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  1. #1
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    Why receivers are not as good as amplifiers

    Receivers are sold only in America. The Japanese refer to them as "tuner/amps". Makers of receivers do not incorporate circuit design found in amplifiers. A huge torroidal transformer, transistor outputs, dual power supplies, are all features found in amplifiers and not found in receivers. Amplifiers can drive almost any speaker, regardless of impedance. Receivers must have discrete (transistor as opposed to an IC) outputs in order to drive box speakers which are not very efficient. ANY speaker will sound hugely better when driven by an amplifier. Any speaker will sound more hugely improved when driven by a 200w/ch amplfier. The air, depth and imaging will be amazing! P.

  2. #2
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Hmm, ya know, I don't see a 200 watt/ch amplifier offering much more benefit to a speaker with 92 dB efficiency in a 14 X 16 room.
    There are many situations where a receiver is good enough, and an amp won't necessarily be any better.
    All the amps in the world aren't gonna make those little Bose cubes sound good.

  3. #3
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Wow, this post has so many glaring global assumptions that it's hard to find a way to justify supporting it, even if has some elements of truth.
    Audio;
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  4. #4
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkmaven
    Receivers are sold only in America. The Japanese refer to them as "tuner/amps". Makers of receivers do not incorporate circuit design found in amplifiers. A huge torroidal transformer, transistor outputs, dual power supplies, are all features found in amplifiers and not found in receivers. Amplifiers can drive almost any speaker, regardless of impedance. Receivers must have discrete (transistor as opposed to an IC) outputs in order to drive box speakers which are not very efficient. ANY speaker will sound hugely better when driven by an amplifier. Any speaker will sound more hugely improved when driven by a 200w/ch amplfier. The air, depth and imaging will be amazing! P.
    Any speaker? Maybe not.
    Look & Listen

  5. #5
    RGA
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    Come to my house and bring Donald Byrd and his band -- we'll do a side by side -- I bet I can convince you that you don't need more than ten watts.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    Try driving my Scintilla's with 10 Watts
    The Mid ribbon has 0.2ohm and they need at least a kilowatt to make them sing..... something tells me i need another Krell block.

    -Flo
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  7. #7
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Need a bit more research...

    Quote Originally Posted by pkmaven
    Receivers are sold only in America.
    Not true. With the NAD line, there are some models that are not available in North America.

    Quote Originally Posted by pkmaven
    A huge torroidal transformer, transistor outputs, dual power supplies, are all features found in amplifiers and not found in receivers.
    Well, not true again. All of which can be found with my T763.

    http://www.nadelectronics.com/av_rec...3_frameset.htm


    Quote Originally Posted by pkmaven
    Receivers must have discrete (transistor as opposed to an IC) outputs in order to drive box speakers which are not very efficient.
    You meant amplifiers here, right? Anyway, there are quite a few efficient box speakers on the market.

    Quote Originally Posted by pkmaven
    Any speaker will sound more hugely improved when driven by a 200w/ch amplfier. The air, depth and imaging will be amazing! P.
    Except of course high efficiency designs for which there may be no benefit.

    Look, don't get me wrong. Generally speaking, one can achieve higher performance with discrete components than with receivers. I'm one of those music enthusiasts who uses 450 watt tube monoblocks with my 2 channel system and has more invested in that system's cables than I do in my entire HT audio system. But your generalizations are misleading at best.

    rw

  8. #8
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florian
    Try driving my Scintilla's with 10 Watts
    The Mid ribbon has 0.2ohm and they need at least a kilowatt to make them sing..... something tells me i need another Krell block.

    -Flo
    Yes some speakers for some reason unknown to me require a lot of power -- but it is unecessary to play loud and it's unecessary to have deep bass. The problem I find with a lot of hard to drive speakers is not really the speaker -- but the fact that I would have to buy a high powered amp -- probably a SS amp and that will never happen again.

  9. #9
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Yes some speakers for some reason unknown to me require a lot of power -- but it is unecessary to play loud and it's unecessary to have deep bass. The problem I find with a lot of hard to drive speakers is not really the speaker -- but the fact that I would have to buy a high powered amp -- probably a SS amp and that will never happen again.
    I think that it is very necessary to have deep bass. Listen to the war of 1812 from the Deutsche Grammophon. Or listen to Madonna with a speaker that plays down to 22Hz...mamma mia its amazing. Bass is a foundation in classical music. Vacuumstate is working on a Tube AMP for the 1ohm Scintilla's and u can always use a Tube Preamp.

