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: 26 51.0%
  • No, Separates and AVRs sound about the same

    Votes: 11 21.6%
  • No, Separates and AVRs sound about the same when they are similar in price range

    Votes: 14 27.5%

  • Total voters
    51
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
8,027 23 6
don't expect a run of the mill $500 AVR to do them justice, especially on the Maggies and non-hybrid Logans.
Yeah, I don't think I would power speakers with a 2-ohm minimum impedance with $500 AVRs.

But $1,000 AVR should work. For example, the Yamaha RX-A1080 ($1200 reg, $900 on sale) is rated for 280W Dynamic Power into 2 ohms x 2Ch (Front Left and Front Right).

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio_visual/av_receivers_amps/rx-a1080_u/specs.html#product-tabs
 
D

David Harper

Enthusiast
Ratings
6
David, I'm but two years younger than you so as for the sound being indistinguishable I suspect your (our) respective ages has something to do with that !

As for your consideration of a di-pole from Maggie or Logan, both make excellent examples but as someone who has owned from both over the past 35 years don't expect a run of the mill $500 AVR to do them justice, especially on the Maggies and non-hybrid Logans.
yes, I'm sure you're right about that.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,217 9 14
I would assume that Audio Research and Conrad-Johnson have their own sound signatures. :D

What do you think they sound similar to? :D

I made the comment about Yamaha sounding like Mark Levinson, but I'm sure others might disagree. Why, I think some people like Mike may think Yamaha sounds more like the shiny 9-FT Grand Pianos that Yamaha makes. :D

Or maybe they sound like their Grand Piano Speakers:
Why would a Yamaha sound like Mark Levinson equipment? MLK is owned by Harman International.

I always thought Yamaha receivers, speakers and amps sounded a bit light in the low end but now that AVRs use a sub in many cases, that point is moot- I haven't used a Yamaha AVR with full range speakers, so I don't know if it would still seem that way but if you remember all of the hit songs in the mid-'80s that had sparkely-sounding keyboards and sound patches, a lot of it had Yamaha DX7 keyboards and SPX-90 delays and that stuff DID sound thin.

I have a Conrad Johnson amp but I never compared its sound with anything else and it has been sitting for years. If I get it running, I'll do that- I suspect it will sound decent, but I doubt it will knock my socks off.
 
JerryLove

JerryLove

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
710 2
I've listened to a decent number of amps and have yet to hear a difference except where overdriven or where there was a load the amp could not properly handle (my 801N's LF response was amp-picky).
 
rekh127

rekh127

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
2 2
I've listened to a decent number of amps and have yet to hear a difference except where overdriven or where there was a load the amp could not properly handle (my 801N's LF response was amp-picky).
mm.. I do wonder if thats why I'm un happy, if my speakers are being underpowered
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
5,241 22 9
David, I'm but two years younger than you so as for the sound being indistinguishable I suspect your (our) respective ages has something to do with that !
Seriously?
If you were 30 years old (vs 67 for an age difference of 37 years),this would make a lot more sense.

It is much more likely that someone of roughly the same age has significantly better (or worse) hearing because of other factors (such as exposure and genetics),but two years of age is not likely the best explanation for a difference in hearing.
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
Ratings
284 5 1
My Sony TA-E9000ES prepro is about 20 years old. It just has S/PDIF digital connections to deliver multi-channel sound from DVDs, no HDMI. This has not precluded me from great surround sound from movies or music, since I enjoy my music and movies on discs played via an OPPO UDP-205 connected to an analog multi-channel preamp, which when switched on bypasses the digital prepro. The OPPO also provides bass management which is decent. Thing is, I've got too many processes and tasks to contemplate just to watch a movie or listen to music. It's definitely not plug and play. In fact sometimes it's an ordeal to listen to music or watch movies with my system. So, recently I've been thinking about updating, wondering what would get the job done, separates or an AVR. I have not concluded anything yet but the Marantz TOTL preamp seems to have ALL the features I seek. At any rate, I'm sorry that Sony has not pursued separates. They make some great TVs today, fabulous picture but they need to deliver fabulous surround sound for that great picture.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic General
Ratings
397 4 28
Seriously?
If you were 30 years old (vs 67 for an age difference of 37 years),this would make a lot more sense.

