I'm tempted to go back to using a receiver as a pre-pro!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jim Golden, Oct 19, 2002.

  1. Jim Golden

    Jim Golden Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought my B&K Reference 10 in December of 1997. Last January I upgraded the unit to a Reference 20+ (at a cost of ~$1000). Keep in mind, the Reference 20+ does not have all the features (like THX processing, component switching, etc.) that the Reference 30 does.

    I'm considering buying a new processer next spring, and am giving serious consideration to buying a Harmon Kardon AVR525 for around $900.00 to use as a pre-pro. It seems to have a lot of features for the money, and surely beats spending another $3,000 for the new B&K Reference 50. Any thoughts/ comments on this?

    Thanks,
    Jim
     
  2. Michael Langdon

    Michael Langdon Stunt Coordinator

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    Don't do it! I have had several flagship receivers such as the Yamaha DSP-A1, Denon 5700, 4800 and finally the Denon 5800. The Yamaha powered all 5 speakers in my Home Theater. The Denon 5700 initially powered all 5 speakers in my Home Theater before adding a 2 channel amp to power the front mains. With the Denon 4800 and 5800, I used a 6 channel amp to power front left and right, center, surround left and right and one surround back speaker. Now in every case the receiver plus power amp was better than the receiver alone.

    However, this past June I finally upgraded to true seperates and purchased an Aragon Stage One processor. I thought the Denon 5800 and 6 channel amp was great but it did not sound as good in surround modes or stereo as the Stage One.

    There is nothing wrong with a receiver being used as a processor. The receivers are the first to market with the newer formats and usually have more features (Denon, Pioneer Elite and Sony ES, for example). I can see where you are tempted to purchase the receiver. In my opinion, get the processor. I think you will also find other threads by people who recently made the move from receiver as pre/pro to pre/pro and were surprisingly amazed at the difference between the two. I am glad I finally made the move to true seperates.
     
  3. Jay Sylvester

    Jay Sylvester Supporting Actor

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    I started out with an Onkyo TX-DS797, which I used for both processing and amplification. I then moved up to a Rotel RSP-1066 with Rotel amps. The improved processing was quite noticeable with the Rotel. Steering was much more precise, and overall sound quality was better, also attributable to the improved amps no doubt. Certainly more revealing than the Onkyo. I now have an AVM 20 that sounds even better than the Rotel (same amps).

    What I take away from this experience is that while the feature list of a receiver and a pre/pro may be similar, the difference in sound quality between a $900 receiver and a $3000 standalone processor can be quite stark.

    I'd say that if budget is more of a concern, then a receiver should do fine. My Onkyo certainly wasn't bad; it just wasn't as good as my Rotel or my Anthem. But if spending the $3000 isn't a problem for you, I say go with the B&K.
     
  4. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    If you look around, you can find the Ref 50 in the low to mid $2k's...
     
  5. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    Receivers are the way to go if you want features and are on a limited budget, but don't kid yourself if you have(or can scrape up)the extra money and don't want to compromise on performance.

    This is coming from a person who really wanted a Sunfire Theater Grand III, but could only afford a Pioneer 45TX(powered by a Sunfire Cinema Grand amp for the time being)and demoed both extensively.

    My 45TX is a great value for the dollar spent, but IMO, it can't compete with the big boys of the seperates world if performance is the sole yardstick.

    DJ
     
  6. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Everything is relative. The Yamaha RX-V793 receiver I used as a pre/pro, years ago, had less hiss than the 950 pre/pro I'm using now.

    I'll be taking a good look at the H/K 7200 (and maybe the 525 too) when it comes out. Logic 7 on 5.1 sources, triple crossover, bass management on the 5.1 analog inputs, ...
     
  7. Jim Golden

    Jim Golden Stunt Coordinator

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    I originally got into the pre-pro game because I was tired of buying recievers. It seems as though I'm still buying because my B&K wasn't really upgradable (at least not to the level of a new model).

    I do wonder if there are any pre-pro's out there that are truely upgradable to have the same features as the replacement model.

    Jim
     
  8. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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