Help me decide - DC-2 or Rotel 1066 for pre/pro

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Amir, Jun 20, 2002.

  1. Amir

    Amir Agent

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    I have Parasound HCA-2205 amp Paradigm Studio 60's front with Studio CC center and 20's for back with Paradigm PS-1000 powered sub with Sony 10HT projector. Currently I am using my Denon 2800 receiver for pre pro for the front three channels and sub ( it does not have pre out for surrounds) I will probably never go to 7.1 due to space limitation. I am looking to buy a used or new pre/pro for about $1500. Here are my criteria.

    1- good A/D and D/A converter (more important DAC) since I would like to use it for processing rather than the processor in CD/DVD player ? I believe it is best to keep the digital signal in digital domain as long as possible and why should you pay for two high quality digital processors (in cd or dvd and in pre/pro).
    2- High quality analog processing
    3- flexibility in configuring the remote commands and speaker set up / adjustable crossover
    4- I do not own a SACD player and since they are not playable in the car or at work and can not be backed up so I can have them in two places, this will not be an option.
    5-Video switching for component is also not a concern since I run directly to the projector and I have switching capability in the projector.
    6- Music reproduction is more important than movies, I like a clear sound with wider sound field. to Be honest I am perfectly happy with the Denon for movies but for music it lacks a lot of detail and imaging.
    7-Wife and Kids Factor! It should be simple to set up using a programmable remote using macros. I have a MX-500 (theater master) that works great and I love it.

    The question boils down to either go with an older processor the used to be the best or a newer one that is not the state of the art (even though it is up there). If you look at the computers (PC)today and compare them with ones 3 years old, you see that the technology has changed drastically. The state of the art in computers 3 years ago is not even as good as the entry level today. I would have like to buy the Anthem AVM-20 but it is a bit out of the price range.

    I would appreciate any advice.

    Regards,

    Amir
     
  2. Brian Corr

    Brian Corr Supporting Actor

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    While I have been tempted to get an older pre/pro like the DC-2 or Parasound 1500, I just can't justify dropping that kind of money for an older unit.
    The Rotel is at least a current model and is upgradable which should help it last longer.
    While not apples to apples, ask yourself this - would you be a 3 year old PC?
     
  3. Amir

    Amir Agent

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    As I understand, the ability to upgrade for Rotel is for operating software not any new sound formats. Most processors that are "upgrade-able" require a new card (Anthem AVM 20 , Lexicon etc) except for Tag McLaren or maybe meridian. An the cost of the card runs in hundreds of dollars in some cases.

    Amir
     
  4. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Amir,

    I have had a similar upgrade path. I have had the denon 3200, 3300, 3801 and 4802 plus dc-1, dc-2, mc-1 along with onkyo 797,adcom gtp830 plus various rotel two channel pre-pros. Nhts all around, parasound 2205 and 855 amps,svs sub.

    First off if you dont need/want 7 channel performance I think you just answered part of your own question. Why pay for 7 channel performance and not use it. Secondly as far as movie viewing goes for 5 channel setup that the denon 4802 did just as well as my lexicon mc-1(not including logic 7 7 channel setup). The dacs are good in the lex but no better then dacs in the rotel,950,4802.

    For two channel performance the best dac I have had cost 122.00 is awesome (the ART DI/O dac) from full compass. Do some reading on audioasylum for reviews. It beats the dacs in my cambridge se500 cd player,lex,denon hands down.

    If two channel performance is critical for you then why not just get a tube pre (bottlehead for example) costs 149.00 and beats the dogsnot out of any processors that have been mentioned in this thread. You could integrate the tube pre, art dac and combine with a good cheaper ht processor (950, or denon 3801,onkyo,hk reciever used as a processor) for HT and have the best of both worlds for 1500.00 or so..Just a thought
     
  5. Amir

    Amir Agent

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    The problem that is caused by having a separate processor, DAC, tube amp, is integrating them together so my wife and kids can still use the system. Using the two preamps (one for surround and a tube one for two channel) will require being able to change the inputs to the Amp. I need to have my kids pus ONE button and every thing should set up accordingly. Most tube preamps that I know are not remote capable, and I do not know how to work out the switching remotely.

