The SEPARATES vs. AVR Thread

Do Separates (Preamps or Pre-pros + Amps) Sound Better Than AVRs in Direct/Bypass Modes?

  • Yes, Separates sound better than AVRs

    Votes: 28 50.9%
  • No, Separates and AVRs sound about the same

    Votes: 12 21.8%
  • No, Separates and AVRs sound about the same when they are similar in price range

    Votes: 15 27.3%

  • Total voters
    55
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
3,015 10 12
What? :eek:

Useless?

Just put 1 or 2 $10 USB 120mm silent fans atop the chassis of the X3400 and it runs extremely cool after 6 hours of loud karaoke!

I actually prefer to use my own external fans. They are very efficient, silent, and economical - I can easily replace the fans if I need to for $10 each.

Now, I do agree that I would not recommend using the X3400 without these $10 silent 120mm fans!

That's one of the best advices for anyone coming to this forum! Use 120mm silent fans on all your electronics that heat up.
I said the amps were useless when it's being used as a prepro.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,537 7 1
What integrated amps are you seeing with the same range of inputs seen on even low-end AVRs? The whole reason I bought a separate preamp is that none of the integrated amps had what I needed or wanted and I don't need as many inputs as some people. From that standpoint, an AVR can be the only choice, because of the possible need for several digital audio ins, as well as HDMI for the devices that no longer include an optical or coax digital output.
Good point. I think there is a 2ch AVR or pre amp that has audio only HDMI, but that feature should be more widespread just for simplicity sake. That or USB DAC. Both is even better.
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
3,015 10 12
And power amps idling don't use consume power either? Power amps don't need adequate ventillation to free flow the heat from their heat sinks?

Emotiva XPA-11
17” wide x 8” high x 19” deep (unboxed; including feet).

Outlaw 7700
Dimensions (W x H x D): 17.2 x 7.75 with feet x 18 (inches)

ATI 1800
17"W X 7"H X 161/2"D (plus 1" for I/O jacks)
Yes, they do, but I was referring to the case when the AVR is being used as a prepro. In that case the idling heat of the unused AVR amps are incremental.
 
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Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
3,015 10 12
I never said that TO-3P packages can't outreform TO-3. When I said "There are only a few modern transistors that I believe can equal their performance but you will probably not see them in any typical or even above average consumer gear (and definitely not an AVR)." I was specifically referring to the Sanken 2SA1068 & 2SC2493 transistors. The evidence? -Their spec sheet. There are very few suitable TO-3P replacements available today that can match the performance specs (not packaging) of the Sanken transistors I posted.
Which specs in particular?

I wasn't referring to package-related performance differences; I was accusing you of liking the older transistors because of their cool-looking metal can package. I'm not convinced you know what you're talking about.
 
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P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,760 9 1
What integrated amps are you seeing with the same range of inputs seen on even low-end AVRs? The whole reason I bought a separate preamp is that none of the integrated amps had what I needed or wanted and I don't need as many inputs as some people. From that standpoint, an AVR can be the only choice, because of the possible need for several digital audio ins, as well as HDMI for the devices that no longer include an optical or coax digital output.
My comments only apply to people who came to this forum asking for opinions on integrated amps, and then some of us old timer members would suggest AVRs to be included for consideration. People who are considering 2 channel integrated amps, probably don't need the same "range" of inputs typically found on multi channel AVRs.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic General
Ratings
422 4 6
My comments only apply to people who came to this forum asking for opinions on integrated amps, and then some of us old timer members would suggest AVRs to be included for consideration. People who are considering 2 channel integrated amps, probably don't need the same "range" of inputs typically found on multi channel AVRs.

Exactly, while I don't have an integrated, rather a line stage pre-amp, I only require inputs for my SACD player and my phono pre-amp
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
8,216 23 6
There are very few suitable TO-3P replacements available today that can match the performance specs (not packaging) of the Sanken transistors I posted.
Are you saying that certain transistors are more durable or have better sound quality?
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,327 12 15
My comments only apply to people who came to this forum asking for opinions on integrated amps, and then some of us old timer members would suggest AVRs to be included for consideration. People who are considering 2 channel integrated amps, probably don't need the same "range" of inputs typically found on multi channel AVRs.
Who are you calling old? I'm ripe!

