Which Pre/Pro to buy?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Ted Pugh, Apr 18, 2003.

  1. Ted Pugh

    Ted Pugh Stunt Coordinator

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    I am in the market for a pre/pro to replace my Denon 4802 which I have been using for a pre/pro. I am currently using this set up with a B&K 200.5 amp which I am happy with. The pre/pros I am considering are all over the board. The B&K Ref. 50 is one but I am a little nervouse with the S/N buzz I have been reading about. The Anthem AVM20 is another as well as the Krell 7.1 which retails for 4000 grand. I might be interested in the Classe SSP 60 which retails for 5000 grand but have not heard this unit yet. It is stretching to spend 5 but if any one knows anything about this unit and can give me some input I would appreciate it. What are the differences between the units as in reliability, warranty issues, customer support, ease of use etc. This will be in a dedicated theater room and I do not care for multi room operation. I know they will have it but I do not plan on using it.

    Thanks for any input.

    Ted
     
  2. Mark Davenport

    Mark Davenport Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd take a look at the Lexicon MC-8
     
  3. Mike Peveler

    Mike Peveler Stunt Coordinator

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    Unless you listen with your ears against the speaker at deafening levels you will never hear any noise w/ the B&K. I did an ab comparison in my house between the B&K and the Krell, for theater and multichannel music I found no difference, for 2 channel stereo I would give the edge to the Krell.
     
  4. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    What about sherbourn combo PT-7000 Pre Processor and 7/2100 7-Channel Amplifier or 5/5210 5-Channel Amplifier.
     
  5. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    A couple of prepros in this price range

    Aragon Stage One
    Integra Research RDC-7(maybe even the new DTC-9.4)
    Krell Showcase
    Sunfire Theater Grand III
    Tag McLaren AV32R-bp192
     
  6. Kevin_R_H

    Kevin_R_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Ted,

    If this system will have any 2-channel aspirations at all (even just 10% of your time), then my advice will be contrary to most anyone else on this site.

    First of all, I will assume you aren't fabulously wealthy with unlimited funds. If you truly have hundreds of thousands of dollars to throw at your system, then you can certainly ignore my advice.

    Otherwise, my advice is to spend as little as you can tolerate on a pre/pro. It's application (along with any multi-channel power amp you mate it with) will not require mega-buck resolution. It will just be used for dialog (Center Speaker), LFE (subwoofer), and effects/noises (rear and side speakers). None of these signals will need the "hi-end" capability required of critical 2-channel music reproduction. (Actually, there's no reason to overspend on those speakers either).

    Instead, dedicate the lion's share of your budget on a stereo preamp, stereo power amp (or monoblocks), and main speakers. They will incur double duty as the foundation of your Home Theater for multi-channel as well as the sole participants in music playback. for my home system, my HT Integrated/processor costs about 1.5 % of my total budget.

    If you feel I'm completely loony, I'm sure you're not alone. Otherwise, you can find some of my older posts that describe this philosophy of mine in more detail. Actually, I'm not alone - there's more than a few "silent minority" guys who have been converted.

    Kevin
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    At the price levels you're talking about, you owe it to yourself to take a serious look at the Lexicon MC-8. You will not find a more flexible or configurable pre/pro on the market (unless you go for the Lex MC-12 [​IMG] ), and it does everything you could ever want for both HT and music.

    M.
     
  8. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    The Krell Showcase is a very nice peice and sounds great as so does the Sunfire GT3. I was at the CES show in Vegas and listened to the Sunfire pre/pro and it was very nice. Let say that I had a chance to hear alot of brands that many people have never hear of and stuff that is not easy to find. If you are considering the upper end of the spectrum in HT/Audio. You may want to look at the McIntosh MX-134? If I had the money I would by this one and maybe add a lexicon processor to it? But buy itself it is a awsum pre/pro. I have a Yamaha RV-X995 reciever and I am iching to upgrade it sometime soon. I am looking at Rotel, Sunfire, Adcom, B&K and maybe even the Denon AVR-5803 as a pre/pro? The flexability of this reciever is awsum and I would not have to buy amps right off the bat. But of course it has to be HD compatible, and be 6.1 or 7.1. Adcom made an impressive showing at this years CES show and besides a impressive product line including a up and coming dvd/dvd-a player to be anounced soon. They are shipping there gear in wood crates. I will be buying the Adcom dvd player as soon as it is available, retail $1000. I would just take your favorite material audio and video and buy what you like and what will work best for you [​IMG] .

    Sunfire
    McIntosh
    Krell
    Pioneer Elite Reciever
    Denon 5803 Reciever
    B&K
    Rotel
     
  9. Ted Pugh

    Ted Pugh Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks everyone for the input. I have a couple of things to clarify. I am into home theater 99% of the time. I rarely listen to music and when I do it is country so the main thing in a pre/pro I am looking for is reliability, upgradeability(if that is a word), sound quality, picture quality and ease of use. Like I said I will not be using this piece for multi room. I really like the B&K amp and the quality of there equipment seems high but I have been reading a lot about the buzz and the reasons etc. I could buy the Reference 50 and then possibly the Sony 999ES DVD. Would I be happy with the Ref. 50? Let me know if any other ideas. I am currently using Def. Tech BP2002TL's for fronts, CLR 2500 for center, BP1 (I believe for rears) with a Def. Tech 15TL+ sub. I have been thinking about upgrading my speakers but I have not heard anything that sounds as good with home theater that does not cost a arm and a leg. Thanks for all your help.

