High end AV receivers, worst investment in audio?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Jenkster, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    16,979
    True. With the wasted energy of the 5 or more channels that are not used, the better HT receivers sound darn good in stereo. Even the lower line receivers in the 80 wpc class like my Denon AVR-2805 and Marantz SR-4001, both of which I got for peanuts put on a good show.
     
    stish and superdog like this.
  2. 432HzBob

    432HzBob AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    808
    Location:
    West Coast
    Agreed if you desire to use it for switching.
    I've found the sound isn;t horrible, though maybe not on par with a good 2 channel amp.
    I keep a 120wpc Denon AVR in the closet just for the amp section if ever needed.
    It sounds just as good to me as a 1997 Denon 1314R integrated amp sitting next to it.
     
  3. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

    Messages:
    39,363
    Location:
    LoTL
    Which really is the better way to do it, IMO, if one is running a true surround system.

    Using the TV for a HDMI switchbox and feeding the audio back to receiver/processor from the TV's optical/coaxial output as some do is often problematic. Most TVs will not pass multichannel audio from external sources so only stereo comes out and forces the surround system into matrix modes rather than the much better discrete surround. Of course, if one has only a stereo system connected for HT then it's no biggie to do that.
     
    matteos likes this.
  4. OutlawSun

    OutlawSun New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Texas
    I'm with you when it comes to something like a monitor. But when it comes to something that's an investment such as an AV system particularly a high end one. I think quality construction shouldn't exclude quality aesthetics. I think that's what makes older hi fi gear so desirable. They were in some ways a centerpiece and each model generation and manufacturer was somewhat unique in their approach. Look at the Fisher 500c it's simple but it's still eye catching. As far as Audio Research I'm actually fine with their design approach it's simple but good looking and it's a coherent aesthetic that they pull off well.
     
  5. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    563
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    High end AV receivers, worst investment in audio? Probably, if you buy new. Some people are OK with that. OTOH, I built my surround system using tube amps.

    You don’t need an AVR (or pre-processor) to play multi-channel digital recordings (e.g., SACD, Blu-ray audio, and Blu-ray video). An Oppo universal player (e.g. UDP-205) will decode any digital recording. The Oppo UDP-205 has built-in "pre-amp" functionality, including selectable downmixing (e.g., 7.1, 5.1, 5.0, 2.1, 2.0), bass management (i.e., configurable subwoofer crossover), and volume control.

    You can build a great surround sound system with two stereo amps and speakers (i.e., 4.0 or 4.1 system). If you’re interested in experimenting with this, I suggest that you conduct a test by connecting a stereo amp and speakers to the Surround Left and Surround Right and listen for how much content there is in your favorite recordings, and how much L vs. R distinction. Only you can decide if separate L&R rear channels are worthwhile. If L vs R distinction isn’t important to you for the rear channels, then combine the rear channel connections from the Blu-ray player into one via an RCA Y-cable. Connect one stereo amp for L&R, and a second stereo amp for center and rear.

    I use the Oppo's analog line-level RCA connections to my vintage tube amps - in other words using the Oppo's DACs and pre-amp. (L, C, and R speakers are Klipsch RF-7II. The single rear speaker is an RF-7. Subwoofers: SVS SB16-Ultra, Klipsch R-115SW.)

    Vintage tube amps generally hold their value, and sometimes appreciate in value. Vintage tube amps use discrete components that can be replaced, and therefore vintage tube amps can be kept running for many years. (I have 2 dozen vintage tube amps that are more than 50 years old.) And – most important – vintage tube amps generally sound better than AVRs IMO.

    AVRs are “throw-away” technology. (I don’t think they make tweezers small enough to fix ICs.) If you’re OK with that, cool. All I’m saying is that for $5k you can buy enough “investment-quality” (aka “heirloom quality”) tube amps to power a surround sound system. You’ll just have to take a break during the summer due to the heat ... :)

    I recognize that tubes aren’t for everyone. You can use two solid-state stereo amps to build a 4.0 or 4.1 system, as described above.

    Is anyone else using two stereo amps to run 4.0 or 4.1?
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
    Audiofreak71 likes this.
  6. slow_jazz

    slow_jazz Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    14,483
    Location:
    SE Michigan, Downriver....
    I had a Kenwood mid line entry with Dolby surround sound. I forget the model # but it was around $600.

    I paid extra for the rack.

    I couldn't take it back fast enough. Didn't do anything well. I tried all the different settings and was extremely disappointed.

    Remote contol volume was only thing I liked.

    I did keep the rack though.
     
    DChen likes this.
  7. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member

    Messages:
    1,611
    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Multi-channel processors also depreciate quickly. 2-3 years ago I picked up a 5 year old TOTL Marantz processor, replete with HDMI switching, balanced inputs & outputs, tuner with HD radio, internet connectivity, 7.2 analog I/O, 24/192 DAC, and more multi-channel processing than I know to list. Original price was $2600. Despite having all of these current features, and in mint condition with two remotes, I got it for $400. I still haven't used 1/3rd of the features.
     
