What is the difference between an integrated amplifier and a stereo receiver?
If possible, please explain for a novice to understand. o
A receiver is an integrated amp that also include a tuner, and probably some sort of decoding for surround sound.
so a reciver is an amp. with a tuner.. do tuners that are called tuners have the same fetures or howmuch different is a tuner from a reciver, I have a reel-to-reel tape deck do I want a reciver or a tuner????
So if I dont need a radio, I should go for an integrated amp? Is there any difference in sound quality between the two?
Yes, unless you want to spring for separates (i.e., a preamp and power amp(s)).
Receivers tend to be built to offer the most features for a given price, rather than quality per se. Consequently, an integrated amp will likely sound better.
Not to be confusing, but Rich is right that generally integrated amps are thought to be of higher quality purely in terms of audio circuitry.
That said, there are advantages to receivers, even if you don't need a radio:
1. Generally receivers are less expensive for a given amount of power
2. If you ever plan to go beyond stereo (to multichannel/home theater) you will find that most receivers are fully set up for multichannel, most integrated amps are not
3. At not super high price points (under $1k), receivers can come with a digital room correction system. This adjusts for the acoustics of your room (which are never perfect). I would say that for most people this feature would make a receiver outperform an integrated amp of the same price. If you are a long-standing audiophile that might not be the case, however.
What price level are you thinking you can afford?
Do you have any interest in multichannel audio or home theater?
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Your question focussed on stereo receivers vs. integrated amplifiers. There are only a few choices in stereo receivers, but many more choices in integrated amplifiers.
tmartin's question about whether you're interested in stereo only or multichannel music and home theater is fundamental to guiding you.
I would add that you can run a multichannel receiver with only two channels set up. In fact, some receivers allow you to use 4 of their amp channels to bi-amp your speakers (assuming the speakers are set up for this). This is a relatively minor thing, but does give a bit more power.
Thanks for the help guys. I have used two 5.1Ch HT-in-the-box in the past and have concluded that I dont really care for the multichannel home theatre setup. I would rather have a good quality stereo sound with possibly a subwoofer. I primarily like to listen to music, not much into movies. I agree that I should not judge multichannel audio by the cheap HT-in-box. But I dont like the way music sounds from that setup.
Budget, of course is the biggest concern. I have been putting this off for quite a long time. Is $1500 a decent budget for an int. amp (or stereo receiver) & speakers? I can buy the sub & cd player some time later. I will use my existing dvd-player for now. Oh... do int.amps have capability to add a sub?
$1500 can get you a very useful 2 ch system (I assume you're talking about adding a sub later).
As real examples, PSB, Usher, B&W and Paradigm all have recommendable speakers under $750 per pair. Similarly, Rotel, NAD and Cambridge have amps under $750 that can be recommended. This leaves you with some money for stands and cables. Depending on the specific products you pick, you might squeeze a sub into your budget.
Some integrated amps have provision for a line level sub output. In addition, many subs allow connection to the speaker outputs of the amp, so any amp will work. REL (an important sub mfr) actually recommends using the speaker output.
I would add, however, that one of the great applications of room correction (e.g. Audessey) is to integrate a subwoofer with main speakers. Onkyo and Denon, at least, have receivers with Audessey room correction in the under $750 range.
Your short list of integrated amplifiers should include the Cambridge 540A ($499) and the Rotel RA 1062 ($699).
Speakers to consider include the B&W 685 ($650), Paradigm Mini Monitor ($498), and Usher V-601 ($699).
Thanks tmartin & robert_harley6... How do you feel about Onkyo A-9555? I was surprised that it is available on amazon for just about $450.
Where should I be looking for "reliable" used components? I live in a suburb of Chicago.
You can download our review of the Onkyo here:
irobot10, stick with NAD components and Canadian speakers that begin with the letter P, and you will really enjoy listening to music!
buy an intergrated amp, it sounds ALOT better. a stereo receiver are those receivers that you see in best buy, minus all the surround sound thus stereo. actually u dont see them on sale very much these days...