Bi-amp through receiver vs pre out to 2 channel for fronts

Right now I am no amping my monitor audio gold 100 front speakers using a pioneer elite receiver.

The manufacturer recommends bi amping. If I buy a parasound 2 channel amp for the fRonda and don’t bi amp, is that going to sound better?
Hi Craigert.

You are definitely getting the bottom side of your receiver, unfortunately.  The receiver will only have one transformer feeding all channels within it.  They tend to be quite small, intended to drive other smaller surround sound speakers, and typically limited in their dynamic ability compared to stand alone amps.  While you are actually bi-amping at this time, you are running off of one, likely small, transformer from the receiver that is feeding all of the receivers amps/channels.  The Monitor Audio Gold  is an excellent speaker, though I am not familiar with its load rating or efficiency,,,,,,  is your receiver getting unusually warm/hot?  While the Pioneer Elite is nothing to sneeze at, without knowing the model of Pioneer Elite I can not comment more specifically on its capabilities, and whether or not you are doing those fine speakers justice.  If its sounds better than before, than as long as the receiver is not heating, you've done a good thing.  Yet, with the Parasound consideration, depending on what model Parasound, it is likely the Parasound will be your superior sound, bass, impact, etc, etc.  Again,,,all model dependent.  Both Parasound and Monitor Audio are available at many stereo is likely you could google and find one that carries both, then stop in to hear the Parasound on Monitor Golds...that should definitively answer your question.  

Hope you see some benefit to my ramblings!  

>>> Rich
Thank you for taking the time to answer my question! I tried to edit my question beca Are there were a couple bad auto corrects but it said I can’t.

Anyway, I have the Pioneer Elite VSX-03TXH. Very interesting point about the transformer!

So it sounds like even if I had a 2 channel amp powering my fronts that it would be better than bi amping using my receiver. It’s just really hard to find a 4 or 6 channel amp for some reason. 

I was just using Parasound as an example. I am very new and growing into the audiophile world. Lol I upgraded from MA Silvers to Gold, and I just feel like I could probably be getting more treble out of these ribbon speakers. I’m not sure what is the best for that. I have 2 MA powered subwoofers and holy smokes, there is no worry there!!! 
Good question OP. Others will chime in with much better answers than mine, but I have been told when bi-amping use identical amps. 

Thanks Tom that makes sense to me. Did you post something and then take it down? I read a post and then it disappeared. 
I would say that we mostly listen to HT movies using surround, and occasionally I will listen to 2 channel music. 

When i listen to music 2 channel I want the best sound Possible. 
Very welcome, OP. No, I didn't post and remove. Also, I read somewhere that it's better to use a single good amp bi-wired than two mediocre amps bi-amped.

Tom, that’s half of the question answered for me right there! For instance, if I buy a two channel McIntosh that’s bi-wired, will it sound better than bi amping using my receiver channels as I have it now? I’m using channels 6 and 7 to bi amp my fronts. I don’t know whether to buy a McIntosh 2 channel and bi wire, or buy like an Anthem 8 channel and start by amping the fronts and center channel later down the road when I get a center channel. 
I think I read that another poster here (whitecamaross?) went so far as to say that there are NO multi-channel amps that sound as good as a 2-ch amp, even from the same manufacturer.

I believe it is Richard Vandersteen (Vandersteen Audio) and Jim Smith (Get Better Sound) who both recommend a single good amp.

Maybe it goes back to the whole transformer thing? If you go packing multiple channels into one housing aren’t you in essence building towards what an A/V receiver is? Does anybody know if a multiple channel amp still only has one transformer like a receiver? Sorry, I am new at this but so far this is really fun. Lol 
If you’d really like the best sound possible in 2-channel, your best bet is to completely remove your AVR from the signal chain when listening in stereo. Neither the Pioneer’s amp section nor, just as importantly, its preamp section are doing you any favors in 2-channel sound quality. The easiest way to do this is to buy a dedicated integrated stereo amplifier. This way you can completely remove the AVR for more critical stereo listening literally with the push of one button if the integrated amp has a HT pass through feature, but you can continue to use your AVR for multichannel preocessing and to power your center and surround speakers. Believe it or not, you simply hook the AVR’s front L/R preamp outs to the HT pass through input on the integrated and hook the speaker outs from the integrated to your front L/R speakers, and you’re done. It’s literally that easy.

