Receiver's "sound": from amp or pre/pro?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ari, Feb 28, 2003.

  1. Ari

    Ari Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm going to be buying an HK receiver whose sound I just love. However, I will be hooking up a three-channel amp for the fronts and center. I was wondering if I'll be in danger of losing the HK sound that I love with the use of external amplification...

    Is a receiver's sound quality dependent on its amps or on its pre/pro (or both)??
     
  2. John Spicer

    John Spicer Agent

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    There are two real aspects of sound from a reciever, and Im sure others here can expound more than I can. Basically they are 1) The processor and 2) the actually amplifier.

    The processor is used for decoding the bit streams into discrete channels of information, or sound signal. Its a complicated process involving DA converters, etc. Depending on the architecture of the processor a difference can be present. Many times people cant notice, but many times people can. I sometimes can hear differences in depth of the source.

    The amplifier is what takes the signal once its been processed and amplifies it so that it is strong enough to power your speakers. In the past with older technologies this really could make a big difference with the sound that you head, but with today's manufacturing the gab is being closed.

    The bottom line here is that there is a good chance that it will sound different to you. However, if there is a good reason not to use the HK amplifier circuit (for instance you really like your 3 channel) then I say try it. Maybe youll like the sound even more when you combine the processing of the HK with the amplifier that you already own.

    Have you thought about a dedicated processor with no amp ?

    -- John
     
  3. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    I think a reasonable argument can be made that a receiver does not have a "sound."

    Back in the box, Pandora...
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    And I would have to say Angelo has hit the nail squarely on the head. Far too many people here place too much emphasis on "sound" that's simply not there. Your power output, frequency-response curve, and distortion characteristics and how a given receiver or amplifier mates with a given set of speakers will be the determining factors in what kind of sound you get.

    Otherwise, there's no such thing as an "HK sound" (any more than there's a "Kenwood sound" or "Sony sound" or even "Krell sound").
     
  5. Michael Merrell

    Michael Merrell Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's the big question: If you like your receiver's sound, why are you adding the amp? I'm not saying that it won't sound good, but it seems odd that you are worried about losing your current sound; that implies that you don't want to change it.

    --Mike
     
  6. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    If you've ever listened to a receiver and then to a good amplifier (or better yet, a good amplifier and then a receiver), you might have a different opinion about its "sound." Just try before you buy, because the differences are smaller than what one might expect and sometimes the amplifier isn't the weakest point in your system.

    I'm sure both the pre/pro section and the amplifiers of the receiver degrade the sound noticeably. How much distortion each contributes, I don't know. If they didn't have their own "sound," a market for high end pre/pros and amplifiers wouldn't exist.
     
  7. Michael Merrell

    Michael Merrell Stunt Coordinator

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    Don't get me wrong. I'm using an external amp with my receiver, and I notice the difference.

    BUT, if you are happy with what you have, then upgrading is a "want" rather than a "need".

    --Mike sometimes "want" is enough...
     
  8. Michael Merrell

    Michael Merrell Stunt Coordinator

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    Ugh, I just realized that I read the original post incorrectly. I thought you were buying a new amp, not a new receiver.

    --Mike me read good
     
  9. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Well, just because you're happy with the sound of a receiver doesn't mean you wouldn't be happier with the sound of a good amp. [​IMG]
     
  10. Ari

    Ari Stunt Coordinator

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  11. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    If the separate power amplifier has more power, the sonic difference will be in terms of transient response and enhanced stability during peaks. It won't sound "louder" so much as it will sound robust; the amp will keep its composure when a lesser-powered unit might start breaking up, resulting in more distorted sound.

    If the separate unit has a similar power-output rating with similar distortion characteristics, I would wonder why you've even bothered going that route (unless you are thinking in terms of increased flexibility—and there's certainly nothing wrong with that).
     
  12. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Jack,

    "Similar distortion characteristics" probably isn't as simple as it sounds. What kind of distortion do you mean? And in what ways would a good amplifier have similar distortion characteristics to a receiver?
     

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