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Why are AVR’s cheaper than Integrated?

As explanations go, this is rather...subjective?
Given I don't have tools to measure further - you get what I have!
What is it about them in particular that they can't 'handle'?
Most amps don't do well with very low impedances, how they react varies depending on design, typically they will either go into a low power protection mode (reducing power to less than 50% their rated) - or simply self protect in a shutdown....

They may have power supplies that cannot provide sufficient current to provide the voltage/loudness desired... they may have insufficient cooling to keep temperatures under control on the transistors as they have two to four times the current going through them, or the feedback circuits may go unstable into low impedance loads... (or multiple of the above!)

I have a pair of Quad 606/707 amps that are rated as "unconditionally stable into any load" - and the manual provides a chart of continuous and peak power available at different loads. These are rated 135W@8ohm, and 90W@2ohm - (90W @ 2ohm equates to circa 22.5W @ 8ohm in V or Loudness terms !) - so if you are looking at a speaker in terms of SPL/Wm measured at 8ohm - the real wideband capability when combined with this amp (assuming a minimum impedance of 2 ohm) would be calculated based on that minimum...

These however are amps that (within the rated spec) are STABLE at low impedances

I did the following experiments comparing Onkyo SR876 (measured 165W@8ohm stereo, rated 145W@8ohm ), Integra DRX 3.4 (100W@8ohm rated), Quad 606 (135W@8ohm, 90W@2ohm), and Crown XLS2500 (440W@8ohm, 1200W@2ohm).

These were SUBJECTIVE ... take that as you will.

Comparisons were made using stereo music tracks, using either in pure direct straight through or in PLII / DSU 5 channel (no RoomEQ or other EQ of any sort used - levels were matched using my vintage Radio Shack SPL meter)

The speakers are Gallo Reference 3.2 - with minimum impedance of 1.6ohm (Center when used is Gallo Reference AV, also minimum impedance 1.6ohm)

My baseline was the Onkyo SR876 - which I have (had) owned for 15 years...
It handled base stereo and stereo with center very well.
Running the SR876 through the Quad 606 for the front L/R I had an impression that the sound was very very slightly smoother - the difference was slight, and it may well be imaginary - probably not identifiable in double blind.
Running the SR876 through the Crown XLS for the front L/R - much the same as for the Quad 606 - perhaps (maybe!!) a more solid bass during louder sections of music - but again probably not identifiable in DBT, and could be down to confirmation bias.

Replaced the Onkyo SR876 with the current generation DRX 3.4...
Things to keep in mind :
1) the 3.4 is rated at 100W@8ohm
2) the 3.4 weighs around 10kg compared to the SR876 at 23kg - some of that is the larger/heavier chassis, but most of that is the massive hunk of EI transformer Iron, and the big capacitors - brochures of the time touted its "high current capabilities"

Simply replacing the standalone SR876 with the 3.4 - sound quality took an immediate turn for the worse - Dialogue / voices were harder to discern, understand, stereo image was "confused" and soundstage was reduced.
Tried in both straight Stereo and Stereo with Center.
Replaced internal 3.4 amps with either of Crown XLS or Quad 606 power amps - sound immediately cleaned up - system as a whole sounded identical to the setup with the SR876 on its own.
Also tried 3.4 with XLS running L&R, but 3.4 running the C - this was interesting, as once the L&R load was removed from the 3.4, the center channel cleaned up ... the 3.4 could drive a single channel 1.6ohm speaker without any issues, but not 2 or 3 channels of the same speaker type.

So my conclusion ...

1) Heat is not an issue - I am not running it loud enough for the power amp circuits to start to get hot (on either the external amps or the 3.4 / 876)
2) V out is not an issue - all the tested configurations can provide sufficient V out (W out)

Distortion...
I am assuming that the reason the 3.4 sounded bad driving 2 channels is that some form of distortion was rising substantially - what form I don't know as I don't have requisite tools to measure with!

However... 2 identical power amp channels driven together, experienced the audible degradation, where a single channel on its own did not suffer from the degradation.

This indicates that the actual power amp circuits, devoid of the power supply limitation, can handle low impedance loads without issue... but if you put too many of them onto the power supply, then you experience the audible problems.

In using both the Quad 606 and the Crown, I demonstrated to my own satisfaction, that in my particular use case, I did not need large amounts of power - the Quad sounded as good as the Crown, even though at 2 ohm it is rated at less than 1/10th the power.

