best cheap receiver to use as a dedicated pre-pro?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Serge Breton, Aug 14, 2002.

  1. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

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    The pioneer DS811 looks like a good deal with all the latest surround formats, full preouts for external amplification, etc. The only thing lacking is proper crossover setting for subwoofer/mains. I believe the options are only 100hz, 120hz and 150hz. Not suitable for me....

    Basically, i am downgrading and looking for a cheap receiver to use as a prepro to mate with my ATI and B&K amps. This new cheap receiver/prepro will be used for 100% home theater with a dedicated 2 channel set-up kept seperate (Sony TA-P9000ES).

    Basically, i'm looking for a receiver around or under $500 with all the latest surround modes, a flexible crossover and preouts not to mention good sound quality. The HK 320 or 520 look like good options. The Denon looks good as well but again crossovers are limited to 80, 100 and 120HZ respectively.

    Which is the best bargain basement receiver to be employed as a dedicated home theater only prepro?
     
  2. Jack Keck

    Jack Keck Second Unit

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    I bought a refurbed Pioneer VSX 209 receiver from www.Refurb Depot.com. Last time I checked, they were out of these. I don't remember what the crossover choices are. I set mine to 80. It doesn't have DPL II. It does havepre-outs. It cost me $200 plus $20 to ship it.
     
  3. Greg Haynes

    Greg Haynes Supporting Actor

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    Serge,

    If you want flexible bass mangement than your best bet would be one of the Sony ES models. I am sure you can get a Sony 'DA3ES within your budget. I believe you can set each speaker from 40-200hz in 10hz increments. I have a Denon 3802 and always wanted the tweak power you can do with the Sony ES line.

    Sony just recently introduced their new line with a slew of new receivers. You might want to do a search. I am hoping KeithH can chime in and give more information. If you didn't know already he's the Sony guru.
     
  4. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Bass management is most definatly the downfall of the 811S (the only one i've found so far). Since you're going to be using it as a pre/pro, you may want to get the 811S and an analog equalizer to go between the 811S and your amps. This way you could turn the 811S bass management off and tune to your hearts content with a real eq!

    I'm not sure how the sub and LFE would fit into that equation though, so you may want to look into that.
     
  5. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    Honestly if your interest is HT you shouldn't go cheap on the processing. Ya amps are important but processing is HUGE for HT. Better off getting a flagship receiver or processor. Since assuming you have capable amps and like the way it sounds look into the processor market. YOu wont' be disappointed.
     
  6. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

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    Howard,

    i just sold my Outlaw 950 so i've been into the processor market. Like i posted in a thread last week, when is enough enough anyways?

    Now i have a Sony TAP coming this week for 2 channel only. So for music, my bases are covered.
    The sound gap between receivers(even some of the cheap ones) and processors aren't huge for HT. Music is where these bargain receivers fail. Either i spend extra and get the Rotel 1066 or a purcharse a cheap receiver like the Pioneer ds811 for strict HT use. This way i can buy a new receiver every year or two as new formats arise without spending a fortune and i don't have to be concerned about how long my expensive prepro will be current or HOW MUCH the upgrade path will cost to bring the piece up to date. Problem is does one of these cheap receivers SOUND GOOD as a dedicated home theater prepro? I don't care about the internal amps (this is where manufactures tend to skimp anyways is on the amplification), all i want is surround processing done right then out the preouts then straight to my amps.

    My other alternative is to purchase a Delta 410 soundcard and run it's 7.1 analog outs directly to my amps while utilising all the software decoding in PowerDVD XP to have DD EX, DTS ES, PL II, etc. So for $199 i can have a high end prepro for dvd playback only to decode all the latest formats. For satellite sources i would have to get an external DD/DTS processor like the Technics unit.
     
  7. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

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    Howard,

    i just sold my Outlaw 950 so i've been into the processor market. Like i posted in a thread last week, when is enough enough anyways?

    Now i have a Sony TAP coming this week for 2 channel only. So for music, my bases are covered.
    The sound gap between receivers(even some of the cheap ones) and processors aren't huge for HT. Music is where these bargain receivers fail. Either i spend extra and get the Rotel 1066 or a purcharse a cheap receiver like the Pioneer ds811 for strict HT use. This way i can buy a new receiver every year or two as new formats arise without spending a fortune and i don't have to be concerned about how long my expensive prepro will be current or HOW MUCH the upgrade path will cost to bring the piece up to date. Problem is does one of these cheap receivers SOUND GOOD as a dedicated home theater prepro? I don't care about the internal amps (this is where manufactures tend to skimp anyways is on the amplification), all i want is surround processing done right then out the preouts then straight to my amps.

    My other alternative is to purchase a Delta 410 soundcard and run it's 7.1 analog outs directly to my amps while utilising all the software decoding in PowerDVD XP to have DD EX, DTS ES, PL II, etc. So for $199 i can have a high end prepro for dvd playback only to decode all the latest formats. For satellite sources i would have to get an external DD/DTS processor like the Technics unit.
     
