It has finally come down to these Pre/Pros?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Ted Pugh, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. Ted Pugh

    Ted Pugh Stunt Coordinator

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    I have finally after months of auditioning have narrowed my choice down to these pre/pros - Aragon Stage One, B&K Reference 50 and Krell Showcase. Now I need your help. I am looking for a unit that is pretty much bullet proof, easy to use (for the wife) that will sound awesome with movies. We watch movies 90% to 10% for music but that might change slightly since I just bought the Denon 2900. I have bought 5 DVD - A disc and a few SACD's and the Denon is well wooooow. So what unit should be the winner. I like the sound of all units and would be happy with any one of them. So please give me your opinions.

    Thanks
     
  2. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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  3. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    IMO, the compressed nature of DD/DTS soundtracks will result in similar sound for each of these pre/pros. In fact, I would question the need for an expensive pre/pro if HT sound is all you're after. However, SACD or other hi-res formats should allow you to differentiate the units.

    In terms of usability, why not have the wife give each unit a try? Buy the one that she likes (since you seem to have no preference between the three)...

    Also take a close look at the ease of setup and usability of each unit. A small annoyance can grow into a big pain down the road...
     
  4. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    Me, too... I suggest adding the Rotel RSP-1066 ($1500) pre-pro to your audition list... or, if you don't already have a power amp, maybe one of the flagship receivers by Rotel, Marantz, B&K, Sunfire, Pioneer (Pio's have tons of features in addition to good sound).

    Otherwise, if you like the sound (the most important factor to me) of all you've auditioned, go for the best features and convenience... the Krell is likely the 'bullet-proof' one of that bunch.

    All good...
     
  5. Ted Pugh

    Ted Pugh Stunt Coordinator

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    I am currently using a B&K Reference 200.5 amp with the inclination of purchasing the 200.2 amp for a 7.1 set up. Like I said before my main use will be home theater but I am starting to get into hi rez music. It took me awile but I just bought the Denon 2900 and love the format. Music never sounded better.

    Any known problems with any of these units? I would like to get one for my birthday and a early Christmas present which is coming up on Nov. 23. What type of deals have you been seeing on these units? Sorry for all the questions.

    Ted
     
  6. JimmyK

    JimmyK Second Unit

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    If you haven't considered it already, I would suggest you look at the Anthem AVM20 as well. It is a solid and easy to use pre/proc that sounds terrific. It's also very flexable it terms of setting it up to best perform in your particular situation. Anthem also a proven track record of great service and timely updates/upgrades.

    I purchased the Anthem AVM20 in March 2003 after also considering the B&K Reference 50, Parasound Halo, and a few others and have been very happy with my choice.

    JimmyK
     
  7. Ted Pugh

    Ted Pugh Stunt Coordinator

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    JimmyK,

    I looked at the Anthem but what I do not like about it is all the bugs the software seems to have. They are always coming out with a different software version to fix this problem or that problem. This is my opinion. Let me know if this is completely wrong. I don't have too much free time nor a pc computer to keep updating. I work off a Mac Powerbook Laptop.

    Ted
     
  8. JimmyK

    JimmyK Second Unit

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  9. Ted Pugh

    Ted Pugh Stunt Coordinator

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    JimmyK,

    How do you feel it compares to the Krell, Aragon and B&K pre/pros? What made you decide on the Anthem over others? What other pre/pros did you consider?

    Thanks,

    Ted
     
  10. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    Ted, buy what you want, and I don't think you can go wrong with either of your choices, but I will second JimmyK for the Anthem. I have had mine and have not had any problems either.
    I also considered B&K, but that unit popped and clicked when I heard it at the store. Their amps ran unusally hot, they used to be known to be repair prone as well. This is from the research I did a couple of years back while doing my shopping. Talking to dealers, reading forums such as this. Also their website updates and the upgrades seemed to take forever to come to existence.
    I think B&K makes a VERY RESPECTABLE product but they are not without their faults either. I think any piece out there has their share. Although I haven't heard much from the Halo owners. Hmmmmm.
     
  11. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Ted,

    You can't go wrong with these choices. The Aragon is very easy to use, and has no quirks. What about on price? I think you mentioned you can get the Stage One for 2500 direct from Aragon? The Krell should cost over 3k.
     
  12. Ted Pugh

    Ted Pugh Stunt Coordinator

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    Ricky, Not direct from Aragon but from my dealer. The best so far on the Krell is $3400. Is the Krell $500-900 better?
     
  13. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    I don't think *this* krell is $900 better; and both prepros retail at 4k, you're getting much better pricing on the Aragon. The Krell HTS 7.1 might be another story, but in a totally different price bracket vs 2500.

    With the 900 difference, you basically get a *free* B&K 200.2 amp to go with the Aragon Stage One [​IMG]
     
  14. Darrel McBane

    Darrel McBane Second Unit

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    I'm using the Aragon Stage One which I upgraded through their upgrade program. I've had it for almost a year now. It's a fine piece of equipment and easy to use. The remote is a bit bulky and takes a while to get use to. I think for HT use either of the pieces you list would do you well. I've read very good things about the Krell processor. But, haven't had one in my setup. My Stage One is for HT, television and FM listening. I use a separate tube preamp for my two channel listening. As good as the Stage One is for music. It; like most processors doesn't sound nearly as sweet as a tube preamp.

    The choice is yours of course. And if money is a deciding factor I don't think the Aragon or the B&K would be a big step down from the Krell.
     
  15. AndyHangartner

    AndyHangartner Stunt Coordinator

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    what if you could get the Krell Showcase for $2000 and their 7 channel amp for $2750? Which way would you go then?
    andy
     
  16. wayne p

    wayne p Stunt Coordinator

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    Ted, I cannot comment on the pre/pros in your list as it has been two years since I did my research. I just want to comment on your perception that the AVM-20 is "buggy". As a long time owner of this unit I would argue nothing could be further from the truth.

    The upgrade thread reflects a bunch of fanatics, including myself, that seem to endlessly tweak their systems (experiment with the flexibility of the numerous set up options etc.). In doing so some minor oddities have been discovered as explained above by JimmyK.

    We fanatics have also discovered how responsive Anthem is to anything we can throw at them. As a result they distribute minor updates to those of us that ask to be included.

    The final result of this experimentation and excellent communication with Anthem is that a great product is being fine tuned to the "nth" degree. The other result is that we are having a good time with this process. I suspect that if someone took a poll of how many AVM-20 owners are dissatisfied it would be a very low number.

    The bottom line is don't let a thread steer you away from a very good pre/pro. Take a listen and check out the features, the AVM-20 deserves to be in the list of quality units you posted at the start of this thread.

    Wayne P
     
  17. Ted Pugh

    Ted Pugh Stunt Coordinator

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    Wayne,

    I will go and give the Anthem a listen. You are right, not many unhappy Anthem owners.

    Last night I went and listened to the Bryston SP1.7 without the video switcher and must admit it sounded extremely detailed and crisp which is what I like. Anyone know anything about this unit.

    Thanks,

    Ted
     
  18. Ted Pugh

    Ted Pugh Stunt Coordinator

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    Andy, how do you get those prices on the Krell? Are they used? Let me know.

    Ted
     
  19. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    Ted, did you see that I posted a $3250 price for the Krell HTS 2, warranteed, brand new, etc from spearitsound.com

    If it were me, I would check it out.

    Rich
     
  20. Ted Pugh

    Ted Pugh Stunt Coordinator

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    Andy, how do you get those prices on the Krell? Are they used? Let me know.

    Ted
     

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