I'm still rather unclear how current (amperage) itself , divorced from power, is effecting this remarkable positive difference. And yes, let's assume the amp is not being asked to do what it wasn't properly designed to do.
Well that is really the point isn't it - all these AVR's are officially rated to handle speakers that are nominally rated at 4 ohm - but in reality the vast majority of mass market AVR's cannot properly handle real life 4 ohm speakers - In reality they are designed for no lower than 6 ohm nominal.

To identify what an amp is capable of with a real life 4 ohm (nominal) speaker, you would need it to be rated into 2 ohm - so you can tell what it can (or cannot) do into the impedance troughs that happen with real life speakers.

I have not seen a 2 ohm rating on ANY AVR... and even bench tests at 4 ohm have frequently shown mass market AVR's going into their various protection modes.

Having said all that - many average AVR buyers, probably would not have noticed anything wrong - the 3.4 was working, it was driving the speakers, it was providing surround sound, Dirac, decoding Dolby and DTS, etc....
And it sounded pretty reasonable doing it.
But comparing it directly to the older (and much more upmarket!) SR876 - the difference in the midrange, voices/dialogue and imaging was immediately noticeable.... and that difference disappeared when I replaced the internal amps with external ones.... even keeping the C channel on the 3.4.

Based on my experience, I would much rather have an amp with the ability to provide plenty of current to drive a lower power rating at much lower impedance, like the Quad, than one like the 3.4, which has a high "headline" figure (100W !!) - but is unable to drive stereo at 5W cleanly into 1.6ohm.

And yes I am guessing that current is the cause of the symptoms experienced... the outcome of my reasoning as per above.

If you can identify a different reason why the symptoms I heard happened, I would love to hear your hypothesis.
 
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.
While the venue setting things still come up. multichannel has moved on from that to more complex upmixers, and of course multichannel music is becoming more widely available again now through streaming, though quality is still variable in terms of mixing. It will disappoint less now than in the past - or may not disappoint at all.
 
While the venue setting things still come up. multichannel has moved on from that to more complex upmixers, and of course multichannel music is becoming more widely available again now through streaming, though quality is still variable in terms of mixing. It will disappoint less now than in the past - or may not disappoint at all.
Yamaha used to have some stunning venue emulation processing, based on measuring hundreds of venues around the world...

But how well these then translated to a particular recording was heavily dependent on the recording itself, it was always a crapshoot!!

If you want the "All channel stereo" sound - pretty much all AVR's have it!

And for adding an ambiance / soundstage, while maintaining the core stereo experience - my order of preference has in the past been Lexicon Logic7 followed by Dolby PLII... neither of these are available on current generation AVR's (the JBL's still have Logic16... although feedback is that it does not have the adjustability of past Logic7 versions) - now the best alternative appears to be Dolby Surround...

Stereo listened to via DSU, still sounds like stereo - while adding a pleasing soundstage ambiance, without having the image distorted and sent to surround and height speakers... center channel is good, keeping the image grounded where it should be, and allowing for the stereo image to be discernible across a much wider "sweet spot" without the image collapsing when you move outside of the central MLP.

And yes - for those who want action from all speakers, and don't care for the lifelike 3D illusion of stereo, but prefer the fireworks of stuff all around from all speakers - All Channel Stereo will usually do the job.
 
Given I don't have tools to measure further - you get what I have!

Most amps don't do well with very low impedances, how they react varies depending on design, typically they will either go into a low power protection mode (reducing power to less than 50% their rated) - or simply self protect in a shutdown....

They may have power supplies that cannot provide sufficient current to provide the voltage/loudness desired... they may have insufficient cooling to keep temperatures under control on the transistors as they have two to four times the current going through them, or the feedback circuits may go unstable into low impedance loads... (or multiple of the above!)

I have a pair of Quad 606/707 amps that are rated as "unconditionally stable into any load" - and the manual provides a chart of continuous and peak power available at different loads. These are rated 135W@8ohm, and 90W@2ohm - (90W @ 2ohm equates to circa 22.5W @ 8ohm in V or Loudness terms !) - so if you are looking at a speaker in terms of SPL/Wm measured at 8ohm - the real wideband capability when combined with this amp (assuming a minimum impedance of 2 ohm) would be calculated based on that minimum...

These however are amps that (within the rated spec) are STABLE at low impedances

I did the following experiments comparing Onkyo SR876 (measured 165W@8ohm stereo, rated 145W@8ohm ), Integra DRX 3.4 (100W@8ohm rated), Quad 606 (135W@8ohm, 90W@2ohm), and Crown XLS2500 (440W@8ohm, 1200W@2ohm).

These were SUBJECTIVE ... take that as you will.

