I think its important not to get carried away - to suggest average av will best proper stereo equipment is a false promise.
In the right environment the av equipment would pale in conparison but nearly all people dont have this so dont experience it
Typical AV will do good stereo - if setup right good enough for most people,
However those who know better this will not be enough.
Av has 1 advantage - ease of sub integration.
Getting good bass out of speakers is extremely difficult due to room constraints, subs are much easier if you know what your doing - as.dsp helps.
Av however is generally packed with components all giving off noise, max features minimum money.
Hi Fi is the opposite so will sound generally better.
Meridian 861 V4 LPSU, HD621, Bryston 9BSST - GIK Acoustics
Monitor Audio PL100, GXC 150, GXFX, SVS SB13 ULTRA
Custom Audio PC LPSU + Batts, JPLAY, JCAT and PPA Studio
Panny 65VT65, Marantz UD7007, Graham Slee Cables, Isotek, XLO
I would suggest investing in a good AV system first, with facility of pre-outs on the AV receiver. If you're not happy with stereo music, you can always add a stereo amplifier later when funds allow. Personally, I'm very happy with music out of my AV system and don't feel the need to add a stereo amplifier.
bigboss wrote:I would suggest investing in a good AV system first, with facility of pre-outs on the AV receiver. If you're not happy with stereo music, you can always add a stereo amplifier later when funds allow. Personally, I'm very happy with music out of my AV system and don't feel the need to add a stereo amplifier.
I would second this. I went this route (and have added a stereo amp - although not necessary - only if you want). Gives the best of both worlds and allows you to add onto the AV amp if (and only if) you personally feel the need.
There are a number of very good AV amps out there and I imagine you'll love the sound from any of them.
Just to add; the reason people go for a stereo amplifier is to listen to music as close to the studio master as possible. Movie soundtrack is not recorded in stereo mode, so it's impossible to get close to the studio master with just 2 speakers.
If you watch movies at all, I believe a 5.1 surround sound system is the minimum you need. JD has compromised on both the most important components: the centre speaker and a subwoofer.
I feel a bit of logic is needed as a I cannot believe what some have said to you. A stereo amp has far fewer parts than an av receiver so it is nigh on impossible for the av amp to match a similarly priced stereo amp for music. For example 2 Audi r8's would cost approx £250k whereas if u had to buy 7 audi's all u could get is 7 basic Audi tt's. Difference in performance. I think so! This fact affects the amp and will also affect the speakers. My advice would definitely be to buy a good pair of floorstanders and to consider a stereo amp with some digital connections, and if you want the flexibility then get an av amp so u can max out your system in the future into a 5.0 system. The argument someone made about clarity is ridiculous. A £1000 pair of stereo speakers will obviously have better clarity than a £1000 surround system. Another valid point is that the more speakers the harder to balance the set up.Stereo set up is far easier to optimise.
Many options exist and I'd be the first to say "Find a good dealer and try them out" but without some guidance you can be bewildered by the choices available!
I put a lot of work into my system over the years, and have made some expensive mistakes on the journey. I've found my current setup to be very good for music and movies, plus it is flexible enough to make the most of networking facilities, so a lot depends on what exactly you want it to do.
Oppo 105 disc player. Plays any disc or file format I've thrown at it. Acts as a network player from my NAS, has HDMI connection for the sky box. It has a limited number of inputs to the DAC, but they include optical, usb and coax. In my opinion it beats the Tag McLaren units I had previously for flexibility AND sound quality, which given the prices involved was quite some achievement. Downside - it is just a player; playlists, Spotify and the like require something else to be added. In my case a PC. If you only have one system to worry about I would consider whether Direct Attached Storage vs a NAS is required. A DAS cuts out the network, but conversely, cuts out the network.
Amp - I have a good power amp with the Oppo doing all the volume and network control. You could substitute a multi-channel amp with networking capabilities if you really are never going to play discs again. One less box. I spent some time listening to the latest Pioneer range and thought it was excellent. Most of the "big boys" have an iPad app now, but I thought the Pioneer version was very good.
I'd suggest a speaker set based on a good stereo pair with "Add-on" surround units. Kef & Monitor Audio have been my favourites over the years but there are lots. Lifestyle speaker systems never seemed to quite get there for my needs, and unusually I've never felt the need for a sub-woofer. If you feel the need for more wallop, audition a transmission line design, but not everyone would agree with that.
I'd suggest that a stereo only system may limit future options, and a multi-channel setup with strong stereo bias is a good way to go. Whatever you use as a player - network player, disc player or source/DAC needs to be as future proof as possible. As an example, the Oppo will play DSD files (when I manage to find any!).
But back to square one - try things at a good dealer, with an idea of how you want the system to operate and play.
Good luck and have fun in the selection process.
Oppo 105eu, Tag McLaren 100*5R, Custom HTPC, Samsung 55" TV, Sky HD, Pinnacle Audio Folio (No? Look that iron up!)