• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Best Bang for the buck for AVR with Pre output

FrantzM

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Patreon Donor
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
803
Likes
371
#1
Hi

This thread was suggested by Bob aka NorthSky to whom I asked the same question. I am an audiophile and also a movie fan. I have been without a decent HT for about 8 years now ... I decided that I would not go for The BEst but to enjoy life and movies with something decent and good and ... yes, inexpensive. My recent purchase of a pair of LSR308 has many thinking to put 5 of these or perhaps 3 LSR 308 and 4 LSR 305 in a HT configuration ... I would use the first generation of these JBL monsters to keep the total cost for speakers and amp below $1000 .. add to this 4 Parts Express Subs for $800.. A miniDSP with 8 output and Dirac for $850, throw in some Blue JEans cables and before the AVR I have the foundation for a decent HT audio for $3000...

I need a decent AVR with Pre out 7.1 or 5.1 is OK the .1 is an issue I would like to understand more about... with the LFE and the fact I would like to use distributed subs.. There is a bit of confusion in my mind. I have been out of HT for a while and don't know much about these. Or is the miniDSP superfluous? HTPC anyone ? I tend to prefer appliances to Rube Goldberg contraptions... Something an HTPC with Dirac , a DVD player, streaming and pre out can quickly become ... Or is an HTPC a sensible solution?... I want the fiancee to be able to run the darn thing by the way .. THis could be the subject of another thread all together...

I hereby open the discussion and am waiting for your valuable inputs... I do not have sets choices besides the JBL LSR ... anything is open to discussions, changes .. etc...
 

NorthSky

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 28, 2016
Messages
4,999
Likes
413
Location
Canada West Coast/Vancouver Island/Victoria area
#2
https://www.accessories4less.com/ma...-140-watts-thx-networking-a/v-receiver/1.html

I found that one ^ for a great discount. It's a monster receiver, very high-end, but no Dolby Atmos. With that receiver you don't need external amps, I can assure you, from personal experience.
__

With Dolby Atmos and DTS:X

https://www.accessories4less.com/ma...-130-watts-thx-networking-a/v-receiver/1.html

It has all the preouts you asked for.
___

You asked about Dirac Live and if it is too much. It depends of your learning tolerance and time and overall budget. If you want simplicity, an all-in-one-unit, a good price around $500 or less, a good auto calibration and room correction system setup, there are other choices I can find for you.

I also like Yamaha, Pioneer Elite, Marantz, Anthem.

Accessories4Less is good place for the best deals.
____

Simplicity is always a good thing. ...I am reading.
 
Last edited:

NorthSky

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 28, 2016
Messages
4,999
Likes
413
Location
Canada West Coast/Vancouver Island/Victoria area
#3
Last edited:

Dialectic

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Patreon Donor
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
806
Likes
475
Location
New York
#5
It's amazing how little AV receivers have changed over the last 20 years.
 

Fitzcaraldo215

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 4, 2016
Messages
1,418
Likes
495
#6
I have gone the comprehensive HTPC route as the core of my system, though I prefer to call it a Media PC or even a MultiMediaPC. I realized you absolutely should not do that as soon as you mentioned the fiancé. Go with an AVR, instead. That does not preclude using a less comprehensive MMPC as a library/player input to the AVR, as much or as little as you want, now or later in stages. I go directly to a DAC from the MMPC, but there are downsides in terms of stability, since it is mainly in software running on a general purpose PC Operating System.

Many AVRs are a competent and relatively inexpensive way to handle multiple media, multichannel, stereo, streaming, all with amplification. I think you get a lot for your money in an AVR. However, I do not believe they are just as good as separates or as a well fitted out MMPC feeding a quality Mch DAC with decent separate amps. Mch DACs are scarce. And, judging by Kal's reviews, which I trust completely, the really good Mch DACs are budget busters for you. Kal, incidentally, with extremely rare exception, does not review AVRs. But, that does not mean you cannot achieve decent Mch sound with a boatload of other features with an AVR.

AVR features abound, and they are ever changing. But, a critical choice is which DSP room EQ tool do they employ, assuming you plan to go that route. You should. I am no longer a fan of Audyssey, which I used for a long time in a series of Integra prepros. Unfortunately, that leaves out otherwise appealing AVRs from Denon/Marantz. But, other choices in AVRs are limited. Not sure if there is a Dirac AVR - Arcam, maybe, and Emotiva in prepro separates. The latter, including separate amps, would bust your budget. But, I recommend that you consider Anthem, which uses its proprietary and quite decent ARC EQ in its reasonably priced AVRs, as well as more expensive prepro separates. Other brand-specific EQ schemes, Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer, Yamaha, are inferior also-rans, IMO.

I cannot really comment on miniDSP with Dirac or Acourate. I think it might be used with a comprehensive MMPC or with a prepro separate. It might be worth investigating, and it might fit the budget. Used with a prepro, it should not impede on user friendliness, similar to an AVR. But, there is still the budget question of separate amps, which an AVR solves.

My knowledge of this ever changing marketplace might be out of date, though. So, take what I say with a grain of salt.
 

Fitzcaraldo215

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 4, 2016
Messages
1,418
Likes
495
#7
It's amazing how little AV receivers have changed over the last 20 years.
Not from my perspective. They have constantly added useful features - HDMI, hirez audio, HiDef video, 4K, DSP EQ, networking, multiple subs, more powerful amps, and a mind-boggling list of others. A 20 year old AVR is a useless boat anchor today. It would not even handle Bluray, among many other useful things, though the feature list includes many questionable or possibly vestigial items.
 

