We're back and a new "journey" has begun: amps and preamps - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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As some of you may already know, funkmonkey and myself have been on a search for the perfect speaker to our ears (Speakerquest So Far and My Journey To Find The "Perfect" Speaker). Fortunately for both of us (or maybe unfortunately ) that journey has come to an end. Funkmonkey ordered a pair of Salk Sound HT3's and I ordered a pair of Salk Sound Song Tower's.

The journey was both fun and grueling, but I think I speak for all of us when I say it was totally worth it and we'd do it all over again if we had to (heck, we'll probably continue to audition and review speakers just for fun).

Now that the speaker quest has come to a close, we embark on a new journey to find the "perfect" amplifier and preamp to really dig the inner beast out of our speakers and let them truly shine; something that many people embark on at some point when they really get into audio. We all have a budget of about $2000 for the amp and preamp (not separately, so we'd like to acquire both for $2000. Or in hifi's and many other's case, the full budget will go for the amp if I am not mistaken). Of course, we have no reservations about buying used (correct me if I am wrong guys), so recommendations above our price range is no problemo, so long as it's not too high. And, more than likely, we may even "up" the budget, but we'd prefer to stay away from that if possible.

Our requirements for the amp and preamp are as follows:

- Adds as little color and distortion to the signal as possible.
- Has great bass response; deep, tight, controlled, punchy, extended and thick bass.
- Has great detail capturing abilities, especially in the midrange and high frequencies. The midrange on ours speakers is incredible, so we need to maintain that full, lush, velvety and detailed sound.
- Achieves that "sparkle" and "airy" high frequency sound. We crave high end extension with clarity, sparkle, and air without any grain.
- Passes WAF with a "sexy" and/or "pretty" looking chassis.
- Is "future proof", mostly applying to the preamp (HDMI 1.3 compatable, 7.1, newest audio codecs, etc).
- Provides plenty of power; at least 200WPC (250 or more would be better. This applies to the amp only, of course).
- Dead black when it should be, no hummers in the quiet moments please. Uncolored, neutral, clean and clear power.
- Capable of reproducing the most intricate and dense musical passages with no loss of dynamics, without coming across as analytical or "plastic" sounding. Something that is "musical," and would excel for 2 channel use, but would be equally at home in a HT application.

In other words, as transparent as possible without adding or taking away anything from the signal.

Our speaker quest was honestly quite frustrating and tiring at times, but it was mostly fun and we couldn't have gotten through it without the help of folks like you. And now that we start our new quest, we'd very much appreciate your help again; anything you can add would be very helpful!

So we now turn to you experts. What would you guys recommend that we audition? We will be taking very good notes and will do a lot of research, compiling a list of audition candidates.

I want this thread to be a useful tool to anyone searching for an amp and/or preamp with a similar budget. Zissou's thread is a very good one for more higher priced budgets, but I'd like this thread to follow in the footsteps of that one but with a more attainable budget.

Thanks and let the recommendations begin!


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post #2 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 08:25 AM
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I posted these comments about Audio by Van Alstine earlier in the Speakerquest thread
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post13644476

It is very rare to see a used Van Alstine amp for sale.

I'll also add that I have a used B&K EX4420 2-channel amp that drives my SongTowers. It has plenty of power (200 watts at 8 ohms & 350 watts at 4) for the SongTowers, and I suspect it would me more than adequate for HT3s. It seems to be nearly equivalent to the Reference 200.2 model that B&K now sells. Plenty of used B&K amps come up for sale on audiogon, and usually they sell rather quickly. As used amps, I think they are a bargain.
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post #3 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 08:59 AM
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Hi Nuance,

I also just ordered a pair of SongTowers which should be coming soon! I then took the same step as you, looking for an amp/preamp.

I just recently made both my orders:

Amp: McCormack DNA-125
Preamp: Audio Mirror T-61

These were both bought used on audiogon for right about $1,500 out the door (combined).

I think the AVA suggestion is a great one as well, however, I have not had a chance to hear them. Frank sells used gear right on his website which would be a nice piece of mind. I think most of it will carry a warranty. Of course searching audiogon is good as well. Not much pops up (good sign!) so you need to really keep an eye out for it.

