NAD T163 or Audio Refinement Pre5 for Analog?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Ray_C, Oct 27, 2004.

  1. Ray_C

    Ray_C Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi All,

    I have a bit of a dilemma. I've had the NAD T153 preamp for about eight months. Although I was always delighted as to how my SACD's and CD's sounded via analog connection, I was always slightly disappointed with the T163's digital performance for DVD's, whether it be DD or DTS. I recently picked up a Denon AVR-2805, and I'm much happier with its digital/DVD performance as a Pre/Pro (especially DD EX and DTS ES), but the NAD is clearly superior for analog...warmer, richer, and deeper overall.

    I still have the NAD, and I was contemplating using a 5.1 switcher (like the Zektor MAS3) to switch between the two preamps depending on whether I watched movies or listened to CD/SACD. The only thing is that the NAD is a bit much and takes up quite a bit of space. My alternative is to sell the NAD and possibly get the new Audio Refinement Pre5 (or maybe try to find a Sony TA-P9000ES) 5.1 analog preamp, or simply keep the NAD and only use it for analog. Argument for the NAD: Probably won't sell for much more than the cost of a new AudRef Pre5, so I'd end up losing out on 100's of dollars. Argument for the Pre5: Simpler, smaller, and no digital do-dads anywhere to possibly get in the way.

    Any thoughts on this?

    I emailed a tech person at Zektor, and he said that using the Mas3 to switch between preamps into the same power amp is totally safe.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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    My understanding is that the Pre-5 is a very nice unit, but I don't know how much better it will be than the T-163, if it is at all. NAD's strong point is music sound quality, so there is a chance that the differenc between the T-163 and Pre-5 will not be significant or even that you might find you preferred the NAD. The only way you will be able to find out is to try it. Can you get a Pre-5 to demo, or at least hear one in a shop? Maybe the shop would let you bring your T-163 in to compare?
     
  3. Ray_C

    Ray_C Stunt Coordinator

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    Problem solved...I'm buying a Sony TA-P9000ES from my brother, so I'll be able to do the comparison right here in my own space. What's cool about the P9000ES is that it has a 'bypass' 5.1 ch input that you could use to link up the pre- outs from a pre/pro to the amp, and it is separate from the P9000's actual 5.1 preamp channel that has volume controls...so there's no need for an external switcher.
     

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