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post #1 of 180 Old 12-23-2010, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I am shopping for a 2 ch or MC preamp to integrate into my 5.1 HT setup. I am hoping for specific recommendations, critiques and reviews of units that are available new or used for under $2K.

I am strongly considering upgrading my Oppo BDP-83 to the soon-to-be-released 95 and want to make use of the great DACs for 2 ch analog. I have a Denon AVR 4310 with Audyssey MultEQXT and it sounds great for cable sources as well as for HDMI bluray and SACD from my current 83's. I run the Denon preouts to an Emotiva 5 ch XPA5 to power Dali Helicon 400s FR/L and matching c200 CC. Surrounds are Polk in- walls currently. The FR/L have been run as full band for 2 ch.

So far I have tried the HT bypass route using the Oppo 83's dedicated stereo analog outs into a Parasound 2100 2 ch pre w/ HT bypass and was overall unimpressed with the SQ compared to the Denon (some additional mid/high clarity but boomy bass). I repositioned front R/L as best I could but I get far better 2 ch SQ from the minimal (direct) analog processing route through an Emo UMC1 prepro, which gives a broader, more detailed soundstage, and the bass is not boomy. But the bass could be clearer yet so I am considering bass traps. I guess a less expensive option would be the emo USP1, which offers slightly more sophisticated bass management than the 2100. Or I could try out the Parasound P7 (but I hear it sounds very much like the 2100). I should have a Velo DD10 soon which has some EQ ability built in and would allow more placement options to try to tighten the bass.
I am looking for your suggestions, including specifics for a good stereo pre w/ HT bypass, new or used under $2K.

Some 2 ch units I am considering, only within budget as they can be found used: Moon P5 and McCormick RLD-1. Neither allows bass management.

Yes, I still like playing with Dalis.

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post #2 of 180 Old 12-23-2010, 08:31 PM
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I also have the Denon 4310 and the Oppo 83 and found that using analog out from oppo or hdmi to Denon doesnt make a much (if any) difference for cd playback. I am moving towards pc based music for convenience so I am going to try the soon to be released Audiolab 8200CDQ which is Dac/pre/cd with bypass and same sabre chip as the Oppo 95. I hope this will be an ideal product to combine HT, 2-channel and computer based quality.
Alternatives would be Bel canto Dac 2.5 and Wyred 4 Sound Dac 2 which both can be used as 2-channel pre/dac and has HT bypass.
If you are getting the Oppo 95, there should be no need for a pre with dac.. Primare PRE30 could be an option.
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post #3 of 180 Old 12-23-2010, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundofMind View Post
I am shopping for a 2 ch or MC preamp to integrate into my 5.1 HT setup. I am hoping for specific recommendations, critiques and reviews of units that are available new or used for under $2K.

I am strongly considering upgrading my Oppo BDP-83 to the soon-to-be-released 95 and want to make use of the great DACs for 2 ch analog. I have a Denon AVR 4310 with Audyssey MultEQXT and it sounds great for cable sources as well as for HDMI bluray and SACD from my current 83's. I run the Denon preouts to an Emotiva 5 ch XPA5 to power Dali Helicon 400s FR/L and matching c200 CC. Surrounds are Polk in- walls currently. The FR/L have been run as full band for 2 ch.

So far I have tried the HT bypass route using the Oppo 83's dedicated stereo analog outs into a Parasound 2100 2 ch pre w/ HT bypass and was overall unimpressed with the SQ compared to the Denon (some additional mid/high clarity but boomy bass). I repositioned front R/L as best I could but I get far better 2 ch SQ from the minimal (direct) analog processing route through an Emo UMC1 prepro, which gives a broader, more detailed soundstage, and the bass is not boomy. But the bass could be clearer yet so I am considering bass traps. I guess a less expensive option would be the emo USP1, which offers slightly more sophisticated bass management than the 2100. Or I could try out the Parasound P7 (but I hear it sounds very much like the 2100). I should have a Velo DD10 soon which has some EQ ability built in and would allow more placement options to try to tighten the bass.
I am looking for your suggestions, including specifics for a good stereo pre w/ HT bypass, new or used under $2K.

Some 2 ch units I am considering, only within budget as they can be found used: Moon P5 and McCormick RLD-1. Neither allows bass management.


