Receiver VS Prepro+Amps True or False?

A

Am_P

Audioholic
I have been doing some research on stepping up to a prepro+multich amp separates in the future. I recall the AudioScienceReview guy (Amir) stating that manufacturers just pull the amplifiers out of a flagship receiver and sell the "amp-less receiver" as a prepro at a higher cost.

But, watching Phil Shea's response from Yamaha, he appears to paint a different picture on how their prepros are designed over the course of this video, a.k.a as a very different design from the ground up. Was the ASR guy just spouting out the wazoo on this topic? Or do some brands/manufacturers actually just remove amp sections and rename it as "the prepro"? If so who does that? Integra? Denon? Marantz? Pioneer? Arcam? NAD? What brand of prepro was the ASR guy referring to?


 
G

Golfx

Audioholic
I do not recall reading that directly from Amir but certainly lots of others on the ASR forum have stated that skepticism. ASR has discovered manufacturers who have existed off of an unearned reputation for Audio quality that isn’t reflected in their bench measurements. Whereas Denon AVRs produce some absolutely sterling bench measurements easily beating almost “all” separate prepros. You can search on a forum user named PENG to find intelligent posts regarding this subject. Many of us started using Denon AVRs as prepros and not using their internal amps. At a minimum we buy external amps to power our LCR channels. Some use the internal amps for their surrounds and heights and some go all external. I was one of the latter.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
I do not recall reading that directly from Amir but certainly lots of others on the ASR forum have stated that skepticism. ASR has discovered manufacturers who have existed off of an unearned reputation for Audio quality that isn’t reflected in their bench measurements. Whereas Denon AVRs produce some absolutely sterling bench measurements easily beating almost “all” separate prepros. You can search on a forum user named PENG to find intelligent posts regarding this subject. Many of us started using Denon AVRs as prepros and not using their internal amps. At a minimum we buy external amps to power our LCR channels. Some use the internal amps for their surrounds and heights and some go all external. I was one of the latter.
Nailed it! :p

I'm in the same camp and use an avr for prepro, use a separate amp for my front 3 and the internal amps to power the surrounds. There are some nice dedicated prepros out there, but I don't think there's any audible differences in performance between them and a good avr
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I have been doing some research on stepping up to a prepro+multich amp separates in the future. I recall the AudioScienceReview guy (Amir) stating that manufacturers just pull the amplifiers out of a flagship receiver and sell the "amp-less receiver" as a prepro at a higher cost.

But, watching Phil Shea's response from Yamaha, he appears to paint a different picture on how their prepros are designed over the course of this video, a.k.a as a very different design from the ground up. Was the ASR guy just spouting out the wazoo on this topic? Or do some brands/manufacturers actually just remove amp sections and rename it as "the prepro"? If so who does that? Integra? Denon? Marantz? Pioneer? Arcam? NAD? What brand of prepro was the ASR guy referring to?


You recall Amir saying that but not the unit he was talking about? Okay...

You sure he was being literal or just wondering why several prepros weren't simply measuring better than the same (or other) brand's avr?

If you want a reason to buy a prepro, maybe consider possibly longer life due less heat, perhaps balanced connections, perhaps enabling use of a more powerful amp than avrs have.....

OTOH a prepro possibly still might need updating chasing the latest/greatest video or audio codec...and tends to cost more than a similarly featured avr.
 
A

Am_P

Audioholic
You recall Amir saying that but not the unit he was talking about? Okay...

You sure he was being literal or just wondering why several prepros weren't simply measuring better than the same (or other) brand's avr?
Yes, it is on one of the 1.5hr ish interview videos on YT. He said it about prepros as a general statement. I don't think I feel like doing the work of finding the exact instance of where he said it on one long video and submit that to you as "evidence". But, it's there in of the 3 or 4 videos in the middle of a bunch of topics he was talking about (when you search "ASR amir interview").
 
A

Am_P

Audioholic
Nailed it! :p

I'm in the same camp and use an avr for prepro, use a separate amp for my front 3 and the internal amps to power the surrounds. There are some nice dedicated prepros out there, but I don't think there's any audible differences in performance between them and a good avr
Simple logic says to me that if a manufacturer just pulled the amps out of their flagship receiver and called it their Prepro (took the lazy route), one wouldn't hear that much of an audible difference. But, if they went through the extra engineering work aka designing a Prepro from the ground up (improved power supplies, boards, isolation, etc), the user stands a better chance of discerning the improvement perhaps.

I recall you stating on another thread that you own a Sound United brand? Have you had a chance to compare your receiver with the Prepro on the brand? Physically open them up etc?
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
I recall you stating on another thread that you own a Sound United brand? Have you had a chance to compare your receiver with the Prepro on the brand? Physically open them up etc?
Nope, and the only direct comparing I've done was at audio stores. Take a spl meter, level match the components and turn of any processing tho and I've never noticed a difference.

Do I have a comprehensive list with notes and model numbers? No. I was with a friend who was shopping and we tried out many different models. Neither of us could hear any significant differences.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
Simple logic says to me that if a manufacturer just pulled the amps out of their flagship receiver and called it their Prepro (took the lazy route)
And for the record I don't assert that's what they're all doing, nor do I have any idea which are doing it if they even are.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
I own both the Yamaha CX-A5100 pre-pro and RX-A3080 AVR. I don't use any kind of external fans for either one.

The RX-A3080 stays fairly cool. But the CX-A5100 operates A LOT COOLER all day long.

