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Do any AVRs that delivers high quality stereo audio?

RBinDC

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Aug 21, 2020
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I have two LS-50 speakers being driven by an inexpensive Yamaha AVR (RXV-679) and am not happy with the quality of the audio. The setup is ok for watching movies but not very satisfying for music listening. I want to upgrade and am considering buying a new AVR (like the Yamaha 2080 or 3080) or going with a stereo integrated amp (e.g., Riga Breo or equivalent) plus a streaming device with a high quality DAC. I currently am not using surround sound speakers but would like to have that option for future consideration. I also plan to add a subwoofer.

I have a vinyl collection that I haven't played since my 40 year old Yamaha stereo receiver died but will need to buy a new turntable and cartridge. My Dual 1009 has not been used in over 10 years and may not even be serviceable.

So the first question is whether I can expect decent audio quality from one of the high-end AVRs or are they simply outclassed by a good integrated amp selling in the $500 to $1000 range? Put another way, does the AVR option even pass the "laugh test?"

One other complication. I recently moved into a new apartment that combines the living room dining area and kitchen in an "open living" configuration, The size of the room is about 8 x 8 meters with a 3 meter ceiling. Is this going to be too large for the LS-50s to fill? And if not, how much power per channel will I need to make them come to life? I'm assuming it will require at least 100 watts into their 8 ohm impedance.
 

Al ears

Moderator
In my own opinion I would say no to your sound quality question and I would always use a stereo amplifier for quality playback, perhaps you may get close with a very expensive AV amp, from the likes of Anthem, but I doubt it.
Where we do come to a complication is your statement that, at some point, you may want to use surrounded sound speakers....... that negates the use of a stereo amplifier.
Whilst some stereo amps do have a subwoofer out facility they don't have surround capability.

Regards your speakers, although I haven't owned a pair I would say they are far from ideal if you are trying to fill all of that space. Is it a square or can you set speakers up to fill part of it?
 

bigboss

Moderator
When I was part of the magazine's "Big Question" feature 10 years ago, we compared a stereo amp with AV receivers at different price points. While the stereo amp was better, the difference was very very small, and I had to listen extremely carefully to notice the difference. And this is not how I listen to music. Besides, you can always add a stereo amp to the pre-outs when funds allow in the future. I would recommend you invest in an AV receiver with pre-outs. Marantz is known to be musical. Or try Yamaha Aventage series.
 
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abacus

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Go for Hi-End AVR (And use the room correction systems) such as Anthem & Arcam to get top notch sound for music, (You will need to spend considerable funds on a stereo amp to improve, plus as the room makes the biggest difference in the sound of a system a stereo amp will always be at a disadvantage) avoid Yamaha as they suck big time with music (Even though you would think they would be top notch) and like Denon & Marantz have an awful room correction system, but the Denon & Marantz do sound decent with music.

Also look at Pioneer AVRs that have been tuned by Air Studios as with careful set up these are also up there with the top.

The only way to be sure is to try a few out to see which suits your listening habits.

Bill
 

millennia_one

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Sep 1, 2014
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Go for Hi-End AVR (And use the room correction systems) such as Anthem & Arcam to get top notch sound for music, (You will need to spend considerable funds on a stereo amp to improve, plus as the room makes the biggest difference in the sound of a system a stereo amp will always be at a disadvantage) avoid Yamaha as they suck big time with music (Even though you would think they would be top notch) and like Denon & Marantz have an awful room correction system, but the Denon & Marantz do sound decent with music.

Also look at Pioneer AVRs that have been tuned by Air Studios as with careful set up these are also up there with the top.

The only way to be sure is to try a few out to see which suits your listening habits.

Bill
While AVR's don't sound bad, especially over a certain budget. You're making a very sweeping statment in regards to EQ.
EQ can be achieved with a separate box if needs be and quite successfully AND we are starting to see more forward-thinking companies such as NAD and Buchard audio release EQ capable devices on the 2 channel side of things.

In all honesty, a lot of people used to buy AVR's for there digital connectivity and listen in stereo with no intention of using it's full functionality.
Again though we're starting to see digital connectivity with stereo amps, devices by Naim, and sim audio and many many more.

Most don't need or even want an AVR but were forced for the connectivity standpoint alone.

