AV Receiver as Pre AMP

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Jim DeSisto, Aug 6, 2003.

  1. Jim DeSisto

    Jim DeSisto Auditioning

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    I currently own a Denon 3802 that I am quite happy with in my system. However, I just completed putting a 24 x 29 addition on my house that will serve as my dedicated HT room. Although not entirely complete, I do have have my components in there. In listening to movies and music it seems to me like the Denon amp is straining somewhat as I have to turn up the volume a good ways to fill the room with sound. The room also has a vaulted ceiling so it is a fairly large area.

    So with that said, I was considering using the Denon as my Pre/Pro and purchasing a dedicated 5 or 7 channel amp. I was wondering what you all think of this idea. Any problems with this setup? Unfortunately, after the construction, my bank account is a little thin to be going out and buying a whole system.
     
  2. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Thats an excellent idea if you are mainly watching movies. I have the 3802 hooked up to a Proceed Amp2 for the main L/R channels and a B&K Ref 7250 for the remaining channels and to tell you that the setup rocks would be an understatement. I have compared it to the flagship 5803 in straight 5.1 movies and my setup wins handsdown in terms of sheer dynamics and smoothness of presentation. In two channel music they sounded close with maybe slight detail edge going to the 5803.

    I recently integrated a $300 tube preamp into my main L/R channels after my 3802 and just before the Amp2 and for two channel music I have the tube preamp hooked upto the CD player with its outputs going directly into the amp. For HT I just set it to unity gain volume setting. Although I haven't compared this setup dierctly with the 5803 for two channel music, my suspicion is it will win out in this area too.

    So what I am saying is, hooking a 1K amp and perhaps a sub $300 dedicated 2 channel preamp to your 3802 will make it worthy of competing with separates in the sub 3-4K range and certainly better than all the flagship receivers out there (putting my flame suit on).

    Best of luck.
     
  3. greg_bun

    greg_bun Extra

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    I also have a 3802 and love it for movies (with B&W 602 front, 601 rear, 600 center). But was thinking of doing something for 2-channel music, which I listen to a lot.

    1. Can I use a 2-channel amp for the fronts and leave the Denon powering the surrounds/center? Would there be a problem matching the sound/timbre of the fronts and center if I did this? Would there be a problem with possible (likely) different watts powering the fronts and center?

    2. What are some good 2-channel amps to audition - thinking of Rotel, NAD? What others?
     
  4. CurtisC

    CurtisC Second Unit

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    I used a 3802 and now a 3803 as a pre/pro with a Parasound 1205a(140x5),Denon runs the rear effects for 7.1.Parasound also makes a great 2ch x 200watts,the 1500a I think.
     
  5. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Jim,

    Your plan is an excellent one and is the logical "next step" in your evolution from a receiver to separates. It is cost effective and once you purchase the amps there is a good chance you will not have to purchase amps again. (Notice I cleverly avoided the use of the word, "never" here.)
    [​IMG]

    As others who have added amps to an existing receiver (myself included) have told you, external amps will most likely be of higher quality than the internal amps in the receiver and your sound will benefit.

    Just be aware of one thing....

    It doesn't end there.

    A couple of years ago I moved on to a dedicated pre/pro (Outlaw 950) from my receiver (Denon 5700). I thought that would be "it" for a while.

    Yeah, right!

    I now own a Lexicon MC-8.

    See what I mean?

    [​IMG]

    Seriously, I endorse your decision, especially since the external amps will never go to waste and will become an integral part of any future audio system. Let others who have the same receiver as you do help you decide which one of the many fine external amps out there to pursue. I predict you will be very pleased. (One suggestion would be to try to get a unit that can be returned if you find you don't like or don't notice improvement in the sound. There is no substitute for trying things out in your environment with your equipment.)

    Good luck.
     
  6. kevitra

    kevitra Second Unit

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    Yogi - what tube pre did you buy?
     
  7. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Started out with an ASL2004DT and within few months upgraded to a Conrad-Johnson PV14LS. Love the sweet seductive sound ever since.
     

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