Why Use a Pre/Pro Setup?

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

  1. JamesMart

    JamesMart Agent

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    I have a question? I hear a lot of people using, say a Denon 3802, with some sort of external amp. They are hooking the 3802 pre outs up to say a 5 chanel amp. Why would someone want to do this? Am I missing something here? I mean, the Denon 3802 puts out 110 Watts per Chan, so why would someone want to spend the money on an external amp?

    Thanks,

    Jim
     
  2. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    A lot of owners here on the forum have noticed that sound improves measurably when adding the external amp in this situation Jim. The external Amp only has to worry about driving the speakers. The amp in the receiver has to compete with the processors for power supply, space, etc. This strains the receiver when driven at high volumes or in passages with peaks in the music. An external amp will tend to use improved power supplies, transformers and doesn't have to compete for resources. Hence, the music sounds better at any volume level. If you add an external 2 channel amp to the Denon, that frees up the surround channels to not have to work so hard if you decide to drive your surrounds with the Denon and keep the main L/R to the external amp. A lot of responses like "adding the external amp was like removing a blanket in front of my speakers" are easy to find if you do a search.

    It's kinda like the question "why go to separates"? Because each piece is designed to do only one function, it usually ends up doing it better than an all in one design.
     
  3. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    James,

    Evan has, in my estimation, hit the nail right on the head with this one. The difference between a one box solution (a receiver) and separate components is not insignificant in my opinion. But don't get me wrong. There are a lot of receivers out there that do an admirable job (especially the top of each model line) and a significant segment of the Home Theater community who prefer the convenience of a single piece of equipment over the multiple pieces (and connections and space required) of separates. It becomes a matter of what's most important to you.

    And I'm speaking as a person who has gone through the paces in this area. When I purchased my Denon 5700 over two years ago I would have said that you were crazy if you suggested that a couple of years later I'd be staring separates in the face. My receiver (one of the top rated ones at the time) did what I expected of it and I was happy. But, as is the nature of this game, once I began to toy with the idea of separates they drew me in. First it was three Marantz MA700 monoblock amps for the front soundstage (L/C/R) which improved an already very nice audio portion of my HT. Then it was a pre/pro to replace that function in my 5700. The final (for now) step will be the total removal of the 5700 from my rack since it is now only being used to power the 4 surround channels. Probably a 5 channel amp will take over this role, or maybe some more monoblocks.

    One thing that separates allows you to do is to upgrade parts of your system (like a pre/pro when new modes come out) without discarding perfectly good other equipment. The alternative is to keep upgrading your receiver and while you usually can recover at least part of your investment you also end up purchasing things again that you really didn't need to upgrade.

    That's the situation in a nutshell. A matter of personal opinion, convenience and what you are trying to achieve.

    Good luck.
     
  4. JamesMart

    JamesMart Agent

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    WOW!!! Thanks guys for all the Info! After I get my house (because my neighbors are about to run me out of the apt. with my new SVS 20-39PC about to take the place down) I will have to invest in some seperates and see how they sound. [​IMG]
    Thanks,
    Jim
     
  5. Leo

    Leo Second Unit

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    I'm chime in as someone that just did this change very recently. I have a Yamaha RX-V995 and decided I wanted to improve the sound and fill the room (I just finish building a home theater in my basement). I started collecting Marantz MA500 monoblock amps (total of 3) to power the L/C/R in my room. Things opened up nicely. Now all my receiver does is power the surrounds. I will eventually get the final 2 to handle the rears later this month. The nice thing about separates (and especially the monoblocks) is the flexibility to add more channels of amplification when needed to match new formats (6.1, 7.1, etc). So was it worth it? Yes indeed, but be aware you will need real estate on your rack to house the separates.
     
  6. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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  7. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    The real reason to go to separates:

    They look cool. People go "Wow, that's cool!" when they see them.
     

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