Comparisons were made using stereo music tracks, using either in pure direct straight through or in PLII / DSU 5 channel (no RoomEQ or other EQ of any sort used - levels were matched using my vintage Radio Shack SPL meter)

The speakers are Gallo Reference 3.2 - with minimum impedance of 1.6ohm (Center when used is Gallo Reference AV, also minimum impedance 1.6ohm)

My baseline was the Onkyo SR876 - which I have (had) owned for 15 years...
It handled base stereo and stereo with center very well.
Running the SR876 through the Quad 606 for the front L/R I had an impression that the sound was very very slightly smoother - the difference was slight, and it may well be imaginary - probably not identifiable in double blind.
Running the SR876 through the Crown XLS for the front L/R - much the same as for the Quad 606 - perhaps (maybe!!) a more solid bass during louder sections of music - but again probably not identifiable in DBT, and could be down to confirmation bias.

Replaced the Onkyo SR876 with the current generation DRX 3.4...
Things to keep in mind :
1) the 3.4 is rated at 100W@8ohm
2) the 3.4 weighs around 10kg compared to the SR876 at 23kg - some of that is the larger/heavier chassis, but most of that is the massive hunk of EI transformer Iron, and the big capacitors - brochures of the time touted its "high current capabilities"

Simply replacing the standalone SR876 with the 3.4 - sound quality took an immediate turn for the worse - Dialogue / voices were harder to discern, understand, stereo image was "confused" and soundstage was reduced.
Tried in both straight Stereo and Stereo with Center.
Replaced internal 3.4 amps with either of Crown XLS or Quad 606 power amps - sound immediately cleaned up - system as a whole sounded identical to the setup with the SR876 on its own.
Also tried 3.4 with XLS running L&R, but 3.4 running the C - this was interesting, as once the L&R load was removed from the 3.4, the center channel cleaned up ... the 3.4 could drive a single channel 1.6ohm speaker without any issues, but not 2 or 3 channels of the same speaker type.

So my conclusion ...

1) Heat is not an issue - I am not running it loud enough for the power amp circuits to start to get hot (on either the external amps or the 3.4 / 876)
2) V out is not an issue - all the tested configurations can provide sufficient V out (W out)

Distortion...
I am assuming that the reason the 3.4 sounded bad driving 2 channels is that some form of distortion was rising substantially - what form I don't know as I don't have requisite tools to measure with!

However... 2 identical power amp channels driven together, experienced the audible degradation, where a single channel on its own did not suffer from the degradation.

This indicates that the actual power amp circuits, devoid of the power supply limitation, can handle low impedance loads without issue... but if you put too many of them onto the power supply, then you experience the audible problems.

In using both the Quad 606 and the Crown, I demonstrated to my own satisfaction, that in my particular use case, I did not need large amounts of power - the Quad sounded as good as the Crown, even though at 2 ohm it is rated at less than 1/10th the power.


Well that is really the point isn't it - all these AVR's are officially rated to handle speakers that are nominally rated at 4 ohm - but in reality the vast majority of mass market AVR's cannot properly handle real life 4 ohm speakers - In reality they are designed for no lower than 6 ohm nominal.

To identify what an amp is capable of with a real life 4 ohm (nominal) speaker, you would need it to be rated into 2 ohm - so you can tell what it can (or cannot) do into the impedance troughs that happen with real life speakers.

I have not seen a 2 ohm rating on ANY AVR... and even bench tests at 4 ohm have frequently shown mass market AVR's going into their various protection modes.

Having said all that - many average AVR buyers, probably would not have noticed anything wrong - the 3.4 was working, it was driving the speakers, it was providing surround sound, Dirac, decoding Dolby and DTS, etc....
And it sounded pretty reasonable doing it.
But comparing it directly to the older (and much more upmarket!) SR876 - the difference in the midrange, voices/dialogue and imaging was immediately noticeable.... and that difference disappeared when I replaced the internal amps with external ones.... even keeping the C channel on the 3.4.

Based on my experience, I would much rather have an amp with the ability to provide plenty of current to drive a lower power rating at much lower impedance, like the Quad, than one like the 3.4, which has a high "headline" figure (100W !!) - but is unable to drive stereo at 5W cleanly into 1.6ohm.

And yes I am guessing that current is the cause of the symptoms experienced... the outcome of my reasoning as per above.

If you can identify a different reason why the symptoms I heard happened, I would love to hear your hypothesis.

I'm guessing the issue could be the phase angle between voltage and current demand. It's complex matter and could be audible in some cases. I've experienced similar audible difference where I heard no problem with small amp in a small room and then when setting up the same speakers in a room more than twice as big (listening distance more than double as well), the small amp could not get them even remotely loud.

