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Why are AVR’s cheaper than Integrated?

sofrep811

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I believe I know. I’ve been in the hobby for three decades and have only owned two channel (stereo)— analog and digital.

However, Im bored and looking at getting into multi-channel
for my SACD, BluRay, and CDs. I’m looking at some AVR’s under $1k and am blown away at the amenities I get.

Is it because they’re mass made? Is it a flaw in the system and I should of been buying AVR’s all along? Anyway — just seems like I’m going to get way more for an AVR than I would any other amp.
 

DVDdoug

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And, the marked is highly competitive, which goes hand-in-hand with high volume production & distribution.

And when you start getting into the "audiophile" market a higher price makes an item more attractive.
 

alex-z

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Is it because they’re mass made? Is it a flaw in the system and I should of been buying AVR’s all along? Anyway — just seems like I’m going to get way more for an AVR than I would any other amp.

The AV receiver market is reasonably priced, the 2 channel market is not. Most 2 channel amps have over 50% profit margin. Basic amplifier circuits are not expensive to build in bulk, even good quality ones. State of the art (Hypex or Purifi) tier costs more, but so does a GT3 race car.

It doesn't help that the subjective audio reviewer space has spent decades terrifying people away from basic amenities like digital signal processing, which allows AV receivers to offer subwoofer integration, channel matching, and EQ. The purist approach ironically leads to lower overall system quality.
 

Waxx

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The (mainstream) AVR market is less picky and snobistic than the hifi market, so cheaper circuits (not necesairly worse) are standard into those amps. And in general the quality of the builds is a bit less also, but not in a way that it really matters much for the purpose as technology is changing very fast and the devices are mostly outdated before they are 10 years old. And like said, the market is very competitive, so prices are lower because otherwise they don't sell.
 

Tassin

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However, Im bored and looking at getting into multi-channel
Forget it. It's not worth it. You will be disappointed.

I also tried it and my conclusion is that if you want something like surround music, it is better to get a stereo amp with A+B outputs. 4 speakers from a stereo amp will sound better than the artificially messed-up sound coming from an AVR processor that pretends to emulate some venue.
 

polmuaddib

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Forget it. It's not worth it. You will be disappointed.

I also tried it and my conclusion is that if you want something like surround music, it is better to get a stereo amp with A+B outputs. 4 speakers from a stereo amp will sound better than the artificially messed-up sound coming from an AVR processor that pretends to emulate some venue.
This is just your opinion with which I disagree strongly!
Multichannel music, when done right, is a wonderful experience.
You have to make some effort in basic speaker setup and calibration and you can enjoy the benefit of surround sound now even with budget AVR.
With basic 5.1 setup, the step up from regular stereo is huge. As you add more channels, the benefit is there but diminishing.
Of course, with gimmicky produced surround content, the dissapointment is inevitable.

And just look at the relatively large volume of multichannel SACDs there is for classical music...
 

MaxwellsEq

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The other point about AVRs worth noting is that the surround channels are usually less loud than the main channels, which means that, in the real world, you don't need 5x or 7x the power supply capacity of a 2 channel system. I suspect that some AVRs could not sustain full output on all channels for very long before shutting down
 

Vacceo

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Forget it. It's not worth it. You will be disappointed.

I also tried it and my conclusion is that if you want something like surround music, it is better to get a stereo amp with A+B outputs. 4 speakers from a stereo amp will sound better than the artificially messed-up sound coming from an AVR processor that pretends to emulate some venue.
You can use an AVR in stereo, but not a stereo in multichannel. That give you the advantage of playing a larger variety of sources: films, series, music, videogames...

I believe I know. I’ve been in the hobby for three decades and have only owned two channel (stereo)— analog and digital.

However, Im bored and looking at getting into multi-channel
for my SACD, BluRay, and CDs. I’m looking at some AVR’s under $1k and am blown away at the amenities I get.

Is it because they’re mass made? Is it a flaw in the system and I should of been buying AVR’s all along? Anyway — just seems like I’m going to get way more for an AVR than I would any other amp.
There is still the logic of keeping the amp. Even being more expensive, you may have an amp that for one reason or another you want to keep, hence, only replacing the "logical" part of the setup.