I've use a few 2ch with HT BYPASS feature, and there are few things you should consider.One being if you what tube, or SS depending what's you preference. If you don't mind that the Unit needs to be actually powered, so you use your AVR when watching a movie using your system.

One of my favorite 2CH Preamp is the Belles 28A, for its smooth, neutral, sweet sounding. It's Solid State and it's has plenty of in's and outs, the only negative I can think about is that it need to be ON position for your AVR to play the front L/R channels.
This unit cost about 5 grand, but it can be had under 2 in the use market. Right now, there's one on AGon in black for that price. I've been very tempted to cop one, but I have to curve any urges. Oh something else about this particular piece, it has two phone outs MM/MC which is quite rear, if your into vinyl.

The other one is Modwright SL36.5 which happens to be Tube action, so you'll have to be a slave to switching them if you feel they're using any oomph, or lack of bass etc. I thought the Modwright is simply amazing sounding. Just remarkable sounding, I guess it the tubes creating all that lovely distortion that comes out as thick, moist, gooey, syrupy joyfulness
Lots thigh bass, souring highs, and all about the midrange. This unit put my system in a different league, I really love the fact it can be use while it remained OFF which is a beautiful thing, and it can save burning your precious tubes.The unit it's on the expensive side, but if you can swing an extra 1K, it well worth it...Not to mention it's a piece of art, which will look great in any rack.

My least favorite was the Emotiva USP-1 which did have some excellent features like sub woofer out, for a 2.1, but it did have it limitations when it came to running your full range, I can't recall exactly what they where, but they're were some people that weren't happy about this. The new XSP-1 suppose to address this issue.
What I wasn't exactly happy about was the sound quality of this unit, to me it sounded bright, and distant, I just didn't connect as well as with the other units..Of course those other where several times more expensive than the USP-1, and like the Belles 28A, it needs to be on to let the AVR's front R/L's to work.

Just a few of three of the units I've used in my system, I'm sure others much more experience than me will post.
Oh before I forget, I'll be definitely be trying out the Parasound 2100 in my system sooner or later, and would like to see what Emo will do with their new 2ch Pre..Hopefully they'll address the few issues with the USP-1 short comings.

Good Luck

Djoel
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post #4 of 180 Old 12-23-2010, 11:09 PM
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As you know, I tried the P7, but it sounded veiled in my system. All the feedback I've received is that the P7 is an incredibly clear and accurate pre-amp, and there was something wrong with either my system or the P7. Don't know as I was looking for a MCH pre-amp, not a problem to solve. I send it back and purchased a used Acoustic Research MP-1. It sounds great in my system, and I now use it as my main 2CH and MCH pre-amp. Features-wise, the P7 had it all over the MP-1. Sound-wise, the MP-1 had it all over the P7.

While the MP-1 does not have a lot of features compared to the P7, it does have a "processor" mode for each set of connections which puts the i/o path in unity gain for HT bypass. And you can probably find one at the upper limit of your spend.

I've already conveyed my thoughts on these pre-amps at both the BDP-83SE and Parasound P7 threads. Some creative searching should give you more insight about my time with both pre-amps.

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post #5 of 180 Old 12-24-2010, 04:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daneinsg View Post
I also have the Denon 4310 and the Oppo 83 and found that using analog out from oppo or hdmi to Denon doesnt make a much (if any) difference for cd playback.
That is quite consistent with my results on my current system, as well as my old system, a Denon AVR 2809 driving mid-quality Polk speakers. I should clarify that everything does sound pretty darn good with the Denon through the Emo amp to the Dalis. But if the source is a nice recording which captures detail and ambiance, such as a good CD or SACD 2 ch recording, I hear a slight but distinct benefit when running the Oppo analog outs into Denon Ext In. In fact I usually prefer using a std analog Denon input and applying Audyssey despite the added ADC/DAC conversions. But the $600 Emo UMC1 yields surprisingly better SQ than the $2K Denon, particularly for the Oppo analog outs. This opened up my ears and inspired me to consider spending even more on better DACs in a player and to look at other preamp options.
Quote:
...I am moving towards pc based music for convenience so I am going to try the soon to be released Audiolab 8200CDQ which is Dac/pre/cd with bypass and same sabre chip as the Oppo 95. I hope this will be an ideal product to combine HT, 2-channel and computer based quality...
Yes I too am interested in adding more connectivity and that is another reason for the Oppo 95, for networking (netflix) & and handling FLAC off DLNA. The 8200CDQ is a very interesting piece.

