Help with receiver/pre-pro decision please

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Thomas_Berg, Sep 12, 2002.

  1. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    well i just got the bug to upgrade and it's time for the Onkyo 595 to go. i'd be willing to keep the 595 if it had preouts, but since it lacks those it's gotta go. i'm selling some stuff to help finance this bite, and my budget will be around $1000.
    basically, i need a new processor with quiet, clean sound that does DD/DTS (DD-EX and DTS-ES would be nice, but not necessary). i'd need amplification suitable for a pair of B&W 602s3's and the matching LCR-60s3 center. i'm willing to go with only 3-channels for the time being (aka if i got a pre-pro i'd only add a 3-channel amp to stay under $1000).
    things that i NEED: preouts, 5.1 input, DPL/DD/DTS, 2 or more digital inputs of each type (optical/coax), s-video switching, 5-channel stereo.
    things i'd LIKE: DD-EX, 6.1 DTS (ES discrete is nice, but matrix would work), DPL2, HDCD decoding, lots of inputs, nice remote, etc.
    i've been creeping around the FS/FT forums here for some time now with minimal success, but here's what i've gathered from Audiogon:
    • Acurus ACT3 - i did some research and read mostly negative things about this processor (mostly along the lines of high noise floor). not sure what to think about this one. here's - another one.
    • Adcom GTP-830 - looks nice, but when i checked out the back panel, i was utterly unimpressed with the number of inputs (especially in the digital department). i've heard a few rumors about how Adcom has gone downhill, so again i'm wary going this route.
    • Parasound AVC-1800 - might be exactly what i'm looking for, provided it has a 5.1 input.
    • B&K Ref 20 - i was gonna spring on this one until i found out it didnt have a 5.1 input. [​IMG]
    • Rotel RSP-965 - i think this would be perfect, if i could find one for sale.
    • NAD T761 (receiver) might be a great preamp if i added a nice 3-channel amp.
    • i would LOVE an Outlaw 950, but sadly it's just out of my price range. if anyone with one is looking to upgrade, now is the time [​IMG]
    • Marantz SR-880 MKII (receiver) same case as with the NAD. i'd add an external amp and be happy.
    • H/K AVR-520 (receiver) everything i need AND like (minus DD-EX), except i'm not confident about running my 602's loud with only 75 watts into them. i'd likely add another amp down the line if i went this route.
    • Denon 4800 (receiver) i would just use the Denon's amps to run the B&W's (since 125 watts x5 seems adequate) and wait until later to add an amp. i'm currently leaning this direction b/c it has all the nice features, etc. that's expected in a higher-end receiver, and it would be a nice preamp for later. plus it's 7.1-capable, which would tide me over for a good while (i hope!)
    • another option is to wait for the new x300 Marantz line to be introduced so i could pick up a used 5200/6200/7200 receiver for cheap then maybe add an amp.
    which road would you take and why? thanks for reading my lenghty post...any input is appreciated!
     
  2. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

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    I also have an Onkyo 595 and I am starting to look around for a $1000 or so upgrade. My plan is to use a receiver as a pre/pro and add a 3 or 5 channel amp to it. So far, for me, the front runner is a HK 320. I will only use it in a 5.1 system due to room constraints. My requirements were DD, DTS, DPL2, pre-outs, and multi-channel inputs. If the 595 had pre-outs I wouldn't have a problem but it doesn't. I don't need the extra power of the 520 but I am not buying any time soon so I may actually go with the 520 since it will only get cheaper as the newer models come out (525). If I were you I would also look at the Pioneer 45TX (Actually my top choice but I can't justify the extra money for features I could not use) and the Sony DA4ES. Both are priced very reasonably. The cheapest true pre/pro would be the Outlaw and that would be over my budget. I think a receiver with lots of features and a 2, 3, or 5 channel amp will make me happy. Good luck with your purchase.
     
  3. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Thomas,
    You might want to look at the Rotel RSP 976, which is the 5.1 predecessor to the rsp 1066. The 976 was very well reviewed, has everything you want, and turns up for sale around 700-900. If I remember you are in Ft. Worth, right? If so, check Marvins Electronics to see if they have one.
    If not here is a link to one for sale at audiogon.
    http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.p...roc&1034969068
    Go to Rotel's review site
    http://www.rotel.com/html/reviews_ht.html
    to link to reviews of the 976. Hope this helps.
     
  4. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    hey george- i actually transferred up to Oklahoma after last semester, and the Rotel dealer here is (just like Marvin's) firm on MSRP price. [​IMG] besides, with the 976 (which seems to go for around $900) i'd still need an amp, so add ~$400. all things considered, i think i might actually prefer an Outlaw over the 976 since they seem to be in about the same price range.
    what i think i might do is hold on for a few more weeks and save some cash for an investment in the Rotel RSX-1055. i think something like this would make me happy for quite awhile to come (since it's basically an RSP-1066 + five 75watt amps).
    Allen- i will definitely consider the '45TX; i had completely overlooked the Pio Elite line, which i think was a mistake.
    any more opinions?
     
  5. Michael Roderiques

    Michael Roderiques Stunt Coordinator

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    For the budget you have set, I would recommend looking at the NAD T-761. It is a good unit,I think it is one of the under rated receivers on the market. It is going to be phased out soon. The new T-752 sort of splits the older T751/T761.

