Expensive pre-pro or cheap one with external DAC?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tim_S, May 30, 2002.

  1. Tim_S

    Tim_S Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2000
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ok, I know this is an impossible question to really answer and the true answer is that I should go listen for myself. Problem is that living in Tallahassee, I can't as there are no places to audition things and I have to buy mail order or used. With that as preamble. . . .

    I am in desparate need of upgrading my pre-pro. I have been using a Denon 3300 as a placeholder for a while and it needs to leave. I am primarily interested in improving music performance and consider any improvements in movies a nice bonus. Unfortunately I don't have space for a separate music only rig, so I can't really go that route. The relevant other parts of my system are VMPS RM1's for my main speakers and an Anthem MCA5 SII amp to drive them with a SVS CS-Ultra for the very bottom end.

    My thoughts are to go with one of these two options

    A: a more expensive pre-pro, the three most likely are Anthem AVM-20, Cinepro DTC-10 and EAD (used from Audiogon). The Cinepro is easiest for me to acquire but unproven (as it isn't out yet), the Anthem is proven but harder for me to get and the EAD is expensive, so no clear choice for me there.
    B: A cheaper pre-pro, Outlaw or Rotel, with a separate DAC like the Perpetual Technology P-3A.

    The cost of these options are pretty much close enough that I don't care so much about the price. Any impressions on which is likely to give me better results for music? Also, anyone know what DACs the Cinepro will be using?

    Tim
     
  2. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2001
    Messages:
    1,077
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  3. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 1998
    Messages:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'd go with the Rotel and the PA DAC myself. You'd get all the all the latest processing formats and a fantastic DAC for 2 channel music. Obviously we don't know for sure what DAC's the cinepro will use but by all accounts the PA DAC is going to be very hard to beat
     
  4. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 1999
    Messages:
    921
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    For bang for the buck, flexibility, and no ceiling on 2 channel performance, I would definitly go with a separate preamp with HT bypass (ie, Sony TAP for $450 NIB at oade.com, used anthem P2L tube preamp in classified forum, etc) and a dac.
    You could even keep the Denon 3300 until you want to use more than 5 speakers. I use a Lexicon for HT and Rogue magnum 66 tube preamp for 2 channel, and loving it; I think I have the best of both worlds! I have a lead to a mint, loaded DC1 if you are interested [​IMG]
     
  5. Tim_S

    Tim_S Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2000
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I appreciate the suggestions on the separate 2 channel pre-amp and have thought about that. The problem with that is I have to get rid of the Denon. It's performance on movies is fine for me, but the fan noise after playing for a while is driving me crazy. It is out. So I have to get a new HT processor. A new HT processor, DAC AND 2 channel pre-amp are probably more than I want to spend, although that Pre 2L is looking pretty good.

    Tim
     
  6. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 1999
    Messages:
    921
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tim,

    What is your total budget? And the rest of your system?
     
  7. Tim_S

    Tim_S Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2000
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  8. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 1999
    Messages:
    921
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    $3k is plenty:
    7.1 Prepro (Rotel or used Lexicon DC1 ~ $1150)
    Preamp with HT bypass (used Anthem ~ $575 or TAP)
    DAC (PT, bel canto dac1.1 or dac 2.0, msb gold link, music fidelity, etc, etc, etc $500-1000 used or new)

    And ANY of the components can be upgraded without any affect on the other two. And if you buy used, you'd only lose a little on resale down the line.
     
  9. Mike Bledsoe

    Mike Bledsoe Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dear Tim
    I am confused, you say that you have to get rid of your Denon 3300 because you can't stand the fan noise?
    I have a Denon 3300 and I have no fan noise problem, as a matter of fact it doesn't have a fan. I also use it as a two channel pre-amp when I listen to music since I run it's main two channels pre-amp out to a Denon 5200 dual mono block 120 watts ch. power amp and I am really very please with that set up. [​IMG]
    Mike Bledsoe
     
  10. Tim_S

    Tim_S Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2000
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  11. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2001
    Messages:
    1,077
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If you really want to maximize your 2-channel capabilities, You should really look at the Sonic Frontier Line 1 with HT bypass. You can get one for about 1150.00 new and still buy you a very solid receiver for HT and still have change left over for an excellent DAC. I've owned the Anthem P2L and it didn't stay in my system passed 20 days. That's when I sent it back and bought the Line 1.

    Once again though, I think the TAP unit allows you to not worry about trying to nail the best sound from an all in one unit, the TAP allows you it use it as a 2-channel pre if you find you want to upgrade your main dedicated 2-channel pre amp later on. That's not to mention that the TAP allows you inputs for 2 high resolution multi-channel players. I listen to music most of the time and it's good to know that I can now pick any 2-channel preamp I want to handle music portion in my system as opposed to spending $2-3,000 for an all in one unit that may or may not perform as well in music.

    Oh well, I guess I'll stop beating the horse right now because I'm sure he's dead.
     
  12. Mike Bledsoe

    Mike Bledsoe Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tim

    That is really strange maybe Denon had two different models
    of the 3300 I swear I have no fan in mine. Maybe because you live in Florida where it is so hot or something. The receiver does get a little hot so maybe latter versions had a fan to cool things down a bit, not that I ever had a melt down problem or anything.
    Well good luck anyway.

    Mike
     

Share This Page