HiFi / AV crossroad dilemma. Dare to read...

CrazyN3S

Novice Member
Hello,

After looking through the internet, Youtube, forums and HiFi listening rooms (stores) I finally have the courage to ask to you Audiophiles out there.

About me:

I'm new on this forum and hopefully I picked the right one.
I'm 37 years old with a tinnitus but I have always loved music and movies. I one of those rare human beings that have lived through the golden years of audio development. Phono --> casette --> cd --> mp3 --> Dolby Digital/DTS
Phono doesn't appeal to me 'cause of the wide spectrum of quality and fragility. I do believe this is the most purest form of art when it comes to music.
I loved CD and I still do. To me that is the best quality to achieve the easiest way possible.
When I was around 16 years old MP3 was taking over. I hated it because I could hear the degeneration of quality.
A good example of how quantity took over quality.
My first AV was a Sony STR-DB930 (I still have it). Not sure it was a AV because their was no HDMI back than, so maybe no video at all?
The Dolby digital/DTS was amazing and boy o boy did I watched a fair amount of DVDs!

What do I want:

I'm in the market for some new stuff.
The one thing people always say is that a AV can't deliver HiFi stereo like a Stereo amp.
I prefer sound as it is intended to be. Stereo is THE way when it comes to music. Next to that I believe that every movie/serie/TV show has a stereo mix audio signal.
So stereo would be a true universal sound format.
I'm struggeling between sticking to good ol' 2.0 or do I wish for that dialog clarity and go for 3.0, adding a center speaker for video entertainment.
The latter is also helping with my tinnitus 'cause of the clarity and independent volume control of a center speaker.

The problem is... For adding a center speaker I need a FULL funtioning AV reciever and accept the loss of music quality (stereo output)
I could have both with a good AV with pre outs but again, all that for a just a center channel.

What do I have:

I have a Xbox Series X. I choose the "uncompressed stereo audio" format. HDMI goes into TV and TV digital out (optical PCM = stereo) goes to a temporaly amp solution and speakers.
I hate that they removed the optical out option. It feels like now you need to always split the audio from the video singal (ARC & eARC) or split the video from the audio signal (modern AV reciever)
I understand that a toslink digital connection is limited to bitsteam 5.1 or stereo PCM.
HDMI can do so much more but hey... Audiophiles want to have things that they do best in what they singlehanded can do. I'm looking at everyone with separate pre amps, amps, dacs, etc.
audio and video through one cable is handy and easy but frustrating when you want quality.

I'm going for 2 Klipsch rp8000f. Why? ...Sound and looks. The sound is good to great, never bad. And the looks ohhhh man the looks!!! (taste is personal)

There also will be a new LG oled TV model 2021 or 2022

What do I need and the real questions:

3.0?

I need a amp or better I need a intergrated amp with digital inputs.
If you have read the 2.0 vs 3.0 option that I consider... Here come the real quations.

Let say I go with a good AV for 2.0 and 3.0. I thinking about the new Yamaha A4A.
This one has everything on it that I will use. I have to wait for reviews 'cause of the video passthrough dramas with the first HDMI 2.1 AV's.
Stereo wise. How would a A4A handle music compare to lets say a A-Sx01 from Yamaha?
I have the budget for a A4A it but I do realise that I'm buying this ONLY to have a center channel!!!

note: If I go with 3.0 the center will be a Klipsch rp405c to match with the rp8000f

Will a A-Sx01 Stereo amp with a budget AV for multichannel be better? I understand the AV has to have 2 pre outs to utilize the A-Sx01 for music (stereo)

2.0?
Keep it simple and stick with quality. Stereo for everything.

If I do stick with stereo I probably will hook up my Xbox the same way as I describe above to the new LG oled TV and optical out to the amp.
So I need digital inputs.

I'm looking at basic A-Sx01 and save a lot of money.
The Yamaha R-N803d looks fun. Won't need my Xbox and TV running to listen to HiFi streams. Also save a lot of money. The room correction can be usefull.

