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What should i go for, amplifier or an av receiver ?

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Joseph_K

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Hi,

Based on the comments - https://www.hifivision.com/threads/need-suggestions-for-2-1-av-receiver-setup.72652/ - am a bit confused now. What should i go for ? Receiver or an amplifier.

Music is my number one. Everything comes next. But, i do watch lot of movies & documentaries. Like, really really lot of movies. Most of them are downloaded from world-cinema forums, torrents, etc..So, sound wise - they are decent. No 5.1/Dolby issues :). I do have 100's of dvd collections of (though i don't prefer the term)"world-cinema". Some of them have 2.1 audio. Very very few has 5.1. Otherwise pretty normal sound

1) Music: Have a Fiio X3. Of course, will play a lot of stuff from my laptop.

2) DVD PIayer: Going to buy a new one.

3) Set-Top Box: My Samsung TV has an in-built set-top box (one of the main reasons to buy this tv. No cluttering of wires) and so i don't think i need an "AV" receiver w.r.t STB.

My budget for an AV receiver + Front/Floor Speakers + Sub-woofer = max 65K. As of now, can't go for a 5.1 setup. WIthin this budget, i am not satisfied with the options available. So, thought of ditching av receiver and looking for an integrated amplifier.

My first option for av receiver + speakers set-up is, Marantz 1508 + Boston Acoustics CS260 or Yamaha NS8390 + Yamaha 100W NS050 subwoofer (Total, around 63K)

Second option, Yamaha HTR 3067 + Pioneer SP FS52 + Yamaha 100W NS050 subwoofer (Total, around 65K)

Couldn't able to do any auditions for any of the combo mentioned above in Bangalore. And, based on the comments to my question - Need suggestions for 2.1 + AV receiver setup - and reviews, don't think i'll be getting the sound i am expecting from those combo's. Change of mind - want to know will it be ok to go for an integrated amplifier and invest more on speakers/woofer.

Here are my questions/doubts

1) Can i connect my tv(40W) which has a HDMI-Arc output to an integrated amplifier (will it be a standard feature or model specific ?).

2) Later, will it be possible to go for a 5.1 set-up with an amplifier ?

3) Of course i can play songs from my Fiio/laptop/pen drive, rite ?

4) How about Marantz PM5005 ? (21K in HiFiMart. So that i can spend 40 - 45K on front/floor Speakers and a subwoofer). Room size will be 20(L) X 12 (w) foot

Thanks
 
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tuff

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If music is your priority, go for a stereo amplifier. As long as you don't crave for surround sound, a 2.0 or 2.1 system should sound fantastic. If your TV has optical output, you can look for a stereo amplifier with built-in DAC. I would suggest trying to audition speakers and narrow down your choices.
 
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raghupb

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"Can i connect my tv(40W) which has a HDMI-Arc output to an integrated amplifier (will it be a standard feature or model specific ?)"
No ARC does not work this way. AVR HDMI out is connected to TV HDMI in (with ARC) for audio return

"Later, will it be possible to go for a 5.1 set-up with an amplifier?"
Not really. It will be a 2 Ch stereo setup for music and incidental TV usage

"Of course i can play songs from my Fiio/laptop/pen drive, rite ?"
Pen drive/HDD needs to be connected to laptop. You may be able to rig the Fiio to connect to analog input on Integrated Amp (no guarantee it'll sound good)
You should explore Chromecast Audio; it's cheap; it works out well for streaming

"How about Marantz PM5005?"
Marantz makes good IAs. This is the starting model, so only analog inputs.
Means you need a DAC in between music source, TV (if it has only OPT out).
40W+40W spec means you would be better off using long wall as the place to keep your rig.
Does not have sub out.

Cambridge Audio also makes some decent gear in your budget.
Denon PMA-520AE is also worth auditioning (ProFx is one of the dealers).

