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Preamp/Processer questions and also some amp questions.


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56 replies to this topic

#1 of 57 Jesse Sharrow

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Posted June 16 2005 - 03:21 AM

Ok I know I keep changing my mind... but I watched return of the king last night and forgot how much I love movies. So I have decided If Im gonna do this, I want to do it right. So I am going to purchase a surround sound preamp, and some amps.

Now my first question is can I use my reciever as a preamp for now? That way I can get the dunlavy's fired up. What are the dissadvantages to this? Becuase I love the sound of my yamaha, I just need a better amp.

I am going to get a 2 channel amp at first. Im gonna sell my other speakers until I can afford dunlavy rears/new fronts and a center. That may be a awhile since not many people want to part with them. So I need to start with a good stereo amp or pair of mono blocks.

Now for preamps Im looking at Rotel 1068, Sunfire Theater Grand I, II, or III, Krell Showcase Processer, and the Anthem AVM20 or 30. Just want some opinions on these. Now on the rotel is it true that the only major difference between the 1068 and 1098 is the screen?

For amps I have been looking into Krell, Sunfire, and Musical Fidelity right now. Let me know if there is anything else I should look at. I want something I can easily biwire my speakers with.

Well thanks again for all the help. I just mainly started to think that I wouldnt use a music only system as much. But I do want a system that will seriuosly make my dunlavy's sing with music!

#2 of 57 lee ison

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Posted June 16 2005 - 08:14 AM

If your yamaha has preouts , yes you can. ALL these amps you listed would be excellent choices, personally i like the sunfire and the krell. hope this helps.

#3 of 57 Jesse Sharrow

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Posted June 16 2005 - 04:31 PM

Cool thanks lee. Anyone else have suggestions?

#4 of 57 Scott Oliver

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Posted June 17 2005 - 12:44 AM

If your Yamaha has pre-outs why not do both?

Keep the Yamaha and for movies it will be your volume control, surround processor, and crossover controller. thren use it's pre outs to add on the better music components.

Since your only going to be doing a 2.1 system at first then you will just have to run IC's out of the front two channel preouts and then have your subwoofer connected to the reeciver as usual.

For the front two channels you run those over to a 2 channel preamp/amp or integrated amp and now you have your music and movie system combined.

For the additional channels once you get all of your beloved Dunlavy speakers together you can just connect them to the appropriate receiver channel and let the receviver power them or use the preouts again to add better external amps for them.

As for my argument against using a HT processor for both movies and music, just listen. Even the best processors fall way short of decent 2 channel preamps in their ability to lay out a realistic soundfield.

#5 of 57 Jesse Sharrow

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Posted June 17 2005 - 02:51 AM

Thank you scott. I think this is the way I want to go. Now I need to pick out a good amp. Im looking at some krell equipment, used. About $1000 for a two channel. Im also looking at some musical fidelity equipment. Maybe some of there lower end amps.

#6 of 57 MikeDuke

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Posted June 17 2005 - 03:41 AM

Krell for 1000 even used is going to be tough to find I think. If you find one I would jump on it. You may want to consider some older Bryston amps as well-4b-ST, 5b-ST, 3b-ST, 9b-ST. It sounds like you have the makings for a very nice setup. P.S I have the showcase preamp and like it very much. I have had it for about 4 years. I also have the 4b-ST and 5b-ST. Eventually I may get a dedicated 2 ch preamp as well. But for now the Krell is working fine. And since I am about to drop some money on a new CD/DVD/SACD/DVD-A player, it will have to wait.
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#7 of 57 Arthur S

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Posted June 17 2005 - 05:09 AM

Jesse

Good thinking. Start with an amp. There is a recent, substantial thread about amps in the $1,000 range (though they include recommendations in higher price ranges as well). If you want marquis brands just spend the extra money and buy used. Remember, small companies like Musical Fidelity tend to have more problems with their products than larger companies. You ought to go with something 200 watts per channel. Realistically, something like a Rotel 1080. That would be fine for now. As you come closer to your dream, you could use the Rotel for your surround channels and get something marquis for your new Dunlavy's. A lot of audiophiles go with Bryston. 20 year transferrable warranty. Corey Greenburg, reviewer, replaced Krell with Bryston. A 4B-ST, 250 watts per side would be a good way to start if you are willing to spend more.

#8 of 57 Jesse Sharrow

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Posted June 17 2005 - 05:46 AM

Thanks for the recommend on the bryston. I can get one of those for about $800-$1000. Now any other recommendations? Someone at a shop down the street said NAD? Anyone have experience with them?

