Stereo Pre-amp with HT Bypass? Do they exist? - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 186 Old 03-03-2010, 10:39 AM
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I was taken to this forum looking for inexpensive preamps with HT bypass. I love my stereo preamp but don't want to have 2 separate systems just to play DVD-A, SACD or surround concerts. The industry sure has made the simple task of 5.1 analog bypass hard on anyone looking for this basic implementation in something below $500. Anyway, the discussion of the USP-1 caught my eye and I found this review below:

add www to the front of the link below

hometheaterhifi.com/preamplifiers/689-emotiva-usp-1-stereo-preamplifier.html

Regarding the phono section, the reviewer said "I basically liked what I heard here, but I prefer my outboard Manley Steelhead because I can fine tune the loading impedance which does change the sound a bit." He's using a Manley Steelhead and VPI HR-X turntable with a Blackbird cartridge and says he basically likes what he heard here but prefers... He didn't say his Manley blows it away or is in a different league! That to me says he's being objective and hopefully honest in his findings. When you pair a phono section of a $399 preamp to a Manley and the most you say is it sounds good but I prefer... then that $399 phono section must be of great quality. Also, he says he only prefers it because of the cartridge loading options the Manley gives him to tailer the sound, so it's even more about control than the general sound of the two. A reviewer in his position isn't likely going to be cavalier about a product that is of poor sound quality. Still, I can't dismiss Bill Mac's experience with the zippy high frequencies and spitty "sssss" sound. Something has to be amiss somewhere. The only way to know is to hear one for oneself, but this review offers only optimism rather than anything derogatory so I thought it might be something helpful to others looking for other points of view.
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post #182 of 186 Old 03-04-2010, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unidyn View Post

I was taken to this forum looking for inexpensive preamps with HT bypass. I love my stereo preamp but don't want to have 2 separate systems just to play DVD-A, SACD or surround concerts. The industry sure has made the simple task of 5.1 analog bypass hard on anyone looking for this basic implementation in something below $500. Anyway, the discussion of the USP-1 caught my eye and I found this review below:

add www to the front of the link below

hometheaterhifi.com/preamplifiers/689-emotiva-usp-1-stereo-preamplifier.html

Regarding the phono section, the reviewer said "I basically liked what I heard here, but I prefer my outboard Manley Steelhead because I can fine tune the loading impedance which does change the sound a bit." He's using a Manley Steelhead and VPI HR-X turntable with a Blackbird cartridge and says he basically likes what he heard here but prefers... He didn't say his Manley blows it away or is in a different league! That to me says he's being objective and hopefully honest in his findings. When you pair a phono section of a $399 preamp to a Manley and the most you say is it sounds good but I prefer... then that $399 phono section must be of great quality. Also, he says he only prefers it because of the cartridge loading options the Manley gives him to tailer the sound, so it's even more about control than the general sound of the two. A reviewer in his position isn't likely going to be cavalier about a product that is of poor sound quality. Still, I can't dismiss Bill Mac's experience with the zippy high frequencies and spitty "sssss" sound. Something has to be amiss somewhere. The only way to know is to hear one for oneself, but this review offers only optimism rather than anything derogatory so I thought it might be something helpful to others looking for other points of view.

I agree that having a preamp with HT Bypass gives one the best of both worlds. My thoughts on the brightness of the USP-1 might be more of added detail than was my preference. I really did not get a chance to do a direct A-B comparison of both the USP-1 and the 2100. If you are interested in the USP-1 I would definitely recommend ordering one as Emotiva has a 30 return policy if you are not satisfied.

I enjoy the 2100 very much and the deciding factor for me over the USP-1 was more about features than SQ. Although going off memory (bad one at that) I prefer the SQ of the 2100. I think either the USP-1 or the 2100 are excellent choices in affordable preamps with HT Bypass without a doubt.

Bill


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, watch it grow and my wallet shrink ;-).

 

Denon 4311 (in preamp mode), Parasound 2100, Boston Acoustics A7200 amp, Oppo BDP-103, Consonance CD120, Panasonic TC-P60GT50 plasma, Panamax 5100EX, Salk Song Towers, Song Center, ADS 300C (surrounds) and two Rythmik F12SEs.
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post #183 of 186 Old 06-13-2010, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

I agree that having a preamp with HT Bypass gives one the best of both worlds. My thoughts on the brightness of the USP-1 might be more of added detail than was my preference. I really did not get a chance to do a direct A-B comparison of both the USP-1 and the 2100. If you are interested in the USP-1 I would definitely recommend ordering one as Emotiva has a 30 return policy if you are not satisfied.

