a receiver /pre-amp/amp combo under $3500

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by joy, Mar 24, 2002.

  1. joy

    joy Auditioning

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    Hi ,

    I am longtime regular visitor on this site to educate my self. I am a newbie at this so I would appreciate the input.

    I have the I have upto $3500 to spend on a reciver or pre-amp/amp combo config !!! which should last a few years hopefully. I want to do 7.1 THX and using sonance Cinema series 5 for my mains and sides.

    I am not able to decide between

    denon (5800 or 5803 or AE-10SE)

    elite VSX-49TX

    onkyo (989 or DTS9.1 or RDC-7)

    B&K 307

    marantz SR-14EX

    Please help !!!!!

    Also I may be missing some good equipment out there !!!Please suggest any other combo which suits my budget .

    PS : I got this small lsit based on the revies from S&V, TPV, HTmag etc ;

    Regards

    Joy .
     
  2. Jody C Robins

    Jody C Robins Stunt Coordinator

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    I am planning on using the following combo:

    Preamp - Outlaw 950 - $900

    Amp - Sherbourn 5/1500A (200W/channel) - $2000 MSRP, but you can find it for much less online

    As I don't have either yet (the amp should be at my house tomorrow), I can't comment on the sound. However, I have read nothing but positive reviews for both, and this beats your cost of $3500. Also, I would assume this combo would out-perform the receivers you mentioned.
     
  3. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    Jody's rec's are excellent. If you do not intend to ever use external amplification, any of the choices between the receivers you mentioned will work perfectly. If you do intend to use external amplification, I would consider the Outlaw or a much less expensive receiver as a pre-amp. Most receivers in the $1000-$1500 range should do nicely. The money you save can be spent on amplifiers. Consider Jody's suggestion first and the receiver option second.
     
  4. John_Charles

    John_Charles Agent

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    I would certainly opt. for the following:

    · Anthem AVM20 ~$2,535.00 (the price I paid in November - may be more now due to its popularity)

    · Anthem MCA5 II ~$900.00 (for dealerships that still have them and are willing to deal - as it has been replaced by the MCA 50)

    I have heard this combo fronted by a Pioneer DV-38A, driving a Martin Logan Prodigy/Ascent system, and was astonished that a relatively "cheap" amp. could sound SO good under such punishing loads (without getting hot)! The '20 IMO competes sonically with any AVP at any price and as a matter of fact it so good, that in 2-channel mode it directly competes with my Sonic Frontiers Line I! I have my '20 driving a Sunfire, which in turn drives Martin Logan Sequel I's, and the synergy is a match made in heaven with the weak link being the older Martin Logans!

    PS Anyway, this recommendation will be an excellent 5-channel start; from there you could save for a dedicated 2-channel amp. for down the road. Let me know if you're interested, and I can point you to a dealer who may be able to help you...
     
  5. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Rotel 1075 (120 X 5)

    Rotel 1070 (130 X 2)

    Preamp (in no particular order)

    B&K Ref 30 (will put you slightly over budget)

    Rotel 1066

    Outlaw 950

    Sherwood Newcastle (due in September)

    Used Lexicon DC-2 (might put you slightly over budget)

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    I would note that the Outlaw is not THX but I am leaning heavily towards the Outlaw. If you really want THX another option to consider is the Harman Kardon AVR8000. It is THX Ultra certified and has Logic7 processing for 5.1/7.1 sources. The receiver has main amp inputs so you can use it's amp channels anyway you want. I would add a good 3 channel amp up front and reconfigure the receiver's amps to power the rear channels(the 8000 only has 5 channels of amplification but has pre-outs for 7.1). I am still possibly considering the HK because i already have a multi-channel amp to use with it. The Logic7 on 5.1/7.1 is a main reason for me in considering the HK.

    HK 8000- $1649 at Ecost

    There are several amps out there within your budget.

    Good Luck,

    Dalton
     
  7. John A. Casler

    John A. Casler Second Unit

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    Joy,

    I agree with Dalton except you probably don't need but only 2 extra channels of amplicifcation (HK-PA2000 -45 amps- 100watts x2 @ 8 ohms).

    The onboard 5 channel amp can handle the Sonance just fine with 85 amps. Although they are rather efficient which means the HK will light them up as much as you like and smile while doing it.

    If you are looking for THX and a "full" feature set, the HK AVR-8000 (with HK PA-2000) is your baby.

    This system would set you back about $2500 or less street pricing and give you all the "bells and most of the whistles" (no up conversion video switching)

    John Casler
     
  8. joy

    joy Auditioning

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    Guys,

    Now that I have your suggestions, I am more confused !!!!

    Which route do I take ?

    Plunge in to the "seperates world "

    with GeorgeK's or John's or Jody's ...

