Which 6/7.1 receiver has the best pre/pro section? Thanks.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joe, Oct 19, 2002.

  1. Joe

    Joe Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been wanting to purchase Rotel's 1066 pre/pro but the popping and bass issues have scared me away from it. (Outlaw's pre/pro is questionable as well.) Anyhow, now I'm considering using a receiver as a pre/pro connected to external amps to drive my Paradigm studios speakers (60's in front with mini monitors in back).

    A few questions:
    1)Is anyone happy using a receiver as a pre/pro? Any notable pros or cons with this setup?

    2)Which receiver's pre/pro section sounds best for 2 channel music? Does anything exist that matches the sound of a Rotel 970 preamp? I could be satisfied with that sound.

    3)Which receiver's pre/pro section sounds best for home theater? (I am looking for one that supports all the latest sound formats but I don't need any sound modes such as "concert" or "hall" etc.)

    I'd like to keep the receiver's cost around $1,500 or less. Anyone have any input on this?

    Thanks.

    - Joe
     
  2. Robert McClanahan

    Robert McClanahan Stunt Coordinator

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    I have heard that B&K receivers are very good but they are way out of your price range.I have owned the Yamaha RX-V3000 and was very happy with its two channel sound.I have heard that Harmon Kardon really does well also.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Marantz SR8200. Exceptional 2ch.

    Pre/pro with WHAT AMPS?!
     
  4. Joe

    Joe Stunt Coordinator

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    John - The amps are Rotel. How is the Marantz SR8200 for HT?
     
  5. Matt Jesty

    Matt Jesty Second Unit

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    Unfortunately the pre-out stages of most rcvrs are an aftertought, "yea, we got that" feature whose quality of components and build do not, ussually ,compare in quality to the pre-out sections of most "stand-alone" pre-pros...I don't want to start a flamethrower on the "cost-effective" merits of seperate ampS , just stating that if you can get a real pre-pro, do so.......
     
  6. Michael_Hml

    Michael_Hml Stunt Coordinator

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    If you've already got the amps taken care of, what about something like a used B&K Reference 30 pre/pro? It may not have the absolute latest processing features, but there's bound to be a good deal of them on the used market as the Ref50 starts shipping. Plus, considering B&K's reputation for providing upgrades, if you decide down the line that you do want the latest processing modes, you can always upgrade it to a Ref 50.

    -Mike
     
  7. Joe

    Joe Stunt Coordinator

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    Bump
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The 8200 is fine with HT, but Marantz' forte is with music.

    I have not followed any info on the 1066 and any issues it may have, but I expect musical performance would actually be better than the Marantz. I have also heard many people complain about Marantz issues, but I am very pleased with mine, so I am inclined to try something out and find out for myself first hand, rather than taking for granted someone else's opinion.

    Other choices might be Harman Kardon, NAD and B&K as mentioned.
     
  9. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

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    Hello Joe. Go read my fresh review of the RSP-1066. I don't have any "popping"... Or I don't know what to listen for??

    The BM problem is not obvious for me, because I don't see any difference in bass form my previous set-up with a Yamaha RX-V3200.

    I hope my humble "review" will help you decide what is best for you. I think the RSP-1066 is an incredible value on the market right now, and you should try to do an in-house listening if you can. Have fun!!
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I'd say give the 1066 a shot before dismissing it, and as you can see there are people who don't have "issues". You are far more likely to hear from those who are not satisfied vs those who are, IMO.
     
  11. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    Why not keep your 970 pre for stereo and get a $1000 receiver as the HT prepro? Or even use the receiver's internal amps for the rears?
     
  12. alan_dana

    alan_dana Agent

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    In general, I agree with the thoughts expressed above. However, there are some receivers coming out where the pre/pro sections are starting to look fairly advanced.

    Consider the new Denon AVR-3803. Denon's receivers have gotten very good measurements from Sound & Vision's bench tests in the areas of noise and distortion (out of the preamp section). The 3803 uses very nice processors throughout, such as the Analog Devices 32-bit Hammerhead SHARC and dual Burr-Brown DACs on each analog input (for a total of 16). And they have a high quality audio mode, I believe named AL24, where they use 4 of the Burr-Brown DACs per channel, and use a simplified path to achieve better quality 2-channel performance. These processors are more advanced (and more expensive) than what Outlaw uses in their 950 pre/pro.

    The pricing isn't out of line either. Denon employs high-volume manufacturing techniques that enables them to offer more aggressive pricing. If one took the pre/pro section out of the 3803 and sold it in a separate cabinet at much lower volumes, I wouldn't be surprised to see it selling for over $1000.

    So if a receiver like the 3803 uses high quality components and yields excellent measurements, why think it an inferior pre/pro?

    Likewise, last year's Sony STR-DA5ES's pre/pro section was very similar to the Sony 9000ES pre/pro.

    I agree that separate pre/pros typically have higher quality construction quality, better power supplies, better shielding, and more advanced circuitry. But all of these advantages are not always realized, and some manufacturers pay more attention to their pre/pro sections than do others.

    Alan
     
  13. Matt Jesty

    Matt Jesty Second Unit

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    So if a receiver like the 3803 uses high quality components and yields excellent measurements, why think it an inferior pre/pro?

    Likewise, last year's Sony STR-DA5ES's pre/pro section was very similar to the Sony 9000ES pre/pro.

    I agree that separate pre/pros typically have higher quality construction quality, better power supplies, better shielding, and more advanced circuitry. But all of these advantages are not always realized, and some manufacturers pay more attention to their pre/pro sections than do others
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++
    My personal experiance ,and what has been related to me by engineers from both rcvr mnfgrs and pre-pro mnfgrs ,is that almost none of the rcvrs available have any kind of decent analog output stages (yes ,I know the processors are often very good) because this pre-out section is marketed for feature value and is used by so few of the consumers. Manufacturers of pre-amps will tell you how much design effort and build/parts quality is put into this section, right down to "voicing" it. I don't know enough about how the pre-out section is built and most of the time reviews don't bring up the quality (or lack thereof) in this area..
    Perhaps one of the people who work for a pre-amp mnfgr could come out and enlighten us on the differances between the parts and design of most rcvrs sections vs. the parts and design of pre-amp output sections
     
  14. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    The biggest bane to receivers being used as pre-amps is the tuner section. The very nature of tuners is to draw from OTA noise and turn it into something legible. For this reason, I refuse to connect my AM anntanea. These and any other devices designed to enhance AM/FM reception can only enhance the degradation of your pre-amp. The ultimate though impractical and maybe impossible, would be to remove the tuner altogether. This would in effect turn your receiver into an integrated amp. This suggestion should benifit a few/some/many/most/all. Try it. Nothing to lose except AM which I doubt many are using anyway.
     
  15. alan_dana

    alan_dana Agent

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    Matt,

    I agree that the analog stages of many receivers are mediocre. However the Denon AVR-3803 example I gave, seems to be an attempt to address that. They have implemented what appears to be a significantly upgraded analog stage, both inputs and outputs. I don't know if some of the other receivers in this price range have done the same. My other example, last year's Sony DA5ES, also appears to have better componentry in that stage.

    The 3803 has a "Pure Direct" mode, where the video processing and digital processing circuitry are turned off when using an analog input. Tone controls are bypassed too.

    Alan
     

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