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Why are AVR’s cheaper than Integrated?

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.
So essentially, there is no reason for Marantz, Denon, McIntosh, Arcam, Anthem or any other AVR/AVP manufacturer to not reach the SINAD of Topping. I knew that from amplifiers, as Apollon clearly shows that you can get a state of the art performance on a 12 channel amp, a monoblock or a stereo amp.

For room correction, I have used Audyssey on different iterations over the years. The results are quite fine considering my listening space is not the best and cannot be the best due to size limitation and furniture. What I wonder is how much better (or worse) is Dirac compared to Audyssey in their latest iterations: DLBC vs Multeq X. It seems like both can archive pretty much similar results; however, the point here is how much better compared to a more baseline Multeq XT32.
 
So essentially, there is no reason for Marantz, Denon, McIntosh, Arcam, Anthem or any other AVR/AVP manufacturer to not reach the SINAD of Topping. I knew that from amplifiers, as Apollon clearly shows that you can get a state of the art performance on a 12 channel amp, a monoblock or a stereo amp.

For room correction, I have used Audyssey on different iterations over the years. The results are quite fine considering my listening space is not the best and cannot be the best due to size limitation and furniture. What I wonder is how much better (or worse) is Dirac compared to Audyssey in their latest iterations: DLBC vs Multeq X. It seems like both can archive pretty much similar results; however, the point here is how much better compared to a more baseline Multeq XT32.
SINAD won’t matter above 100db or so. I think Topping vs the established brands is going to come down to features and reliability. EDIT and price of course :)
 
SINAD won’t matter above 100db or so. I think Topping vs the established brands is going to come down to features and reliability. EDIT and price of course :)
Most AVR´s do not reach 100db SINAD...
 
Most AVR´s do not reach 100db SINAD...
True. They should, especially higher priced ones. Instead they waste their time putting 13 channels of amplification into a box. I really scratch my head and think how many people can put 13 speakers, plus subs in a room? I guess I need a better job and a bigger house. :)
 
16bit dynamic range is 96db - although TrueHD is capable of 24bit, how many soundtracks actually bother with that?

Anything beyond 80db is probably academic (and possibly/arguably anything beyond 70db) - and not audible! The joys of psycho-acoustics
 
Without exploring the market in depth... I would suggest that the traditional "Integrated" - which was the hub of traditional "stereos" - is no longer a "base" product - the mainstream, mass market, product at the center of any "HiFi" - instead today we have AVR's and Streaming Amps (and similar lifestyle systems core) - which make up the mainstream.

Integrated's - are now a specialised audiophile only category.... they are higher spec, have more bling, etc...

If you really want to look for the component that has replaced the integrated - it is todays AVR - It has todays pre-amp (processing and switching requirements) - which has to take multiple inputs process them appropriately (in the old days that was Treble, Bass, + optionally loudness) -then feed them to an appropriate number of power amps. - Many AVR's even have a phono stage! - And the pricerange goes from the sublime (or at least mass market, reasonable affordability) to the ridiculous.... (as it always has!)
 
So essentially, there is no reason for Marantz, Denon, McIntosh, Arcam, Anthem or any other AVR/AVP manufacturer to not reach the SINAD of Topping. I knew that from amplifiers, as Apollon clearly shows that you can get a state of the art performance on a 12 channel amp, a monoblock or a stereo amp.

For room correction, I have used Audyssey on different iterations over the years. The results are quite fine considering my listening space is not the best and cannot be the best due to size limitation and furniture. What I wonder is how much better (or worse) is Dirac compared to Audyssey in their latest iterations: DLBC vs Multeq X. It seems like both can archive pretty much similar results; however, the point here is how much better compared to a more baseline Multeq XT32.
uh, no. the main/target market for those AVRs is not the one which care much about SINAD, if at all. Features would trump everything else. then it is down to look, brand, etc.

and when design an AVR, it is much harder to focus solely on SINAD only because you are now have a DAC/processor/amp in one place. it's art of balancing. And you have to make sure your AVR is cheap to be competitive, easy to manufacture, easy to service, and above all, reliable enough. Imagine an AVR from those brands which has same failure rate as Topping PA5 :)
 
16bit dynamic range is 96db - although TrueHD is capable of 24bit, how many soundtracks actually bother with that?