    OR

    Stay with " all in one " reciever setup

    and pick among my list, and Daltons list ....

    Also, what is all this buz ... on the AVR5803 ??

    If I choose to take the later route, do I have to wait for the 5803 ???

    PS : My family does lot of listening compared to watching. (country- garth etc., ). Hoping this info may help !!!

    Please help with your suggetions ....

    Thanks,

    Joy.
     
  9. Jody C Robins

    Jody C Robins Stunt Coordinator

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    One thing you may want to consider...the Sherbourn 5/1500A has a 10 year warranty and it has enough power you won't need to upgrade it unless you get some very high dollar speakers. Then, you spend $900 on an Outlay pre/pro that is great for now, but if there are significant advancements in processing down the line, you can buy a new one (as opposed to buying a new $3000 reciever).

    Obviously, this is the road I would recommend you take, as it is the road I am in the midst of taking myself. Whichever option you pick, I'm sure you will be very happy.

    If you are interested in getting a Sherbourn, email me, and I can put you in touch with a great dealer. He was very friendly and helpful, and had the best price I found.
     
  10. Tan_N

    Tan_N Stunt Coordinator

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    Joy,

    The question about Receiver or Separates can not be answered until you ask, "How much money do you have to spend". In your case you said $3500.. So the answer is a definite...SEPARATES!

    With Receivers and Pre-Amps, the Technology or sound formats change every 6 months to 1 year. The denon x801 series were replaced after 6 months by the x802 series because of Dolby ProLogic II. Right now 6.1 is the hot thing.. but Harmon Kardon (Lexicon) has 7.1 in the wings. With amps, you can keep them forever.

    IMHO, you should get the:

    OUTLAW 950 pre-amp for $900

    plus any of these 5-7 channels amps for $2500 or less

    Parasound

    Rotel

    Outlaw

    B&K

    So when Firewire or 7.1 or Dolby-XXX or THX-XXX or DTS-XXX becomes the next big thing. All you have to do is replace your $900 Pre-amp with something new.

    Personaly, anything over $1000 for a receiver is too much. It's kinda like a new computer.. Before you bought it, it's obsolete. HT has become a never ending cycle. Alot of people are getting into it, and a lot of manafactures want a piece of the pie. So they have to come up with "something new" to sell their products.. That "something new" will make what you just bought obsolete. Plus, it's a big time money thing for Dolby, DTS and THX for their propritary decoding. The more they come out with, the more royalities they make. Manafactures have to pay for each of these logos DPL, DD, DD-EX, DPL2, DTS, DTS-ES nondescrete, DTS-ES discrete, THX, THX-EX.
     
  11. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    Joy,

    You have a lot of good options. If the Outlaw 950 pre/pro wasn't so attractive at $899, I would probably go for the HK. The HK having Logic7 for 5.1/7.1 is a great feature to have. Just ask those Lexicon owners about Logic7. I have THX EX now with my Onkyo 797 but I don't mind giving that up for a great pre/pro(which i hope the 950 is). If the 950 lives up to the hype, then that would probably be a good choice for you as Tan has also suggested. Good luck with your decision! Shopping for new gear can be really fun and also really frustrating.

    Take Care,

    Dalton
     
  12. Gregg Hart

    Gregg Hart Stunt Coordinator

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    Joy,

    I highly agree that if you have that much to spend, stay away from a receiver.

    I also have the numerously mentioned Sherbourne 5/1500a amplifier. I paid $1200 for it as a demo. They can be had new for $1500 from almost any dealer that carries them.

    Amp is fantastic. The Outlaw is a great unit if it actually existed. I would assume you would have to wait months after its release befopre you get one though. Sherbourne is coming out with their new pre/pro in a few weeks that is using the same platform as the Outlaw but with some cosmetic changes (i.e. it looks better). The street price for that will probably be around $1100-$1200 if I had to guess.

    That combo would put you at about $2700 for some excellent stuff that would blow away any receiver.

    Don't put too much emphasis on THX. It's meaningless once you get into higher end stuff like this. If you need the Cinema rQ buy an EQ.
     
  13. Gene Lockaby

    Gene Lockaby Extra

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    Joy - In about 2-3 weeks, the reviews from the new owners of the Outlaw 950 will be flooding into this space. If you are not yet convinced that in your price range, this is the way to go, I urge you to wait until then to decide.

    As one of the beta testers for the 950, and an owner of an Outlaw 750 amp, I can tell you that this combination will be very difficult if not impossible to beat in terms of price/performance.

    Of course price/performance is a different issue from the 'what I want to own' issue. If you want to own something else, go for it. I own Lexicon/Proceed gear now. I'm very happy with it. Is it ten times better than the Outlaw gear on a performance basis? Not a chance. In your range the Outlaw 950/755 combo is unbeatable...IMO.

