Integrated amp or stereo receiver for PC 2.1?

Tyler-Durden

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Tax refund is on the way and I want to upgrade my PC audio to a really nice 2.1 set up. I've got the speakers (DefTech SM55) and sub (SVS PC12-NSD). Now, I'm deciding between an integrated amplifier or stereo receiver. I'll use it primarily for games and music. It has to have a powered sub port, so my integrated amp choices are somewhat limited. Budget is $500 max. Right now, I'm looking at a couple of Yamaha items: A-S500 integrated amp and R-S700 receiver. Anyone have experience with these or maybe some other recommendations?

Thanks!!
 

atarione

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Hi ... I have actually heard both the A-S500 and the R-S700 they are both pretty nice sounding i think I would personally probably take the A-S500 unless I really wanted the radio option under the one less thing to go wrong stand point

Onkyo has a few things you might want to look at

A-9050 (has a built in dac kinda kewl..if you pc has optical out maybe?)

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_580A9050/Onkyo-A-9050.html?tp=34948#customer-reviews-tab


and the NAD C-326BEE (over budget $50~ish)

http://www.audioadvisor.com/NAD-C-3...Amplifier/productinfo/NAC326BEE/#.Uvbvx4X6uwY

the yamaha's did sound quiet good in my opinion I didn't care for the fact they have plastic knobs however... I have heard the onkyo briefly it sound good to me and I have not listened to the NAD at all..but in general their stuff sound pretty good I think..
 

HammerSandwich

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Ah - a (powered sub) port, not a powered (sub port).

A quick look says that sub has an internal crossover which should work with a variety of equipment. Sorry, OP, but I'm too lazy to read the full manual...
 

Tyler-Durden

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@Atari: Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check'em out.

@Hammer: Yeah, I guess I could have been a bit less clumsy in my phrasing. A subwoofer out port is what I meant.
 

450

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I'd recommend getting a 5.1 or 7.1 receiver with HDMI in. Opens up many more options.
 

atarione

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if you did decide to go the av receiver route

I can say my Yamaha RX-V573 is actually rather good indeed with 2channel audio

i have a "few" vintage receivers / amps around here. ;) and the yammy actually sounds pretty decent compared to them (mine is a old model now) but it has been doing great for a bit over a year now.. nice feature set and good sound... mine was on sale for $300

here is sort of my audio pride and joy Vintage Onkyo M5030 (dual mono 100WPC) / P3030 / T4087 and a Sony C67ES changer the onkyo is hooked up to Klispch KG2.5's and Bang & Olufsen RL 60.2 speakers the yamaha is next to the onkyo stack with some JBL L1s and it sounds decent when i have a / b switched back and forth.


 
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Tyler-Durden

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That's some beautiful equipment, Atari! Always a pleasure to know someone who appreciates vintage audio. I've got an immaculate Marantz 4230 that I found at an estate sale for $40 a couple of years ago. I had it cleaned and a few lights replaced. The thing looks brand new, now. Someone offered $500 on the spot when he saw it waiting for me to pick up. I wish there were some way to connect my sub to it. I'd love to use it for my PC audio rig.
 

Snoflo

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Very nice equipment, Atari! OP, I use a Miniwatt N3 tube amp for $300 for the computer audio. No sub-out on that, though: I use speaker level inputs on the sub.
 

John721

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I'd recommend a 5.1/7.1 receiver from Denon or Onkyo with Audyssey MultEQ (or greater). Clearances of year old models are usually worth a look. I also like manufacturer direct refurbs.
 
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Tyler-Durden

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I'd recommend getting a 5.1 or 7.1 receiver with HDMI in. Opens up many more options.

I'd recommend a 5.1/7.1 receiver from Denon or Onkyo with Audyssey MultiEQ (or greater). Clearances of year old models are usually worth a look. I also like manufacturer direct refurbs.
I've got a Pioneer SC-55 driving my 7.1 home theater. I just figured a 7.1/5.1 receiver with features I'd never use would be overkill for 2.1.
 