It is much more likely that someone of roughly the same age has significantly better (or worse) hearing because of other factors (such as exposure and genetics),but two years of age is not likely the best explanation for a difference in hearing.
Kurt, you missed my point, I was putting both of us (myself and Dave Harper) 'in the same boat'
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
8,027 23 6
Why would a Yamaha sound like Mark Levinson equipment? MLK is owned by Harman International.

I always thought Yamaha receivers, speakers and amps sounded a bit light in the low end but now that AVRs use a sub in many cases, that point is moot- I haven't used a Yamaha AVR with full range speakers, so I don't know if it would still seem that way but if you remember all of the hit songs in the mid-'80s that had sparkely-sounding keyboards and sound patches, a lot of it had Yamaha DX7 keyboards and SPX-90 delays and that stuff DID sound thin.

I have a Conrad Johnson amp but I never compared its sound with anything else and it has been sitting for years. If I get it running, I'll do that- I suspect it will sound decent, but I doubt it will knock my socks off.
I was kidding around. :D
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
1,074 1 1
Anything is possible, but for most people, underpowered isn't the issue. I think for most people, the main issue is the setup.
Other than the budget, I think it starts with the front 3 speakers and sub. If you don’t get that right, the rest won’t work out very well. Also it surprises me when people don’t put a rug down on hardwood floors etc. The room should not echo. :)
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,217 9 14
My Sony TA-E9000ES prepro is about 20 years old. It just has S/PDIF digital connections to deliver multi-channel sound from DVDs, no HDMI. This has not precluded me from great surround sound from movies or music, since I enjoy my music and movies on discs played via an OPPO UDP-205 connected to an analog multi-channel preamp, which when switched on bypasses the digital prepro. The OPPO also provides bass management which is decent. Thing is, I've got too many processes and tasks to contemplate just to watch a movie or listen to music. It's definitely not plug and play. In fact sometimes it's an ordeal to listen to music or watch movies with my system. So, recently I've been thinking about updating, wondering what would get the job done, separates or an AVR. I have not concluded anything yet but the Marantz TOTL preamp seems to have ALL the features I seek. At any rate, I'm sorry that Sony has not pursued separates. They make some great TVs today, fabulous picture but they need to deliver fabulous surround sound for that great picture.
Hold that thought- I saw an article in a mag about AV separates making a possible comeback.
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
Ratings
284 5 1
the 'A' part of AV is in no need of a 'comeback' for it has never left since introduced decades ago ......
The Sony A/V separates train left the station 20 years ago. To explain, Sony was a leading manufacture of A/V in the 90's. Their last separates offering was the TA-E9000ES 5.1 Digital Control Amplifier, made in 2000, or thereabouts. I still use one of those today for enjoyment of music and movies. It does not have 5.1 analog inputs, so, to enjoy 5.1 SACDs, I also purchased a Sony TA-P9000ES 5.1 Analog Preamplifier, which is connected to the TA-E9000ES in a manner which allows switching from one unit to the other into power amplification for all channels. I have been pleased with this system for about 20 years; but, I do miss what HDMI would bring to the table. Thus, I've been shopping, hoping Sony might come back into the market with an update of the TA-E9000ES with HDMI inputs. At any rate, since my system still works, I'm not pressed to buy a new prepro just for the HDMI function; but, the TOTL Marantz is very tempting for a host of compelling features in addition to HDMI. BTW, most every piece in my system is at least 20 years old except for an OPPO Player, TV, and a Technics TT. Here's a picture:
42519946935_375b361e23_z.jpg
 
Last edited:
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic General
Ratings
397 4 28
Sterling, are my eyes deceiving me or do you have your speakers(L/R) recessed in back of your gear ?

as for Sony gear 'back in the day' good stuff but in later years unless it was 'ES' nothing but junk IMO .........
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
736 6 12
Sterling, are my eyes deceiving me or do you have your speakers(L/R) recessed in back of your gear ?
:D I asked the same thing some time back. Not only is it recessed, but the right one is crammed between a wall and those shelves... SS said it doesn't bother them.
 

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