Let me rephrase your question and share whatever info I gathered from my research to answer it. Do expensive amplifiers sound better than cheap amplifiers? That’s the question we’re going to be exploring today.
Money does get you better performance.
I will tell you the answer right away, I’m not going to make you linger, and then we will go over the basics. So more money commonly does get you adequate performance up to a price; like exotic cables, we have exotic amplifiers, and some of the stuff in those ultra-expensive amplifiers gets a little absurd.
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Let’s consider some exceptions as well.
But then again, the inexpensive stuff does not consistently give you the best performance. So let me tell you some aspects that determine sound quality and performance you have to look at when comparing amplifier a to amplifier b.
An all-channel-driven rating
The more affordable amplifiers on the market won’t give you an all-channel-driven rating that won’t provide bandwidth ratings. They generally deliver you power at 1 kilohertz, maybe 10% distortion or 1% Distortion, and they seldom give you a continuous rating.
If you look at some of the pro amplifiers, or online, like the $300 Barringer’s, for example, they rarely give you a bandwidth rating with all channels driven.
Power costs money.
Just know that power costs money; there are a lot of factors in those Pro, cheap Pro amplifiers that affect sound quality and performance meant for sound reinforcement. If an amplifier costs $300, weighs 10 pounds, and says it’s 2000 watts, there’s a red flag. That is not a continuous rating; that is probably an instantaneous rate, and who knows how they’re giving you those power ratings.
Price does not always ensure better performance.
The difference lies in the amplifier topology. Also, there is a bad reputation for using too much feedback, so multiple factors affect sound quality. I am going to tell you right now that not all amplifiers do not sound the same.
Does the design make any difference?
A lot is going on in amplifier design. I don’t want to tell you that you have to go and pay tens of thousands of dollars on amplifiers these days because the law of diminishing returns has narrowed over the last five or ten years. There are great companies out there now delivering very inexpensive, high-quality solutions; companies such as outlaw audio, for example, or even mono price.
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Those amplifiers are well-designed; they sound great, but also watch the low end of the spectrum when dealing with these couple of hundred-dollar commercial-grade sound reinforcement amplifiers. They’re not going to give you the kind of fidelity, the signal-to-noise ratio you will get out of these well-engineered amps designed to have stiff power supply regulation and quiet operation.
What to look out for when thinking of an upgrade?
You don’t want an amplifier with a ton of fans and an abettor always running to keep the thing cool because there’s not enough heat sink area in the chassis because heat sinks cost money.
The quality of the components decides how well your speakers sound.
So you have to look at the quality of the components; it does matter.
I hope this answers your question about whether or not upgrading your AV receiver will make your speakers sound better. I would say again, yes, it does up to a certain point, but if you get into the esoteric stuff, you are starting to reach the laws of diminishing returns, and you are paying for cosmetics and brand appeal.