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RAF, as requested, I am refreshing your memory on your posts about flagship receivers (1 Viewer)

Ricky T

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RAF,
You asked me to refresh your memory on when you said the Outlaw no question sounds better than any flagship receiver. I just scanned the first 7 pages in the long outlaw thread and found three occurrences. I’m sure there are more occurrences in other threads the past few months.
http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...=&pagenumber=1
Page 1
“Let me just mention that I predict you will be amazed at what you get for your $899. Couple this with some capable amps and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that it will outperform the best mega-receivers out there.”
Page 5
“I still maintain that Denon makes a great receiver, but I'm now convinced, more than ever, that the 950 and some good amps is so far superior to the mega receivers (at similar cost, I might add) that it is absolutely no contest.”
Page 7
“I can tell you, without reservation, that the price gap between the best receivers and separates that actually sound better has not only been lessened - it's been eradicated. From this day forward the "Separates vs. Receivers" question becomes a matter of whether or not you can live with more than one "box" on the shelf. Price has just been erased from the equation.”
Ricky
 

RAF

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Ricky_T,
Thanks for doing the research but let me explain why I think we have a difference of opinion here. Yes, I've made many statements that The Outlaw 950 coupled with some good amps would, in my opinion, outperform the mega-receivers. But you are taking things a bit out of context here.
Let's examine your original premise:
So it was very scientific when you repeatedly made statements like "no question, the Outlaw has better sound and processing than any flagship receiver?" Especially when you really haven't heard the likes of Denon 5803 or Pioneer Elite 49tx?
My remarks were directed to the separates vs. receivers debate and I clearly stand behind the Outlaw (or the Rotel, or MC-1, or similar) coupled with some good amps as sounding better overall than any receiver. Your paraphrasing of my sentiments doesn't really convey my message. The processing in some of the newer receivers (the last one I heard was a 5800) may be on a par with, or, I will admit, possibly better than a pre/pro but in my opinion the fact that the amps are in the same box takes away from the overall sound quality of receivers. Too many compromises, unless the box is so huge that it would kind of defeat the whole purpose of a one box solution.
I thought it was very clear in all my statements that this was "opinion" not fact (phrases like "there is absolutely no doubt in my mind" or "I'm convinced" are typically used) and that I wasn't claiming any scientific evidence.
This whole separates vs. receivers argument is highly subjective anyway. The point that I was making that the old saw, "Separates are so much more expensive than receivers" is no longer appropriate thanks to the Rotels and the Outlaws, and others, of the world. With the price of Mega-receivers going through the roof you can clearly make your choice based on personal preferences rather than on price. Or to put it another way, once you reach a certain price point the separation of the amps from the pre/pro (which I consider important) is an option that's not automatically going to cost you more money.
In summary - my remarks (my opinions) have always been directed at comparing separates including amps with receivers, not just the 950 with a receiver. Some very good arguments have been made for using a receiver as a pre-pro but I still ask why you would buy a receiver to use as a pre-pro if you don't intend to use the amps. The only scenario using this approach that makes sense to me (and I did this myself with my 5700) is if, after having a receiver for a while, you want to improve the sound a bit by adding separate amplification as an intermediate step before going the separates route completely.
I hope this clears thing up. I didn't say that I thought the Outlaw 950 would sound better than any receiver pre/pro section (although I suspect it holds its own or exceeds most). I said that the Outlaw 950 + amps sounds better than a receiver.
Incidentally, the reason that the other thread was removed has been explained in a reply to Sankar and should be self-explanatory. If you wish to continue to discuss separates vs. receivers here, fine. But, as I stated in the other thread, I will not discuss administrative matters in an open forum. I trust you understand. We do not allow the inmates to run the asylum.
:laugh:
 

Ricky T

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Oct 28, 1999
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RAF,

Most people will agree that the flagship receivers have amp sections equivalent to 5-7 channels of 90-120 wpc power amps from Rotel, Parasound, HK, etc. So the outlaw plus 7 amp channels could cost about the same as a $2500 NIB Pioneer Elite 49tx...and debatable whether the separates sound better than the Elite. Which is not evident from the tone of the three posts you made above.

