Yamaha Aventage vs stereo amplifier sound quality

przemas

Novice Member
Hi All,

It's time to upgrade my Yamaha RX V1073. Originally I thought about getting RX A1070 but then I was wondering whether it would be worth going to stereo for a half of this price and getting for example Yamaha AS501 amplifier plus Yamaha NS-P303 Network Music Streamer.

My question is whether sound quality would be much better as amplifiers provide better stereo performance than receivers? In other hand Aventage receivers are from top range so might be similar in sound quality?

I have Roth Oli 40 speakers which I plan in a future to upgrade.

Any thoughts?
 

Khazul

Well-known Member
Hmm - that would be an interesting comparison. The amp + streamer may still win for stereo

I guess the question is how much you use AVR features? Surround speakers (I assuming not as you don't mention them)? Use it for your TV and for input selections etc?

If you really don't use the AV features of you AVR beyond as a stereo amp for your TV and don't care for that functionality, then sure - go for stereo amp + streamer or receiver.

Another option is keep using the AVR for AV use and as a music source (for now) and get an HT bypass capable integrated stereo amp. HT bypass is a fixed gain mode intended for use with the front pre-outs of an AVR, for the new amp takes over the front speaker from the AVR.

For none AVR use, you plug your other music sources directly in the integrated amp, but if you want you can keep using the AVR as a streaming source (but that would also still be using the AVRs pre-amp as well).
 

przemas

Novice Member
Hmm - that would be an interesting comparison. The amp + streamer may still win for stereo

I guess the question is how much you use AVR features? Surround speakers (I assuming not as you don't mention them)? Use it for your TV and for input selections etc?

If you really don't use the AV features of you AVR beyond as a stereo amp for your TV and don't care for that functionality, then sure - go for stereo amp + streamer or receiver.

Another option is keep using the AVR for AV use and as a music source (for now) and get an HT bypass capable integrated stereo amp. HT bypass is a fixed gain mode intended for use with the front pre-outs of an AVR, for the new amp takes over the front speaker from the AVR.

For none AVR use, you plug your other music sources directly in the integrated amp, but if you want you can keep using the AVR as a streaming source (but that would also still be using the AVRs pre-amp as well).


Thanks for reply. I should have mentioned that I have 5 speakers set up (all Roth Oli range) and use it equally for music (flac, internet radio) and movies (blu ray including 4k). For daily tv watching I only use my TV speakers (LG Oled 55E6V) which are quite good. The whole system I'd like to keep as simple as possible as my wife also uses and she often moans that it's too complicated...
 

Khazul

Well-known Member
I use a Logitech harmony hub companion remote to solve the wife friendly complexity problem.

Also some integrated amps can make use of the trigger output from an avr to switch on and select the correct input effectively making them invisible. However such amps tend to be expensive as the feature seems only to be present on some high end models - a-s1100 and 2100 for eg.
 

HeadBanger

Well-known Member
+1 for the Harmony remote and hub. Happy wife and kids!

One advantage often overlooked by 2 channel purists is the room correction (PEQ, phase etc.) that AVRs bring to the party. Unless your room is acoustically very good then IMO this will allow you system to sound much more cohesive and accurate. They also give the option of adding a subwoofer. A decent sub brings an extra octave of bass plus a good dollop of extra headroom.

HB
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
That's true. If you use the AVR for music it does bring a lot of practical benefits, in terms of being able to use all of the features that the AVR incorporates on board. It all depends on how much the 'noisy' pre amp section compromises the sound quality.

I guess this is subjective and is about the listener making a choice about how far they want to go chasing 2 channel 'nirvana'. In my experience a separate system does sound better enough that I look forward to finding time to sit and listen to music. When I didn't have a separate system my AVR sounded pretty good, but I just found that I wasn't really using it for music as the experience was not 'exciting' enough.