    -Flo
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  10. #10
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    You don't necessarily need alot of power for true deep bass. There's plenty of high efficiency designed 8" or 10" woofers used in speakers that sound excellent...
    Come to think of it, most subwoofers are pretty efficient, some in the mid to high 90 dB's.
    But it is a bit of a tradeoff, the question being whether to invest more money into a building or buying highly efficient, 8 ohm nominal woofer, or buy a bigger amp. I suspect buying more power is often cheaper, or at least a better buy since a bigger and better amp can benefit the whole frequency spectrum and not just bass.
    If you're a loyal tube fan and use tube amps exclusively, then efficiency is probably a bigger concern to you.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Yes some speakers for some reason unknown to me require a lot of power -- but it is unecessary to play loud and it's unecessary to have deep bass. The problem I find with a lot of hard to drive speakers is not really the speaker -- but the fact that I would have to buy a high powered amp -- probably a SS amp and that will never happen again.
    I use the ASL Hurricanes with my planars - 200 wpc tube design. It's just enough power.

  12. #12
    Forum Regular hermanv's Avatar
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    Receivers vs. Amplifiers

    Since no one has gotten flamed for some pretty awsome generalizations I'll play too.

    I think a good amp starts around $2,000 to $3,000 new, retail. I also think a good pre-amp is similarly priced. Now, throw in a decent tuner for $1,000 (and up) and reasonable DAC say another $1,000 We have arrived at $6,000 to $7,000.

    Here's my problem, if you spend $6,000 for a receiver and are un-happy with some part of its' performance you are out of options, I can always replace one piece of my chain that I find not quite up to the rest of the chain but you need to throw out the baby with the bath water if you have a receiver that doesn't please.

    So for me the issue is risk of investment. Also I worry that the very top priced receievers may be the same as a basic high volume model that sells for much less with some glitter smeared on to make it appear special.

    Please standby while I don my flame suit.

  13. #13
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florian
    I think that it is very necessary to have deep bass. Listen to the war of 1812 from the Deutsche Grammophon. Or listen to Madonna with a speaker that plays down to 22Hz...mamma mia its amazing. Bass is a foundation in classical music. Vacuumstate is working on a Tube AMP for the 1ohm Scintilla's and u can always use a Tube Preamp.

    -Flo
    I think it's necessary as well -- my speakers were measured to 20hz -3db by hifi chouice magazine - they will play loud and don;t require more than 10 watts. I am forced into taking a system approach and because SS has a grainy sound to my ear which is "amplified" in higher watt amps then I need a speaker that will not incoprporate that kind of amplificatiion. This is one reason that while I can recommend a lot of speakers that are low efficiency -- I could never actually buy one because I'd get stuck having to buy something like a Krell (which to my ear are not going to cut it).

    I am not going to argue of this because it's simply a preference --- I've heard Bryston, Krell YBA, Sima Audio, Naim, Classe, Levinson, McIntiosh, MF and several other big SS companies over the years. I am now very very aware as to why so many people end up buying a TUBE preamp...they would be able to go the whole way if they chose more efficient easier to drive speakers in the first place.

    Hermanv

    I won't really argue your geenralization because a generalization does not mean that there are no exception...a generalization means IN GENERAL. It amuses me that people get on me for making generalalizations as well -- I once said that Receivers were glorified paper-weights...I still believe this is the case. That doesn;t mean they're valueless -- after making the comment I bought a Marantz 4300 reciever. They have their purpose --- for music listening it doesn't cut it but it does do a job for me at an attractive price.

    I generalize that speakers using metal tweeters are annoying -- there are some exceptions but the majority I have heard I can't stomach for long.

    A price range is dangerous though -- I have heard $50k amplification with $16k speakers that compared to my system --- well I'd be more than happy to pit em in any blind test. (though granted my system's amp is above the range you specified)

    I can point to the Sugden A21a integrated amp which isabout $1700US which sounds like music pure and simple. I can't say that about a lot of componants even ones going for 10 times that price. Granted Sugden has been able to keep the cost of this amplifier down because it's the same one that's been selling since 1968 so there is not a pile of R&D expense and they don't waste money on looks displays and remotes -- and it's also very close to your price range.

