Stereo Preamps w/ HT bypass?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by bruin, May 24, 2003.

  1. bruin

    bruin Second Unit

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    I need some recommendations for a stereo preamp w/ HT bypass new or used prices. My budget is $300...but if there is something cheaper...then great!
     
  2. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    Why do you need a HT bypass? Your choices are far greater without that requirement.

    Just calibrate to a particular volume setting for HT.
     
  3. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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  4. bruin

    bruin Second Unit

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    So from what I understand...if I get a stereo preamp without HT bypass I would have to adjust the volume knob each time I switch from DVD's to music?

    So what are the preamps that fall in the $300 or less range that have been rated highly? Unfortunaly $500 is a bit overboard for me right now [​IMG]
     
  5. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    bruin, you may be ok with the dual volume thingy by buying a 2 channel preamp without HT bypass. I, on the other hand, absolutly hated the SOUND using the dual volume method. It screwed up my main 2 speakers with home theater. You WILL be processing the front main channel twice, regardless of if you get the levels matched.

    I'd recommend you try something by Creek from audioadvisor.com, the OBH-12 for $315 or the Parasound P-HP850 for $250. If you don't like the results just pack it up and send it back (be carefull to keep all package material in tip-top shape for return trip).
     
  6. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Charles,

     
  7. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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    It seems to me that $500 is really what it takes to get into something that is going to work 100% for you.

    I second the TA-P reccomendation. Not only is it extrememly flexible and versatile, it sounds great as well.

    I think that Sonic Frontiers/Anthem, CJ, and a lot of other "better" preamps include the ht bypass. Unfortunatly even preowned units are going to run around $500 at least.

    If $300 is the absolute ceiling, than my choice would be an Acurus RL-ll. No ht bypass, but the unity gain setting method will work fine. Preowned of course.

    Also, run a search similar to your thread heading, or "unity gain". This has been discussed at length a few times.

    Good luck

    -rob
     
  8. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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  9. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    My experience went like this..In searching for that elusive great 2 channel sound for several years, I'd tried many solutions. My setup at the time was the Sony TA-E9000es and I tried a Creek OBH-12 and a Cambridge Audio C500 preamp for 2 channel. I ran the front main preouts from the TAE into the tape loops on the preamp for HT. While these 2 preamps where a huge improvements for music, on the HT side I got what can best be described as an echo/metallic sound from my front mains. I used the 12 o'clock position and balanced everything but the front mains I could tell just had a different sound signature. I ended up solving my problem with the Sony TA-P9000es. This is a GREAT preamp for the money. Thats why folks were willing to pay close to $700 on ebay for a preamp I paid $450 to buy. Good luck if you can find one for $500. It will be very difficult.

    So I sold my TAE and TAP to fund a Aragon Soundstage preamp, which is very close overall to the Sony combo but all in 1 box. Music had become more important than HT. (in fact, it always was, it just took awhile for the HT bug to loose some of its attraction)

    You can certainly try the OBH-12 or Parasound 850 from audioadvisor.com. You may be very happy with the results. But by buying from audioadvisor, if you are not happy, you get your money back. About the only other internet place that has such a great return policy is jandr.com.
     
  10. bruin

    bruin Second Unit

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    I don't know if I should just start a new thread because now I'm also looking at an HT preamp which I assume will also have a stereo preamp?

    Can you guys recommend HT preamps as well?

    I have upped the budget to $550
     
  11. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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  12. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Charles,

    Well I don't know about the Cambridge, but I can comment on the Creek, as it's a passive preamp as you know. In order to make the Creek work correctly, you would need to turn it's volume control ALL the way up to the maximum position (far past the 12 o'clock position).

    This is the only way the input signal from your HT processor wouldn't be attenuated by a passive preamp on it's way to your amp and main speakers and also be correctly calibrated.
     
  13. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    Who cares if the signal to the mains is attenuated or not? You just alter the level setting in the HT prepro/receiver as if you had different sensitivity speakers at the front.

    Thanks for the detailed explanation Charles. I can't help but think that using the tape loop might have been the problem there - an ordinary input may have worked better.
     

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