Well, I hate to say it, but I am now a believer... Receiver vs. Separates

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JohnKings, Feb 8, 2003.

  1. JohnKings

    JohnKings Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I never would have believed if I hadn't heard it for myself but...

    I just finished adding a separate amplifier (Parasound HCA-1205A) to my system which was previously powered by a Denon Avr-3802. The 3802 now acts as a processor/preamp. The difference in the detail and imaging is nothing short of stunning. The midrange has completely opened on my Paradigm Studio speakers and the soundstage has been increase both vertically and horizontally.

    I spent alot of time in the camp which argued that a good receiver could provide the same level of performace as a good separates system and I now know this just isn't true. In actuality, there is absolutely no way a midrange receiver like the Denon 380X series receiver can compete with even an entry level separates system like the one I am currently running.

    For those considering making the jump to separates just do it. You will never go back to a single integrated solution. To say I am blown away would be an understatement.

    Now, I just wish I could afford a decent pre/pro!

    John
     
  2. Paul Gere

    Paul Gere Second Unit

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    John,
    Congratulations!!

    ...and welcome to the next frontier in this hobby's great upgrade bonanza!
     
  3. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    Yes we have another one[​IMG]. Congrats on the new amp.
     
  4. StevenW

    StevenW Second Unit

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    You know, JohnKings, it is comments like your's that make me wanna make that jump to separates any day now.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    When I went from a flagship reveicer, my old Onkyo TX-SV919THX, to a set of entry level separates, Sherwood Newcastle AV-P9080 and AM-9080 I hardly noticed any difference at all in the sound quality. The convenience of the more modern Sherwood with its integrated DD and DTS (as opposed to a couple outboard processors and complicated switching) was worth the upgrade for me.
     
  6. Donnie Eldridge

    Donnie Eldridge Supporting Actor

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    Hallelujah!!! Let us welcome our newest brother!!!
     
  7. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    John,

    Once you get a pre-pro the difference will be even more amazing especially with music.
     
  8. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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    John,

    Sell the Denon and go for the Outlaw 950....
     
  9. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    I remember when I bought the 1205A, using my Onkyo as a pre/pro. I can fully understand your reaction. [​IMG] Simply amazing. But, you got a pretty amazing amp. About the pre-pro, it's only a matter of time. Kind of like a shark with blood in the water. You've had your taste and it will eat away at you. :b I was so satisfied with adding the 1205A that I said, "I just don't need any more." Sure, uh huh, right. I started reading the boards more, my mouth watering all the time. I bid on a couple of pre-pros at Audiogon, then decided to take the plunge with the Rotel 1066. Yes, the HT is better, but it's the two channel that really cooks on the thing. Just take your time, and, when the right time comes (if you want), go for it. Just make sure you can return the thing if it isn't that big of an improvement. For me personally, the jump to a power amp was more significant a change than the move to a pre-pro. Happy listening.
     
  10. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

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    Do we dare to suggest bi-amping those Studios?[​IMG]
     
  11. Chas_T

    Chas_T Supporting Actor

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    You've been converted and much luck with your new toy. It's great you were open to change and wanted to prove something to yourself on the issue of straight receiver versus seperates. Many still take the opposite approach and their experience is valid.

    IMO, there is a major difference as my experience was similar to yours. As most things in life, we have to prove it to ourselves.

    Happy listening..
     
  12. Don Whitley

    Don Whitley Extra

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    When you get ready to upgrade to a pre/pro you might consider a used B&K Ref 30. Since the Ref 50 came out you can get the 30 for a good price.
     
  13. JohnKings

    JohnKings Stunt Coordinator

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    Daniel:

    I am already considering bi amping, but a speaker upgrade comes first.

    Thanks to those who suggested pre/pros, but the wife will kill me if I upgrade anything in the near future. We have our first-born coming in May and all resources are headed in that direction for the foreseeable future.

    Thanks for all of your kind comments. On a 1 to 10 scale, I am at about an 8 in terms of contentment with my system. Someday I will reach the holy grail, but if I don't atleast i got close.

    John
     
  14. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    I would say the same - before you bi-amp or try any other expensive tweaks, upgrade your preamp or maybe even the speakers. So John, just sit tight and enjoy what you have. It shouldn't be hard to enjoy, but you may have trouble sitting tight. [​IMG]
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  16. JustinP

    JustinP Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    Out of curiosity, what particular model of Studio speakers are you using as mains? I'm in a similar situation (Studio 60's, 3802), and I'm wondering if adding a separate amp will truly be worth the money I'll spend on it.
     
  17. StevenW

    StevenW Second Unit

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    Congrats on your expected child JohnKings [​IMG]
     
  18. Chas_T

    Chas_T Supporting Actor

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    Justin,

    I've done the external amp thing with 20' and 40's and it makes a considerable difference as the topic states.

    The biggest thing to understand that the amp you buy is a "Keeper" as you progress into seperates if that is your goal. Eventually, the "Bug" will see you moving to pre-pro/seperates as John may be considering in the future.

    In the interim, you can utilize the receivers pre-outs until you have the cash flow to go total seperates utilizing the seperate amp you are considering. If you decide to just keep the receiver then this is fine too. Many are OK with a few equipment upgrades.

    I know people who just buy a seperate outboard amp for two channel using their receiver and are just as content as someone who's spent 150K on their systems. It's a question of personal preference.
     
  19. JohnKings

    JohnKings Stunt Coordinator

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    Steven:

    Thanks for the congrats! We are really blessed and so excited!

    Justin:

    I am currently running 20's all around, but I am upgrading to 100s and 60s (with 20's doing the surround rear duty) at the end of the month. The 20's are like different speakers with the amp. It has made me realize what truly wonderful speakers they are given their very affordable price.

    John
     
  20. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

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