Reciever Pre-Amp and Dedicated Pre-Amps

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JordanS, Jan 24, 2003.

  1. JordanS

    JordanS Second Unit

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    Hello Friends

    I bet this was covered before, however, I couldn't find the direct answer I was looking for.

    I am curious to hear what you guys think about the quality of a reciever's pre-amplifier section versus a dedicated pre-amplifier?

    I would assume that the dedicated pre-amplifier would be of a better quality than the pre-amplification stage of the receiver------would this be accurate?

    For instance, generally, if you had a $500 Receiver vs a $500 Pre-amplifier----which one do you think would "sound" the best? I'm not looking for a technical debate, rather, your personal experiences.

    Thank you!

    Jordan S.
     
  2. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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  3. Wynda

    Wynda Auditioning

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    The following is my 2 cents, based on my "limited" experience over the past 8 years.

    I started out with a used NAD separates system, feeding my Klipsh bookshelf speakers. This entry level system provided a nice synergy, as an initial system. Then, I thought about getting a receiver, as it appeared to be the best bang for the buck and would decode movie soundtracks (Dolby Digital, DTS). As I later came to realize after purchasing my Yamaha RXV995 receiver, the stereo application did not appear to be as refined. The Home Theatre surround application was certainly worthwhile, but with 2 channel reproduction, the difference was obvious.

    Then, I moved onto Paradigm speakers in my system. After an upgrade to my Musical Fidelity integrated amp, the 2 channel reproduction became simply night and day. It was a significant improvement, for me. Now, I am looking into separates. Specifically, I am contemplating a preamp purchase.

    The morale of the story is this. I think you truly get your best bang for the buck overall, with a receiver. It does a little bit of everything. However, in an attempt to package various functions into a box, compromises may need to be made in the system. Specifically, quality of the parts used. I won't go into details here, but things like the circuitry, wiring, transformer, etc. In addition, there may be reduced shielding between the various components within the system. If you dedicate a component to a strict application, you're likely going to have better results, at similar price level.

    Hopefully, I have made sense here! Thanks.
     
  4. Erik_C

    Erik_C Stunt Coordinator

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    For a long while, I had a Yamaha 2092 receiver, which s a very good sounding receiver. Then I added an ATI 1505 amp, and relegated the Yamaha to preamp duties. The improvement in sound was huge by adding a good outboard amp. Everything improved: detail, soundstage, hell, it just sounded better. Then a few months ago I replaced the Yamaha with the Anthem AVM-20. Woah, another huge difference, as much or more so than adding an amp to the Yamaha. But if I hadn't bought the Anthem, I'd've been really happy with the Yamaha/ATI combo. What all this means is, if you're trying to do separates on the cheap, go with a receiver/outboard amp combo. It'll run circles around most anything else except true separates, and you can add a real preamp at a later date.
     
  5. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    If one is intending to go the separates route, IMO you can't get a better pre than the Outlaw 950 in the price range, whether it's in a receiver or not.
     
  6. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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    Are you guys talking about preamps or processors? FME, A $500 preamp will blow away the preamp section in any similar priced receiver. For $500 you can get into a good passive design.

    Processors are up for debate, as noted previously.


    -rob
     
  7. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    Who sells a $500 home theater preamp?
     
  8. JordanS

    JordanS Second Unit

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    Hello Friends,

    I seriously appreciate all of your input on this topic. I currently run Adcom Seperates to B&W Loudspeakers. I was just curious as to other peoples experience with this. My brother is looking to upgrade his receiver, and I'm trying to convince him that true seperates will indeed sound considerably, considerably better.

    Thank you very much indeed!

    -Jordan S.
     
  9. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  10. JordanS

    JordanS Second Unit

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    Phillip---

    Hello! I was just merely discussing with my brother about the possibility of going with a receiver plus outboard amplifier, or, the possibility of going with a true seperate system.

    I mainly wanted other members experiences with the two options. He loves two channel stereo, and wants a big upgrade.

    Thanks.
     
  11. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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  12. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I do listen to music (which you would know if you spent any time on the music board here) and in my experience I find the difference between a high end receiver (I used to have an Onkyo 919) and a separates system at about the same price level as the high end receiver to be minimal, far from "considerably, considerably better".

    But that's just my tin eared experience.

    If you're talking about spending twice as much on the separates as you would on the receiver, then I would expect a difference to be more apparent. But separates aren't "better" just because they're separates.
     
  13. Brian Johnson

    Brian Johnson Supporting Actor

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    Jordan: [​IMG]

    Jordan was nice enough to sell me those pesky little RF-3s he had lyin' around.

    Just wanted to say thanks again and wish a Happy Birthday.

    Now back to our topic......
     
  14. JordanS

    JordanS Second Unit

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    Hey Brian!!

    Yep, thank god! Finally 21 years old!

    How are those RF-3 II's treating you? I miss playing "Amused to Death" on them and hearing that guitar solo at about 110db!!

    Thanks again!

    -Jordan S.
     
  15. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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  16. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    I have concluded based upon my own tests that anything under $1500 sounds very very similar. I tried various receivers, OUtlaw 950 and Rotel 1066 and decided to go with a Sony DA4ES because I simply could not hear much difference between the many products I tried in that price range. I am sure the Anthems or Lexicons of this world must do a better job than the 4ES but I doubt if it is a whole $2.5K better. I was simply not convinced with the dedicated prepros in that price range (Outlaw/Rotel) and I liked the Outlaw better than the Rotel. The 4ES gives me very good control on the overall outcome of the sound, different crossovers for different sets of speakers, etc.
    This is just my opinion based upon my hearing and I am not trying to convince that the Rotels or Outlaw are not worthy enough. There are many here that will take the Outlaw over any receiver as a prepro based on what they hear.
     

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