Need advice for buying A/V receiver for existing Audioengine A5+ powered speakers
May 3, 2015 at 8:23 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

ashack

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I have the Audioengine A5+ Powered speakers and have been using them for these devices:

1. Laptop / Mobile Phone

2. Vinyl Record Player

3. Traktor DJ Controller

4. Audio Out from TV

Since the Audioengine A5+ only has 2 inputs (RCA and Aux) I've basically been manually switching the cables every time I need to use one of the devices mentioned above. In addition, I'd like to add Bluetooth to this setup and so if I want to do that I'll have a 5th device to switch between!

So basically it's gotten to the point where I think it's worth buying an A/V receiver where I can just hook all these things up and be able to switch between them using a remote. Unfortunately I kind of rushed into buying the Yamaha v477 A/V receiver, which does not have any pre-amp outputs (see image). I had initially thought the AV output would work for this, but it doesn't (i.e. I get no volume control and the bass signal is not being sent either).

At this point I have a two options with this receiver:

  • Use the headphone output from the Receiver to connect to my Audioengine A5+ speakers, which seems kinda silly (or is it?).
  • Purchase a line level converter and connect my powered speakers that way.


What do you think of those options? I'm wondering if I should just return the receiver and buy a receiver with pre-amp outputs (I've also heard of Zone 2, is that same as a pre-amp?).

I feel like an idiot for rushing and buying this Amp, so I'm trying to do more research and get other people's advice before I make another stupid decision.

Appreciate your help!
 
May 3, 2015 at 9:49 PM Post #2 of 17

cel4145

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My suggestion would be Option 3: Keep the Yamaha and sell the Audioengines and get some good passive speakers. An AVR is meant to run passive speakers. Get yourself a speaker upgrade :)

Now if you really want a device that does what an AVR does but is meant for active speakers, you want a pre-processor. But they are expensive and, IMO, not worth buying for the A5+--it would be an over investment in electronics, which is what you would be doing by buying a more expensive receiver as well.
 
May 3, 2015 at 10:01 PM Post #3 of 17

ashack

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Hmmm. I didn't consider that option.  But then wouldn't I have to buy a subwoofer as well? I'm just worried that this is all going to get pretty expensive.  I was hoping I wouldn't have spend too much more than just the receiver itself. I'll have to do some research on some speakers. Do you have any you suggest?
 
May 3, 2015 at 10:44 PM Post #4 of 17

cel4145

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I don't know why you think you need a sub. The Audioengines don't have one.

Look into these speakers:
http://www.chanemusiccinema.com/chane-loudspeakers/A1rx-c
http://hsuresearch.com/products/hb-1.html
 
May 3, 2015 at 10:55 PM Post #5 of 17

ashack

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Yes. Sorry not sure what I was thinking there, please ignore that comment.
 
Will take a look at those speakers.
 
I guess connecting powered speakers to an amp is not really a common thing is it? I mean, if I bought an amp 2 years ago when I bought Audioengine A5+'s I wouldn't have bought them to begin with and I would've bought passive speakers. But I didn't wanna spend much back then.
 
May 3, 2015 at 11:24 PM Post #6 of 17

cel4145

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Yes. Sorry not sure what I was thinking there, please ignore that comment.

Will take a look at those speakers.

I guess connecting powered speakers to an amp is not really a common thing is it? I mean, if I bought an amp 2 years ago when I bought Audioengine A5+'s I wouldn't have bought them to begin with and I would've bought passive speakers. But I didn't wanna spend much back then.


I wouldn't say people never do it. It's more cost effectiveness for sound quality for your money to go with passive with an AVR in many ways. For what the A5+ cost, there are undoubtedly better passive speakers. So if you are going to buy an AVR, why buy the A5+? So yeah. Most people don't for powered speakers at this price point because the AVR gives you power. And then you have to get into mid-level or higher end receivers before you get pre-outs for hooking up powered monitors. That gets pretty costly.

And then if one is trying to build an HT setup, most people need a horizontal center channel because they don't have room for a vertical speaker. So that rules out most powered speakers for many people because there's no matching center channel.

And then there are people who put a lot of money into active speaker setups for HT usage, but then many buy a preprocessor, which is pretty pricey.
 
May 4, 2015 at 10:08 AM Post #7 of 17

DanielP

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If you're just looking for a way to make switching between sources easier, another option might be an audio switch like this one - http://www.amazon.com/Source-Tabletop-Control-Switch-Internal/dp/B0056DQT1A
 
May 4, 2015 at 10:24 AM Post #8 of 17

kdava

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I'm in the research phase of getting an AVR myself that would be good for headphone listening too, so I thought I'll share my results with you.
 
I've found that the best device that is affordable is the Pioneer VSX-924 (or the VSX-930, the newer version that will be released this year).
 
It has everything you need, and quite an emphasis on sound quality with an ESS Sabre DAC. Pre-outs, zone 2, bluetooth, WiFi, etc. You can connect a headphone amp via the pre-out.
 
That is, if you decide to get an AV receiver in the end.
 
May 4, 2015 at 11:19 AM Post #9 of 17

cel4145

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I'm in the research phase of getting an AVR myself that would be good for headphone listening too, so I thought I'll share my results with you.


The headphone out on many AVRs seems to be more of an after thought, and unfortunately, manufacturers do not provide specs on the headphone output to enable people to make purchase decisions. So definitely makes this very hard.

