dolby preamp- to power amp OR dolby receiver

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Geno, Oct 4, 2001.

  1. Geno

    Geno Supporting Actor

    Oct 1, 2001
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    I currently have a pre/power amp setup but would like true dolby surround, if not THX surround. But I do not know which is a better deal and better setup. Do I purchase a dolby preamp and do I need a dolby certified power amp to use too? Or do I just sell everything I own on ebay and purchase a nice thx reciever. HELP ME PLEASE I am slow on ths surround information but as far a stereo's im well veresed.
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Aug 3, 2000
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    Geno- Welcome to HTF!
    There's no such thing as a "Dolby certified" power amp. Unless you are referring to THX certification, which in my opinion, doesn't mean much for power amps. (Especially when most "quality" power amps exceed THX specs, just that the manufacturer's don't want to be bothered with having to pay Dolby Labs every time they sell a piece of equipment with a "THX" sticker on it.)
    You say, "Dolby Surround," but you might be confused. [​IMG] Here is the timeline of "surround" formats:
    Dolby Surround (early to late 80's, or so)
    Dolby Pro Logic (late 80's to now)
    Dolby Digital (mid 90's to now)
    DTS (late 90's to now)
    Dolby Digital THX Surround EX (last year or 2)
    DTS-ES (matrix and discrete) (last year and a half or so)
    Dolby Pro Logic II (within the last year, or so)
    I'm assuming you have a 2 channel pre-amp and power amp now. One option is to keep the 2 channel power amp, and *add* another 3 or 4 channel amp to get a 5.1 or 6.1 capable system. The 2 channel pre amp, you might want to keep because a lot of people think (not me though!), that the 2 channel/stereo sound quality of most preamp/processors/receivers is inferior to a good 2 channel pre amp.
    But a receiver would be an easy way to get started. But you have to decide how much you want to spend, what formats you want, etc. If you're into stereo now, you have to buy some more/new speakers too! Don't forget a good subwoofer too.
    I'm sure that a lot of other people will chime in with their help as well.
  3. Kendal Kirk

    Kendal Kirk Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 15, 2001
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    Geno, Welcome to the HTF.
    I was in the same boat as you a few months ago, not knowing if I should dump my older, high quality separate gear, and start from scratch; or try and salvage what I had. Your situation may vary based on what you currently own, but here were some of the considerations that I went through when starting over again.
    The system that I had prior too today consisted of 3 two channel amps, pre-amp, DPL processor, and various other components. The amps produced relatively clean power, but not up to todays standards. I basicly wanted to simplify my system so the wife and kids could enjoy a movie or music without having to read a manual or call me every time they wanted to do something. I considered a pre/pro since I had plenty of power, but the amps didn't have 12v triggers, and sometimes a simple power button can be confusing to my wife [​IMG]. Therefore I went with a high quality AV receiver. Simplicity, style, and quality were my main considerations. Your situation may vary, but if you don't have multiple channels of amplification, and have budget concerns, I would suggest going with a receiver.
    After reading a lot, posting questions here, and contemplating the many options that were out there, I decided to pen a [​IMG]"wish list" [​IMG] of options that I wanted. DPLII, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1, THX, power, inputs, etc. This was going to be a system that I will be living with for a long time, so I wanted to be sure that I wouldn't be getting any upgrade itches quickly. I decided that a DPLII, 6.1 system with plenty of power would allow me to take advantage of currently availible media and work well in the room that I would be using. Again, your situation will vary, but I would suggest not making any quick buys based on simply wanting 'something' until you know exactly what you need to get the most enjoyment out of the investment you will be making.
    I hope that this helps. You have not mentioned anything about DVD players or speakers, but these are things that you should consider also when starting over. I used the same logic in making these purchases also.
    Remember that half the fun of this hobby is learning and investigating option that you have. You can always lust for nirvana, but you must be more than happy with what you bring home.
    Again, welcome, and enjoy the journey.
  4. Geno

    Geno Supporting Actor

    Oct 1, 2001
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    my current setup is
    TV - Epson powerlite 710c
    Awia reciever
    DVD-Playstation 2
    CD-jvc 7 disc changer
    Direct TV
    VCR - does it matter anymore? [​IMG]
    my speakers are small but fill my apartment nicely
    Bose 141 - pair
    advent [speaker from advent 400 radio designed by THX guy but when I bought it, it came with 2 speakers] - pair
    Infinity SL-2- pair
    POS car sub for my subwoofer
    And my main unit that I dont currently use is
    Nikko Beta II preamp
    Nikko Alpha II amp
    also available to use: altec 50 watt mono amp
    my preamp has 2 outputs so I was looking to copy my power amp and usr four channels from one amp for the main front and back speakes then switch the other amp to 2 chanels 1 for sub 1 for center. Please advise [​IMG]

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