There are things that can be done to add a subwoofer and room correction to 2 channel systems, but obviously there is cost involved and more devices to fit into the rack. I got bigger speakers so I can run them full range, a power amp for plenty of headroom, and a graphic equaliser.

Edit: to the OP, you can have both an AVR for movies and a stereo amp for music in the same system. You don't have to choose, have both!
 

xmb

Well-known Member
As you already have a surround speaker setup and have said you use your system for watching films it would be sensible to retain your ability to have surround sound. Given the ease of use when the TV supports ARC and CEC control I am surprised you use the internal speakers for TV sound. My wife also hates complication but as when you turn the TV on the receiver turns on and the TV sound is now playing from all the speakers it is completely transparent in operation. Then you benefit from the surround sound that is in almost all TV content these days.

This increased use with the TV makes the case for retaining a surround system over a pure stereo one. In fact if you are thinking of upgrading your speakers then why not look at a package such as the RX-A1070 with Monitor Audio Bronze (front floor standers) 5.1 package as this can be found for under £2000.
 

degsy

Active Member
From a "musicality" perspective I am not sure that the RX - A1070 will be much of a step up (if at all) over the RX-V1073 - which was to all intents and purposes the fore runner of the Avantage range. Based on my own experience, a decent stereo integrated amp with HT bypass, coupled with an appropriate remote, would give the best music uplift for your stereo sources.... and wife friendly operation ;).

YMMV, so try and do some listening with your ears.
 

przemas

Novice Member
Thank you all for opinions. I've ordered AS501 from Amazon and will compare sound quality. Then will decide whether to go in to stereo or not.
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
Thank you all for opinions. I've ordered AS501 from Amazon and will compare sound quality. Then will decide whether to go in to stereo or not.
I hate to say that out of all of the integrated amps that I auditioned that was the worse! But, that may have just been my room / speakers / ears. The Marantz PM8005 was pretty good, as was the Musical Fidelity M3i, which is the one I bought. Anyway, good luck!
 

HeadBanger

Well-known Member
A good amp shouldn’t really have a ‘sound’ it should amplify the given signal cleanly to a desired level.

Of course there are requirements to achieve this such as good power supply, current delivery and low distortion and your chosen AS501 amp looks to tick these boxes. Enjoy!

HB
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
My experience of the AS-501 was very poor (no) instrument separation. All of the sounds clashed together to make one big horrible wall of noise. I didn't run it in though, as it was so awful I couldn't be in the same room as it when it was switched on! Plus, no HT bypass option, so I gave it up as a bad punt and moved on to the next one.
 

przemas

Novice Member
Ok, so I've just tested AS501. It does sound better, but I'd say slightly better. There is more dynamic (sorry for poor language but English isn't my native language) but I'm sure if I spent more time tweaking my current front speakers settings in a receiver, the sound would be very close or identical at least in my current listening environment and speakers. Definitely there is no huge difference in favour of the amplifier as I thought after reading many posts amplifier vs av receiver. My source was an old Technics CD player. This player played the same as Yamaha CD S300 when connected to my receiver and tested couple years ago, so still plays well.

Probably if I didn't have my current set up of 5 speakers and was building the system from scratch I'd have gone for stereo due to smaller cost, but now I've decided to keep home cinema set up and will upgrade the receiver as my current doesn't pass full 4k and blu ray is connected directly tv so I miss Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD.
 
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Khazul

Well-known Member
If they are the speakers I'm am thinking of, then you will probably struggle to hear a difference for music anyway.
 

High Fidelity

Active Member
That's true. If you use the AVR for music it does bring a lot of practical benefits, in terms of being able to use all of the features that the AVR incorporates on board. It all depends on how much the 'noisy' pre amp section compromises the sound quality.

I guess this is subjective and is about the listener making a choice about how far they want to go chasing 2 channel 'nirvana'. In my experience a separate system does sound better enough that I look forward to finding time to sit and listen to music. When I didn't have a separate system my AVR sounded pretty good, but I just found that I wasn't really using it for music as the experience was not 'exciting' enough.