Cheers,
Raghu
 
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Joseph_K

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"Can i connect my tv(40W) which has a HDMI-Arc output to an integrated amplifier (will it be a standard feature or model specific ?)"
No ARC does not work this way. AVR HDMI out is connected to TV HDMI in (with ARC) for audio return

"Later, will it be possible to go for a 5.1 set-up with an amplifier?"
Not really. It will be a 2 Ch stereo setup for music and incidental TV usage

"Of course i can play songs from my Fiio/laptop/pen drive, rite ?"
Pen drive/HDD needs to be connected to laptop. You may be able to rig the Fiio to connect to analog input on Integrated Amp (no guarantee it'll sound good)
You should explore Chromecast Audio; it's cheap; it works out well for streaming

"How about Marantz PM5005?"
Marantz makes good IAs. This is the starting model, so only analog inputs.
Means you need a DAC in between music source, TV (if it has only OPT out).
40W+40W spec means you would be better off using long wall as the place to keep your rig.
Does not have sub out.

Cambridge Audio also makes some decent gear in your budget.
Denon PMA-520AE is also worth auditioning (ProFx is one of the dealers).

Cheers,
Raghu

Thanks for the clarifications mate.
 
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buxx

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If you are getting Floorstanders, you may really not need a Subwoofer.
 
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edjamesx

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Hi,

Based on the comments - https://www.hifivision.com/threads/need-suggestions-for-2-1-av-receiver-setup.72652/ - am a bit confused now. What should i go for ? Receiver or an amplifier.

Music is my number one. Everything comes next. But, i do watch lot of movies & documentaries. Like, really really lot of movies. Most of them are downloaded from world-cinema forums, torrents, etc..So, sound wise - they are decent. No 5.1/Dolby issues :). I do have 100's of dvd collections of (though i don't prefer the term)"world-cinema". Some of them have 2.1 audio. Very very few has 5.1. Otherwise pretty normal sound


Here are my questions/doubts

1) Can i connect my tv(40W) which has a HDMI-Arc output to an integrated amplifier (will it be a standard feature or model specific ?).

2) Later, will it be possible to go for a 5.1 set-up with an amplifier ?

3) Of course i can play songs from my Fiio/laptop/pen drive, rite ?

4) How about Marantz PM5005 ? (21K in HiFiMart. So that i can spend 40 - 45K on front/floor Speakers and a subwoofer). Room size will be 20(L) X 12 (w) foot

Thanks
If music is primary choice you can go with stereo amplifier...but you also have demand to watch movies as well. If you are ok to have two channels setup for movies (instead of dolby) , You can get good Floor standers + SUB which will satisfy on music + movies.

If movie watching is primary you can get good 5.1 system , off late you can play your music source with stereo mode.

In bangalore you have lot of options to explore audio world , Do audition of setup and decide.
 
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newlash09

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I would heartily suggest going for an integrated amp with an optical input. Just plug your TV to it with a optical cable, and you are set for HT and TV watching.
 
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drkrack

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My Suggestion would have been a Stereo Integrated amp a fortnight ago. The decision was based on my previous experience with AVR & most importantly I was pretty disappointed for 2ch music listening with flagship AVR SR7010 from Marantz a year ago.

Recently I revisited my decision to recheck the use of AVR for music listening. I made a few changes, Stock Power cable was replaced with DIY 6sqmm power cable, Kimber 12Tc as speaker cable and Murthy cable as interconnect (which was bluejeans cable earlier). There was overhaul of power supply to HT Socket was also undertaken as well. I was clearly stunned to hear that Marantz AVR was sounding very beautifully, unlike my previous experience. I'm listening to it quite often nowadays, either alone or via its preouts to drive my power amp.
I don't know what made the difference. My assumption would be.
1. Change of cables
2. Change of power supply with Stabilizer and 4 Sqmm dedicated line..
3. Burn in of AVR, its now with more than 500hrs usage.
4. Digital room correction, (Audessey by AVR).

Considering the budget allocation, instead of getting a entry level stereo integrated amp, it's advisable to buy the Marantz AVR you have mentioned. You'll have the option to make use of digital room correction, plethora of connectivity options and Subwoofer out for balanced sound.
 
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Joseph_K

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Thanks guys. And sorry for the delayed reply.