  8. Phil M

    Phil M Stunt Coordinator

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    I went with the HK 320 about (5) months ago to use as a pre/pro while waiting for the Outlaw & Rotel pre/pros to come out. Now they are out... but I'm still enjoying the 320. It gives you the ability to select a crossover of 40/60/80 or 100, but the downside is, it sends full range signals to your mains when you select either the 40 or 60 (small) speaker settings and just limits what goes to the sub.

    It does have a great deal of flexibility in regards to set-up.

    The Logic 7 processing (or loss thereof) is one of the biggest reasons that I don't want to switch. I've compared DPLII to L7 again & again, and for me L7 sounds better everytime for both music & movies.

    For less than 500$, it's kind of hard to beat.

    Phil
     
  9. Perry_C

    Perry_C Extra

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    Hey,

    Speaking of the 410 in a HTPC, I just got one of these sound cards. I would like to know what kind of amp you can hook this up to? I would like to find a low priced amp to at least do a 5.1 configuration and then later upgrade to the 7.1. However, I figured I would still need an inexpensive receiver to do external sources. I have the Onkyo 600 right now that I have about 2 weeks to decide if i want to keep it. I am not really that happy with it so far and look for something better.

    But I would like to look into the amp idea with the 410 sound card. That does sound like a better way to go.

    Perry
     
  10. MikeRP

    MikeRP Supporting Actor

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    Perry:

    I just purchsaed the HK AVR 520. I had the Onkyo 595 which is the forerunner of the 600. I'm taking the Onkyo back this week.

    The HK is 5.1 but can be expanded to 8.1 and has pre outs for everything. I bought it because I'm going to expand to 7.1 in the next year. I'll buy a 2 channel amp and hook it upto some new speakers. I guess the 8.1 means two subs.

    I've had the Onkyo for 2 days and the bass is tighter and the sound is more realistic. However, the Onkyo was very good. My wife knows it sounds better but wonders if it was worth the extra cash.

    Hey my last name is Perry too.
     
  11. Greg Haynes

    Greg Haynes Supporting Actor

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    Mike,

    HK AVR 520 will only do 7.1 when an external amp is added. Might of got confused when it said it had 8 pre-outs. The .1 is part of the 8 pre-outs.
     
  12. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    The only think I'm worried about is that pairing a really nice amp with a budget receiver although theoreticaly suppose to work wonders really doesn't. Some people do swear by it though. There's really a lot more to a receiver than the amp section. I mean the quality of the pre/pro section alone can differ from receiver to receiver and processor to processor.
     
  13. MikeRP

    MikeRP Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Greg
     
  14. AndyHangartner

    AndyHangartner Stunt Coordinator

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    Serge,
    You read my other posts. Buy the Da4es and be on your way. You wont beat it for the price. The processor is fabulous sounding and like I said,"no need for external amps". This thing kicks butt and btw I just finished LOTR and I wish you could visit and listen. You would understand what I am talking about.
    P.S. You'll have that track # tomorrow.
    andy
     
  15. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

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    Andy,

    thanks for the reply. I guess even though i am a young guy, i'm still old school when it comes to seperates vs receivers i guess. I have been looking at all the receiver options in the $700 and below range but every receiver has one or two features i would like to see missing. The Denon 3802 has an 80hz minimum crossover (i prefer 40-60hz). The HK 320/520 both lack Dolby EX postprocessing, etc. Only the Pioneer Elite 43tx and Sony DA4ES look appealing. How these receivers perform as dedicated prepros is another story, i'm still in the thinking process and may probably buy another Outlaw 950. For HT i think this unit is hard to beat....
     
  16. AndyHangartner

    AndyHangartner Stunt Coordinator

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    Serge,
    I wish I could get someone to compare units. But of course the Outlaw has to ship. Can you imagine the sales they have lost. I am still on their list, but of course I won't buy it. I would have, had it shipped on time problem free. I would love to compare my new Sony da4es with anything else for H/T. Anthem, Aragon etc. (Remember I said H/T). I am sure there would be hundreds of fellow H/Ters interested in the results.But of course,would someone with a $3k processor be willing to go for it, maybe to realize there was not over $2k better? I doubt it. It is more comfortable to sit back and say " I have xxxx, look at the reviews and it cost $xxxx, I know its better. I don't have to prove it!"
    Do you think any ones getting in an uproar yet?
    andy
     
  17. JohnDW

    JohnDW Agent

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    Andy - I guess its safe to say you are confident sony str 4aes stacks up well as a separate pre/pro - specifically, does it have low noise floor, do effects pan well across the speakers,m clear dialogue, good sense of placement of rear effects etc compared to more expensive pre/pros and receivers ?

    my big question...sony str4es + sherbourn 5 ch 200watt amp vs
    pioneer vsx49tx
     

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