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Audio Refinement Pre5 vs Pre2 vs Wait!? (1 Viewer)


Jun 1, 2003
Hi everyone,

I've been lurking around for quite awhile now and have learned immensely from everyone's post. I think this is one of the most professional and inviting forums I've visited (I normally visit the Audio Asylum forum).

At heart, I'm an audiophile on a budget. An audio admirer if you will. However, situations and relationships have forced me to upgrade to a HT system compatible with my audio tendencies. Here's what I have now:

Yamaha (very old model)
Arcam A85
B&W N805 L/R
B&W 601 S3's S
Working on the sub.

Since the Yamaha has no preouts, I have to actually switch wire to go between 2ch and HT.

I was at a loss until I came upon Audio Refinement. Now I have 3 options:

1) Sell my arcam and get:

DVD/SACD player with DTS/AC3 and bass management (to do all the HT processing)
Audio Ref Pre 5
Rotel RMB 1075
Cost: 2100-1000 (approx value of arcam) = 1100

2) Sell my arcam and get

DVD/SACD player
Audio Ref Pre 2 with DTS/AC3 and NO DPL2 or 6.1
Rotel RMB 1075
Cost: 2400-1000 = 1100

3) Keep my arcam, wait until AR comes out with a new Pre/Pro (5Dsp?), and buy a low buck receiver to run the center and rears for the time being, namely an Outlaw 1050.

I'm inclined to go with option 1 since it sounds like it will keep closest to my audio inclinations and I do not feel strongly about excess processing. However, option 2 would be nice also, but I fear that the processing degrades the 2ch sound somewhat.

Any thoughts, comments, criticisms?

Any help is very much appreciated since so far I haven't had much luck at the other forums. Thanks!
Feb 8, 1999

If you don't plan to use any other digital sources than the DVD player then the Pre-5 option will probably best meet your needs. You should be aware that the crossover between speakers and subwoofer is often set higher in the players, than in pre-amps/receivers. If I recall correctly the crossover is 100hz or 120 hz in my panasonic rp91 dvd/dvd audio player, and my receiver uses an 80 hz crossover.

The Pre-2 would be a better choice if you plan to use other digital sources such as digital cable, or satellite in addition to the dvd's.

I think that the Pre-2 has an 80 hz crossover between speakers set to "small" and the subwoofer. You should check with your dealer.

Good luck, If you can try to arrange a home audition with your dealer, try both units at home, and keep the one you prefer.


Jun 1, 2003

Luckily there is a dealer nearby in San Francisco that I will visit shortly. Any recs on good amps to accompany the Audio Refinement? I'm looking for something around $800 in a 5 channel iteration.

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