Not sure what you were prepared to spend on a new amp, but for around $1500 you could get a Hegel H160 or an Ayre AX7e available here now, both of which offer HT bypass and will significantly outperform your AVR for stereo listening. Bypassing your AVR completely in favor of either of these integrateds will likely far outweigh any benefits of just replacing the amp to bi-amp. You can probably buy some used shotgun biwire speaker cables down the road with this setup and get a good portion of biamping anyway. Just my $0.02, and best of luck.
forget biamping unless you have 2 exactly the same amps....your connection is much too fraught with "issues"
That’s the recommendation I needed Soix, perfect! Thanks! 

Thanks Stringreen for allowing me to let go that I always have to bi amp. 
Totally agree String.  yes, a very good single amp is best.  If folks want a wonderful integrated that sounds much bigger and better than it's cost, look at the Belles line.  They are making some of the best sounding amps in their respective price ranges.  Heard some at Audio Connection in NJ as Johnny was raving to a few of us about them.  To me, they sound like the old Brown (BEL) Lab amps of years ago in that they actually do outperform their competition in so many important areas.  

I owned that AX7e and now have the AX5/20.  Teh Belles beats the 7e by a country mile and the integrated is only 1800 or so I think and it has much more power and drive than the 7e.  To MY ears, it is just so much better at under 2k that I have all my buddies looking into it.  JMHO adn good luck
Thank you, I’ll look into it. Now, if I can’t afford an integrated amp right now, what are thoughts on buying an amp first to run from my Elite receiver, and then buying a pre amp with HT passthrough in the future to stick between them? I’m guessing it’s probably better to wait and save $1800, and go for the integrated huh? 
what are thoughts on buying an amp first to run from my Elite receiver, and then buying a pre amp with HT passthrough in the future to stick between them?
Wonderful idea! it made subwoofer connection easier too.
It really depends.  You'll likely get the best overall bang for your buck by buying an integrated since you're only buying one box and need one less pair of interconnects (and power cord if you upgrade those too).  Then again, if you can space out the spending and potentially get a better separate amp and pre then you could end up better off that way in the long run, and it gives you a little more flexibility to tailor your sound -- for better or worse.  Choose your poison. 

Save for an integrated amp that is good. you want something that will push good current and a clean signal.  You can't patch work through a system. That's what keeps AG in business, lol.  It's why folks are always chasing their tails to get what they want and when they don't they get frustrated.  

If you can't afford what you want, it is what it is, but if you can afford an amp, then you can afford an integrated amp.  Even a less expensive NAD or Rotel will be better than the Emotiva's of the world and you can easily sell later on if needed. They will be much better than any AVR.  

if folks want to have AVR and 2 channel in the same system, there will have to be compromises.  That's the reality.  I personally have always enjoyed my TV/movies with a very high end audio system.  Once you start to use digital in a signal it hurts the sound.  That goes for any DAC too and many of us have some great DAC sets ups.  

pass through can be used, but you are still then needing more equipment etc... and it's more room needed and more money.  You have to pick your poison,  No magic bullet no matter what folks may say.  Use your ears and hear for yourself.
Thanks guys, and that’s good to know that NAD and Rotel are considered better than Emotiva. I am really trying to find an integrated amp with ht bypass because I’m not exactly sure how to use work around to just use the receiver volume control it all and not have to get up and manually adjust multiple volume settings every time I want to adjust the volume while watching a movie. So far I like the looks of Hegel, Parasound, and Roksan. It’s just a matter of which sounds best with Monitor audio Golds. Is it weird to say that, although the dispersion is better now with the ribbon tweeters, I feel like my silvers sounded better with my current receiver? Maybe the receiver is just not enough for the upgrade to the Golds?
Also, can anybody show me pictures of the difference between the transformer of a pioneer elite receiver, and one in a nice amp or integrated amp? 

