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Pre/pro or flagship receiver?


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40 replies to this topic

#1 of 41 OFFLINE   Leo_P

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Posted December 24 2002 - 05:43 PM

First, my system: an h/k AVR 520 receiver; a Rotel RMB-1075 5-channel amp; Axiom speakers, but I'll probably be replacing them with M&K S-150's.
Anyway, the h/k receiver has been acting a little "strange" lately and I have the itch...:b
I was close to getting a B&K Ref 50, but I decided to wait. Am also looking at the Anthem AVM-20. Plus, I'm looking at the Denon 5803 and the Pioneer Elite 49TX. I'm keeping the Rotel amp, so the receiver's amps would go unused.
As far as features, the one I really like on the Denon is the up-conversion to component out. Do any of these others offer that?
So given my four contenders, which one would you pick and why?
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#2 of 41 OFFLINE   Hap C

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Posted December 24 2002 - 06:15 PM

Why spend $ on a receiver if you're not going to use the amp that is part of the receiver? And why use a receiver as a preamp when you have all that extra amp electronics there potentially degrading your sound? You already have an amp. Get a preamp.

#3 of 41 OFFLINE   JerryLang

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Posted December 24 2002 - 11:15 PM

I have the same amp,and Axiom speakers. I bought a used Lexicon MC-1 for $1950.00 . I would get the B&K if that's what you like, but why change the Axioms? Do the M&Ks sound that much better?

#4 of 41 OFFLINE   BrentPollard

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Posted December 25 2002 - 12:56 AM

I agree with Hap. Go with a pre/pro and the AVM 20 is a sweet piece.

#5 of 41 OFFLINE   Robert McClanahan

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Posted December 25 2002 - 07:57 AM

I agree with Jerry on the speakers.I owned the S-150's and sold them off for Tannoy's.The M&K's are very in your face sounding and were not very musical in my opinion.Get a pre/pro.Rotel's RSP-1066 seems to be the hot item these days.

#6 of 41 OFFLINE   Leo_P

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Posted December 25 2002 - 08:18 AM

Thanks for all your responses.
Robert, the Rotel RSP-1066 is what got me thinking about using a receiver as a pre/pro, since I've read about people getting the RSX-1055 instead. For a little LESS money, you get a 5 X 75W amp and, more importantly, a tuner. I was seriously considering the 1066 to match with my Rotel amp, but the lack of a tuner on a $1500 piece is a little silly.
So I guess it's still a toss-up between the Anthem and the B&K.
As far as the speakers, I'll be getting them after I upgrade the electronics. My problem with the Axioms is the center channel. It's just not big enough for me, and I don't mean size-wise. I like the M&K S-150 set-up using 3 indentical speakers up front.
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#7 of 41 OFFLINE   Robert McClanahan

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Posted December 25 2002 - 08:55 AM

Leo,that was my post about the RSX-1055. I would suggest that as a pre/pro to you but you seem like you really want to go the seperates route.If you watch more movies than listen to music,the M&K's wont disappoint.I would recommend a M&K THX sub also.

#8 of 41 OFFLINE   Todd_Petersen

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Posted December 25 2002 - 03:42 PM

I just got the B&K AVR 507 which is one bad A$$ receiver. I replaced a Onkyo 797 and this new 507 has so much stuff to play around with that it will take me a year to figure out. If you like the REF 50 you should give this for a listen.

#9 of 41 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted December 26 2002 - 04:12 AM

Quote:
Why spend $ on a receiver if you're not going to use the amp that is part of the receiver? And why use a receiver as a preamp when you have all that extra amp electronics there potentially degrading your sound? You already have an amp. Get a preamp.
I agree.

My pre/pro (Sherwood Newcastle AV-P9080) just died and I replaced it with an Outlaw 950. I would recommend the Outlaw, I am extremely happy with it.
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#10 of 41 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted December 26 2002 - 04:16 AM

Quote:
Why spend $ on a receiver if you're not going to use the amp that is part of the receiver? And why use a receiver as a preamp when you have all that extra amp electronics there potentially degrading your sound? You already have an amp. Get a preamp.
I agree.

My pre/pro (Sherwood Newcastle AV-P9080) just died and I replaced it with an Outlaw 950. I would recommend the Outlaw, I am extremely happy with mine.
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#11 of 41 OFFLINE   Craig_Kg

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Posted December 26 2002 - 03:58 PM

The power amp sections of a receiver would draw almost no current if not being used (since they are all low bias A/B amps). Since any current drawn will be miniscule and DC, there will be no effect on the processing and preamplification electronics of the receiver. The presence of the amplifiers will not in themselves result in degradation of the receiver as a prepro.