I've found that the best device that is affordable is the Pioneer VSX-924 (or the VSX-930, the newer version that will be released this year).

It has everything you need, and quite an emphasis on sound quality with an ESS Sabre DAC. Pre-outs, zone 2, bluetooth, WiFi, etc. You can connect a headphone amp via the pre-out.


Keep in mind that the implementation of the DAC chip is more important than the chip itself. So comparing DAC chips in AVRs, or even stand alone DACs, isn't very reliable for determining which DAC quality is better.
 
May 4, 2015 at 11:32 AM Post #10 of 17

kdava

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The headphone out on many AVRs seems to be more of an after thought, and unfortunately, manufacturers do not provide specs on the headphone output to enable people to make purchase decisions. So definitely makes this very hard.
Keep in mind that the implementation of the DAC chip is more important than the chip itself. So comparing DAC chips in AVRs, or even stand alone DACs, isn't very reliable for determining which DAC quality is better.

 
Yeah I know, I just mentioned the chip as a plus :)
 
I could find absolutely no info on headphone outs of AVRs, the companies really don't care about that huh :) ... that's why I decided it's better to look for an AVR that has pre-outs so you can connect a headphone amp if you want to. That way you get the connectivity of the receiver (like wifi, bluetooth high-res streaming, etc), and you can still enjoy your headphone to the fullest if you have a headphone amp to connect.
 
May 4, 2015 at 12:54 PM Post #11 of 17

cel4145

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Yeah I know, I just mentioned the chip as a plus :)


I'd be cautious about mentioning any chips as "plus" as a recommendation unless you have demoed the unit, or use it at all to make a buying decision. It could easily be no better than the DACs in other comparably priced AVRs. :)
 
May 4, 2015 at 2:56 PM Post #12 of 17

PurpleAngel

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I have the Audioengine A5+ Powered speakers and have been using them for these devices:
1. Laptop / Mobile Phone
2. Vinyl Record Player
3. Traktor DJ Controller
4. Audio Out from TV
Since the Audioengine A5+ only has 2 inputs (RCA and Aux) I've basically been manually switching the cables every time I need to use one of the devices mentioned above. In addition, I'd like to add Bluetooth to this setup and so if I want to do that I'll have a 5th device to switch between!
So basically it's gotten to the point where I think it's worth buying an A/V receiver where I can just hook all these things up and be able to switch between them using a remote. Unfortunately I kind of rushed into buying the Yamaha v477 A/V receiver, which does not have any pre-amp outputs (see image). I had initially thought the AV output would work for this, but it doesn't (i.e. I get no volume control and the bass signal is not being sent either).
At this point I have a two options with this receiver:
 
  • Use the headphone output from the Receiver to connect to my Audioengine A5+ speakers, which seems kinda silly (or is it?).
  • Purchase a line level converter and connect my powered speakers that way.
  • What do you think of those options? I'm wondering if I should just return the receiver and buy a receiver with pre-amp outputs (I've also heard of Zone 2, is that same as a pre-amp?).
  • I feel like an idiot for rushing and buying this Amp, so I'm trying to do more research and get other people's advice before I make another stupid decision.

 
Both the Yamaha and the A5+ come with built in speaker amplifiers, so one is redundant.
If you spend your time sitting at a desk listening to speakers, then return the Yamaha and just keep using the A5+ studio monitors.
If your looking to fill up a room with music (or movie audio), then sell off the A5+ and get some passive (unpowered) speakers for use with the Yamaha.
(Pioneer seems to have some will liked speakers, for a reasonable price)
 
I personally like using studio monitors (Monoprice 5" studio monitors) at my computer desk.
DanielP's idea of getting a switch box seems to make the most sense (if you return the Yamaha).
 
May 5, 2015 at 4:56 AM Post #13 of 17

kdava

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I'd be cautious about mentioning any chips as "plus" as a recommendation unless you have demoed the unit, or use it at all to make a buying decision. It could easily be no better than the DACs in other comparably priced AVRs.
smily_headphones1.gif

 
You're right about that :) I just read in reviews that sound is really good. Couldn't audition it myself yet, though.
 
Well, I agree that OP might be better off getting a switch, a VCR seems like a waste of money for that gear. Or sell the powered speakers and get passive ones along with the receiver.
 
May 5, 2015 at 12:10 PM Post #14 of 17

ashack

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Thanks for the responses!
 
With regards to the simple audio input switch, I actually already have one. But I'm having issues with my Traktor DJ and Vinyl Record player inputs. Maybe the switch isn't very good at all, but it's just not working for those two inputs. And I only bought the switch about 4 months ago. Do you think it's worth checking out the switched mentioned above? Do you think I just have a bad switch? 
 
To be honest, I don't wanna spend so much money if I don't have to. I have a small studio apartment and the Audioengine A5+ do more than enough to fill the area with music :).
 
May 5, 2015 at 12:39 PM Post #15 of 17

cel4145

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I have no idea about the switcher previously mentioned.

If you want a really good switch, get the Niles AXP-1. They generally run ~ $100, but you can definitely tell the difference between it and one of those cheap plastic switch boxes. The chassis is metal (almost seems tough enough you could stand on it), and the rotary switch design seems more durable to me than the plastic push buttons on the cheaper switches. The one I have seems like a device that could easily last for 30 years of regular use. :)

Right now, Amazon has them for $85. If you don't like it, you could return it for the cost of return shipping. But I have no doubt you'll find it's a much better build quality grade of switcher than the cheaper plastic ones.
 

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