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Looking for seperate prepro that does 2 channel well ,~$1500 new or used.


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72 replies to this topic

#1 of 73 James W. Johnson

James W. Johnson

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Posted June 13 2004 - 07:59 AM

I dont need alot of features.. just DD, DTS , 5 channels and decent bass managment.

Most important factor is sound quality though and I'd like one that does 2 channel pretty well.

I'd be willing to go used and I'd like to keep it under $1500...what are a few I should look at?

#2 of 73 Claude M

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Posted June 13 2004 - 09:22 AM

You can't go wrong with a Sherwood P-965. I've had mine for 3 weeks now and love it. The by-pass stereo is very good. Rotel is another winner IMHO. Also, the Outlaw 950 appears to fit the bill here.

#3 of 73 Ricky T

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Posted June 13 2004 - 09:39 AM

Used Aragon Soundstage for ~ 1000 used (retail 4k). Basically, Aragon's top of the line Aurum preamp *inside*. The Outlaw 950, Lexicon MC1, Angstrom 200/205, Onkyo 989, Sherwood 9080, Citation 5.0, HK Signature 2.0, among others I've owned are not in the same league sonically for 2 channel and 5.1. Also, see the review at Audioholics.com (and audioreview).

#4 of 73 Rachael B

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Posted June 13 2004 - 12:44 PM

Marantz AV9000, pre-pro, it doesn't digitize the analog inputs for stereo. It's like you have a whole slew of analog bypasses.
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#5 of 73 Ray_C

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Posted June 13 2004 - 01:41 PM

I have the NAD T163, which does an excellent job with 2-channel.

#6 of 73 James W. Johnson

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Posted June 13 2004 - 02:08 PM

Quote:
Marantz AV9000, pre-pro, it doesn't digitize the analog inputs for stereo. It's like you have a whole slew of analog bypasses.


Interesting, so how is the volume controlled?

#7 of 73 James W. Johnson

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Posted June 13 2004 - 02:10 PM

Used Aragon Soundstage for ~ 1000 used (retail 4k). Basically, Aragon's top of the line Aurum preamp *inside*. The Outlaw 950, Lexicon MC1, Angstrom 200/205, Onkyo 989, Sherwood 9080, Citation 5.0, HK Signature 2.0, among others I've owned are not in the same league sonically for 2 channel and 5.1. Also, see the review at Audioholics.com (and audioreview).


Ricky, you have used all of the above? Wow!

So none of the ones you mention come close the the Aragon for 2 channel?

#8 of 73 Rachael B

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Posted June 13 2004 - 02:16 PM

James, you control the volume with a big, black, round volume knob or the remote.Posted Image Really, I'm not sure what you're asking.Posted Image
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#9 of 73 Ricky T

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Posted June 14 2004 - 01:51 AM

James,

I've *owned* all the above; I've used alot more. I've also owned twice as many 5.1 capable decoders and receivers. The longest stints of ownership are: Onkyo 989 for 9 months, Lexicon MC1 (paired with Rogue Magnum 66 tube preamp) for 15 months....and now, the Soundstage for ~ 19 months and counting.....

Here's a used Soundstage for $1000 on our forum!

http://www.hometheat....hreadid=200809

The Aragon also has a fully separate 2 channel configuration (mains as large or small, sub on or off, different levels for each speaker & sub, and flexible crossover in 5hz increments from 35-120hz!). In the Direct Mode (for analog sources), the source signal bypasses the DSP board and is sent to the Penny & Niles volume control (with the above bass mgmt still engaged in the analog domain). This unit is designed for the 2 channel audiophile.

Rich B and Charles G, I hope you guys make a post.....

#10 of 73 James W. Johnson

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Posted June 14 2004 - 02:09 AM

James, you control the volume with a big, black, round volume knob or the remote. Really, I'm not sure what you're asking.



Well generally the analog signal does go thru minimal processing again on most receivers for volume control.
So what I am saying is its not really just a bunch of analog bypasses on your receiver.