And then there is something called Naim Uniti Atom. Owwww boy talk about something to look at besides VU meters am I right?
The screen is a total luxury when it comes to audio quality and I do have a smartphone to scroll to a library BUT... People say it is high class HiFi in term of audio quality. I can pick one up for 1900 Dollars.

Budget is 1900

buying options:

3.0

Yamaha A4A + center speaker = Max budget
Yamaha A-Sx01 + cheap multichannel (with pre outs) AV for only 3.0 movies + center speaker = Max buget

2.0

Just Yahama A-Sx01 = less than half budget
Yamaha R-N803d = around half budget
Naim uniti Atom for 1900 (with upcomming Spotify HiFi in mind) = max budget

I realise that the Atom is worth much more but this is a deal I could find and that's the only reason I consider one. I wouldn't pay 2500-3000 ish for my music to play good.
Doesn't matter if the Atom is worth the original price.

Final words:

I've put this in the HiFi section and not the AV section because my biggest focus is on good stereo sound towards HiFi levels.
If you have read my whole post. Thank you!

I'm looking forward to responses and hopefully some of you can make my decision more precise.

Greetings from a Dutch guy.


Bonus question:

What is a better soundsignal IF thing would work correctly. Im looking at HDMI 2.1 video passthrough and eARC.
2.1 video passthrough doesnt work right now (120hz, VRR etc) and ARC/eARC causes lipsync issues (delays) with bitsteam formats

note: These problems could be in the past with the new A4A receiver hardware (I know there still will be firmware updates but the hardware is there)

digital source --> 2.1 AV reciever --> TV
digital source --> TV --> ARC/eARC amp (this would be a Naim uniti Atom option next to the optical input)
 
Solution
I have listened to all 3 receivers this week.

EVO 75: Good but a little boring to me. Cosmetic definitly a winner. No room correction
1900 Euro

Yamaha rn803d: Good. I like the massive retro look. Room correction. App works great. Room correction
700 Euro

Uniti Atom: Good. Looks in real life a bit dissapointing. No room correction.
1900 Euro

TDAI 1120: Very good but lacks a bit of power on the lows. Its to clean. Mids and high a crystal clear.
1740 Euro

I could listen to the first 3 in the same room. TDAI 1120 in a separate store. Non of them had my klipsch pr8000f.
I was suprised by the crytal clean almost to clean sound of the TDAI 1120. I wonder is this is mainly due to the digital amp in it. unfortunately the bass was also to...

CrazyN3S

Novice Member
If you can stretch to it, the Lyngdorf TDAI-1120 would likely be the best stereo solution for nearly your budget (USD 2,230 is over your USD 1,900 but not by much), as it provides all the facilities you'd need or want.

Since all video will necessarily be routed through the TV, the lack of HDMI 2.1 in the amplifier is inconsequential.
Going for a lunch in 30 min. Will check that machine out. Thank you.

Yes I from the old generation. We put video into a video device lol.
I still don't accept why AV are used for this. Causes more trouble than good. I undestand the convinience of cable management and maybe more ports but thats it. I would like a seperate audio and video signal from the source if it can do audio and video (Xbox).
But I guess they want to profit those 3 dollars so badly. Thats why the drop the separate audio signal.

The problem is that ARC and eARC doens't work as good as the direct input in a AV. (for now)
 
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ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Thats why the drop the separate audio signal.

The problem is that ARC and eARC doens't work as good as the direct input in a AV. (for now)

HDMI is the only mainstream way of taking an HD Audio signal digitally from source to playback device. Other digital options are limited in bandwidth and bitrate.

I try and avoid ARC at all possible opportunties. The newer >=LG CX Tvs don't support DTS (or DTS Master HD) over ARC\eARC so you are stuck with the device decoding it if it supports it. I don't see this situation improving either.
 
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CrazyN3S

Novice Member
If you can stretch to it, the Lyngdorf TDAI-1120 would likely be the best stereo solution for nearly your budget (USD 2,230 is over your USD 1,900 but not by much), as it provides all the facilities you'd need or want.

