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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Power/pre amp vs Ingegrated vs Receiver for 2-channel/5-channel

    I thought it was about time these setups were all compared, discussed in response to my
    poll "what kind of system do you have set up" etc..

    It appears most of the peeps who have both, prefer the 2-channel. There's a few logical
    reasons for that, IF you remove the reason "I prefer to have 2 speakers in the room
    rather than 5, regardless on the quality of the imaging".

    Let's start between Pre/power vs Integrated.

    Pre/power advantages :

    1. You have more upgradability options in the sense if you upgrade your speakers which
    require a power amp more powerful to drive it, you can just simply upgrade the power
    amp, and not necessarily the pre-amp.

    2. If you find you need either more inputs, or new types of inputs, you can simply
    upgrade your pre-amp, which is "usually" cheaper than the power amp.

    3. Power amps usually have superior surge protection/clipping protection than their
    integrated amps equivalents within the same brand.

    4. The best poweramps for each brand usually are able to provide more power, and are
    more efficient in driving your speakers, than the equivalent integrated amp.

    5. If the preamp goes down and has to be taken away for repair, you still have at least
    the power amp to drive the speakers, and it's 1 input to take in 1 source. If the integrated
    amp goes, you have no system to listen music with, unless you have a spare receiver/amp
    lying around.

    6. More chance of pre and/or power amps to be "fully balanced", if it is an option you
    must have.

    Advantages of Integrated vs pre/power

    1. It is in general cheaper

    2. It saves space, the integrated usually is thinner height wise than the same brands
    power amp

    3. Cheaper to upgrade as 1 integrated amp costs less than the 2 components.

    4. More cost effective option if you have a tight budget.

    Advantages of amps vs Receivers

    1. The best amps for each brand usually are able to provide more power, and are
    more efficient in driving your speakers, than the equivalent receiver.

    2. In some instances you can get more than 2x the power of 1 power amp if you have
    the option to monoblock them, hence getting 2 power amps (1 to drive each speaker).
    (i.e. instead of 200 w 200 w the manual may say it will provide 250 w 250 w).
    More receivers do not have the possibility of mono-blocking, as opposed to receivers
    that do have that option.

    3. Power amps usually have superior surge protection/clipping protection than most
    receivers which have little to none.

    4. The circuitary for amps in general concentrate on keeping the signal as true, and
    natural to the original source as possible. The theory of the build of receivers usually
    concentrates on "processing", using algorithims to modify the output. I.e. sound
    like church, like a staduim. Receivers have "processor" turn on/off, if you turn it OFF
    you will bypass all the processing, tonal, bass adjustments, and receive the the signal
    as "true" as possible, plus the receiver does less work, technicially speaking it should
    last longer.

    5. More chance of pre and/or power amps to be "fully balanced", if it is an option you
    must have. Receivers do not have balanced connections.

    Advantages of Receivers over amps

    1. In general the receivers come with "more" inputs and connection types than
    pre amps.

    2. The top end receivers are cheaper than the top end amps.

    3. A higher proportion/much more models in the market, have recivers with HDMI than
    amps.

    4. A higher proportion/much more models in the market, have receivers with more than
    2 pairs of speaker connections than amps.

    5. Offers the surround sound via pro-logic decoding on condition that the original disc was
    encoded in the first place.


    If you really wish to achieve the best of both worlds, you will need specific equipment
    and connect them in a certain way.

    1. Speakers with excellent imaging. Your fronts have to be the highest quality of speakers
    out of your set.

    2. Obviously the other 4+ speakers so you can actually achieve 5.1, etc.

    3. A receiver or surround sound pre-amplifier which has HDMI inputs

    4. A source, DVD, or universal disc player which has HDMI out

    5. A source, DVD, CD, or universal disc player which has Balanced out, or as high-end
    quality CD and/or SACD player as possible.

    6. As a general rule, allocate 10% of your funds of your overal system towards cabling,
    interconnects, speaker cables, and speaker plugs. I.e. just don't use the $2 cables
    that came with the original box, plugged into a 5K amp !!