Is there really much difference between a separate pre-amp, and using a receiver as a preamp? 

I know the the general theory, but just wondering if people exaggerate the differences caused by the transformer in the AV receiver and then the signal processing of the AV as a pre-amp. 

I totally believe that the power from an AV is overrated. 

Here is is why I am asking - I found a 7 channel Anthem PVA7 Power Amp which may be a nice solution for now if an integrated amp will not make much difference from my receiver using it as a Pre-amp. 
Let me be blunt. Both the preamp and amp section of your (and almost all) AVR suck. They just flat out suck. If you replace one part, your stereo sound will be greatly compromised by the other. Period. People, especially when they’re relatively new to higher end Audio, tend to underestimate the importance of a preamp in the audio chain. Don’t make that fatal mistake. Get a good integrated and you replace both flawed components of your AVR at once. If you buy the Hegel H160 and compare it to your AVR I guarantee you won’t believe how much better your MA Gold speakers will sound in every conceivable way. There are no shortcuts here. Buy an integrated and get it over with in one shot. You’ll be thrilled you did.
Thanks @soix   Guys, there is more to things than a transformer etc... There is no simple post that can tell you WHY AVR's sux (sorry to Anthem and other more expensive ones), but you suck too (hope I didn't step on toes, but I know I will).  As I said, there are a ton of integrated's at various levels to listen to. 

Teh only way to say something sounds better, is to listen wiht your own ears.  I enjoy the NAD and Rotel for the under 1k amps. I feel that they are just great values and I've owned and still own their gear.  Heck, I have an Onix integrated amp that is from 1996 or so I believe.  It doesn't have phono, nor does it have remote, but it's still a GREAT sounding integrated amp. Beats (to my ear) most of the sub 2k integrated amps of today.  Heavy toroidal transformer and high end ALPS pots.  Even the internal, point to point wiring is better than most of what I see today.  

Go listen to the Hegel.  Looks don't mean jack...nada....go listen to an NAD and or Rotel.  I promise you that it's worth listening to the Belles also. this is their sub 2k.  I have heard the Hegel vs the Belles at Audio Connection in Verona NJ and was blown away by the Belles.  It wasn't even close to MY EAR....Craig, you will be chasing your tail and losing money and never happy if you don't audition and just listen to a few of the folks online (that includes me too).  Just saying and I be most would agree.  
But just for my learning experience, what do you think about these pre/amp processor av receivers? Are they just an AV receiver in disguise or are they equivalent to a real pre-amp? 
If I get an integrated amp without HT bypass, isn’t there a way to still control the volume all from the AV receiver? 

Somebody said something about using another line in or line out but I didn’t understand. 
AVR's are not serious audio gear.  Even the expensive ones are not as good as a good integrated or separate. They are made to be something for everyone.  Most of the things on them aren't ever used by 90% of the listeners.  Thats' reality.  

There are always work arounds. If you want a theater, then do a theater.  If you want good 2 channel, then do that.  Either way you will be making major compromises at your price point by the way you are talking and you will not be happy overall.  JMHO
Hey again Craigert … 
I've read most of what everyone is saying.  This is a great thread you've got going.  Honestly, I don't think I disagree with anything on here!  Not that I'm the gods gift to whose right or wrong...but often does that happen?

So another option:   Your disc player likely has a variable output option.  Check your owners manual.  If so, you can add a 2 channel amp in your budget  (or 5 channel amp).  Connect your disc spinner Front left and Front right direct to the new amp.  Then connect your disc spinner surround channels to your Receiver by analog outputs. I actually went a step further while revamping my system by using my disc spinner as the preamp, but that would be dependent on your input needs, and what else you have to connect into the system, as well as the inputs that may be or not be available on your disc player/DAC.  Anyway ... Use the variable output of the disc player to control the volume of the whole system.  Then,,,down the road,,,when you're budgeted for a preamp, you can add that to your system and toss the receiver entirely.  There are ways, and there are ways,,,but this is just one alternative.   I do 100% agree that in your upgrade, to have your Elite as the Pre for your stereo channels, would be a detriment.  I did that exact thing with my Onkyo Integra when I was revamping, and with the improved amplifier and disc player, I could tell the Integra was veiling everything and holding it back.  Getting it out of my system was the best thing I could have done.

