Hi; sounds like you are going to put a good system together.
First of all, I would like to mention that IMO the OPPO BDP-95 is the engineering triumph of the century! It sounds better playing CDs or SACDs than my $6000 Ayre SACD player. For only $1000? Amazing.
I have listened to and had McIntosh equipment and it is nice stuff. I no longer use it, however, because I find Audio Research to have the best-sounding preamps. I have the Audio Research LS-26, and I think for $6000 the sound is better than anything McIntosh makes. I use it with a Bryston 3B-SST power amplifier, and the sound is to die for. The LS-26 has been superseded by the LS-27, but the changes are very minor. Highly recommended if you want the very best sound quality.
In my opinion the Anthem and Integra products are inferior by far in sound quality to McIntosh and Audio Research, and not even worth considering for a top-quality system.
For best possible sound from the TV, I run the analog outputs of the TV to the preamp. The LS-26 and 27 have 7 inputs that offer both balanced inputs and unbalanced inputs on every one. It also has a 102-step volume control plus 3 volume ranges that can be preset and memorized for each input. It also has two sets of balanced or unbalanced outputs to go to power amplifiers or subs or whatever. If your TV does not have analog outputs, you will need a DAC in between the TV and Preamp.
For audio listening I run the balanced audio outputs of the OPPO direct to the preamp. For DVD/ Bluray, I run HDMI to the TV from the OPPO. I also run HDMI from my Roku to the TV for streaming video and audio from the internet.
A separate DAC is much better than one built into a preamp; that way the preamp power supply is isolated from the digital circuitry. I consider building a DAC into a preamp a bad design choice.
Originally Posted by kbn
I just recently sold my stereo system ( Martin Logan Vantage / Marantz AV7005 + MM7055 ) and in the process of picking out a new preamp. I'm fairly new at this so... I'm very willing to learn and open to suggestions.
I'm waiting currently waiting for these guys to come in:
Martin Logan Montis
2x Martin Logan Descent I
Taking a long time for Mcintosh to really give me a solid date... It's been a month. What's up with that?
I plan on only doing a 2-Channel system for my music and movies. The problem I'm having is choosing a preamp. I'm one of those people who really like to have a nice system that matches
so naturally I'm looking at the Mcintosh C50 or Mcintosh MX-121.
I've been leaning towards the C50 since day one, but my question is... Since its a stereo preamplifier, would I run into problems when I want to watch movies? I was planning on using balanced cables from the oppo directly into the c50 and running an hdmi to the tv separately. Would it be a better choice to go with the MX-121? I like the C50 becuase it has much better DACs than the MX-121...
I also am considering the Anthem D2V 3D or Integra 80.3.
Can someone please help me out? Maybe explain why one choice is better than the other?