    7. Make sure your left and right fronts (at the very least), are the exact length.
    i.e. if the distance between your amp/receiver of your left speaker is 5 feet, and your
    right to your amp is 10 feet, make sure BOTH cable distances are 10 feet.

    8. Read the instruction manual in terms of connecting cables, and using specific
    functions. Pay close attention to the "recommended" space that the components
    need to breathe, do NOT dismiss them. You wonder why some people whinge about
    their units overheating. Doofus :P

    9. Will need a power amp, pre-amp, and receiver, pre amp "may" need 2 balanced ins.
    It is ideal for the pre-amp to have the 5.1

    10. The pre connects to power via balanced connection, and on condition that both are
    "Fully Balanced".

    11. Connect CD/SACD, universal player(s) to the pre-amp using Balanced connection.
    On condition that the CD/SACD player is also fully balanced, then you have met your
    condition to maximise the quality of sound from CD/SACD sound to your speakers
    for 2-channel sound.

    12. Connect the receiver or surround sound preamp to the pre-amp instead of connect the receiver/surround sound preamp directly to the power amp.

    13. Connect the sub, the surrounds, and rears to the receiver or surround sound preamp.
    This will take care of the multi-channel/surround part of your setup.

    14. Get a sound meter, to position all equipment to it's optimal positions in relation to
    the listening room.

    15. Adjust the settings on amps, and receivers to compensate for speakers in your
    system that are much less powerful than your fronts (or other speakers), and to
    compensate for uneven distances etc.

    16. Do not automatically dismiss your set up or system if any of your equipment has
    NOT been broken in, yet. I.e. some components may take 24, 72, 150+ hours to break
    in before they sound much better.

    17. Make sure you use GOOD source discs, CDs, and DVDs. Don't use mp3's as a
    reference as they are compressed files. Use a SACD as well, test the multichannel
    layers as well. I will write a new post for recommendations.

    The KEY is the front end speakers and the power amp. It MUST be able to provide much
    more than enough power to drive your fronts. It needs lots of reserves for the rest of
    the components, the better quality the fully balanced power amp is, you will get closer
    to the best quality sound.

    The rest of the components are further away from the 'heart' of the system, and provide
    less impact. We're under the assumption that you are NOT hooking up $20 CD players
    to 10K amps etc. We are trying to make the assumption that either your components
    are within the same type of quality, OR the weakest component is NOT far too worse
    than the rest.

    The important thing to remember is that your system is as only as good as your
    weakest component.

    Any positive feedback is welcome, and would be appreciated if you know what to do

    Good luck

    EG
    Last edited by OzzieAudiophile; 04-10-2008 at 05:15 PM.
    Current System :

    Xindak XA8800MNE Mono Block Power Amplifier
    Cambridge Audio 840E Pre Amplifier
    Cambridge Audio 840C CD Player and DAC
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 MK-II
    Pioneer DVR-640H (250 GB HDD)
    Foxtel Digital
    Samsung LCD 40in LA40M81BDX
    Sony PS 3 (source - CD/SACD/DVD/Blu-Ray)
    XLO Interconnects & speaker cables
    Sonos Wireless Music System

    Upgrade Path :

    1. Power regulation system

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Registered Member aevans's Avatar
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    I actually took the time to read that.. here is something to think about:

    It's my belief that an integrated amp can sound just as good as any pre/amp setup if the quality of the internal components are the same and they take the time to seperate things inside the chassis so that you don't get interferance. Some of the things that integrated amps have going for them is they don't have any interconnects, and are by definition matched. I think McIntosh offers some nice integrated stuff, also the burson audio guys have a setup I'd like to hear that has gotten good reviews.

    I prefer Class A solid state sound, you usually won't find that in the integrated package as it's combined with tons of heat and pounds of aluminum heatsinks.