    Right now several dealer are selling refurbished T-761's cheap. I have seen them for around $550.00. At this price, you might be able to add the out board amp you want.

    One thing I will point out about NAD gear, Do not let the power rating fool you. 80 watts from NAD is like 120 watts from other manufacturers.

    I had a martin Logan rep tell me that 80 watts was not enough to run a pair of requests off of. I told him, well lets see what my amp can do, it's an NAD 214. He said OH, well it should be fine. And they did sound pretty good. I also tested some Maggies, they drive just fine too. Sent the M/L's back, kept the Maggies.
     
  6. Glenn Shoemake

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    I have the H/K AVR-520 and use it to power my B&W DM620i (4 ohms) fronts, B&W DM600i rears and B&W 600 IFS center and it sounds awesome. Don't be misled with the H/K 85 watts power rating as they are very conservative with their ratings. I can play my speakers loud with no problems and the clarity is amazing. In my oppinion the H/K has the best seperation for each speaker which really shows in war or horror movies. All in all I am very happy with my setup for Home Theatre. My subwoofer is Cerwin Vega LW-15 (15" 200 watts) which adds plenty of bass.
     
  7. StephenRabinowitz

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    Take a look at the Outlaw 950, I just replaced my B&K Ref 20 with it for movies with my Mitsubishi HDTV & dvd's. I like the sound better with the Outlaw then the B&K. I hear slight sounds I missed with the Ref 20.
     
  8. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    i think i've narrowed my decision down to receivers for now. i'm currently torn between the Pioneer Elite '45TX and the Rotel RSX-1055, but still leaning slightly towards the Rotel.

    since i can probably let a local Rotel dealer lend me a '1055 unit for an in-home testing and Onecall apparantly has an in-home audition period for the '45TX, i'll probably have both of them in my room for a weekened audition sometime in the near future. if i do get this worked out, i'll post my complete findings.
     
  9. MikeRP

    MikeRP Supporting Actor

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    Thomas:

    Please let us know how it worked out - the test. since I have a 45 I'd like to know how it compares to the Rotel.

    Mike
     
  10. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    my Rotel dealer is gonna have to order a '1055 for me to look at, and i'm torn between the silver/black faceplate choice. since i cant find ANY pics on the internet, are there any proud owners here who can maybe snap a pic or two of theirs? [​IMG]
     
  11. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Thomas there's a pic of the silver 1055 on the rotel site. I'd take a picture of mine but my HT room is so dark pictures tend not to show up that well. Basically though it looks very similar to the 1066 only its for a few more buttons on the front for the tuner.
    PS Buy the Rotel[​IMG]
     
  12. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    the main reasons i'm still looking at the Elite are the auto-calibrate feature and the 7-channels of amplification. i dont really want to pay for quality ampage for surround channels that wont immediately require awesome/clean power.
     
  13. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

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    Thomas,

    if you have a chance to audition either or both receivers, this is the most one could ask for. This way you can see which receiver sounds best to you in your own listening room. I think you could buy either receiver and be extremely happy but i think the Rotel will edge the Pioneer for music reproduction. Then again the Pioneer has a couple more features including mcacc. Could be a difficult choice between the two....
     
  14. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    Thomas, am I missing something here because your post says that you have a $1000 budget and the Outlaw 950 is $899? Did I read your post wrong?
     
  15. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    Serge- i'm ~80% music / 20% HT, so the Rotel will likely win me over (i'll try to be objective when i do the comparison though [​IMG]). sadly, the Rotel dealer here doesnt have any in stock or i'd demo it in-store. however, i think i can get a unit for the weekend and demo it against the Pioneer. i hope to order both tomorrow. i should have them both by the weekend. (more on this later)
    Nick- my budget is ~$1000 for a preamp + 5 (or more) channels of amplification. besides, from my research, i think i'd be happier with the Rotel 1066 than with the Outlaw since the interface seems better and there is a port for software upgradability. i also own a couple HDCD's and really like the included decoding in the Rotel.
    btw, does anyone know if (since the Elite '49TX is being replaced by the '49TXi) there's gonna be an Elite '45TXi released?
     
  16. MikeRP

    MikeRP Supporting Actor

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    Haven't heard of a 45TXi or 47TXi.

    Mike
     
  17. Aaron H

    Aaron H Supporting Actor

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  18. Leo_P

    Leo_P Second Unit

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    Thomas, I have a h/k AVR 520 hooked up to a Rotel RMB-1075 amp. And as good as the h/k is as a receiver, IMHO it makes a better pre/pro.
    The amps on the 520 are assignable, which means if I wanted I could run the extra speaker(s) needed for 6.1 or 7.1 or use the multi-room output. I have a 5.1 set-up, so I don't really need the feature, but it's nice to have...just in case. The lack of DD-EX isn't a problem either.
    Speaking of the h/k's amps, they're very decent for a receiver. Lack of power is NOT why I got the Rotel amp. I wanted to eventually get a dedicated pre/pro. But the more research I do, the longer it seems the 520 will be pulling pre/pro duties.
    If you get a chance, check one out.
    Good luck!
     
  19. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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