Any other specific comments on or reports of experience with the other units you mentioned are welcome.

Yes, I still like playing with Dalis.

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post #6 of 180 Old 12-24-2010, 05:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Djoel View Post
I've use a few 2ch with HT BYPASS feature, and there are few things you should consider.One being if you what tube, or SS depending what's you preference. If you don't mind that the Unit needs to be actually powered, so you use your AVR when watching a movie using your system...Djoel
Hi Djoel. Glad you're chiming in, I've followed many of your posts in various threads. I have tubes in most of my guitar amps and I also have good SS tube "modeling" and I prefer the latter. Lighter, cooler, more reliable. Also, the Dalis were demo'd for me on an all-tube McIntosh setup for me and had no high-end clarity for me. Way too warm, alsost didn't buy them until I hooked up the Denon 4310 and could then tell that the speakers are accurate and neutral. I have some "ol time rock n roller" high freq hearing loss so this also affects my preferences. I don't really care that much if the unit has to be powered to do HT BP, especially if SS. I am not looking to get into vinyl.

Quote:
...One of my favorite 2CH Preamp is the Belles 28A, for its smooth, neutral, sweet sounding. It's Solid State and it's has plenty of in's and outs...
The other one is Modwright SL36.5 which happens to be Tube action, so you'll have to be a slave to switching them if you feel they're using any oomph, or lack of bass etc. I thought the Modwright is simply amazing sounding...
This is very helpful info, thnx! I will have to see if the sub solves the bass issue by running 2.1. If it does not, I may get bass traps and then something like the Belle may be worth it.
Quote:
...My least favorite was the Emotiva USP-1 which did have some excellent features like sub woofer out, for a 2.1, but it did have it limitations when it came to running your full range, I can't recall exactly what they where, but they're were some people that weren't happy about this. The new XSP-1 suppose to address this issue.
What I wasn't exactly happy about was the sound quality of this unit...
Yes on the Emo USP1, like the Para 2100, you chose either full band or bass managed outputs, so it is not practical to switch based on music preference. <<Edit-add: the emo does not allow full pass for HTBP, but the xover goes down to 50. I would be fine with that.>> BTW the USP has far more flexible bass management options than the 2100. I was told by CS that there would be little SQ difference from USP to XSP, but that it adds balanced connections. I was also told the UMC sounds basically equivalent to them. <<I have since heard on the forums that for 2 ch the USP is superior to the UMC (especially if you need bass management!) and that the XSP will cost twice as much and sound better than the USP. >> It does offer easy switching of bass management options on stereo analog ins, as it is a prepro, but I believe that requires you switch from Direct mode (very clean) and use ADC. I haven't tried it yet.

Yes, I still like playing with Dalis.

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post #7 of 180 Old 12-24-2010, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Styln View Post
As you know, I tried the P7, but it sounded veiled in my system. All the feedback I've received is that the P7 is an incredibly clear and accurate pre-amp, and there was something wrong with either my system or the P7... Features-wise, the P7 had it all over the MP-1. Sound-wise, the MP-1 had it all over the P7...
I've already conveyed my thoughts on these pre-amps at both the BDP-83SE and Parasound P7 threads. Some creative searching should give you more insight about my time with both pre-amps. Styln
Glad to have your input, Styln. Thnx, I will continue my searching and reading. I really don't know what to make of the disappointing SQ of the 2100 in my system, I suppose it could be a faulty unit exacerbating my room's bass problem. It's odd because once I moved the fronts and got the2100 sounding a little less boomy, I hooked up the UMC and it sounds worlds better in comparison, with all else the same. I really don't want to pay 3 times as much for a functioning P7 as a malfunctioning 2100 if a functioning 2100 will sound good.

Maybe I will do some sub experiments with my old Polk PSW 350 and the 2100. My new sub has been misrouted by Fedex and won't get here for a week.

Yes, I still like playing with Dalis.