Oh, and I also owned the Denon AVP-A1HDCI pre-pro and the Denon AVR-5308 at the same time. I used 3 x 120 mm fans for both of them. However, in this case, the AVP-A1HDCI didn't seem to be any cooler in temperature than the AVR-5308 - both got pretty hot after a few hours. :D
 
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Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
I own both the Yamaha CX-A5100 and RX-A3080. I don't use any kind of external fans for either one.

The RX-A3080 stays fairly cool. But the CX-A5100 operates A LOT COOLER all day long.
Have you ever noticed any difference in sq between avr alone, avr + amp or dedicated prepro + amp? You've pretty much used 'em all right?
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
I used to use an AVR as my pre, then a few prepros. I would say they're more similar than not. In the case of many of the companies who offer both AVR and Pre, they're frequently going to be very closely related in each generation. There will be some small differences aside from just ripping the amps out, but the end result is, I doubt there will be a huge difference in most. In my case, I already have the amp and a used pre was about the same as a similar new AVR with somewhat less capabilities.

Selling or repurposing an old AVR is often easier than an old Pre for obvious reasons. Your audience is limited with a used Pre because most people want the latest one and not everyone has an amp already. An AVR, even if it doesn't have all the latest capabilities, can still be used for a lot of things.
 
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AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Have you ever noticed any difference in sq between avr alone, avr + amp or dedicated prepro + amp? You've pretty much used 'em all right?
No difference in SQ among them (CX-A5100 vs RX-A3080 vs AVP-A1HDCI vs AVR-5308) IMO. :D
 
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A

Am_P

Audioholic
Selling or repurposing an old AVR is often easier than an old Pre for obvious reasons. Your audience is limited with a used Pre because most people want the latest one and not everyone has an amp already. An AVR, even if it doesn't have all the latest capabilities, can still be used for a lot of things.
Thanks. You make a legit point on poor resale value.
 
A

Am_P

Audioholic
No difference in SQ among them (CX-A5100 vs RX-A3080 vs AVP-A1HDCI vs AVR-5308) IMO. :D
Thanks. That's one nay from someone who did direct comparisons with the equivalent models in each category. Curious if Dellasella and others may also chip in if they have heard improvements or not when doing direct comparisons. The Youthman guy on the video said he heard improvements and couldn't go back.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Thanks. That's one nay from someone who did direct comparisons with the equivalent models in each category. Curious if Dellasella and others may also chip in if they have heard improvements or not when doing direct comparisons. The Youthman guy on the video said he heard improvements and couldn't go back.
I have never used receivers, even before AV. So I can't comment on improvement. However, I think reliability is the issue for me, as well as the design concept. I just think that cramming a bunch of power amps, preamps and processors, running off the same power supply and placing them in one case, is just poor design and bad engineering. Personally that is something I would not countenance. I would suspect though that in a high end system, there is likely to be improvement is audio quality, especially when pushed hard. For reliable concert levels and full dynamic range, really does require more power than can be provided by a receiver.

My rig never gets close to running out of headroom, and has a relaxed sound under all conditions and program. Lastly I have an absolute need for xlr balanced connections.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Yes, it is on one of the 1.5hr ish interview videos on YT. He said it about prepros as a general statement. I don't think I feel like doing the work of finding the exact instance of where he said it on one long video and submit that to you as "evidence". But, it's there in of the 3 or 4 videos in the middle of a bunch of topics he was talking about (when you search "ASR amir interview").
I think he was being somewhat facetious, I may have run into something like that in a written review of his, too, but I don't use his videos much altho his videos are far superior than most in the field....especially compared to guys like youthman. In any case I also have no desire to track it down altho the specific pre-pro he was talking about could be interesting....maybe....I was just teasing you about the memory of one but not the other thing....
 
A

Am_P

Audioholic
I have never used receivers, even before AV. So I can't comment on improvement. However, I think reliability is the issue for me, as well as the design concept. I just think that cramming a bunch of power amps, preamps and processors, running off the same power supply and placing them in one case, is just poor design and bad engineering. Personally that is something I would not countenance. I would suspect though that in a high end system, there is likely to be improvement is audio quality, especially when pushed hard. For reliable concert levels and full dynamic range, really does require more power than can be provided by a receiver.

My rig never gets close to running out of headroom, and has a relaxed sound under all conditions and program. Lastly I have an absolute need for xlr balanced connections.
I understand your note. A flagship receiver that I bought used earlier this year was my first intro to multichannel equipment of this caliber and the first proper intro to Atmos music. Besides that, I've only had exposure some higher quality 2 channel equipment in the past. So, I'm trying to gather as much as info as possible before trying to move up on this multichannel tree.

With respect to a higher possibility of hearing improvements in a higher end system...my room is fully treated except for something more I could do with the ceiling. Speakers are perhaps not the best out there aka built to a budget - Elac Unifi 2.0 series. The designer has the tweeters on these crossed over fairly low at 2khz (improved impulse response from a smaller driver taking over from 2kz onwards). I would think that it can resolve fairly well in comparison to some of the competition in this price bracket. I currently don't have the budget to move up on the speaker tree though....Great gear/pics on your profile! Bet it sounds real nice.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
What are you using now with the current speakers?
 
A

Am_P

Audioholic
What are you using now with the current speakers?
Yamaha RX-A3070 receiver running all channels for the most part. I am running front preouts to a vintage Technics SE-A5 MK2 at times. I have had the latter forever.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Yamaha RX-A3070 receiver running all channels for the most part. I am running front preouts to a vintage Technics SE-A5 MK2 at times. I have had the latter forever.
If you don't have budget for better speakers, I'd just stand pat with that avr myself....and it has a full set of pre-outs if you want amp flexibility. Don't see how a dedicated pre-pro will be worth spending money on.....let alone the amps needed for all channels.
 

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