    Ted
     
  10. Ted Pugh

    Ted Pugh Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike,

    Do you own the B&K or something else? How did you like the Krell. Do you think it will hold up? The only thing about the Krell is it is not THX Ultra 2 certified whether that makes a difference or not. Thanks,

    Ted
     
  11. Mark Davenport

    Mark Davenport Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll have to vote for the Lexicon to. I just got a ysed MC-1 and it is really amazing, and it's a 4 year old model and still has more features than most of todays pre/pro's.
    The MC-8 can do just about everything and do it very well.
     
  12. Roger Kaufmann

    Roger Kaufmann Stunt Coordinator

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    Ted,

    I have the Reference 50 and personally think the buzz/whine complaint is unfounded. I auditioned the piece at 3 different dealers not being aware of the whine issue until I read about it on some of the forums. After reading about it I was alarmed (like most prospective buyers) and decided to test mine. I was able to get it to make the noise IF I turned off the sound source and then turned the volume up to +15 db, a deafening level. With a source the noise cannot be heard so it makes the point moot. After using mine since the beginning of February I find it a fine piece and a true upgrade to my system. The only negative thing I have to say about it is the feet it uses look cheap so I spent $10 and upgraded them. BTW, I auditioned the Tag AV32R, Anthem AV20, Proceed AVP, Rotel 1066, Lexicon MC-1 & MC-12 before deciding on the B&K. My system consists of:

    B&K Reference 50
    Earthquake Cinenova 5 channel amp
    B&W Matrix 805 LRC speakers
    NHT dipole surrounds
    Sunfire True Subwoofer MK II
    Panasonic A120U DVD player
    Sony Sat-t60 Tivo / DirecTV tuner
    Earthquake Signature HTPS 7000
    Monster & Blue Jean Cable cables
    Mitsubishi 45" analog RPTV

    Cheers,
     
  13. Ted Pugh

    Ted Pugh Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Roger,

    How did you come to the conclusion on buying the Reference 50 vs. any other pre/pro you were listening to? I have listened to the Ref. 50 at three locations of love the sound. It is hard for me to consider spending 6 grand for the MC 8 eventhough it would last me forever. I seem to keep my equipment for 3-5 years before upgrading but I want this room to be right when I am finished. I think I can purchase the Ref. 50 for around $2550 or so. Is this a good price? Any ideas on pricing for the Lexicon MC8 through a certified dealer? Thanks,

    Ted
     
  14. Mike Peveler

    Mike Peveler Stunt Coordinator

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    Ted, THX Ultra 2 is an interesting feature but should not be a make or break option. The Krell and B&K have similar build quality with the edge going to B&K, interface and ergonomics B&K wins hands down. IMHO asthetically the B&K is a much more attractive peice ( hate the Krell red display). I was trying to give you my experience without disclosing what I own, but since you asked I own a ref 50 I chose it based on my listening habits %95 movies %5 music, I saved 1000+ over the Krell, greater setup flexibility and interface, and perhaps a little because the Krell was not Ultra 2 certified. Hope that helps FYI I was unable to demo the Anthem which is another competitor in your price range.
     
  15. Roger Kaufmann

    Roger Kaufmann Stunt Coordinator

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    Ted,


    After listening to all of the pre-pro's I did I liked the B&K sonically the best. All were excellent in their own regard and all have great followings so my recommendation is to do exactly what you are doing, lots of auditions to determine which you like best. Here is my brief synopsis of each:

    Tag McLaren AV32R: to my ears slightly brighter than I would have liked. Loved the look and upgradeability but did not like the idea of shipping back to England for upgrades or any type of service.

    Anthem AV20: One dealer carried both Anthem & B&K so I was able to audition side by side. To me the Anthem was more difficult to use, sounded brighter and the remote wasn't in the same league as the MX700.

    Proceed AVP: I love this piece and think it sounds wonderful but its $1500 more than the B&K and I couldn't justify the difference in price. The Proceed did sound better than the B&K but to me not $1500 better. Proceed & B&K have similar reputations for upgrades, neither being particularly aggressive about coming out with new things compared to other manufacturers.

    Rotel 1066: Same situation as the Anthem, another dealer carried Rotel & B&K. I went in thinking I was going to buy the Rotel on the spot having never auditioned it and was simply going by the reputation it had on the forums. After listening I was very disappointed in how bright it was and it's sound stage. That was the first time I listened to the Ref 50 (side by side to the Rotel) and there simply wasn't any contest sonically.

    Lexicon MC-1 & MC-12: Both awesome pieces, Logic 7 is second to none compared to DDPL II. But considering the MC-1 is at the end of its product life and isn’t being upgraded any longer that pretty much ruled it out. The MC-12 was nice but I liked the B&K better sonically and like the Proceed for my needs I couldn't justify the difference in money.

    So that's my $.02. Good hunting!
     
  16. Ted Pugh

    Ted Pugh Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Mike,

    I am leaning towards the Ref. 50. I appreciate your advise between that and the Krell. I have read where Krell has had some service issues. Have you had any problems with your Ref. 50? If you don't mind me asking How much did you spend? My wife gave me permission to buy the Lexicon if I want to but that is mucho dinero. I can buy the B&K, and almost all of my front projection TV. Any other advise on the Ref. 50 would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Ted
     
  17. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  18. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Ted,

    You should feel out your local Lexicon dealers...4000-4200 might be doable on the MC8 (without any trade-in). In the 2400-3300 street range, there are several prepros to choose from. You can also save a few bucks if you buy used (see audiogon).
     
  19. Ted Pugh

    Ted Pugh Stunt Coordinator

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    How bout the Parasound C2? Anybody know anything about this unit yet? Price? I have not seen much info.

    Ted
     
  20. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    The krell has a ton of features on it for tweaking as far as room tweaking and whatnot that you should not ignore. IMHO i'd listen to alot but I would consider the Krell and the Lexicon if you can.
     

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