Lastly, EQ isn't this magic bullet you're making it out to be, i like to think of it as icing and cherry on a cake, but it's not a cake without the sponge/pastry and this is my problem with EQ. Many are told/sold on the idea "yeah place your speakers anywhere and it will do it for you" and that's just not true. The fundamentals are what get you 90% of the way there. Get the fundamentals right and in all honesty, you might not even need EQ at this point depending on the room.

Many here can't even get the fundamentals right/unwilling to place the equipment where it needs to go, let alone adding yet another piece to the puzzle that actually could make things alot worse to a system that isn't set up optimally.

And im yet to see an EQ system correct correctly for difficult rooms, such as room with star cases in that lead straight to a landing and none linear open plan living.
 
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millennia_one

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Sep 1, 2014
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I have two LS-50 speakers being driven by an inexpensive Yamaha AVR (RXV-679) and am not happy with the quality of the audio. The setup is ok for watching movies but not very satisfying for music listening. I want to upgrade and am considering buying a new AVR (like the Yamaha 2080 or 3080) or going with a stereo integrated amp (e.g., Riga Breo or equivalent) plus a streaming device with a high quality DAC. I currently am not using surround sound speakers but would like to have that option for future consideration. I also plan to add a subwoofer.

I have a vinyl collection that I haven't played since my 40 year old Yamaha stereo receiver died but will need to buy a new turntable and cartridge. My Dual 1009 has not been used in over 10 years and may not even be serviceable.

So the first question is whether I can expect decent audio quality from one of the high-end AVRs or are they simply outclassed by a good integrated amp selling in the $500 to $1000 range? Put another way, does the AVR option even pass the "laugh test?"

One other complication. I recently moved into a new apartment that combines the living room dining area and kitchen in an "open living" configuration, The size of the room is about 8 x 8 meters with a 3 meter ceiling. Is this going to be too large for the LS-50s to fill? And if not, how much power per channel will I need to make them come to life? I'm assuming it will require at least 100 watts into their 8 ohm impedance.

In all honesty, the LS50s are pretty hard to drive i think its just a simple matter of finding something with a little more grunt with the functions you need

dont know how much you have to spend but arcam and pioneer are good with kef

if you really wanted to splash out rotel will give you loads of drive

stereo wise world your oyster naim moon rotel (more of a classic 2 channel brand) hegal

Speaker wise no i don't think they will fill the space but is that what you want them to do?
 

12th Monkey

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Aug 31, 2015
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Even if the room makes the biggest difference (which I have never found to be the case), this would affect your choice of speaker/speaker positioning more than anything else.

And at any given price point, a two channel has the significant advantage of only having to include two channels of amplification - an AV amp at that price has to include at least seven, possibly ten, as well as a vastly greater array of inputs and outputs, more binding binding posts, digital connections and all the digital processing gubbins that has its own cost. Economies of scale don't get around that...
 

abacus

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Sep 24, 2008
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While AVR's don't sound bad, especially over a certain budget. You're making a very sweeping statment in regards to EQ.
EQ can be achieved with a separate box if needs be and quite successfully AND we are starting to see more forward-thinking companies such as NAD and Buchard audio release EQ capable devices on the 2 channel side of things.

In all honesty, a lot of people used to buy AVR's for there digital connectivity and listen in stereo with no intention of using it's full functionality.
Again though we're starting to see digital connectivity with stereo amps, devices by Naim, and sim audio and many many more.

Most don't need or even want an AVR but were forced for the connectivity standpoint alone.

Lastly, EQ isn't this magic bullet you're making it out to be, i like to think of it as icing and cherry on a cake, but it's not a cake without the sponge/pastry and this is my problem with EQ. Many are told/sold on the idea "yeah place your speakers anywhere and it will do it for you" and that's just not true. The fundamentals are what get you 90% of the way there. Get the fundamentals right and in all honesty, you might not even need EQ at this point depending on the room.

Many here can't even get the fundamentals right/unwilling to place the equipment where it needs to go, let alone adding yet another piece to the puzzle that actually could make things alot worse to a system that isn't set up optimally.

And im yet to see an EQ system correct correctly for difficult rooms, such as room with star cases in that lead straight to a landing and none linear open plan living.
If you look on my previous posts on this site you will find I have never said room correction is the be all and end all, however if you look at his room it is going to be difficult to balance it out without making the aesthetics look rubbish, (And most likely unacceptable) and without will sound terrible, therefore good room correction (Which is not just eq but covers a multitude of parameters) will help out considerably.

