Stereo amps Vs AVRs

Which one of the following would you choose for the best audio quality?

  • An Integrated amp

    Votes: 11 42.3%
  • An AVR

    Votes: 5 19.2%
  • They have the same audio quality

    Votes: 10 38.5%

  • Total voters
    26
W

whiplash

Junior Audioholic
Hi guys,

I opened a new topic to clarify once and forever this subject, because I find this "VS" like who was first, the egg or the chicken?

I wish to know your opinion about this VS, considering I'm not asking if an AVR can replace an stereo one, I'm asking which of those "give" the BEST sound quality in the same condition (same speakers, same sourse, etc, considering all the equipment it's at least mid-range level). Another thing, do not compare an cheap stereo amp(like $500) and one of the best AVR(like +/- $4000).
Hoping, each one to give pertinent arguments about he/she's choice, I can't wait your opinion.

Best regards.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
You should at least narrow it down to a price range, say between $1,500 to $2,000 manufacturer's list price. Even then the topic is too general for such a poll to be meaningful. Most answers you get will likely be a qualified one, not just a straight A, or B answer.
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
Speakers matter.

I connected an 80 watt Yamaha AVR to the Salon2's and it was not a good match even moderate levels The Salon2's are not an easy load.

If only considering the power specs and speaker specs, there should be no problem at modest volume level. I have not found this to be the case.

- Rich
 
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killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Samurai
You should add "same audio quality" option, some might choose that.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
What do you mean by stereo amp? A power amp? Integrated amp? Receiver (2ch I assume)?
 
W

whiplash

Junior Audioholic
Speakers matter.

I connected an 80 watt Yamaha AVR to the Salon2's and it was not a good match even moderate levels The Salon2's are not an easy load.

If only considering the power specs and speaker specs, there should be no problem at modest volume level. I have not found this to be the case.

- Rich
It's not about power, just about sound quality at the same level volume(not a high one), about how can "exploit" a integrate amp(2.0) and a AVR the same speakers. And of course, between a amp and a AVR in the same range of price, and with at least decent pair of speakers.
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Samurai
I'll give it a shot.

I'll try to arrive at a reasonable answer much, much sooner than most would. I believe this can be done by proper wording. I also believe this can save some time and misunderstandings.

Here goes:

Out of that very fact that something is an AVR or stereo amp alone, will not come audio quality.

Differences and preferences may come from all sorts of reasons, but AVR’s when done properly (and you said we’re talking about good equipment), shouldn’t be inherently worse and inferior to stereo amps or the other way around.


P.S.: I wanted to add: now put that in your Google translate and smoke it, as an Austin Powers type joke, but I don’t want you to think I’m deliberately provoking you.

Having said that, you'd be amazed how many people here use AVR's in their No.1 systems (me included thanks to advice I received here).
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
You asked “Which of following options do you chose for having the best audio quality, stereo amp or AVR?”

You seem to want a simple answer, but you’re unhappy with the answers posted before. They all were longer and more complex. Here are some simple answers.
  • Speakers do matter. Extra money spent on speakers will much more likely produce better quality sound than extra money spent on electronics (pre-amps, amplifiers, integrated amps, or receivers).

  • Speakers require enough amplifier power to adequately drive them. Just how much power varies with the speaker, the owner’s listening preferences, and the acoustic properties of the owner’s room.

  • An amplifier should have enough reserve power available for short-term use on loud musical peaks such that it never goes into clipping (a condition where the amp is over-driven). As long as this condition is met, most any amplifier will work as well as another. Therefore, the amount of amplifier power does matter for sound quality, in the sense that there should always be enough.

  • Modern AVRs are more complicated than the much older stereo integrated amps. AVRs are essentially computers dedicated to audio and video use. They perform many functions on digital audio signals, and then convert digital to analog, all in the pre-amp stage. Just after that, they amplify the analog signals (anywhere from 5 to 11 channels) to send to the speakers. Nearly all stereo integrated amps operate only with analog audio, have simple basic pre-amp stages, followed by 2 amplification channels. Their design is essentially no different than it was in the years before AVRs dominated sales.

