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Modern Pre-Amp or get an older used one
#411128 03/26/15 02:10 PM
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Call it upgrade-itus. I have a Pioneer receiver that I am basically using as a pre-amp. It works and sounds OK. I will say that I sort of prefer the sound of my older Nakamichi AV1 but it won't work with my LFR1100 speakers as it has no pre-out.

I have just purchased a set of M3 wall mount speakers for my rear surroud, and have QS8's for the surround, LFR1100 + VP180. I still have left over energy take5 micro bookshelf speakers left over that could be front and rear hight speakers for 11.1 but would need a few more amps to get them working.

I am not obsessed with going Atmos or DTS-X. I just want to get the best sound possible out of what I have. I have seen an older Arcam AVR pre-amp that does 7.1 sort of. (Dolby and DTS ES) so it can artifically make the rear and side surrounds work together, but doesn't support true 7.1 DTS-MA or Dolby TrueHD. But the price is affordable. Will be giving up some of the fun parts like Apple Airplay or DLNA. Will only get 2 hdmi ports and have fun getting the audio back from the TV as there is no ARC. Also no Audyssey or any room sound correction.

To get those niceties it will cost me a good $1100-1800 to get a new (refurb) Marrantz AV7701 or AV8801 pre-amp.

I could spend the money to get it, but the kicker is that I don't know if I will be getting that hopeful bump in sound quality to justify the expense. Having sunk close to $7k already in audio equipment for speakers and amps.. I feel I have had some improvement from my old Energy C3 speakers with the Take5 as surrounds.. but I feel like it's an urge to get even better. Or is it just that I think that the equipment that I have could do so much more, and wonder if the receiver is my perpetual weakest link.

HELP!


Anthem: AVM60
Axiom: ADA1000, LFR1100, VP180, QS8, EP500, M3, M3comp
AudioSource: Amp One/A
Re: Modern Pre-Amp or get an older used one
MatManhasgone #411132 03/26/15 06:19 PM
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Yeah, it sucks when you think there is a bottleneck somewhere and you know the only way to find out for sure is to spend some money.... Honestly, having been in your shoes (and watching your evolution of gear over the last year or so) I would suggest buying something you know will do the job for the long haul. I can't recommend any particular product as far as a preamp goes, but I can say that there are some ridiculous deals right now on Canuck for high end non-immersive AVRs that should fit the bill for just High res audio use. An Arcam AVR360/400/750 would be my personal choice in your situation. I own a 360. Freaking great sound and has preouts. I love the unique features such as different sub preset levels for stereo vs multichannel. I hope they come out with a new immersive AVR within the next couple of years.

I will never buy a big box mass market AVR again. Shameless fanboy.

Re: Modern Pre-Amp or get an older used one
MatManhasgone #411137 03/26/15 09:19 PM
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I did go back online with Canuck and the only pre-amp is the Arcam AVP700. That was the unit that I was originally talking about in my post. There are some very strong points that go along with the unit, and I know that Arcam is clearly not the big-box drivel that fills the vast multitude out there. But as you put it, I will most likely be disapointed for not getting something for more of the long haul, and having no network, blu-ray decoders and limiting myself to 5.1 when I just bought speakers to get 7.1, I think I will be disappointed.

Oh how I would live the AV950, but it's 10k price tag is a bit more than I can handle.

So to bring the price range a bit more closer to reality, I can start to compare against a used Marantz AV7005 that is sort of like the AV7701 but without the 4K video that I will likely never use.

How would one go about quantifying if getting a pre-amp is giving you better sound without trying some blind sound test that would be impossible to to an A/B test as you'd need to unhook, rehook too much between each listen.


Anthem: AVM60
Axiom: ADA1000, LFR1100, VP180, QS8, EP500, M3, M3comp
AudioSource: Amp One/A
Re: Modern Pre-Amp or get an older used one
MatManhasgone #411138 03/26/15 09:38 PM
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If you guys can hear major differences in modern pre-amps, then you have way better hearing than I do, ha!

Thankfully I'm more than happy with my Denon AVR that I got on clearance a couple of years ago for half price. It does the job for both HT & music exceedingly well & has never run out of steam up to Reference Levels, although I normally run it at -15 to -10 Db...

TAM

Re: Modern Pre-Amp or get an older used one
MatManhasgone #411139 03/26/15 09:50 PM
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Yuck. Denon. Lol. Just kidding.

Matt, do you have 2 preamps you can compare now in your possession? The pioneer and something else? That way you canmuck around and do a dry run first. You would almost need to make measurements between setups to be sure you werent imagining changes.... Or go to a store and listen to a few side by side for fun.

The reason I would say there is differences is not so much the preamp itself, but all of the processing choices and filters within the unit that make it different than something else. Example, high res decoding in my oppo vs my AVR sounds different. Not a subtle difference either.

But seriously, yuck Denon. laugh

Re: Modern Pre-Amp or get an older used one
AAAA #411147 03/27/15 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: Serenity_Now

Matt, do you have 2 preamps you can compare now in your possession? The pioneer and something else? That way you canmuck ...


Hmmm? I've never seen that word. It could have so many meanings.

It could refer to Canadian exports that are crappy. (You guys are really pretty good, so there can't be too many. Besides, how can you f-up a fir board or a toothpick?)

It could be a "hoser futzing about" with something.

They already have "Smutty Nose" beer (named after a species of seal), so it could be the name of a craft brew, "Canmuck Beer." It'll need some really witty promo, though.

Or, it could describe, almost nationwide, the ground conditions during the months of April and May.

Maybe it's like "Shoe Goo" to mend one's tennies?

Or... it was misspelled by Trevor and it's "Camnuck," Then we'll just have to ask Power to the People for the answer.


Always call the place you live a house. When you're old, everyone else will call it a home.
Re: Modern Pre-Amp or get an older used one
BobKay #411173 03/28/15 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: BobKay
...
Besides, how can you f-up a fir board or a toothpick?)
...

That's sooo '70s. We've really moved up in the world since then. We're now world renowned for our toxic goo exports from the tar sands. Can't f that up either.


Fred

-------
Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!
Re: Modern Pre-Amp or get an older used one
MatManhasgone #411176 03/29/15 02:24 AM
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In fairness, AFAIK we keep the toxic goo and export the good stuff...

Last edited by bridgman; 03/29/15 02:33 AM.

M60ti, VP180, QS8, M2ti, EP500, PC-Plus 20-39
M5HP, M40ti, Sierra-1
LFR1100 active, ADA1500-4 and -8
Re: Modern Pre-Amp or get an older used one
MatManhasgone #411196 03/31/15 01:35 AM
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I ended up taking the long drive out to Brooklin and picked up the Marantz AV7005. Now I just have to get the room in which it will reside finished so I can start to enjoy it.


Anthem: AVM60
Axiom: ADA1000, LFR1100, VP180, QS8, EP500, M3, M3comp
AudioSource: Amp One/A
Re: Modern Pre-Amp or get an older used one
MatManhasgone #411199 03/31/15 02:11 AM
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Heck, I drive through Brooklin every day.

Next time you need something picked up from way out east just let me know smile

Last edited by bridgman; 03/31/15 02:15 AM.

M60ti, VP180, QS8, M2ti, EP500, PC-Plus 20-39
M5HP, M40ti, Sierra-1
LFR1100 active, ADA1500-4 and -8

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