av receiver or amp for 2.1 (or 3.1 setup)

noob384

Novice Member
I'd like to have a 2.1 or 3.1 setup to be used for tv and music. I'm having trouble determining if I need an AV receiver or an amp. It seems that if I want 3.1 I would need the AV receiver, but if I go with just a 2.1 setup would an amp be the better fit (factoring in quality and price)? My issue with going with an AV receiver is that it seems to provide a lot of things I don't really need. I use chromecast for video (and audio) and don't really need all the inputs that a receiver would provide. I also don't care about cable clutter.

I currently do not own a center, but recently bought kef q150s to be used as my left/right.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
You'd get better 2 channel stereo performance from a dedicated 2 channel stereo integrated amplifier costing the same or less than a similarly priced multichannel AV receiver. If not wanting surround sound then try avoid AV receivers. An AV receiver has more complex signal paths due to their surround sound capabilities and this has a detrimental effect upon the way the audio is amplified and portrayed.

Forget the cenre speaker and simply go with a stereo integrated amplifier if wanting to listen to stereo music sources. If wanting to add a sub then look at amps with pre outs or a sub with a dediocated hi level input option.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
As above, you will be far better off, certainly for stereo music, with an integrated amp. You will need an amp with it's own DAC to connect to the TV via digital optical and one that has it's own sub pre-out for ease of connection. I would certainly recommend using a sub alongside the Q150s.
 

noob384

Novice Member
Thanks. My only thought is will I miss the possibility of adding a center for tv? My inclination is probably not, but I'm also a little confused as to why a 2.1 setup doesn't seem to be more of a thing for TV/Movies. It seems to me that either people go with using their TV speakers only or with a full surround setup. Full surround would be great, but I imagine sound in the front is more practical for most people.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
A pair of well positioned left and right speakers can portray audio you'd ordinarilly get via a centre speaker centre stage. You only really need a centre speaker in instances where you've a very large screen. In a setup using a TV as opposed to a PJ screen then I doubt you'll notice the absence of a centre speaker. The fact that you are using a TV will not necessitate you using a centre speaker. You more typically get sick and tired of the centre speaker while watching TV because you'll be getting very little from the stereo speakers and just dialogue via the centre.

If looking for a halfway house then maybe consider a soundbar, but again, this will not give you the same stereo performance you'd get from a more dedicated stereo integrated amp.
 
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noob384

Novice Member
Makes sense. Do you think a Yamaha A-S301 would be a good fit for the q150s? And/or any other recommendations?
 

Kapkirk

Active Member
Yamaha amps tend to pair well with most speakers so yes it would work OK with the Q150's however the Yamaha-N602 is being heavily discounted (£400 at Audio Visual on line) at the mo and has a bit more power, although being a Receiver the amp section is actually pretty decent and it has more digital inputs, Music cast and an FM tuner so for 400 quid it's a steal. Also have a look at the Denon PMA 600ne, cracking little amp.
 

noob384

Novice Member
Ah - unfortunately I'm in the States where the n602 is priced much higher. I'll look into the denon as an option.
 
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
why a 2.1 setup doesn't seem to be more of a thing for TV/Movies

I agree. The simplicity of it means it is not much more complex to package and to set up than a s*undbar but far exceeds most off them in quality.

In a short spell while we were revamping our lounge, our TV was on an AV rack (an AVF product that also mounts the TV). Two little Heco speakers (£28 on ebay) fitted on their sides either end of the rack (and hence either end of the TV) so close that they did a brilliant job of speech. Set up with subwoofers this was not offensive to listen to at all in fact pleasurable.

It also depends on how much you listen to music with the system. If that is outweighed by the TV/film, then maybe consider an AVR if you think you want to add more speakers in the future. Plus, what made a big difference even with the 2.1 is that my x4400 has Audyssey room EQ. Often if you have a 2.1 and you can't place the front speakers in ideal positions, that EQ could get better gains that having a "nicer sounding hifi amp" - if you get what I mean?
 

noob384

Novice Member
Direction wise my speaker placement will be good, though they'll be coming from the corner of the room.

I've been looking at the Denon PMA 600ne, but am slightly concerned that people have mentioned the volume control (at least with the remote) is poor. Stupid question... when using for TV could I set the amp volume up high and then use the TV remote to control volume?
 

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