    As far as price, my amps only cost about 600 bucks a pop used and the preamp usually runs about 400 bucks, so for $1800 I get monoblocked class a sound that will blow away everything else I have heard. An integrated amp may cost less than that, but not much less and if you look at price per pound I've got them beat for sure at $15/pound.

    It's also true that I could go pick up a used integrated amp for 25 bucks, but the quality in the construction usually means that those won't last as long. IMO 10-20 year old high end equipment is the best way to get performance on a budget.

    As far as inputs, what are you people piping into your system, I use 1 input, I guess if I had a turn table I could toss that on there and maybe the TV signal, but usually I'll just use the speakers on the tv or mute it all together and read the subtitles.

  3. #3
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    Gday aevans.

    Good point about the Class-A, this is under the assumption one can either obtain, or
    afford a Class-A amp. However, we have to make a lot of assumptions on here.

    I am sure we are creatures which find the importance of the quality of the sound far more
    important as to how much it costs per pound/kilo. I have readjusted my budget, even
    willing to go an extra month or two without, in order to get the better choice that I'll be
    happier with.

    There's lots of "good practices" to maximise the life of whatever equipment you end up
    buying. That is justification for a new thread. However, if you are going out to buy a
    new component, I'd suggest power/pre over integrated any day (assuming they are
    all the same brand, and the same series within that brand).

    Best to visit the reviews for any component you're considering anyway. At the end of
    the day, yes much of us would like either a 120K McIntosh power amp, or a 100+K
    power amp of another brand, or 90K Dynaudio Evidence speakers etc... but I guess
    you are most resticted by a "realistic" budget.

    I have a golden rule, the more money you intend to spend, the MORE TIME you should
    allocate looking around, reading, researching, testing, auditioning, before making the
    final purchase.

    money spent - proportional to how much time/effort invested to make that purchase -
    proportional to your budget type

    With the way Home Theatre is progressing technology wise, don't be suprised if you
    end up buying a replacement home theatre receiver once every 3 years, instead of 5
    to 10. Reason-being, the new HDMI formats, the media formats, additional other
    features, what it can do, the rate of technology is increasing faster on a monthly basis.
    Expect your ears to get more and more fussy in the long term.

    EG.
    Current System :

    Xindak XA8800MNE Mono Block Power Amplifier
    Cambridge Audio 840E Pre Amplifier
    Cambridge Audio 840C CD Player and DAC
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 MK-II
    Pioneer DVR-640H (250 GB HDD)
    Foxtel Digital
    Samsung LCD 40in LA40M81BDX
    Sony PS 3 (source - CD/SACD/DVD/Blu-Ray)
    XLO Interconnects & speaker cables
    Sonos Wireless Music System

    Upgrade Path :

    1. Power regulation system

  4. #4
    Forum Regular O'Shag's Avatar
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    Oz & Ev,

    There are some very good integrateds that perform in the league of the best seperates. I've been imagining how the much touted ASR Emitter might sound. I talked to Florian who is fairly near the factory in Germany, and he doesn't like the sound very much. An integrated that would be very appealing is by another German company called Graff. Its a tube unit, and like Flo I do have a preference for hybrid tube amps.

    Another possible advantage and one that speaks to your point on no interconnects, is the shorter signal path. Is such a short signal path going to make a difference over one that is already fairly short? that I can't say, but there are many who believe it makes a significant difference. as for me I am plodding along with seperates for 2-channel music listening, and with a processor/receiver (integrated) for multi-channel needs. To your point Oz, I do think if forced to choose, i would have to go the 2-channel route, becuase its my experience that the very best results - in terms of really connecting to the music - will be had from a tube/valve based electronics 2-channel system.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    There are definitely integrated amps that can sound as good as separates. The problem with integrated amps is when you start to get into some serious wattage. High power amps are huge and some weigh over 100lbs. For integrated amps to approach 250-500wpc they would dwarf these large power amps becasue of the built in pre amp. Just look at the Musical fidelity integrated that is 500wpc. It comes in 2 pieces.