Secondly you need a good base to start from, which is why I mentioned Anthem, Arcam, Pioneer, Marantz and Denon. (And to avoid Yamaha)

Bill
 

abacus

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Even if the room makes the biggest difference (which I have never found to be the case), this would affect your choice of speaker/speaker positioning more than anything else.

And at any given price point, a two channel has the significant advantage of only having to include two channels of amplification - an AV amp at that price has to include at least seven, possibly ten, as well as a vastly greater array of inputs and outputs, more binding binding posts, digital connections and all the digital processing gubbins that has its own cost. Economies of scale don't get around that...
A good beefy power supply and output stages are required to get a good sound, (This is why high end AVRs have a limited amount amplifier channels built in to prevent compromises, (The rest of the channels require external amps) however if you look at the top Denon model etc. you will find the case is significantly larger to make sure they can fit a larger power supply and output stage to make up for the extra channels.

Most stereo amplifiers in spite of better components (Although if you take the top off a lot of them they are not as good as what the sales make them out to be) still lack the ability to adjust for the room.

Ask any professional installer (Not just for home) and they will always say the biggest elephant is the room not the equipment, and why they always finish off with room correction after the rest is sorted.

Bill
 

millennia_one

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Sep 1, 2014
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If you look on my previous posts on this site you will find I have never said room correction is the be all and end all, however if you look at his room it is going to be difficult to balance it out without making the aesthetics look rubbish, (And most likely unacceptable) and without will sound terrible, therefore good room correction (Which is not just eq but covers a multitude of parameters) will help out considerably.

Secondly you need a good base to start from, which is why I mentioned Anthem, Arcam, Pioneer, Marantz and Denon. (And to avoid Yamaha)

Bill
Respectfully I’m not looking at other posts on this furom I’m responding to what you wrote here.

A good base really isn’t the brand though. It’s about thoughtful placement of the speakers and many aren’t able or unwilling to do so. And your right Eq dose help with multiple aspects, stand waves arguably the biggest. My point was EQ shouldn’t be seen as a magic bullet it’s a means to end, a finisher.

But this Is all going beyond what the op asked.

Bottom line is 2 channel Amps sound for pound will offer more for far less regardless of weather an EQ is involved or not. As said Above it’s simple economies of scale. Weather a 2 channel amp fits the needs of the op that’s choice the op needs to make.
 
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record_spot

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A few years ago, I had an Onkyo TX-NR818 which I used purely in two channel mode. I'd compared it at the time to an Exposure 3010s and it didn't fall short.

As somebody else pointed out, a decade ago integrated amps were in the doldrums, far behind offering the functionality consumers more frequently wanted. I bought a network stereo receiver in 2012/3 , which was the brilliant Onkyo TX-8050. That was followed up with the 818 a couple if years later.

I had no regrets at the time and was very impressed with the sound quality. The 818 went with an AVI Lab Series CD player and my Cambridge 752BD universal player. The speakers at the time were the very good Tannoy DC4.

All that said, not all AV amps will do the job, much in the same way that not every stereo amp will suit your needs either. But don't discount them and just do your homework on the models you're interested in. They can be excellent in the right setup.
 
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scene

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It's a matter of balancing convenience, cost, and purity of the stereo you want. Yes, for the best stereo experience, by a great two channel amp and a pair of really good floorstanders, or standmounters and stands. You'll get great stereo, but won't be able to enjoy the surround sound tracks on movies, which tbh are frankly awesome on the best blu-rays. OK, so you could also buy a small cheaper surround sound amp and a cheap sub/satellite system to give you 5.1 sound - but it probably won't sound the best. Or you could go the other way and get a stonking surround sound amp, with a thumping sub and surround speakers. Movies will be awesome, you'll feel explosions deep in your guts and probably won't hear the neighbours banging on the wall or door... Or you could pour your money into a high-end AVR amp with musical chops, which will cost a lot and the interface will be "quirky", difficult and probably with bugs that never really get sorted out (I'm looking at you Arcam - I love your kit, and it sounds great, but...)