Just curious, my thread here was a reply to your post to me. While I am not sure why this thread "disappeared" for almost an hour, I thank you for bringing it back.

For the record, I'm glad that Outlaw and Rotel gave us two good prepros under $1500.....
 

RichardMA

Second Unit
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Apr 16, 2002
Messages
446
What I've found as far as sound quality goes is that
there is a definite "order." I'd rate the different
configurations like this:
Lowest quality- cheap receivers
then - higher power, middle road receivers
then - flagship receivers from good companies
then - separates and multichannel amps
then - separates and stereo amps
then - separates and monoblocks

Of course, there are grades of separates, but in general,
they have a purity that exceeds that of even high end
receivers. I think one major reason is the separation of
power amp sections from pre-amp sections and the build quality of separate power amps.
 

RAF

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Richard said:
Agreed! And this is just the beginning and why I've taken the position that you can now put together separates (you always could in the past if you shopped for used equipment) that will at least be the equal of receivers in the mega-receiver range, at least sonically.
We now return you to the passionate world of separates vs. receivers....
 

Larry B

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May I, as a relatively disinterested observer, add my two cents? First, an issue that is repeatedly tocuhed upon by RAF but which (to my mind) (1) is the crux of the issue, and (2) is not adequately recognized as such, is that this is a purely subjective issue. As such, there is no absolutely correct answer (and similarly, no absolutely incorrect one either). Despite this, most individuals argue as if this is not the case. More explicitly, if listener A prefers the sound of flag-ship receiver, it does not mean that listener can not prefer the sound of prepro + amp. Preferences are, by there very nature, personal.
Second, I am somewhat disappointed by the need of so many to "convince" others of the truth. Even if there were a truth (which there's not), who cares? On a personal note, I have on more than one occassion heard systems in people's homes that I thought were dreadful: Loud, raucus, boomy bass, and devoid of detail and realism. While I certainly try to open their eyes as to what they are missing, at the end of the day (figuratively speaking), if that is the sound they like, so be it. Why should I care? Once one stops viewing this as "mine is bigger than yours," or "I know more than you," it ceases to matter whether others feel as you do. Quite frankly, when I go home at night and put on my stereo, it doesn't really matter to me if someone else is using a flagship receiver or an Outlaw. They made their choice, and I made mine.
Regrettably, far to many individuals seem to have forgotten (or perhaps never knew) that audio is supposed to be for enjoyment, not for bragging rights or fighting.
Thanks for letting me have my say.
Larry
 

Kevin C Brown

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There are crappy separates just as there are excellent receivers. There's also older technology and newer. To make any kind of generalization, I think, is a mistake. :)
 

RAF

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Larry and Kevin,

You both make some good points. The main issue that started this whole separates vs. receivers thing for me, personally, was the old "axiom" that you have to spend twice as much for separates in order to achieve the same sound as you get from receivers. Maybe that was true years ago (avoiding the previously used market of course) but it no longer is the case.

Now it basically comes down to what a person prefers and for about the same money you can choose to go the separates or one box solution route. This is not an absolute here and, as Larry said, a subjective issue. My main point is that the playing field has been leveled considerably (if not made completely smooth at this point) as far as choosing where and how to spend your money.

My own feeling is that separates will be favored by the people who like to tweak and upgrade frequently and receivers will be favored by those who want less of a hassle with putting together a system for sound or HT.

My two cents.
 

Brian OK

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Not to be a thread farter.... but if you put a top of the line "one box" receiver into a crappy room it will sound just as lame as the best cutting-edge separates that ABC manufacturer introduces so as to narrow the $ upgrade path from the one box high-enders.

Upgrading processor and amp are more than noble, but if the sonics in the listening room are not optimized then the continuous hardware upgrade treadmill is a futile excercize. And a waste of money and energy.

It is the ROOM -- so much more than is honestly admitted to.