As you described, everything sounded tiny, collapsed and bass shy, as if you are turning up the volume but all you get is more distortion and not higher SPL. I thought the amp was broken and was so baffled that I had to return everything to the smaller room and again, it sounded fine. This was when I realized that larger room and listening distance requirements would be exponentially greater. What is required is more voltage, but if the amp is not able to deliver enough current, weird things can happen.

This thread explains quite a lot, also look at the post #19:

 
Hi to :) Ya All.......

Besides a few very well known designers & names witch is on the diy forum And i adore and consider as at least some part mentors to ME.!! especially Nelson Pass, as i am, theres also to much for my liking,,,, Arrogant and ""i No It All"" People My God what a bunch of morons....

Anyhow i thought i give this forum a try if i can help somebody or give advice that help someone find their Audio-Passion It's all worth it.... Sorry i seem to got of track here i was trying to give a root cause answer to the post i replyed to.....


Under-PoWered / Underdimensioned Transformer And / Or / And Probably Both A.!!! Horribbly Underdimensioned Transformer and Capacitor Basttery/Bank,,, A Perfect Amp With Perfect PowerSupply Would just about DOUBLE POWER Delivery more or less, For Every Halving Of Load Impedance....
Most GOOD Amps Do That Less a smidge of resistive losses and droop in ther powerSupply.... (( mind you no more then a few % to a few 1o's % ))

If What You say is true thern you have an amp with little or no powerSupply.. Had it been me
(( Witch it never would as i build My OWN AMPS )) Whether hybride tube/mos (witch'smy favorite topology) single ended mos only, and other types of hybrides & topologys....

Since i am new here (( have been a member in diyaudio.com from the end of the ninteys, for some years altough there seems to a wildly desperate need for some or someone with practical experience experience
 
Hi Ya All And Best's Of regards To All....... :)

I Tought i tell ya all a bit about myself so as you all know who i am and what ToPiC's My DIVERCE Knowledge-Base Covers some of them i have Dvelved VeeeeeeRy Deep Into, And others just enoughf just to grasp the concepts of them....

Audio ( Is My Biggest Passion ) And RF Is One of the topics i've been with since i got High-Voltage Shocked and then rebuild my papas Tubed/Valved TanbergRadio When i was 8 years old,
When i was 9 1/2 year old i got my first soldering iron, Allthoug it took the patience i still today can't imagine of a Veeery kind neighbor probably half a year to teach me to master it,, maybe it was in my cards.??? i later got me a carer as a steel welder, later still i got to learn to weld aluminium, copper, and also soldering a pletora of other metals so i can guess its in my blood as they say.. :)

I Had My Fist walkie-Talkie Base Station allready when i was only 12 years old, and from there build, RF Pre-Amps, & Tube (500-Z) Power-Amp
Dipol Antennas, and More Antennas, And so on & on & on & on........................................................................................
AND nOW TO THE important part of my knowlegde OF RF (radioFrquency) witch Realy gave me the underlying Understaning of transistors, tubes, Topologys, Coils, Capacitors, Reactances, S parameters and so on.....

This RF Knowledge enabels me to see that i am ASHAMED OF THE AUDIO INDUSTRY
And there is a screaming need of that knowledge in the audio industry (( Remeber it all boils down to Three Letters L, C, R, And a 1Kohm resistor
is in fact only 400 ohm resistive @ RF........ And then there is J+/ Inductance And not least J- Capacitance
In
Witch most of call themselves Audio-Engineers, when Reality is they Dont have clue what they are doing and least of all the underlying causes.....

YES ASHAMED........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHERE FOR YEARS AGO
CRAFTMANSHIP & Product Pride & Confidence, Quality Before Profit was the norm,,

Now it seems the motto is Fuck & Fool the Customers,
Get Their Money And Then No Cares In The World,
As Long as We (( Corporations Get ShameFully Rich & Others Starve To Death, We Don't Care ))

I think i has a bit to offer ya all, as me obsesssed for audio SuPer Quality sound reproduction as close toThe Original as Possible......

And all the gadgets, Amps, Dacs, (( yes i have build my own both spdif receiver & AKM AK4396 DAC )) and countless Pre-Amps, Power-Amps,,
Bufer-Stages, 108Mhz 20 watt RF Amp,,, And a sleww of other things i cant remember, lets just say i built my first 5Watt FM transmitter
 

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Last edited:
Given I don't have tools to measure further - you get what I have!

