Low-end 7.1 EX/ES receiver with high-end power amp?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by MichaelDDD, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    I'm just juggling around ideas here.

    What do you guys think of using a lower end receiver that's DD-EX/DTS-ES equipped as a pre-pro, outputting to a nice amp like an Outlaw 770? We're talking receivers under $500.

    Good idea or bad idea?

    I'm sure many will say "if you start with crap and amplify it, you wind up with amplified crap."

    But if the receiver in question has a good S/N ratio, good DAC, etc, then the signal should be good to go, right?
     
  2. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    IMO, that's the way to do it. Add a stereo preamp if you are concerned with 2ch performance.
     
  3. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Good idea! Add a real good pre later on down the line or just get an Outlaw 950 to begin with and buy a used power amp on the cheap to get by till that 200 wpc ship comes in.
     
  4. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    That would be a wise choice. Believe it or not inspite of having all the nifty processing features and DACs and all the chips the most expensive part of a receiver is the amp section and the power supply that has to go with it. This is where most of the mass market receiver makers skimp and if you can substitute the weak amps with a balsy amp you can get very competent HT performance and like Craig said, if you are concerned with the two channel performance you can always tie a nice stereo prepro to your HT rig for amazing stereo sound.

    My 2 cents.
     
  5. RonW

    RonW Extra

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    I am also thinking about doing the same thing. I was wondering if there would be a sound improvement by going up one level in the receiver category, for instance instead of a Denon 1804 go to the 2803 or 3803. Or using the HK 230 or 430 or 630. At what point do you decreae your gains in the processing end of things?
     
  6. HaryR

    HaryR Extra

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    I was at Tweeter in Burlington, Mass a couple of days ago and they had a Sony 4ES on clearance at $488!
     
  7. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    I think the 3803 is as good as it gets for HT processing among the three models. For HT a 3803 with a separate amp would beat even the flagship 5803, IMHO. I know the 3802 with separate amps beat the 5800 in my home auditions for pure HT. In two channel stereo the 5803 might have a slight edge SNR wise in that you might get a cleaner/blacker back ground due to its dual differential DACs (I think it has 8 per channel) but in most noisy listening rooms even that might not be an issue. Moreover if its 2 channel you are after you can always add a dedicated stereo prepro and still save a few hundred bucks over the flagship 5803. So I'd say thats the wise way to go.
     
  8. Mark Russ

    Mark Russ Second Unit

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    I concur with Craig and Yogi.
     
  9. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    If you go this route, the Sony 4ES would make an excellent, flexible processor with outboard amps.
     
  10. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Good stuff. Thanks for all the inputs, they are greatly appreciated.

    Now, the question is: "which receiver to get to go this route?"

    How "hi end" or "low end" do I need to go? I was thinking that I might be best-served just sticking with a proven winner like the 3803 that actually has a decent amp section in addition to it's excellent pre/pro section. That way, I could use it, sans external amps while I save the pennies for said external amps.

    *breaks out calculator and paystubs...starts number crunching*

    Side question:
    This is my first foray into >$500 receivers; how often do the prices go down? Best price I've seen from an "authorized" retailer (we won't get into that discussion here) is $900/free shipping. When would that reasonably be expected to go down?

    I won't need the receiver for another couple of months. Wait on purchase?
     
  11. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    I would go with the Denon myself. Are you planing on getting HD-TV soon if you dont have it allready? Some of the receivers are not capable of passing an HD signal without degrading the picture. You need at least a 65MHz video in order to pass an HD signal thru your receiver.

    If you go low end with power amps it can work out just as nice but just keep this in mind. The dac's and surround processing will not be as good as the higher end models. Its all in getting the right reciever and having a good set of speakers to go with it. You can go the low end route for now with power amps and then save up for a nice pre/pro later on down the road. Lets us know how it ends up and happy hunting [​IMG]
     
  12. KyleGS

    KyleGS Second Unit

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    Harmanaudio direct has some great deals on refurbs. These have full warranties and you simply cannot beat the cust. service from HK. I recently picked up a 510 to use as my pre-pro and it does beautifully. You can look at the 320, 520 or even higher models than that for your pre-pro, save a little money and get a really high end amp.

    BTW- I have purchased 3 of these receivers from HK direct and all have performed flawlessly and "appear" brand new- factory fresh.

    Just a thought.
     
  13. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    I fall into the camp that feels that it makes sense to find good amps that you like and then worry about the front end later on. You can start with something inexpensive and then move up to something else as your budget and tastes dictate.

    In my opinion, you are on the right track here with a good plan.
     

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