Class A/B Home THeater Receivers

Are there any new Home Theater Receivers that have not gone over to the "Dark Side" (Class D) ???  I love the old Class A/B Home Theater Receivers, but most do not have HDMI. Thanks.
" Thanks for the info. I wish the manufacturers would specify which Class their amps are running in, in their owners manuals... it seems that most don't."

You can almost always tell by how much it weighs. 
Well, you can do a very light A/B amp if you severely power limit it. That's another reason I'm not a big fan of most receivers. I like to have 100W of "real" power (i.e. 200 @ 4 Ohms) per speaker. At 5 or 7 channels, that's quite a bit!

I'd much rather go with a processor and something like the NAD Hypex/nCore based multi-channel amplifier than most receivers.

Not to mention the processor/preamp sections of receivers (and Emotiva gear I've heard) always sounds really thin and gutless to my ears, plus I always end up "arguing" with their room correction. :-)

But this is what makes me an adorable iconoclast. :)


I would love to have separates, but space considerations and cost make it necessary for me to look at receivers at this time.  Thanks to everyone for their input !!
Hi brucew5828,

  This is Darth Vader and I just have a few questions for you:

Do you enjoy having a large and heavy HT receiver?

Do you appreciate HT receivers that tend to operate on the warm-hot side which is a major reason for internal electronic part failures, reduced life span and the need for large heat sinks?

Do you enjoy higher noise levels (lower Signal-to Noise Ratios)?

Do you prefer smaller Dynamic Ranges (reduced ability to go quickly from soft to loud)?

Do you prefer higher distortion levels?

Do you get a thrill out of wasting electricity and paying higher electric bills every month?,

     If you answered 'YES' to the majority of these questions, you are an ideal candidate for class A/B amplification in your HT receiver.

     If you answered 'NO' to the majority of these questions, however,  you  may want to consider joining me on the "Dark Side".  Of course, this will require you to think logically, not emotionally,  eliminate irrational avoidance of class D amplification, keep an open mind and let your ears decide about your HT receiver choice.
     I run separate amps directly from an Oppo-105 to my amps and do not use a HT receiver or external surround sound processor for a 5.1 system.  I would suggest you may want to do the same for your setup since a HT receiver or processor is redundant and not necessary if you're already incorporating the excellent Oppo-105 in your system.  

     Unless you think there are significant benefits from room correction or bass management software often built into the newer HT receivers and processors, which I think there are not, there is really no reason to insert the extra component in your system.
     A few years ago before buyiing the Oppo,, I used a DVD player routed through an expensive 5.1 surround processor.  I used 3 class A/B amps to drive all 5 channels.  Once I upgraded to the Blu-Ray Oppo and understood its full capabilities , I first sold my processor and ran its outputs directly to my amps. There was no detectable reduction in performance and  I ran my system this way for about a year.

     About a year ago, I decided to replace all 3 class A/B amps with class D amps ( D-Sonic mono-blocks replaced an Aragon for the main l+r, Emerald Physics bridged stereo amp replaced an Adcom for the center and a ClassDAudio stereo amp replaced another Adcom for the rears).  I immediately noticed a definite improvement in the performance of my 5.1 system.  The main improvements in the sound were the extremely low noise floor (sounds emerged from a dead-silent background), increased dynamics (the ability to go from soft to loud on all channels was obviously better and, at times, even startling).  

     Other benefits included affordabiliy, smaller size, reduced weight, average reduction in my monthly electric bill of about $40 and none of the class D amps get hotter than luke-warm no matter how hard they're driven.

Hope this was useful to you,


     I just wanted to add that many class D amps have a choice of inputs (XLR balanced or RCA unbalanced).  I use XLR  from the Oppo's outputs to my front l+r mono-blocks and RCA for all other amps.
     As for space considerations, if you decide to go separates your likely to gain space because:

1. You won't have to devote space to a class A/B HT receiver which tend to be larger, heavier and require extra space on all sides for adequate ventilation for cooling. No need for a separate surround processor, either.

2.  If you opt for class D mono-blocks for the l+r mains,  each amp is relatively small and can easily be hidden  behind each l+r main speaker.  This has the added advantage of allowing your speaker runs to each main being very short although your single XLR or RCA cable to each would likely need to be longer (typically a trade-off that improves performance) .

3.  Class D amps for your center and rear channels don't require large berths for adequate cooling so positioning them on a traditional audio rack is not necessary.  

      Once I had the Oppo and class D amps, it allowed me to seriously streamline my entire  2-ch/5.1 HT combo system.   I now use a 5' wide and 18" tall metal equipment rack, topped with a 5' wide walnut  platform and extra shelving space below behind hinged doors, that contains all my gear.  I wall mounted a 5'W x 3'H hdtv above this rack, leaving about 1' between the top of the rack's wood top platform and the bottom of the tv.
     The result is a streamlined system that is symmetrical and a breath of fresh air.  The Oppo is centered on the rack's top wood platform, flanked at each end by a mono-block on a small maple isolation platform on spiked brass footers. All other equipment (2 class D amps, a 1.000 watt class A/B amp driving 4 subs, 10 TB NAS, 10 TB backup hard-drive, internet router and a cable box) is hidden behind hinged doors below.

     I'm not familiar with your system but I described my system to relate how using class D amps, using a different equipment rack while also eliminating a HT receiver or surround processor can result in significant space saving and streamlining.  However,  I believe you could save space and streamline even if you use class A/B amps as long as you don't use a HT receiver or separate processor and utilize class A/B mono-blocks that are not too large positioned behind your main speakers.  It would just be easier, and your system would likely perform better, if class D amps were used.

I hope this gave you some useful alternatives to a class A/B HT receiver behemoth.

Good luck,
 Darth (Tim)