Since all video will necessarily be routed through the TV, the lack of HDMI 2.1 in the amplifier is inconsequential.

My budget was originally 1900 for everything. That would mean including a multichannel device to realise a 3.0 setup L C R.
Why 3.0? Tinnitus... you can read it in my og post.

Break it down:

900 ish stereo amp
500 ish center speaker --> Klipsch 504c to match the rp8000f
500 ish budget AV with front pre outs

I've dropped the 3.0 wish for now. So now we have 1900 for a (intergrated) stereo amp.
I do have to sleep a night or two if I want to spend 1900 on just a stereo device.
Only because someone shoved a Naim uniti Atom in front of me. I didn't knew about All in one devices with HiFi sound.

That Lyngdorf TDAI 1120 is a direct competitor to the Naim uniti Atom, am I correct?
pro: roomcorrection
con: all analog signals will be converted to digital. But Lyngdorf promises quality sound so I don't know if this is a con.

I do like Lyngdorf for their digital innovations ---> PWM late 90s

FYI:
My room is 406cm by 601cm (13.32 feet by 19.27 feet) rectangel. Half would be dining and half would be for the setup.
 
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CrazyN3S

Novice Member
HDMI is the only mainstream way of taking an HD Audio signal digitally from source to playback device. Other digital options are limited in bandwidth and bitrate.

I try and avoid ARC at all possible opportunties. The newer >=LG CX Tvs don't support DTS (or DTS Master HD) over ARC\eARC so you are stuck with the device decoding it if it supports it. I don't see this situation improving either.
I do understand what you mean. But HDMI being mainstream doesn't mean it the best way.
Toslink optical still favors for just stereo imo or bitsstream DD, DTS

edit: I'm thinking CD audio quality like I have mentioned in my og post

If you're using higher formats than uncompressed stereo or bitstream DD or DTS.... Yes than you need more bandwidth and HDMI is a good solution.

I don't care about more than 2 channel formats.

Also you described my point about why we are better of with a seperate audio/video signal.
Because either the TV can't process the sound correctly or the AV can't process the video correctly.
Fix all the issues and at that time there will be newer video formats or audio formats and all will repeat ;-)
 
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ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
I don't care about more than 2 channel formats.

I appreciate that but what I mean is that whenever the source signal is originally encoded as multichannel, something has to downmix from x.x to 2.0. Is that simply a case of 50% of the centre goes to L + R. Does the surround L + R just get mapped to the L+R. What happens to the LFE channel.

HDMI Audio was going to be the next best thing because you didn't have the bandwidth constraints of optical.

Why wouldn't you want to use the Dolby True HD\DTS Master HD as the best possible source to ultimately feed into the stereo amp?
 
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CrazyN3S

Novice Member
I appreciate that but what I mean is that whenever the source signal is originally encoded as multichannel, something has to downmix from x.x to 2.0. Is that simply a case of 50% of the centre goes to L + R. Does the surround L + R just get mapped to the L+R. What happens to the LFE channel.

HDMI Audio was going to be the next best thing because you didn't have the bandwidth constraints of optical.

Why wouldn't you want to use the Dolby True HD\DTS Master HD as the best possible source to ultimately feed into the stereo amp?
And I appreciate you.

HDMI was/is defenitly going to be the next best thing. but still 70/30 (70 for business (lower production costs. Only one cable, one port etc.) 30 for higher formats/quality aka consumer benefits.

Quantity is the keyword here.
HiFi was something very few would have. 70's 80's 90's prime time quality golden years.
Better economics, higher human population, shareholders etc. made the industry shift towards a balance to feed the quantity. (late 90s early 00s till now)

MP3 in the early 128bit stage is a perfect example of how things work in a economical driven world.
Music to listen for anyone, everywhere at extreme low costs.
PURE GARBAGE if we talk about quality but still most widely accepted as a format today.
it is only until now we finaly see digital formats come to CD level of audio quality.
Tidal, Deezer and soon Spotify HiFi.

