Forum Topic: Should I get a Stereo or AV Receiver?

Crossing the channels

by hodg100 Jul 30, 2017 at 7:58 AM


  • AVForums member, chownsie79, is looking at options to play music in an extension, possibly using four speakers to play TV audio and adding a subwoofer later on.
    The main purpose, initially, is to stream music using an app, such as Deezer, Spotify etc and chownsie has noticed, looking at the prices, that a Yamaha WXA50 is significantly more expensive than a RN602 Stereo Receiver, although the RN602 is bulkier. Initially they thought about the RN602, as all the sources are in a hub tucked away.

    Having looked again, chownsie has seen the Yamaha RX481 is cheaper still and would give the ability to use it for a second zone later on, albeit, with speakers dotted around rather than in the traditional 5.1 set up.

    In a nutshell, chownsie’s question is, what is the real difference for music listening on these three devices? They will also build a cinema room and hope to use a 3060 in here, but if budget is constrained they could switch the RX481 over temporarily for 5.1 surround.

    Experienced member, Punctilio, was in first with some excellent advice:

    "The differences between them all are to do with sound quality / power and features. So, it depends what your priorities are, and what speakers you are using, and also on the acoustic qualities of the room.

    If you just want it to work and sound okay, then I'd say get whatever amp is the most cost effective. You don't even need streaming features on board as you can add a very inexpensive streamer, such as the £30 chromecast audio, which should do all that you need.

    Generally AVR's are considered to be less good at high sound quality for music, because they do so much else, and are packed with lots of channels of amplifications, so the more that is packed into one unit, generally the lower the quality. But that is a very sweeping statement, so don't take it as an absolute.

    If you want high quality sound, then you would look for amps that are built with higher quality components, such as toroidal transformers. and that have a higher power rating, so lots of headroom for good quality sound, at any volumes, and can handle peaks without distortion.

    Ultimately, if you get a shortlist, and can find somewhere to demo the amps, then it would be good to listen to them before buying."

    Does anyone else have any more useful advice or anything to add?

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