I guess that customer base is small, hence the prices.
 
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killdozzer

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As many have said here, they sell in way bigger numbers. It's a smart move, of course. You take care not to set the price too high, but you sell a lot of them. That way they're attractive to buyers but still make profit.
 

kongwee

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With screen, you attention to sound is lesser. I used to work and sell audiophile stereo til the explosion of DVDs. My ex shop had to sell non exclusive Japanese AVR. Only make in speaker and installation deal. Me nowadays I listen and watch YouTube MVs. Visual take away my critical listening.
 

beagleman

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2 channel stuff is EXPENSIVE.

Look at what Yamaha for one offers as far as AVRs and then their 2 channel integrated amps.

The amps ARE quite good, but simply far too big of a divide between their mid priced amps and a decent AVR.
 

FrantzM

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Hi

The truth is a combination of factors. The audio industry has to present a story , basic marketing: Integrated as superior to AVR but inferior to separates. The truth is different as most of us are becoming aware: Electronics is mostly a solved problem. An AVR is good enough for most audio reproductions in the home.
The integrated must be more expensive, because more expensive = more :)p) better.

A good exemple is a Pre/Pro from those mass-market manufacturers of AVR.. Same inside, they remove the amplifiers, thus it should be cheaper .. no.... they add some basic boards, so that you have XLR/balanced in and outs,. Then please increase the price by a factor of 2, or more, meanwhile manufacturing costs and BOM are lower than that of the corresponding AVR.. A few software tweaks .. Voilà a Pre/Pro! A more expensive, thus better component.

For integrated, same: Less of everything, including no license to pay to Dolby, Audyssey, Dirac, HDMI, Spotify, etc . Welcome to pulling your hair trying to mesh subwoofers to this system ( notice how many people are trying to find an integrated with proper sub outputs), usually no DSP. Now you have a unit with less capabilities, often less power but it cost more money ... It is likely better:p.

Peace.
 
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OP
sofrep811

sofrep811

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Good stuff. Thanks everyone for your opinion And input.
 

Vacceo

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Hi

The truth is a combination of factors. The audio industry has to present a story , basic marketing: Integrated as superior to AVR but inferior to separates. The truth is different as most of us are becoming aware: Electronics is mostly a solved problem. An AVR is good enough for most audio reproductions in the home.
The integrated must be more expensive, because more expensive = more :)p) better.

A good exemple is a Pre/Pro from those mass-market manufacturers of AVR.. Same inside, they remove the amplifiers, thus it should be cheaper .. no.... they add some basic board so that you have XLR/balanced in and outs,. Then please increase the price by a factor of 2, or more, meanwhile manufacturing costs and BOM are lower than that of the corresponding AVR.. A few software tweaks .. Voilà a Pre/Pro! Amore expensive, thus better component.

For integrated, same: Less of everything, including no license to pay to Dolby, Audyssey, Dirac, HDMI, Spotify, etc . Welcome to pulling your hair trying to mesh subwoofers to this system ( notice how many people are trying to find an integrated with proper sub outputs), usually no DSP. Now you have a unit with less capabilities, often less power but it cost more money ... It is likely better:p.

Peace.
Perhaps Amir or any other insider could shed some light on this: is there any technical reason for a processor to not be as clean as a preamp? They seem not to be that different as many processors indeed provide the same connections as a preamp just like an AVR does compared to an integrated amp.

Amps, that I know, have no reason to get a worse performance when they provide more than two channels of amplification; so I assume processors are the same as preamps in that regard.
 

FrantzM

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Perhaps Amir or any other insider could shed some light on this: is there any technical reason for a processor to not be as clean as a preamp? They seem not to be that different as many processors indeed provide the same connections as a preamp just like an AVR does compared to an integrated amp.