    Ozzie, that Cambridge 840A integrated amp your looking at is a great unit. All the Cambridge integrated amps and receivers are highly rated and have a nice smooth sound and some have been compared to a tube like sound. I certainly would not be swayed from buying an integrated amp because if the amp or pre amp were to break you would have to buy a whole new unit.

    As far a receivers go, I would put my Adcom AVR at 268wpc against amps in the $1000-1800 range easily. (I can here the gasping or snickering now). It drives my Magnepans effortlessly at very loud volumes and has great bass and treble with a very clean and detailed sound. Could I get better sound with separates sure, but I would have to spend alot more than the $2k list price of the Adcom to get appreciably better sound unless I buy used.

    But, I definitely agree that if your looking for the best possible sound, separates are they way to go, but you can get very good sound from some integrated amps and receivers.
    Last edited by blackraven; 04-11-2008 at 01:40 AM.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  6. #6
    Forum Regular O'Shag's Avatar
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    "As far a receivers go, I would put my Adcom AVR at 268wpc against amps in the $1000-1800 range easily. (I can here the gasping or snickering now). "

    Gasp! snicker snicker - just kidding mate. Your absolutely right. There are no absolutes. By all accounts that two-piece Musical fidelity jobbie is superb, although expensive. I think its called the KW500. I would be very tempted to pick one of those up if the second hand price was right. In fact I'm pretty sure that I will get it at some point in the future becuase I've heard its that good. By the way BlackRaven, I responded to you on another thread. If you get down to LA again, let me know in advance. It'd be nice for you to pop over for some tea and to hear the system.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular Registered Member aevans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzzieAudiophile
    Gday aevans.
    However, if you are going out to buy a new component, I'd suggest power/pre over integrated any day (assuming they are all the same brand, and the same series within that brand).

    I have a golden rule, the more money you intend to spend, the MORE TIME you should
    allocate looking around, reading, researching, testing, auditioning, before making the
    final purchase.
    I promise this is the last time I bring it up, but If you don't audition this amp http://www.bursonaudio.com/Burson_PI-100.htm I will consider your research effort insufficient

  8. #8
    Ajani
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by O'Shag
    "As far a receivers go, I would put my Adcom AVR at 268wpc against amps in the $1000-1800 range easily. (I can here the gasping or snickering now). "

    Gasp! snicker snicker - just kidding mate. Your absolutely right. There are no absolutes. By all accounts that two-piece Musical fidelity jobbie is superb, although expensive. I think its called the KW500. I would be very tempted to pick one of those up if the second hand price was right. In fact I'm pretty sure that I will get it at some point in the future becuase I've heard its that good. By the way BlackRaven, I responded to you on another thread. If you get down to LA again, let me know in advance. It'd be nice for you to pop over for some tea and to hear the system.
    If you get the chance, you should definitely pick up the KW550. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it driving the Monitor Audio GR60s... I've only heard the low-fat, diet version of the KW550 (the XT-100) driving MA GS20s and was amazed. I suspect the 550 with your GR60s or the KEFS should be on a whole other level...

  9. #9
    Ajani
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by aevans
    It's my belief that an integrated amp can sound just as good as any pre/amp setup if the quality of the internal components are the same and they take the time to seperate things inside the chassis so that you don't get interferance. Some of the things that integrated amps have going for them is they don't have any interconnects, and are by definition matched.
    I agree. There are advantages of one or the other in terms of flexibility, space etc... but in terms of sound it's mostly theoretical; with some theories favouring seperates and others favouring integrateds.

  10. #10
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    Gentlemen, I think some of us are digressing from the purpose of this post.

    Sure it's handy to talk about specific good combos, brands in the 1k, 2k range, I don't
    wish to turn this into a "best combo, brands for each type of budget". This is intended as
    a food for thought list.

    I DID mention that the integrated advantage is that it is cheaper, plus cheaper to upgrade, if any of you wish to keep reiterating those points, feel free, don't see the point tho as it's
    already covered.