I was able to do some auditioning before buying and heard some Rotel stuff, Anthem, McIntosh, Rogue, Conrad Johnson and McCormack.

The McCormack amps are just fantastic. I heard both the DNA-225 and the 125. The 225 obviously packs a little more of a punch, but the 125 should be able to drive SongTowers effortlessly (I should be able to confirm this soon). I heard the McCormack amps paired with CJ and Rogue preamps, both tube units. This combination just sounded right. I felt it had plenty of high end extension and sparkle, but did so in just such a smooth way. The bass performance of the McCormack is fantastic with all the punch you could ever want.

A $2,000 budget along with buying used can get you one hell of a combination. Good luck!
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post #4 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 09:50 AM
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Not sure what you are looking for personally:

Pre - Harman Kardon AVR 347 (or used 645 or 745 if you can find) ~$550
2 channel Amp - Crown XTI-1000 (500W into 4 ohm, stereo) ~$400

That combo will definitely leave you smiling and the money you save can be spent stocking up on your favorite spirits to enjoy your system.
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post #5 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 10:40 AM
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Hey guys -

Up to your usual tricks I see.

Before you know it, there will be a whole series of AV self-help books published on the many journeys of Funk & Nuance. You'll be bigger than Harry Potter within the AV Geek community!

Narrator: "Where will they take us next? ... Funk & Nuance will dazzle your soul and boggle your mind as they fall in and out of love with their AV gear! Join us in the latest installment of Funk & Nuance's never ending search for audio nirvana! . . . "

OK, enough of that. You already know that based on my research, that the Parasound Halo A21 should be on your short list. 250 WPC into 8 Ohms, 400 WPC into 4 Ohms, designed by John Curl of Mark Levinson fame, smooth sexy case design, and sound quality to match. Well at least that is the word on the street.

- Tim


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post #6 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

Hey guys -

Up to your usual tricks I see.

Before you know it, there will be a whole series of AV self-help books published on the many journeys of Funk & Nuance. You'll be bigger than Harry Potter within the AV Geek community!

Narrator: "Where will they take us next? ... Funk & Nuance will dazzle your soul and boggle your mind as they fall in and out of love with their AV gear! Join us in the latest installment of Funk & Nuance's never ending search for audio nirvana! . . . "

OK, enough of that. You already know that based on my research, that the Parasound Halo A21 should be on your short list. 250 WPC into 8 Ohms, 400 WPC into 4 Ohms, designed by John Curl of Mark Levinson fame, smooth sexy case design, and sound quality to match. Well at least that is the word on the street.

I am also a big fan of Parasound Halo a lot of amp for the money and next
to bryston in the long warranty department.The Anthem Statement would be
another choice i would consider and until the rest catch up i would be the Integra 9.8 as the current preamp to own.
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post #7 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 11:00 AM
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You mention "future proof" so I assume you are wanting some HT performance with HDMI.

1) Power is power. Buy an amp that delivers the power (with the look you want) that is in your budget. How many channels of power do you need? 2? 3? 5? 7? Do you have a sub? What power is delivered to the speakers is what matters, not the name of the front of the amp.

With 200w per channel find and buy your amp first. If new I would look at d-sonic and wyred4sound (these might be out of your price range but they make some "big power") (class D is "sexy" for an amp). There is also that NHT power 5 amp on clearance that is worth the look.

I run a used amp in my theater, used amps can be a great deal.

2) Pre amp: If this is a 2 channel setup I would ask on the 2 channel forum. There are a TON of 2 channel preamps. If this is a 5.1 or 7.1 setup with your budget I do a few things.

A) 5.1 and 7.1 pre/pros / AVRs are very sensitive to setup. Learning to dial in a given system is a must for a fair comparison. If you want to just press the auto setup button and compare be informed that you are really just testing one feature (the autosetup feature). There are some good reads as stickies here and in the audio setup theory and chat section as to how to get the most out of your setup.

B) Try out at least one AVR. I suggest the yamaha 663 as it is the cheapest AVR with preouts (use the AVR as a pre/pro let your amp do the lifting), frankly I have a 663 as preamp in a dedicated HT and I have no complaints (I think the 2.1 stereo mode is just fine). It you are up for more trial and error Marantz is often recommended for it's "music" ability.