But, you already have some speakers you want to keep (they're good speakers - I would too) and a budget, and a wishlist for a TT and a streamer with DAC. Do you go down the separate stereo amp + AVR, or higher end AVR route? I had a similar dilemma as you, with a great stereo amp (a venerable Arcam A85) driving a pair of MA Silver 8i, I went down the high-end route (as it was back then) and got an Arcam AVR250 - it was great for stereo, but way behind the curve for all the multi-channel formats. And buggy. Modern Arcam AVR amps are less behind the curve, still buggy, and cost a lot. But they sound fantastic. Connecting a stereo amp to an AVR is great, but gets to be inconvenient to use, and hard to use EQ for the AVR, and unless they have the same response (meaning same manufacturer) hard to get equal responses from the front pair as the rest of the speakers. It can be done - but it takes time and patience, And it can be inconvenient to use. I had a Yamaha RXV 667 driving my speakers in my 6.5x5.85m room and found it lacking as well. I upgraded to a Marantz SR7009 and it really sounded good. In-built Spotify streaming, MM Phono input. And option to run the front pair in Direct or Pure Direct mode - which gives (in my opinion) very good stereo sound - and I connected a BK XXLS400 sub for added grunt and I now think I have the best of both worlds - great stereo and surround sound in an amp that cost under £1000. So that was my answer: yes you can get pretty good stereo from a decent (well it was Marantz's range topping) AVR amp - and have a streamer, TT inputs and all the modern surround sound options. The latest Marantz offerings look pretty good (OK - the SR8015 has a account emptying price - but the SR6015 seems to tick all the boxes) and would match your requirements...
 
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RBinDC

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Aug 21, 2020
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I appreciate all of the comments I received to my initial post. Now I'm more confused than I was before. However, based on your comments and the research I have since done, this is what I have concluded:

1. No AVR is going to produce the sound quality of a good stereo amp. And it may not match the conversion of a good separate DAC. However, for watching movies or TV a mid-level AVR (e.g., Denon AVC X3700H) is probably good enough to enjoy the "storm und drang" in action flicks.

2. I can get much better quality music from the right stereo amp, possibly one that includes a good DAC and a streaming capability, and I can also run two-channel audio through it directly from my TV when watching movies or TV (but giving up surround sound) using a optical or some other connection. I can also run my vinyl music directly through the amp. Of course, this involves the effortt to get it all sorted.

(Note: "sorted" is not a US term. When I lived in London back in 1989-90, I learned a lot of interesting terms, like a "dog's breakfast" and "swings and roundabouts" LOL!).

3. I can have both surround sound and good music quality if I combine the mid-level AVR with 2-channel pre-outs to feed the L and R speakers when watching movies or TV but use just the stereo amp-DAC-streamer for serious music.

My LS-50 speakers plus a subwoofer may be inadequate for filling my large room but I will need to be determine that before getting floor standing speakers. I cranked up the volume to the LS-50s from my modest Yamaha AVR (which is rated at 100 watts per channel into an 8 ohm impedance) and the sound level seemed more than enough without even pushing the volume control to its limits. Furthermore, my serious music listening will be from my couch, which is just a few meters from the LS-50s. That makes me think I can keep these speakers.

I still have my 40 year old KEF 104 a/b speakers and they still sound pretty good! Maybe my hearing is going but they sound almost the same as the LS-50s (well, not quite; they don't have equal clarity and I have only compared the two using sound from my cable TV service going through the Yamaha AVR). Still, I might as well try out some floorstanders just for kicks.

One other option, that was suggested on another thread on this forum, is to sell my LS-50s and replace them with wireless LS-50s. That would solve the problem of finding the right amp-plus-DAC-plus- streamer. The point was made that it may not be possible to find a separate amp that will make my LS-50s sound as good as the wireless LS-50s because the internal amps are optimally matched to the speakers. Assuming I can run the L and R channels from the mid-level AVR ( or directly from my TV) I can again have surround sound with a mid-level AVR. But this gives up all of the fun dorking around with various amps, DAC, and other stuff. I have no doubt that attraction of this HiFi hobby is the dorking around. Admit it guys, it's really not just the quest for quality music listening, is it?

Anyway, that's as far as I have come in my thinking.

Cheers
 

Simon 13th note

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At the moment class G amps that Arcam do are up there although I’ve not done direct comparisons at home, only in shops, listening to kefs home Ci cinema system at Maidstone etc where they use arcam. I’d love to compare the comparable arcam to the Hegel H390. I’ve asked as reviewing H390 atm.