    I was mentioning "advantages" as a "general rule", and there are always going to be
    exceptions if you dig hard enough.

    The ability to drive speakers more efficiently will help your overall system, rather than
    the having the no cables using an integrated vs using top quality cables to connect
    pre-power.

    I'm not trying to invalidate the point about having "no components". There are very good
    reasons they can build a 2 in 1 system, for much cheaper. The companies have to make
    comprimises in certain areas to save space. It makes sense. I never said it's NOT worth
    getting one over the other, nor did I say it's never worth getting an integrated amplifier.

    I will be one of the first to agree that there are many great integrated amps and receivers.
    Some are really worth getting, your strict budget will probably prevent you from getting
    a pre-power and some of you may argue to get an integrated instead.

    Think about this point of all of you "integrated die-hards", what proportion of shoppers
    who are not restrained by budget, would the salesman try to convince them to buy an
    integrated over it's pre-power counterpart (assuming it's not a space issue) ?

    Go to a store, and audition an integrated top of a range of a brand, then compare it with
    the top of the range pre-power combo with the same speakers, source, and music disc.
    You should find more often the pre-power will provide a better performance "in general",
    than the integrated equivalent.

    You can argue and re-raise the point, well no the integrated is better because I have only
    this budget and cannot afford the pre-power, well the point is irrelevant, you have only the
    choices of integrated, or nothing at all.

    Each time a see a new post, I see more arguments that the advice is no good
    because it doesn't suit their budget. I don't see how such points can provide constuctive
    criticism.

    It's like going on a Porche post, and someone writing about it's servicing, and someone
    writes a reply saying that the Porche is not worth buying anyway because it's not within
    their budget, and they ride a motorcycle anyway.

    aevans : I do not live in Victoria, so I would not be able to audition that amp where I live.
    I will take your word that it is a great brand. I don't believe I will be spending $800 in order
    to fly to Victoria to audition one amp, or pay $1000's to other countries to audition every
    other amp or component in the world that I have never personally auditioned. You have
    used quite strong words stating that research on amps holds insufficiency unless they
    have taken a look at this specific brand. I personally would never condemn someone
    for not looking at a particular component, or brand. It just sounds way too "salesperson".

    I refuse to recommend specific brands and models like some people, because that is
    biased. I certainly would say what I have auditoned, used, owned, and state the goods and
    bads about them if someone asked me.

    Maybe it's a hard habit to break for some. I will reiterate, keep specific brands, and models
    out of the equation, as it doesn't help readers who literally cannot get them in their
    locale. I thought that is what reviews are for. "Please no salesmen", I have that as a poster
    on my front door. If I want to buy something, I'll go out and get it.

    I'll write a new post in how to get that next component for your system.

    I believe each of us are intelligent to work it out, that many of us will be restricted by
    either budget, or locale-causing limits of brands.

    I'm sure most of you mean well, so don't take my rebuttals as personal attacks.

    It is in my best interest that all of us get the very best of our systems. The more
    knowledge we can share, with "constructive criticism", and provide good feedback when
    it is due, and don't take it for granted, then we'd be more motiviated to help the rest of you.

    EG.
    Current System :

    Xindak XA8800MNE Mono Block Power Amplifier
    Cambridge Audio 840E Pre Amplifier
    Cambridge Audio 840C CD Player and DAC
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 MK-II
    Pioneer DVR-640H (250 GB HDD)
    Foxtel Digital
    Samsung LCD 40in LA40M81BDX
    Sony PS 3 (source - CD/SACD/DVD/Blu-Ray)
    XLO Interconnects & speaker cables
    Sonos Wireless Music System

    Upgrade Path :

    1. Power regulation system

  11. #11
    Audio Hobbyist Since 1969 Glen B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzzieAudiophile
    3. Power amps usually have superior surge protection/
    Don't you really mean overcurrent or overload protection ? Just checking that we are on the same page. My understanding of surge protection means protection from AC power line transients. I know of only one brand I am familiar with that has any form of AC power line surge protection (i.e., Classé, in both separate and integrated models) or we would not need external surge protectors. I more or less agree with your other points.

