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What is the difference between a receiver,separates, and amp

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Omard., Oct 10, 2003.

  1. Omard.

    Omard. Stunt Coordinator

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    I have seen some people say that they want to sell there receiver for separates? What is the difference? What is the amp used for? Sorry for such a neewbie question.
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Receiver has the processor and amp in one. Separates commonly refers to a separate processor and amp. The difference is that separate units tend to be of a higher quality because they don't have to accomodate as many components competing for real estate in each design.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Please don't apologize for using the Basics area exactly for the purpose for which it was created: to ask basic questions. Everybody is a newbie at some point in his life.
     
  4. Omard.

    Omard. Stunt Coordinator

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    Lets see if i understand when it is all together in one its called a receiver. on the other hand if you purchase a processor and an amp these things are separates. Is it hard to hook up separates? Do you get a major advantage with separates?
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    It's not so much "harder" as it is time-consuming and more involved (interconnects need to be run from the preamp/processor to the power amp or amps).

    A receiver consists of a tuner, a preamp (and, in the age of digital home theater, a processor), and a power amp. For greater flexibility and even better performances it's preferable to purchase separates.
     
  6. Omard.

    Omard. Stunt Coordinator

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    So if I see a company advertise a processor this is not a receiver? So for a neewbie a receiver whould be best?
     
  7. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Premium
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    Assuming this is your first system you'll be better off with a receiver. Seperates tend to be much more expensive than receivers.
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    MUCH more expensive. Typically, unless you look used, just a pre-amp processor (pre/pro) or the amp alone, will cost as much, and often more, than the higher models of receiver from most manufacturers.
     
  9. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Yes, reading your other posts, a receiver is the way to go for you. Separates can cost thousands easily. A receiver is an all-in one unit, and will MORE than suffice for all reasonable theaters. Keep in mind that most receivers nowadays have pre-outs, so you can add separate amplifiers later on if you want. This in essence lets you use your receiver as JUSt a processor if you want, essentially allowing you to get sepaarates.
     
  10. Adam_mmm

    Adam_mmm Agent

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    so separates are usually associated with seasoned audiophiles?
     
  11. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Premium
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    Yes they are. Your first system shouldn't be seperates any more than your first sports car should be a Ferrari. Even if you can afford to go that route you'd be better off starting with standard equipment.
     
  12. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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  13. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    A little history:

    In the 60's and early 70's companies started producing "Integrated Receivers" that were cheaply built. Also in those days speakers were power-hungry things that wanted 200 watts per channel to start to work. It became the audiophile view that nothing less than external tube amps and tuner/processor was acceptiable.

    But both electronic and speaker technology have changed by the 90's. Now integrated AV receivers are much higher quality and do a great job for both music and movies. And speakers have become much more efficient so they sound great with less power.

    An the very nature of the system has changed. In the music world, you use 2 large speakers to fill a room and make it sound like a concert hall. The goal is to make it sound good even in the next room with a high-level of accuracy.

    But a HT system is very different. You surround a few chairs with an array of 5 speakers, all focused on the central location. You dont care how it sounds outside the circle. And you dont need tons of power because not all the speakers are running to capacity all the time (unlike a 2-channel speaker system). It gets better with a self-powered subwoofer in a corner. This removes a lot of the power needs from the receiver.

    So a outstanding HT experience can be had with about a $500-$700 investment in a good receiver: Yamaha, Dennon, Kenwood are all top names.

    For a bit more money, you can go with separates and if you fancy yourself a audiophile/2-channel person, this would be the suggested route.

    The the "Receivers/Separates/Amp" fourm for more details and discussion.
     

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