If your disc player has an input, but you have too many sources to play thru it, ie; video game, cable box, could actually plug your receiver into the disc players input, and that would give you your FM/radio, and all the other inputs into the receiver, but the best sound (discs & movies) direct to the amp from your disc player, again, with it controlling the volume of the entire system.

I still drive my entire system with my disc spinnners variable output.  I've had my Halo A-51 amp on the fronts before.  It now pulls surround duty.  But where I'm going is this:   In two channel mode, the A-51 (5 channel amp) is superior to the A-31 (3 channel amp) or A-21 (2 channel amp).  Its in 5 channel mode that its fronts don't perform quite up the level of the A-21.  This all comes down to divvying up the source signal.  Yes there's more than just transformers to it all... a LOT more.  Yet,,,there is a simplicity to understanding that part of it.  In the case of the Parasound Halo lines, they have a primary Toroidal transformer, and then an additional smaller toroidal transformer for each channel.  To answer an earlier question by you, yes,,, some companies do provide more transformers in their surround Amps.  You'd have to google to see who does or doesn't.  The NAD is an outstanding product,,,but honestly, I 'm surprised to hear that a Rotel was considered superior to Emotiva.  I guess its all model dependent though.  Personally I preferred the Parasound Halo to them all, without ever having auditioned the Rotel.
sfcfran, I agree that this is a great thread. Although I’m sure elsewhere on a audiogon there are individual threads which focus on each element of it, you guys have taken a newbie like me through the entire thought process of the life cycle of home audio setup. Lol

Thank you all for taking the time in your replies.

I guess my only question now is how do I set up a system in my 5.1 channel living room after making my elite receiver the basement kids movie system?

Will an integrated amp serve as everything for a 5.1 system that I can use for movies and then turn into 2 channels when I listen to music, or is it then time to buy a 5.1 pre-amp/processor still to an integrated amp?

Based on what I have read a multiple channel pre/processor for HT use is still not as good as an integrated amp. Have I learned something here? Lol
craigert stated, " ... you guys have taken a newbie like me through the entire thought process of the life cycle of home audio setup."

Too funny! … (sorries….)

Yep, an integrated will be all you need. It is the preamp and amplifier combined. It will not have a tuner for radio reception, which right off the bat, removes the ’draw’ of fm radio reception into the equipment, which when present, messes with the signal purity of every circuit in the receiver. With an integrated amp you are paying for advanced signal path above what any receiver will provide within the same brand, or price target. With a receiver you are paying for the bells and whistles, oober surround options, hook ups for 29 varieties of sources, of which most of us use 2 - 4 of them...

Integrated amp focuses on
- isolated circuits for improved audio within each circuit
- higher quality materials
- higher end design specifications
- higher end transformers

Now the fun really begins...wait till ya see how complex everyone can get on recommendatiosn for integrated amps! You start getting into a whole new mess of concepts, such as compatability, wires, etc. Recommend you seek threads by people possessing the Monitor Golds, to start.

I guess what I am asking is whether or not there is a 5 channel preamp that is as good as the pre amp in an integrated amp. That way, I could ditch the receiver and use a 5 channel pre amp and 5 channel amp for HT and Stereo that’s all around awesome. 
I am not a big integrated amp guy.  It is my observation that the best audio comes from separate pre-amp and amp combo.  In that, you will need to budget for interconnects as well.  Not Monster Cable...please don't. … and...don't buy a single dang thing that is coming from China on ebay,,,especially periferals such as cables.  Fraud everywhere.

