I recently bought Klipsch Cornwall IV speakers and am looking to buy a receiver/amplifier to pair these with. I intend to keep a stereo setup for now but want to have the option of home theater for later. I looked at amplifiers and noticed that they do not have HDMI connections. Will that be an issue to connect with other digital devices? Also, receivers may be better for streaming services, etc. I need advice for buying the right amplifier or receiver for these speakers. Budget within $1500-4000.
What will be best depends almost entirely on what are your priorities. If you are a sound quality buyer then your best option is a good stereo integrated amp. Receivers try and cram too many circuits into too small a space for far too little money. Receivers maximize quantity at the expense of quality. If you want to stream and connect the most stuff with the least fuss then nothing beats AVR. If you want sound quality however everything beats AVR. So know thyself. Including your susceptibility to narrative and ability to believe in the free lunch.
Which, in case you were wondering, there isn't one. You can have lots of stuff. Or you can have good stuff. No free lunch.
The Klipsch Cornwall IV is a well regarding speaker is is capable of fantastic music sound quality. You are going to severely limit the potential for great music sound quality by using any HT receiver.
If you are going to do 2-channel audio for now, but want to potentially add multi-channel HT in the future, look into a quality integrated amp that has an HT bypass / processor loop. That will allow you to use the integrated amp and Cornwalls as the front L&R amplification/speakers in a multi-channel combo 2-channel/HT System in the future. You would just add an HT receiver (that has pre-outs) to facilitate HT sources, perform HT processing and power the center channel and rear surrounds.
I've done the combo system several different times in the past and it works well. The HT functionality does not affect your 2-channel Sound Quality at all in this type of setup. Heck, the HT receiver doesn't even need to be turned on when you're listening to 2-channel music.
Good luck. Don't get in too much of a hurry and make an expensive mistake. Ask questions here before ultimately plunking down $1500 - $4000 for amplification that may not work well for your specific needs.
Thanks. I guess I should have added that the TV will be connected immediately and also a Sony box/dvd player. Both have hdmi connections only (perhaps an optical too). All amps that I checked did not have any hdmi connections. I looked at reviews of Arcam avr20 which say that its audio quality is very good...............
The Arcam has 16 channels of amplification, Dolby Atmos and a whole bunch of other stuff that you don't need unless you are setting up a serious, dedicated Home Theater room. I would not spend $4k on something that provides a bunch of features I'll never use. Also, suppose the HDMI board goes out. Guess what, you are without audio for as long as the unit is in the repair shop. No thanks....... Too many eggs in one basket.
If all of your digital source components have digital outs (coax or optical), you could get a DAC to use as the interface between your digital sources and an analog integrated amp. That would be my choice. And if you preferred, you could get an integrated amp that has a DAC built-in. Lots of them do now, however both of the ones I've owned with built-in DACs did not have as good of sound quality as a simple analog integrated amp and a separate external DAC.
If you actually NEED HDMI, the Lyngdorf TDAI2170 supports an optional add-on HDMI board. It also has digital inputs, so you could connect your digital sources directly to it (if they have digital outputs) Might be a good choice. It has been well reviewed and is highly regarded for it's 2-channel sound quality. That said, it's probably $4000 too, once you add the HDMI board.
Lots of choices, just depends on if you want a full HT receiver (expensive, wasted features and probably compromised sound quality), 2 separate boxes (analog integrated amp and a separate DAC), or a one box integrated amp that has a built-in DAC.
What’s your expected ratio of listening to 2 channel music versus watching TV/home theater (HT)?
Most folks on this site are predominantly music focused (that’s why the H/T section of forum is comparatively little utilized).
Are you open to more than one amplifier (one for music, one for HT)?
Are you ever planning to add more speakers for HT surround sound or the current state of art ATMOS?
If you are not open to more than one amplifier/processor, then just get an AVR, and realize that you are trading some 2ch music quality for convenience.
