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Unique needs -- ditch or upgrade the receiver?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ken Woodrow, Feb 11, 2002.

  1. Ken Woodrow

    Ken Woodrow Stunt Coordinator

    Feb 12, 2001
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    I currently have a Sony DB930 receiver with a LLano 3-channel amp powering my front speakers and the receiver powering the rear channels and the outdoor speakers. But I'm disappointed in this setup for a variety of reasons, including (1) grainy, harsh, bright quality of the DACs in the receiver (when they're engaged); (2) lack of second 5.1 analog input; (3) lack of control over what gets routed to the second zone, for example, I can't route DVD sound or sound from the 5.1 inputs to the second zone; (4) perceived sound quality issues with analog stage.


    1. Good sounding multichannel analog preamp for two 5.1 inputs (SACD and Home Theater PC (I have a multichannel 24/96Khz sound card))

    2. At least 4 channels of amplification (rear surrounds and outdoor speakers)

    3. Two zone output (to change sources in second zone)

    4. Surround decoding for external source (DSS)

    5. Budget under $1,000.

    Don't need:

    1. DPL2 (my HTPC will do this in software)

    2. Video switching (all in the HTPC)

    3. Bass management (in the HTPC software (eventually) and/or in the SACD player itself)

    4. More than 5.1 speakers -- SAF limitations and space constraints.

    One possible solution, if keeping to the separates route:

    1. Sony TA-P9000ES multichannel analog preamp. Has two 5.1 inputs with independent channel volume control. Rumored to sound quite good. (street price $450)

    2. Rotel RB-956AX 6-channel amp (used approx. $350) or other 6 channel amp. This gives amplification for my rear surrounds, outdoor speakers, and maybe one additional set of speakers for my workshop.

    3. The big drawback here is the lack of ability to decode a second DD source. Of course, it may be possible to pick up a used decoder for about $200.

    Or should I look for an upgraded receiver that will do everything I seek? Something with a very good analog stage?

    Any help would be very appreciated.


  2. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

    Nov 21, 2001
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    Ken, with your budget, your options are severely limited. The Sony pre-amp is the only pre that I know of AT ANY PRICE POINT that has dual 5.1 inputs and the only receivers I know that have this feature are top of the line models that will blow your budget out of the water.

    What I would consider is the Radio shack 5.1 switch box that a lot of people here use. It would greatly increase your flexibility on decision making. You could now look into a used receiver with only one 5.1 input but use the switch box when going back and forth between SACD and DVD-A.

    Good luck.

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