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 51.9%
  • No, Separates and AVRs sound about the same

    Votes: 12 22.2%
  • No, Separates and AVRs sound about the same when they are similar in price range

    Votes: 14 25.9%

  • Total voters
    54
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
8,197 23 6
that's one parameter, then there's build quality, functionality, longevity of said 'sound quality', the list goes on ...........
Do you currently own or have you owned high-end separates and compared them to AVR and found that the high-end separates truly sound better and last longer?

I have friends who have owned high-end separates that required repairs within 6 - 7 years of ownership. The repairs are usually about $1,000-$1,500. They will tell you that high-end separates can malfunction and require costly repairs after the warranty period expires. :D

I've owned Denon AVRs that have never needed repair.

So I suppose it all depends on your personal history of repairs.

If you've owned mid-priced AVRs that died after 3 years, then you will have a different opinion. You will feel that high-end separates will last longer.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
8,197 23 6
For guys who love the idea of separates, I think it's logical (especially with certain speakers and rooms) to buy a Marantz AV7703 pre-pro for about $1,400 + a Monolith 200x7 amp for $1600 = $3,000 for a "high-end" separates system you can be proud of. :D

For guys who don't care too much about separates and just want a simple solution that can sound great, I think it's also logical to buy a $1,000 Denon X3000s AVR on sale for $550-$600.

I am saying this based on my personal experience with owning four Denon 3000-series AVRs (+120mm fans atop) over the past 9 years and powering speakers like the B&W 802D2, Phil3, RBH SX-T2, and RBH SVT Tower during house parties and loud karaoke parties. :D
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic General
Ratings
422 4 6
Do you currently own or have you owned high-end separates and compared them to AVR and found that the high-end separates truly sound better and last longer?

I have friends who have owned high-end separates that required repairs within 6 - 7 years of ownership. The repairs are usually about $1,000-$1,500. They will tell you that high-end separates can malfunction and require costly repairs after the warranty period expires. :D

I've owned Denon AVRs that have never needed repair.

So I suppose it all depends on your personal history of repairs.

If you've owned mid-priced AVRs that died after 3 years, then you will have a different opinion. You will feel that high-end separates will last longer.
I've asked before and not gotten an answer here, what in your opinion constitutes 'high end' ?

So, to answer your question, yes my 2 channel rig is separates, PASS amplification (X260.8's),ARC line stage (LS28).

As for comparing them to an AVR, no.

With the exception of my speakers (Revel Studio 2's) all my gear in my 2 channel rig is made here in the states. That's not to say off shore mfg can't be good, it can, just that I like to support the home front.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,635 11 12
that's one parameter, then there's build quality, functionality, longevity of said 'sound quality', the list goes on ...........
That's all unsubstantiated audiophile myth but to each their own. When listening to two channels, my AVRs don't even break a sweat as theirs so much power available.
 
Last edited:
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
8,197 23 6
No and I did not imply that. An integrated amp is simpler to connect and get to run then an AVR. That's all. ;)
Simpler for a novice? Or simpler for one of us? :D

I think for any of us here, it would make no difference in terms of ease of use. :D
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,635 11 12
Simpler for a novice? Or simpler for one of us? :D

I think for any of us here, it would make no difference in terms of ease of use. :D
Not quite. If I moved from Yamaha to Denon as an example ( God forbid!! :p ) I would have to read the manual to get an understanding of the Denon. Yes, my previous experience would be beneficial and help me understand it faster but I would have to read the manual :)
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,537 7 1
Do you currently own or have you owned high-end separates and compared them to AVR and found that the high-end separates truly sound better and last longer?

I have friends who have owned high-end separates that required repairs within 6 - 7 years of ownership. The repairs are usually about $1,000-$1,500. They will tell you that high-end separates can malfunction and require costly repairs after the warranty period expires. :D

I've owned Denon AVRs that have never needed repair.

So I suppose it all depends on your personal history of repairs.

If you've owned mid-priced AVRs that died after 3 years, then you will have a different opinion. You will feel that high-end separates will last longer.
If I were to go by that logic I've got a Kenwood (the first multi channel receive I ever owned) that still works 18 years after I bought it. Sure the center channel died, but for 2 channel it could still work very well. It actually did for a number of months while my Onkyo 809 was being repaired. The Onkyo is much better due to Audyssey DEQ, but the Kenwood did just fine. Granted I don't have a high end set of speakers though...
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
8,197 23 6
Not quite. If I moved from Yamaha to Denon as an example ( God forbid!! :p ) I would have to read the manual to get an understanding of the Denon. Yes, my previous experience would be beneficial and help me understand it faster but I would have to read the manual :)
Of course, that's the same for anyone who doesn't have experience with a certain brand.

