Insignia stereo receiver at Best Buy w/ pre-out/main-in jacks?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Andy_A, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. Andy_A

    Andy_A Second Unit

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    Has anyone seen this? They've got a 100 watt X 2 Insignia receiver at BB for $106. Thing is, the pictures shows it having pre-outs and main amp inputs (however, no jumpers, as would be required). These features are very rare these days. One could use it as a seperate amp, which doesn't seem like too bad of a deal considering the price--a 100 X 2 amp for $100. You could run a six channel seperates system w/ three for $300...
     
  2. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    Denon stereo receivers have this feature, and I think Onkyo does too. I don't know anything about the receiver, so I can't really say anything specific about the unit. I have a Denon stereo receiver and it works and sound great.
     
  3. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    http://usa.denon.com/1749.asp

    Here's a link to the Denon's dealer website. You might be able to get a refurbished or B-stock Denon closer to that price range. I got mine that way 6-9 months ago with no problems, and it saved me a bundle. In fact, I'm using it now.

    Also, I suspect that the power ratings listed on the Best Buy receiver are overblown like most.
     
  4. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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  5. DorianBryant

    DorianBryant Screenwriter

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    These are not worth $100. I bought one new on E-bay for my niece for $25. They are similar to KLH in quality.
     
  6. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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    100 watts with 1%THD @ 1Hz.

    I wouldn't touch that receiver for $25.
     
  7. Andy_A

    Andy_A Second Unit

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    Thanks for the input, everyone. I'm thinking it might be fun to get this piece just for fun and do some listening with my preamp in the preamp stage, then to compare it w/ some higher end amps. Much of the research I've done on THD indicates humans will not normally detect THD lower than 2-3%. I've also done some reading by authors who contend that there will be no discernable sound differences in all amplifiers at moderate to high listening (i.e., reasonable) levels. I'm probably going to pick this up and do some double-blind tests w/ some friends w/ this vs. some Onkyo, HK, receivers as well as some seperate amps from Proton and Audiosource. I'll let you all know when I get some results and what they indicate.


    http://www.blacksandcable.com/news.htm
    http://www.auditmypc.com/acronym/THD.asp
     
  8. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    I'm interested in learning why separates are so desirable. Some vague ideas that come to mind are:

    1. A separate Amp is likely equipped with a power supply that can handle the load, and drive all channels simultaneously. Probably more true with monoblocks than with separates in general.
    2. Isolation from noisy power supply.
    3. Some ephemeral nonsense about sound quality-- class A's are better than class A/B, or they have tubes in them or whatever/
    4. They can drive 4-ohm speakers (magnepans, etc)
    5. Theoretically, you can save money by not replacing amps if some irresistible new processing feature comes along-- though pre/pros may well be behind the times..

    What we have here is a cheap unit, possibly incapable of delivering a full 100 watts. The power supply might well be noisy, unreliable, or prone to heating. It's not an exotic amplifier design, to my knowledge. It may not be 4 ohm stable. You may save money, but that depends on getting a cheap receiver with a good processor, but lousy amps, and of course, pre-outs.
     
  9. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Seperates -

    You are an engineer, and your boss tells you and your team to build the best (x) possible, for $x.

    You do, and it's in it's own case. It's the best possible item you can make for $x.

    Now, what if you had to build it into another case, already stuffed with something else? Again, and again, and again.

    You'd have a receiver.
     
  10. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    So, by your standard, a receiver serving as a pre pro, coupled to a receiver serving as a power amp isn't going to provide "separates quality sound."
     
  11. Andy_A

    Andy_A Second Unit

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    good point about seperates. I think the major appeal of them is probably having the different power supplies for the amps. For instance, with 3 two channel amps, you'd technically have three independent power supplies (although not necessarily still better). It all comes back to what it takes to get the needed SPL for our needs and keeping AUDIBLE distortion under the threshold of our hearing. If the Insignia would accomplish this for any two channel 8 ohm 88dB speakers, and I think it very well would (and then some), wouldn't it be superfluous to get something else?

    The post regarding engineers and algebra is a little hard for me to understand, though. Maybe you could tell me exactly how much I need to spend to get x quality?

    An interesting point and an interesting question:

    The insignia weighs 17.2 pounds

    Do you know how LOUD one watt typically is?
     
  12. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    algebra? what algebra?
    Colin is just saying that every product has a budget.