But if that’s the case, at your budget I’d go with an Anthem receiver. Otherwise if you just want something that’ll sound pretty good, can do all the home theater stuff and also stream 2ch music, get a marantz AVR around $1k and it’ll do a fine job to start. If you want better 2ch music quality, you can always add the integrated amp discussed below later.
If you are open to two boxes, then an integrated amplifier that will power your Cornwalls for music in the $2-3k range, and a HT processor or AVR in the $1k range might be a good solution. In this case, look for an integrated amp that has HT bypass (as was mentioned above).
Thanks all! I'm narrowing my choice to these integrated amps: 1. Anthem STR for about $ 3500 2. Yamaha A-S2100 for about $ 2300 3. Technics SU-G700 for about $ 2500 Nos. 2 & 3 don't have DACS. Will I be able to run my TV through these?
Thanks all! I finally decided and bought Yamaha A-S2100 integrated amplifier and Yamaha BD-A1060 Blu-ray disc player. It has a DAC as well as music streaming. Can't wait for everything to arrive and to hear them all finally. Thanks everyone for your help in making me reach a conclusion!
"I finally decided and bought Yamaha A-S2100 integrated amplifier and Yamaha BD-A1060 Blu-ray disc player. It has a DAC as well as music streaming."
Great choice on the amp. The BD-A1060 does have a DAC to convert it’s onboard digital signals to output analog but can’t be used as an outboard DAC for another sources’ digital signal(your TV). It will convert the digital signals from USB stick music files.
Please tell us how you like the Yamaha integrated amp when it arrives. I'm looking at the same one, myself. Prices on this model Yamaha are going down since they introduced the new a-s2200 and the differences seem minimal.
What's "reasonable" for a DAC these days? I've ordered the Topping D90 based on reviews / measurements. Should be here soon. Was also considering the Mytek Liberty and Chord Qutest baed on other glowing reviews.
Yeah I paid $2300 for the now discontinued A-S2100 and that's quite a price difference from the newer a-s2200. I'm waiting for my speakers to be delivered. Klipsch says 6-8 weeks for delivery but the dealer says they usually ship within a couple weeks. I'll let you know about the sound when they arrive.
I don't have any experience with DAC's and Ill look up the ones you mentioned. Please let me know about the performance of Topping. I read a good review of Schiit Modi3 which costs $100. I guess I'm still looking.
This will be my first external DAC in some time, so I don't have much for comparison. But I think DACs, unlike perhaps speakers which can be so subjective in terms of differences and personal presences, are good candidates for straight measurements.
What will you use the DAC for? I basically need to convert my TV digital signal to analog. I use Amazon fire stick (connected directly to the TV) for Spotify streaming and Youtube.
So, is it worthwhile to spend $700 on the Topping dac or should I go for Modi3 for $100 or even Cambridge Dacmagic for $200. Cambridge also sells CXN V2 Network Audio Streamer for $1100 (with good reviews) which includes dac.
I earlier got great advise from willand for choosing the Yamaha a-s2100 amp. but don't know anything about DACs.
My use case is a bit different - it's not home theater, but instead pure 2 channel stereo. I stream Qobuz from a Bluesound Node 2i. The Node has an internal DAC but I believe I'll do better with an external DAC. I may also bypass my CD player's DAC and run that through the Topping DAC, too.
I can't say whether the Topping will sound better for your purposes than the Schiit or Cambridge. But the measurements, if you put weight in those, are very strong on the Topping.
Id try the DAC in the Blu Ray player first to see if it suits your ears. A separate Dac should provide superior sound but I would assess your new system as it stands before throwing another item into the mix.
So, everything is in! My system now includes: 1. Klipsch Cornwall IV speakers 2. Yamaha AS-2100 amplifier 3. Yamaha BD-A1060 Bluray/CD player 4. RME AD2 DAC 5. TV (with Amazon Firestick) connected to the DAC.
I'm using Firestick to stream music from Spotify. The sound is great. Everything sounds better (fuller) with the DAC. Without it the sound was very clinical and all the musical details were not there.
The RME DAC has a loudness control feature for low volume just like the 1970's amplifiers did but I need to tweak it more to get it right.