what is the real difference between preamps and receivers?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Keir H, Dec 26, 2001.

  1. Keir H

    Keir H Second Unit

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    Is it the reduce noise floor that gives stand alone HT preamps that sweet effortless sound or are the internal components that different in comparision? Can preamp sections in todays higher end receivers compete or better preamps costing slightly less (due to no internal amps)?

    Ex. Denon 5800 vs. Parasound 2500u.. This is a question catered toward the HT side of things. Why? I'm afraid to spend money on a new receiver just to have 5.1 inputs. I have a separate amp.
     
  2. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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  3. HankM

    HankM Second Unit

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    A preamp will have a cleaner signal path. As Thomas states there is no tuner and most importantly no power amplification. In a seperates based system each component concentrates on it specific job, signal path, amplification and sometimes a tuner for radio.
     
  4. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Then, I wonder why more separates aren't readily available to the consumer. You go into any of the chains and it's receiver, after receiver, after receiver. I wish I could go into a place like Circuit City or Good Guys and have a choice of 15-20 pre/power amp combos or integrated amps. I really have never listened to much radio through my receivers anyways. That's why I'm happy for the internet and places like Outlaw. Next time I buy, I'm pretty sure it will be separates.
     
  5. Tony Lai

    Tony Lai Stunt Coordinator

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    >As Thomas states there is no tuner and most importantly no power amplification. In a seperates based system each component concentrates on it specific job, signal path, amplification and sometimes a tuner for radio.

    Please speculate vis a vis our favourite piece of vapourware sub-$1,000 preamp?

    :)

    >Then, I wonder why more separates aren't readily available to the consumer. You go into any of the chains and it's receiver, after receiver, after receiver. I wish I could go into a place like Circuit City or Good Guys and have a choice of 15-20 pre/power amp combos or integrated amps.

    Convenience. Expectations. Budget. Wife-acceptance-factor. People expect one box to do it all. People find the receiver, dvd, vcr, five speakers and sub complex enough.

    I've had a pre/pro/power setup for ages and I know people who have multiple boxes (ie. pre/pro + stereo power + three channel. The response I've had to lay people looking at my setup is a bit strange to say the least.

    "Why can't you get one one box that does everything?"

    "Why did you pay three times more for a box that doesn't have amps on board?"

    "Isn't it a pain powering everything on every day?"

    "Isn't 50-60kg for a preamp/poweramp setup ludicrous?"

    "Doesn't it cost a fortune to run?"

    "Sure it sounds nice but it's a bit too expensive for me"

    :)

    T.
     
  6. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Tony:
    I have 9 boxes (if I count the turntable as a box), and thtat's just for good old-fashined 2-channel stereo! You can imagine the amount of explaining I have to do[​IMG]
    Regards from North America....
    Larry
     
  7. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    I think that the real difference between preamps and receivers is that todays receivers will give you the latest features plus amplification for the same or less than just the preamp by itself. When you can get 95% of the performance for 45% of the price it is not hard to see why receivers outsell separates by 20 to 1.

    The only area that preamps might exell in is stereo, but then again, many listeners find the Direct mode on a Denon 5800 to be quite fine.

    In fact, there are probably as many people using their receivers as preamps as their are people spending $1,500 or more on a separate preamp.
     
  8. Vinny Petronio

    Vinny Petronio Stunt Coordinator

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    I have owned several receivers over the past 15 years and then went to seperates, and over the last three years spent $200.00 dollars on an upgrade to the preamp only so I could enjoy my new panasonic rp91 on dvd-a disks. The build quality is far superior over your standard receiver not alot of bells and whistles just what I need for music and home theater upgrades are avalible if I choose to install them , so I am not running out and buying another receiver every couple of years anymore,and in the long run saving money to boot. How many people actually use all those sound field modes anyway? I know I never did tried them once or twice diden't do nothing for me. My main listening pleasure is music and if you build a great system for music it will also proform well as a home theater.I don't know if everyone will agree with me this is just how I feel about it[​IMG]
     
  9. Keir H

    Keir H Second Unit

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    I see....so it's that last 5% or so in performance that make stand alone units so much more expensive?? Funny how that last 5% sounds soooo much better...I mean is a $5000 preamp or amp really that expensive to make?? WHy can't Denon, Sony, Yamaha and others use those models (Krell, Lexicon, Theta) and sell thousands for far less money?? I wonder...[​IMG]
     
  10. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    Aside from the things that have already been mentioned, many pre/pros, especially the more expensive ones, customize the code for the processing that takes place.

    It can be an improvement that manifests itself in many of the different areas we often take for granted(example: the crossover)and can offer realizable performance gains when compared to the generic code created for mass-market products like low to mid-level receivers.

    Granted, the processing power of the flagship receivers start to blur the line a little, but there is still the problem of interference from the amps and other design compromises when everything has to be crammed into one box.

    DJ
     
  11. Vinny Petronio

    Vinny Petronio Stunt Coordinator

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    Like I said it's just my opinion did yousay 5% MORE LIKE 55%
    DIFFERENCE IN PROFORMANCE[​IMG]
     
  12. Vinny Petronio

    Vinny Petronio Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you David I totally agree with you:b
     
  13. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Take it for what it's worth..

    Todays Flagship Receivers can stand thier ground with most

    modest seperates. When I say Flagships I am of course talking

    about the best that Onkyo/Integra and Denon and Kenwood and

    many others have to offer. Most of these receivers run in

    the 4 thousand dollar range and for that price they do a

    very good job of combining a source (Tuner) and integral

    amplification and signal processing into one unit.

    But as whith any logical comparison a four thousand dollar

    signal processor connected to a six thousand dollar amplifier

    connected to a one thousand dollar tuner should (And better

    damn well) sound LOADS better. If a lexicon didn't sound

    better then they would sell (well ok.. some people do buy

    products based solely on brand name even if the product is

    junk) but that is not the case with Lexicon,Krell,ParaSound

    and many others.

    The main benefit of seperate amplification is the ability

    to fit larger torodial transformers into the case along with

    much larger capacitors for even more power storage. Better

    caps with metter metalic foils, better MOSFET's more heat

    sink area etc.. The same could be said for the Signal Processors,

    EG: Better processing options..

    This hardly makes a receiver bad.. You can pick up a top end

    receiver with great processing and just use it as a Pre Amp

    and have wonderful (possibly even as good) end results as

    that 12K Dedicated Processor.

    There is no doubting the fact that Receivers today bear little

    to no similarity to the mainstream cheap products offered

    even 10 years ago.. They have come a long way.

    And lastly the Budget comes into play also!

    And that is all IMHO..
     
  14. Vinny Petronio

    Vinny Petronio Stunt Coordinator

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    You no your apsolutly right todays flag ship receivers which can run you more then seperates can do the job as well as seperates.[​IMG]
     
  15. Keir H

    Keir H Second Unit

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    I understand more clearly now. thanks guys. Too bad the best of things cost so much. [​IMG]
     

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