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post #8 of 180 Old 12-24-2010, 09:13 AM
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Hey Sound mind here's an ad from Agon of the Belles 28A, if I had some extra cash this unit would have been in my rack..I think I mention this already, it was so long ago

You have fun, doing your reserch, and the ad by all means isn't pushing towards a decisions .

DJoel
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post #9 of 180 Old 12-24-2010, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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^Thnx, I did check that ad out based on your suggestion. This is a wild ride up the increasing expense for increasingly smaller SQ improvements path. If I was a dedicated 2 ch guy I would jump on it. I have some sub experiments to do next week before I seriously consider a fine no-bass-management unit like that.

Yes, I still like playing with Dalis.

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post #10 of 180 Old 12-24-2010, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundofMind View Post

^Thnx, I did check that ad out based on your suggestion. This is a wild ride up the increasing expense for increasingly smaller SQ improvements path. If I was a dedicated 2 ch guy I would jump on it. I have some sub experiments to do next week before I seriously consider a fine no-bass-management unit like that.

It certainly can be a wild (and expensive) ride. Even with full range front speakers, I still like to use my subs for some of my stereo material. Because I use an external DAC and music server, I don't believe in using the SSP for 2 channel listening; it's too many conversions and negates the reason for buying a high-end DAC. Although 2 channel analogue direct is excellent on my SSP, I lose the subs.

Sam
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post #11 of 180 Old 12-25-2010, 12:59 AM
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Check out the Odyssey Candelea 2ch tube pre amp. $1600 new w/Ht bypass and zero feedback. Built in the USA. Most likely if you call you'll talk to Klaus the owner. He'll give you all the details.
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post #12 of 180 Old 12-25-2010, 02:25 AM
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A Modwright SWL 9.0 is a tube based pre with HT bypass. They are usually available on Audiogon used well within your price range. Also made in the US, and upgradeable by Dan Wright should you want further mods.
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post #13 of 180 Old 12-25-2010, 05:35 AM
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Having owned a parasound 2100, found it pretty feature packed for a 2ch pre. And it is amazingly cheap. And for the money probably not much else around. But there is easily better around in my opinion if spend just a little bit more.

Some great pre's coming to mind with htbypass..

primare pre 30
Musical fidelity a308
Musical fidelity a5cr pre
Arcam pre c31
Krell kav 250p

In the tubes
Audio research sp16
Supratek various models
Aksa swift

Also while looking at pres I'd bring to mind the awesome collection of 2ch integrated amplifiers with ht bypass...give you a 2ch pre and power upgrade in the one hit. A huge collection of these around. And all with very decent pre stages, so don't for one minute think be robbing yourself in some way by getting one of those units

"Technology is a drug. We can't get enough of it."


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post #14 of 180 Old 12-25-2010, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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^ alebonau, thanks for those many suggestions. Do you know if any of those has any bass management option ?

As to an IA, I had not thought of that at all. Do you have any specific models in mind? We could also discuss prepros, for ex., I am trying out the Emo UMC1 now, as it does HTBP and bass management, but I believe the BM has to be digitalized.

Yes, I still like playing with Dalis.

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post #15 of 180 Old 12-25-2010, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SamKVA View Post

It certainly can be a wild (and expensive) ride. Even with full range front speakers, I still like to use my subs for some of my stereo material. ...Although 2 channel analogue direct is excellent on my SSP, I lose the subs.

I've had an idea that may make this thread more useful to me and hopefully others on this path who may read it. Besides noting whether a pre has HT BP, if you know whether a model has any bass management option please mention it. I believe that leaves out most of the finer, well established models that 2 ch enthusiasts have come to treasure.

Yes, I still like playing with Dalis.

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post #16 of 180 Old 12-25-2010, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by oldgoalie View Post

A Modwright SWL 9.0 is a tube based pre with HT bypass. They are usually available on Audiogon used well within your price range. Also made in the US, and upgradeable by Dan Wright should you want further mods.

Nice unit. There is interesting mention of dual main outs: "Have subwoofer or wish to biamp? This pre obliges with twin main outputs to accommodate". How would this work for a sub? I can't think how one would utilize a xover, or HPF the mains to avoid "double bass".

Yes, I still like playing with Dalis.