    Regards

    Amir
     
  6. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Amir I thought long and hard about buying a used Lex over my Rotel but basically it came down to the Rotel is much newer, has the option to grow with (you never know what might happen in the future (ie adding a rear centre or SACD) and the Rotel should sound better in 2 channel mode then the all digital Lex. If the lex's have one week point its their 2 channel performance (or so many claim). What Lexicon does have is its Logic 7 vs Rotels XS processing...but since you aren't 7 speaker capable it doesn't leave much in favour of the Rotel. Plus the Rotel has more digital inputs and a 5 year warrenty
     
  7. Amir

    Amir Agent

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    John,
    You got me thinking. I spent about 4 hours reading about the ADC and the bottlehead preamp. It will work for me if I can find a remote A/B swithcher that can switch between the two preamps to the amp so I can use the tube pre for music and the processor for movies. Do you know where can I look for such a thing. There was a post about a Creek passiver preamp with remote source switching and voulme control but there were pepole (on the bottlehead forum) that thought it might effect the sound. Any ideas. Thanks

    Amir
     
  8. Mark_Buss

    Mark_Buss Extra

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    John, how exactly does that work? I'm running a Marantz sr7000 for a pre-amp (and rear surrounds) and monoblocks for my paradigm Monitor 11's and studio CC. Looking for a newer and better pre-amp like the Rotel 1066.... but what is this idea about a tube pre-amp and ART dac?

    I'll fall on the sword here, what is a dac? How would those things integrate into my setup or anyone elses? I'm trying to learn here... thank you,

    mark
     
  9. Rich X

    Rich X Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm in a similar situation. I have an opportunity to buy an AVM 2 slightly used but with warranty for $1300 or was also considering the Rotel 1066. I only need 5-channel for this system and like the sound quality of the anthem. Are the new surround formats that come with the Rotel worth the trade-off?
     
  10. Amir

    Amir Agent

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    Rich X,
    My best solution would be to buy the Anthem AVM 20. But the cost is holding me back. I have a dealer the will work with me on the price since i have bought all my speakers from him. If I can get him down to $2200 for the AVM 20 I will buy that - even it is a big stretch for me - If you are interested we can see if we can buy two Anthems from him and get a better price. The problem is the AVM 20 is new and there is not a lot of them in the market. I do not know what is the markup on these preams and how much room they have. In any case let me know if you are interested.

    Amir
     
  11. Joe Mollura

    Joe Mollura Stunt Coordinator

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    Amir,

    I believe there is one (4 months old??) on audiogon.com for $2400.
     
  12. Rich X

    Rich X Stunt Coordinator

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    Amir,
    Thanks for the offer, but I already have an AVM 20. The reason I am in the market for another pre/pro is that I'm going to move the AVM 20 to a dedicated HT that I'm builing in my basement and want to get something less expensive for my current system.

    I highly reccommend the AVM20. I've had mine for about 10 months now. If there is anyway you can stretch for it, do it. It is awesome.

    Since I will only ever use 5-channels in my current system and can get a decent deal on a used AVM 2, I think I'm going to be really boring a go with a second Anthem piece.
     
  13. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    Amir,
    If I was in the market for the AVM-20, I'd go in with you since I am also in the DC area, but I'm leaning towards the Bryston. Any chance I could convince you to stretch your budget a bit more? [​IMG]
     
  14. Amir

    Amir Agent

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    GordonL,
    You can try ! What do you get with Bryston that the Anthem does not have. I have been stretched quite a bit already. I believe in buying the best I can afford if I can hear a difference worth paying for. I have never used a Bryston product but have heard many good things about their amps. The Anthem has a great user interface and flexibility and does sound good.

    Regards

    Amir
     
  15. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    Amir,
    Here are some of the reasons I'm leaning towards Bryston:
    - reference-quality 2 channel analog bypass. The digital section is switched off to eliminate any possible interference. The analog section is the highly regarded BP-25 pre-amp.
    - true balanced internals. The AVM-20 is not true balanced. This may not matter to you as your Parasound does not support balanced inputs. But it's there if you need it in the future.
    - no video switching to interfere with sound quality
    - hand-picked, handcrafted, high-quality parts. Don't know about the AVM-20.
    - 20 year transferrable warranty, although some would say this is a non-issue because no one can conceive of keeping the same pre-pro for more than 2-5 years. It should help re-sale value though.
    - unmatched customer service/support
    - proven history of upgrades so far. Bryston has an upgrade program to convert the SP-1, a 5.1 processor, to the SP-1.7, a 7.1 processor, for $1000. The upgrade included new DACs and new surround formats. Plus, they've always upgraded their amps to the latest and greatest where possible.

    Arguments for the AVM-20:
    - built-in tuner
    - video switching
    - S/PDIF out for connecting to DAT/MiniDisc/CD-Recorder
    - multiple zones

    Digital sound-wise, I'd expect both to sound similar, if not identical - they both use the (same?) Motorola DSP chip so I suspect also the same code.

    While the MSRP price difference is about $1k, I estimate the street price difference to be about $700 or less.

    BTW, where in the DC area have you been able to audition the AVM-20?
     

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