There are things that can be done to add a subwoofer and room correction to 2 channel systems, but obviously there is cost involved and more devices to fit into the rack. I got bigger speakers so I can run them full range, a power amp for plenty of headroom, and a graphic equaliser.

Edit: to the OP, you can have both an AVR for movies and a stereo amp for music in the same system. You don't have to choose, have both!
Pre-amp section on 1070 is not noisy and sounds excellent
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
Pre-amp section on 1070 is not noisy and sounds excellent
This is an old thread that you have dug up!

I am glad that you are happy with how your 1070 sounds for music, long may you enjoy it :)

Out of interest, what have you compared it to, in your room? If nothing, then probably best you keep it that way, as if you start comparing it to other more 'music oriented' amplifiers or pre-amps, you may find your wallet getting lighter ;)
 
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Khazul

Well-known Member
Out of interest, what have you compared it to, in your room? If nothing, than probably best you keep it that way, as if you start comparing it to other more 'music oriented' amplifiers or pre-amps, you may find your wallet getting lighter ;)
Yes - I'm sure an A-S1100 would pair nicely with that AVR ;)
 

titanax

Standard Member
I see OP beat me by 3 years...I’m in the same boat. I got an Aventage RX-1060 with Monitor Audio Silver 200 AV12. I use ARC for NETFLIX & AMAZON Prime. Grand Tour really roars off my 5.1 & Top Gun still sounds a good as it used to when I was a kid watching it off my dad’s Laser Disc. I used MusicCast to play the AVR’s Spotify..honestly it sucks.

Couple of months ago I bought a network streamer a Cambridge Audio CXN v2, canceled my Spotify subscription & signed up TIDAL HIFI. I connected it to my AVR via analog RCA, & I left my AVR in STRAIGHT mode (as I don’t want it use the AVR ESS DAC...as I said before it really sucks for music) & the results are phenomenal!

But now after 2 months, I find myself asking should I invest in a 2 ch stereo amp & use it as a pre-out with the AVR. But will taking this route make me lose whatever AVENTAGE already offers me now?
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
But will taking this route make me lose whatever AVENTAGE already offers me now?
No, I don't think so, I'm not sure what you mean by that actually!

You have three options.

1. A stereo integrated amp with HT bypass connected to the front left and right pre-outs of the AVR. It works as a power amp for the front speakers when using the AVR, and as a stand alone stereo integrated amp for music, where the AVR will be switched off. You would connect your streamer to the new stereo amp. For movies, things will be exactly the same with the AVR, except you will have additional power for the front main speakers via the new stereo amp.

2. Use a stereo amp without HT bypass and either manually adjust the volume each time you switch between using the stereo amp for music, or the AVR for films. Or use a speaker / amp switch to share the front main speakers between the AVR and the stereo amp.

3. Buy an Arcam AVR550 for £1500, whilst you can and before they all sell out. Sounds great for films and music, you can still use your streamer with it, and re-purpose or sell your Yamaha AVR.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I see OP beat me by 3 years...I’m in the same boat. I got an Aventage RX-1060 with Monitor Audio Silver 200 AV12. I use ARC for NETFLIX & AMAZON Prime. Grand Tour really roars off my 5.1 & Top Gun still sounds a good as it used to when I was a kid watching it off my dad’s Laser Disc. I used MusicCast to play the AVR’s Spotify..honestly it sucks.

Couple of months ago I bought a network streamer a Cambridge Audio CXN v2, canceled my Spotify subscription & signed up TIDAL HIFI. I connected it to my AVR via analog RCA, & I left my AVR in STRAIGHT mode (as I don’t want it use the AVR ESS DAC...as I said before it really sucks for music) & the results are phenomenal!