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post #17 of 180 Old 12-25-2010, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundofMind View Post

So far I have tried the HT bypass route using the Oppo 83's dedicated stereo analog outs into a Parasound 2100 2 ch pre w/ HT bypass and was overall unimpressed with the SQ compared to the Denon (some additional mid/high clarity but boomy bass).

You are describing what DSP processing did to improve sound in your room. No matter what components you use for pure analog path, you won't be able to get better sound. So forget analog. Pure digital and DSP processing is the way to go. If you do not need 3D video, keep Oppo-83 and save money for something else.
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post #18 of 180 Old 12-25-2010, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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^Hi. Interesting stance. I care not about 3D. I agree with your first sentence and I would love a "one-box" solution. But there are precious few MC/HT units around that combine great DACs, great preamp quality and great room EQ, and that fit into my price range. I have given serious thought to the Denon AVR 5308, but I believe it usually costs well over $3K and I am unsure how much SQ improvement I would get over the $500 I just spent for the 4310. I have investigated as to whether the 5308's preamp stage quality is as good as good separate preamps but good data is hard to find. Most of those owners just use it for HT. And if the 5308 gets an Audyssey XT32 I will be really tempted, even if I need to keep a separate amp to drive the Dalis.

As to your second sentence, you will find many folks who would beg to differ, me included. I may not have been clear enough in my posts but I have already obtained considerably better SQ without Audyssey DSP even with just my current components, for 2 ch analog. Now I am seeking to further increase the SQ improvements between that attainable with a mid level AVR with very good room EQ (MultEQXT) vs an analog path off great DACs.

Understand that I am pretty impressed with the MC SQ of my current system, especially for HD cable sources. DynEQ and DynVol are nice features and the Audyssey filters and time alignment are impressive. The Polk in-wall surrounds sound better than ever with AL-24. I will soon be able to test whether an Oppo's BPD83SE MC analog outs can best the Denon MC performance given the constraints of speaker placement and minimal room treatments, especially considering that the speaker setup options for MC analog are so limited in the Oppo.

Yes, I still like playing with Dalis.

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post #19 of 180 Old 12-25-2010, 12:48 PM
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The problem with a one box solution (and I have that now and like my Bryston SP1.7) is that technology changes on the digital side more rapidly. I do have secondary basement and bedroom systems and I don't mind rotating stuff say to the basement system in a few years (I bought a Pioneer 1120 for now). So if I got a decent HT pre/pro it would make a nice upgrade to the basement system in a few years if there was something newer out there. I'm definitely leaning towards the preamp with HT bypass solution. I'll probably go more than $2k. It's still cheaper than getting an expensive processor that 5 years down the road is perhaps semi-obsolete
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post #20 of 180 Old 12-25-2010, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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^ Yes there are many posts on the 5308 thread concerning that very issue, and the hope that Denon will provide a major hardware upgrade to the unit as it is fast becoming obsolete. There is even talk that the days of the "flagship AVR" may be over at Denon.

Yes, I still like playing with Dalis.

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post #21 of 180 Old 12-25-2010, 01:22 PM
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You could spend $10,000 on a high end 2-ch preamp but it may not make the bass less boomy since that is the characteristic of the room. I have the USP1 and it is not sophisticated in any way. It does have manual bass management which the 2100 also has (but 2100 is fixed at 80Hz for low pass). I can't adjust the sub level on the USP1 which is a draw back for me.

Bass traps also don't completely eliminate the boominess as they don't completely eliminate the standing waves as far as I understand. I do have bass traps in the corners in my living room from floor to ceiling. I made corner traps using the OC 703 2inch panels. They dont get rid of boominess completely.

I use an inexpensive bass EQ, the well known AntiMode 8033 and this does a much better job of reducing the boominess. My understanding is that it works in both time and freq. domain. Reviews have shown that Audyssey MultEq also does pretty much the same level of correction. But the problem for me is that I dont want a flat response for the entire range. I like laid back mids. So I use the manual EQ on my Denon 3310 to cut down the mids and use the AntiMode 8033 to EQ the bass (sub, Snfire True Sub Junior). This works fine for me.

