Pre-Pro suggestions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Steve Marsh, Sep 14, 2002.

  1. Steve Marsh

    Steve Marsh Stunt Coordinator

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    All this talk about using a cheaper reciever for a Pre-Pro and then spending the bulk on power amps has me very interested to say the least.
    The way I see it the goal should be to spend as little as poss on the RX while still getting quality decoding and sound from it's preamp outs.
    So. I would be interested in hearing what units people think fit this bill. Remember the goal is minimal cost so the bulk of the budget can be spent on power amps. I am not interested in fancy DSP modes or tone controls etc.
    Note:
    The RX must have DD EX and DTS ES discrete decoding with 7.1 preamp out. Or I guess 6.1 Pre out would be ok if a splitter could be hooked up to the surround center pre-out as it is mono anyway.
    Thanks
    Steve
     
  2. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    I found that Pioneer receivers that have the pre outs do a very good job of processing HT sound.

    If I were you I would look at the general market A/V line from Pioneer...the top two models are usually jam packed with features.

    I bought the VSX-D906S a while back before I got my seperates and I gotta tell ya...it did a pretty good job even with its own amps! On HT only mind you...it SUCKED at stereo. Sucked. Don't ask my how that happens, but it did.

    When I hooked it up to the Outlaw 750, the HT just went to a whole new level.

    Of course, that was a long time ago...in a land known as 5.1

    It is no match for the B&K Ref 30/Outlaw combo.

    Which brings me to my real point...what's that you say? You thought I had already given advice? Oh well. My real advice is that after futzing around with the receiver for a little while...you will soon crave a real pre-pro. It's what happened to me.

    I was not happy with the lackluster stereo reproduction of the Pioneer, so one day when I saw the Ref 30 on sale at Sound Advice for 2400, I figured I would take it home, listen for a week or so, then pack it up and take it back. It us still there. And the Pioneer?

    I must have the only kilobuck receiver doing computer gaming duty. What else was I gonna do with it? It's not like I have a boat.
     
  3. ChrisJJ

    ChrisJJ Agent

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    I think I fit the bill for having this setup. I'm running a Yamaha RX-V630 (~$350), with a Sherbourn 5/1500 amp (bought used from someone on HTF [​IMG] ). I've been extemely happy with it!
    IMHO this Yamaha amp sounded TERRIBLE! It did not sound like the specs they print in the manual. However, using the pre-outs to the Sherbourn (which is admittedly MUCH more expensive), the sound is wonderful. In stereo, the sound is as good as my higher end stereo pre-amp and amp combination. I directly compared the two, since the source (NAD 515) and speakers (NHT SB-3s) and even the wires were carried over from the stereo system, so the only stuff thats changed is the RX and amps.
    The 630 has DD EX and is 6.1. I think the 730 may go to 7.1, but I had no intention of a 6th or 7th speaker, so I didn't pay much attention to that. I know the 730 has a phono pre-amp, but I'm skeptical of it's quality considering the power stage. Anyway, it didn't matter to me since I already had a phono amp.
    Also, the subwoofer x-over is fixed at 100hz, and set by setting the various speakers to "small" or "large". Not very flexible. I'm really curious about the Outlaw ICBM or some equivalent external bass management device.
    I don't use the video switching, but the unit has the capacity to swith component and S-Video. I don't believe it up-converts the S to Component, so you still need to switch at the TV. I send all my video straight to the TV, anyway. (That reminds me, another feature of the 730 was OSD, but not on the Component channel, and I'm not certain if it even works on the S-Video channel.)
    Long and the short, I like the Yamaha. The remote is reasonable (but I've trained a universal to replace it, too), the front panel is clear and informative. There are plenty of inputs and outputs for my needs, including 6 channel in and pre-outs for every channel. The tuner controls could be better, but they function. And the sound as a pre-amp is quite good. For me the 630 was the best choice of the 530 (no pre-outs), 630, 730 lineup, but YMMV.
    Good luck in your quest,
    Chris
     
  4. Steve Marsh

    Steve Marsh Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Guys. these are the type of suggestions I am looking for.
    Manny
    I have a seperate sys with a passive pre-amp and Musical Fidelity Power amp for 2 channel off CD. Did the B&K make a huge diff in movies or just stereo. Can you elaborate?
    Chris
    In your setup does the Yammie cause any kind of noise or hiss. If you turn up the volume with no signal do you hear a lot of air. I am trying to determine if the noise floor suffers in this type of setup.
    It would be nice if there was some kind of rating for the preamps in recievers especially if it has pre-outs and was designed to use external amps.
     
  5. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    HT and stereo were considerably better when I switched out the Pioneer to the Ref 30.

    The biggest difference was in stereo imaging.

    With the Pioneer some scenes (T2 motorcycle chase) were very bright and harsh. The 30 tamed that and had a fuller, richer sound. Though it was not as dramatic an imprivement as the stereo comaprison, it was better in a lot of subtle ways.

    Nothing else changed in the system except for the receiver-pre/pro swap.

    The rest of the sytem was the aforementioned Outlaw 750, feeding DefTech BP2002 mains and CLR 2000, BPX rear.

    Source for both was a Sony DVP-300S dvd player. Everything is still as is as well...I have been very happy with this setup and have made no significant changes, except cable/SA Tivo to DirecTiVo. (MUCH better TV picture and sound)

    The only changes I will be making in the future will be to activate the 7.1 features by getting another pair of BPXs and trading in the 750 for the new 7 channel Outlaw.
     
  6. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh and if you have a little time...the Ref 50 is out...at 300 bucks msrp more than the 30, you may want to give it a listen.

    In home listen, of course...anything else is just an illusion.
     
  7. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    The Sony STR-DA2ES would make a good 'minimal' prepro. It has all the decoding modes you are after and bass management better than anything (non-Sony) costing at least twice as much. A splitter for the rear center would be needed for 7.1.
     
  8. ChrisJJ

    ChrisJJ Agent

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