For the budget to midrange gear I’d say yes you want 2ch for reasons alluded to - economies of scale etc. Also some of the older, at least, avr amps have high distortion eg onkyo

As you spend more and diminishing returns come in, it becomes less important. Also preference issues to deride *better*. I’d still buy 2ch because I agree you want all the money into just two channels, but don’t be thinking you are being short changed going for a premium avr over 2ch, as you wont be.
 

abacus

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Sep 24, 2008
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I appreciate all of the comments I received to my initial post. Now I'm more confused than I was before. However, based on your comments and the research I have since done, this is what I have concluded:

1. No AVR is going to produce the sound quality of a good stereo amp. And it may not match the conversion of a good separate DAC. However, for watching movies or TV a mid-level AVR (e.g., Denon AVC X3700H) is probably good enough to enjoy the "storm und drang" in action flicks.

2. I can get much better quality music from the right stereo amp, possibly one that includes a good DAC and a streaming capability, and I can also run two-channel audio through it directly from my TV when watching movies or TV (but giving up surround sound) using a optical or some other connection. I can also run my vinyl music directly through the amp. Of course, this involves the effortt to get it all sorted.

(Note: "sorted" is not a US term. When I lived in London back in 1989-90, I learned a lot of interesting terms, like a "dog's breakfast" and "swings and roundabouts" LOL!).

3. I can have both surround sound and good music quality if I combine the mid-level AVR with 2-channel pre-outs to feed the L and R speakers when watching movies or TV but use just the stereo amp-DAC-streamer for serious music.

My LS-50 speakers plus a subwoofer may be inadequate for filling my large room but I will need to be determine that before getting floor standing speakers. I cranked up the volume to the LS-50s from my modest Yamaha AVR (which is rated at 100 watts per channel into an 8 ohm impedance) and the sound level seemed more than enough without even pushing the volume control to its limits. Furthermore, my serious music listening will be from my couch, which is just a few meters from the LS-50s. That makes me think I can keep these speakers.

I still have my 40 year old KEF 104 a/b speakers and they still sound pretty good! Maybe my hearing is going but they sound almost the same as the LS-50s (well, not quite; they don't have equal clarity and I have only compared the two using sound from my cable TV service going through the Yamaha AVR). Still, I might as well try out some floorstanders just for kicks.

One other option, that was suggested on another thread on this forum, is to sell my LS-50s and replace them with wireless LS-50s. That would solve the problem of finding the right amp-plus-DAC-plus- streamer. The point was made that it may not be possible to find a separate amp that will make my LS-50s sound as good as the wireless LS-50s because the internal amps are optimally matched to the speakers. Assuming I can run the L and R channels from the mid-level AVR ( or directly from my TV) I can again have surround sound with a mid-level AVR. But this gives up all of the fun dorking around with various amps, DAC, and other stuff. I have no doubt that attraction of this HiFi hobby is the dorking around. Admit it guys, it's really not just the quest for quality music listening, is it?

Anyway, that's as far as I have come in my thinking.

Cheers
1. No: They both use the same types of components and circuit designs with the main difference being that some manufactures focus on films, whereas others focus more on the music side of AVRs, (Some try and balance the two) which is what determines how good something is for a particular job.

2. No: (See 1 above) many stereo amps and AVRs have identical DACS with the final performance determined by the circuit design and components used. (NOTE: Many high end stereo amps do not come with a phono stage so this would need to be bought separate anyway)

3. Swings and roundabouts, the only way is to go to a dealer and try a few combinations at your price point. (Most find a high end AVRs (Where the manufacture has designed it for music first) better than separate components at a similar price point for the complete package.

Forget the output power given by manufactures as in most cases it is meaningless as many manufactures use different ways to make it look good on paper. A good beefy power supply and output stage is what is needed so as to be able to drive all types of speakers. (The larger the case the bigger the power supply and output stages (Or the number of output stages) can be, so be wary of any AVR that has a boatload of channels in a standard chassis as something will have to be compromised (Usually the power supply and output stages) to get them all in (If you look at most high end AVRs (That sound great with music) in a standard chassis they are normally limited to 7 channels with outputs for external power amps for the rest)

As mentioned above the only way to get something that suits is to try some out at a dealer, not forgetting that the biggest difference will always be caused by the room, (Ask any professional installer) so treating this and using a good room correction system will give a big improvement.

Finally what are you after? Something that sounds good to you or something that gets as close to “As the producer intended” as possible, as the two can be very different.

Bill
 
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RBinDC

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1. No: They both use the same types of components and circuit designs with the main difference being that some manufactures focus on films, whereas others focus more on the music side of AVRs, (Some try and balance the two) which is what determines how good something is for a particular job.

