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Amplifier vs. Receiver: Which Should You Use in Your High-End Audio System?

Make Sure You Complement Your Speakers With the Right Technology

Amplifier vs. Receiver: Which Should You Use in Your High-End Audio System?

Figuring out the right setup for your high-end audio involves various steps. As people focus on finding the highest-quality speakers available, often forgotten is the heart of your stereo system: your receiver or amplifier. Having the best speakers on the planet won’t matter if you can’t get crisp, quality audio to them. Depending on how you want to use your system, your space, and budget limitations, and your personal tastes, we help you figure out if the high-end audio solution in your Lake Forest, Illinois home should be built around a receiver or separate components.

SEE MORE: How to Extend the Reach of Your Favorite Entertainment

 What Is the Difference Between an Amplifier and an AV Receiver?

When choosing between an amplifier and receiver for your high-end audio setup, you're actually choosing between a receiver and what the AV industry calls ‘separates.' This means instead of putting all your components in one box, you buy each separately.

An AV receiver is an all-in-one solution. It includes a tuner, preamplifier, and an amplifier. The tuner pulls in your audio signal; the preamplifier extends the signal to get it to the amplifier which powers up the signal to get it to your loudspeakers. These receivers usually have two to nine channels to meet surround sound demands. Each channel corresponds to a different speaker in the room.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Each?

The biggest perk of an AV-receiver is convenience. They're usually cheaper and easier to install than separates. They are also more versatile than individual amps since they often include more HDMI inputs and outputs. With recent advancements, AVRs are no longer an inferior option to the traditional 2-channel amplifiers that audiophiles have come to love.

That being said, going with separates lets you pick and choose what matters most. For example, you can purchase tube or solid state amplifiers. The tube option gives a ‘warmer’ sound which corresponds better to certain styles of music. Solid components let you get more powerful sound than their tube counterparts. A separates system is also easier to upgrade since you'd only have to change out your pre-amp when new technology arrives.

Which Is the Best Option for Your System?

If you’re going to use your system in a small or multi-purpose environment, we recommend going with a home theater receiver like the Concert AVR-9 from Audio Control. This receiver not only amplifies your high-end audio signals but it’s also fully compatible with 4K video technology and Dolby Atmos to give you immersive surround sound when watching movies.

If you’re a dedicated audiophile that wants to create a traditional stereo system in a custom listening room, you may want to go with separates. Having a separate amp helps you get the most out of your expensive loudspeakers since you can get more power behind your signal. You can also pick and choose the technology that best fits your musical preferences.

When a high-end audio system is done right, it becomes an extremely personal experience. This why a one-size-fits-all solution doesn't make much sense. Contact the experts at Avidia to find out which system would work best for you. Fill out our online contact form or call us at 847-868-9200.