Pre/Pro's VS Flagship Reveivers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Moritz, May 13, 2002.

  1. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    Since this seems to be a subject that is mentioned in many of the treads. I thought it would be a good topic that alot of people could share there opinions on. I currenly own a Yamaha RV-X995 5.1 DD/DTS receiver. I have been doing alot of homework and research on the available equipment out there. I am looking to upgrade my current receiver to a really good 6.1 DD-EX/DTS-ES Ultra THX2 reciever. I am looking at Pioneer Elite 49TX, Denon AVR-5803, B&K 307 and possible the Theater Grand 3 when released. This is something I will not jump into quickly because this is a peice I want to last for a minimum of 5 to 7 years. I have lately been wondering that maybe a pre/pro would be a better choice. So now I find myself going back and looking what is available in that area. I have a max budget set for $4,000. But of course since i do hot use seperate power amps right now for my 995. Then there would be a additional cost of buying multiple power amps. This is something I need to weigh into my solution. But at the same time I am wondering what the rest of you think of this subject.
     
  2. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    IMO if you're thinking long term go seperates. If I were in your shoes I'd allocate most of the budget ($3000) to buying the best amps you can and spend the rest on either the Outlaw 950 or Rotel 1066. Lets face it amps don't go out of style so invest in some good ones that you'll keep for a long time. Processing needs however change very rappidly so I wouldn't invest $$$ in a processor that's going to be worth a lot less in a couple of years...plus as the reviews are pointing out there's much more similarities in pre pros sound then differences. What this set up would give you is maximum flexibility in "X" years to dump the pre amp and pick up the latest flavour of the month with little capitol loss.
     
  3. Mike Veroukis

    Mike Veroukis Second Unit

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    I'd pretty much have to agree with Andrew on this one. A good amp should out last any processor/receiver in your HT so go all out if you can. I would consider adding a high-end multi-channel amp (or a bunch of two channel amps) and keep the 995 for a year or two and then upgrade to a processor later. The 995 is a good unit from what I can tell but lacks THX. It's the classic sound quality vs features dilema. Personally I'd put my money on sound quality, but that's just me.

    - Mike
     
  4. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    I agree with the comments about amps not going out of style. A good amp is a good amp for a long time. Pre/pro's and flagship receivers go in and out style pretty quick.

    I ended up buying a Denon 5800 for my first big jump into higher end HT. At that point there weren't many great pre/pro's and multi-channel amps I could get for the same price because I bought it for a hell of a price slightly used from a HTF member.

    But, these days there seem to be some great pre/pro's and multi-channel amps that are priced very well. I think you have to do your homework and look at both very seriously these days. The value you get in HT gear these days is amazing.

    Patrick
     
  5. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    There was a long thread on this subject just a month or so ago. Search that one out. It is not time to beat this horse again.
     
  6. Rob_Z

    Rob_Z Extra

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    I am trying to make the same decisions. I agree with Andrew. But here is the dilemma, if I buy this sweet 3K Bryston amp, what am I going to feed it? A $2500 49TX, a $3000 5803, a 3k - 4K pre/pro, a $1000 or less receiver, or a $1000 or less pre/pro.

    this is my opinion so far, anything under $1000 I'm looking for a little more. So that leave me with the 49tx, 5803 or a pre/pro. Any pre/pro that even comes close to matching the features, inputs, outputs, of the 49tx will run 3K +, that is over budget. So that leaves me with the 49tx or 5083, and I haven't decided yet.

    Then there is this question, will a pre/pro sound better than the 49TX or 5803 if both are attached to the same amp and speakers?
     
  7. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    Hey Rob

    I have no idea as of yet. That is my delema currently as I am trying to upgrade the sound qaulity of my HT. The 5.1 in my Yamaha RV-X995 is not bad. But I know I can get better than what I have now. Technically the Yamaha does not have THX but has there flavor of THX called 70mm from what I understand. I am just starting to look at pre/pro's myself and can not say ehter way. What sounds great to me may not sound great to you. The trick will be finding a pre/pro with all the extras that the HT receivers have. The receivers have come along way and many are being built as if they where seperats. My goal is to have a mini HT that will rival any public theater. I am also concidering the Pioneer Elite 49TX and the Denon AVR-5803. If it was in my budget I might be concidering the Krell pre/pro. Anyway wish I had an answer to help you. Let us know what route you take.
     
  8. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    Rob and Dave, in my opinion if you are going to go with separate amplification like the Bryston, I would go for a cheaper Pre/pro like maybe the Outlaw since its not too expensive and you can upgrade it later to something from Lex or Tag. But, having something like Bryston amps is going to last you for a long time so invest in that instead of the pre/pro.

    Buying a flagship receiver for a pre/pro gives you the advantage of tons of features and the latest in technology but in reality your speakers and amps will play a bigger part in your sound quality than the pre/pro. And, you'll be paying huge bucks for amps your not going to use.

    Just some thoughts,

    Patrick
     
  9. TomH

    TomH Second Unit

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    Arthur,

    There is no harm in discussing topics again with different participants. If you are not interested just ignore the thread.

    I am running an Outlaw 950 ($900.00) with an Acurus A200X5

    ($900.00) and a B&K 2X200 (700.00). This modest configuration outperforms any,IMHO, flagship receiver for less money. Pre/Pros are starting to drop in price so upgrading the pre/pro in the future is certainly more flexible than replacing a flagship receiver.

    Tom
     
  10. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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  11. TomH

    TomH Second Unit

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    Robert,

    The Outlaw certainly does not have all the bells and whistles of the flagship receivers but I believe that it will be comparable or outperform in the basic surround modes such as 5.1, DTS, DTS-ES, Dolby-EX, DPL2, Neo 6 etc.

