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Why should I have a separate 2 channel amp?


gigantic
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There are so many choices of high quality audio available, that sometimes it is a matter of certain features, or input and output connections, and/or the look of certain stereo equipment that we found attractive during our formative years.

 

It is also good to learn the thoughts of people who have owned various gear and share their opinions, especially about different combinations that work good together.

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16 hours ago, ClaudeJ1 said:

On this I agree, but it's because of better DEVICES (IC's and Transistors) along with better circuit designs that create that difference. Sticking my original point about using 2 channels of a modern AVR works just fine with Klipsch Heritage. Room and positioning will make more sonic difference than believing older technology is better. YES, all of this is MEASUREABLE too, and not merely another unsubstantiated internet opinion in an echo chamber created by other people high on opinions with the typical 99.9% Opinion vs. 0.1 percent verifyable FACTS. 

 

Claude, I’m glad you agree, but it appears that some parts I typed may have been ambiguous.  When I typed “superior circuit design”, I didn’t just mean the layout of the wires, I meant all the bits that are part of the design, including the carefully selected better quality parts, the ICs and transistors among others.

 

No matter; it appears that we agree that modern amplifiers and some other components tend to outperform earlier versions of these units, as designers and engineers learn more and have access to better parts.

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The whole point of having an opinion is that it doesn't need proof. It's not something that is stated as fact. Statements of fact do indeed need proof.

 

o·pin·ion
/əˈpinyən/
 
noun
 
  1. a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
    "I'm writing to voice my opinion on an issue of great importance"
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1 hour ago, Shakeydeal said:

The whole point of having an opinion is that it doesn't need proof. It's not something that is stated as fact. Statements of fact do indeed need proof.

 

o·pin·ion
/əˈpinyən/
 
noun
 
  1. a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
    "I'm writing to voice my opinion on an issue of great importance"

Informed opinion Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster
: a belief, judgment or way of thinking about something based on information He has enough knowledge of the system to offer an informed opinion of why it isn't working.

 

  and then we have

Definition of uninformed

: not educated or knowledgeable : not having or based upon information or awareness : not informed an uninformed opinion

 So yes opinions can have wildly differing amounts of veracity attached to them. Some are worthwhile and others are not.

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I’ve always considered amps as generic tools to power my speakers , and to be honest, unless I’m listening to a noisy amp , I’d be hard pressed to discern differences, certainly not significant differences . Who knows what others may hear though , maybe it’s like a wise old forum member once said  , it’s ” The difference you think you hear “ ,maybe it doesn’t really matter, it’s really the perception of better sound , isn’t it ?  If people claim to hear a difference I believe them.🤓

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7 minutes ago, Dave A said:

Informed opinion Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster
: a belief, judgment or way of thinking about something based on information He has enough knowledge of the system to offer an informed opinion of why it isn't working.

 

  and then we have

Definition of uninformed

: not educated or knowledgeable : not having or based upon information or awareness : not informed an uninformed opinion

 So yes opinions can have wildly differing amounts of veracity attached to them. Some are worthwhile and others are not.

 

I have been at this game long enough to consider myself "informed". I understand that an amplifier's only job is to "amplify" the incoming signal. That I choose to believe that components (and how they are implemented in the circuit), chassis design and implementation, connecting wires, etc. all have an impact on the resulting sound quality, does not make me "uninformed". That I don't believe two amplifiers with the same power output can't sound different, doesn't make me "uninformed".

 

So while my opinion may not be "worthwhile" to you and others in this forum, it's still my opinion and is only expressed as such. I don't offer it as some sort of standard. OTOH, some would say that if I believe what my ears tell me, I have no merit because that conflicts with measurements. I'm not going to tell you that you must hear things the way I do or you are an idiot. But that's the way some would treat myself and others that don't believe amp = amp.

 

Music is about emotion and how you feel when your favorite song moves you. I can enjoy music with most any stereo system, but there are some products that bring me closer to that emotional state than others. I don't need measurements to tell me that.

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26 minutes ago, Shakeydeal said:

Music is about emotion and how you feel when your favorite song moves you. I can enjoy music with most any stereo system, but there are some products that bring me closer to that emotional state than others. I don't need measurements to tell me that.

Fwiw, I think you are one of these guys:

22 hours ago, Zen Traveler said:

...Otoh, I gather there are those who like to continually buy and test components especially 2-channel/stereo guys. As others have mentioned, most of this source material is being consumed with headphones and ear buds and those who still like to listen with speakers are in the category mentioned above. That's my take.

 

26 minutes ago, Shakeydeal said:

So while my opinion may not be "worthwhile" to you and others in this forum, it's still my opinion and is only expressed as such.

