preamp or receiver help with my dilemma - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-25-2012, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey Guys,

Looking to setup a bedroom 2.1 system, I just purchased a pair of Boston Acoustic VS-260 for an awesome deal on vanns based of off so many of the recommendations on this forum about that speaker.

I have a B&K TX4430 power Amplifier (3 channels X 200 WPC) that i absolutely love how it sounds but i am not currently using at the moment.

My goal obviously is to get the best possible sound that i can but i am also on a budget. So my question is do i just purchase a stereo receiver such as the HK 3490 and just not use the B&K amp, or is there a better "sounding" solution that i can get if i purchase a preamp instead and use that with my B&K power amp. One other thing i will mention is that i have absolutely no problem buying used equipment if that helps at all.

the final thing that i will be looking to do is to somehow stream media from my pc to the receiver/preamp i am looking to do this down the road a bit so i was thinking of maybe a wdlive or similiar device what do you guys think?

Thanks
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-25-2012, 10:16 AM
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how about this Parasound pre-amplifier?? ..$399 at audioadvisor. ..As for music streaming, add a $300 (new) Squeezebox touch or Apple Airport Express (assuming you'll use iTunes).

http://www.parasound.com/ParasoundZ/zpre2.php
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-26-2012, 06:53 AM
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Unfortunately, there aren't very many dedicated preamps that are IMO decent-sounding for less than $2000. The only one I would personally recommend would be the Vincent SA-31 ($700). I think the low-priced Parasound equipment does not sound very good.

Another good possiblity would be to buy a Cambridge Audio 650A integrated amplifier, which is available for around $500 now, and use its preamp section to drive your power amplifier. It has a preamp section which I consider better than any separate preamp for under $1000.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say "stream media from my PC". If you just want music stored on your computer, just run the analog (speaker) output of the computer to the preamp. If you mean from the internet, through a wireless router, there are lots of devices that do that with the computer off.

The Cambridge Audio NP30 is one that has great software and makes it very easy to do; some others are pretty user-unfriendly.




Quote:
Originally Posted by viper20 View Post

Hey Guys,

Looking to setup a bedroom 2.1 system, I just purchased a pair of Boston Acoustic VS-260 for an awesome deal on vanns based of off so many of the recommendations on this forum about that speaker.

I have a B&K TX4430 power Amplifier (3 channels X 200 WPC) that i absolutely love how it sounds but i am not currently using at the moment.

My goal obviously is to get the best possible sound that i can but i am also on a budget. So my question is do i just purchase a stereo receiver such as the HK 3490 and just not use the B&K amp, or is there a better "sounding" solution that i can get if i purchase a preamp instead and use that with my B&K power amp. One other thing i will mention is that i have absolutely no problem buying used equipment if that helps at all.

the final thing that i will be looking to do is to somehow stream media from my pc to the receiver/preamp i am looking to do this down the road a bit so i was thinking of maybe a wdlive or similiar device what do you guys think?

Thanks

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post #4 of 8 Old 02-26-2012, 08:05 AM
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comm,

You believe preamps all have their own sound flavor and that you must spend 1k plus to get decent sound, but then recommend without reservation using the analog out from a pc that may be using onboard sound or who knows what as dac and analog section??

Methinks your head is filled with much audiophile voodoo and little practical knowledge of modern devices.

To the op, if you want to use the computer as a source to play stored media, please use a digital connection into the preamp or receiver. Depending on what source you are talking about and what playback options you want, this could be coax, optical, hdmi, or even usb to an inexpensive outboard usb dac (good quality units can be found for $50).

As for preamp suggestions, if you only want two channel and must have an audiophile pedigree name with lots of praise in some audiophile publication, and are willing to sacrifice any modern processing, codecs, digital inputs, etc, look for a used older rotel analog only prepro or similar from other brands.

If you think you'll find features such as modern based management, video switching, codec decoding, etc useful at some point the look for a budget avr which is designed to do these things. If you want to use your current power amp, make sure it has preamp outputs and then do so.

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post #5 of 8 Old 02-27-2012, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey Guys,

Thanks for all the replies. What do you guys think about the xda-1 from emotiva
Thanks
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-27-2012, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viper20 View Post

Hey Guys,

Thanks for all the replies. What do you guys think about the xda-1 from emotiva
Thanks

You mentioned a sub. That is going to be tough to do with a typical DAC as most are strictly two channel affairs. You could use a Y-splitter.

The XDA-1 has good reviews and I don't see why it isn't competent unit but with a sub in the mix I would just pick up the H/K since it has dedicated sub outs, unless you want to get fancy with a pro-audio interface.

An audiophile likes to talk about how much they spent and how good it sounds.

A DIY'er likes to talk about how little they spent and how good it sounds.

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post #7 of 8 Old 02-27-2012, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viper20 View Post

Hey Guys,

Thanks for all the replies. What do you guys think about the xda-1 from emotiva
Thanks

Viper- I am not part of the camp that says all pre-amps or receivers sound the same. With that being said, I personally believe that you will end up with better sound quality going with a used pre-amp along with your B&K amp. As to which pre-amp you should get, I don't know, I am looking for one myself and am still trying to collect reviews and opinions. I do know that the Parasound 2100 is well reviewed and loved by many, also look into Cambridge Audio, Musical Fidelity and Music Hall, they are very well reviewed and are most definitely worth looking into based on what I have read.

For myself, I have been looking into buying an older used pre-amp, such as the Krell KRS, McIntosh C26, Bryston 1B and a few others. From what I understand in regards to upper class high end audio pre-amps & amps, there have not been any true break throughs in analog sound quality so my thinking is that by going with a pre-amp that is say, between 8 and 14 years old, I can get better sound quality at a cheaper price.

I may infact be totally wrong and I realize this, but, I want to try some new things and experiement with different equipment. I can enjoy music played through any type of devise, be it high end, mid fi, or low end. For me the fun is trying new things that might make my system sound better, which is a perfectly safe hobby (well not safe for my bank account! LoL)
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-27-2012, 11:45 AM
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I have the Audio Research LS-26, and I think it is the best preamp in the world, except for the Audio Research Reference 5.

You might want to see if you could find a used LS-26, or maybe a LS-16. They have produced thousands of them so you would think one would be for sale occasionally.

The only thing is, I never do see them for sale. I guess if you have one, you are like me; you are never going to let it go...lol.

The Conrad-Johnson Classic is $2000 new, and that seems to be very highly regarded. That might be worth a look.






Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Viper- I am not part of the camp that says all pre-amps or receivers sound the same. With that being said, I personally believe that you will end up with better sound quality going with a used pre-amp along with your B&K amp. As to which pre-amp you should get, I don't know, I am looking for one myself and am still trying to collect reviews and opinions. I do know that the Parasound 2100 is well reviewed and loved by many, also look into Cambridge Audio, Musical Fidelity and Music Hall, they are very well reviewed and are most definitely worth looking into based on what I have read.

For myself, I have been looking into buying an older used pre-amp, such as the Krell KRS, McIntosh C26, Bryston 1B and a few others. From what I understand in regards to upper class high end audio pre-amps & amps, there have not been any true break throughs in analog sound quality so my thinking is that by going with a pre-amp that is say, between 8 and 14 years old, I can get better sound quality at a cheaper price.

I may infact be totally wrong and I realize this, but, I want to try some new things and experiement with different equipment. I can enjoy music played through any type of devise, be it high end, mid fi, or low end. For me the fun is trying new things that might make my system sound better, which is a perfectly safe hobby (well not safe for my bank account! LoL)

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