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
7,986 23 6
Equipment:
Denon- x3400
Monitor audio- Bronze 6 150w rms
-Bronze center 120w rms
-Bronze 1 75w rms
-Bronze 2 100w rms
In general I think the Denon 3000-series has enough power for your speakers. So I don't think you need external amps.

But if you "must" have an external amp, I would recommend 200WPC.

The Outlaw 200x1 amp would cost about $800 for 2 amps.

The Adcom 200x2 amp would cost about $900.

The Monolith 200x2 amp would cost about $1,000.
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
485 6 1
In general I think the Denon 3000-series has enough power for your speakers. So I don't think you need external amps.

But if you "must" have an external amp, I would recommend 200WPC.

The Outlaw 200x1 amp would cost about $800 for 2 amps.

The Adcom 200x2 amp would cost about $900.

The Monolith 200x2 amp would cost about $1,000.

Note that the Outlaw M2200 is class-G. I found it hard it a bit harsh at higher volume which may have been in the range where it is switching rails.

- Rich
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
7,986 23 6
You guys seen the new $6,000 NAD pre-pro?

So much for separates being better than AVR. Geez.

$6,000 and you get 7Ch of XLR outputs, only 1 Sub XLR output + 1 Sub RCA output + 4 Height channel outputs that require provided ADAPTERS!!!!

Adapters for the FOUR Height Channels used for the Four Atmos ceiling speakers?

Instead of 2 XLR Sub outputs, you get 1 XLR and 1 RCA? :D

Are NAD people retarded? :D

HDMI issues?

Are you kidding me? :eek:

If I had any respect for NAD before, it's diminishing as I type. :eek:

Holy crap. The reviewer was being 1000% nice about this product.

Talk about NAD giving Separates a bad name!
 
JerryLove

JerryLove

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
710 2
What frustrates me about AVRs these days is the lack of a tape loop like feature to export the sound, modify it and move it back in before the amp stage. An example would be an active crossover. What good is bi-amp on an AVR with no way to go active? It's pointless.. Maybe I like Sonic Holography or SBS for two channel music or want to use a Mini-DSP for Dirac or some EQ use. No simple way to insert a processor without to buy external amps. It's ridiculous in a way. I'd take a tape loop over basic 7-ch inputs any day of the week.
Tape loop would only help you for stereo.

What you need is pre-out and amp-in and I agree that's not common on AVRs.

Of course, you can use the AVR as the pre and then use an external amp. It's what most of us do in that situation.

With separates, you're doing that anyway so it's simple. The problem is you should get a price break for having no amps, but you don't anymore for the same reason a stick shift typically costs more now than an automatic...because they can. Supply and demand.
That's not really the main reason. It has to do with economy of scale. Fewer stick-shifts (or preamps) are manufactured; therefore the non-incidental costs are higher per-unit. There can also be a reduced competition in the segment.
 
VonMagnum

VonMagnum

Full Audioholic
Ratings
284 2 41
I'd only need stereo for a Sonic Holography unit (it'd be fun to play with in the home theater room as it sure works wonders upstairs on my Carver AL-III ribbons and they're dipoles; I'd imagine the effect would work better with monopoles).

Yeah, you'd need more channels for Dirac.

The other two things I already mentioned (external amp and supply and demand = economy of scale. i.e. less demand = higher price). ;)
 
G

Grandzoltar

Audioholic
Ratings
27 1
Real time wattage of the x3400 is 105w per 2ch driven at 8ohms. I’m lucky to get 70% of that power especially with 7 channels driven. I feel like a separate amp for the front 2 would take some stress off the AVR and reap the benefits of better sq for 2 channel music listening.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
7,986 23 6
Real time wattage of the x3400 is 105w per 2ch driven at 8ohms. I’m lucky to get 70% of that power especially with 7 channels driven. I feel like a separate amp for the front 2 would take some stress off the AVR and reap the benefits of better sq for 2 channel music listening.
The X3400 can output 123W @ 0.1% THD and 148W @ 1% THD x 2 Ch into 8 ohms; 98W and 106W x 5 Ch driven into 8 ohms @ 0.1% and 1% THD.

https://www.soundandvision.com/content/denon-avr-x3400h-av-receiver-review-test-bench

You will not see all 5, 7, 9 or more channels driven simultaneously at the same level in real life. If they did that, millions of AVR and speakers in the world would be fried really fast.

If you want more power, get some real 200WPC power, not 150WPC power from AVR-derived amps.
 
VonMagnum

VonMagnum

Full Audioholic
Ratings
284 2 41
Real time wattage of the x3400 is 105w per 2ch driven at 8ohms. I’m lucky to get 70% of that power especially with 7 channels driven. I feel like a separate amp for the front 2 would take some stress off the AVR and reap the benefits of better sq for 2 channel music listening.
30% more power would be about 1dB louder maximum (barely audible). As AcuDefGuy suggests, if you want more power, you're going to need to go a LOT higher to see substantial improvements (e.g. I run 350 watts into my two 10" woofers on my Carver AL-IIIs and 170W into the ribbons and I've noticed lately I've been hitting the protection on the ribbons in the newer house so I'm looking at 350-500W amps to get ~3-5dB more capability for the ribbons so I don't have to worry about it anymore (woofers seem fine where they are). It could be the caps wearing out, but whatever it is, if I'm going to buy a new amp it's going to be substantially larger.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,677 20 47
Real time wattage of the x3400 is 105w per 2ch driven at 8ohms. I’m lucky to get 70% of that power especially with 7 channels driven. I feel like a separate amp for the front 2 would take some stress off the AVR and reap the benefits of better sq for 2 channel music listening.
Just depends on a few other factors too....like your speakers' sensitivity and impedance requirements, distance you are from the speakers and to what spl. ACD (all channels driven) ratings aren't very meaningful as very unlikely you'll run into a soundtrack with such demands (even multich music) outside perhaps explosions or other sfx. Since it takes a doubling of power to gain merely 3dB, takes a significant amp as has been said to make significant improvement on what you've got. AVR amps aren't going to perform as well as as many separate power amps (altho some come close). Taking some load off the avr's power supply isn't a bad thing, tho. One way to find out...altho you can estimate your needs somewhat with calculating spl with your system details and add for appropriate headroom/variances in spec.
 
G

Grandzoltar

Audioholic
Ratings
27 1
That sound and vision bench test has shown me a lot of the avr capabilities. A 200wpc amplifier should be a nice upgrade. Maybe a 3ch so I can keep the front three matched and 4 channels driven on the avr. The spl calculator was a useful tool as well. The bi amping of your speakers you said you had carver amps what kind of speakers are you running?
 
VonMagnum

VonMagnum

Full Audioholic
Ratings
284 2 41
That sound and vision bench test has shown me a lot of the avr capabilities. A 200wpc amplifier should be a nice upgrade. Maybe a 3ch so I can keep the front three matched and 4 channels driven on the avr. The spl calculator was a useful tool as well. The bi amping of your speakers you said you had carver amps what kind of speakers are you running?
Already mentioned above and in my signature as well (Carver AL-III Dipolar Ribbon Speakers with an Audio-X-Stream active crossover)
XStreamCrossover.jpg
Carver Speaker S.jpg
 
VonMagnum

VonMagnum

Full Audioholic
Ratings
284 2 41
In fact, I just ordered a second Carver TFM-35x off eBay a little bit ago to replace my Yamaha M-45. That will give me 350W in to 4 Ohms instead of 170W or now 700W per channel total.... :eek:
 

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