My 02. and YMMV

BOK
 

Kevin C Brown

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Robert- (Meant kindly)... Just when I think you've gone off the deep end (your 3rd or 4th email sort of "pushing under the rug" the 950 hiss issue, which thankfully looks like it has been solved), you post a thoughtful response like the above! :)
I would also add that each person individually has to decide for themselves what's important in the equipment they buy.
I think, to a large degree, your 1st comment still *mostly* holds true:
>> you have to spend twice as much for separates in order to achieve the same sound as you get from receivers
That's simple econonomies of scale. I experienced it 1st hand when I went from a DD (before DTS) Yamaha RX-V793 receiver (as a pre/pro) to the Sony TA-E9000ES. AFter all the software upgrades, and the "tweak" where you have to set the input type for each physical input (coax digital for DVD, optical digital for CD, for example) to get the best noise on the Sony, I *still* think that the Yamaha had better DSP algorythms. And it *approached* the quietness and overall performance of the Sony. For like 1/2 the money.
(Man, I was maybe a week or two away from *trying* an RX-V1200 as a pre/pro, when the 950 hiss "went away". The 950 is the obvious example that breaks the economies of scale rule of thumb.)
But, I would also heartily agree with this generalization: If you took a reciever, and compared it to a pre/pro of the same exact design, just without the amplification on board, you would get better sound.
And Brian has an excellent point too. You know the biggest 2 "changes" to improve my home theater's sound over the past 2 years or so? Not any fancy new component, or oxygen free cable quenched between the thighs of a nubile young virgin only during a full moon during the fall equinox on Easter Island, or isolation feet, but moving my mains out from the front wall, and getting an eq for my sub to tame the room-induced peaks in its response...
 

Jeffrey_S

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I agree that room dynamics are very important. I'm constantly experimenting with these. And sub equalization is sooo important.

But in talking about separates, why do you guys keep saying things like "the old "axiom" that you have to spend twice as much for separates in order to achieve the same sound as you get from receivers"? I for one am not trying to equal the sound of the flagship recievers. If that is all I was trying to do, I'd buy a flagship reciever. To my knowlege, you can't get true 200wpc amplification out of a flagship. Also separating the pre/pro section from the amplification section reduces interaction between the two. The theory goes that these two factors alone should give improved detail and sound. Also being able to mix and match components from different manufacturers, like a warm amp with a bright pre/pro, adds even more versitility in finding the combo that sounds best in your particular listening room.

It is my understanding that historically it has been accepted that you would need to spend much more on a system consisting of separates if you wanted more detailed and improved sound quality. But now that pre/pros like the Outlaw 950, the Rotel 1066 and even the Anthem AVM-20 exist this separate quality sound is available for the the same (or a little more) cost as many flagship recievers. I'm making the assumption that these pre/pros would be paired with a 200wpc amp.

Now please don't get me wrong. Flagship recievers like the Denon 5803, Pioneer 49TX and B&K 307 sound great. They have also improved in their sound quality dramatically in recent years. I nearly bought a 307 myself. But considering the fact that the price of admission has been lowered, I was glad to have the opportunity to get some added versitility in selecting a separates system. Now whether the added detail I hear in my system over what I heard when auditioning a couple of the flagships at home, in my listening room, is real or imagined is a different subject for another thread. But I went for the slightly increased cost, in my case, over a one box solution and I'm glad I did.

So I guess my point is this: Now that quality pre/pros have come down in price, is it not possible to exceed the sound quality of the flagships for a similar cost? Or am I misinformed and mistaken in my understanding of hometheater components?
 

Kevin C Brown

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I think that's what Robert's point was. That the old axiom doesn't as much hold true any more...

In essence, I believe that since a lot of manufacturer's *don't* offer pre/pro's, that their flagship receivers include that cost anyway. A receiver for over $3000? Who would have thought that just 5 years ago...
 

RAF

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Just when I think you've gone off the deep end ...you post a thoughtful response like the above
Well, Kevin, despite the rap that some people are trying to pin on me I do talk about other things. I'm not always an "unwitting pawn" and sometimes I actually speak for myself.
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
(Watch: That'll show up somewhere as an indictment.)
;)
 

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