John721

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Read up on MultEQ a bit and see if it strikes your fancy. I like what it does for even my nearfield PC setup.
 

crispy79

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I would certainly take a quality integrated over an AVR for this application.
 

crispy79

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Audessy and so-called room correction is a bit of a crap shoot. The results are not repeatable enough.

Good placement and a mini dsp is the way I've ended up.
 

tordogs

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I have the previous version of the R-S700, the RX 797. It is an excellent workhorse with plenty of power and clean sound. Not a lot of bells and whistles which is what I was looking for. Gotta have the analog knobs for settings! The specs are pretty much the same for both units; S/N ratio was a bit better on the older model and it had a couple of 110V accessory outlets which the newer one does not. Preferred the round knobs on the 797 to the oblong ones on the S700.

As others noted, pretty much up to you if you need a radio tuner or not. The Onkyo model mentioned above (A-9050) also looks good. Before the RX, I had a 100W/channel Onkyo receiver which was also a nice unit--it too had the analog knobs. Don't use much of my A/V stuff anymore but it was nice to have when I needed it.
 

Snoflo

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You need tooobes, man: your ears will thank you. Here ya go (all 3 watts of it):

 
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I've got a Pioneer SC-55 driving my 7.1 home theater. I just figured a 7.1/5.1 receiver with features I'd never use would be overkill for 2.1.

Well with a receiver you get room correction, especially if you have a pair of monitors shoved up against a wall, running something like Audessy/YPAO can improve any bass nulls/peaks and FR irregularities.

I have a nearfield setup with a pair of Dynaudio C1 IIs but I use my Yamaha RX-A3000's YPAO and smooth's out the response at the listening location quite a bit, and has helped out with a bass peak at my location as well.
 

Tyler-Durden

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I spent a lot of time researching these things over the weekend. Looks like my best integrated amp option is that Onkyo A-9050 since it's the only one I've found with a digital port to connect it my PC (HT Omega Striker sound card). Otherwise, it'll have to be a receiver.
 

crispy79

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I would use a toslink (optical) digital input decide your amplifier choice for you. It really doesn't matter if you come out analog either, since you have a nice soundcard.

That being said, the onkyo is actually a nice amp, from what I can tell. I haven't owned any of their amps, except for an M-504 back in college.
 

Snoflo

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Hi atari,

You can get one off eBay for $189 (Miniwatt N3). I use Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers with them.
 

Tyler-Durden

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Last night, I found an old Yamaha RX-V795 I stored away several years ago. I completely forgot I still had it. It doesn't have digital connections, but I'll give it a try as my PC audio source before buying anything.
 

NamesLucky

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Svs, awesome sub choice. The sub, if anything like my svs, should have alot of control over crossover/manual room correction, eliminating need for sub preout. For 500 dollars, and only 2.1 you could likely get a decent 2x300 amp and dac, since an amp cant convert your digital stuff, a good dac would be needed. , unless this is what is meant by integrated amp. The usb powered dragonfly dac is pretty good.
 

Tyler-Durden

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Svs, awesome sub choice. The sub, if anything like my svs, should have alot of control over crossover/manual room correction, eliminating need for sub preout. For 500 dollars, and only 2.1 you could likely get a decent 2x300 amp and dac, since an amp cant convert your digital stuff, a good dac would be needed. , unless this is what is meant by integrated amp. The usb powered dragonfly dac is pretty good.
Interesting idea. What amp would you recommend?
 

Tyler-Durden

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I think I'm sold on Hammer's idea of Emotiva components. Only question left is speaker/sub connections. My best guess is to connect my main speakers to the amplifier and wire the L/R out from the DAC to the L/R in of my subwoofer. Does that make sense?





 

atarione

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I think I'm sold on Hammer's idea of Emotiva components. Only question left is speaker/sub connections. My best guess is to connect my main speakers to the amplifier and wire the L/R out from the DAC to the L/R in of my subwoofer. Does that make sense?


so it looks like to me if get that gear there is a few options:
RCA cables like so
1. dac > sub (line in) /sub (high pass out) > Amp (adjusting the sub's cross over as desired)


2. dac > sub (line in) / sub (line out) > amp (this however would mean you bookshelf speakers would be trying to go full range as you would be bypassing the subs crossover).