    YBA for instance is an example where they have the integre DT for around $3500.00 and the a Separates version of the YBA for $12k. Same sound...the difference is the integre with easy to drive speakers will play to a 110db -- the guy with the low impedence tough to drive speaker can't use the DT so he has to spend the extra $9500 for big impressive looking amps to play to that 110db.

  14. #14
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkmaven
    Receivers are sold only in America. The Japanese refer to them as "tuner/amps". Makers of receivers do not incorporate circuit design found in amplifiers. A huge torroidal transformer, transistor outputs, dual power supplies, are all features found in amplifiers and not found in receivers. Amplifiers can drive almost any speaker, regardless of impedance. Receivers must have discrete (transistor as opposed to an IC) outputs in order to drive box speakers which are not very efficient. ANY speaker will sound hugely better when driven by an amplifier. Any speaker will sound more hugely improved when driven by a 200w/ch amplfier. The air, depth and imaging will be amazing! P.
    I thought that Britain was having an election today. I didn't know that they'd been subsumed into the American Empire! Otherwise, how do you explain those Yamaha receivers with the RDS tuners that are sold over there?

    By definition, the only difference between a receiver and an integrated amplifier is the presence of a tuner in a receiver. And your "huge torroidal transformer, transistor outputs, dual power supplies" are found in products like the Yamaha RX-Z series RECEIVERS. Care to revise your statement, or shall we dismiss your entire post as troll bait?

  15. #15
    RGA
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    Yes the top marantz has a toroidal transformer as well. I think the top receivers sound quite good in two channel. I've heard a few in the $4-$7k range. They're in league with some lower end Arcam, NAD, Rotel integrateds for $800 - $1k. Which is acceptable given all the other things that the receiver can do. If you can find external srround functionality and external power amps for the same price this is the way to go if for no other reason that in year 3 if the receiver blows you may as well throw the thing in the trash. In a separates system if a power amp goes the whole shooting match isn't lost. I've seen some receivers blow and they like to take the preamp and DSp boards with them when they go and out of warranty here I saw a $2.5k Denon that would run $3k to FIX!!!! 3 years old.

    The top of the line SONY ES receiver was at my dealer for $250.00Cdn -- WOW that is depreciation...all the eggs are in one basket on these machines and when the technology is a few generations old they're basically worthless.

    I think receivers have two general price points which I would consider -- dirt cheap do it all -- for $300.00Cdn the marantz is a good unit as are likely the competitiors. The marantz also has some room to grow with external power amp add-ons. It odes everything but nothing well.

    Then there is that $1k-$1500.00 range where the sound is generlaly respectable but has tons of features and the surround is better than the cheapies. Beyond this I don't see it. But then I'm not their market group obviously which is why I rarely ever post on a Home theater board.

  16. #16
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    Receivers Have More Than Adequate Amplification

    Quote Originally Posted by pkmaven
    Receivers are sold only in America. The Japanese refer to them as "tuner/amps". Makers of receivers do not incorporate circuit design found in amplifiers. A huge torroidal transformer, transistor outputs, dual power supplies, are all features found in amplifiers and not found in receivers. Amplifiers can drive almost any speaker, regardless of impedance. Receivers must have discrete (transistor as opposed to an IC) outputs in order to drive box speakers which are not very efficient. ANY speaker will sound hugely better when driven by an amplifier. Any speaker will sound more hugely improved when driven by a 200w/ch amplfier. The air, depth and imaging will be amazing! P.
    Most people with an average size room, reasonably efficient speakers and a good powered subwoofer have absolutely no need of additional amplification. A reasonably good receiver can drive audio to ear splitting levels without additional amplification since the subwoofer is taking most of the load off of the receiver. Additional amplification does not make your system sound better. Your 200 watt/channel amp will not drive speakers much louder than a 100 watt/channel amp. You would get more headroom but most people don't need it anyway. In short, in many cases additional amplification is simply a waste of money. A good receiver is all you need.