    Regards - Gene
     
  14. John A. Casler

    John A. Casler Second Unit

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    Joy,

    Although all the suggestions have been very good, don't feel as if you will be totally limiting yourself by getting a reciever.

    I would stand by my recomendation for the AVR-8000 (the Sherwood 963 a close second)

    First, unless you plan on changing your speakers, the amp in a reciever will be just fine.

    Second if the reciever has 8 channel input you are basically covered if some new processing or source comes out. And even though I am sure there may be a few, the basic DD and DTS will be the standards for the forseeable future. (Will you really end up with 12.2? maybe you should run the speaker cable now)

    Only if you must have the latest and greatest of any and all new DTS-EXCXVXBXGXDX (on and on)will this be important.

    By all means leave a little room in your equipment rack, but don't feel compelled to jump into seperates or else you will miss something. In fact, having seperates will probably provide more of a compulsion to upgrade before you need to. After all, how many different sonic processes can fit on a DVD? For that matter how much 6.1 and 7.1 software is available right now?

    I'm sure you would be quite happy with an Outlaw based system, or equally as happy with Harman, Newcastle, or whatever "flagship" reciever (as long as it has 8 channel in).

    Decisions, Decisions,

    John Casler
     
  15. joy

    joy Auditioning

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    John,
    You said it right !!! " Decisions, Decisions, "
    Here is the dilemma I am in ...
    I have an offer for a Integra 9.1 for $2000 used or a Sherbourne from ecost !!! with a Outlaw amp ??? and say I am in "seperates world " now ....
    One thing bothers me with this approach, which John has referred to
    -----------------------------------------------
    In fact, having seperates will probably provide more of a compulsion to upgrade before you need to.
    ---------------------------------------------
    On the other hand pick the "Flag ship Receiver " HK8000 or Denon 5803 or 49TX, 989 or one of 'em ?
    Ken Thompson, in another thread , here says, he has lead to a authorised dealer selling the Denon 5803 for around $3k ?
    The only down side here is , I will have to wait for a couple of month I guess, which is OK with me .
    ------------- FYI the thread link is -----
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=128277
    --------
    Seeking your advice guys on this ....
    Joy.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    Many talk of the great world of separates and how they outlast receivers. But what use is that 5 channel amp now that you want to go to 7.1? Ok so you buy another 2 channel amp to add to the mix. Talk about a cabling and space mess not to mention the fact that the 2 channel amp's sound might not be anything like the 5 channel one. Then there's all the hoopla about the Outlaw 950 which hardly anyone can get.

    I've had my Pioneer Elite 49TX for a month or so now. Simple to setup. Spectacular audio quality. Does video conversion. Automatically sets EQ, delay and gain for EACH channel... it rocks and I don't have to have external cable connects between preamp and amp(s).
     
  17. Brian Schucher

    Brian Schucher Supporting Actor

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    5 or even 7 single RCA type interconnects are not really a big deal.....you must have a better reason for someone to not go the seperates route than the cables..
     
  18. michael_f

    michael_f Auditioning

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    ok, so complexity of the connections isn't a valid reason not to go to separates. Not to sound like flamebait, but what is?

    I'm looking to upgrade as well. Going from a HK AVR 65 to ?? I was just about to order an elite 49tx to drive my Infinity Overture 3s, Infinity CC-3, Velodyne CT120 (soon to be upgraded to dual SVSs) and Infinity surrounds, but this discussion throws a wrench in things.

    RAF had a nice thread going on the benefits of adding external amplification to his 49tx. That seemed like a very logical progression to me. Get the 49tx now with every format I could want for several years to come, when I upgrade speakers or need more/cleaner power, add amps.

    I just don't see the current pre/pros offering the same features for the price. However, since I've never had separates, I might be ignorant of their other benefits.
     
  19. John A. Casler

    John A. Casler Second Unit

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  20. michael_f

    michael_f Auditioning

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    John,

    Those are some excellent questions..

    "Need" video conversion? I'm not sure anyone "needs" products at this level, but I like the thought of everything being up-converted.

    I'm not sure I understand your statement, "you have 7.1 and don't want to add a 2nd amp?" Currently, with the HK AVR 65, I've got 5.1 and am down on power.

    The price difference is significant, but I like the extra power, the built-in 7 channel amp to get me started (I'd have to add an external 2 channel right off the bat with the AVR-8000), the video conversion, and yes, even the gimmicky MCACC.

    I'm not overly brand conscious and the 49tx seemed to encompass everything I could ask for. I probably should, however, look closer at the AVR-8000. My bigger burning question is, do separates provide other benefits I'm not considering?
     

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