But now after 2 months, I find myself asking should I invest in a 2 ch stereo amp & use it as a pre-out with the AVR. But will taking this route make me lose whatever AVENTAGE already offers me now?
Most if not all AV receivers force you to utilse their DACs even if the source is analogue. They basically digitise analogue inputs using their ADC.

It is yet another reason why you'd not really want to use an AV receiver if serious about stereo performance.

The best option would be to use a stereo integrated amp that inclutes an HT bypass function. You can then leave your dedicated stereo sources connected directly to the AV receiver and you'd not need to use the AV receiver as a pre amp while listening to those sources. You'd then simply engage the HT Bypass omboard the integrated amp when wishing to use it as a powr amp and when wanting to use the stereo speakers connected to it as part of your surround setup.
 

titanax

Standard Member
No, I don't think so, I'm not sure what you mean by that actually!

You have three options.

1. A stereo integrated amp with HT bypass connected to the front left and right pre-outs of the AVR. It works as a power amp for the front speakers when using the AVR, and as a stand alone stereo integrated amp for music, where the AVR will be switched off. You would connect your streamer to the new stereo amp. For movies, things will be exactly the same with the AVR, except you will have additional power for the front main speakers via the new stereo amp.

2. Use a stereo amp without HT bypass and either manually adjust the volume each time you switch between using the stereo amp for music, or the AVR for films. Or use a speaker / amp switch to share the front main speakers between the AVR and the stereo amp.

3. Buy an Arcam AVR550 for £1500, whilst you can and before they all sell out. Sounds great for films and music, you can still use your streamer with it, and re-purpose or sell your Yamaha AVR.
Thanks for this. I'm based in Singapore & Option 3 is out..these are really hard to comeby now..its like finding a diamond in the dirt.

I'll give Option 2 a miss...as HT bypass makes more sense.

Regarding Option1, I am looking at the ARCAM SA20 actually. After I do the HT bypass connected to the front left and right pre-outs of my AVENTAGE, can I still do a bi-amp on the SA20? HF on the stereo amp & LF on the AVR?
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
Thanks for this. I'm based in Singapore & Option 3 is out..these are really hard to comeby now..its like finding a diamond in the dirt.

I'll give Option 2 a miss...as HT bypass makes more sense.

Regarding Option1, I am looking at the ARCAM SA20 actually. After I do the HT bypass connected to the front left and right pre-outs of my AVENTAGE, can I still do a bi-amp on the SA20? HF on the stereo amp & LF on the AVR?
Ah, okay, I didn't look at your location, that's a shame but fair enough.

Bi-amping using the stereo amp and the AVR - no. It would screw everything up and likely sound awful.

The Arcam SA20 should be great on it's own, 90 watts per channel of Class G amplification. Have you got very low sensitivity speakers, or a very big room? If so, it does have pre-outs so you could add a power amp to it if need be.
 

titanax

Standard Member
Ah, okay, I didn't look at your location, that's a shame but fair enough.

Bi-amping using the stereo amp and the AVR - no. It would screw everything up and likely sound awful.

The Arcam SA20 should be great on it's own, 90 watts per channel of Class G amplification. Have you got very low sensitivity speakers, or a very big room? If so, it does have pre-outs so you could add a power amp to it if need be.
I realised my sig was not updated. Please take a look
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
I realised my sig was not updated. Please take a look
Got it. Can you hear any difference now between bi amped and non bi amped speakers?

I am fairly confident that the Arcam SA20 will provide plenty of power for your mains speakers, and release a bit of headroom on the AVR to power the remaining ones.
 

RayP

Well-known Member
@titanax , I’m currently evaluating a stereo amp with HT bypass for stereo music. The difference in sound quality compared to my Yamaha RX-A3010 in Pure Direct mode is enormous. I couldn’t be happier.

The amp is a Naim Supernait 3. :thumbsup: But you shouldn’t need to spend that sort of money to hear a significant improvement. A decent amp costing 800 GBP + should do just fine. It needs HT bypass of course. Your Aventage will have the required pre-outs.
 

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