. I don't really care about 8k, but maybe some of the other features will help with the next gen xbox but most of the time I'll be just using my sony 4k 285es, and I'm not sure that can take advantage of those newer features.
 

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