Lots of debate and interesting opinions, so thanks to all. The initial question I posed was whether the current crop of affordable AV receivers can have a decent stab of producing stereo for everyday listening in addition to their rich feature/functionality set and HDMI connectivity. I think that played through a decent set of speakers they probaby could do. I'm certainly open to anything available in home cinema that can have a decent stab of producing music approaching 70%-80% of what I am used to hearing through my 2-channel hifi setup I would contemplate something < £300 price range (e.g. Onkyo NR515) and if it sounded something like a Sonos or one of those Denon/Marantz mini all in ones then I think I would be happy :)
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Arcam and Anthem supposedly make 'musical' AVRs, though they dont make budget models.
The Arcam AVRs are also Class AB, dont know about the Anthem. Most AVRs are the cheaper and smaller Class D, maybe thats why most of the hifi folks dont like them... (Though Pioneer just made a hifi amplifier with Class D that is getting good reviews, so maybe class D is getting better).
The 930 has a bit of a cult status amongst Sony Receivers and in my humble opinion for good reason. It sounds effortlessly musical, bouncy, elastic, dynamic and whatever other weird names come to mind. Neutral too. The phono stage is good and the whole receiver is loaded with good quality parts. An equally built AV receiver would, I guess cost quite a bit today but as I am not into HC I can't really comment. - Even the phono stage is good. I've changed a few things but even in original condition it is a very good amplifier.
I would go as far and say the Sony is the closest I have come to a decent valve amplifier with regards to being 'musical' (micro dynamics as opposed to warm and soggy).
That's lucky, maybe I'll hang on to mine then, often wondered why I'd never noticed it performing as poorly in stereo as AV amps are supposed to.
I just use the multi-channel outs from my BDP, does the job.
Things you can easily do to improve the receiver are disconnecting the S-Video board (and Tuner module if you dont use it although I left mine connected as reception is superb and made my separate Sony Tuner obsolete) plus add some Ferrite cores close to the receiver to any equipment cabling connected including power. Add another after the transformer where the cable harness connects to the mainboard. Remove the underside cover or damp it as it is very resonant, Same with the cover, damp it internally, easily done with some sorbothane or self adhesive felt.
I've replaced the captive standard power lead with a heavier gauge, shielded one and a decent plug. It made a difference. I copper shielded the video board and increased bias by a very small amount. It runs slightly warmer but not hot. Still have to pot the transformer.
Apologies for hijacking the thread and back to the op.
Pretty ... and pretty proud of it
The 930 has a bit of a cult status amongst Sony Receivers and in my humble opinion for good reason. It sounds effortlessly musical, bouncy, elastic, dynamic and whatever other weird names come to mind.
We clearly have different values of "easily"! But thanks for the tips, interesting stuff.
No signature worth mentioning...
:) Apart from the power lead which requires soldering and the biasing the other stuff really is straight forward.
Ferrite cores are useful, cheap and easy to fit, especially the ones that have collars. Permeability determines filtering frequency so having two or three different ones is useful.
Arcam installs them factory in some (all?) of their amplifiers, even though its usually just a single (size) one. I'd warmly recommend them for any amplifier and other components susceptible to RFI/EMI.
Yeah but this is my primary (only) amp and the only source of audio for my TV (which doesn't have speakers), so I'm not going to EDITED about with it!
You just clamp them over the signal cables at the back of the amp?
I've no idea if I suffer from that or not tbh...
That is correct. You can just clamp them or you can get the simple o ring ones for interconnects/speaker cables, in fact anything which allows you to just slide them over or loop the cables through.
Panasonic have been including ferrite cores to fit on the mains leads to their plasmas for many years now. I'm sure I read in the manual that they are required by EU law to reduce RFI. I used ferrites for years on my hifi and maintained their place on the cables by the use of plasticene or that wonderful modern[!] replacement, blutac.
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and Grado SR80i
I have always used ferrite clamps on both TV and FM aerial cables.
I have a couple of TDK clamps on mains leads (where they are not already built-in).
The mains extension already has a 'choke' built into it (and uses screened mains cable).
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