I also have the Behringer DEQ2496 which has a 31band GEQ per channel (2 channels) and a 10 band PEQ. This works only in the freq. domain. I dont know the technical details behind EQing in freq domain vs EQing in time and freq domain so I will not get into any debate on that topic. I just know that the Antimode 8033 works better. You could also use the Behringer DEQ2496 as a DAC. I have tried some DAC options and CD players under $1000 and I didnt hear much difference at all with my speakers (Magnepan MG12's). The improvements may be so subtle that it may not be worth spending a lot of money on preamp/amp/AVR/source by keeping the same speakers. May be the speakers also have to go up the ladder to be able to reproduce the subtle differences the equipment may be capable of. Just my 2c's
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post #22 of 180 Old 12-25-2010, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by SoundofMind View Post

^ alebonau, thanks for those many suggestions. Do you know if any of those has any bass management option ?

As to an IA, I had not thought of that at all. Do you have any specific models in mind? We could also discuss prepros, for ex., I am trying out the Emo UMC1 now, as it does HTBP and bass management, but I believe the BM has to be digitalized.

Som, keep in mind all bass management does is place an active xover inside the pre amp, this itself can be quite a variable quality and given space constraints can be pretty average at best if trying to fit inside the unit, for the purists it defeats the purpose of a pure analog pre in any case as especially if the analog pre has a digital crossover within, it's just digitizing the analog signal to get the job done.

And your right There are many many very nice analog pres you would rule out if went down the pre with bass management path. If keeping the xover as separate item you can buy the pre of choice and add on any xover be it analog or digital of your choice. There are xover's upward from $99 that likely do a better job than the ones you get thrown in with units with bass management.

As far as integrated Amps, there are quite a few top class units, and why suggested to have a look, as pulling them into contention will only give you more choice of really nice units to pick from, with both pre and power built in one.

Some examples,

Musical fidelity a5. 250wpc
Musical fidelity a308
Musical fidelity m6i if can swing for less than 2k
Musical fidelity a1
Cyrus 8 integrated or lesser models
Naim integrated
Arcam any in their range
rega elicit
Cambridge audio 840a
Nad master series m3
Krell kav 300i
Krell kav 400xi
Krell s300i

The krell, musical fidelity options for instance will not by any chance leave you wanting in either their pre or power. the musical fidelity a5 for instance I first heard with my utopia divas and made me sit up and listen, such is the quality of the pre and power stage it has built in.

the nad masterseries m3 another very interesting option. I own that myself for a bedroom setup, heres a pic of it trying it out in my main system driving the Divas



it does have a xover built in. but is perhaps one example where done right. it is a pure analog xover of excellent quality. one of few rare units around I reckon if looking for a n integrated unit with pre and power built in of highest order and flexibility of a very useable xover available for use if so have the desire. grab one of these if looking for something with the lot and no compromise...

if its room eq you desire for integration of a sub into the system and room, then the velo sms1 would be top of list. comparitively inexpensive and does a beaut job in my opinion, something else have stashed away in my bedroom system

"Technology is a drug. We can't get enough of it."


Welcome to my lounge room :)
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post #23 of 180 Old 12-25-2010, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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^NAD masterseries m3 for the bedroom setup, eh? Dang. It is an interesting idea to run the Denon preouts and Oppo analog outs thru a hi quality IA. Thnx for all the input.

BTW I have a Velo DD10 coming. I'm hoping it will help, if I xover the bass at 70 or 80 after finding a good spot for it by doing a subwoofer crawl. The velo sms1 is another good idea, thnx.

Yes, I still like playing with Dalis.

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post #24 of 180 Old 12-25-2010, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mupi View Post

You could spend $10,000 on a high end 2-ch preamp but it may not make the bass less boomy since that is the characteristic of the room. I have the USP1 and it is not sophisticated in any way...

Yes, agreed.

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...I have the USP1 and it is not sophisticated in any way...

How is the SQ in comparison to other units you've tried?

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I use an inexpensive bass EQ, the well known AntiMode 8033 and this does a much better job of reducing the boominess. My understanding is that it works in both time and freq. domain.

Cool idea, that may be just what's needed if I can't solve it with the Velo DD10 alone. I'd be interested in comparisons of that unit vs velo sms1.

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Bass traps also don't completely eliminate the boominess as they don't completely eliminate the standing waves as far as I understand. I do have bass traps in the corners in my living room from floor to ceiling. I made corner traps using the OC 703 2inch panels. They dont get rid of boominess completely.

