mini systems vs receivers
Sep 1, 2002 at 3:06 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

Tom M

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how do todays multichannel receivers compair to mini systems and micro component systems for two channel sound? With a good receiver do you get sound quality that tops any mini system and get good surround sound also? In addition, how do the receivers of today compair to stereo only receivers of either today or 10-15 years ago?
 
Sep 1, 2002 at 3:51 AM Post #2 of 19

Calanctus

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I can't address the question of how today's receivers compare to those of 10-15 years ago, but as far as sound quality goes, I'm pleased with mine (Marantz SR9200). The top-of-the-line receivers from Marantz, Pioneer and Denon have received a lot of favourable press from pure audio and home theater magazines. E.g. Michael Fremer of Stereophile (writing in Stereophile Guide to Home Theatre; he usually reviews analogue gear for Stereophile) gave very favourable reviews to the Denon 5800 and the Pioneer VSX-49.
 
Sep 1, 2002 at 5:44 AM Post #3 of 19

kelly

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I don't think this has changed much.
boomboxed < mini-systems < receivers < sperates
with few exception.
 
Sep 1, 2002 at 2:09 PM Post #4 of 19

aeberbach

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Apart from anything else consider the tiny little transformer that most mini systems use... good clean power is the basis for good sound. A receiver has the added bonus (usually) of digital input. It's much better to have a single digital line from the computer to the amp than even just two RCAs and for five channel it gets ridiculous.
 
Sep 1, 2002 at 5:55 PM Post #5 of 19

MacDEF

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We a few exceptions, a good receiver, good speakers, and a good source will be significantly better than most minisystems (and will cost more).

A few exceptions are the NAD Music System, Linn Classik, and Denon DM-30, all of which sound better than most mass-market/consumer-level separates systems.
 
Sep 1, 2002 at 6:36 PM Post #6 of 19

RoninDiesel

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does the sony dream system count as a mini system? I'm interested in purchasing one but can't seem to find reviews about it. would anyone have any advice?
 
Sep 1, 2002 at 7:23 PM Post #7 of 19

Tom M

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A receiver under 1000 or all but the great big receivers like the denon 4800 or 5800 or any of the big Marantz receivers for instance the sr18 or sr14. Btw any one is welcome to anwswer this post if macdef happen not to see it yet. Thanx to all on this board you've been a great help with my questions.
 
Sep 2, 2002 at 6:04 AM Post #8 of 19

MacDEF

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Quote:

Originally posted by Tom M
what would be considered consumer level?
A receiver under 1000 or all but the great big receivers like the denon 4800 or 5800 or any of the big Marantz receivers for instance the sr18 or sr14. Btw any one is welcome to anwswer this post if macdef happen not to see it yet. Thanx to all on this board you've been a great help with my questions.


My personal opinion is that most multi-channel systems are made for multichannel sound, and sacrifice two-channel quality to give you lots of bells and whistles. That said, its quite possible that some of the really good Denon, Marantz, and Yamaha systems will sound great given a good set of speakers and a good source.

However, when you were asking about minisystems vs. multi-channel receivers, I was under the impression that you meant at similar price points
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I'd put the NAD system ($600-$700) or even the Denon DM-30 ($400) up against a comparably-priced system featuring a multi-channel receiver any day. The reason being that once you spend $200 on some very good entry-level speakers that will compete with the speakers that come with these two "mini" systems, you're only left with $200 or $500 for a source *and* the multi-channel receiver. Chances are the two-channel quality of the receiver is going to be pretty crappy.
 
Sep 2, 2002 at 6:13 AM Post #9 of 19

kelly

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I was outside my apartment today and made an observation.

I heard a stereo playing (mild thumping) and when the husband/boyfriend/whaetver came back with the beer/munchies/condoms/whatever he went to get, he opened the door and I got to hear more of what was coming from that apartment.

I was standing a good distance from the apartment and not positioned anywhere close relative to the door.

The observation was that it was obvious that this person had a receiver.

I thought to myself, isn't it funny that wherever you go, you can always tell. If a club has a live band (even amplified), you always know they're live. If someone has a mini system or a boombox, you instantly know which it is they have even if you're just walking by their apartment.

This to me makes a real statement about the quality of a system (and the wattage, I suppose). If it sounds good from a distance and from another room, you know something good is happening in whatever they have.

My point of all this is that the distance between these levels of components is still, even today, fairly obvious to me.

I agree that the Linn Classik is a nice exception and I'm sure some of the others Macdef listed are too, but by and large I'm happy I have a Sony ES receiver instead of a "HT-in-a-box" or a mini-system, and I'd be even happier if I had a Classe pre/pro and some killer monoblocks. I think these levels are still valid today and it's not just a prejudice.
 
Sep 2, 2002 at 6:52 AM Post #10 of 19

MacDEF

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Quote:

Originally posted by kelly
My point of all this is that the distance between these levels of components is still, even today, fairly obvious to me.


I actually agree with you on that, Kelly -- when I mentioned those three minisystems above I was simply giving examples of what I meant by "with a few exceptions"
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MOST of the time, separates are going to sound better (even if one of the separates is a receiver
confused.gif
wink.gif
). The exceptions sometimes occur (the examples I gave) when the limiting factor is price.

Quote:

I agree that the Linn Classik is a nice exception and I'm sure some of the others Macdef listed are too, but by and large I'm happy I have a Sony ES receiver instead of a "HT-in-a-box" or a mini-system


I would also argue that your Sony ES receiver is of better quality than most of the consumer-level Kenwood/Sony/Onkyo/Harmon-Kardon receiver junk that places like Best Buy, Circuit City, and The Good Guys pass off as "hi-fi"
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In those cases, I'd much rather have an L40 (which is basically three NAD separates in one case). But if you have the money to get something good, separates is the way to go, definitely.

I also agree with you that most of these "home theater in a box" systems are horrible -- do some research and you'll get a much better system buying things separately.
 
Sep 2, 2002 at 10:11 AM Post #12 of 19

kelly

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Tom

You USUALLY can do better with a receiver than with a mini-system. Since you seem to be on a tight budget, Macdef was pointing out some of the exceptional mini-systems so that you might could spend wisely.

If you need multi-channel for HT and have limited funds, then just spend wisely. I agree with the brands already mentioned: Denon, Marantz, Yamaha but would also add Sony ES. I'd steer clear of Kenwood and Sherwood (in the US anyway), Sony (non-ES), etc. I'd avoid Onkyo and Harmon Kardon for mostly cost issues.

If you want more specific model advice, there's probably a lot of people who would chime in to a post requesting that help.
 

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