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redline0201

NAD D3020 vs AV Receiver

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Hi All,

 

Looking for some advise as I am thinking of upgrading my NAD D3020 into a receiver,

 

Either a:

Yamaha RX-V685

Sony STR DN1080

Denon X1500H

 

I would like to get some opinions or experiences from anyone who has gone through the same pathway from an integrated amp to an av receiver.

 

I was wondering if the NAD D3020 would still be better for stereo music listening as compared to an AV receiver?

 

Thanks!

 

 

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I guess the first question is... what's the reason for wanting to move from an integrated amp to a receiver?

 

What functionality will a receiver provide you that your current amp does not?

 

This information may help people in providing advice to you moving forward.

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Many integrated stereo amps sound better than the majority of average AV amps. If you spend more time in AV mode than two channel then that may an acceptable compromise.

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What is the mix between music and movies?  And is it because you want to reduce the box count?

 

An AVR is designed for movies and will compromise your music... 

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37 minutes ago, pete_mac said:

I guess the first question is... what's the reason for wanting to move from an integrated amp to a receiver?

 

What functionality will a receiver provide you that your current amp does not?

 

This information may help people in providing advice to you moving forward.

Mainly so I can add a centre channel for movies and also for bass management and room correction.

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17 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

What is the mix between music and movies?  And is it because you want to reduce the box count?

 

An AVR is designed for movies and will compromise your music... 

Yeah I would like to reduce the box count.

And it will be 50% Music 40% Movies/Games 10% Telly shows

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Please do more research,reading and listening. Several years ago I bought a Yamaha Receiver  RXV 5 something based on all that was promised, only to take itcback the next day to upgrade to the top of the range model (at Harvey Norman). Even then at volumes my wife liked it could not drive 5 channels without distortion as we had a fairly large room. The problem was solved when I added a 2 channel amp to drive the front left and right channels.

Please go and listen to what you want to buy in a room and with speakers similar to yourown before you make further decisions.

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13 hours ago, redline0201 said:

Yeah I would like to reduce the box count.

And it will be 50% Music 40% Movies/Games 10% Telly shows

 An AVR that will cope with your mix is the NAD T58V3 but a lot, lot more expensive!! :sad: 

 

Without compromising your music, but will not reduce your box count, you can add a new AVR and continue using the 3020 for 2 channel music.  Have a look at this thread:

 

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16 hours ago, Snoopy8 said:

What is the mix between music and movies?  And is it because you want to reduce the box count?

 

An AVR is designed for movies and will compromise your music... 

@GSO-ROB. Not sure why you disliked my post?  If you believe an AVR is good for music, please state your case so that OP gets an alternate view to consider.

 

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I agree with Snoopy8, 

"An AVR is designed for movies and will compromise your music... "

If you think about easy solution for your wife then soundbar might be the best option. 

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I have a mate with the  Rotel Rap-1580 a/b amp, designed 4 sound. Pretty sure it will blow many 2 channel amps away easily 

Just saying av receivers is 4 movies is a bit disingenuous 

Edited by GSO-ROB

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1 hour ago, GSO-ROB said:

I have a mate with the  Rotel Rap-1580 a/b amp, designed 4 sound. Pretty sure it will blow many 2 channel amps away easily 

You cite an example of a multi channel amp taking on 2 channel amps. But an AVR is a different beast, often with compromised amps which have limited power. Not many companies cite the true power of an AVR driving multiple channels simultaneously because they are often low.

 

If someone wants a one box solution to do 50/50 movies and music, I have recommended the NAD T58V3 AVR. However, if the music proportion goes up,  then an integrated 2 CH amp with HT bypass is what I would suggest.

 

An AVR is designed for movies, not music.  A music focused person, for the same dollars, will get a much better 2 channel performance from an integrated amp than an AVR.

1 hour ago, GSO-ROB said:

Just saying av receivers is 4 movies is a bit disingenuous 

Have been posting the above advice consistently over the years. First time that my advice has been labelled disingenuous! :shocked: 

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I’m grinning as I read this because despite the adverserial nature’s of the comments, you seem to reinforce each other’s points.

The rotel looks to be really nice amp, with reviews knocking it for room correction software. Putting it at odds with the vast majority of cheaper AVRs that save money on amp section but have all bells and whistles and Bass management as per OP’s question.

 

It was a good question, to which I could add to more options, making it - do you:

a) replace NAD 3020 with moderate AV

b) use nad with HT bypass and moderate AV

c) buy whizz bang super expensive AVR that has great correction features and capable amps.

d) exotic solutions eg miniDSP for bass management, or seperate processor and amp.