You know Bill there is something definitely bright about the USP-1, ever since I first turn on mine I noticed it. But I wanted to give it's proper break in, if you believe in that sort of thing..Now that I've added Mono's it sounds much more relaxed, and not as edgy as before..

Quote:
I enjoy the 2100 very much and the deciding factor for me over the USP-1 was more about features than SQ. Although going off memory (bad one at that) I prefer the SQ of the 2100. I think either the USP-1 or the 2100 are excellent choices in affordable preamps with HT Bypass without a doubt.

Bill

I would like to give the Parasound a try as we have similar ears devices, and the features are very close to the USP-1..I think the Emo might have some set back in sub section as well, something along the lines of it might not do full range frequency? I don't recall exact terms though.


Dan


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post #184 of 186 Old 06-14-2010, 07:45 AM
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[quote=Djoel;18770158]
Quote:


You know Bill there is something definitely bright about the USP-1, ever since I first turn on mine I noticed it. But I wanted to give it's proper break in, if you believe in that sort of thing..Now that I've added Mono's it sounds much more relaxed, and not as edgy as before..

Hey Dan,

I'm glad to hear that the XPA-1s are working out well and that the SQ is not as edgy as before.

Quote:


I would like to give the Parasound a try as we have similar ears devices, and the features are very close to the USP-1..I think the Emo might have some set back in sub section as well, something along the lines of it might not do full range frequency? I don't recall exact terms though.

The USP-1 has more flexability with the sub as it has an adjustable High Pass X-over where the 2100's is fixed at 80Hz. Not a big issue for me but it would be nice to have. If you use the USP-1 in a HT system and utilize the HT Bypass option you can not use the full range outputs. The 2100 has the option to use either the full range or the High Pass outputs. Unfortunately some USP-1 owners are finding this out after they bought the USP-1.

Bill


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, watch it grow and my wallet shrink ;-).

 

Denon 4311 (in preamp mode), Parasound 2100, Boston Acoustics A7200 amp, Oppo BDP-103, Consonance CD120, Panasonic TC-P60GT50 plasma, Panamax 5100EX, Salk Song Towers, Song Center, ADS 300C (surrounds) and two Rythmik F12SEs.
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post #185 of 186 Old 06-16-2010, 10:10 AM
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[quote=Bill Mac;18773640]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Djoel View Post


Hey Dan,

I'm glad to hear that the XPA-1s are working out well and that the SQ is not as edgy as before.

Thanks Bud



Quote:
The USP-1 has more flexability with the sub as it has an adjustable High Pass X-over where the 2100's is fixed at 80Hz. Not a big issue for me but it would be nice to have. If you use the USP-1 in a HT system and utilize the HT Bypass option you can not use the full range outputs. The 2100 has the option to use either the full range or the High Pass outputs. Unfortunately some USP-1 owners are finding this out after they bought the USP-1.

Bill

Funny, I haven't connected my JL sub to the usp-1 yet, I'm afraid I'll put in numerous hours in, & finding that perfect harmonious blend between the mains, and the sub,, and then scrap that and switch to what ever AVR that's in my future, and run it with the on board room correction..Besides I like my 2ch without the aid of a sub for now.


Later

Dan


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post #186 of 186 Old 08-25-2013, 09:05 AM
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Late post, but I have to say that the interposition of a Classé CP700 into my biamped
7.1 separates system, apart completely taking away the analog XLR fully balanced stereo
from the PR-SC5509 A/V processor, also introduced amazing refinement in the front stage
of even 7.1 DTS-HD movies, as it also works as a line-level preamp for the stereo out
from the processor.

I am awed and amazed, and YES, $3.5k second hand was a great deal on this fully diff. balanced
(even outboard PSU is dual) machine.

Where is really shines is with stereo SACDs, the stereo stage in the A1UDCI is also balanced.

I think that the Oppo 105 we will see a boost in stereo preamp sales, as audiophilia goes hand
in hand with experimentation:)

My system:
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