Best Pre-Amp in the 3-5k range

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ali_Jafari, Jul 12, 2002.

  1. Ali_Jafari

    Ali_Jafari Agent

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    In the process of building a HT in the 20-25k range, and I'm leaning towards M&K's S-150P + MX-5000 sub for the 5.1 speaker system (no amp needed!). So, next is the decision on a quality pre-amp as I believe I won't need an amp since the 150P's have an internal amplifier, am I right? If I am right, my budget for a good pre-amp is in the 3-5k range. Any recommendations? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Ali,

    Recommendations will depend somewhat on your requirements, not just on the price.

    What sources are involved? Will you require video switching? How much flexibility in bass management do you wnat? Is the product firmware upgradable in the field? What about hardware upgrades (not just a promise, but rather a delivered record of them)? Will this be a Home Theater only, or combined Home Theater/Music room? Things like this all figure into the equation.

    Hear are some potential candidates that should meet your pricing criteria:
    Sunfire Theater Grand III
    Meridian 568 (used/demo)
    Theta Casanova
    Integra Research RDV-7
    Tag McLaren AV-32R
    Theta Casablanca (V1) (Used/Demo maybe doable)
    Lexicon MC-1
    Classe SSP-75 (Used/demo)

    As you can see, there's some pretty solid names in that list! They all have different capabilities, and you will need to determine which features are important to you.

    Thing about the things I asked and what other requirements you have for yourself.

    I don't have the answer about what's right for you, but this should help some in your quest.

    Regards,
     
  3. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Supporting Actor

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    I would add to John's list the new Krell Showcase Processor. Find out about it here .
    Matt
     
  4. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Matt,
    Thanks, my list wasn't meant to be exhaustive [​IMG]
    Regards,
     
  5. ling_w

    ling_w Second Unit

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    Depending on what your primary need is.

    If it is purely HT, then any of the above processors would do, if you want to enhance HT playback, then get one like Lexicon.
    If there is requirement for high quality 2ch music playback, then Theta would be good. If you want to enhance 2ch playback, check out Meridian.
    If there is requirement for mult-channel music playback out of 2ch source, then Meridian, Theta or Lexicon.
     
  6. Ali_Jafari

    Ali_Jafari Agent

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    Primary use of the system will be HT. The HT to music ratio will be something like 80/20. Am leaning towards the following processors:
    1) Krell Showcase Processor
    2) B&K Reference 30
    3) Sunfire Grand III
    Or, using a high end receiver like B&K's 307, Denon 5803 as the processor. Have a lot more research and testing to do... [​IMG]
    Thanks for the feedback!
     
  7. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    I'd also look into these - Bryston SP-1.7, Aragon Stage One, Anthem AVM-20, Cary Audio Cinema P7.

    Depending on whether or not you need/want all the latest formats, the B&K does not have them, although it is upgradable.
     
  8. ManojM

    ManojM Stunt Coordinator

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    For your money, the best processing will come from a separate processor, rather than a receiver. To the list I would add the Anthem AVM20 as recommended above. The B&K 307 has the same processor stage as the REF30, but they have not yet been upgraded to have some of the new modes such as PLII. John's list from above is excellent, and it would be best to research their features on the web, and after finding two or three that best fit your needs, then research those on the forums to find out user thoughts.
     
  9. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    I've heard very good things about the Primare too, www.sumikoaudio.net. I just got the Bryston SP 1.7 and have compared it against reference 2-channel preamps. It is great for music and movies, but has no video inside, including an on screen display. Set-up is easy via the display on the unit. If the lack of video and on screen display is something that is not for you then it may be best to look elsewhere. John's list was a pretty good starting point. You can also look at a used Lexicon MC-12. Two recently sold on Audiogon, one for $4,800 and one for $5,400.
     
  10. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    don't count out the enlightend audio design theatermaster 8000. it's a great piece of gear and i'm pretty sure it falls within your price range.

    kevin t
     
  11. bnlitin

    bnlitin Auditioning

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    I have the Tag Mclaren AV32R EX and love the sound.
    There is a new upgrade for Tag coming, the AV192.
    Unlike most audio companies, you can talk to Dr. Udo (president of Tag) on Tag's website, www.tagmclarenaudio.com
    The AV192 will have DVI, progressive video processing (doubling) and other interesting features.
    Unlike most audio pre-amps, Tag is hardware and software upgradable (with a history of upgrades). Tag was one the first to get Dolby Prologic 2 and will be getting THX Ultra 2 upgrade in the AV192. I would also look at the RDC-7 Integra as they seem to have good upgrades as well. Whatever you buy, it will be obsolete, so you want a company with a good track record of hardware and software upgrades, IMHO.
     
  12. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    Tag's hardware and software upgrades are frequent and great, and sound quality is top notch. I have a basic AV32R myself and if it didn't cost so much for me to send it to UK from Singapore, I'd upgrade it to the bp192 version in a jiffy.
     
  13. John A. Casler

    John A. Casler Second Unit

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    The Cinepro DTC-10 will be available very soon and also runs in that company.

    Best regards,

    John
     
  14. John Meringolo

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    Why has no one mentioned the NAD S-170? I use it and so far I have found it to be a pretty good unit.
     
  15. Tony Lai

    Tony Lai Stunt Coordinator

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    How much is the Krell?

    T.
     
  16. Geo

    Geo Stunt Coordinator

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    I wouldn't rule out using the Denon 5803 just because it's a receiver and a receiver's preamp/processing can't be nearly up to that of a separate pre/pro, at least that's what many will tell you.
    Using the 5803 as a pre/pro but letting the 5803's internal amps drive the surround/back speakers and then using a really nice amp (I'm using Krell to drive B&W N802's)for the front stage gives me excellent results for both HT and music.
    I don't think you can find a pre/pro for $4K+ that will give you the flexibility, features and yes, sound quality that the Denon 5803 will when used as described above.
    Just my opinion of course...............

    Regards,
    geo
     
  17. JoeyT

    JoeyT Stunt Coordinator

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    I second the EAD 8000. Followed by the Classe and Theta previously mentioned.
     
  18. Jeffrey Chin

    Jeffrey Chin Second Unit

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    KRELL HTS2 CAN BE HAD FOR THAT PRICE ON AUDIOGON

    military grade source switching
    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
     
  19. Keir H

    Keir H Second Unit

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    I third the EAD TheaterMaster units due to upgradability and their "2channel first" approach as well as handling HT processing very well with great internal component quality. Check out Alphadigitaltech.com I believe for more info. Meridian, Lexicon and Theta should mate well and give you more advanced options (tweaking, surround modes) however.
    *Note that going with those speakers which I believe are THX rated, Meridian and Lexicon give you lots of flexibility if THX is important to you. Good luck, and tell us what you went with. [​IMG]
     
  20. Brian Vaughan

    Brian Vaughan Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know if it important to you, but I noticed on the M&K website that the S-150P's have balanced XLR inputs as well as RCA. You may want to look for a pre/pro with balanced outputs to take advantage of this.

    BTW, I have the B&K Ref 30 and couldn't be happier (don't really care about DPL2), though there is a lot of talk that they will be introducing a new version in the next couple of months that will have balanced outputs and all the new formats.

    Cheers, Brian
     

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