Two of the best reviewed 5.1 - 7.2 pre-amps under $5k are from Emotiva (for stereo best sound) and from Marantz (for surround best sound).  The Marantz can be had at very good prices refurbed or used and would be in line with your speakers abilities and price points.   There's a LOT  out there to mill thru though. 

Not sure what your budget is, but (don't laugh) one of the best amps for the money new (IMO) is the Monoprice Monolith 7, which can be configured as 2, 3, 5, or 7 channel, as it is modular, and you can add channels as your budget allows or needs demand.  It was awarded amplifier of the year 2016 by one of the big (I think it was Absolute Sound) audio review publications.  Monoprice basically ripped off the design of Emotiva and produced a quality at near the Outlaw Amps quality for 2/3 the price.  Above that would be the Outlaw, and then the Emotiva, and then the other amps you have already mentioned, ie NAD and Parasound.  

Then used is another consideration. A good number of enthusiasts flip through their gear every 2-5 years. You can get some really great deals on very hi end amps pre-owned, from craigslist and places like Audiogon, and yes, Ebay.  Amps are as near forever as it gets amongst your components.  The design of most standalone amps is very straightforward, without much of any, if at all, circuit boards, or delicate items...they tend to be power generating tanks.  When you buy a separate amp, its tech is good for 20+ years, and the sound is good for as long as you are happy with it.   Take the Parasound Halo A51/21/31 line for example.  Their design is completely unchanged since its introduction in 2003...yet they are still regarded as amongst the very best at their price point when purchasing new, today, and even in recent years have received best of awards from audio publications.... for a 15 year old design. Bryston amps carry a 20 year transfer warranty and they are awesome...slightly crisp on the highs, but your Golds would do justice with that.

sfcfran56 posts08-10-2018 7:11pmI am not a big integrated amp guy. It is my observation that the best audio comes from separate pre-amp and amp combo. In that, you will need to budget for interconnects as well. Not Monster Cable...please don't. … and...don't buy a single dang thing that is coming from China on ebay,,,especially periferals such as cables. Fraud everywhere.

The thing is, integrated amps can be awesome.  You can't make a blanket statement about them.  They are the less expensive way to go in many situations.  He does have a lower budget, so a top integrated is his best option.  This is why I shared the Belles Aria integrated amp.

I've heard most of the contenders in most price ranges and the Belles hits higher above it's price range of 1800 than any of the other's I"ve heard.  If you audition it vs the Parasound line you may agree.  I chose the Belles each time over the Parasound when doing a blind test.  Again, that's my palette, but Parasound makes a good product also.

It's also implementation.  I proudly own an Ayre AX5/20 integrated amp.  The pre on this amp is similar to the pre amp in their reference KXR pre amp. That pre is as good as any pre I've ever heard and again, I've heard many many reference pre's.  Teh other thing when going with a nice integrated amp is that you don't need another hook up. Any hook up will lower the sound quality.  Again, implementation is most important and then it comes down to the interconnect you use.  Hopefully it's a balanced one as that's a better connection than a single ended connection as long as the balanced is a true dual differential balanced connection.

As for Rotel, you like anything else, you need to listen to their top integrated amp.  It really offers a lot for the money, but it's still not as good as a Belles Aria.

All of it depends on what speakers he's using too.  Synergy is most important.  That hasn't even been discussed has it?  I may have missed it.
Yep! I’m using Monitor Audio Gold 100s. My Silvers have a nice neutral sound to them and now it feels like my receiver is underpowered for the Golds and the sound is not as neutral and smooth and certain highs and lows are popping out of nowhere while watching a movie which I’m guessing is bad movie sound editing. I feel like I’m missing some mid bass too and I have the speakers plugs out.
Hi ctsooner...  I agree...quite frankly every type of component has's a matter of finding which they are in which category and price point, but always will come back to the synergy with the speakers and system as a whole.  ..  yes... I hit that with craigert earlier, referring him to threads of monitor gold owners for recommendations.