    For instance, entry level receivers retail $250-$300. Out of this price comes retailer's profit, shipping, manufacturer's profit, parts, licensing fees and labor. The retailer expects to earn a certain amount for her trouble. The investors expect a certain profit. Shipping is relatively fixed. The marketers have already determined what features need to included-- as customers expect certain things (e.g HDMI) at each price point. Labor can only be squeezed so much. And so the designer has to come up with parts--capacitors, chipset, power supply, that fit the budget and ensure that various aspects of the brand are not compromised. There may be a specialty model (the flagship) where the engineers are told to "Go Nuts", but most customers don't have thousands of dollars to spend.

    And, of course, it must all fit in a standard chassis. Some people might think the Denon 5805 is frighteningly huge.
     
  13. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    Depends on the efficiency of the speaker (and probably some other stuff as well). Ignoring environment effects, that's why a 10W amp + efficient speakers can sound just as loud or louder than a 100W amp + lower effiency speakers. But just-as-loud =/= just-as-good when "good" means distortion-free output.
     
  14. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    I have a feeling the Insignia would be fine, but you start discussing something like that on a board like this and you get the kitchen sink.

    Really, it is what it is. One spec like 100w at 1K, 1% equates to possibly 50w at .01 - but so what.

    For your $100 you get a black box that picks up music over the air, contains a switching device for audio inputs, and a remote. Chances are, it doesn't screw up TOO badly.

    Things this cheap aren't worth arguing about. Discuss, sure - but it is what it is. Hell - If I knew an app for it, I'd buy one. But I'd really rather rescue a vintage goodie.
     
  15. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    So, by your standard, a receiver serving as a pre pro, coupled to a receiver serving as a power amp isn't going to provide "separates quality sound."


    You'd be using designs compromised, in both cases, to operate in shared environments. Technically, you'd have seperates, but seperate -receivers-. You'd hear the combo.
     
  16. Andy_A

    Andy_A Second Unit

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    I understood the point that was being made, though. I don't buy it, though. What if capacitors are on sale and a company gets some really great deals on a large quantity of power supplies from Malaysia? What if a company has a good engineer who understands that baseline quality can be obtained using the RIGHT parts, not necessarily the most expensive parts. True, there is a budget for everything, but quality may not necessarily suffer. However, I think it favors retailers/manufacturers to perpetuate the myth that x number must be spent to obtain y quality (sorry, more algebra)

    True, loudness will vary greatly according to speaker efficiency--1 watt SET tube amp to a 99 dB eff. horn will sound too loud. I suppose I was referring to 1 watt on the typical 88 dB 8 ohm driver. Pretty loud. 1 to 3 watts really loud. On average
     
  17. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    I keep getting these thoughts....

    Cheaper products also ignore selected components - Every electronic part has a tolerance. Capacitors have a % value on them, and it's how far off the spec it can vary to be acceptable. Use 20% tolerance (cheap) parts in a design will allow for variances in every stacg of the design. Also, the final test at the factory will have very wide margins of acceptable performance - very few rejects, can't afford them at this price. Ship it and let the customer worry about it.

    So you wind up with a piece of kit that may or may not sound like the next because no two components match the original design, exactly.

    Now in high end stuff, you find 1% tolerance parts or better, super build quality, excellent service, yada yada.

    Sorry.

    What were we talking about??
     
  18. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Probably you'd have better luck if you experimented with a "pro" amp. Parts Express has pages and pages of them. More expensive than Best Buy, sure. But not by much.
     
  19. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    "What if capacitors are on sale and a company gets some really great deals on a large quantity of power supplies from Malaysia? What if a company has a good engineer who understands that baseline quality can be obtained using the RIGHT parts, not necessarily the most expensive parts."

    The little manufacturing operation I work at here doesn't slap together products because there was a sale on such-and-such. They're thought out well in advance, and then go through cost-reduction practices. Over time, those reductions are pretty incredible.

    Of course, this little receiver is an OEM - some Xai-Chang factory outside Beijing cranks out 500,000 unit minimums, just pay the bill and we'll put your name on it. An old design with occasional changes due to parts coming and going out of production. Plenty of opportunity to get costs down to almost nothing - hell, ship an 18 pound box to China and check the bill - probably about the same as the cost of this amp.

    Quite a bargain.

    Then there's Outlaw's new 2 channel job....
     
  20. Andy_A

    Andy_A Second Unit

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    Yeah, Outlaw's new 2 channel for $599 looks pretty awesome. That has the main-amp inputs, as well. I'd like to hear how it sounds.

    I've considered trying some of the pro amp gear and seeing how it sizes up. Maybe I'll add that in to my amp shoot out I have planned. Stay tuned...

    I'm getting more and more excited about trying the Insignia. I'll probably order one in the next few days. I'm going to hook it up and run the heck out of it, so I'll let everyone know how it does.
     

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