What CAN be an issue is that the unused amps represent a wasted portion of the money speant on the prepro component. Common sense would tell us that a receiver must be more expensive to produce than a prepro that is identical featurewise but this does not take economies of scale into account. There are VASTLY more receivers sold (and thus made) than prepros which is why we get the seemingly paradoxical situation of the Rotel 1055 receiver being cheaper than the (almost) functionally identical 1066 prepro. You could argue that the receiver could be sonically superior to the dedicated prepro when used in this manner as it would have a much stronger power supply.
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#12 of 41 OFFLINE   Yogi

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Posted December 27 2002 - 05:52 AM

Why buy a receiver if you are not going to use its most expensive part: the amps. Buy a prepro since you already have the amps, IMHO.
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#13 of 41 OFFLINE   MarcVH

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Posted December 27 2002 - 06:41 AM

The same reason you should buy a TV with a tuner, rather than a monitor without a tuner, even if you're not going to use the tuner in the TV. Economies of scale sometimes dictate that buying something with features you're not using is cheaper than buying something without it.

#14 of 41 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted December 27 2002 - 07:24 AM

Personally I don't think you'll find a better equpped receiver-as-prepro for the price of the exquisite Outlaw 950 prepro.
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#15 of 41 OFFLINE   NickSP

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Posted December 27 2002 - 08:51 AM

"Personally I don't think you'll find a better equpped receiver-as-prepro for the price of the exquisite Outlaw 950 prepro."
Philip, I tried the Outlaw 950 and settled for the 4ES as a prepro. While the Outlaw was good, I found the 4ES better in terms of sound quality (IMPO). The 4ES also has a RS232 port for future upgradibilty, etc.
Of course since sound is so subjective it differs from person to person and I did think the OUtlaw was a pretty decent value as a stand alone prepro.
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#16 of 41 OFFLINE   Craig_Kg

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Posted December 28 2002 - 12:50 AM

Quote:
Why buy a receiver if you are not going to use its most expensive part: the amps. Buy a prepro since you already have the amps, IMHO.

This is only true if you buy an upper level or flagship receiver. A mid level receiver with preouts usually has comprehensive processing and features, ordinary amps and a less than totally adequate power supply. As such, they make very good value prepros and you can even just use their onboard amps for the the surround channels and only outboard the front 3 channels. Economies of scale rule so dedicated prepros are priced at a premium compared to an equivalently featured receiver.
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#17 of 41 OFFLINE   Yogi

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Posted December 28 2002 - 08:55 AM

Since we are talking about flagship vs standalone pre I think it still makes sense that there is no use in buying a receiver if he is not going to use its most expensive part (amps). Also apart from economies of scale dont forget that separate prepros use much better analog circuitry (which affects the final sound more than the digital circuitry which are pretty identical in todays receivers and separate prepros) than comparable receivers which result in their premium prices.

For the 2.5-3K that you will be spending on a flagship I would suggest going with a separate prepro like the AVM 20 or the Ref 50 for much better results.

MHO.
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#18 of 41 OFFLINE   Leo_P

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Posted December 28 2002 - 10:27 AM

I'm glad my post started a lil' something.Posted Image
Like I wrote before, the Rotel RSP-1066 vs. RSX-1055, got me to thinking about the whole pre/pro vs. receiver thing.
To me, getting a receiver and not using it's amps is not a big deal. That's what I'm doing anyway with my h/k 520.
But, I think I'm leaning towards the B&K Ref 50.
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
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#19 of 41 OFFLINE   NickSP

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Posted December 28 2002 - 11:18 AM

"Since we are talking about flagship vs standalone pre I think it still makes sense that there is no use in buying a receiver if he is not going to use its most expensive part (amps)."

Yogi, I agree with that statement of yours. If I had a budget that high then I'd most definitely get myself a dedicated prepro.
Too much power is never an overkill!

#20 of 41 OFFLINE   Mark All

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Posted December 28 2002 - 02:06 PM

Leo,
With what sounds like around a $3K budget and a decent 5 channel amp already, why not go for a dedicated pre/pro? Anthem, B&K, Sunfire, Aragon, and a couple of others used or new may fit the budget. If going for the top of the line Denon or Pioneer receivers, the Rotel amp may be weaker than the amp sections in those receivers and you may end up with an amp you need to get rid of.

If you want to spend less and are considering the Rotel or Outlaw pre-pro you may want to try a receiver in the same price range. The new Denon 3803 has a similar processing section to the 5803 and the same video up-conversion circuits. The Rotel amp is much better than the amps in a $1K receiver. I considered the Rotel pre-pro, but the Denon seemed like the better value to me. I use an RMB-1075 amp with the 3803 and use the Denon's amp section to power the back channels only (7.1). There are a lot of quality receiver choices in the price range including Rotel, Sony ES, HK, Yamaha. What matches your speakers is the best choice among these because the sound you'd end up with will be colored by the character of the receiver you'd use as a pre-pro with your Rotel amp. In my case the Denon worked well. I couldn't justify spending $2K more.

Why doesn't Denon or Yamaha make a relatively inexpensive pre-pro and why doesn't Sony update theirs?
Audio, ergo sum.





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