C) One you decide you need to spend more cash on a real "prepro" you need to wait for the emotiva pre/pro (it is due out this summer and would be worth a listen). Everyone one else sits at 1500+ so they dont' really fit in your stated budged with a "big amp" (unless you find the right used amp). There is a great sticky about pre/pros that all the info you will need to set your budget. Right now I think you need to look at the NAT T175 and the onkyo 9.8.

D) You can also buy a 2 channel preamp that you like that has a ht-bypass. This allows your 2 channel (more critical?) music to be handled buy some special magica preamp and leave the movie business to something on the cheaper side (it would only do HT). This is really the most future proof high end solution as you don't have to buy a new magical 2 channel section that you like every time you want some new HT feature

I see you are having fun and that makes me happy BTW I have always thought very highly of Salk Sound, I am glad to hear that is where you ended up.

Have Fun!
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post #8 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 11:16 AM
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Is this for 2 channel or HT? I'm assuming HT since you're looking for 'future proof' preamps. If it were my 2k, I'd take a look at 3 of these across the front: http://outlawaudio.com/products/2200.html and put the other 1k towards a quality receiver, use the receiver's amps to drive the surrounds. Onkyo/Denon/Marantz all have great offerings at that price point.

Or, put the 1k towards used amps (dunno if you can get a used Halo, but perhaps one of Parasound's 'classic' series amps), and the other 1k towards a receiver to use as a preamp.

Here's another possible option for a preamp, for 2k you can get a great preamp/amp combo: http://www.emotiva.com/mmc1.html (pre/pro) http://www.emotiva.com/xpa5.html (amp)

They also have a 7 channel amp which together with the preamp will run slightly more than 2k.
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post #9 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 11:38 AM
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funk & Nuance

An electrical engineer named Bob Cordell, who during his career actually designed hifi amplifiers, was once interviewed by another DIY speaker builder named PJ Smith. It is an interesting read and it expresses some common sense ideas that bears repeating while you are considering preamps and amps: http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/pjay99/guruscordell.htm

To sum up what he says, well-designed SS amps operating well below clipping, that are not misbehaving, and which have a high damping factor across the band, will tend to sound the same. Remember those words as you shop for amps.

Before I met him, I was a complete agnostic about amplifier sound quality. I believed all SS amps sound the same, and that big-iron amps were a waste of money. He convinced me that a big-iron amp (at least 200 wpc) is needed to avoid clipping with most speakers driven at reasonable listening levels. There is no reason to spend many thousands of $ to get that, but good speakers, like those Salks you have ordered deserve at least that.

The truth is that there are many good SS amps available at reasonable prices. Look for the AVA and B&K that I already mentioned, and also McCormack, Haffler, Parasound, Rotel, NAD, Outlaw, Adcom, just to name a few. Even though the high-priced amps look cool in those photos we see posted every where, all that machined and polished aluminum adds a lot to the cost and does nothing for the sound quality.

My own experience is that I started with a mid-fi grade HT receiver, a Denon AVR-1800 (75 wpc) that I bought 8 years ago. I still use it now as a preamp/HT processor along with the B&K 2-channel amp to drive my SongTowers. The Denon still drives my NHT center and rear channel speakers. They are small speakers which are fed audio no lower than 80 Hz. It is plenty powerful to do that, while the B&K drives the full range SongTowers.

As long as you choose a HT receiver with pre-amp level outputs and all the other bells & whistles you desire, you will be able to keep it as a preamp/processor and add what ever outboard amps you choose. It seems that the makers of the separate preamp/processors are slower to release new models that have all the latest HT features. This approach also allows you to gradually add amps, and eventually even a separate preamp, without requiring that you do it all at once.
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post #10 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 12:17 PM
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Interesting read, thanks for posting that link!
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post #11 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 12:24 PM
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$600 pre/amp w/ HT bypass
Parasound 2100
http://www.parasound.com/nc/2100.php


$1200 2 channel amp 250Wx2
Parasound 2250
http://www.parasound.com/nc/2250.php

Great start for $1800, leaves yourself $200 for BJC cables and your good to go.

