Adding on a stereo preamp?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Joshua H, Mar 31, 2004.

  1. Joshua H

    Joshua H Stunt Coordinator

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    Since a/v receivers are generally considered sub-par for (stereo) music reproduction, do people ever just buy a stereo pre-amp and connect it, using the receiver's amp section for power?

    After hearing the RA-02 stereo integrated amp at my Rotel dealer compared to stereo thru the RSX-1055, I was impressed with the better sound. It got me thinking... though it may also have been due to a Rotel cd-player with the stereo setup versus a dvd player with the surround.

    Anyone care to indulge me?
     
  2. Mike SJ

    Mike SJ Supporting Actor

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    the typical reason most ppl feel that receivers dont have the power that power ams do (therefore the quality isnt as good) is because of all the bells and whistles a receiver has on it takes power too. A power amp uses 100% of the power fed to it to amplify sound, maybe an LED or a meter or 2 but thats it. straight power amp. a receiver has many many many extras. anyway to get to my point, if you are considering an expensive pre/pro, you arent going to get anything MORE out of your receivers amps just cause the pre/pro on the receiver isnt being utilised. Look at power amps. If you are impressed with Rotel, see what amps they have. OR outlaw has a good deal on multi channels
     
  3. Joshua H

    Joshua H Stunt Coordinator

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    The point is not about wattage; a Marantz 5400 for example has been shown to deliver over a hundred watts per channel in stereo. I'm not trying to pop eardrums, just listen to music.

    The point is that if one already has a receiver, and thus can power their speakers, does it make sense to get a stereo preamp for the sake of sound quality. My impression is that amps do not particularly color the sound, that tonality etc comes from the pre- section's processing. Thus, it occurred to me to replace the receiver's processing with that of a dedicated stereo preamp.

    edit-- you would also use your existing speakers this way. To try to better restate my point, "If I have a complete 5.1 system, would music be noticably improved using a seperate stereo preamp fed into the receiver's preamp inputs?"
     
  4. JohnSmith

    JohnSmith Supporting Actor

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    Several ways of upgrading the L/R channels...

    1) L/R pre-outs from the AV amp to a high quality 2 channel poweramp. Wire L/R to the 2 ch poweramp. Still using the AV amp's pre-amp but you'll be using better quality amps for the L/R channels.

    2) L/R pre-outs from the AV amp to a high quality stereo integated amp (ie Tag 60IRV)with unity gain input. Speakers wired to the Tag. All 2ch-only devices (CD, Tape, Tuner etc) are plugged into the Tag. For HT select Pre-Power AV.. for music select Integrated. This offers the better quality pre-amps and amp stages for music, and better quality amps for HT. No volume adjustment is necassary for amps with unity gain (except the initial matching of the two) If you buy a integrated without this input you'll constantly need to set to around 12 o clock (for HT) then reduce back to 9 o clock for normal CD levels. A PITA, and nasty if you forget.

    3) Buy a seperate 2 channel Hi-Fi system. :)

    I would suggest other makes for integrated's. Rotel's are not that great IMO..Rotel poweramps are good for the money- don't think much of Rotel pre-amp sections..

    Recommend doing 2) first.
     
  5. Joshua H

    Joshua H Stunt Coordinator

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    like i say... i already have a receiver. why spend on an integrated amp when all i need is the preamp?
     
  6. JohnSmith

    JohnSmith Supporting Actor

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    If your reciever doesn't have unity gain inputs for the L/R channels you can't do it.

    And most AV amps amplification stages aren't that brilliant either- ok you might use a high quality off-board pre-amp, but then what's the point if you're redirecting this back towards the AV amp?
     
  7. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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    Hmmmm......you also already have a pre-amp!
    Seriously, I agree with John....most people add an external amp for raising the quality of their stereo sound. The reason most a/v receivers, yours probably included, are considered sub-par for stereo is because of the amp section more so than the pre-amp section. It's kinda bizarre to add a stereo pre-amp to an a/v receiver. How are you going to watch movies? Switch the pre-amps back and forth? If you add the external amp you don't have to change anything back and forth.
     
  8. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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    In fact!!! Duh!....just thought of this while I was messing around with my system.....you can't add a pre-amp to an A/V receiver (maybe an external processor on some). You need MAIN-IN jacks and I've never seen them on A/V receivers....mainly because it doesn't make sense.
    PRE-OUTS are just for external amps.
     
  9. Joshua H

    Joshua H Stunt Coordinator

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    So, for example, the 6.1ch in on the marantz 5400 couldn't accept inputs from a preamp?
     
  10. JohnSmith

    JohnSmith Supporting Actor

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    The 5.1 input on AV amp's are most likely going through the AV amp's pre-amp section. Only a few items with 5.1 input have a direct bypass.

    So you might use a off-board high quality pre-amp.. but then looping it back to the AV amp pre-amp & poweramp.

    Pointless.
     
  11. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Joshua:

    You might want to consider demoing a 2-channel amplifier connected to the L/R pre-outs of your AVR, as has been suggested.
     

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