Why do old old Surround Processors cost so much vs newer Integrated Amps?


Active Member
Why do older AV surround processors (eg Yamaha DSP-E800) still command so much - really not to far off the price of the more recent low end integrated AV receivers (eg Sony STR-DG500 or Cambridge 540R V1)?

I am looking to add AV surround speakers to a music setup, ie continuing to use a two-channel integrated amp for the music and then for home cinema, to feed its AUX input with the front channel output and then but an old E800 or a new AV receiver to power the sourround speakers/

But the prices are much coser than I thought. Particularly so, considering that the newer receivers have component in/outputs and can handle higher quality video than the older ones, which have only composite.

So what accounts for the pricing then? Is there really any sound quality difference between such an old AV processor as the E800 and a decent low-end AV receiver of the past 1-2 years?


Distinguished Member
Quality, mate. Just because something is new doesn't mean it is better. Better specs never make better sound.



Active Member
Was hoping for some insight on the specific things that actually translate into "quality" difference in these specific cases, rather than a broad brush answer.


Distinguished Member
to be honest the broad brush answer is the simplest way to explain it......

the processor, only having to concentrate on doing a few things means more money can be spent on what matters.....in other words, a more powerful chip for decoding, more expensive and better quality DAC's etc.......the newer machine that does the whole lot will have to split its budget over many tasks, decoding chip, DAC's, power amp stage, transformer, pcb linking everything etc....

a £1,000 processor from 3 years ago should happily outperform a £1,000 AV amp today.....with the exception being the new HD formats, thats a different kettle of fish, but with the same standards being compared (DD/DTS), the £1k processors main processor should still just about be more powerful....also its DAC's are likely to be superior too....

processors (as in the chip) are becoming faster quicker than expected certainly, but to be honest I dont think DAC's are likely to show such leaps in performance anymore....


Active Member
The Yamaha DSP-E800 I assume was not high end when it was new 8-9 years ago, maybe mid-range or something? Yet when I looked at the sound ratings/specs (power, THD S?N etc) on it, they are almost to the letter, the same as those on say the Yamaha RX-V757, released about two years ago. I havent looked at one released this year, but I woudl assume no change.

So if we say there is a quality difference, based on components, shouldnt't that show up somewhere in the specs?

Just trying to understand.


Distinguished Member
most specs you see dont let you know what level of quality the individual components are....

most people assume more power is better, but not always.....for example a cheap PSU might be able to give a high level of power on a continuous basis but cannot handle big swings in demand on the power, or vice versa.......

or a processing chip inside might have a well known manufacturers name, but could be one of their cheap range chips.....

or they might use cheap components on the PCB......

most of that wont show up in the specs....

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