Hmm, maybe that's why the 3 channel amp I had didn't cut it in my 2 channel system.
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Yes that may be true ,ultimately, but multis are still better across the board than the amps in a receiver!
If I needed vastly improved home theater, doing stereo music duties, on the lite, im very ok with uper end midfi 3/5/6/7 ch amp n bettter AV processor running everything!
If however higher end 2ch music as priority is the setup, then im going two channel amp, dedicated 2 ch preamp, and I loop an AV receiver or prepro into that system, plus a multi ch amp possibly for the surrounds. Simple.
This is all of course considering an all in one location double duty system, as opposed to two separate systems, obviously. Pretty much that's it, I think.
Yup, mono amp s best, then stereo, then multi. Done
As an instantiation of avgoround's suggestion, I use an analog Parasound JC 2 BP preamp with a pair of JC 1 mono blocks for stereo; for mch and HT I use a Bryston SP3 prepro, the front LR of which passes through the JC 2 BP to access the JC 1s while the SP3 goes directly to a third JC 1 for center channel and to a pair of A 23s for side and rear surrounds.
Dbphd's setup is really the only type of setup that makes sense if one's pursuit is to maintain the highest level of fidelity for 2 ch duties -across a wide range of 2 ch audiophile setup budgets - when doing a single location/all in one system, really. You still get the relative level of performance desired out of the multi/HT setup, while maintaining the hi-fidelity 2 ch system. Because even going for a relatively modest budget 2ch preamp, mated to quality sources w superb analog out capabilities for the 2 ch part, is almost always going to yield better sonics across the board than the same or even more money spent on a more expensive higher end AV prepro set up that's doing both the music and HT multi in one standalone AV unit! (Likely all connected up n processed in the digital domain internally, typically, which you really need for processing DD/DTS multi, IMO)
If someone has a better concept for getting better overall results with two ch as a priority, I'd like to hear about it..
Yes, Michael, it IS indeed a receiver. In this case, his best Sonics -by far- are to use the preout mains for left/right channel of the AVR600, looped into a better 2 ch music preamp and dedicated 2Ch amp setup for 2ch music. This is basically as I suggested.
You can forget all the massively OVER HYPED ballyhoo of reviewing gloss-overs that the hifi rags wrote on these otherwise very nice sounding AV receivers which Arcam rolled out over last decade n a half! They were simply better sounding AV gear than most Chinese made AVRs, and without Room Equalization!!
Better 2 ch can be easily had, even from passive pre/direct approach, imo.
This statement is BS on its face. It depends entirely on the amplifier design itself. Any two channels of my 5 channel BAT 6200 will run rings around nearly every stereo amplifier for sale today. How you ask ? Each channel has its own independent power supply. In that sense, it's essentially 5 monoblocks in one big case.
Multi-channel amps that share a single power supply are more suspect, but then so are stereo amplifiers that share the same power supply, of which most do.
I OWNED A DENON AVR-3808CI SINCE 2007 AND IT WAS SUPERIOR IN EVERY WAY. COUPLED WITH MY OPPO BLU-RAY PLAYER THE STEREO WAS AMAZING WITH GREAT CLARITY, SUPERB SOUND STAGING AND VERY FINE DETAIL TO THE POINT OF EVEN HEARING THE MUSICIANS FOOT TAP KEEPING HIS TEMPO.
JUST PURCHASED THE DENON AVR-X6200 AND IT IS EVEN BETTER THAN THE AVR-3808CI.
FANTASTIC OVER FUNCTIONALITY.
DON’T THINK I NEED A 2 CHANNEL AMP.
Home theatre and 2 channel doesn't work very often in the same box ie receiver or in the same room very often, too many compromises. Best way to do it two separate rooms two separate systems. I run an Anthem pre/pro with a five channel amp for theatre and a Krell setup for two channel. Works the best if you have the room. Just my two cents.
I live in small NYC apartment...the living room is used for BOTH my 2 channel audiophile system AND my movie theater as with ceiling-mounted projected projecting between my Platinum Audio Solo speakers onto the wall. I am thinking about the following - from the hi-rez analog outputs of an Oppo, feed the FL and FR into the analong inputs of my DACpreamp and the center analog into a long RCA connected to a single self-powered monitor speaker set up between the Solos.
Think that would work???
I find myself (possibly) looking for a good new (to me) multi-channel amp for my HT.
My Arcam P1000 lost the auto muting circuit so it's heading to the repair shop to get looked at. If the repair costs are substantial, I'll be in the market for a new 7-channel amp. Space and funding considerations make it difficult to run monoblocks (7-Thor Veritas would fit space-wise, but not budget-wise!) or multiple amps of any variety. The Arcam P1000 (135wpc) fit the bill nicely, though it did run out of air at higher volumes powering my ATC SCM 19's in a somewhat large room.
Maybe the McIntosh 8207 in the for sale section here may have to slide into the Arcam's old spot. However, it would be stretching my budget, so I'll be looking closely at the for sale section for a while.
In the meantime, I'll be experimenting with 2-channel HT by putting my old 1980's vintage SAE 50wpc amp back into service. Should be a fun experiment.
FWIW, HT processing is done by the Marantz 8801 that has served me well since I purchased it new shortly after it (and Kal's review) came out.
"I can not imagine multichannel separates being much better, as these had been extensively compared to the AVR600, with most indicating a close to on-par performance. "
Well, then 1) you need to expand your imagination, and 2) the AVR600 is quite good (when it isn't broken), for a one box solution, but compared to good AV separates - well, no.
I cuurently have a Marantz 8802a, along with a Theta Intrepid, and / or a Bryston 9BST, and a AVR600 couldn't touch this combo in any manner, shape or form, and, when playing in 2 channel (using Tansparent Super XLR's from the Oppo 105 to the Marantz (and, of course to amp), please tell me how bad it sounds.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Yes and no. I've owned a "dedicated stereo system" in many guises - stereo receivers, integrated amps, separates, and mono blocks. The keys to evaluating a multi-channel amplifier vs. a dedicated stereo one are multitude.
If you have a auditorium-sized listening space and/or if you listen at rock concert levels and/or if your speakers are low-impedance/difficult-to-drive, then one is unlikely to get equivalent stereo out of a multi-channel device of most varieties.
If, however, like me, you have a more modest room, listen at more modest levels, and have relatively sensitive and easy-to-drive speakers, then I would suspect that you can get very good audio from a well-made and good-sounding multi channel source. In fact, you could get so close that in one of those mythical double-blind tests, I'd suspect that you couldn't really tell a difference.
This is pure heresy to high-end audiophiles, I know. We're invested heavily in the idea that consumer-grade audio is somehow inferior and can never rise to the lofty accuracy of our carriage-trade gear.
But the world has changed, and many of us don't yet realize it. Even the most cost-driven AVRs on the market know that they have to compete in the sound quality arena, or they won't sell. And when a company the size of Yamaha or Denon gets a sound-quality hit in a major magazine review, it gets their attention.
No, your $399 entry-level AVR won't now (and never will) compete with your Mark Levinson or even your McIntosh, but the entry level sounds better now than they've ever sounded before. And the improvements don't stop at the entry level, either.
"Midrange" brands like Rotel, Arcam, Emotiva, and others now provide a greater percentage of "cost no object" sound than they ever have. And that sound quality improvement spills over into AV gear too.
So I'd contend that SOME multi-channel amps, used within their power envelopes, with appropriate speakers DO rival the mono block or stereo-only amp sounds. Of course, this is my opinion, and you're always welcome to disagree.
Cheers - Boomzilla (moniker NOT indicative of listening preference)