  17. #17
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Not just power, but ...

    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Hmm, ya know, I don't see a 200 watt/ch amplifier offering much more benefit to a speaker with 92 dB efficiency in a 14 X 16 room.
    There are many situations where a receiver is good enough, and an amp won't necessarily be any better. ...
    In other respects too, your typical main-stream receivers, even the top of the line ones, aren't as good as it gets in amplification. (Not that it couldn't be done, only that it isn't being done; perhaps there's the odd exception like the Magnum Dynalab MD-208 stereo.)

    On the other hand, your enty-level stand alone amp, (e.g. NAD, Rotel, Adcom), isn't as good as it gets either; in fact, not really much better than a good receiver. You have up the ante to the US$2000+ range to start to get real refinement plus power.

  18. #18
    Canuck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    I think it's necessary as well -- my speakers were measured to 20hz -3db by hifi chouice magazine - they will play loud and don;t require more than 10 watts.
    That's quite the feat.. i'm skeptical about those numbers myself though. I've heard the speakers and I'll be in Victoria this weekend so maybe i will hear them again.

    Which leads me to this.. how bout bringing them over for a gear shootout sometime? I have already assembled a small group of "audiophiles" from Victoria, Duncan and Campbell River to come down to my place for day to hang out and talk gear and music. BBQ, beer, the whole nine I fully expect you to decline, but hey, never hurts to ask

    Gershman Acoustics X-1/SW-1 / Odyssey Stratos Extreme Monoblocks / Edge Electronics Si-1m Preamplifier / Sony DVP-NC555ES Transport Modded Caps and Opamps / Pro-Ject Debut II with Shure M97xE / Carver TX-11 Tuner / SonoCable and Harmonic Tech Cabling / Monster Power HTS1000 MKII / Monster Power HTS3500 MKII / Audio Note AN-K/Spe / Radii MSKT88 Monoblocks / SonoSilence One / Akai Reference Master

  19. #19
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Didn't anyone else notice the OP hasn't responded?

    Why not start a post labeled "SS vs Tube" or "Ford vs. Chevy"?

    Troll.

  20. #20
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Yeah, except ...

    Quote Originally Posted by hermanv
    ...I think a good amp starts around $2,000 to $3,000 new, retail. I also think a good pre-amp is similarly priced. Now, throw in a decent tuner for $1,000 (and up) and reasonable DAC say another $1,000 We have arrived at $6,000 to $7,000.
    ....
    There are some great integrateds that can keep the cost down. I haven't heard many of them, but candidates would include Bel Canto eVo2i, Sim Audio i-3 & i-5, PS Audio GCC 100, and some models from Edge and Plinius .. oh yeah, and Bryston.

    Of course, you do loose some flexibility with the integrated, (which is your point I suppose).

  21. #21
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor

    On the other hand, your enty-level stand alone amp, (e.g. NAD, Rotel, Adcom), isn't as good as it gets either; in fact, not really much better than a good receiver. You have up the ante to the US$2000+ range to start to get real refinement plus power.
    Interesting point of view...it's been my experience over and over that the first $2000 will provide 95% or more of the performance and refinement. The rest you chip away at over time as your budget and system grow to squeeze that last bit of heaven out.

  22. #22
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin99
    That's quite the feat.. i'm skeptical about those numbers myself though. I've heard the speakers and I'll be in Victoria this weekend so maybe i will hear them again.

    Which leads me to this.. how bout bringing them over for a gear shootout sometime? I have already assembled a small group of "audiophiles" from Victoria, Duncan and Campbell River to come down to my place for day to hang out and talk gear and music. BBQ, beer, the whole nine I fully expect you to decline, but hey, never hurts to ask
    Well you need to play music with real bass content because it isn't going to have the kind of peaky bump at 80hz...it is elevated slightly across a very wide band. The speaker was measured by hi-fi choice.

    it should be noted that Audio note rates the J at 25hz -6db which likely means it is around 29-32hz - 3db which is around where the port tuning is done.

    In soundhounds lill room across from the home theater room I put on a Bass content Loreena Mckennit track prologue which attracted to attention -- this was run off the 8 watt per channel Meishu. At a reasopnable level there isn't a speaker they carry that can match it (with any of their SS amps).