    DChen likes this.
  8. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

    Messages:
    39,363
    Location:
    LoTL
    I use four 2-ch amps to run my 7.1 system. One channel on one of the amps goes unused, the three subs are all active/self-powered.
     
  9. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

    Messages:
    39,363
    Location:
    LoTL
    Everything in my system except the TV and speakers is positioned out of sight, behind the listening/viewing area. I don't like the distractions of the equipment lights/LEDs. Yeah, some of it can be shut off but it's no bother at all when it's all behind.
     
  10. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    After the OB's took over my listening room I found a new home for four Frugal Horns. Even an entry level Yamaha 5.1 lost nothing to the big honking $$$$ Marantz AVR that died from congestive heart failure.

    P8080048.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
    stish and simm like this.
  11. Homer4beer

    Homer4beer AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    646
    Location:
    Brisbane - Australia
    1992 is vintage now? I doubt it. Old maybe but not vintage surely?
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  12. MurrayLives

    MurrayLives Born to lose, live to win Subscriber

    Messages:
    468
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Nirvana's "classic rock" now, so maybe vintage is the right word?
     
    stish likes this.
  13. Drugolf

    Drugolf AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,148
    Location:
    Boise
    If you shop smart you can pick up a pretty good AVR for your home theater that does what you need it to do for pretty cheap, even new. You just can't hold it to the same level of expectation as your 2 channel audio gear.
    Next time around (when my Yamaha AVR dies) I will look into separates, but I know that will add up quickly and I will still have to keep replacing the processor every few years to keep up with the technology (and cabling) change.

    AVR's are a throw away borrowed piece of gear. Get 4 or 5 or more years out of it and move on if you feel you watch enough television and movies. If you don't mind having to push a few more buttons when you are switching around, running the video portion direct from source to TV allows the AVR's focus to remain on the sound which doesn't seem to be changing too much really and you can pick up a TOTL piece that is just a little older that does 7.2 for cheap.
     
    Bodyblue likes this.
  14. Ohighway

    Ohighway Wannabe Minimalist Subscriber

    It's 25 years old....... So it's vintage. And it's old. Just not OLD VINTAGE ....

    As it's been in pretty much continuous use since new it doesn't seem old.
     
  15. E-Stat

    E-Stat Super Member

    Messages:
    4,149
    Because that's the part that changes - not so much the amplifier. :)

    Reason for replacement?

    I paid $440 for a new Emotiva UMC-200 four years ago and don't find any reason to replace it. It has fast HDMI switching, supports a dozen different audio formats, 3D video (have a few of them), ARC control to TV, offers parametric EQ and has useful bass management. Have network connectivity with Samsung monitor, Roku and Oppo 103.

    I agree that most gee whiz *features* are mostly useless. I use mine for HT duty only and let the source determine the sound output mode. I find that synthesized surround or multi-channel modes sound - well synthesized. Pass.

    Eventually when I'm interested enough to get 4k, I'll need to replace mine.
     
  16. MannyE

    MannyE Exterminate! Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,552
    Location:
    Miami Beach
    The best amplifier value in the world is a USED high end AVR . Also, if you can live with external HDMI switching box, you can get get a fantastic sounding HT seperates system for peanuts. I got bitten by the HT scam when I paid a king's ransom for my B&K Reference 30 HT preamp only to see the Reference 50 come out less than a year later and the 70 a couple of years after that.

    5.1 is good enough for me folks! If it's good enough for you then seek out 90's high end separates and AVRs. Not to mention including fist generation Definitive Technology powered towers in that search The BP 2000, 2002 and the tl versions of those speakers can be found online for a fraction of the original cost and will blow you away with how good they sound.
     
    stish, superdog, fredgarvin and 3 others like this.
  17. MurrayLives

    MurrayLives Born to lose, live to win Subscriber

    Messages:
    468
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Yep, which is why a new one is so awful “investment-wise”. But if you can let someone else take the depreciation hit... marvelous!
     
    Ohighway likes this.
  18. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan AK Member

    Messages:
    15,215
    Location:
    San Antonio
    The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Wizard of Oz, Double Indemnity, Citizen Kane and The Searchers will sound their best through a single Altec VOT or Duplex; preferably but not necessarily driven by a "tubey" sounding amplifier.
     
  19. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member

    Messages:
    1,611
    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    The guy who sold it had been given a new $20,000 HT system by his wife for his birthday. I drove up to look at the Marantz and they had a Porsche, a Vette, and a Mercedes in the driveway. Guy just wanted to pick up a little pocket change on his old system. He was selling all of his amps too at big discounts.
     
  20. superdog

    superdog AK Member

    Messages:
    9,096
    Location:
    Southern Colo.
    You really have to get totl or near and not Kenwood.The totl Yamaha offerings from the early 2000s continue to blow my mind.
     
    stish likes this.

Share This Page