  12. #12
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by O'Shag
    I've been imagining how the much touted ASR Emitter might sound.
    First of all, there is a whole family of "Emitters". There is the Emitter 1, the Emitter 2, the Emitter 2 Exclusive, and finally the Emitter 2 Exclusive with the battery pack for the amp's input stage. The latter is unusual in two respects: unlike most integrateds which are simply a two or three stage line amp coupled with a power amp, the Emitter 2s are really high gain power amps with volume / balance controls and input switching. Secondly, the input stage of the amp is entirely battery powered. Its power supplies include more than a farad of capacitance. Yes kids, it has 1.3 meelion uf. The result is rather striking resolution, if not an unusual four box package. I heard a pair of these (an eight box flotilla) in a bi-amped system driving Nola Grand References. Very impressive sounding indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by O'Shag
    ...its my experience that the very best results - in terms of really connecting to the music - will be had from a tube/valve based electronics 2-channel system.
    Ditto.

    rw

  13. #13
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzzieAudiophile
    Gday aevans.

    Good point about the Class-A, this is under the assumption one can either obtain, or
    afford a Class-A amp. However, we have to make a lot of assumptions on here.

    I am sure we are creatures which find the importance of the quality of the sound far more
    important as to how much it costs per pound/kilo. I have readjusted my budget, even
    willing to go an extra month or two without, in order to get the better choice that I'll be
    happier with.

    There's lots of "good practices" to maximise the life of whatever equipment you end up
    buying. That is justification for a new thread. However, if you are going out to buy a
    new component, I'd suggest power/pre over integrated any day (assuming they are
    all the same brand, and the same series within that brand).

    Best to visit the reviews for any component you're considering anyway. At the end of
    the day, yes much of us would like either a 120K McIntosh power amp, or a 100+K
    power amp of another brand, or 90K Dynaudio Evidence speakers etc... but I guess
    you are most resticted by a "realistic" budget.

    I have a golden rule, the more money you intend to spend, the MORE TIME you should
    allocate looking around, reading, researching, testing, auditioning, before making the
    final purchase.

    money spent - proportional to how much time/effort invested to make that purchase -
    proportional to your budget type

    With the way Home Theatre is progressing technology wise, don't be suprised if you
    end up buying a replacement home theatre receiver once every 3 years, instead of 5
    to 10. Reason-being, the new HDMI formats, the media formats, additional other
    features, what it can do, the rate of technology is increasing faster on a monthly basis.
    Expect your ears to get more and more fussy in the long term.

    EG.
    WHY BUY AV RECEIVERS SEPERATES IS BY FAR BETTER

  14. #14
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by 27822108916
    WHY BUY AV RECEIVERS SEPERATES IS BY FAR BETTER
    MONEY, mostly.
    And a "seperates" 5.1 or (GOD) 7.1 would be as expensive as a new car .

    When I got my "receiver" I did the best I could, getting a high current amp, quality phono
    stage, audiophile "features" that showed an interest in building a quality product.
    AS for the Burson, they make a great deal out of discrete component use in amp design,
    something I think is key.
    But any of the more expensive (800$ up) receivers will be discrete, at least the primary
    stages of amplication.
    ALthough they wont go as far as Burson does.
    A lack of tone controls, complete discrete design, no coupling caps, might be just what I WAS LOOKING FOR
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