 

I’m hoping something like the NAD 758v3 or an Anthem MRX 520 would provide me with a good enough amp for 2ch duties. But I really won’t know till I try em on my speakers in my home (which is all about to change with a reno anyway). At least those 2 aren’t too expensive that I wouldn’t be put off buying an external amp,

YMMV.

 

 

 

 

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2 subs and an antimode dspeaker was the biggest improvement for me, I reckon I could use just about any AVR and it would sound pretty good.

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5 hours ago, Gridmon said:

c) buy whizz bang super expensive AVR that has great correction features and capable amps.

 

My only issue with this is that everything is still crammed in to one box, even the super expensive AVR's.  The last AVR that I bought (6 or 7 years ago) was RRP$4,500 and it lasted about 4 years before major failure.  The issue was the heat generated inside the box vs all the electronics crammed inside just didn't make for a reliable product.  An AVR's biggest compromise is space, and this can't be rectified by moving up the chain.

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12 hours ago, GSO-ROB said:

I have a mate with the  Rotel Rap-1580 a/b amp, designed 4 sound. Pretty sure it will blow many 2 channel amps away easily 

Just saying av receivers is 4 movies is a bit disingenuous 

 

The Rotel, whilst a decent bit of kit, is on a whole different level to the AVRs that the OP is considering in his first post. At the price point that the OP is targeting, IMHO AVRs do not sound as good as an equivalent integrated amplifier. Each to their own, of course.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Gridmon said:

I’m grinning as I read this because despite the adverserial nature’s of the comments, you seem to reinforce each other’s points.

The rotel looks to be really nice amp, with reviews knocking it for room correction software. Putting it at odds with the vast majority of cheaper AVRs that save money on amp section but have all bells and whistles and Bass management as per OP’s question.

 

It was a good question, to which I could add to more options, making it - do you:

a) replace NAD 3020 with moderate AV

b) use nad with HT bypass and moderate AV

c) buy whizz bang super expensive AVR that has great correction features and capable amps.

d) exotic solutions eg miniDSP for bass management, or seperate processor and amp.

 

I’m hoping something like the NAD 758v3 or an Anthem MRX 520 would provide me with a good enough amp for 2ch duties. But I really won’t know till I try em on my speakers in my home (which is all about to change with a reno anyway). At least those 2 aren’t too expensive that I wouldn’t be put off buying an external amp,

YMMV.

 

 

 

 

Very good suggestions and spot on too as well. 

How do you achieve the below with the nad d3020?

 

b.) Use nad with huse nad with HT bypass and moderate AV

 

I think in my case I can rule out c.) & d.)

due to budget limitations.

 

Thanks for your post!

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4 hours ago, pete_mac said:

 

The Rotel, whilst a decent bit of kit, is on a whole different level to the AVRs that the OP is considering in his first post. At the price point that the OP is targeting, IMHO AVRs do not sound as good as an equivalent integrated amplifier. Each to their own, of course.

 

 

Would this suggest that the nad d3020 will sound better for music compared to the $1200 budget avr range?

 

I have never had an avr before and I'm really curious if room correction, bass management and a centre channel really makes a difference? Or do these features really only benefit movies and are not so important for stereo music?

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45 minutes ago, redline0201 said:

Very good suggestions and spot on too as well. 

How do you achieve the below with the nad d3020?

 

b.) Use nad with huse nad with HT bypass and moderate AV

 

I think in my case I can rule out c.) & d.)

due to budget limitations.

 

Thanks for your post!

@redline0201

It is great that you ask for advice, I wish I did before I bought lots of things that I don'd use, have sold or will sell at a loss.

The Yamaha you quoted in your first post has the ability for "Bi Amping". That means that the AVR can either drive front left and right speakers or that you can connect the AVR front left and front right to the NAD and the NAD to the speakers. That means the Yamaha drives all the speakers except for the the two front speakers.

Not all AVR's have that function, so please be careful.

 

 

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46 minutes ago, redline0201 said:

Would this suggest that the nad d3020 will sound better for music compared to the $1200 budget avr range?

 

I have never had an avr before and I'm really curious if room correction, bass management and a centre channel really makes a difference? Or do these features really only benefit movies and are not so important for stereo music?

You need to decide what you want - 2 channel or HT or both.

For 2 channel most of the functions of an AVR is not necessary. For 2 channel many of us don't bother with Bass management or room correction. And when we do bother with it most of us we will not use an AVR to do it. 2 channel stereo room correction and bass management is way above what most AVR's can do.

For HT I 100% believe in the centre channel, then bass management. Room correction is nice, but different AVR's have different capabilities.

 

 

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59 minutes ago, redline0201 said:

Would this suggest that the nad d3020 will sound better for music compared to the $1200 budget avr range?