I would add that if someone finds an integrated they really like that doesn't have enough inputs AND they want a really good streaming device for audio, the Yamaha MusicCast WXC-50 and Denon HEOS Link have an analog input, one optical, one Digital Coax and a USB input as well as analog and digital output, 12V trigger and sub out. That makes these very useful for new OR older integrated amps and that's how I was using my MusicCast until the speaker relays in my integrated amp became too flaky and now, I'm using that only for its phono preamp going into the AUX analog input and the MusicCAst is now acting as my preamp.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,327 12 15
Good point. I think there is a 2ch AVR or pre amp that has audio only HDMI, but that feature should be more widespread just for simplicity sake. That or USB DAC. Both is even better.
I would be OK if these had multiple digital inputs, but the problem with some source devices (like AppleTV) is that when the HDMI is used, the optical just outputs a bunch of digital hash noise.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,635 11 12
My comments only apply to people who came to this forum asking for opinions on integrated amps, and then some of us old timer members would suggest AVRs to be included for consideration. People who are considering 2 channel integrated amps, probably don't need the same "range" of inputs typically found on multi channel AVRs.
I'm guilty of recommending AVRs but I also include the caveat that if one is sure that it will remain 2 channel only, then go with an integrated amp, otherwise get an AVR leaving your options open for later.

There are some like me who don't have space or funds for a dedicated two channel system and have to integrate both HT and 2 channel into one setup. I have two such set ups and thats all I have room for. I have chosen my AVR and speakers carefully so that there is no compromise between either the HT or 2 channel application in either setup.
 
Steve81

Steve81

Audioholics Five-0
Ratings
3,010 18 1
I would be OK if these had multiple digital inputs, but the problem with some source devices (like AppleTV) is that when the HDMI is used, the optical just outputs a bunch of digital hash noise.
FWIW, I run an AppleTV over optical to a Marantz integrated and HDMI out to my screen, and as long as the ATV is set to output stereo, it works as expected.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,760 9 1
I'm guilty of recommending AVRs but I also include the caveat that if one is sure that it will remain 2 channel only, then go with an integrated amp, otherwise get an AVR leaving your options open for later.

There are some like me who don't have space or funds for a dedicated two channel system and have to integrate both HT and 2 channel into one setup. I have two such set ups and thats all I have room for. I have chosen my AVR and speakers carefully so that there is no compromise between either the HT or 2 channel application in either setup.
I think for an affordable permanent 2 channel system, integrated amp is a more logical choice than using an AVR, but as often suggested, AVRs such as those listed below, could in fact be viable as ridiculous as it may sound.

- Brand new previous year D&M's AVR-X4x00, SR6x00, Yamaha's RX-A20x0 etc., with full warranty.

Others (ADTG, HD are the prime suspects) would include one model lower, e.g. RX-A10X0, AVR-X3x00, RX-A10x0, SR5x1x

Truly separate DAC, pre-amp, power amp system will obviously jack the price up and in many cases not provide audible improvements. I suppose the OP is questioning this very last point.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic General
Ratings
422 4 6
Why?

Because the integrated amp will sound better in 2Ch and/or last longer than a similar priced AVR ?
perhaps one might be interested in something better than what remains in a 'similar priced' realm will yield. Not to mention the completely separate route and the flexibility it offers.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
8,216 23 6
I think for an affordable permanent 2 channel system, integrated amp is a more logical choice than using an AVR...

Truly separate DAC, pre-amp, power amp system will obviously jack the price up and in many cases not provide audible improvements. I suppose the OP is questioning this very last point.
If people feel that separates (2Ch or MCH) sound better (after comparing) and last longer (better cost/year ratio),then I think it's logical to buy separates.

There are cases where a Pre-pro + amp may be LESS expensive than an AVR, which makes it more logical to buy the Pre-pro + amp.

For people who feel that separates (2Ch or MCH) sound no better than AVR (after comparing many) and last about the same (same or worse cost/YR ratio),then I think it's logical to buy AVR.

Do you pay $600 for an AVR-X3400, instead of a $2K Marantz Pre-pro or $800 Integrated Amp that has less power output?

What is logic here? Absolute Sound quality vs Cost/YR or simply buying a 2Ch integrated amp only because you listen to 2Ch?

Let's say you only need a 2Ch amp. That's all you need. You have 2 choices. A new ATI AT3002 (2Ch) for $3,000 or a new AT3007 (7Ch) on clearance for $2,000.

Do you buy the 2Ch amp because you only use 2Ch?

Or do buy the 7Ch amp because it's less expensive, even if you don't need the additional 5Ch?
 
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AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
8,216 23 6
perhaps one might be interested in something better than what remains in a 'similar priced' realm will yield. Not to mention the completely separate route and the flexibility it offers.
So you're saying "better" in terms of better SOUND QUALITY?
 

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