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DACs in AVRs?

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  • DACs in AVRs?

    I am thinking of going back to an AVR and am looking for opinions on which one. I will be using separates for the front and am not too worried about the internal amp channels in the AVR. What I am worried about is the DAC/preamp section. Are there any sites that test this?
    Other than that I don't care about ATMOS or more than 5 channels. What I do want is 2 HDMI outputs with latest 4k capabilities, a decent 12/24db crossover, and a component video upscaler.

    I was looking at the marantz NR1609 and wonder how the preamp section stacks up to their SR series? I also wonder how well cheaper AVRs would do sound quality wise when using separate amps?

    Edit: Thought the marantz nr1609 had 2 HDMI out but it doesn't

  • #2
    Took a quick look at the manual and it doesn't have pre-outs for primary zone, only for zone 2. What crossover are you looking for? From the mains to the LFE channel or for active bi-amp of your front channel speakers?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by devnull View Post
      Took a quick look at the manual and it doesn't have pre-outs for primary zone, only for zone 2. What crossover are you looking for? From the mains to the LFE channel or for active bi-amp of your front channel speakers?
      I'll have to watch out for the preamp zone issue you pointed out (glad you did). The crossover is for lfe/mains.
      This one looks promising so far. https://www.parts-express.com/yamaha...-chan--312-547
      It also looks like that is the price range required to get two HDMI outputs.

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      • #4
        Killa,

        check out the outlaw audio 976 7.2

        i was looking at this b4 I bought my parasound

        I think they make an integrated also if you need the amp section.

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        • #5
          The Marantz SR-7012 is on clearance for $1000 or so by a number of on-line retailers. It sounds about as good as AVRs get, doesn't run too hot and is fairly well made. The NR series are also good, but offer less power and flexibility. Either is better than any of the lower cost units that I have heard from Onkyo, Yamaha or Pioneer.

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          • #6
            Going to try a Denon AVRX3400H. It seems they are being discontinued and it has all the ins and outs I need. Hopefully the amp section is good. If not I have a few external amps to try.

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            • #7
              Here are some measurements of the DAC of a new, higher end Marantz AVR:
              https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...rocessor.6926/

              On this page you can see a long list of DAC measurements, including the aforementioned Marantz and at least one other AVR.

              https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...for-dacs.4814/

              "From subjective point of view, if you wrestle enough with Audyssey Room EQ, you should be able to get better in-room performance than any non-EQ DAC in a real room. Then again, you can get the same in much cheaper AVRs and processors."

              Unfortunately with most AVRs I'm not sure you can bypass their DAC for the pre outs.

              ASR reviews a lot of DACs, but I would argue high end DACs are less important for speakers, since you are listening to them with 40db of room noise and all the temporal distortion and tonal mallarky that rooms contribute. With headphones you may be able to tell a difference. Still, it is sad that most 'high end' dacs and amps can't even render CD quality audio (96db dynamic range).

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              • #8
                I listen to music on my pc. With that being said. I have a Yamaha RX-V381 AVR paired with AIYIMA DAC-A5 and I couldn't be happier. The DAC is my sound card connected via USB and then my AVR is connected to it.
                Break in period = The time it takes for the new speakers to break in. And the time it takes for you ears to get adjusted to the new speakers.

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                • #9
                  I have a low end Yamaha receiver (in addition to other stuff) and honestly Nothing about it sound wise, has bothered me.
                  Have not done any direct comparisons with higher end stuff though, but just the receiver alone sounds fairly decent.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kevintomb View Post
                    I have a low end Yamaha receiver (in addition to other stuff) and honestly Nothing about it sound wise, has bothered me.
                    Have not done any direct comparisons with higher end stuff though, but just the receiver alone sounds fairly decent.
                    While I have heard differences in DACs and amplifiers I don't think it has to do with distortion. I would say it is minor differences in frequency response. No proof to back that up but that is my opinion.
                    The only DACs I have heard that were actually bad sounding were in TVs.

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                    • #11
                      I recently swapped out my low end Yamaha AVR in my living room to one of the closeout Franklin Audio APA 150's. It's like I have never heard music thought my Classix II's. This is just hooked up to the analog tv outs. I have a cheap fiio dac, but I cannot tell any difference. Is the APA150 that good or is the Yamaha just that bad?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kered View Post
                        I recently swapped out my low end Yamaha AVR in my living room to one of the closeout Franklin Audio APA 150's. It's like I have never heard music thought my Classix II's. This is just hooked up to the analog tv outs. I have a cheap fiio dac, but I cannot tell any difference. Is the APA150 that good or is the Yamaha just that bad?
                        Hmm interesting.
                        I have the lowest end Yamaha and mine sounds for all intents Fairly good.

                        If anything I have found Receivers sound and DAC's to be very neutral and and uncolored sounding overall.

                        If you are hearing that huge a change, not sure what would be wrong or different.

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                        • #13
                          I'm currently using a Marantz SR5008 as a preamp and Spotify definitely sounds better streaming from it than it does through my Xmos DAC on the computer.
                          I picked up the Marantz on Ebay a year ago and love it. Check out Accessories4Less. I've bought many factory refurbs over the years and never had any regrets (I'm looking at this on a refurb LG monitor that I bought 10 years ago). You can get a seriously good deal on some high end stuff. As far as I'm concerned refurb just means the engineers looked at it twice and fixed a failure point.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kevintomb View Post

                            Hmm interesting.
                            I have the lowest end Yamaha and mine sounds for all intents Fairly good.

                            If anything I have found Receivers sound and DAC's to be very neutral and and uncolored sounding overall.

                            If you are hearing that huge a change, not sure what would be wrong or different.

                            Yeah, I wouldn't throw the avr out just yet. There could be a lot of variables at play with my setup. My classix II's may just like more power, plus I believe the avr limits all of the speakers to 40 Hz. The dayton may just be a better amp or at least add favorable coloration to the sound for me.

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                            • #15
                              I own a Yamaha receiver as well and it sounds fairly good. Yamahas have that neutral uncolored type of sound signature....My HK receiver sounds a little brighter/colored but it does sound good.

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