Most amps don't do well with very low impedances, how they react varies depending on design, typically they will either go into a low power protection mode (reducing power to less than 50% their rated) - or simply self protect in a shutdown....

They may have power supplies that cannot provide sufficient current to provide the voltage/loudness desired... they may have insufficient cooling to keep temperatures under control on the transistors as they have two to four times the current going through them, or the feedback circuits may go unstable into low impedance loads... (or multiple of the above!)

I have a pair of Quad 606/707 amps that are rated as "unconditionally stable into any load" - and the manual provides a chart of continuous and peak power available at different loads. These are rated 135W@8ohm, and 90W@2ohm - (90W @ 2ohm equates to circa 22.5W @ 8ohm in V or Loudness terms !) - so if you are looking at a speaker in terms of SPL/Wm measured at 8ohm - the real wideband capability when combined with this amp (assuming a minimum impedance of 2 ohm) would be calculated based on that minimum...

These however are amps that (within the rated spec) are STABLE at low impedances

I did the following experiments comparing Onkyo SR876 (measured 165W@8ohm stereo, rated 145W@8ohm ), Integra DRX 3.4 (100W@8ohm rated), Quad 606 (135W@8ohm, 90W@2ohm), and Crown XLS2500 (440W@8ohm, 1200W@2ohm).

These were SUBJECTIVE ... take that as you will.

Comparisons were made using stereo music tracks, using either in pure direct straight through or in PLII / DSU 5 channel (no RoomEQ or other EQ of any sort used - levels were matched using my vintage Radio Shack SPL meter)

The speakers are Gallo Reference 3.2 - with minimum impedance of 1.6ohm (Center when used is Gallo Reference AV, also minimum impedance 1.6ohm)

My baseline was the Onkyo SR876 - which I have (had) owned for 15 years...
It handled base stereo and stereo with center very well.
Running the SR876 through the Quad 606 for the front L/R I had an impression that the sound was very very slightly smoother - the difference was slight, and it may well be imaginary - probably not identifiable in double blind.
Running the SR876 through the Crown XLS for the front L/R - much the same as for the Quad 606 - perhaps (maybe!!) a more solid bass during louder sections of music - but again probably not identifiable in DBT, and could be down to confirmation bias.

Replaced the Onkyo SR876 with the current generation DRX 3.4...
Things to keep in mind :
1) the 3.4 is rated at 100W@8ohm
2) the 3.4 weighs around 10kg compared to the SR876 at 23kg - some of that is the larger/heavier chassis, but most of that is the massive hunk of EI transformer Iron, and the big capacitors - brochures of the time touted its "high current capabilities"

Simply replacing the standalone SR876 with the 3.4 - sound quality took an immediate turn for the worse - Dialogue / voices were harder to discern, understand, stereo image was "confused" and soundstage was reduced.
Tried in both straight Stereo and Stereo with Center.
Replaced internal 3.4 amps with either of Crown XLS or Quad 606 power amps - sound immediately cleaned up - system as a whole sounded identical to the setup with the SR876 on its own.
Also tried 3.4 with XLS running L&R, but 3.4 running the C - this was interesting, as once the L&R load was removed from the 3.4, the center channel cleaned up ... the 3.4 could drive a single channel 1.6ohm speaker without any issues, but not 2 or 3 channels of the same speaker type.

So my conclusion ...

1) Heat is not an issue - I am not running it loud enough for the power amp circuits to start to get hot (on either the external amps or the 3.4 / 876)
2) V out is not an issue - all the tested configurations can provide sufficient V out (W out)

Distortion...
I am assuming that the reason the 3.4 sounded bad driving 2 channels is that some form of distortion was rising substantially - what form I don't know as I don't have requisite tools to measure with!

However... 2 identical power amp channels driven together, experienced the audible degradation, where a single channel on its own did not suffer from the degradation.

This indicates that the actual power amp circuits, devoid of the power supply limitation, can handle low impedance loads without issue... but if you put too many of them onto the power supply, then you experience the audible problems.

In using both the Quad 606 and the Crown, I demonstrated to my own satisfaction, that in my particular use case, I did not need large amounts of power - the Quad sounded as good as the Crown, even though at 2 ohm it is rated at less than 1/10th the power.


Well that is really the point isn't it - all these AVR's are officially rated to handle speakers that are nominally rated at 4 ohm - but in reality the vast majority of mass market AVR's cannot properly handle real life 4 ohm speakers - In reality they are designed for no lower than 6 ohm nominal.