Add an Integra 9.8 and Parasound 5520 for 7 channel HT for an additional 4k.
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post #12 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Swerdlow View Post

http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/pjay99/guruscordell.htm

To sum up what he says, well-designed SS amps operating well below clipping, that are not misbehaving, and which have a high damping factor across the band, will tend to sound the same. Remember those words as you shop for amps.

Thanks for the link, fun read.

However, I think you might be simplifying what he said. First, his list of things an amp must first do right is not the easiest of tasks. Second, he also mentioned things amp manufactures can do to add coloration to the sound.

This article, at least what I got from it, is far from the all SS amps sound the same argument. In contrast, I think it emphasizes how important a quality amp is in the chain of HIFI.
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post #13 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idiotec View Post

Thanks for the link, fun read.

However, I think you might be simplifying what he said. First, his list of things an amp must first do right is not the easiest of tasks. Second, he also mentioned things amp manufactures can do to add coloration to the sound.

This article, at least what I got from it, is far from the all SS amps sound the same argument. In contrast, I think it emphasizes how important a quality amp is in the chain of HIFI.

Congrats on your new SongTowers. You're gonna love them. That used McCormack amp you got ought to be great with them. I've not heard one, but those amps have a very good reputation.

Yes, I may have oversimplified, just a bit , what Bob Cordell said. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
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post #14 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by R Swerdlow View Post

Congrats on your new SongTowers. You're gonna love them. That used McCormack amp you got ought to be great with them. I've not heard one, but those amps have a very good reputation.

Yes, I may have oversimplified, just a bit , what Bob Cordell said. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Thanks. It has been a long ride, but it is finally all coming together.
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post #15 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 02:17 PM
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Nuance, if you are thinking 2 ch amp, IMO you should seriously consider the Sanders Sound System ESL amp, which is the Innersound ESL now made and sold by its original designer. Innersound has folded under its new owners, so justice prevails (they bought out Roger Sanders who founded Innersound). These amps are virtually impossible to drive into clipping, even the 300 watt model that I have (Innersound) and are thoroughly neutral. I went through about a dozen amps before I found this one and IMO it is as good as it gets. The speakers you chose look pretty good, though I would have suggested you audition the Digital Phase AP-2, which sells for about the same price but has more low frequency extension being flat to 35 Hz and with useable bass to about 25 Hz. Anyway, enjoy your new setup whatever it is.

"The truth is out there!"
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post #16 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input guys! I'm taking a lot of notes and doing a lot of research.

I am going to start with a 2-channel amp and work my way up. As for the preamp, it does need to be HDMI 1.3 compliant and have the latest audio codecs. I do realize that is a lot to ask, but if I can score a used amp for a good price I can put more money towards a new preamp.

Speaking of the new audio codecs, how much of a sound quality difference would it make if I just purchased a receiver like the Onkyo TX-SR805 and used that as a preamp instead of a "true" preamp? It is suppose to have a nice set of DAC's, better than the Denon 3808. What's the general take on doing something like that? How large would the sound quality difference really be?

Can anyone post their experiences with B&K and Rotel? I've heard some of Rotel's stuff and liked it at the time, but I don't remember what it sounds like anymore. How do B&K and Rotel fair when it comes to neutrality and low distortion?

I am keeping my eyes pealed for a used Halo A21.

Funk will add more when he has time (I hope).

P.S. I realize I have asked some questions that can only be answered with opinions. I won't take them as gold, so no worries there. I am just interested in getting a general consensus, upon which I will continue to reasearch before making a purchase (I don't usually purchase blind).


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post #17 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Thanks for all the input guys! I'm taking a lot of notes and doing a lot of research.

I am going to start with a 2-channel amp and work my way up. As for the preamp, it does need to be HDMI 1.3 compliant and have the latest audio codecs. I do realize that is a lot to ask, but if I can score a used amp for a good price I can put more money towards a new preamp.