  • One major reason for the price differences is the scale of manufacturing. If an AVR manufacturer produces 5,000 units, and a stereo amplifier maker produces 500 units, the AVR will cost less per unit than the stereo amplifier. The most expensive parts inside these items are the power supply transformers and the machined aluminum parts including the heat sinks and face plates. The AVR maker can negotiate a lower price for these items because of the numbers it orders. In any factory, the more units made during a production run, the lower the cost per unit. It’s a simple fact of life that many more AVRs are sold than stereo amps.

  • Despite what you may have read or been told by salesmen, there is little if any difference in the sound quality among different pre-amps, amplifiers, integrated amplifiers, or receivers. This is true if they are 2 channel or multi-channel. This is true despite very large differences in price. You have been told this repeatedly, but you cannot seem to accept that answer.
 
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RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
Some relevant Audioholic's videos:

Understanding Power Ratings in AV Receivers:

Do All Amplifiers Sound The Same?

My take: AVR amps are getting less capable because they do so much. Most well designed amps are going to sound alike, especially if they share topology.

If it is within your budget, get separate amp(s). Especially, if you are doing video processing; It's the wild-west out there right now.

Also, all DAC implementations (input processing + DAC + volume control) don't sound the same to my ears and brain (which also must work in tandem to be effective). :)

- Rich
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
From my experience, and I'm not claiming to be a pro but do have some small experience with this, a stereo amplifier sounds no different from a quality AVR from Denon, Marantz, Yamaha, etc. The only time you might tell a difference is if you have very inefficient or hard to drive speakers and need a lot of power.
 
W

whiplash

Junior Audioholic
Some relevant Audioholic's videos:

Understanding Power Ratings in AV Receivers:

Do All Amplifiers Sound The Same?

My take: AVR amps are getting less capable because they do so much. Most well designed amps are going to sound alike, especially if they share topology.

If it is within your budget, get separate amp(s). Especially, if you are doing video processing; It's the wild-west out there right now.

Also, all DAC implementations (input processing + DAC + volume control) don't sound the same to my ears and brain (which also must work in tandem to be effective). :)

- Rich

Hey Rich,

You scored and BIG. I want to thank you for the graphic and the video(my score is 5). And for me this clarified all my doubt. Now hope so for the others too.

Thank you again.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Hey Rich,

You scored and BIG. I want to thank you for the graphic and the video(my score is 5). And for me this clarified all my doubt. Now hope so for the others too.

Thank you again.
So you determined you need a power amp for your avr?
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
So you determined you need a power amp for your avr?
No. I temporarily used the Aventage RX-A820 AVR from the office system over to see how well it drove the Salon2's. I may, down the line, replace the Yamaha with a Sonica DAC and amp and sell or move the Yamaha. The ATI6000 amps in my signature drive the Ultima2's.

The AVR doesn't sound bad when turned up; Compressed but not really louder. In this case, it is obvious that the Salon2's are not the limiting factor. With other speakers, it is not obvious where the limiting occurs.

I have a BDP-95 connected to that system and it is easy to compare music playing via HDMI and the analog outs.

- Rich
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
No. I temporarily used the Aventage RX-A820 AVR from the office system over to see how well it drove the Salon2's. I may, down the line, replace the Yamaha with a Sonica DAC and amp and sell or move the Yamaha. The ATI6000 amps in my signature drive the Ultima2's.

The AVR doesn't sound bad when you turned up; Compressed but not really louder. In this case, it is obvious that the Salon2's are not the limiting factor. With other speakers, it is not obvious where the limiting occurs.

I have a BDP-95 connected to that system and it is easy to compare music playing via HDMI and the analog outs.

- Rich
I was referring to the OP's Marantz avr and his dilemma of using an avr vs a Hegel or Lyngdorf integrated amp (if you haven't seen his other thread). OP has also said he's more into low listening levels, too with a pair of Dali Opticon 6's.

Nice gear you have there!
 
W

whiplash

Junior Audioholic
I have a BDP-95 connected to that system and it is easy to compare music playing via HDMI and the analog outs.

- Rich
And which one you prefer, HDMI or analog?
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
My preference is using the BDP-95 dedicated unbalanced analog outputs connected to the Yamaha 7.1 FL/FR analog inputs.

- Rich
 
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