Anything beyond 80db is probably academic (and possibly/arguably anything beyond 70db) - and not audible! The joys of psycho-acoustics
It would depend on what dominates. If it's distortion, perhaps you won't even notice; with noise, it may be audible.

Still, a good SINAD is generally a mark of engineering hygiene: often times a low SINAD comes with other issues.
 
It would depend on what dominates. If it's distortion, perhaps you won't even notice; with noise, it may be audible.

Still, a good SINAD is generally a mark of engineering hygiene: often times a low SINAD comes with other issues.
Look at the specs of highly regarded audiophile amps of the 1980's - translate the THD and SNR into SINAD.... typically these excellent amps will have SINADS in the 70's.

Sure we have progressed - but those amps still sound fantastic today.... with their 70's SINAD - which indicates to me, that the "battle of the SINADS" is a bit of a storm in a teacup....

I agree that SINAD can be an indicator of engineering hygiene - and worth keeping an eye on - but should not be a deciding factor.
 
Look at the specs of highly regarded audiophile amps of the 1980's - translate the THD and SNR into SINAD.... typically these excellent amps will have SINADS in the 70's.

Sure we have progressed - but those amps still sound fantastic today.... with their 70's SINAD - which indicates to me, that the "battle of the SINADS" is a bit of a storm in a teacup....

I agree that SINAD can be an indicator of engineering hygiene - and worth keeping an eye on - but should not be a deciding factor.
After 50 years of engineering we can agree that it can be done better than then. That is particularly true when you´re spending several grands on an AVR or a processor.
For me the deciding factor is EQ, particularly for subwoofers, but after experiencing a couple systems with a terrible noise, SINAD is not a factor I´ll discard.

Probably my next move will be going Class D as I have realized how nightmarish gets an amp during a heatwave.
 
Look at the specs of highly regarded audiophile amps of the 1980's - translate the THD and SNR into SINAD.... typically these excellent amps will have SINADS in the 70's.
Not really. You may be seeing 0.01-0.03% THD, but that's for rated power, 20 Hz - 20 kHz. (Not as easy to achieve as you might think.) At 1 kHz, a good Japanese power amp would have been rated around 0.005% (-86 dB). But yeah, something around -80 dB ought to be adequate.

SINAD is not a great measure of fidelity anyway. 80 dB limited by distortion, chances are nobody is going to notice. 80 dB limited by noise, you'll probably be cursing.

Dynamic range / absolute output noise, multitone performance and THD vs. power for various frequencies are all things I'd be looking at. You also have to evaluate metrics differently depending on amplifier technology - Class D may have highish distortion towards the upper end of the hearing range without it impacting multitone much (see e.g. Topping PA5), which may be quite a different story with an AB job.

Probably my next move will be going Class D as I have realized how nightmarish gets an amp during a heatwave.
How much is yours drawing in idle then? I would usually expect no more than 80-100 W even on a relatively high-powered AB job (think 200-250ish wpc), which is not nothing but shouldn't yet be intolerable. It's like an extra person in the room. Like 200 W or more would be a bit too much, yeah. Obviously, every watt dissipated makes air conditioning's life more difficult, too.
 
Not really. You may be seeing 0.01-0.03% THD, but that's for rated power, 20 Hz - 20 kHz. (Not as easy to achieve as you might think.) At 1 kHz, a good Japanese power amp would have been rated around 0.005% (-86 dB). But yeah, something around -80 dB ought to be adequate.

SINAD is not a great measure of fidelity anyway. 80 dB limited by distortion, chances are nobody is going to notice. 80 dB limited by noise, you'll probably be cursing.