Ayre and belle, both amazing gear.  My preference on my system was the parasound, haven taken my bahemoth of a center channel  and 2 bookshelves to audition at a few audio dealers, a cousins house, and a brothers. Covered the spectrum well.. though as I stated...never heard a rotel.

Craigert, the moral of the story is: patience is the name of the game.  You are talking serious money, and there's a lot to know.  In the endgame, when you have a very few components in mind, you really need to go audition them with your speakers!, (or do a lending scenario)  In the end, your long term happiness with the hard earned $ spent will be about the synergy of your listening preferences.  No 1 "best" rated amp or other, is necessarily the best with your gear.
Gotcha. All good advice. A couple amps being used by Monitor owners are Simaudio Moon, Roksan, and I believe maybe I saw a Belles. Moon and Roksan are very expensive and hard to find used.

You guys may want to kill me, but my goal is mainly to have an all around system I can be happy with for now. In other words, I may ditch the receiver and buy an AV processor with a separate multichannel amp. Down the the road I will buy a Rogue Cronus Magnum II tube amp (integrated) just for music since it’s what the hifi house paired with the speakers I bought from them in the showroom.
A little perspective here. I have a pair of vintage NAD integrated amplifiers: a 3020i and 3025PE set up to bi-amp my Energy Connoisseur speakers. The performance is great, and they didn’t cost a fortune. All it takes is a bit of scouring the vintage equipment market, and you can get the same kind of results. 
Yep thanks I’ve been looking but it’s slim pickings right now. 

I am looking at this Atoll AV500 to connect to a processor. I’m going to focus on the HT system first. Then, I can put a switch box if I ever get a tube amp just for music. 

Will 85wpc be enough? My speakers are rated for 60 to 120 wpc not I have 110 of receiver watts now.

Sorry guys, I’m still confused about one more thing. Until now, I thought HT Bypass was a button. I see now from looking at the Atoll that the HT bypass is actually RCA inputs on the integrated amp. I see it has the effect of bypassing the integrated amp volume and use the volume of a receiver. 

My burning question is whether or not that means the integrated amps pre-amp processing will be controlling my front L/R speakers 100% of the time and the receiver is only sending signal and volume? Or, is the receiver sending signal, volume, and pre-amp processing (i.e. crappy settings like wide surround) directly to the amp portion of the integrated and bypassing the integrated amps nice processing? 
Ok, so I have decided. I am buying the Atoll IN100 SE integrated amp with bypass brand new directly from France! 

What’s your budget for a stereo integrated amp? Do you need a DAC built in? There are countless options out there new or used at various different price points.

Btw, when listening to stereo music using an integrated amp you don’t even have to turn on the receiver. Use the volume control on the stereo integrated amp. But for surround movies or HT you use the volume control of your receiver and control everything from the receiver. Does that make sense?

In regards to your question about AV preamp surround processor (pre pro) performance for stereo music playbacks. Yes, some high end AV pre pros perform really well in stereo for music playbacks as well as surrounds for HT but they are usually expensive. High end pre pros that perform really well in stereo and can function as a high end stereo preamp are the following :
* Classe SSP 800. Its original msrp was $9500 but was discontinued last year and nowaday can be had for around $3500ish.
* Classe Sigma SSP/Sigma SSP Mk2. Retail for $5k and $6k. Current model. The Sigma SSP is optimized for stereo performance for music playbacks. I think this is a bargain considering its performance in both stereo and multi-channels epecially its stereo performance. The Sigma SSP stereo front L/R channels shares many critical circuit blocks with the Classe CP 800 stereo preamp/DAC which retails for $6k new but the CP 800 was also discontinued last year and nowaday can be had at less than $4k.
The Sigma SSP stereo performance is very very close to that of the CP 800 stereo preamp/DAC. It will take highly trained ears in order to tell the difference between the two.
* Bryston SP3. Currently retails for $9500 and its stereo performance is superb and IMO is better than both Classe Sigma SSP & SSP 800 pre pros.
* Meridian Reference 861 v8. Very expensive $32k. One of the best stereo performance from an AV pre pro.
* Krell Evolution 707. Again it’s very expensive and its stereo perormance is also the best coming from an AV pre pro.
* NAD M17. Retails for $5500. Its stereo performance is pretty good.
* Lyngdorf MP-50 ($10k). Both its stereo and multi-channel performances are spectacular.
All these pre pros can also function as high end stereo preamps and their multi-channel performances are also spectacular.
You will need multi-channel power amp(s) to go with them.