Compared when an integrated amp, an AVR has to manage 3 to 9 more channels of processing and amplification, plus video processing. And requires more connectivity options and points.  Added complexity  = more costs. Hence for a $1,200 budget, an integrated amp will have better quality components than an equivalent AVR.

 

59 minutes ago, redline0201 said:

I have never had an avr before and I'm really curious if room correction, bass management and a centre channel really makes a difference? Or do these features really only benefit movies and are not so important for stereo music?

An AVR can be used to convert 2 channel music to drive the sub and centre (and other channels).  Some people like that capability while others do not.

 

Room Correction software, in particular Dirac Live, improves stereo playback on a NAD (also Arcam, Emotiva) AVR. It also improves bass management.  

Edited by Snoopy8
Typo

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1 hour ago, redline0201 said:

Would this suggest that the nad d3020 will sound better for music compared to the $1200 budget avr range?

 

I have never had an avr before and I'm really curious if room correction, bass management and a centre channel really makes a difference? Or do these features really only benefit movies and are not so important for stereo music?

 

I haven't heard the D3020, nor the exact AVRs in question, so it's impossible for me to say for sure. 

 

What I can say is that $1200 should secure you a very nice integrated amplifier (particularly a good second-hand unit) which will better the D3020 and any new AVR in that price bracket (for two channel audio listening purposes).

 

One thing to consider is that if you really want to play around with an AVR, and are happy not to have the latest 4K HDMI compatibility (e.g. you connect any external sources directly to the multiple HDMI inputs on your TV), you can get some used top-of-the-line AVRs for reasonable dollars eg.

 

https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/259969-fs-pioneer-lc-lx-82/

 

 

 

 

Edited by pete_mac

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5 minutes ago, pete_mac said:

 

I haven't heard the D3020, nor the exact AVRs in question, so it's impossible for me to say for sure. 

 

What I can say is that $1200 should secure you a very nice integrated amplifier (particularly a good second-hand unit) which will better the D3020 and any new AVR in that price bracket.

 

One thing to consider is that if you really want to play around with an AVR, and are happy not to have the latest HDMI compatibility (e.g. you connect any external sources directly to the multiple HDMI inputs on your TV), you can get some used top-of-the-line AVRs for reasonable dollars eg.

 

https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/259969-fs-pioneer-lc-lx-82/

 

 

 

 

Cannot agree more, great post

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3 hours ago, redline0201 said:

Very good suggestions and spot on too as well. 

How do you achieve the below with the nad d3020?

 

b.) Use nad with huse nad with HT bypass and moderate AV

 

I think in my case I can rule out c.) & d.)

due to budget limitations.

 

Thanks for your post!

I think jventer described it well - you need an AV that has pre-outs (at least for front L/R). These will become line level inputs to your d3020 like any other source CD etc.

The things that will make it interesting are:

1) You'll need to always switch on the 3020 amp when using the AVR - NP for you, but you need to train others (WAF). There are solutions to this - some AV have a trigger out that you can connect to trigger in on your d3020? My old AV had mains out that it switch on, you can buy 3rd party power switching devices, program a universal remote like Harmon, etc.

2) Probably more important... If you decide to also hook certain stereo sources directly to your d3020 amp - because the signal path is more direct, AV doesnt have streaming, or its a phono or whatever. Then the volume management issue will be more important. I dont know if the d3020 has a power amp mode where the input is expected to be coming from a pre and the volume managed on the pre. But even if it doesn't, it's no big problem to pick a fixed volume position (LOUD) on it and have the AV do it's calibrate to get the sound levels right between the speakers it powers directly through onboard amps and the front 2 that it will rely on your d3020 to power. BUTT (its a big but hence the double T and shouting), if you then switch d3020 source to CD and your amp assumes all sources have same line levels (again dont know if thats the case for your d3020) it could be a rude shock and a bit unkind to all concerned AMP, Speakers, and catalyticly damaged wet wear in the vicinity.

 

Other than the caveat's above, it's an attractive option for making the most out of different bits of gear and probably a way to get more bang for your buck (I mean the nice kind not the blown kind. Ah, you not what I mean). The high end AV are a big investment, and the technology is changing fast.

 

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3 hours ago, redline0201 said:

I have never had an avr before and I'm really curious if room correction, bass management and a centre channel really makes a difference? Or do these features really only benefit movies and are not so important for stereo music?

Theres an option to try out dirac live for free if you have a pc/laptop and a good calibrated mike like a umik ; oh and also a good mike stand redline :cool: Kal Rubinson who writes for Stereophile [music in the round] is enthusiastic :)

 

https://www.dirac.com/new-gallery/egewk6s7gva2wzb4jo6wthbea1put1

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