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seeking 5.1 audiophile(as close as poss)on a limited budget

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Recently acquired a ASUS sonar essence STU external sound card dac. My concern is whether or not is compatible with Yamaha entry level HTR 3064 5.1 surround AV receiver, or am I restricted to using the ASUS dac for headphone listening only, or purchasing a serious upgrade in an AV integrated 5.1 amplifier? If the latter, what amp would be a good upgrade in my situation? (consider 1000 dollars the limit) (Speakers Energy Micro 5.1 surrounds) It seems to me weak-point is signal source followed by amplifier. Welcome suggestions. (Also have considered purchase of a stereo amplifier, and having two stereos, one 5.1 surround for movies, one stereo for audio, but a more expensive solution than I can currently afford.)

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In my opinion, the weak point in the system you listed is the speakers themselves.


The Asus has a very respectable feature set, and I don't think that is impeding you in any way. The Yamaha is no slouch either- and your Energy speakers are not "amplifier hogs" in any way, so unless the sound is very "strained" at high volumes or the receiver is shutting down due to being overloaded, a new dedicated amplifier would not yield much of a difference.


I think one of the biggest upgrades to your sound that you can possibly make in a system is the speakers themselves. If you have the room to incorporate or try out new speakers, I would start there first. Spending $1,000 to get better speakers would (in my opinion) have much more potential for positive change than say getting a new DAC or dedicated amplifier. You don't have to upgrade all 5 speakers at once, either- you can always start with the front speakers first, then eventually upgrade the rears as money becomes available.


If you do research and find speakers you like, then you can always ask and see if the Yamaha would be a weak link, but for most speakers around $1,000 I doubt they would present much of a challenge for your current receiver.


Good luck with your search!

Office: iPod classic/iPad -> Shure SE425 IEM Home: Oppo BDP-83/Synology DS211j -> Integra DTR-7.8 -> Revel speakers

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