Amps, that I know, have no reason to get a worse performance when they provide more than two channels of amplification; so I assume processors are the same as preamps in that regard.
Hi

You may/will find some pure 2-channel integrated or 2-ch Preamplifier that performs better than any AVR or Prepro ever made... Take Topping LA-90 (integrated) or L-90 (preamplifier) and not much stands in their ways, in term of pure performance. Thing is, most of this extraordinary performance is not audible.. I stress "most"... If you were to drop the Topping integrated in a system and try to use a subwoofer, you will have to work hard and add to it one more component, reducing thereby the SINAD to perhaps the level of a good AVR... DSP in particular is IMO and in IME mandatory in most systems. You may do without, but your results are likely to be poorer. OTOH an AVR, most AVR include DSP and some sort of room correction. The better DSP/Room correction included in a good AVR, Audyssey and Dirac with DLBC ( I don't know much about the DRC/DSP used in other brands, such as ARCAM, etc. ), these DRC/DSP, remove a good portion of the room deleterious effects, from the reproduction. And at the end the room is what determines what you hear, especially below 500 Hz... ( a rough guesstimate, not far off).
It has become increasing clear to me, thanks to ASR, that an AVR is the cornerstone of any audio system. Now if one has the cash for something even more refined and configurable such a Pre Pro from Trinnov, Storm, Lyngdrof or similar ( very few), by all means go for it. For most people, a good to superlative system can be built with A Denon AVR-X3700 or, if Auro-3d is of interest, a 4700. Invest your hard-earned money in speakers, better speakers, and some of it .. a small fraction in some room treatment for first reflections. Leave bass issues to multiple subwoofers and the Trinnov supremely powerful processor... or if your money is not up there to Audyssey + miniDSP 2x4 HD+ Umik-1+ MSO .. will take you longer and shall not be as good, but you can get close... very close ...

Peace.
 

beagleman

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Hi

You may/will find some pure 2-channel integrated or 2-ch Preamplifier that performs better than any AVR or Prepro ever made... Take Topping LA-90 (integrated) or L-90 (preamplifier) and not much stands in their ways, in term of pure performance. Thing is, most of this extraordinary performance is not audible.. I stress "most"... If you were to drop the Topping integrated in a system and try to use a subwoofer, you will have to work hard and add to it one more component, reducing thereby the SINAD to perhaps the level of a good AVR... DSP in particular is IMO and in IME mandatory in most systems. You may do without, but your results are likely to be poorer. OTOH an AVR, most AVR include DSP and some sort of room correction. The better DSP/Room correction included in a good AVR, Audyssey and Dirac with DLBC ( I don't know much about the DRC/DSP used in other brands, such as ARCAM, etc. ), these DRC/DSP, remove a good portion of the room deleterious effects, from the reproduction. And at the end the room is what determines what you hear, especially below 500 Hz... ( a rough guesstimate, not far off).
It has become increasing clear to me, thanks to ASR, that an AVR is the cornerstone of any audio system. Now if one has the cash for something even more refined and configurable such a Pre Pro from Trinnov, Storm, Lyngdrof or similar ( very few), by all means go for it. For most people, a good to superlative system can be built with A Denon AVR-X3700 or, if Auro-3d is of interest, a 4700. Invest your hard-earned money in speakers, better speakers, and some of it .. a small fraction in some room treatment for first reflections. Leave bass issues to multiple subwoofers and the Trinnov supremely powerful processor... or if your money is not up there to Audyssey + miniDSP 2x4 HD+ Umik-1+ MSO .. will take you longer and shall not be as good, but you can get close... very close ...

Peace.

I am not sure I have seen or heard for "SURE", what reason that most or many AVRs do not perform as well in SINAD or noise tests, but wondered in my mind, if having the DAC and all the associated circuits so close in proximity, they increase the apparent and measured SINAD.

Or, having literally so many conversion channels and circuits in general increase noise?

Not sure it truly matters in audibility, but as far as measured performance it seems to.
 
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Robin L

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I use an AVR that set me back all of $50. I'm using it as a stereo integrated amp with a dedicated subwoofer out. It was at a thrift store. I think a lot of the older AVRs are turning up in thrift stores on account of soundbars and older folks downsizing. This one is pre-HDMI, which in part explains the low price. The AVR as an integrated amp works just fine, there is no downside.
 
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