Another Pre/Pro vs. Receiver Thread....a bit long....

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Brian L, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    I am looking to purchase either a receiver (to possibly be used as a pre/pro) OR a dedicated pre/pro, but there are certain features that are critical to me, which is making this a difficult search.

    My existing rig is a Marantz SR-96 Receiver (THX Pro Logic). For DD and DTS, I have a Pioneer 45A/ICBM combo (using the 6CH in of the Marantz).

    I would like to add Pro Logic II, as well as simplify some of the connections in my rack.

    I am also using an external Sony DD Decoder for HDTV, DTV, and an older DVD player. These share the 6CH in on the receiver with the Pioneer 45A. Suffice to say that the rack is an absolute mess.

    One key requirement that I have now is a full set of pre out/power amp in jacks, which I use to connect my Audio Control Bijou EQ. This is an essential part of my rig. Any solution MUST have thhe capability of connecting this EQ.

    Price needs to be less than $1K. I would prefer only new gear.

    So here is what I have considered:

    1. Replace the Marantz with a new receiver with pre out/power amp in jacks on ALL channels. Unfortunately, I think this feature went out of style with the previous generation of NAD and HK receivers. Also, any receiver would need to have either separate trim adjustments for the 6CH in, or a switchable boost to the .1 channel of the 6CH in (most Denon gear has this). My Marantz has separate trims, but I do not know if there is a current receiver that has separate trims or a .1 channel boost AND pre out/power in jacks.

    The separate trims or .1 boost are needed to address the +10 boost needed for the .1 channel from most all universal players (my 45A included).

    2. A real pre/pro connected to the 6CH ins of the Marantz used only for Digital audio. I have been on the verge of buying an Outlaw 950, but it has several fatal flaws. Note: If someone can convince me that I can work around these, I am all ears!

    First it lacks separate trims for the 6CH input, which means that if I have it balanced for DD, then anything connected via the 6CH will be 10 dB low in the bass (I could dial that in with the trims in the player, but its outputs is already very low, and I would end up with a huge level diffference when switching from the 6CH in to internally decoded sources). I will not accept having to adjust the sub between sources.

    I could work around the lack of a .1 boost or separate trims with my ICBM (it can boost the combined sub channel by about 9 dB), BUT (there's always a but, isn't there?), that would require that I run the 950's 6CH in full range, which exposes the next flaw.

    It has a double bass issue with the 6CH in (if you use the 6CH in full range, it sends everything below 80 Hz to the sub BUT does not strip the same frequencies from the mains). Duhhh.

    3. A receiver with a full set of pre-outs, used as a pre/pro, connected to the 6CH in of the Marantz. I hate the thought of having two receivers in the rack...it just seems wasteful. But, that may be the only way to go.

    I know that Denon's have a switchable .1 channel boost. I also suspect that there are other receivers that have separate trims for the 6CH input (if you have a receiver that has separate trims, please chime in).

    So, if you have had the patience to read through this, and have any thoughts on what gear may exist to meet my criteria, please chime in.

    I am starting to think that I just happen to have assembled a motely combination of gear that adresses all of my concerns, and that there is nothing new in my price range (or even a bit higher, for that matter) that is going to get it done.

    BGL
     
  2. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    OK, I thought there was a bit too much stuff here for anyone to read and comment on...

    Here's what I think I may do...

    Harmon Kardon still has factory refurb's of their AVR 520. It comes with full 2 year warranty, and has all the key features I require:

    Pre Out/Power In
    Seperate Channel Level Trims per input
    All the latest decoding modes, plus HDCD (which I have never heard)

    Its a bit light on digital ins (2 Coax/2 Optical), but I think I can live with that.

    Any HK 520 owners care to talk me out of it? I see a few issues in other thrads, but they seem to be things I can live with.

    BGL
     
  3. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    OK,I am having a great time answering my own questions!

    I was mis-informed about the lack or current receivers with pre-out/power in.

    The NAD 762 has it. A bit over my $1K limit, but you get what you pay for, methinks.

    So anyone reading this with 762 experience, you have the floor....

    BGL
     

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