Dynamic range / absolute output noise, multitone performance and THD vs. power for various frequencies are all things I'd be looking at. You also have to evaluate metrics differently depending on amplifier technology - Class D may have highish distortion towards the upper end of the hearing range without it impacting multitone much (see e.g. Topping PA5), which may be quite a different story with an AB job.


How much is yours drawing in idle then? I would usually expect no more than 80-100 W even on a relatively high-powered AB job (think 200-250ish wpc), which is not nothing but shouldn't yet be intolerable. It's like an extra person in the room. Like 200 W or more would be a bit too much, yeah. Obviously, every watt dissipated makes air conditioning's life more difficult, too.
What air conditioner?
 
After 50 years of engineering we can agree that it can be done better than then. That is particularly true when you´re spending several grands on an AVR or a processor.
For me the deciding factor is EQ, particularly for subwoofers, but after experiencing a couple systems with a terrible noise, SINAD is not a factor I´ll discard.

Probably my next move will be going Class D as I have realized how nightmarish gets an amp during a heatwave.
I hate to ask this, as I own a few (used) AVRs purchased quite recently, and one is Ranked quite bad as far as SINAD, and in all honesty, I really do not notice any difference between it and another rated far higher.

Are you saying you can actually hear noise with program material playing, or just when turning the volume all the way up with no sounds playing??

I think we are playing up the SINAD thing in this forum a bit too much.
 
I hate to ask this, as I own a few (used) AVRs purchased quite recently, and one is Ranked quite bad as far as SINAD, and in all honesty, I really do not notice any difference between it and another rated far higher.

Are you saying you can actually hear noise with program material playing, or just when turning the volume all the way up with no sounds playing??

I think we are playing up the SINAD thing in this forum a bit too much.
I had a Denon that produced audible noise when the sound played around 95 db. That could very well be a poorly treated unit as it was third hand. The other case was another Denon that refused to work after more than a decade of heavy use, but before that, it sounded like crap.
 
For two channel sound, in my experience (with a Yamaha RXA-3030) I will say this…

- Might pay off big time to run your main two speakers from a power amp off the AVR pre outs. My AVR could not handle 3.6 ohm woofers.
- It will be noisier than a dedicated DAC, and the noise (not distortion) is the biggest noticeable thing.
- It may not output 2V like you might expect from pre-outs, so you may need to adjust the AVR gain setting to get the most out of an attached power amp.
- Mine does not output a useable digital output that’s independent of digital input, so you cannot overcome the AVR noise by using an external DAC. (Your attached TV can provide an optical two channel out independent of input).
- It’s an indispensable device to aggregate multiple sources, and the control app is very nice!
 
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.


LOL.

Your experience seems...limited.
 
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.


That's because you are.
 
Not really. You may be seeing 0.01-0.03% THD, but that's for rated power, 20 Hz - 20 kHz. (Not as easy to achieve as you might think.) At 1 kHz, a good Japanese power amp would have been rated around 0.005% (-86 dB). But yeah, something around -80 dB ought to be adequate.

SINAD is not a great measure of fidelity anyway. 80 dB limited by distortion, chances are nobody is going to notice. 80 dB limited by noise, you'll probably be cursing.

Dynamic range / absolute output noise, multitone performance and THD vs. power for various frequencies are all things I'd be looking at. You also have to evaluate metrics differently depending on amplifier technology - Class D may have highish distortion towards the upper end of the hearing range without it impacting multitone much (see e.g. Topping PA5), which may be quite a different story with an AB job.
Yes - my old Quad 606 - is rated at less than 0.01% THD at rated power... ie: SINAD = 80db

Meanwhile the Signal to Noise is a very acceptable 105db

So by "Sinad Wars" standard - it is a poor performer... when in actual fact it is an excellent performer - would love to see it measured with current lab measurements!
 
That's because you are.
Last AVR I owned was a NAD in 2001 that I bought at a garage sale for $20. Was from 1998, I believe? The sound, subjectively, sounded like shit. I cleaned it up and flipped it for a little change.



I’m thinking I can’t go wrong with a Yamaha R-N803. I still enjoy a few local sport’s stations on the dial.
 
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