Why wouldn't I want a True HD/DTS master signal convert to a stereo sound?
Because there will be something new in 10 years. It's all artificial processed stereo sound.
Will it be better than let's say CD digital quality? maybe... But at what costs?
Heck...If you want the best music quality. You can even go backwards in tech with lots of money.
Buy a turntable, tubes and keep it all analog and you will have better music sound than all of those Atmos, true HD signals. I will cost you more than double but what I'm trying to say...
Innovation is not always an improvement to the core funtionality.

Also never forget why and how things are recorded/mixed. Music = stereo.
95% of all video formats have a stereo mix soundstrack next to their Dolby/ Atmos etc.
 
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ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Also never forget why and how things are recorded/mixed. Music = stereo.
95% of all video formats have a stereo mix soundstrack next to their Dolby/ Atmos etc.

Agree with most of your post.

Not always a lot are multichannel recorded now.

The underlying stereo mix is there for compatibility (and will be the same "artificial", what's the quality actually like though. Is it going to be any good though? Is it lossless, does it have the same dynamic range? Has anybody done an A/B audition, is it like going from Spotify to Tidal?

I am interested in the now not 10 year times, HD Audio is better imho.
 
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CrazyN3S

Novice Member
Agree with most of your post.

Not always a lot are multichannel recorded now.

The underlying stereo mix is there for compatibility (and will be the same "artificial", what's the quality actually like though. Is it going to be any good though? Is it lossless, does it have the same dynamic range? Has anybody done an A/B audition, is it like going from Spotify to Tidal?

I am interested in the now not 10 year times, HD Audio is better imho.
Yes the are multichannel recordings for those that want it. Correct.
My taste for music is mostly produced in a time where multichannel was not, or at most, barely a thing.

I Agree with your part of how "true" that stereo mix truely is.
They could be fooling us both ways. lol

That 3.0 setup I was talking about will eventually come. Maybe even 5.1 or 7.2.4 (I do need a bigger house for that lol)
So an AV will be there eventually and I do look forward what sounds it will bring me.
But I will never buy it for a stereo output.

For now I want to invest in a good stereo amp which will pleasure me with music and movies.
Music is my priority and therefore I take the loss of multichannel and stick to stereo movie entertainment.
 
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CrazyN3S

Novice Member
UPDATE!

After looking through all the reply's I have made up my mind to narrow it all down to a All in one device (streamer) ...whatever they are called.
I don't have a turntable and a don't have a premium cd player. I don't have the right sources with analog outputs to get the most out a premium stereo amp.
For all that I can read. The 3 devices mentioned below perform very well on HiFi music levels.

I think my partner want to have a word with @Mark.Yudkin about non essential high costs. HAHAHA

Naim uniti Atom
Lyngdorf TDAI 1120
Cambridge Evo 75

All will cost me around 1900 dollars where I live. 1900 Euro's including taxes (21%) to be correct.

I didnt opt for the Acram sr250 'cause off the AV simulation through stereo. It's still a simulation.
For what I can read a damn good one.
I don't know their technology so don't take my advice in this one.
Also it is just the most ugliest thing I have seen. It will be presented as an eyecatcher so yeah...

Why go for streaming?
I'm old (37), but not old enough to have been there where it was.
Something like Tidal, Apple music or upcomming Spotify HiFi can make my music library unlimited. I could make my way through history flying trough time and more with just one of those 3 machines.
Also, I won't have to rely on my Xbox for music anymore.

NOW...

For anyone who have one of these things.

Will a 2.0 digital out from TV to device be good enough for movies. Or should I dig into the ARC realm.
I'm leaning towards the TDAI 1120 for the room correction.


Edit:

Question...
Isn't the Yamaha R-N803 + my smartphone (compensate front display and library scrolling) the same as one of the 3 above.
It also has roomcorrection.
Maybe there are differences in classes amps /DAC but will I notice? Premium vs extra premium I will not notice...

It's a 1000 Euros difference or more. So...?
 
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Daniel 70

Active Member
UPDATE!