Your best bet would be getting a good quality stereo integrated amp with HT bypass and keep your receiver for HT surround duties.
Even if the stereo integrated has no HT bypass feature you can use one of its analog input and turn the volume to 80 on the integrated amp. 80 (out of 1 to 100) is usually a reference for unity gain on the preamp or integrated amp. Unity gain is basically the same as HT bypass.

Unless if you want to get the best of both worlds (stereo and HT surrounds) then the cost will be expensive. But I think for your MA Gold 100 speakers, generally a stereo integrated amp for around $3k is what you will need and perhaps a better quality AV receiver than what you currently have if you want better surround performance for movies or HT.

Hope this helps.

Craig, when did you get to audition the Atoll?  How did it compare to the affordable NAD?  Did it do something better to YOUR ears than the Belles or the ......  keep adding switches and patches so you lose the performance you are allegedly looking for.  

Many of us have given you great advice as to what to go audition.  You don't seem to really care about doing the true homework and audition, but you are very quick to tell us ever few posts that you have made a decision to purchase something and it changes constantly.  

Sorry, but at first glance it seems like a troll.  I don't think you really are trolling, but you are new and don't know so you made a post.  Many of us who have been around audio for years (since 1969 for me) have given you great advice.  None of us are pushing anything specific, but just because folks who own Monitor Audio speakers are using a specific amp, doesn't mean that's the right one for you.  If you just care about getting an integrated amp with H/T bypass, there are plenty at lower prices for you and all will be better than the AVR route.  

I can almost promise you that you will fall in love with anything you get and within 6 months, you will continue to post that you are looking at other amps, because you will start chasing your tail.  I hope I'm wrong, but I've seen this way too often as have many posters here (two have actually gotten in touch and asked if this thread is for real).  

Maybe you should just take a step back and go listen. Do you live near any dealers?  There is something to be said about having a dealer you can trust to help you put a true system together.  You are new and honestly, don't know how and where to spend your money IF you really want the best sound in YOUR room and not any of our rooms.
Guys, I assure you I am not a troll. I literally wrote a week ago and have only had time to go to one place and they hardly had anything as they concentrated on Marantz and McIntosh. I have two kids and a dog in training, work 10 hour days in a different state an hour drive each way. I am willing to audition but I just need more time. I literally knew nothing a week ago and you guys are teaching me a lot and I appreciate it. 

I was getting overwhelmed with all of the recommendations and thought I owed an answer. 

I don’t have a huge budget right now, and the Atoll integrated is only $1000 brand new. Anything is going to be better than what I have. I may chase my tail over time but I’m ok with that. 

I saw some people happy and using Atoll and the description of detailed smooth is exactly what I am looking for.  One thing I don’t understand is the DAC. The IN100SE must have a DAC in it right? It doesn’t mention one but it wouldn’t play without it right? 

Caphill thank you you so much for the processor information!
Also, If I have a receiver to an integrated, can I connect my powered sub to both of them since my sub has 2 rca input lines? 

This way I’m assuming I can have a sub playing with the integrated amp for just music. I don’t know if this will work though because an integrated doesn’t have crossover programming right? 
You can connect the integrated amp pre-out to the subwoofer line in , use the subwoofer's internal low pass filter set to 80Hz to begin with, on the HT receiver setup menu you need to select front R/L speakers to "Large" and No subwoofer.
on the HT receiver setup menu you need to select front R/L speakers to "Large" and No subwoofer.
On this setup the HT receiver will send the LFE signal to front speakers.The downside of this setup is those small front speakers will operate at full range (Not high passed)!