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old preamp compatable with stand alone processor? (1 Viewer)

Nathan Cook

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Apr 10, 2002
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Is it possible to connect an old preamp, say one from the 70's, up to a standalone processor? Im attempting to put together a satisfying yet budget orieted music/theater system.
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Sure you can connect it. Just find some empty plugs and hook it up. :D
Obviously we need a little more info on what you’re trying to do, Nathan.
Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

BruceD

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Nathan,
As Wayne indicated, it's no problem.
I've been doing exactly the same for the last 3 years, and it has worked flawlessly. Here's how:
1) Take the L&R analog outputs from the processor and route them to any L&R AUX inputs on the 70's preamp. Then route the 70's preamp L&R outputs to the L&R inputs of the amp (stereo, or 2 mono-blocks, or multichannel).
2) Take the center and L&R surround processor outputs and route them to the amp inputs (2 stereo, or 3 mono-blocks, or multichannel) then route the processor sub-out to the powered sub.
System Calibration
This requires a slightly different mode of operation to get the best out of your system, a remote for the stereo preamp is helpful, but not required.
Since the various inputs to the 70's preamp may have different levels, i.e. they require different volume level positions to output the same SPL, you will need to adjust the 70's preamp volume control to a specifically marked position when using it for HT.
To locate this marked position simply means using the radio shack SPL meter and a calibration DVD (VE or AVIA) to calibrate the front L&R speakers to the reference level on the test DVD. You do this by adjusting the 70's preamp volume control.
When you get the the correct level, mark that specific position of the 70's preamp volume control with a piece of tape or white pen or something so you can remember it for HT use. Mine actually occurs at exactly 12 o'clock, so it's easy for me to remember. The reason for this is because the volume control is likely to require different positions for CD and turntable playback.
Continue on and calibrate the rest of the speakers.
Now, when using the 70's preamp in HT mode, the processor (not the 70's preamp) will actually be the Master volume control, and you won't need to touch the 70's preamp, except in the beginning to select the processor AUX input and adjust the volume control to the marked position.
Hope that made sense.
 

Nathan Cook

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Apr 10, 2002
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thanks that helps out...let me tell you what i want to do, what equipment i have, and what my idea is. this is what im trying to do; im trying to build a system that is very musical that i can use for both music and hometheater. i am on a tight budget though. i listen to about 70/30 music/movies. this is the equipment i have: low end paradigms all around and 2 late model mono block marantz amps.(will get more in the future) i have 2 ideas for preamp and processor. my first idea is this: buy vintage 70s marantz preamp and hook it up to a standalone processor. i now know this is possible, thankyou. my second idea is buy a marantz dolb dig reciever with preouts and hook my amps up to it. which is gonna sound better? the vintage preamp with a standalone processor or a current dd reciever with preouts.
:angry:
 

BruceD

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Apr 12, 1999
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Nathan,

which is gonna sound better? the vintage preamp with a standalone processor or a current dd reciever with preouts.
No way to know without actually doing an audition of both. I don't really know the quality of each piece comnpared to the other.

I do know a current Parasound 850 stereo preamp is about $249 these days, does that fit your budget?
 

Nathan Cook

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Apr 10, 2002
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bruce, that fits my budget, thats very cheap. how do those sound with music? any idea how thatll pair with my marantz amps.
 

BruceD

Screenwriter
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Apr 12, 1999
Messages
1,220
Nathan,
I have an older Parasound 1100D preamp that sounds very good.
If you ask about Parasound on this forum, responses will be that Parasound makes mid-to-high end equipment for reasonable prices.
Here is a link to a well known on-line retailer with details on this preamp.
AudioAdvisor
I have no relationship with this reseller or Parasound, I'm just a happy Parasound customer.
 

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