Besides , I'd really prefer feed all digital sources to the pre-amp and let it do the d/a conversions etc.

#11 of 73 James W. Johnson

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Posted June 14 2004 - 02:15 AM

Ricky, the only thing that might bother me about shopping for an Aragon is that I noticed one guy got his at Ubid.com from the Audioreview reviews.

#12 of 73 chung_sotheby

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Posted June 14 2004 - 02:15 AM

If you can wait a month or two, and are willing to spend a couple hundred more, you might be able to scoop up an Anthem AVM-20 from one of the guys who are looking to update to the AVM-30 or D1. I have seen some listed at around $1800-1900 lately, and you really can't beat the flexibility or sound quality that comes out of this unit.
If you have a hard cap of $1500, and/or you are looking to purchase one right now, the Aragon Soundstage, B&W Ref 50, or a used EAD Ovation might be the best choices. For the best bass management, I would suggest an outlaw ICBM. Incredibly flexible, and always good to have, no matter what your setup is like, since all BM is done in the analog domain.

#13 of 73 Ricky T

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Posted June 14 2004 - 02:20 AM

About 3 years ago, Aragon (after Mondial designs was purchased by Klipsch) sold much of their inventory to Ubid. Ubid then sold the inventory, will full Aragon warranty. Many good deals for lucky winning bidders; I wasn't one of them Posted Image To this end, Ubid sales 3 years ago really has little to do with buying a used Soundstage today.

Unless you need bass mgmt on the 5.1 sacd/dvd-a source (going into the Aragon's 5.1 inputs), you wouldn't need an ICBM. The Soundstage has a global crossover for all speakers set to "small": 35-120hz, in 5hz increments.

#14 of 73 Rachael B

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Posted June 14 2004 - 02:32 AM

James, there are 5 assignable digital inputs. One of the 5 digital inputs is AC-3 RF only. It can be assigned only to the LD or DVD input. I don't really understand the processing that occurs at volume knobs but I know it's not like having all inputs digitized for DSP, automatically. The 9000 well exploits really good analog sources, IMO.

The 9000 has an RC-2000 type remote, is THX Ultra, has an above average radio....
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#15 of 73 Kevin T

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Posted June 14 2004 - 03:42 AM

thanks for the plug, ricky. the aragon is the best pre-pro i've used for two channel though i have not had quite as much experience with pre's as ricky. the aragon soundly beat the ead theatermaster encore i was using previously. unfortunately, the aragon listed on this site is pending sale and i have another buyer lined up behind the first.

kevin t
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#16 of 73 Ricky T

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Posted June 14 2004 - 03:48 AM

Kevin,

Good luck on your new venture into high-end 2 channel tube preamps!

James,

Here's another Soundstage:

http://cls.audiogon.....roc

#17 of 73 Bill Blank

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Posted June 14 2004 - 04:20 AM

Rotel RSP-1066 used @ $1000 or RSP-1068 new @ $1500.

Bill

#18 of 73 CurtisSC

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Posted June 14 2004 - 07:05 AM

Another vote for the Sherwood/Newcastle P-965.

In its "Pure" two-channel mode, it also uses analog bass management to engage the sub if desired.

The unit on a whole sounds VERY good.
curtis
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#19 of 73 Dan Driscoll

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Posted June 14 2004 - 09:17 AM

James, since you only need 5.1, give a good strong look at the upgraded Audio Refinement Pre2-DSP. It is a 5.1 processor with a reputation for being very musical. Older models (w/o DPL-II) can be found on Audiogon and other classified sites for around $800. The new, upgraded model with DPL-ii lists for $1400, but if you shop around you should be able to do a couple hundred less than that.
Dan

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#20 of 73 Charles Gurganus

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Posted June 14 2004 - 10:18 AM

I bought Ricky T's first Soundstage and can vouch for it being an excellent prepro. It is great for 2 channel and HT.

Really, the only thing it doesn't have is a triple bass management setup. That would only come into play if you wanted different "small" settings for different speakers. That has not stopped me from enjoying this great prepro.
Charles