Reciever or Pre+Amps? Why go separates?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Peter_W, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. Peter_W

    Peter_W Agent

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    I currently have the following setup...

    Sony STR-DA4ES
    Klipsch KG 4.5's for Front
    Klipsch RC-7
    Klipsch RS-7's for Rear
    Boston Sub
    Polk Rear Centers

    The room is 750 Sq Feet. I have been thinking about purchasing a new reciever or Pre+Amps to drive the 7.1 system in an effort to bring out a more rich and powerful sound. Here are my questions...

    What is the advantage of getting separates? Is it purely the amps because most Pre-amps don't have the functionality that many recievers have? For example on my reciever I can set the eq for each zone of speakers, and adjust the level of each individual speaker.
     
  2. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Peter I think your problem here is not the need for the receiver but the need for new speakers. Aren't Klipsch speakers very bright because of their horn design? Not to mention they are very efficient speakers that don't need much power to perform at their peak? Your best bet is to goto a Klipsch dealer and listen to various receivers/prepro combos with these speakers and see if you hear a difference.

    Kevin
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

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    It’s never a bad thing to have outboard amps, but I’m not so sure about a pre-amp. It’s an accepted fact that receivers have the cutting edge technology and features. Probably the best of both worlds is to use a receiver as pre-pro with outboard amps.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. Sam_Ba

    Sam_Ba Auditioning

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    Peter it sounds like you want to start engaging your warp drive. When you start down this road you most certainly have to make a few choices, one is that you WILL give up functionality (at first) and the other is to prepare to open your wallet. If you're not willing to do make these choices it's going to be an uphill climb for you.

    The primary reason why you get so much in entry level receivers is exactly that, quantity. What you're sacrificing on the other hand is quality. You see as you progress into the seperate realm of HI-FI you begin to acquire quality components such as Amps, Processors, Players, cabling etc. These components are manufactured with their own chasis and higher quality parts, power supplies, transistors, etc. these parts are very expensive which in turn are passed on to you. When it's all done what you do get is for the most part a quality piece of hardware that was designed to a specific job rather having to do all the jobs.

    I think it's great that you want to move in this area, the best advice I can give you is do your homework, it's a hard pill to swallow when you make a large purchase and after some time goes by you wished you would have spent that extra 100.00 to get what you really wanted.

    Here's a few points you may want write down once you're ready.

    1. Have a budget for your system
    2. Double your budget (guaranteed you'll spend alsmost double what you thought you'd spend)
    3. Learn as much as you can about what you want to acomplish.
    4. Have an open mind about different products
    5. Trust your ears, don't fall into the trap of having someone sell you something just because they tell you it's what you want.
    5. If you can spend the extra $$$ to get what you really want.
    6. Bring someone that's knowledgeable with you when you buy your components, it helps to releave the pressure of "am I making the right purchase" question.

    I hope this helps you.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Your receiver has full pre-outs, you can add an amp to it without giving up any of your processing or configration capabilities.
     
  6. Peter_W

    Peter_W Agent

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    Yea I noticed that it has pre-outs. Question is now what was the output of the reciever in full 7.1 per channel?
     
  7. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    because few, if any, integrated amps/receivers can match the awesome power of expensive monoblock power amps?
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The 3ES and 4ES had pretty good numbers with all channels driven, IIRC. What is it about the sound that you do not like? I have a friend with a 3ES with some small towers (less efficient than Klipsch) in a VERY large room - 25x15x15, and the 3 seems to have enough power in a 7.1 setup.

    How do you have your speakers setup? Do you have the crossover for each channel tailored to each speaker? Have you calibrated the speakers?

    Have you listened to other speakers?
     
  9. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    Pete- Let me suggest that you start with a good amp (either stereo or a pair of monoblocks). These connected to your 4ES will be the basis of all comparisons to any seperate pre-amp you might be considering. Good amps connected to good receivers are a very cost effective starting point.
    This is where I've been over the last few years and find it very hard to give in to that final piece-the pre-amp. My choice was to collect a full compliment of amplifiers first, then upgrade my speakers ,subs, CD and DVDP.
    Descisions, and choices are the things we all have to make. If you decide on another sequence than the one I outlined, thats OK to. Reasonable seems to be a matter of opnion and this is mine. Good luck
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I've been using my Marantz 8300 with monoblocks for the mains for a while now and I am very happy with this setup.
     
  11. Peter_W

    Peter_W Agent

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    I was thinking Outlaw Model 770. Thoughts?
     
  12. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    John-Of course I agree. It seems to me that an A/V pre is more of an expensive curiosity which would wind-up bieng an expensive toy more than any huge improvement in overall sound qulity.
    The day may come though, when I actually do take this final step but for now, I've pretty much convinced myself there is just not that much improvement to warrant this type of expenditure. For most of us who actually do have to budget for our AV purchases, the receiver first then the amp second seems logical.
     
  13. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Although I have separates, I agree that adding a power amp to a receiver makes the most sense.

    The processing power and flexibility of many receivers is fine, especially for home theater. Where a good deal of receivers fall short is at the power end of the equation imo.
     
  14. Peter_W

    Peter_W Agent

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    The thing I am looking to solve is the fact that I have to set my crossover to about 120Hz for all speakers, because at the level that I sometimes listen to things, the speakers start breaking apart. That level is pretty high, like an injection of sound directly into the ear... [​IMG] The sub does a find job of handling the bass, but the speakers are not. I believe that it is not the speakers, as they are pretty good up to that level. I have looked at other speakers, such as Paradigm S8's, but I have to tell you, they did not do much better of a job, if not worse. As a matter of fact, I could not imagine spending the money on them for what you get, but that's just me. Now you could say it was the setup, but this was a snobby audio Brick and Mortar store, and they had equipment up the ass. The only thing that sounded remotely good was a system with huge Monoblocks connected to speakers that were 5' tall (almost like a pyramid) and cost something like 20K, and that is ridiculous range. I felt so bad going in the store with a Likin Park and Evanescence CD and beating on their systems. Yea, if what you like is jazz, then fine, but I have a tendency to listen to what I call my "anger management" music...

    That is the reasoning behind my thought that I need more, cleaner and better power.
     
  15. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    Outlaw sells good amps. I have two of their M200 monoblocks and they work fine. They have a generous return policy, so you can send it back if you don't like it. Since you're using Klipsch with such a high crossover point, you may not notice much improvement in sound. Again, another reason to try outlaw. Try it at home for a month and return if you don't like it.
     
  16. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    I used to have a 4ES driving some Polk Audio RTi38 speakers. When I first hooked up my 200WPC Adcom power amplifier to the pre-outs I was able to get noticeable improvement in sound quality, but only at very high listening level. At normal listening level, I cannot say I could tell the difference. So based on my limited experience I would say that if you like to listen to really loud music, you should go ahead and get a power amp, and you won't be disappointed with the 4ES. I have the 3805 now but I really miss the superior bass management capability and the blue light of the 4ES.
     
  17. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    You're kidding right? No offense but, IMO, the Signatures are better than just about anything Klipsch has ever built.

    The reason you have to cross your speakers over that high is because you are pushing the receiver to distortion with it running them at a lower range. A good amp, probably monoblocks, for the front 2 or 3 should give you the SPL you are looking for with less distortion. The M200s would probably be a good bet.

    I'd be concerned about damaging my ears listening at that level.
     

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