But would it make a difference to you going from a Yamaha Integrated Amp to a Yamaha AVR?

Couldn't you operate a Yamaha AVR in your sleep? :D
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,537 7 1
Simpler for a novice? Or simpler for one of us? :D

I think for any of us here, it would make no difference in terms of ease of use. :D
I would think an AVR would be more difficult to set up. Integrated amps or pre amps have very little in the way of setup. Plug it in, set the balance and tone controls, start listening.

AVR has a GUI setup that super simple, but takes more time due to auto EQ and all that.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
8,197 23 6
If I were to go by that logic I've got a Kenwood (the first multi channel receive I ever owned) that still works 18 years after I bought it. Sure the center channel died, but for 2 channel it could still work very well. It actually did for a number of months while my Onkyo 809 was being repaired. The Onkyo is much better due to Audyssey DEQ, but the Kenwood did just fine. Granted I don't have a high end set of speakers though...
Yeah, my brother still has my 25 YR old Harman Kardon $500 AVR, NHT SuperZero and SW2P Subwoofer. And the HK AVR still works fine - all 55WPC x 5Ch of it. :D

I think he's set for life.

Hopefully my $7,500 Pre-pro + $8,500 Amps will last 25YR. If they don't, I'll be going to AVRs. :eek: :D
 
Last edited:
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
8,197 23 6
I would think an AVR would be more difficult to set up. Integrated amps or pre amps have very little in the way of setup. Plug it in, set the balance and tone controls, start listening.

AVR has a GUI setup that super simple, but takes more time due to auto EQ and all that.
Well, if you treat the AVR as an integrated amp by using only Direct Mode (which bypasses all EQ anyway) and using only 2Ch, it's plug and play.

Straight out of the box, simply plug in the speakers, BD player, turn on Pure Direct, Select the source, and listen to music exactly the same way as an integrated amp.

You don't have to set up anything on the AVR if all you want is Pure Direct 2Ch music.

You can balance the speaker channel level using the LCD screen. For most of us, that's easy.
 
Last edited:
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic General
Ratings
422 4 6
That's all unsubstantiated audiophile myth but to each their own. When listening to two channels, my AVRs don't even break a sweat as theirs so much power available.
LOL, compare the back of PASS Labs amps to the back of 'any' AVR, if you can't see / feel the difference in quality, you're blind. Are the build quality of your AVR's equal or better that that what is found inside that of Mcintosh, PASS, Ayre, Burmester, Accuphase, to name but a few.
 
O

Out-Of-Phase

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
376 1 30
LOL, compare the back of PASS Labs amps to the back of 'any' AVR, if you can't see / feel the difference in quality, you're blind. Are the build quality of your AVR's equal or better that that what is found inside that of Mcintosh, PASS, Ayre, Burmester, Accuphase, to name but a few.
So what. That doesn't translate into better sound from the expensive amps.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,635 11 12
LOL, compare the back of PASS Labs amps to the back of 'any' AVR, if you can't see / feel the difference in quality, you're blind. Are the build quality of your AVR's equal or better that that what is found inside that of Mcintosh, PASS, Ayre, Burmester, Accuphase, to name but a few.
Common audiophile fallacy that something costing more will sound better. :rolleyes: Take Wilson speakers as an example of over priced garbage!
 
Last edited:
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,537 7 1
LOL, compare the back of PASS Labs amps to the back of 'any' AVR, if you can't see / feel the difference in quality, you're blind. Are the build quality of your AVR's equal or better that that what is found inside that of Mcintosh, PASS, Ayre, Burmester, Accuphase, to name but a few.
If that build quality means longer lasting without issues then great, if not, then what are you really getting?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about high build quality. The higher the better, but I'm also a function over form guy. I don't care if it's pretty if it gets the job done...don't tell my wife...o_O
 
M Code

M Code

Audioholic General
Ratings
728 1
Yeah, my brother still has my 25 YR old Harman Kardon $500 AVR, NHT SuperZero and SW2P Subwoofer. And the HK AVR still works fine - all 55WPC x 5Ch of it. :D

I think he's set for life.

Hopefully my $7,500 Pre-pro + $8,500 Amps will last 25YR. If they don't, I'll be going to AVRs. :eek: :D
Sounds like an HK AVR20... :D
Built by Inkel/Sherwood equivalent to their 5030 which was awarded AVR of the year back in 1994.
Sold >150K units well built in its day..

Just my $0.02.. ;)
 

newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis