list of 2 channel preamps with a "processor loop" or "unity gain" feature

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Serge Breton, Jul 11, 2002.

  1. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    looking to upgrade my 2 channel set-up by incorperating a good stereo preamp with the above features (title of this thread)into my existing home theater for optimised music playback while simultaneously using my Outlaw 950 stricktly for movie/multichannel playback.

    Preamps with this "loop feature" or bypass that i'm aware of:

    Adcom GFP 750 preamplifier
    Sony Tap-9000ES
    Some Aragon preamps
    ?

    My understanding that preamps with "unity gain" feature will also work but am not aware of how this feature is implemented.

    Need a list of all stereo preamps, preferably for best value for the performance/price ratio.
     
  2. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 1999
    Messages:
    689
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  3. Tim_S

    Tim_S Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2000
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I just went through the same search. All of the Sonic Frontiers and Anthem preamps have them. I ended up picking up a Sonic Frontiers Line 1 used. There are some very nice deals on these over on Audiogon and they are fantastic units. You can usually find some of the Anthem's used for somewhere in the $4-600 range and I would guess they are very nice. I have an Anthem amp that is.

    As mentioned Rogue is another tube line with it and some of the units from Conrad-Johnson have them.

    BTW, the "unity-gain" feature you mention is the same thing as a SSP loop. What you need for an SSP loop is an input that just sends out exactly what it receives or transmits the signal at unity-gain. Which BTW also means that if you get a preamp without a defined feature of this sort, you can actually back one out by finding the volume setting on the pre-amp that is unity. That's sort of a hassle but if you want to save some money. . . .

    Tim
     
  4. Karl Erik Sylthe

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2000
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  5. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Levinson preamps also have a true bypass.
     
  6. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Central FL
    Real Name:
    Phil
    I know Bryston has built them that way on special request, but unless you locate a used one it won't be as reasonable as the other choices.
     
  7. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    thanks for the replies, the search continues and i know there are more preamps out there with feature. I found a Coda Continuum Window on Audiogon with the "processor loop" feature but i believe some of the preamps with this are nothing more than a renamed tape input and not a true passthrough for 2 channel. Correct me if i'm wrong.
     
  8. Chris Eriksen

    Chris Eriksen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 1999
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Most Luxman preamps have this feature. My TP-114 has a processor loop, along with both fixed-level and variable preamp outputs.
     
  9. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2001
    Messages:
    1,077
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    THe TA-P9000es is the no brainer of the bunch. It offers the most flexibility of all the units and is the only one that offers 'PASSIVE' bypass. Besides when you want to hook up that multi-channel player the TA-P9000es has 2 5.1 inputs waiting.

    Good Luck
     
  10. Newton

    Newton Auditioning

    Joined:
    May 25, 2002
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This is slightly off the subject, but it may be of use to some in this thread with a similar amp. I am probably going to add a tube stereo preamp to my current HT system later on. I was going to get one with the HT passthru, but I don't want to be using up tube life when I watch TV or movies. But since I have a Bryston 4BST stereo amp which has a set of balanced and unbalanced inputs which are selectable with a switch on the back, I am going to try is get a stereo preamp with balanced outputs. And then use the regular unbalanced output of the surround preamp. Then I can manually flip the switch in the back of the amp to select either one of the inputs on the amp. It's not as convenient as a having a pass-thru button on the remote, but I don't have to have both preamps running at the same time all the time.
     
  11. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2001
    Messages:
    1,077
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  12. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    can the one of the 5.1 channel inputs on the 9000es accomodate the analog outputs (left + right channels) of a cd player for example?
     
  13. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 1999
    Messages:
    1,467
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You can add Classe' to your list.
     
  14. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2001
    Messages:
    1,077
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  15. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 1999
    Messages:
    689
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "Yes Sir!! The front left and right inputs can be used as inputs for a CD player or any other 2-channel analog player except maybe a turntable."

    Right now I am using the P9000es 2 5.1 bypass inputs for purely 2 channel sources. I have a Cambridge Audio CD300se analog inputs connected to one input and a turntable connected to the other input (via a Creek OBH-8 phono staage of course). If or when I decide SACD is worth the purchase, I will disconnect the CD player from the P9000es (and just use digital connection from the same CD player to my E9000es, which sounds about the same) and use that input for SACD. It is by far the most flexiable piece of equipment I have seen.
     
  16. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2002
    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    ["you just hook the new preamp to the 2-channel bypass and your done. The Tap is no longer the preamp and it is no longer in the signal chain when you listen to 2-channel music."]

    Martice,

    How exactly does this work? It seems like the tap would still be in the signal path. It would be in bypass mode but still in the path. Or am I misunderstanding what you are saying?


    Thanks

    -rob
     
  17. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2001
    Messages:
    1,077
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey Charles. I never thanked you for giving me your input on the TAP before I bought it. I'm glad I bought it and I appreciate your insight and honesty regarding the performance of this unit.
    Thanks
    Good looking out bud [​IMG]
     
  18. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2001
    Messages:
    1,077
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  19. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 1999
    Messages:
    689
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You are welcome Martice. I am glad you are happy with the P9000es. I can see this piece outlasting many components in my system since I will always keep the Home Theater and 2 channel system seperated but yet tied together with the TAP.
     
  20. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Don't get me wrong, i'm certain that the TA-P9000es is a great unit but how would this unit better the 2 channel and 5.1 inputs and bypass modes found on the Outlaw 950 or Rotel 1066? I have my 950 presently configured in bypass mode but am still looking for that small improvement that a QUALITY DEDICATED 2 channel preamp can provide such as the highly regarded Adcom GFP-750 for example. I am unsure that the 9000es would fall into this category but i could be wrong. I just seem to think that one gets what he/she pays for and since these are available new in the $400 range or so (correct me if am wrong) this piece would appear at first glance as a very flexible unit and an excellent value regardless but i'm unsure if i would get that extra improvement for 2 channel music over my current processor.

    I'm looking for a preamp in between the Sony and the Adcom pricewise and preferably used for $500 and under. I was looking at a Coda Continuum Window on Audiogon which has a processor loop but i don't believe this is a true throughput or bypass.

    The problem as many including myself find is that virtually all surround processors except for the elite units such as the EAD/Krell/? have a hard time performing exceptionally well for both MUSIC AND MOVIES. My philosophy is to keep the processor suited for what it does best and that is surround processing. A seperate quality 2 channel preamp is needed in my opinion to optimise music playback. The search for audio bliss never ends and i'm trying to accomplish this at real world prices; meaning that i don't have 10K US to drop on a processor that excels well in both departments.

    Finding a good preamp is difficult enough with all the choices out there but finding a preamp with a loop through feature is even more difficult with obviously less choices out there. In theory, a dedicated preamp with a pure signal path should yield better performance that a surround processors analog bypass with less circuits/switches/relays to degrade/alter the signal path.
     

Share This Page