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AVR/Amp vs. Pre-amp/Amp combo?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Roy_G, Jul 31, 2001.

  1. Roy_G

    Roy_G Auditioning

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    OK, so I've read a bunch of posts extolling the virtues of separates over AVR's (sound quality, especially music), and the posts extolling the virtues of AVR's over separates (doodads, price).
    How's this for a compromise for a music/5.1 system:
    A Denon 3802 for the HT applications and then a nice 2-channel amp (using the 3802 as a pre-amp) to blast the speakers for music.
    I anticipate spending most of my time listening to music (not on a couch with my eyes closed savoring the string types, but running around my house takin' care of business) with a couple of nights a week spent watching movies.
    Anticipating using Paradigm Studio 60's as the mains (which I liked way more than the bigger versions for some reason), Paradigm CC, and something to-be-determined as rear (in-ceiling due to spousal happiness requirement). Subwoofer will be either a Velodyne HGS or a Paradigm Servo 15.
    Do I need more than the 110 Watts that the Denon gives for music? That is, am I feeding into the hype? Or don't I even need the Denon at all? I'm soooooooo confused!
    Roy
     
  2. JohanK

    JohanK Second Unit

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    I think that's a nice compromise; although if music listening is mostly for just background 'noise', I suspect that just the Denon may be enough. You can always add an amp later if you wish.
    Just my 2 cents...
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    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/bbs/equipment/28687.html
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Roy- I did this for a while.
    Yamaha RX-V793 (back in the Dolby Digtal only days). Used an outboard amp for the mains, and the internal amps for the center and rears.
    Then I switched to a Sony TA-E9000ES pre-pro and all outboard amplification.
    Can't say I noticed much of a difference in sound quality. (But I'm not one to try to listen to hiss in a speaker with the volume turned up to astromical levels!) I did miss Yamaha's DSP processing.
    But me, myself, and I, the "waste" of the amplification in the receiver bothered me. Ya pay for it, but then you don't use it.
    I'm happier now. Got a lot more inputs and outputs too. And the bass management on the pre/pro is more flexible than the receiver (adjustable cross-overs for *all* speakers independently of each other).
    You could try it, and see what you think. For me, in hindsight, it was just a stepping stone to all separates anyway. (It does spread the cost out over time a little.)
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  4. Michael_Shea

    Michael_Shea Auditioning

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    Same here. I have the denon 3300 and use the preouts to a Rotel 200x3 that power the mains and center. The denon powers the rears and sub.
    Immediately noticed the soundstage expand. Loved it. This is my setup on the way to separates.
     
  5. MatthewJ S

    MatthewJ S Supporting Actor

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    I certainly understand the problem of some who say "ya' pay for the amps and then dont use 'em",but frankly as much as those amps may be worth, what do you suspect the pre-amp section is worth in their absence?...The manufacturers of avr's don't put didley into the pre-out stages of these units because it would cost to much to make them of any quality when weighed against the % of consumers who will use them....then of course we have the issue of voice matching (which only now are some people coming to terms with how very important it is)not only in speakers but also in amps...how can your speakers be producing the same sounds if your running drasticly different amps?Yeah, here's a great idea,lets mix the sound of the orchestra in the movie between the center speaker and right front speaker...Oh,whats that now(?), yourcenter is powered by an 80 watt receiver amp and your right front is a 150watt adcom?, oh not to worry that will sound fine!
     
  6. Dennis Kindig

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    The pre/pro can make a huge difference in the quality of the sound, even with "mid-fi" amplifiers. I recently bought a Sony TA-E9000ES preamp and was astonished at the performance.
    This preamp is my new front end for six Leach SuperAmp monoblocks that I'm building. I am temporarily using my STR-DE935 receiver as an amplifier stage via the 5.1 inputs, and the difference is extremely noticeable.
    I used to think something was wrong with the tweeters on my Audax HT system but it was the processor in my receiver that was lacking. The bass is much cleaner and drums sound much more realistic as well.
    I have a chassis layout for the Leach amps and pictures of my theater and my home-built Audax HT speakers and Shiva subwoofer on my site if you're interested...
    http://www.mindspring.com/~dkindig
    Dennis
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  7. Shade Watson

    Shade Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    Dennis,
    That 'Leach SuperAmp monobloc' looks pretty interesting. Where can I find out more about it?
     
  8. Dennis Kindig

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    Shade,
    You can find info at the following sites:
    Leach Low TIM Amplifier
    Leach SuperAmp
    The Low TIM amplifier is rated at 150W into 8 ohms and the SuperAmp is rated at 250-300W into 8 ohms depending on the supply voltage. There are a lot of favorable reports on this amplifier over at Audio Asylum and it has been described as competing strongly with Krell amplifiers in terms of its sound.
    I will be putting some real documentation on my web site soon and you may want to check back every now and then. I have just added my email address to the site. If you wish, drop me a line and I will add you to a list of others that are interested in my progress with this. I will update you as I make changes to the site.
    Dennis
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  9. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Your 3802 will be more than adequate. If you are an extremely critical listener, adding a decent 5-ch amp down the road will probably yield _some_ improvement. The pre-outs on this receiver are great and will work w/o any problems should you decide to add an external amp. Just be sure to recalibrate...
    Greg
     
  10. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I'm using my Denon 3300 as a pre amp and the benefits of real amps are very profound. I have pretty demanidng speakers though so your milage may vary if you have efficient speakers. As for the comments about using different amps I suppose that is an issue with 5.1 audio but IMO I really only critically listen in stereo mode. During 5.1 I'm too caught up with whats on the screen to notice slight differences in amps...besides even though my mains and rears are tonally the same they sound slightly diffent due to room placement. I'm sure those using even tiber matched rears are going to hear a big differnce in sound b/t the front and back even if they were using a 5 channel amp.
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    http://www.attcanada.ca/~itisi
     

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