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New Receiver or preamp?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Dave>h, Sep 27, 2017.

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  1. Dave>h

    Dave>h Second Unit

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    Hi,

    I currently run an Onkyo TX SR806 with a Bryston 4b 2 channel amp and a Bryston 3b mono amp for Paradigm reference 100 V5 mains and a Paradigm reference center V2. I also have a less powerful amp for the rears to run the Paradigm Dipoles.

    Basically the Onkyo operates as a preamp and video switcher in this situation.

    I have connected to the Onkyo, a sony 3d bluray player, xbox one, HDDVD player used as cd player and my Benq 1070 as the video output. As it stands, the Onkyo doesn't do 3d passthru so I have to physically switch out the HDMI for the bluray and put it directly into the Benq and use Toslink to the Onkyo to get sound when I want to watch a 3d blu ray. Not a big deal but a pain nonetheless.

    I have been a Yamaha guy for years prior to the Onkyo and honestly, I am thinking I should go back to Yamaha but given the amplification I already have, maybe a preamp and video switcher is a more cost effective and ultimately better route.

    Budget is around $1000.

    Any thoughts or suggestions? I am open to a lot of alternatives.

    As far as future goes - I may eventually go 4k but I also really love my 3d movies at home so would be reluctant to give that up for 4k. Currently I run 5.0 (no sub as yet) but have the speakers to do 7 or even 9 and might even consider an ATMOS
    configuration. I have a dedicated Home Theater space which can be upgraded for wires etc as needed. Streaming music wirelessly around the house would be great. I would expect that a gaming upgrade will come at some point but not immediately. Mostly we currently watch a lot Netflix through the xbox, play games on xbox and occasionally listen to cd's if time and lack of family permit!

    I love great enveloping theatrical sound and have found the Onkyo lacking in both musicality and surround enjoyment whereas I used to LOVE my Yamaha DSP-A1 and found that very immersive.

    Sincerely appreciate your feedback and suggestions

    Kip
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

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    Don’t think you’ll be able to get a AV preamp for that price, at least not new. Probably best to just get another receiver with the appropriate preamp outputs.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
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  3. Dave>h

    Dave>h Second Unit

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    It doesn't have to be new, just good quality. I was kind of figuring an AV preamp would be less expensive than a receiver but maybe I am mistaken on that.

    Thanks,

    Kip
     
  4. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    IF you really don't care about 4K at all, are willing to forgo Atmos (and DTS:X) and don't mind buying used/refurbed, maybe consider an emotiva umc-200 for less than 1/2 that budget. That's what I did when I upgraded (a couple years ago via eBay) from a Yamaha AVR that I was using as preamp -- the unit I bought was a refurb model w/ emotiva's refurb warranty for ~$400.

    Seems like anything significantly better than that (or can do 4K or Atmos/DTS:X) would cost a whole lot more. And for the price of an excellent condition used unit, you won't feel bad if/when you do decide to upgrade later for 4K and/or Atmos/DTS:X.

    _Man_
     
  5. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Or get a BR player with dual hdmi outputs to increase your options and regain HD audio that you're losing by using toslink for 3D movies.
     
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  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    It looks like used Marantz processors sell for $800-$1200. That would give you everything you want: 3D passthrough, all HDMI connections, Atmos support, and path to 4K. It also gives Audyssey MultXT to help with the “musicality” concern by doing room correction.

    That stretches your budget though.
     
  7. John Dirk

    John Dirk Supporting Actor
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    You're using a receiver [built in amps] as a preamp when you already have separates, save the pre/pro. Sounds like everything already "works" but maybe not as seamlessly as you would like. If I were in your shoes I would definitely not spend my dollars on another receiver. As Dave suggests above, there are used pre/pros out there that could work for you. If at all possible [with a dedicated room] I would go this route and budget for a sub as soon as possible.
     
  8. Dave>h

    Dave>h Second Unit

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    Well, i am finally writing bout my purchase decision... and the winner was a Yamaha RX-a1070. This receiver mostly won on price ($1000) and features and the fact that it was a Yamaha, which I tend to like.

    It is mostly functioning as a pre amp in my current configuration which is a bit of waste but it certainly sounds amazing. I find the sound a lot more satifsying than the Onkyo it replaced. Where the Onkyo seemed reserved and bland, the Yamaha sounds dynamic and immersive. To take full advantage of the speaker configuration I purchased an additional set of bookshelf speakers to use as "presence" speakers an i believe they also function as height speakers for Atmos enabled movies.

    The Yamaha does 3d passthrough via hdmi which i really wanted (it does 4k too but I don't currently have 4k). The additional inputs allowed my to hook up my wii for the kids and to hook up a surface configured for Kodi so that I can now watch some live sports (no cable so i rely on internet streaming for tennis and golf).

    I have not had a lot of opportunity to listen to music on it yet but have taken advantage of the musiccast feature (bought some yamaha musiccat speakers too and spread them around the house so we have multiroom tunes now too!). Movies and games sound fantastic. I really like the Dolby Atmos sound (Mad Max and Wonder Woman come t o mind as Big movies). Just watched the blu ray of Greatest Showman and thought that sounded terrific - clear dialog and singing while providing immersive crowd and ambience. Also really noticed the spacial "phantom zone" sound. Love that.

    The amp was pretty easy to set up although it needed an update to connect to my wifi network and my projector and that took some time to figure out. ended up having to update with a USB. once done, everything worked beautifully and the amp connected right up to the wifi.

    My wife immediately noticed the difference too so that made the purchase family friendly and wife approved. she also likes the musiccast feature (once she figured it out) to listen to her spotify in the kitchen.

    Another quality Yamaha product that I would recommend to just about anyone.

    Thanks for everyone's input. Much appreciated!

    Regards,

    Kip
     
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