FrantzM

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Patreon Donor
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
803
Likes
371
#8
I actually don't need the amplification from the AVR, the speakers chosen are active. a Pre/Pro may be the answer, they are usually more expensive than similarly featured AVR of the same brand. I do like the flexibility afforded by an HTPC. I prefer appliances and woudl like this system to be used by others...
 

NorthSky

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 28, 2016
Messages
4,999
Likes
413
Location
Canada West Coast/Vancouver Island/Victoria area
#9
I agree, if you want to keep up with the latest techs a 20-year old receiver won't do. For sound alone in stereo it's fine.

But for Atmos, 4K passthrough, 3D passthrough, Network, USB ports, HDMI jacks, switching sources and surround modes, support for hires audio files, ...a $500 AVR today will be more equipped than a $5,000 AVR from yesterday.

If you don't intend to expand into Atmos, you can get that first Integra receiver I posted for 80% off. And get a cheap 4K Blu-ray player that has two HDMI outputs. You'll get 4K picture, and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio core. ...Plus Audyssey MultEQ XT32.

The latest in home theater is flat 2D Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.
...All the HDR flavours. For 3D you need to go front projectors now because they kill 3D TVs. For 1080p and 4K viewing content it's everywhere now from streaming...Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Vudu, Hulu, Roku, ...all 4K Bluray players stream 4K...except the Oppo players...203 and 205.

Your first post Frantz, I can tell it encompasses everything about the movie and multichannel music experience. We can go for a very long time and explore all avenues of the Batman cave with Catwoman... ⛷
 

NorthSky

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 28, 2016
Messages
4,999
Likes
413
Location
Canada West Coast/Vancouver Island/Victoria area
#10
I actually don't need the amplification from the AVR, the speakers chosen are active. a Pre/Pro may be the answer, they are usually more expensive than similarly featured AVR of the same brand. I do like the flexibility afforded by an HTPC. I prefer appliances and woudl like this system to be used by others...
Ok Frantz, a pre/pro, or an AV receiver used as a pre/pro...with preouts, like all the receivers I posted links of. They are all pre/pros too.

- How many channels; five or seven?
- No Dolby Atmos right?
- Dirac Live separate or integrated?
- Other room EQ ok or not?
- Approximate budget?

What are the video aspects of this multichannel setup?
 

NorthSky

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 28, 2016
Messages
4,999
Likes
413
Location
Canada West Coast/Vancouver Island/Victoria area
#11
You probably have heard of Emotiva? ...With Dirac Live.

Yamaha have a new pre/pro with improved room EQ and great DSP audio modes...for a reasonable price.
Anthem have ARC2 room EQ. They have a newer separate pre/[email protected] an affordable price.
Marantz have pre/pros with Audyssey MultEQ XT32. ..for a decent price.

You mentioned a humble budget, also a what is today available for that budget. Used is ok by you. Dolby Atmos is new to you, so you are not certain there? Any audio/video stores near you for some demos? ...You can bring your lover with you.
 
Last edited:

Sal1950

Major Contributor
The Chicago Crusher
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
4,912
Likes
2,118
Location
Central Fl
#13
I hereby open the discussion and am waiting for your valuable inputs..
The point you can get the best bang at will very much depend on which features will be important to you. Always a rapidly moving market, a year or two older pre/pro can be had at great discounts if the latest tweaks aren't important. The 2 biggest will be the type of immersive codes included or not, and the built-in DRC types.
We've already been kicking around a bit of the above on the latest Marantz pre/pros over here
https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...hannels-for-music-recordings.2368/#post-67186
Sounds like your a bit torn between miniDSP-HTPC approach and a straight forward integrated pre/pro solution. Maybe it would be best to start your decision making answering that question for yourself.
 

Dialectic

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Patreon Donor
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
806
Likes
475
Location
New York
#14
Not from my perspective. They have constantly added useful features - HDMI, hirez audio, HiDef video, 4K, DSP EQ, networking, multiple subs, more powerful amps, and a mind-boggling list of others. A 20 year old AVR is a useless boat anchor today. It would not even handle Bluray, among many other useful things, though the feature list includes many questionable or possibly vestigial items.
I stand corrected, though I think one could continue using an old AVR so long as it has 5.1 analog inputs.
 

Fitzcaraldo215

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 4, 2016
Messages
1,418
Likes
495
#16
I actually don't need the amplification from the AVR, the speakers chosen are active. a Pre/Pro may be the answer, they are usually more expensive than similarly featured AVR of the same brand. I do like the flexibility afforded by an HTPC. I prefer appliances and woudl like this system to be used by others...
I looked up the LSR308, and it is balanced input. Best to go with a prepro with balanced outs, which is typical. AVRs don't usually have them, if any at all do. I like balanced better anyway, just for connection ergonomics, but they are also better for long cable runs, such as to the surround channels, and they often help avoid ground loops or other noise.
 

NorthSky

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 28, 2016
Messages
4,999
Likes
413
Location
Canada West Coast/Vancouver Island/Victoria area
#17
Last edited:

Fitzcaraldo215

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 4, 2016
Messages
1,418
Likes
495
#18
I stand corrected, though I think one could continue using an old AVR so long as it has 5.1 analog inputs.
True, you could. I tend to think newer ones are better, though, beyond just added features. Mch analog inputs are being phased out these days - too much space on the back panel and too few customers preferring them.
 
Top Bottom