To identify what an amp is capable of with a real life 4 ohm (nominal) speaker, you would need it to be rated into 2 ohm - so you can tell what it can (or cannot) do into the impedance troughs that happen with real life speakers.

I have not seen a 2 ohm rating on ANY AVR... and even bench tests at 4 ohm have frequently shown mass market AVR's going into their various protection modes.

Having said all that - many average AVR buyers, probably would not have noticed anything wrong - the 3.4 was working, it was driving the speakers, it was providing surround sound, Dirac, decoding Dolby and DTS, etc....
And it sounded pretty reasonable doing it.
But comparing it directly to the older (and much more upmarket!) SR876 - the difference in the midrange, voices/dialogue and imaging was immediately noticeable.... and that difference disappeared when I replaced the internal amps with external ones.... even keeping the C channel on the 3.4.

Based on my experience, I would much rather have an amp with the ability to provide plenty of current to drive a lower power rating at much lower impedance, like the Quad, than one like the 3.4, which has a high "headline" figure (100W !!) - but is unable to drive stereo at 5W cleanly into 1.6ohm.

And yes I am guessing that current is the cause of the symptoms experienced... the outcome of my reasoning as per above.

If you can identify a different reason why the symptoms I heard happened, I would love to hear your hypothesis.
In a very specific case, I might agree, but I don't see why would AVR's get blamed for such a specific case?

And it does look a little bit like that. Sure, you can put some effort into it and find a very difficult load in a form of some demanding speakers, but you can also not do that these days. Although, if you choose to do that, some of the AVR's out there are quite the monsters when it comes to power and more are coming up as time goes by.

I found myself in a situation where a person complained about an AVR, a 50wpch into 8 ohm Yamaha while saying a 60wpch into 8 ohms Technics is a beast that drives speakers like babies. Long story short, I did a "great reset" ( ;);) ) to the AVR, and the guy thought it was his "superior" Technics playing.

AVR's have a more difficult task of powering multiple speakers and they always lose some energy (a substantial amount) to DSP. If you used a "for-power-2-channel-stereo-beast", but let's say you hook up both A and B speakers and do a thorough EQ, you wouldn't be far of what your AVR gives you.

Of course, this is purely a subjective, personal experience coming from only a couple of specific situations when I was able to compare AVR's and amps and when an AVR did much the same thing if used like a 2ch amp.
 
In a very specific case, I might agree, but I don't see why would AVR's get blamed for such a specific case?

And it does look a little bit like that. Sure, you can put some effort into it and find a very difficult load in a form of some demanding speakers, but you can also not do that these days. Although, if you choose to do that, some of the AVR's out there are quite the monsters when it comes to power and more are coming up as time goes by.

I found myself in a situation where a person complained about an AVR, a 50wpch into 8 ohm Yamaha while saying a 60wpch into 8 ohms Technics is a beast that drives speakers like babies. Long story short, I did a "great reset" ( ;);) ) to the AVR, and the guy thought it was his "superior" Technics playing.

AVR's have a more difficult task of powering multiple speakers and they always lose some energy (a substantial amount) to DSP. If you used a "for-power-2-channel-stereo-beast", but let's say you hook up both A and B speakers and do a thorough EQ, you wouldn't be far of what your AVR gives you.

Of course, this is purely a subjective, personal experience coming from only a couple of specific situations when I was able to compare AVR's and amps and when an AVR did much the same thing if used like a 2ch amp.
Firstly i dont own or have owned for decades Comercial Brands,,, I was ti dissapointed from the hundreds of all kinds of amps i have slaughterd for parts...
I Make My Own Amps From RIIA To Power, in the other end of the chain...
And as a wise man once said nothing is better then the badest in that chain
( the last ones where onkyo & And The Biggest monoblocks from denon some 25 years ago ) and when i opend the monoblokc's from denon witch was supposed to be Denons FLAGSHIP Product / Amps @ the time..
And after extensive rebuild of their miserable and on top misvired power supply and even worse signal way trough the amps WORSE.!! even decades old OP-Amps Phfyyy.!!!!!!
That Was My Trigger, ((((( THAT AND MY ALLREADY THEN WAST KNOWLEDGE OF RF, QUANTUM PHYSICS, Fluid Physics.... :)
I could do Sooooo Much BetterMyself...