Fwiw, this was your first opinion of me in this thread: 

On 9/21/2022 at 2:59 AM, Shakeydeal said:

OP, see above post for example of amp=amp thinking. I know, I know, it’s comical, but I say let ‘em have their fun…..

and this about my comment:

On 9/21/2022 at 1:07 PM, Shakeydeal said:

I'm sorry, but I am dismissing receivers out of hand. They are fine for car crashes and dinosaur stomps, but have no place in a high fidelity system. Before anyone gets too worked up, the usual disclaimers apply; YMMV, IMHO, etc., etc.........

So I hope you realize the hyperbole in both comments seemed needlessly defensive, imo.

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On 9/25/2022 at 11:18 AM, jjptkd said:

Obviously different amps sound different otherwise as stated before why wouldn't there only be a single best design? Some of these threads look like they belong over at ASR..

If someone asks for very specific advice, they should get valid details when advice is given, besides the kind that reads "it's my opinion and screw you if you don't agree" type of answer with subsequent stubbornly digging the heels in defense of said opinion, easily strays from the original request.

 

Besides the term Bullshit, propagated by PWK himself (Buttons and T-shirts) should Never be construed as swearing or an insult on this forum of all places. If I were the OP, I would choose the opinions to consider wisely, since there's money involved, with ZERO financial responsibility on the part of the opinion givers.

 

I've been here since 2006, trying help others and sharing good/bad experiences in the process. I assure you that my integrity is and shall remain intact, regardless of the reactions to my text, whether deserved or not.

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2 hours ago, Tom05 said:

If people claim to hear a difference I believe them.🤓

So do I, but when someone gives an all encompassing GENERIC opinion, like: "Modern AVR's don't sound as good as old 2-channel amplifiers." The Bullshit button comes out of the drawer in a millisecond! Almost as bad as the "high end idiots" on other forums that say "all horns sound colored."

 

A better example, from another forum, is the false belief that old Altec 15" woofers (overpriced at $1,500 each new from GPA) have "magical properties" when those of us who understand Thiele/Small parameters KNOW and can PROVE that modern 15" woofers, by measurement AND Listening, outperform them in every way for 1/8th of the Price!!

 

The prevailing attitude there is "screw measurements, my ears never lie." As if every audio product was never measured during their iterative development to the point where they can finally be heard. Those are the ultimate Bullshit statements. Like in politics, the truth is hard to find.

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On 9/25/2022 at 10:38 AM, Zen Traveler said:

Yep. I learned way-back-when that my RF-7s had a jagged frequency response curve, with a couple of impedance dips below 4 Ohms (I also remember reading 3 Ohms, but don't think that was confirmed) and above what would be crossed over to a sub. It seemed that finding a power source rated for 4 Ohm speakers was needed/beneficial since I like to listen loud. That could be a reason so many RF-7 owners would benefit from a seperate amp but also upper-end AVRs (especially THX Ultra II UNITS) fit the bill and that's the route I took.

Upper end AVR's are more affordable than separates, with really great perfomance in 2 channels, which was the OP's request to start with!

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On 9/19/2022 at 2:12 PM, gigantic said:

I currently have a Denon AVR that sounds great and does everything I need it to, but I've been seeinga lot of mention about having a dedicated two channel receiver. What's the benefit? also, is there an advantage to vintage 70's gear, which is all the rage these days, vs amps and receivers from the 80's and even now? 

To the guy with low post count that called me a "schmuck" here, you are acting like a schlemiel or schnook, in my OPINION, and I'm still undecided about which is the best description.

 

I have NEVER resorted to name calling any poster on this forum in 16 years until you volunteered the term fueled by ignorance or inexperience.

 

The OP never asked anything about separates. Introducing yet another opinion on something unhelpful to the ask, and should not be considered in the discussions. But that has never stopped anyone from doing so, obviously.

 

To summarize my relevant responses, ignored or misconstrued:

 

Yes there are differences in amplifiers. When we compare, side by side, modern AVR's (used in 2.1 only), to older 2-channel only Solid State products with no remotes, worn out 'lytic caps, noisy pots, and no Subwoofer outputs, Age becomes a factor, and that is most certainly Audible when compared in "apples to apples" fashion.

 

I see no relevance to saying "well, the amps can't do XXX watts when all channels are driven" when the output is to be used in 2 channel only, with or without subwoofers. There is nothing "comical" about choosing the newer, modern gear vs. older stuff.

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On 9/20/2022 at 8:39 AM, gigantic said:

I live in a condo and rarely listen to anything above 85 dB. That's politely loud in my book. the room is an open space that's about 20' x 25', comprising of a kitchen, dining area and living room/seating area; the seating listening area is about 14 x 10, the speakers are about 7' apart, aggressively toed, 12 inches from the wall and in corners, as much as possible. while we have hardwood floors, there is a rug in front of the hifi. the only bare walls are behind and above the hi-fi credenza, which I use as a projection screen. Overall, I would rate the space as acoustically neutral, mostly because it's packed with furniture, wall hangings, curtains, plants and such, with little in the way slapback echoes or sonic artifacts.


