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#329455 - 11/24/10 04:18 AM AVR vs Seperates for 80's
Captain4105 Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 125
Loc: Southern California
I have a sensitive ear...I can tell minute differences in sound. I just traded up my M60's for M80's and could immediately tell the greater detail and overall forwardness as compared to the 60's. In fact two of my classical recordings were being played rather loudly and at some climaxes I thought the tweeter was broken as the music sounded distorted. I was disturbed but then played other pieces, better recorded, and the sound was pristine. These are wonderful speakers and I am happy I made the trade.

I also noticed a distinct difference in the quality of sound when I exchanged receivers. From the Technics (circa 1990's) to the Denon (circa late 1980's). The Denon was distinctly better.

So, I am anxious to maximize the sound emanating from the 80's by investing in separates. I am looking at Parasound, NAD, Rotel, Classe, among others. But there seem to be many who read this forum who do not think there is an audible difference. So this is a debatable point.

I'd like the "die hard" separate folks to chime in and indicate the advantages of separates. Are they easy to set up in 5 or 7 channel surround (my preference for future expansion to HT)? Is there a dedicated subwoofer LFE output?
In your opinion have you noticed a distinct improvement in sound quality vis a vis say a Denon AVR like the 4310 or 4311? Suggestions for a pre/pro & amp @ about $2000 or less would be welcome.

Certainly I would like to hear from those who find little difference between separates and an AVR. I am aware of the greater value of AVR's with more bells and whistles at lower cost. But superior sound from any source is my goal. Thanks everyone....

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#329456 - 11/24/10 05:11 AM Re: AVR vs Seperates for 80's [Re: Captain4105]
Brendan Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 11/01/10
Posts: 10
I would not consider myself an audiophile by any means (I'm sure I even spelled it wrong). About a year ago I decided to upgrade to seperates. I opted for the Sherwood Newcastle A-965 and th P-965. I am very happy with both of them. They listed for 1500 a piece. Axiom did offer them at one point, and I think there might have been a little more if memory serves me right. I had the exact same price point that you did. I ended up buying the set along with their dvd/sacd player for about 1500 bucks. I did have to do a fair bit of searching around the internet before I found them. If you are able to come across a new set, because I don't even know if Sherwood makes them anymore, I dont think you would be dissapointed. Now one thing I don't like about them is the menu setup. It is absoluntly aweful in my opinion. But once I screwed around with all the settings for about half a day, it was worth the small investment. Keep in mind shipping might not be cheap, the amp is very heavy.

The P-965 may not meet your needs if you are using it for video switching as there are only component video ports available. In my case, I only cared about the sound quality.

Hope my 2 cents helps out.

Cheers, Brendan


Edited by Brendan (11/24/10 05:15 AM)

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#329491 - 11/24/10 03:13 PM Re: AVR vs Seperates for 80's [Re: Brendan]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Not too sure there is any difference from the processing stand point of an AVR vs. a separate pre/pro and most avr's are at the bleeding edge of the tech while separates seem to lag behind.

I do feel adding an amp does help clean things up sound wise at higher volume levels and I have found the lower frequencies are played with more snap/punch. Whether or not these differences are worth the extra dollars spent is upto each individual. I am quite content with my Denon 3808 but will eventually add an amp at some point.
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#329503 - 11/24/10 05:08 PM Re: AVR vs Seperates for 80's [Re: jakewash]
wbedford Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/23/10
Posts: 74
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Jakewash,

I hear POA-A1HDCI is awesome.. smile
It would look sweet in the same rack as the 3808.
_________________________
SC-05, HLT6189, Oppo BDP-93, Blue Circle Audio FX2
Axiom M2v3's, QS8v3's

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#329511 - 11/24/10 06:00 PM Re: AVR vs Seperates for 80's [Re: wbedford]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
You buying me one? I accept! wink
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#329531 - 11/24/10 07:26 PM Re: AVR vs Seperates for 80's [Re: jakewash]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
If he buys you one, he's got to buy one for the whole class.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#329538 - 11/24/10 08:00 PM Re: AVR vs Seperates for 80's [Re: Captain4105]
casey01 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 07/03/08
Posts: 768
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: Captain4105
I have a sensitive ear...I can tell minute differences in sound. I just traded up my M60's for M80's and could immediately tell the greater detail and overall forwardness as compared to the 60's. In fact two of my classical recordings were being played rather loudly and at some climaxes I thought the tweeter was broken as the music sounded distorted. I was disturbed but then played other pieces, better recorded, and the sound was pristine. These are wonderful speakers and I am happy I made the trade.

I also noticed a distinct difference in the quality of sound when I exchanged receivers. From the Technics (circa 1990's) to the Denon (circa late 1980's). The Denon was distinctly better.

So, I am anxious to maximize the sound emanating from the 80's by investing in separates. I am looking at Parasound, NAD, Rotel, Classe, among others. But there seem to be many who read this forum who do not think there is an audible difference. So this is a debatable point.