Speaking of the new audio codecs, how much of a sound quality difference would it make if I just purchased a receiver like the Onkyo TX-SR805 and used that as a preamp instead of a "true" preamp? It is suppose to have a nice set of DAC's, better than the Denon 3808. What's the general take on doing something like that? How large would the sound quality difference really be?

Can anyone post their experiences with B&K and Rotel? I've heard some of Rotel's stuff and liked it at the time, but I don't remember what it sounds like anymore. How do B&K and Rotel fair when it comes to neutrality and low distortion?

I am keeping my eyes pealed for a used Halo A21.

Funk will add more when he has time (I hope).

P.S. I realize I have asked some questions that can only be answered with opinions. I won't take them as gold, so no worries there. I am just interested in getting a general consensus, upon which I will continue to reasearch before making a purchase (I don't usually purchase blind).

You will wait a long time before you see a separate preamp with HDMI 1.3 and all the latest audio codecs. I would go with the lowest powered HT receiver you can find with all the features you want or need. Use it as a preamp and don't worry about how powerful its amplifier section is. The Onkyo TX-SR805 is probably overkill, unless it is the lowest priced receiver you can find with all the features you need. I am also of the opinion that the variation of sound quality among different DACs is rather small and not worth fussing over.

I have had some experience with B&K, but none with Rotel. I have two older B&K amps that I bought used, a ST-140 and an EX-4420. Both are excellent. I haven't needed any customer service from B&K, but they did send me electronic copies of owner's manuals when I bought the used amps. Used 200 wpc B&K amps are often a very good buy. When new their products come with a 5-year warranty. Similar to the Parasound Halo A21, they have a very large power supply transformer, a class A predriver section and class A/B power output MOSFETs (Metal Oxide Silicon Field Effect Transistors). The less expensive series of Parasound amps lack those features. For what its worth, Van Alstine amps share a lot of these features.

My brother owns a full HT set made by B&K that he bought new 4 or 5 years ago. The preamp is a Reference 30 (the present model is the Ref 50), and his amp is a Reference 7520, a 5-channel 200 wpc amp. Both are the best I've ever known. His speakers are Vandersteen 3a signatures. The preamp has too many features to discuss here, but it has the best digital bass management arrangement I've ever seen. You'll have to read the owner's manual to get an idea what I mean. B&K is an American company (Buffalo, NY), independently owned and operated, and they are known for very good customer service.

B&K has had a lot of different models sold in the past. It can be confusing if you're looking to buy a used one. They list all their older models and their specs

Rotel is British or European owned, and is distributed in the USA by the same big corporation that owns B&W. I know nothing else about them other than they have a good reputation.
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post #18 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Thanks for all the input guys! I'm taking a lot of notes and doing a lot of research.

I am going to start with a 2-channel amp and work my way up. As for the preamp, it does need to be HDMI 1.3 compliant and have the latest audio codecs. I do realize that is a lot to ask, but if I can score a used amp for a good price I can put more money towards a new preamp.

I have no first hand experience but I'm sure you'll hear soon enough that you can't really "have it all" in one box. Most preamps that are HDMI 1.3 and do all the latest hi-rez codes won't do their best at 2 channel listening. On the other hand the best preamps for 2 channel performance don't really fit as a HT processor. The general school of thought is get a nice HT processor or AVR with pre-outs and let it handle your movies and SACD duties. Pair that with a nice preamp with HT bypass for your critical 2 channel listening.

The below thread is specific to the Integra 9.8 but the theory applies as it talks about 2 channel preamps with HT bypass

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1002671

Rydenfan has an Integra and just bought a Modwright 2 channel preamp that he is very happy with. The Parasound, 2100 that I linked earlier is getting great reviews and it's only $600.

I guess it comes down to what your priorities are. When I built my system it was 95% movies so I bought the Integra 9.8 and an Emotiva amp. Now that I have the Dalis coming in and the new D-Sonic amp my movies percentages will drop and I'll do more 2 channel listening. Therefore my next upgrade will be a preamp for 2 channel with HT bypass.

Lastly, take everything I just said with a huge grain of salt as it's based entirely on other opinions I've gathered on AVS.
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post #19 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
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So when you guys say get a 2-channel preamp as well, wouldn't that mean I'd have to swap cables every time I wanted to listen to 2-channel music?

