amplifier or receiver????
which is better and does an amplifier offer the same things as a receiver how do they differ and which is the better way to go with polk monior seriesi appreciate the help guys some of this stuff can be overwhelming but im learning through the forums
AVR vs. Pre-Amp and Amplifier
I think everyone will agree that an amplifier (or external amp) is nearly always better than a receiver (AVR). Basically, a receiver has a built in amplifier that never puts out the power it claims (except possibly brands like NAD), although some are better than others (Denon and harman/kardon come to mind, Onkyo Yamaha, and Marantz ... among others, are also considered "high current" AVRs). If you get upgraditis, which many do that frequent these forums, your receiver will probably end up as a pre-amp, connected to fewer speakers (or none at all) using only the pre-out terminals some have on the rear panel to send a processed, but unamplified audio signal to an external amplifier that will do the grunt work more effectively (at least for the front three speakers, leaving the AVR to handle amplification for just the surround channels).
Originally Posted by K-daugh
A receiver also acts as a tuner and sound processor, as well as, usually these days, a video processor (decoding signals such as DTS or Dolby Digital in the case of audio, or, in the case of video, upscaling 480i/p to 720i/p or 1080i/p).
An amplifier, on the other hand, does only one thing: it takes one signal per channel, amplifies it and sends it out to the speakers. It cannot work without a pre/pro (that has no amplification capabilities at all usually) or a receiver with pre-out connections for the appropriate channels on the rear panel. Amplifiers can be monobloc (one channel only), stereo (two channels, which can be bridged into one - in some cases - for more power) or multi-channel (five or seven). You cannot connect outside sources such as a CD player or DVD player directly to an amplifier.
If you look at these images of the rear panel and insides of a receiver/AVR, you will notice it has all the connections for video and audio devices as well as speaker terminals.
If you look at these images of a pre-amp/processor, it has all the same audio and video connections but no speaker terminals. It cannot amplify sound, only process it.
If you look at these images of an amplifier, you will see that the front panel has no controls for a tuner, input selections or even volume. The insides are just for amplification and cooling. There are only audio channel input connections on the rear panel as well as speaker terminals:
Here is an article about external amplification and its benefits:
Here is an article about a "high power" receiver (NAD), just to muddy the waters and confuse you some more:
This is obviously over simplification, but that's how I would explain it! Oh ... and welcome to the forum BTW!