I'd like the "die hard" separate folks to chime in and indicate the advantages of separates. Are they easy to set up in 5 or 7 channel surround (my preference for future expansion to HT)? Is there a dedicated subwoofer LFE output?
In your opinion have you noticed a distinct improvement in sound quality vis a vis say a Denon AVR like the 4310 or 4311? Suggestions for a pre/pro & amp @ about $2000 or less would be welcome.

Certainly I would like to hear from those who find little difference between separates and an AVR. I am aware of the greater value of AVR's with more bells and whistles at lower cost. But superior sound from any source is my goal. Thanks everyone....


From my experience, the difference in sound between an AVR, especially the upper end of the line of any manufacturer and a Pre-Pro/amp combination, to me, has been negligible at best. However, having said that, I do own two multi-channel power amps that I have used in conjunction with two AVRs, the most current a Marantz, which gives me a flexibility, especially with perhaps speakers of varying resistance and getting the full bang for my buck in power output that you don't generally achieve with most AVRs, particularly with all channels running.

One of the reasons I have yet to purchase a separate Pre-Pro is the price since it has to be asked, why should one generally pay as much or more for it as opposed to the similar AVR when the Pre-Pro has eliminated the amps? I have resisted considering any of them , until now. Marantz has recently come out with a new Pre-Pro(AV 7005/$1499) that looks particularly appealing and of course, there is Emotiva with their UMC-1 which although it blows everyone else out of the water in price, it still continues to have some issues which hopefully will be eliminated soon as they get ready to introduce their new XMC-1 scheduled for early 2011. Outlaw is apparently trying again with a new unit that is suppose to be introduced in the new year. Based on their history, if they finally get it right, I am sure it will be a good one.

Other than a couple of the mainstream companies like Marantz along with Onkyo/Integra, Pre-Pros have been pretty much restricted to the smaller specialty companies and it seems no easy task to do it right. Parasound, for example, back a few months ago, announced they were cancelling their Pre-Pro program because they just couldn't get it to work reliably. Companies like Classe, are nice, but way out of sight in price. With Rotel and Nad , you are looking over the $2000 mark along with the Onkyo/Integra units, so it just doesn't give you a lot of choice.

So essentially your options are the Marantz, Emotiva(currently UMC-1 and forthcoming XMC-1, both to be $1000 and under) and the forthcoming Outlaw which looks to be priced around the same as the Marantz.

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#329554 - 11/24/10 10:57 PM Re: AVR vs Seperates for 80's [Re: Captain4105]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10386
Lee, the same cold, hard facts of amplifier technology still apply. If the amplification takes place with level frequency response and inaudibly low noise and distortion(the norm these days even with modestly-priced receivers), that's all that any amplifier can do. Contrary reports abound, of course, usually sincere and well-intentioned, but good intentions can't change the facts, and when put to the(blind listening)test, these claims collapse. The classic Stereo Review tests , just for example, still stand unchallenged(by contrary evidence, not just by stubborn disagreement)and illustrate the point. Flowery comments about the "sound" of the amplifiers in open listening under the same conditions are quoted, but as soon as the labels and price tags disappeared, so did the sound.

You've emphasized that, as is also the case with me, your classical listening is at moderate levels. Except in the highly unlikely situation(and then for only a split-second at peaks)that more power is needed than the receiver can supply cleanly, more maximum power capacity, regardless of whether it's in one box or two, is meaningless. Relax and enjoy the great music we have.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#329565 - 11/25/10 01:02 AM Re: AVR vs Seperates for 80's [Re: JohnK]
Captain4105 Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 125
Loc: Southern California
John: Having read your postings for many months I could expect no less of an answer than the one you have given. I read the article from the link you inserted (seems a little dated but still relevant) which I believe I read some time ago. If I hadn't experienced the differences in receiver sound myself I would be less inclined to pursue this. However, I am sure there is a point where the sound produced vs cost reaches a plateau and where equipment upgrading does not justify the minute improvements. But this is subjective. My goal, and it is a taxing one, is to find the equipment that best suits my hearing and pocket book with the highest quality (my perception of "high quality" of course).

I can honestly say that listening to the M80's with my present sub and the M80's powered by my 55 watt Denon from the 1980's is very satisfying. But I do want to go HT as well, not only for movies but for my DVD audio and SACD surround collection. So all responses are important to me in my research, and the various opinions of Axiomites in past threads and present ones are very informative. It's just my nature to explore alternatives (buying Axioms is the result of one of my explorations).

I certainly value your opinion John, not only for your technical knowledge but also because your tastes in music are close to mine and accurate and full reproduction of the orchestral, choral, organ, piano and human voice (among others) is primary for both of us. But I am also sure that there are differences in how we listen and what we listen for. I think the quality of audio equipment reproduction may be a factor that affects my listening enjoyment and so I continue to explore. By the way...are you from the Southland?

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#329566 - 11/25/10 01:10 AM Re: AVR vs Seperates for 80's [Re: Captain4105]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10386
Lee(no, I'm nowhere near there), beware of falling victim to the "Golden Ear" mythology. It appears that when claims of such special abilities are actually put to the test a sort of reverse-transmutation occurs in which the gold is turned to tin.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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