Out of frustration, i've dropped the plan to buy...anything. Either, can't do any audition for the models i've shortlisted (Marantz NR series, Pioneer AJ Speakers, Cambridge Audio Topaz Amp, Mission LX series etc..) or the i don't like the models available in the stores (was able to do audition at few stores). Think, i'll end up with Barry John 5.1 HT (Unlike an entry level Stereo Amp it supports TV,DVD,Laptop,Desktop,Mobile,Tablet and all Aux output Devices )
 
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shibashis

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Thanks guys. And sorry for the delayed reply.

Out of frustration, i've dropped the plan to buy...anything. Either, can't do any audition for the models i've shortlisted (Marantz NR series, Pioneer AJ Speakers, Cambridge Audio Topaz Amp, Mission LX series etc..) or the i don't like the models available in the stores (was able to do audition at few stores). Think, i'll end up with Barry John 5.1 HT (Unlike an entry level Stereo Amp it supports TV,DVD,Laptop,Desktop,Mobile,Tablet and all Aux output Devices )
And be frustrated even more with your purchase in a very short period of time.
If you are frustrated then tell us or ask yourself what is the reason of the frustration?
In Bangalore you should be spoiled for choice, it has a pretty nice used market as well for bargain hunters like us. Very friendly advice, be patient, audio does not happen overnight. After almost 6 years on this journey I am still looking for that elusive sound which continues to elude me, the hunt, the chase or the journey, whatever you call it is quite thrilling if you make it to be.

Why don't we keep things simple and get a Marantz receiver and two quality bookshelves? This will let you connect your TV, you will enjoy movies and music as well, play network streams and everything. I did suggest you for an amplifier earlier but looking at your requirement perhaps it is best to start off with a receiver now. You will graduate to different things later, that is the thrill, don't give up so quickly!
 
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raghupb

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Thanks guys. And sorry for the delayed reply.

Out of frustration, i've dropped the plan to buy...anything. Either, can't do any audition for the models i've shortlisted (Marantz NR series, Pioneer AJ Speakers, Cambridge Audio Topaz Amp, Mission LX series etc..) or the i don't like the models available in the stores (was able to do audition at few stores). Think, i'll end up with Barry John 5.1 HT (Unlike an entry level Stereo Amp it supports TV,DVD,Laptop,Desktop,Mobile,Tablet and all Aux output Devices )

So soon frustration set in. Cheer up @Joseph_K
The journey for sublime sound in your listening room is a long one.

FYI, my current system took me 10+ years to put together.
One element at a time.
Cheers,
Raghu
 
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sandeepmohan

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What should i go for ? Receiver or an amplifier.

Out of the options you have listed, stick to the Yamaha + Pioneer speaker option. Don't bother with the Yamaha sub woofer. It is rubbish. That Pioneer speaker does decent bass that you won't need a sub woofer for now. Save the money for a better sub woofer, center channel or another component.

A point to note is the Yamaha AV receiver you listed is out of date as a model.
A Marantz NR 1508 will be a good alternative and does have a front speaker pre out.

All budget AV receivers are best used as switchers and decoders. The amplifier section hardly has any useful grunt or power.

Something to keep in mind. AV receivers don't do too well for music so it is better to find one with pre amplifier outputs. You can use these outputs to feed a small 2 channel power amplifier. Something as minimum spec as the Emotiva A-100 will deliver 50 watts of clean power that will surpass your receivers amplifier capability. An alternate option is an Akitika GT-101. Both these options won't blow a hole in your wallet too. Yes; you will have to import them but it will be well worth it and a long term solution compared to an average spec AV receiver that will likely fall apart for lack of power to drive your speakers.

You cannot connect a TV using HDMI output to an integrated amplifier. This connection method works only with AV receivers.

For the love of god, don't touch a Tom & Jerry or Barry John system. This stuff will introduce you to the harshest of sound known to man/womankind.
 
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buxx

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^^ How does this work in practical terms? (AVR Preout+ external Amp)
How does one control the volume on the attached speakers? how does the room correction/Audyssey etc work?
 
