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.

     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)    

Hi Bruce,

If you're looking for a new AVR, there are many great options that still use a class A/B design, though the quality of amplification will vary quite a bit from manufacturer to manufacturer. I own a home theater company in Atlanta, and we sell and install everything from the mainstream Japanese brands (Denon, Marantz, Yamaha, Pioneer, etc.) to the more "boutique brands" as they are called, and in my opinion, Arcam and Anthem are head and shoulders above the rest.

In years past, I would have summed it up by saying that Arcam has better amps (by a landslide), and Anthem has better room EQ (also by a landslide), though that is no longer the case now that Arcam has adopted the Dirac Live platform. You really can't go wrong with either brand, but Arcam's amps will still embarrass anything on offer from Anthem at the moment, so depending on how big your room is and/or whether you listen to movies or music more, you might lean one way or the other. If you are not already working with a local dealer, let me know - we have clients all over the country, and I'd be more than happy to work with you on finding the right components at a price that fits within your budget.

Take care,

David Campbell
President - Southern A/V Direct, LLC
Hi all... I want to thank you all for your insightful feedback. Let me tell you why I’m looking to go "old School" (that is, Class A/B)... I’m 65 years old, and after approximately 50 years of listening to music way too loud, my ears are not what they used to be... They’re certainly not "Golden Ears" any more... So, an AVR will satisfy me just as much as separates at this point. Also, the main reason I want Class A/B instead of Class D is that I want an analog amplifier, rather than a digital amplifier... I was listening to some high end Marantz AVR’s in an audio store, and the owner told me that one was Class A/B and the other was Class D (I take him at his word)... I actually thought the Class D sounded a little cleaner and more detailed... but then I started researching customer reviews of those AVR, and I was surprised to fin that there are TONS of technical problems, and outright failures, of the Class D amps... Truthfully, I’m not shocked to read that. I’ve been in IT for almost 40 years, and I know how hard it is to program something new and innovative... it can take years to perfect the code and work out the bugs... Hence, my desire for an old fashioned analog amp... The only issue I find is the question of HDMI connections... it seems the best Class A/B AVR’s are from about 10 years ago, when HDMI was not yet a feature... I currently have a Rotel AVR (100 Watts per channel) that does not have HDMI, and I thought I wanted to upgrade to a more modern AVR... but I find myself looking at older AVR’s like the McIntosh MHT100 or MHT200, or some of the older Lexicon models, like t he RV-5 and the RV-8... I’ve lived without HDMI for this long, maybe I can live without it forever... Anyway, Thanks again to all who took the time to reply.
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Hi Bruce,

There are plenty of great Class A/B AVR's with HDMI inputs, as well as all the latest codecs and features (Dolby Atmos, DTS-X, HDCP2.2 for 4K and HDR support, etc.), from manufacturers like Denon, Marantz, Yamaha, as well as more high tiered brands like Arcam, NAD, etc., so there is no need to despair. :)  I sent you a PM with our contact info, and would be happy to help in any way I can.

Take care,