AVR/Seperates route opinions needed please

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by JasonTan, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. JasonTan

    JasonTan Extra

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    Okay, so here's the situation:

    - Living in an apartment, looking to buy paradigm 60's, need a way to hook them up.

    Now, my goal is to start with a 2.0 system now (2 very good mains). Then add a center/sub and surrounds as I get the $$ (and more than likely when I upgrade from an apartment to a house in the next few years).

    I'm confused as to whether or not I should get a decent receiver that will power the 60's until I upgrade into a 5/7.1 system. Or I can get some form of seperates which I can grow through time.

    From my understanding I could get a 2/3 channel amp to power the mains and this would almost never need to be upgraded as they could run the 2 mains indefinately. I could then get a pre/pro of good quality for today's formats to connect it to. Then when i upgrade to 5.1 or 7.1 I can buy another amp to power those speakers seperately and leave the mains as-is. Also, this means i could upgrade the pre/pro as major formats are released into the future without needing new amps.

    Now, do I have all this right or am I upside-down? Basically I know very little about the power and processing side of the equation. Expecially on the side of cost. Would getting a 2 channel amp and a decent pre/pro be much, much, much more expensive than a decent avr? I don't care for tubes by the way, i'm not looking for equipment in the realm of diminishing marginal returns where i need to pay 6 times more for 0.5% increase in quality. I'm looking for best bang for the buck in a reasonable real-word scenereo.

    Regarding some specifics, my budget is under 5k. To my understanding the speakers in canada will run me back about a grand for the pair. I do a lot of movie watching but music is a huge deal for me as well. I wish it wasn't so damn expensive ordering online parts to canada. Always get dinged for duties, taxes, etc... [​IMG]

    Advice?
     
  2. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Jason being in Canada I know how you feel [​IMG] Where in Canada are you?

    Anyway essentially a receiver is just a power amp, decoder and volume control all wrapped up into one box. Going with individual pieces typically means you get better quality parts vs an all in one solution...but the costs go up since most manufacturers sell a lot more receivers then individual components. In many cases some of the receivers actually use the same AV processing as the dedicated pre/pro's so they'll sound very similar to each other...where the differences lie is in the power amp sections and in noise floor (amps generate noise which usually increases the noise floor in receivers). Now due to the number of units sold the receiver options are almost always cheaper then the dedicated AV processors even if they're essentially the same thing so what many people do is buy the receiver and augment it with outboard amps of higher quality. This gets you most of the way there at a reduced price and allows you to some flexibility with regard to upgrades...for example it would allow you to buy the receiver now and later upgrade by adding a power amp if you felt you needed more power. If you like you can take this idea a step forward and introduce another 2 channel pre amp that has a HT Bypass mode. That's exactly what I did in my own system. I've owned some pretty nice seperates and while they were good their 2 channel performance isn't close to what I get from the 2 channel pre amp so I run direct to that for music and engage the bypass for movies which are now being processed by a decent but affordable receiver.
     
  3. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    if your timeframe for multichannel is more than a year or two, it isn't worth getting a receiver now, IMO - because it will certainly be obsolete by then - none of the current receivers can decode the audio formats coming with HDDVD or Blu-Ray.

    You will get better amplification just getting a stereo integrated, or preamp+power - as Andrew says, the power amps will still be useful in the longer term
     

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