After looking through all the reply's I have made up my mind to narrow it all down to a All in one device (streamer) ...whatever they are called.
I don't have a turntable and a don't have a premium cd player. I don't have the right sources with analog outputs to get the most out a premium stereo amp.
For all that I can read. The 3 devices mentioned below perform very well on HiFi music levels.

I think my partner want to have a word with @Mark.Yudkin about non essential high costs. HAHAHA

Naim uniti Atom
Lyngdorf TDAI 1120
Cambridge Evo 75

All will cost me around 1900 dollars where I live. 1900 Euro's including taxes (21%) to be correct.

I didnt opt for the Acram sr250 'cause off the AV simulation through stereo. It's still a simulation.
For what I can read a damn good one.
I don't know their technology so don't take my advice in this one.
Also it is just the most ugliest thing I have seen. It will be presented as an eyecatcher so yeah...

Why go for streaming?
I'm old (37), but not old enough to have been there where it was.
Something like Tidal, Apple music or upcomming Spotify HiFi can make my music library unlimited. I could make my way through history flying trough time and more with just one of those 3 machines.
Also, I won't have to rely on my Xbox for music anymore.

NOW...

For anyone who have one of these things.

Will a 2.0 digital out from TV to device be good enough for movies. Or should I dig into the ARC realm.
I'm leaning towards the TDAI 1120 for the room correction.


Edit:

Question...
Isn't the Yamaha R-N803 + my smartphone (compensate front display and library scrolling) the same as one of the 3 above.
It also has roomcorrection.
Maybe there are differences in classes amps /DAC but will I notice? Premium vs extra premium I will not notice...

It's a 1000 Euros difference or more. So...?
You are overthinking it all... . The there is nothing at all wrong with an AVR. It is just a multiple channel amplifier with additional digital decoding. And if your sources are digital to begin with there is absolutely nothing lost. The only advantage that Toslink optical fibre has to offer is that data coming in will be immune from mains borne hum .. potentially a problem with TVs. There is nothing inferior with HDMI ... except it is not immune to mains hum. The decision to ignore vinyl is sensible ... This is 2021 not 1951. Beyond that the multiple speakers is where the money needs to go.
 
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Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
For anyone who have one of these things.

Will a 2.0 digital out from TV to device be good enough for movies. Or should I dig into the ARC realm.
I'm leaning towards the TDAI 1120 for the room correction.
Assuming you're going for a stereo setup, yes - if the TV offers lipsync delay over its optical output. Some TVs do, others don't, so check what yours can do.
 
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Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Assuming you're going for a stereo setup, yes - if the TV offers lipsync delay over its optical output. Some TVs do, others don't, so check what yours can do. (I'm using my TV's optical output).
 
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CrazyN3S

Novice Member
I have listened to all 3 receivers this week.

EVO 75: Good but a little boring to me. Cosmetic definitly a winner. No room correction
1900 Euro

Yamaha rn803d: Good. I like the massive retro look. Room correction. App works great. Room correction
700 Euro

Uniti Atom: Good. Looks in real life a bit dissapointing. No room correction.
1900 Euro

TDAI 1120: Very good but lacks a bit of power on the lows. Its to clean. Mids and high a crystal clear.
1740 Euro

I could listen to the first 3 in the same room. TDAI 1120 in a separate store. Non of them had my klipsch pr8000f.
I was suprised by the crytal clean almost to clean sound of the TDAI 1120. I wonder is this is mainly due to the digital amp in it. unfortunately the bass was also to clean.

I don't think I could justify spending more than 1000 Euro's over the RN803d. Also...
The salesman from HiFi Klubben (only place for Lyngdorf TDAI 1120) was pretty straight forward after he asked me what speakers I was using. YAMAHA lol.
He had worked with Yamaha and still doesnt like that the store he worked in now did't sell Yamaha. He knew I was almost buying that Lyngdorf for 1740 Euro's. But he still gave true advice.
I think I will regret not taking that honest advice.

Yamaha rn803d it is!
And saving 1000 Euro. :)
 
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