Sorry...I should know all of this, but I've been out of the preamp/amp loop for over a year now (was focusing on TV's and Speakers).

Thanks for the info thus far guys. The B&K Ref 200.2 S2 has me intrigued.

Oh Funk, where art thou?


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post #20 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

So when you guys say get a 2-channel preamp as well, wouldn't that mean I'd have to swap cables every time I wanted to listen to 2-channel music?

Sorry...I should know all of this, but I've been out of the preamp/amp loop for over a year now (was focusing on TV's and Speakers).

Thanks for the info thus far guys. The B&K Ref 200.2 S2 has me intrigued.

Oh Funk, where art thou?

Nah, a 2 channel preamp with home theater bypass would allow you to connect the FR/FL speaker outputs from your HT processor/AVR to the 2 channel preamp then onto the amp. This way the same amp can power the FR/FL in HT duty and 2 channel music. This allows you to use the "in theory" better 2 channel performance of the 2 channel preamp in critical listening scenarios.

This is all very new to me as well, but it seems like the way to go if you're using the same speakers/room for HT and 2 channel listening.
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post #21 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

Hey guys -

Up to your usual tricks I see.

Before you know it, there will be a whole series of AV self-help books published on the many journeys of Funk & Nuance. You'll be bigger than Harry Potter within the AV Geek community!

Narrator: "Where will they take us next? ... Funk & Nuance will dazzle your soul and boggle your mind as they fall in and out of love with their AV gear! Join us in the latest installment of Funk & Nuance's never ending search for audio nirvana! . . . "

OK, enough of that. You already know that based on my research, that the Parasound Halo A21 should be on your short list. 250 WPC into 8 Ohms, 400 WPC into 4 Ohms, designed by John Curl of Mark Levinson fame, smooth sexy case design, and sound quality to match. Well at least that is the word on the street.

LMAO!

Aren't you also looking for an amp? Should I add your name to the OP with some new requirements for you?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoTC View Post

Nah, a 2 channel preamp with home theater bypass would allow you to connect the FR/FL speaker outputs from your HT processor/AVR to the 2 channel preamp then onto the amp. This way the same amp can power the FR/FL in HT duty and 2 channel music. This allows you to use the "in theory" better 2 channel performance of the 2 channel preamp in critical listening scenarios.

This is all very new to me as well, but it seems like the way to go if you're using the same speakers/room for HT and 2 channel listening.

ooo, I like the sound of that. I assumed that's how it would work, but I just wanted to verify. Thanks pal!


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post #22 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 07:16 PM
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ooo, I like the sound of that. I assumed that's how it would work, but I just wanted to verify. Thanks pal!

It just gets a bit hairy if you use the same source gear for 2 channel music and HT, like a DVD player. Typically you'd connect the DVD player to the 2 channel preamp via analog and rely on the DAC in the player and connect it to the HT processor via digital and use the DAC in the HT processor for movies. Myself all my "critical" listening is FLAC files via a Sonos box so I don't have the cabling issues.

We need Rydenfan to jump him, he knows this stuff very well and has an impressive Modwright 2 channel preamp.
His review
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1013221

I'd love this guy to experiment with a tube preamp
http://www.audioresearch.com/LS25new.html

1 more

Rogue Perseus Preamplifier
http://www.rogueaudio.com/Products_Perseus.htm

Older Rogue $895
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ube&1210614126

This is the preamp that made me fall in love with the Dalis
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ube&1212608606

Sorry !!!

Ok one more, I believe this has HT bypass
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ube&1212450676
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post #23 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

LMAO!

Aren't you also looking for an amp? Should I add your name to the OP with some new requirements for you?

Yup, I'm looking for an amp too. I think you have all the sound qualities covered.

- Tim


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post #24 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 08:52 PM
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Holy Christmas lists, Batman! What a great start! Thank you to everybody who has posted so far, with your recommendations and suggestions. I am going to have to play sick from work to keep up if this kind of response continues!

Most of all, thank you Nuance. You absolutely nailed what I want in an amp, and pre/pro. If I were to restate it...