#9 of 57 Jesse Sharrow

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Posted June 17 2005 - 12:21 PM

I just found out that I can get parasound Halo Series equipment through work. I think thats the way I need to go. Any thoughts?

#10 of 57 Arthur S

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Posted June 17 2005 - 10:33 PM

Just looking at the web site, the A21 amp looks like a very solid piece. If you can get a good discount I think it would be hard to go wrong.

#11 of 57 DavidCooper

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Posted June 18 2005 - 12:54 AM

I've also got a question about the amp/pre-amp processor issue.

I currently use my Denon 2802 as a pre/processor and my Parasound HCA855A for power.

My question is....would I be getting a big improvement in sound going with an actual pre/processor instead of using the Denon?

#12 of 57 Arthur S

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Posted June 18 2005 - 06:41 AM

David
Hard to say really. There are processors and there are processors. Some processors have features that really make a big difference for certain users. For example, Theta Casanova has tremendously flexible crossovers. For some this makes blending of mains and subwoofer better than less flexible processor. This would be a micro issue for most, but for for someone with the patience to get everything set up just right, it will make an audible difference.

On the other hand, something like the new Outlaw for $1,100 has 7 channel, DPLIIx, balanced outputs and other features that Krell doesn't have. Then there is Anthem. Very popular on this forum.

In general, processors are considered to be a step up from what you get in a receiver. How big a step and at what price is hard to determine for anyone else. There are just so many variables.

My question for you would be: In what area of your set-up would you get the biggest bang for your buck? For example, how long has it been since you upgraded your display? For me, going from a 35 inch tube to a 65 inch HD RPTV was just a huge difference. Nothing subtle to try to figure out.

#13 of 57 DavidCooper

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Posted June 18 2005 - 06:48 AM

Well, I have a Toshiba rear projection TV (50") widescreen HDTV ready. I bought that about 2 years ago....so I'm not really wanting to drop around $3000 on a newer big screen even if it's a DLP etc.

A good friend of mine just got a brand new SONY DLP tv and to tell you the truth I wasn't all that impressed with the pic quality compared to mine. Sure he ad a bit better viewing from the sides but I like to sit in front of my TV...lol

#14 of 57 Arthur S

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Posted June 18 2005 - 07:26 AM

David

That makes sense. Your display is on an even keel with your audio. I assume you have a good subwoofer. If not...
maybe try an Outlaw 990, if it doesn't make enough difference, they do have return priveleges. Then again, with the new Dolby Digital and DTS formats waiting in the wings, why not wait till they arrive and make your move then?

#15 of 57 DavidCooper

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Posted June 18 2005 - 09:51 AM

Good point Arthur......and as far as a sub goes. Got that covered as well. I'm running an SVS 20-39PC+.

#16 of 57 Jesse Sharrow

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Posted June 18 2005 - 12:03 PM

Me too david. I love my sub. Matchs nicely with my dunlavy's. Posted Image

But I think I am going to find out for sure if I can get the parasound halo amp. I was lookin at the A23 but I dont think that will be quite enough power. Its about 125 watts at 8ohms. So with 6ohm speakers proably about 150-175.

So im looking at the A21 wich is 250 at 8 ohms. Im thinking that should be enough power. Anyone have any good reviews or experiences with this amp?

#17 of 57 Parker Clack

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Posted June 18 2005 - 01:31 PM

Jesse:

I have heard of nothing but good things about the Halo amps. They rate their amps conservatively but you never go wrong with having too much power.

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#18 of 57 Jesse Sharrow

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Posted June 19 2005 - 03:36 PM

So what kind of power should I look into. I know the more the better but is an amp that will do 375watts into 5 ohms, wich is what the dunlavy's are, is that overkill? Because the smaller halo does a little under 200 watts at 5 ohms.

#19 of 57 MikeDuke

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Posted June 19 2005 - 11:55 PM

The Theta Digital Casanova has balanced inputs for L/C/R but not for surround. I Don't think it has an EQ function. The Casablanca can be fitted with balanced inputs but that is ALOT of money. The Krell showcase, which I have, has balanced inputs. But not PLIIx. It also has a pretty extensive EQ feature. The outlaw may be a strong contender for a dedicated preamp. It looks like you are on the right path for amps. I also have heard very good things from the Halo products. That power would not be overkill. The smaller one might even damage your speakers because it may cause the amp to clip.
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#20 of 57 Jesse Sharrow

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Posted June 20 2005 - 02:33 AM

Cool thanks mike. Well since I can get it all at work. After I get my amp Im gonna look into the preamp too.