    Why not take a pair home get them in a corner -- you won't need a sub. They ran the E's J's(as center speakers) in a surround system -- No sub required.

    Where do you live? I'm very busy for the next three weeks but aftetr this practicum and course is done I am not busy.

  23. #23
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruadmaa
    Most people with an average size room, reasonably efficient speakers and a good powered subwoofer have absolutely no need of additional amplification. A reasonably good receiver can drive audio to ear splitting levels without additional amplification since the subwoofer is taking most of the load off of the receiver. Additional amplification does not make your system sound better. Your 200 watt/channel amp will not drive speakers much louder than a 100 watt/channel amp. You would get more headroom but most people don't need it anyway. In short, in many cases additional amplification is simply a waste of money. A good receiver is all you need.
    watts have zero to do with it though. I have 95db sensitive horn loaded ringdac fostex(or oem) horn tweeters 8ohms -- easy to drive. I had Pioneer Elite's all discrete 125 rms vanishingly low distortion top of the line receiver. Brought home a Bryston to try for a weekend. GAME OVER. Receivers suck; sold the receiver and have not looked back -- well until I picked up the Marantz 4300.

    Bigger louder more is not better. it is frustrating to see most of the industry sell the same speaker with one more woofer and some more "I can't believe it's not wood wood" (only it isn't and it matters) for more and more money.

    A receiver will drive most even very hard to drive speakers to ear splitting levels yes that is true -- they just tend to not to drive ANY speaker including dead easy to drive speakers well. "Loud" and "well" are not the same thing.
    Last edited by Geoffcin; 05-07-2005 at 09:47 AM. Reason: B

  24. #24
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    Sorry RGA You Lose

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    watts have zero to do with it though. I have 95db sensitive horn loaded ringdac fostex(or oem) horn tweeters 8ohms -- easy to drive. I had Pioneer Elite's all discrete 125 rms vanishingly low distortion top of the line receiver. Brought home a Bryston to try for a weekend. GAME OVER. Receivers suck donkey balls sold the receiver and have not looked back -- well until I picked up the Marantz 4300.

    Bigger louder more is not better. it is frustrating to see most of the industry sell the same speaker with one more woofer and some more "I can't believe it's not wood wood" (only it isn't and it matters) for more and more money.

    A receiver will drive most even very hard to drive speakers to ear splitting levels yes that is true -- they just tend to not to drive ANY speaker including dead easy to drive speakers well. "Loud" and "well" are not the same thing.
    Sorry RGA you lose. On double blind tests no one to date has been able to tell the difference between amplifiers. And that means comparing a receiver amp to any separate amp you care to mention. Many say they can but when put to the test they all lose. When it comes to amplifiers/receivers, you obviously don't know what you're talking about. If you feel you can tell the difference, go and take the $10,000 challenge that is offered to anyone by Mr. Clark. Many have tried, all have failed. As long as a receiver or amplifier is not driven into clipping it will sound so similar that for all practical purposes there are no differences. Please don't argue with me, as I have stated, no one to date has been able to take a double blind test and tell the difference between amps.

  25. #25
    cam
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    When I first auditioned some Paradigm Monitor 7's, I brought in my own cd's and listened to them powered by an Anthem (can't remember which model) amplifier. I then auditioned the 7's with a Denon 1803 receiver. To my ears, I could not tell the difference. I mean we cranked up both the Anthem and the 1803 and every single cd that I brought in sounded identical. Loudness and SQ to me sounded the same. Maybe my experiece was a little squed since the Paradigm Monitor 7's are 93db efficient and very easy to drive. But I took my test a little further, I brought in my Technics receiver at the time, model sa-dx 1050, and compared it side by side against the Denon 1803 with the 7's. Now, there was a big difference in SQ, especially when pushed hard. The Technics receiver just sucked when compared to the 1803 and the 1803 sounded the same against the Anthem amp. I ended up buying the Denon 1804 because with the 7's, more watts meant nothing in loudness or SQ. Efficient speakers meant more money in my pocket rather then invested in amplification. But don't get me wrong, regardless of my speakers, if I had money to burn, I would buy a big seperate amp whether I needed it or not, and then I would brag about it every day. I guess I would then have turned into an audio snob of some sort.

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