So i did and what a revelation that was even my first prototype Blew the ears of everybody who ever audienced my setup... So Unless they Use PWM Amps on all those extra channels beside the stereo ones, there is simply not enoughf cooling to suport the numbers stated
(( And Mark My Words I DON'T SAY EVERY BRAND BUT MOST OF THEM ))

mY tAKE FROM ALL THOSE YEARS IS """ WATER COOL'D CLASS-A IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO.....
And then there is the nasty Music Life Killing NEGATIVE FEEDBACK
witch is used to cover bad designs,
(( CaD Designs where the designer has no clue if a sensitive feedback wire is capacitively coupled to the HALF-WAVE HighPower Ripple from supply CAD has killed good Hi-Fi Amp Production,
And i dont talk about a little bit.!! But A whooping 75 Decibel feedback.???? what.???? yes.... of the a duzin or so AV Amps i have lying around in My Shelves here they are alll as crappy,,,
And Thats they are still in the shelfs because there owners came here to wheter i could do this and that and so on and after having visiting methey suddenly didnt give a crap about there amps they ask what it would cost themto get my Sound Quality witch i guess is some of the best mopney can buy...... And since i passed 5o Years Old in spring i have been thinking that i want be around forever as nobodywill and if there are some willing i would very much not let my knowledge base go to the grave with me..... :) Anyways be Happy Enjoy Life... :)
But there was one harman kardon where they at least had tryed, and used respectable capacitors Nichigon KG, But that is the closest i've seen..-.... NO & NO If One Realy Want High Fidelity Music one have to do it himself.... One of the most important thing for a natural and gooood sound is a distortion harmonic spectrum where one can take a ruler over the distortion spectrum and that the spectrum forms a straightline of 45 degrees falling at least tothe 5 harmonic overtone.... 50 decibel of feedback kills thatn opportunity......
 
And As has been written "" Current Driving Of Loud Speakers, From Esa Merilainen"" a lot of latley namley that to drive a speaker from a Audio modulated Current source Amplifyer, rather then a voltage source/Amp
is the more both Physically correct and much much less distortion less way to drive a speaker,, for once voice coil heating compression of the music is eliminated, so is in most instances of severel Ohms of losses and the following distortion in cables connectors, Xovers if any, hopefully not...

All Bes's Of Regards To ya All Music Loving People... :)
 
Given I don't have tools to measure further - you get what I have!

Most amps don't do well with very low impedances, how they react varies depending on design, typically they will either go into a low power protection mode (reducing power to less than 50% their rated) - or simply self protect in a shutdown....

If they aren't designed to 'do well with low impedences', sure.

Most AVRs are designed for usage with nominal ~6-8 ohms speakers. Which is most commonly what they encounter. My Denons have a 4ohm option too. I've never used it and probably won't.

The rest of your post was more sighted anecdotes that didn't really answer my question about current distinct from power, beyond re-asserting that amps won't be good at doing what they aren't designed to be good at.

To get back to what started this tack -- "No - that is the usual myth - the issue in most cases is CURRENT... and loudness desired is a lesser factor" -- you seem to be arguing from your own (sighted) experience that 'philes who add an outboard amp probably do need one (because more current). That's highly speculative absent knowledge of each 'phile's setup, even aside from the current divorced from power conundrum.
 
To the original poster,

I have not gone in that direction, but, I had a good experience with surround music modes in the late 90's.

It was a beastly $800 Yamaha receiver.
The surround modes sounded good to my ears but, I had the same big 3-ways with 15's front and back.

If you have smaller, different crossover, different brand rears, you are guaranteed for worse sound, just doesn't blend.

The system quickly evolved to the same big 3-ways as left center right.
Since then, I preach you need the exact same speaker across the front for the best blending or wall of sound.

After that I ran the some cheapie 8" 3-way for all 5 speakers for theater.
Worked very well for what it was.


In the end, I focused on 2 channel.
Went from monster active crossed 4-way to now great receiver and great 2 ways (big and small), happily listening to local radio for hours every day.
 
To the original poster,

I have not gone in that direction, but, I had a good experience with surround music modes in the late 90's.

It was a beastly $800 Yamaha receiver.
The surround modes sounded good to my ears but, I had the same big 3-ways with 15's front and back.

If you have smaller, different crossover, different brand rears, you are guaranteed for worse sound, just doesn't blend.

Maybe in the days before room/speaker correction DSP, but less 'guaranteed' today.
 
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.
I've done this in the past, but cross-feeding the rear speakers (L out to R rear, and vice versa). It worked very well, you could hear proper stereo anywhere in the room, though with L & R swapped in certain locations. Now I use a Yamaha 7.1 AVR with a sub, always set to 7 channel stereo. I too strongly dislike the gimmicky surround emulation stuff, it just always sounds *wrong*, though it's sort of fun to play with for an hour or two after first connecting everything, just to see what appeals to the Walmart crowd.
 