  15. #15
    Ajani
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by pixelthis
    MONEY, mostly.
    And a "seperates" 5.1 or (GOD) 7.1 would be as expensive as a new car .
    Agreed.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    If money was not an issue, then there is no question that separates would be the way to go. Certainly there is more power and versatilty and the amps, transformers, power supplies can be larger if there are no preamps and/or tuners taking up space. There is also more money to be made by the manufacturers by making separates because of the belief that most audiophiles have that separates must be better. I have no doubt that the manufacturers can build a receiver or integrated amp that can sound as good as the most expensive amps. It just may be one massive unit though.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  17. #17
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    If money was not an issue, then there is no question that separates would be the way to go. Certainly there is more power and versatilty and the amps, transformers, power supplies can be larger if there are no preamps and/or tuners taking up space. There is also more money to be made by the manufacturers by making separates because of the belief that most audiophiles have that separates must be better. I have no doubt that the manufacturers can build a receiver or integrated amp that can sound as good as the most expensive amps. It just may be one massive unit though.
    As are most of the higher end receivers.
    The major advantage of seperates is power.
    WHEN THEY ADVERTISE 120wpc they dont tell you that those seven (or eleven in the case of the flagship yammy) amps will be feeding from the same mellon, one power supply, although a seperate one is sometimes used for tuner, etc.
    I am currently listening to Norah Jones on a pair of B&W speakers, and the sound is quite good, imaging is scary good.
    But you can hear occasionaly where the amps run outta gas.
    I can imagine even a 40 or 75 wpc amp with dual torrodial power supplies.
    Good wouldn't describe it
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

  18. #18
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    Glen B, yes I agree that is what I meant, thanks.

    overcurrent or overload protection !!! I cannot modify my original post now.

    Surge protection however is definately a worthwhile investment, especially all that
    hard earned money that is spent on hifi components.

    Music, hifi is our bloodtype right ?

    It explains why hospitals get confused when we need treble cleffs, and audio signal
    when we need a supply of blood due to a car accident etc Hehe.
    Current System :

    Xindak XA8800MNE Mono Block Power Amplifier
    Cambridge Audio 840E Pre Amplifier
    Cambridge Audio 840C CD Player and DAC
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 MK-II
    Pioneer DVR-640H (250 GB HDD)
    Foxtel Digital
    Samsung LCD 40in LA40M81BDX
    Sony PS 3 (source - CD/SACD/DVD/Blu-Ray)
    XLO Interconnects & speaker cables
    Sonos Wireless Music System

    Upgrade Path :

    1. Power regulation system

  19. #19
    Forum Regular filecat13's Avatar
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    I've got all three types mentioned: separates, integrated, and receiver. I like all three, and they're excellent in their place.

    Receivers are perfect for small office, guest room, and garage. They take up less space, require fewer connections, and use one remote. I don't have to give visitors an orientation session to get started. Paired with the right speakers (Watts, efficiency, resistance) they will produce stunning sound and excellent bang for the buck.

    Integrated amps used to make more sense to me when getting a superb tuner was a bigger deal to me. I still have one in my vintage vinyl system. However, with the proliferation of audio configurations, an integrated amp only makes sense to me in two-channel country. It has all the advantages of a two-channel receiver, plus you can get the tuner of your dreams.

    Separates is my choice because of the variety and flexibility. I keep amps until they die, but the pre/pros get updated with some regularity as technology advances. I hate to be too far behind the leading edge. For amps, I tend to like the MOSFET/JFET/Class H stuff, as is evidenced in an examination of my Soundcraftsmen, Fosgate Audionics, and Hafler units. The power, ruggedness, reliability, flexibility (in loads), and sound characteristics are favorites of mine.

    And yes, they're all out of business, da^^it, so most people don't agree with my preferences I guess.
    I like sulung tang.

  20. #20
    Forum Regular Registered Member aevans's Avatar
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    Oz,
    sorry about the sales pitch, I thought you were closer than that.. and I wanted to hear what you thought about the sound, as I am considdering using them based on reviews only, shipping back and forth to audition an amp made in australia is a little too expensive.

    As for one brand over another, thats really the only way to compair items in my mind.. if you look at your average integrated, it may be crap, while some companies try to build quality into the integrateds.. generalizing one solution over the other I don't think is a valid argument

  21. #21
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    Wink

    Hi aevans. Apology accepted. I see that from lots of feedback that they would
    take the pre-power option over the integrated any day. I am not saying it's not
    worth getting an integrated, as many of them perform better than pre-powers of
    other brands.