2. No: (See 1 above) many stereo amps and AVRs have identical DACS with the final performance determined by the circuit design and components used. (NOTE: Many high end stereo amps do not come with a phono stage so this would need to be bought separate anyway)

3. Swings and roundabouts, the only way is to go to a dealer and try a few combinations at your price point. (Most find a high end AVRs (Where the manufacture has designed it for music first) better than separate components at a similar price point for the complete package.

Forget the output power given by manufactures as in most cases it is meaningless as many manufactures use different ways to make it look good on paper. A good beefy power supply and output stage is what is needed so as to be able to drive all types of speakers. (The larger the case the bigger the power supply and output stages (Or the number of output stages) can be, so be wary of any AVR that has a boatload of channels in a standard chassis as something will have to be compromised (Usually the power supply and output stages) to get them all in (If you look at most high end AVRs (That sound great with music) in a standard chassis they are normally limited to 7 channels with outputs for external power amps for the rest)

As mentioned above the only way to get something that suits is to try some out at a dealer, not forgetting that the biggest difference will always be caused by the room, (Ask any professional installer) so treating this and using a good room correction system will give a big improvement.

Finally what are you after? Something that sounds good to you or something that gets as close to “As the producer intended” as possible, as the two can be very different.

Bill
Bill,

Thank you for your input.

My interest is in enjoying the music so I prefer a setup that sounds good to my ears even if it has technical flaws, than another that is technically perfect but produces music that is is less pleasing to me.

Being a retired electrical engineer I could easily be seduced into the subtle details of hi fi equipment (which happened to me back in the 1980s) but I have better uses for the limited time I have left to live. LOL!

So the next step is for me to visit one or two dealers that sell the high-end AVRs (Arcam and Anthem), as well as Denon and Marantz, to find out how they sound. I can even bring in my KEF LS-50 speakers if the dealer doesn't sell KEF (one doesn't) and get them connected to the AVRs I am auditioning.

I looked at some reviews of the ARCAM AVRs and they rock! But so do the prices for all but the entry level AVR (which is not exactly cheap at US$1500). No phono input so I would have to get a standalone phone preamp, which is not a big issue.

The odyssey begins....
 
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manicm

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I think you do need to prioritize - which is more important to you, music or movies? And then consider the compromises. For me it’s music even though I’m a Netflix and former Blu-ray addict, so I am aware of definite dialogue shortcomings in 2-channel hifi, but am willing to live with it.

To my knowledge and apart from others there are two manufacturers who prioritize music over movies in their AV amps:

Arcam and NAD. Prepare to pucker up though, especially with the former.

NAD‘s latest integrated amps can be fitted with an HDMI module to allow ARC integration - to allow for a very neat 2 channel av system.

Marantz has the NR1200 2-ch receiver with HDMI inputs.

TVs can be connected via optical to integrated stereo amps with such digital inputs with one caveat: My mother’s old Samsung displays an annoying message saying ’An external amp has been connected, please use its remote’, before it actually does change the volume using its own remote. Don’t know if other TVs do this.
 
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scene

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Your approach is sound. There's no substitute for demoing, especially if you can use your speakers, or equivalent ones and you have a budget in mind. Also don't forget to take some high quality music you know really well, and representative of what you listen to to help assess how the amp sounds.

Agree that Arcam and NAD make the most musical of AVR amps, and that they will empty your bank account quite quickly. But I'd be surprised if you can't a Denon or Marantz to meet your needs.

I've been down a similar path to you, so look forward to hearing how things go - regular updates please...
 

Al ears

Moderator
Pound for pound? Sure.

Onkyo TX-NR818 - £1,000
Exposure 3010s - £1,300 (at the time)


The 818 was the one that came home.
Whatever does it for you but I am sure if you let another five different people decide the outcome would be different. Particularly if you substituted the Exposure for a Creek Evolution 50A.
However, at the end of the day it all comes down to whatever you prefer.
Personally, the only one I have heard that came in with a chance was the Anthem MX520 but these go for around £1650 probably out of budget for many looking to set-up a system.
 

12th Monkey

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Pound for pound? Sure.

Onkyo TX-NR818 - £1,000
Exposure 3010s - £1,300 (at the time)

The 818 was the one that came home.
I wasn't saying that every stereo amp would beat every AV amp at a given price point, merely that in the vast majority of cases there are irrefutable logical reasons for believing this to be so.
 

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