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 silly and outdated.

AVRs today (and for many years now) don't just 'pretend to emulate 'some venue'. That's tech from ages ago -- 'Jazz Hall', 'Stadium', etc. Which were/are basically just variations on 'echo'.

The thing you recommend -- '4 speakers from a stereo amp' -- is 'All Channel Stereo' mode, also primitive, and also still available.

DSP like Dolby PL/Surround and DTS Neo and Auro and Logic 7 aren't trying to emulate a venue and they aren't all channel stereo. They create dedicated content for channels beyond 2. A different animal completely.

And of course, starting around the year 2000 there are also actual surround music mixes for sale in digital formats, that require multichannel setups to hear correctly.

I've been listening in surround since about then, and wouldn't dream of going back to stereo.
 
Firstly i dont own or have owned for decades Comercial Brands,,, I was ti dissapointed from the hundreds of all kinds of amps i have slaughterd for parts...
I Make My Own Amps From RIIA To Power, in the other end of the chain...
And as a wise man once said nothing is better then the badest in that chain
( the last ones where onkyo & And The Biggest monoblocks from denon some 25 years ago ) and when i opend the monoblokc's from denon witch was supposed to be Denons FLAGSHIP Product / Amps @ the time..
And after extensive rebuild of their miserable and on top misvired power supply and even worse signal way trough the amps WORSE.!! even decades old OP-Amps Phfyyy.!!!!!!
That Was My Trigger, ((((( THAT AND MY ALLREADY THEN WAST KNOWLEDGE OF RF, QUANTUM PHYSICS, Fluid Physics.... :)
I could do Sooooo Much BetterMyself...

So i did and what a revelation that was even my first prototype Blew the ears of everybody who ever audienced my setup... So Unless they Use PWM Amps on all those extra channels beside the stereo ones, there is simply not enoughf cooling to suport the numbers stated
(( And Mark My Words I DON'T SAY EVERY BRAND BUT MOST OF THEM ))

mY tAKE FROM ALL THOSE YEARS IS """ WATER COOL'D CLASS-A IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO.....
And then there is the nasty Music Life Killing NEGATIVE FEEDBACK
witch is used to cover bad designs,
(( CaD Designs where the designer has no clue if a sensitive feedback wire is capacitively coupled to the HALF-WAVE HighPower Ripple from supply CAD has killed good Hi-Fi Amp Production,
And i dont talk about a little bit.!! But A whooping 75 Decibel feedback.???? what.???? yes.... of the a duzin or so AV Amps i have lying around in My Shelves here they are alll as crappy,,,
And Thats they are still in the shelfs because there owners came here to wheter i could do this and that and so on and after having visiting methey suddenly didnt give a crap about there amps they ask what it would cost themto get my Sound Quality witch i guess is some of the best mopney can buy...... And since i passed 5o Years Old in spring i have been thinking that i want be around forever as nobodywill and if there are some willing i would very much not let my knowledge base go to the grave with me..... :) Anyways be Happy Enjoy Life... :)
But there was one harman kardon where they at least had tryed, and used respectable capacitors Nichigon KG, But that is the closest i've seen..-.... NO & NO If One Realy Want High Fidelity Music one have to do it himself.... One of the most important thing for a natural and gooood sound is a distortion harmonic spectrum where one can take a ruler over the distortion spectrum and that the spectrum forms a straightline of 45 degrees falling at least tothe 5 harmonic overtone.... 50 decibel of feedback kills thatn opportunity......
Sorry. I must say nothing what you say makes much sense (other than that you made something you're pleased with). "Water cooled..." "Music Life Killing..."

It wasn't what I was talking about.

Also, there's no real reason why an amp should blow someone's ears.
 
There are some kind of customers, that believe that more expensive must be better. Probably easier to spot in stereo market than in AVR. This makes manufacturers to react appropriately.
An example, that always makes me laugh: Onkyo TX-NR686 multichannel vs TX-8270 stereo. I think prices were similar.
 

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In theory a 2 channel integrated makes sense if you aren’t using any of the features needed from an AVR. The money would go toward more power, lower noise, better build quality, etc. However, theory and reality are two very different things in this case with a few exceptions.
 
I'm using an AVR, in large part because I got one for $50 from a thrift store. Amazing how this sort of tech depreciates. In any case, the AVR is being used almost solely as a power amp with a line level subwoofer out. The volume adjustment comes from a Topping L30, the switching mostly comes from a Topping E30 (sometimes I play a DAP, that switching is on the AVR). Reality is that there's more than enough power and all the features I really need.
 
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