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My Denon receiver sounds fine to me, but I have a nagging wonder that it could be better. I'm not likely overwhelming the power, but I would like more adjustment capability and the UI on my receiver is not particularly intuitive, I don't have a manual and I'm not sure if I have the bandwidth to download it and fiddle with everything. Part of me has vintage inclinations to get something to match my 51 year-old Heresies, so I'm largely looking at things made between '68-'82. another part of me is parsimonious to a fault and reluctant to spend the asking rates for vintage kit these days. So to balance that out, I've been curious about a few NAD amps in my area that I've seen advertised: the classic 3020 integrated amp- the original '82 version, a newish C 316BEE V2 that seems to embody the spirit of the 3020 and a 7240PE receiver from the mid 80's. The 3020 has some really appealing attributes which seem to balance the pros of the early solid state era, while serving as a bridge to the modern era; it would certainly be sufficient to drive my Heresies, but the downsides are their age and resultant scratchy pots, tired caps and power supply issues that have presumably been rectified if it has made it this long. The 7040 is somewhat from the same era and has many of the same characteristics of the 3020, but more power, although it also has the same minuses, plus a tuner that I don't really need. That leaves the C 316BEE V2 which has the simplicity of the 3020, but being newer, has ostensibly better reliability & more power, but does it have the same mojo? at any rate, all being well under $300, they're cheap enough to scratch my itch to see if the concept is worthwhile, but have audiophile cred that belies their low price. any thoughts?

 

Based on what you wrote above, I would suggest a separate preamp and 2 channel amp. This will give you maximum flexibility. Try and find a NAD 1130 / 1155 / 1240 preamp. The 80's produced some good preamp gear and the price is nominal depending on who made it. These are excellent preamps for the price. Then seek out some 2 channel amps.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, ClaudeJ1 said:

To the guy with low post count that called me a "schmuck" here, you are acting like a schlemiel or schnook, in my OPINION, and I'm still undecided about which is the best description.

 

I have NEVER resorted to name calling any poster on this forum in 16 years until you volunteered the term fueled by ignorance or inexperience.

 

The OP never asked anything about separates. Introducing yet another opinion on something unhelpful to the ask, and should not be considered in the discussions. But that has never stopped anyone from doing so, obviously.

 

to keep with the theme, L'Shana Tova! 👍

 

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2 minutes ago, Curious_George said:

Based on what you wrote above, I would suggest a separate preamp and 2 channel amp. This will give you maximum flexibility. Try and find a NAD 1130 / 1155 / 1240 preamp. The 80's produced some good preamp gear and the price is nominal depending on who made it. These are excellent preamps for the price. Then seek out some 2 channel amps.

 

 

I don't disagree with this as a valid choice because 80's technology finally fixed Otala's TIM distortion issues.

 

Like Klipsch speakers over 40 years old, you have to contend with old components, especially capacitors, needing replacement, and now throw in oxidation on the RCA jacks, and noisy switches and volume controls are now your problem since all are out of Warranty! LOL.

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5 minutes ago, Curious_George said:

Based on what you wrote above, I would suggest a separate preamp and 2 channel amp. This will give you maximum flexibility. Try and find a NAD 1130 / 1155 / 1240 preamp. The 80's produced some good preamp gear and the price is nominal depending on who made it. These are excellent preamps for the price. Then seek out some 2 channel amps.

 

 

There is an NAD 1600/2600 combo available in my neighborhood at a reasonable price, however in reviewing the back panel of my AVR, I've realized that I'll need to upgrade that first, to a model with pre outs so I don't have to futz with two set of controls every time I want to change the volume. So, first things first... 

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2 minutes ago, gigantic said:

There is an NAD 1600/2600 combo available in my neighborhood at a reasonable price, however in reviewing the back panel of my AVR, I've realized that I'll need to upgrade that first, to a model with pre outs so I don't have to futz with two set of controls every time I want to change the volume. So, first things first... 

Not sure I understand.

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2 minutes ago, gigantic said:

There is an NAD 1600/2600 combo available in my neighborhood at a reasonable price, however in reviewing the back panel of my AVR, I've realized that I'll need to upgrade that first, to a model with pre outs so I don't have to futz with two set of controls every time I want to change the volume. So, first things first... 

Pre outs were a prerequisite for my AVR's because I was bi amping and could not afford a Pre Pro at the time. Good point.

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1 minute ago, billybob said:

Not sure I understand.

it's my understanding (I may be wrong here) that if I use a line out to a 2nd amp instead of a preamp out, that if I change the volume on the receiver, it won't change the volume on the preamp, but if i go from a pre out to an amp in, the volume will adjust accordingly.
 

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