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drkrack

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How does this work in practical terms? (AVR Preout+ external Amp
Works very well, with a decent power amp.


How does one control the volume on the attached speakers? how does the room correction/Audyssey etc work?
Audessey is run with power amp connected to the front preouts and front speakers connected to power amp.
Audessey adjusts for room correction, relative decibel level of channels; Along with EQ, reverberation and delays etc will be dictated by Audessey.

In two channels listening AVR acts as network receiver, DAC and preamp which controls the volume and source switching for the power amp. There's pure direct option as well which bypasses all the digital signal processing from AVR gives almost a source direct sort of output with volume still controlled by AVR remote .
This works amazingly well for People on strict budgets who can't spend separately on source/DAC etc. A stereo receiver like Cambridge SR20 or Yamaha RN 603/803 can also be considered instead of AVR if only 2Ch listening is the requirement.
Hopefully this helps.
 
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Joseph_K

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Thanks guys. I really, really appreciate the time you guys put into these comments. Decided to go with Marantz NR Receiver + Mission Speakers.

@shibashis - Was thinking along the same line "Av Receiver + Bookshelf Speakers". Ditched the plan to buy floor speakers.

@raghupb // FYI, my current system took me 10+ years to put together // SWEET BABY JESUS

@sandeepmohan Nah man. That "Barry John" thing was an intended pun. :). Emotiva A100, Akitika GT-101 - checked Amazon.com. Seems, currently unavailable. Even if it's available - don't have experience in importing electronics. Skeptic about warranty, repair etc..

@drkrack Thanks for the points mate. Planning to get Murthy's cable instead of DAC from HiFiMart. Stabilizer - currently using VGuard Crystal 3A stabilizer. I've calculated the power consumption and decided to buy this one instead of Digi 200 (6A)
 
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raghupb

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Please take time and audition (preferably with the amp you are buying)
Specially speakers
Cheers,
Raghu
 
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Joseph_K

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Had one @ ProFx (of course, with Denon + Polk Speakers). Went to Htstore JP Nagar. Everyone was busy. Jamsticks - model not available. DNl, one fo their showrooms is very near to my home (HRBR). But again, model not available. Will check at Bellandur showroom by tomorrow. Cinebells - oh boy. They told, "make decision on the speakers you want and then go for the receiver".
 
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raghupb

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Had one @ ProFx (of course, with Denon + Polk Speakers). Went to Htstore JP Nagar. Everyone was busy. Jamsticks - model not available. DNl, one fo their showrooms is very near to my home (HRBR). But again, model not available. Will check at Bellandur showroom by tomorrow. Cinebells - oh boy. They told, "make decision on the speakers you want and then go for the receiver".

There is some logic to it. Speakers are what you hear. Everything else is tech and fuzzy logic.
Very true for serious 2 channel setups.

Which NR AVR did you narrow down to?

Now with AVR, you are looking at it's core capabilities, so the logic can be flipped on its head.
Cinebels, now I remember; that's where I got my integrated amp. For some reason this name always eludes me.
At ProFx, did you happen to give the KEFs a listen? For kicks and grins.
Keep forgetting the names of dealers.
There is one in Koramangala that does Cambridge Audio, Monitor Audio, Paradigm (I think)
There is one in Jayanagar that does PSB, NAD, Bluesound (Mukesh is the guy)
HT Store is Lokesh, correct? Or do I have it mixed up.

Check the AVR specs and match with speaker impedance/sensitivity.
Cheers,
Raghu
 
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Joseph_K

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Marantz 1508 (within budget :))

ProFX, KEF's - yes. Happened to hear both Polk and KEF's (bookshelf speakers). Difference is night and day. Polk - (don't know the exact term) sounds unidirectional and somewhat lifeless. But boy, KEF - amazing sound. Could feel the liveliness. But price was wayyyy out of Budget.

Koramangala store - If i am correct, that's AudioPlanet i guess.

The other store @ Jayanagar, is it MusicRanch ?

HT Store - Yes. Lokesh
 
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