Amp and pre/pro wanted:
250 watts per channel or more, and everything I want out of a speaker: high end extension, clarity, sparkle, and air without any grain; full, lush, velvety and detailed midrange; deep, tight, controlled, punchy, extended and thick bass. Dead black when it should be, no hummers in the quiet moments please. Uncolored, neutral, clean and clear power. Capable of reproducing the most intricate and dense musical passages with no loss of dynamics, without coming across as analytical or "plastic" sounding. Something that is "musical," and would excel for 2 channel use, but would be equally at home in a HT application.

Nuance covered my pre/pro wants, an I have nothing to add to his comments in the OP(yet )

Thanks for kicking this thread off right!
Cheers,
Funk

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post #25 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

Hey guys -

Up to your usual tricks I see.

Before you know it, there will be a whole series of AV self-help books published on the many journeys of Funk & Nuance. You'll be bigger than Harry Potter within the AV Geek community!

Narrator: "Where will they take us next? ... Funk & Nuance will dazzle your soul and boggle your mind as they fall in and out of love with their AV gear! Join us in the latest installment of Funk & Nuance's never ending search for audio nirvana! . . . "

OK, enough of that. You already know that based on my research, that the Parasound Halo A21 should be on your short list. 250 WPC into 8 Ohms, 400 WPC into 4 Ohms, designed by John Curl of Mark Levinson fame, smooth sexy case design, and sound quality to match. Well at least that is the word on the street.

LMAO 2

I am waiting for you to but a new Halo, listen to it for a week, and sell it to me for used-price!!!!!

Seriously, though (that was only half serious, ) the Parasound Halo's are very tempting. One of those and a cheap-ish receiver may suit my needs very well.

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post #26 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 09:15 PM
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Oh Funk, where art thou?

Right here buddy. Trying to play ketchup

ChicagoTC, thanks for the explanation about using a 2ch pre-amp and amp as part of a 5 or 7.1 system. I think it was Rydenfan that mentioned something about that in one of our speaker threads but I couldn't get my head around it last night. There is some logic to a set up like that, that is attractive to me.

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post #27 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 09:22 PM
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Right here buddy. Trying to play ketchup

ChicagoTC, thanks for the explanation about using a 2ch pre-amp and amp as part of a 5 or 7.1 system. I think it was Rydenfan that mentioned something about that in one of our speaker threads but I couldn't get my head around it last night. There is some logic to a set up like that, that is attractive to me.

Not a problem I had to actually draw it to understand. Probably not the best idea but I'm really buying into the benefits of a dedicated 2 channel preamp. Time and time again people say todays value HT processors just don't do 2 channel well. In addition 2 of my best audition days were 2 channel tube preamps and SS power amps. I REALLY enjoyed the sound.

So perhaps a tube based 2 channel preamp and external DAC is in my future to use with my Sonos for critical listening.
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post #28 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 09:26 PM
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250 watts per channel or more, and everything I want out of a speaker: high end extension, clarity, sparkle, and air without any grain; full, lush, velvety and detailed midrange; deep, tight, controlled, punchy, extended and thick bass. Dead black when it should be, no hummers in the quiet moments please. Uncolored, neutral, clean and clear power. Capable of reproducing the most intricate and dense musical passages with no loss of dynamics, without coming across as analytical or "plastic" sounding. Something that is "musical," and would excel for 2 channel use, but would be equally at home in a HT application.

Is that all?

I originally thought that the requirements were for 2-channel only, but if this is a combined 2-channel/HT setup, I completely agree with the HT pass through setup. I think this will get you a lot closer to your goal than an HT pre/pro used for both.
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post #29 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoTC View Post

I'd love this guy to experiment with a tube preamp
http://www.audioresearch.com/LS25new.html

1 more

Rogue Perseus Preamplifier
http://www.rogueaudio.com/Products_Perseus.htm

Older Rogue $895
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ube&1210614126

This is the preamp that made me fall in love with the Dalis
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ube&1212608606

Sorry !!!

Ok one more, I believe this has HT bypass
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ube&1212450676

Oh man, you have me drooling!
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post #30 of 2080 Old 04-15-2008, 09:32 PM
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NHT power 2 on clearance at listenup
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