3. rca splitter then rca cables to amp and to sub (more or less the same as option two... books shelf speakers would also be trying to go full range in this scenario.)
 

Tyler-Durden

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so it looks like to me if get that gear there is a few options:
RCA cables like so
1. dac > sub (line in) /sub (high pass out) > Amp (adjusting the sub's cross over as desired)


2. dac > sub (line in) / sub (line out) > amp (this however would mean you bookshelf speakers would be trying to go full range as you would be bypassing the subs crossover).

3. rca splitter then rca cables to amp and to sub (more or less the same as option two... books shelf speakers would also be trying to go full range in this scenario.)
Here's the response I got from SVS:

"You will want to run from the DAC's L/R pre-outs to the L/R inputs on the sub. Then, run from the L/R line outputs on the sub (not the high pass outs) into your L/R inputs on the amp. Of course your speakers will then be run from your speaker outs on the amp. Set the low pass filter on your sub to about 50Hz, adjust volume on the sub and amp for best blend, and let 'er rip!"

EDIT: Emotiva components ordered. I'm psyched! :D
 
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Matthew Kane

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The Miniwatt N3 won't even be able to drive OP's speakers properly. And not exactly the most efficient or sensitive speakers.

A quick search on stereophile for specs:

Nominal impedance: 8 ohms. Sensitivity: 90dB/w/m. Recommended amplification: 20–225W.

I'd second the Emotiva.

You can use line out from the amp to feed the signal from source to the subwoofer but you would need to run the speakers off the subwoofer that way. Otherwise you need a dedicated sub-out from the amp itself.
 

Snoflo

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The Miniwatt N3 won't even be able to drive OP's speakers properly. And not exactly the most efficient or sensitive speakers.

A quick search on stereophile for specs:

Nominal impedance: 8 ohms. Sensitivity: 90dB/w/m. Recommended amplification: 20–225W.

I'd second the Emotiva.

Well, considering that I run 90dB/W/m speakers off of the Miniwatt, I beg to differ. I'll also add that I've run my Revel F52s off of the Miniwatt at 86dB/W/m as well. Tube watts can sound subjectively more powerful than solid-state (SS) watts imo.

I too agree about SS for the OP: tubes are fiddly and an acquired taste. Just bear in mind that Emotivas are voiced to sound 'bright' in the treble region, which some people do not like (like me).
 

Matthew Kane

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Well, considering that I run 90dB/W/m speakers off of the Miniwatt, I beg to differ. I'll also add that I've run my Revel F52s off of the Miniwatt at 86dB/W/m as well. Tube watts can sound subjectively more powerful than solid-state (SS) watts imo.

I too agree about SS for the OP: tubes are fiddly and an acquired taste. Just bear in mind that Emotivas are voiced to sound 'bright' in the treble region, which some people do not like (like me).

There's a big difference between powering speakers efficiently to it's max potential to just powering it so they can produce sound. I've played with the original Miniwatt S1 (which the APPJ and N3 are based off) and it was just ok driving some B&W bookshelfs at around 92db/w/m with a recommended amplification range between 40-100watts, sure as shit the sound dramatically changed on a push pull quad el84/6bq5 giving a nice 24wpc of harmonic distortion pushing at about 300v b+ voltage amp that I built in accordance to a schematic a friend of mine designed.

I wouldn't exactly say tubes are fiddly, with the right tube or tube rolling you can roll tubes in the amp for you to tailor the sound signature to exactly how you want it, it's just more investment in $$$ and another thing is tubes can run faulty (shorted, measure weak, arc on startup or incorrect drop in replacements), they don't last forever.

If you've read Nelson Pass' publications, it's the first watt that matters before a descend in non-linerality as the next watt is squeezed out to power transducers, the old saying that tube amp's sound more powerful watt for watt next to a solid state amp is pure non-sense, tubes distort more when pushed to the limits but don't dramatically break down semi-conductors and transistors do, it's all as you say subjective, so the listener perceives that they are getting more omphh out of the tube/valve amp when they are not.
 
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