    Cirrus "Extra Surround" is no Logic 7 but its not bad.

    Remember Atlantic and Sherbourne are pricing this pre/pro at nearly twice that of the direct-sales Outlaw.

    Give it an audition, I am sure that you will be amazed.

    Tom
     
  12. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    Well, for me, i chose the Denon 5803 and am enjoying the hell out of it right now. Thinking ahead, over the next couple two,three years, i'll first add external amplification and then to a pre pro. The 5803 and 49TX are hard to beat imo.
     
  13. Aslam Imran

    Aslam Imran Second Unit

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    TomH,
    This is something out of line with this thread but I am contemplating adding either a B&K ref7250 or an Acurus (200x5) amp to my 3801. I have listened to the B&K amp with Mirage speakers and the acurus amp with monitor audio speakers so I dont know how the sound compares. I can get both for about the same price (used B&K from a friend or a new Acurus). how do you think the sound of the two amps compares in two channel listening? Do you have the B&K doing surround duty or main L/R channels?
    BTW I am from the separates camp. Althouth I dont have a separates system in my home, I have extensive listening experience of both separates and receivers of various kinds and someday hope to have a killer separates system in my home[​IMG].
    Thanks.
     
  14. Aslam Imran

    Aslam Imran Second Unit

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  15. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Aslam:

    You are using "street" prices and also your use of the word "cost" may be misplaced.

    In reality, what it costs Pioneer or Denon or whoeverto manufacture a product is not necessarily going to be the only factor that dictates retail price. I happen to know dealer cost on the 49TX is around $2000 with a retail of $4200. The $4300 Denon 5803 most likely has a dealer cost in the $2500 range.

    I think it may be impossible to separate how much manufacturing cost goes into part of a receiver. Such a product is designed as a complete unit. If Pioneer or Denon were to decide to build and market a pre/pro using the same basic components used in the 49TX or 5803, even that price would not be an indicator of what these same components cost in the receivers. There is economy of scale to deal with. A receiver will likely sell many times more than a stand alone pre/pro so costs can be kept lower. This is one of the main factors that contributes to the very high cost of most pre/pros. Not that the components are so much better than you will find in products like the 49TX or the 5803, but that manufacturing costs are much higher for smaller companies and sales volume is a fraction of what Pioneer and Denon enjoy.

    This is not to say a flagship receiver has the same quality components as a 4 or 5K pre/pro across the board. But I would say it is a lot closer than many would like to admit.
     
  16. Aslam Imran

    Aslam Imran Second Unit

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    I think the distribution costs/retail markups are equal if not more than the manufacturing costs of any of these units. Atleast thats true of the optical telecom industry.

    In case of of a direct seller like Outlaw I would think they could pass on more of those savings to the end user without compromising the build quality of their units. So if I consider the outlaw 950+770 combo which retails at lower than the 5803s MSRP I would think that the build quality or the preamp is at par with that of the 5803 and that of the amps in 770 is far superior to that of the 5803. So for less than the MSRP of the 5803 you can get comparable or better quality.

    As for the 16 or so DACs and dual processors used in the 5803 its anybody's guess as to how much they contribute to the overall cost of the preamp considering the price of hammerhead SHARC or the Cirrus processors is only about $5.00 when ordered in quantities of a few thousand or more. So most of the cost of the preamp comes from power supplies, capacitors, internal wiring etc., and I dont think that outlaw is in anyway inferior in parts quality than the 5803. The design and development costs in denon's case is spread out over more units than in outlaws case. So in any case I dont see how the quality of Denon could be twice as better as that of the outlaw. There is only one area that the denon would outperform the outlaw is in the features arena. But then features are features and have different apeal to different folks IMHO.
     
  17. Mike Burke

    Mike Burke Stunt Coordinator

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    Well another element to the equation would be find a dealer you like with a great trade in policy. By a good receiver say in the 2K-2500 range like the Denon AVR4802 or the others. Shop around for maybe a used 5ch amp like Bryston 9B or Rotel 1095..something that will sound good and last ya awhile. If you look hard enough you should be able to stay under the $4k limit now.

    Say 2-2.5 years from now you can trade in the receiver towards a pre-pro and have some equity so as to reduce the cost. I bought my Denon AVR3200 from a dealer that offers 3 year FULL price trade in towards any electonics as long as it's twice the price of my AVR3200. Unfortunately, this ecomony forced me to change jobs and the "extra" cash is now "needed cash" and my 3 years is up. The dealer I used is based in Massachusetts and carries Denon, Pioneer, and Marantz receivers..Email me if you want their info.

    Mike
     
  18. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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  19. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    Has anyone had any experience with ADA pre/pro's(Audio Design Associates)? How do they compare with the Pioneer Elite 49TX and the Denon AVR-5803? Was wondering how they compaired in sound quality and price? Am still looking at the 49TX and the 5803 to replace my 995. Will not make a desecion on a receiver until I have upgraded my CD player to SACD and my DVD to a progressive scan DVD/DVD-A player. Then I will go ahead with the receiver upgrade. I am currenlty looking at adding ether a Cinanova power amp or a Cinepro power amps to what ever I choose. I am also looking at a Audio Control EQ to sweeten the combination. But I guess the delema for myself will not end for the time being.
     
  20. TomH

    TomH Second Unit

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    Aslam,

    The B&K is an older EX442. I used it for the mains with a Carver pre/pro for years. When the Acurus arrived the B&K moved to the surrounds. I did do some swapping with the amps for comparison. Honestly, it was difficult to discern any significant difference between the two. The Acurus may be slightly more forward or bright but it has low hours. I would give a marginal preference to the B&K but I have not heard the newer, multi-channel B&K's.

    Tom
     

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