    Integrated and pre-power components ARE built DIFFERENT, so that cannot be
    argued. That was why I had to list the advantages of one over the other in
    seperate sections. I have some quite a few decent low-mid range priced gear,
    and would suit people who have more limited budgets. We all need to help
    everyone else on here, for each price range.

    Please no one on here misunderstand my passion for the models/brands that
    I'm so passionate about, for a sales pitch. I would never part with my Dynaudio
    speakers, but I wouldn't go out of my way to try to sell the brand to anyone.
    Instead I advise people to go out there and audtion as many brands as possible,
    download the manuals, research the technologies, read as many reviews as
    possible, even audition beyond your budget, in case one ends up with me and
    be willing to wait a few months to budget for something that will make you
    much happier. I don't believe any one persons advice should be enough to
    sway someone into buying something. One's own ears should be able to
    be a heavy factor.

    No aevans I live in Western Australia, pretty much behind everywhere else in
    Australia, that is why WA is called "Wair Awhile"



    Yeah having so many limitations in terms of choice, is frustrating. However,
    the advantage is that there's less stuff overall, there's also less crap. Well
    everyone's idea of "crap" is different. I will personally invest more time in
    the build structure of amps, as use that into helping me decide what to
    buy.

    Someone advised buy Class-B products, save the environment. I have a
    Class-B, and sure it doesn't do very well at overheating haha. However I
    already know for a fact, that every Class A, and Class AB amp have
    driven my speakers much better, well part of that reason is that they
    are more powerful, and newer. You're sure to find newer models have new
    technologies to address various problems.

    I have found that more AV receivers (home theatre ones) being of a class B
    build, than class A.

    As for Mr filecat13, sure set up a component type the correct way, in the
    right environment, it will sound best in the optimal set up. Try to put yourself
    in the situation that money was NOT a problem, and you could get anything
    you wanted to drive anything you wanted. Say you had to buy only 1 type,
    pre-power, integrated, or receiver.

    Which one would you get to get the best sound ? Assume that the finest
    speakers you would want and could get (given unlimited money), would fit
    the choice of amp/receiver perfectly. Would it still be a receiver ? Or what ?

    Yes we all have to sacrifice our happiness of listening heaven because of
    budget, environmental, and family restraints. Most of us have joined that
    exclusive club. At least we are able every several years to preverbially
    patch up the leaking damns with the good putty of a hifi upgrade.
    Current System :

    Xindak XA8800MNE Mono Block Power Amplifier
    Cambridge Audio 840E Pre Amplifier
    Cambridge Audio 840C CD Player and DAC
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 MK-II
    Pioneer DVR-640H (250 GB HDD)
    Foxtel Digital
    Samsung LCD 40in LA40M81BDX
    Sony PS 3 (source - CD/SACD/DVD/Blu-Ray)
    XLO Interconnects & speaker cables
    Sonos Wireless Music System

    Upgrade Path :

    1. Power regulation system

  22. #22
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    First of all, there is a whole family of "Emitters". There is the Emitter 1, the Emitter 2, the Emitter 2 Exclusive, and finally the Emitter 2 Exclusive with the battery pack for the amp's input stage. The latter is unusual in two respects: unlike most integrateds which are simply a two or three stage line amp coupled with a power amp, the Emitter 2s are really high gain power amps with volume / balance controls and input switching. Secondly, the input stage of the amp is entirely battery powered. Its power supplies include more than a farad of capacitance. Yes kids, it has 1.3 meelion uf. The result is rather striking resolution, if not an unusual four box package. I heard a pair of these (an eight box flotilla) in a bi-amped system driving Nola Grand References. Very impressive sounding indeed.


    Ditto.

    rw

    GOOD GOD

    You realise what will happen if something goes sideways with those caps?
    You could power a two story Jacobs ladder with that thing.
    INCIDENTLY didnt/ doesnt Roland also have DC power for its AMPS?
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

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