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Discussion Starter #1
As I understand the terms:

1) Separates refers to units that serve usually a single function in an HT or 2-channel setup, like pre-amp, power-amp, signal processor, tuner, EQ, and so on. Systems built of separate components are said to offer greater flexibility and expandability, but at a higher cost, and with a potentially large number of individual units required to build a complete system.

2) Integrated refers to units that have the pre-amp and power amplifier combined in one unit. They usually cost less than separates, and reduce the number of components and interconnects needed to set up a complete system. If they have pre-outs and main-ins, they may offer nearly as much flexibility and expandability as separates.

3) Receivers are integrated amps that include a radio tuner, FM, or AM and FM both. They can be as flexible as other integrated amps. Most provide pre-outs, but few have main-ins. If you need a tuner as part of your setup, you might as well go with a Receiver rather than an integrated amp.

Those are just my definitions based on my own research. If anyone can add to my descriptions or correct any mistakes I may have made, please do.

I'm in the market for a new HT system, but I do not want or need a receiver. That is, I don't want or need a radio AM/FM tuner in any amp I buy. I don't need XM or Sirius radio hookups, or LAN connections for internet radio or whatever. I just want a good quality integrated HT amp that has all the other typical receiver amp inputs and outputs and processing codecs and so forth.

So here is my question. Using my definitions up above, can anyone tell me if there are any manufacturers of integrated HT amps that have all the sound processing and connection goodies of the better quality receivers, but without all the radio bits and pieces?

five
 

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Your definitions are spot on. :T

So here is my question. Using my definitions up above, can anyone tell me if there are any manufacturers of integrated HT amps that have all the sound processing and connection goodies of the better quality receivers, but without all the radio bits and pieces?
Pretty hard to come by, at least with the popular (read Japanese) brands. Yamaha is the only one I know of that used to, but not for a few years now. It's not that big of a deal really, probably no more than a small board in the receiver, maybe even nothing more than an IC or two. You certainly don't have to use that input if you don't need it, just like you don't have to use the VCR input if you don't need it. You might be able to find one of the higher brands offering an HT integrated amp, but I'll probably cost more than a comparably equipped receiver. Doesn't seem worthwhile to pay more for less...

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Wayne. My thought was that leaving out the tuner and other parts and having a pure integrated amp would mean I could get more bang for the buck, reduce complexity, possible points of failure, and so on. But as I think about it, there is no doubt in my mind that you are right. The cost of adding a tuner into an A/V receiver that needs to have practically everything else in order for it to be useful and marketable is likely negligible.

Ok, now that I've settled this question, I won't let it concern me further. I'll just evaluate candidates based on the features that are important to me, and ignore the rest.
 

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I found this:
I suspect NAD, Rotel, Adcom, Yamaha, and some other Japanese manufactures build what your looking for. You may have to look at their upper line stuff but if you don't want a tuner, it may be worth the search. Let us know what you find if you would be so kind. I am sure others would like to know what is available to meet your needs.

Best of luck!

Greedy

Link pasted in next post as I was limited on the first 5:)
 

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Cost wise, a receiver still gives you the best bang for buck and buying an integrated or separet pre-pro will cost alot more due to volume of sales. Onkyo has by far the best bang for buck in there receivers particularly in the 70x series and up.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I went to a store today that had Denon, Yamaha, and Rotel. I was unable to listen to them with speakers as bad as mine :whew: but it was still a worthwhile comparison. Mainly it made me want to buy all new speakers. :gah:
 

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Great! That is EXACTLY what you should do! Auditioning with or without intent to buy is the best! Even better you think you may have found a speaker weakness. Keep in mind though, what it sounds like in a controlled environment, may differ greatly from your home application. Everyone's environment and speaker placement can make a good system sound great or the opposite. I any case, bravo for auditioning some gear. Half of the joy of the purchase is in the hunt in my opinion. What did you find that was impressive? What did you find that your glad you didn't own?

Greedy
 

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Hey Greedy, I'll tell you the most impressive thing first... but it wasn't an AVR and it wasn't what I went out to audition, but I still enjoyed it immensely. Oh, and it was so far out of my price range that it didn't even bother me. I knew it was unobtanium class gear. I listened to some Steely Dan and some really incredible Ella Fitzgerald vocals through a McIntosh system consisting of CD into a tube pre-amp to 500 watt solid-state monoblocs and out to B&W 803D's. There's nothing quite like Ella Fitzgerald coming through on a $30k system like that. Something to dream for, if I ever win the lottery.

But back down to earth, I checked out a Yamaha RX-V1900, a Denon 2308, and a Rotel 1555. I was mainly interested in auditioning the sound quality rather than the video capabilities. I have to say they were all quite good. I didn't spend as much time with the Rotel as I would have liked, but it sounded good. It's also over my budget, so I don't think I want to get to like it.

Of the other two AVRs, the fullness of the mid-range through the Denon impressed me more. It sounded warmer than the Yamaha, although both seemed equally precise. The Denon 2308 is a 7.1 channel AVR, but they had it set up as a 5.1 and used the other two channels to bi-amp the fronts, which were B&W 600 series bookshelf speakers. Even the bass sounded excellent, which was pretty surprising for bookshelf speakers. It would be great in a small room.

They didn't have the Denon 3310 in stock, but based on features and price, it is high up on my list to check out. I have to go to another store to hear it, but I expect the sound characteristics will be similar to the 2308. I really like the fact that you can bi-amp the Denon.

I really liked those B&W speakers. There's nothing in the 800 series that I can afford, but the 600 series speakers are a possibility. I also liked the B&W CM-C2 center speaker matched up with CM9 speakers.
 

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Very nice 5!

You got me with the "Dan" as they are a favorite from way back. The wife and I seen Fagen a couple years ago and just recently, Steely Dan at Motor City Casino. Great show.

The gear you mentioned must have been great to play around with. Ah yes, if I only had the money:)

Sounds like your list of equipment choices will be great. I sure cant imagine any one of your pics being a bad one.

I guess it is down to what you like best.

B&W speakers have always been a great value from what I have seen. I think they have been around since the mid 60's. Seems like the Rotel and the B&W would mate up well.

Be interesting to see how the Denon compares.

Greedy
 
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