I don't think that is the performance or WAF we're looking for.

Yes, I still like playing with Dalis.

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post #25 of 180 Old 12-25-2010, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundofMind View Post

^NAD masterseries m3 for the bedroom setup, eh? Dang. It is an interesting idea to run the Denon preouts and Oppo analog outs thru a hi quality IA. Thnx for all the input.

~

yep nad m3, here's a shot of it in the bedroom setup



if ever come across the m3, you'll see its really quite something. but the beaut part is they do come up second hand every now and then and be well within your $2k budget !

and yeah as your thinking a denon avr coupled with a nice 2ch integrated with ht bypass would really not need you wanting for much more

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Originally Posted by SoundofMind View Post

~

BTW I have a Velo DD10 coming. I'm hoping it will help, if I xover the bass at 70 or 80 after finding a good spot for it by doing a subwoofer crawl. The velo sms1 is another good idea, thnx.

if you have the velo DD10 coming, you need nothing else eq wise in my opinion. I use DD15 on my main system for 2ch, have done so for last 4 years. you dont need to do any subwoofer crawl with it either. just put mic at listening position and move the dd10 around till get the most smoothest response. for eq the sms eq built in the dd10 will help you get a beautifull integration of the sub into your mains and with your room to beautifull result

"Technology is a drug. We can't get enough of it."


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post #26 of 180 Old 12-26-2010, 03:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alebonau View Post

if you have the velo DD10 coming, you need nothing else eq wise in my opinion. I use DD15 on my main system for 2ch, have done so for last 4 years. you dont need to do any subwoofer crawl with it either. just put mic at listening position and move the dd10 around till get the most smoothest response. for eq the sms eq built in the dd10 will help you get a beautifull integration of the sub into your mains and with your room to beautifull result

That would be great, and is exactly what I am hoping for with that purchase, a nice find at $800 delivered. And for HT, Audyssey takes care of the sub channel very well indeed. The issue remains the analog 2 ch xover and you have given me some food for thought in this regard.

I must complement the impressive systems you have nicely integrated into both rooms, BTW.

Yes, I still like playing with Dalis.

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post #27 of 180 Old 12-26-2010, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundofMind View Post
Yes, agreed.


How is the SQ in comparison to other units you've tried?



Cool idea, that may be just what's needed if I can't solve it with the Velo DD10 alone. I'd be interested in comparisons of that unit vs velo sms1.



I don't think that is the performance or WAF we're looking for.
Yeah the OC703 panels need some clothing to make it more appealing. They do reduce the bass accumulation at the corners but they will not completely eliminate the boominess. You can buy panels that are more appealing but are more expensive. You can also cover the OC 703 panels using Guilford panel fabric to improve WAF factor. But just using the Antimode 8033 may be enough. I didnt bother to remove the panels to see what that does to the bass. It was a lot of work to cut them and put them in the corners.

I have not done any serious comparison of the USP1 with the Denon 3310 yet but I can also say that it is not like night and day difference. I used the full range outputs from the USP1 so I didnt have any thing to tweak. I have the Rotel RB-1080 to drive my speakers. I have the Magnepan MG12 and also the Klipsch RF-82. The RF-82 of course goes a lot lower than the MG12 and can play a lot louder but with out any EQ it does sound boomy at particular frequencies where my room has issues. My room has 2 nasty peaks at 125Hz and 33Hz. Unless they are corrected the boominess at those frequencies will never go away. My best bet is to use the sub along with the Antimode 8033 and run the mains crossed over at 80Hz. That still does not fix the issue at 125Hz. So I just reduce the GEQ on the 3310 at 125Hz by 5db.

I have used Cambridge Azur 640C V2, the DacMagic, Anthem AVM20 V2.21, NAS C162 (2ch analog pre-amp) and they all pretty much sounded similar. Sometimes higher volume may make us believe that the SQ is better. Analog pre-amps with balanced outputs can output higher pre-out voltage so they can drive the speakers much louder than the AVR's which only output some 1V max at the pre-outs. This 1V is just not enough to drive speakers like Magnepans. so I use a bumpbox by Samson to bump up the pre-out voltage from the Denon 3310. The USP1 as the specs say, seem to output higher voltage than the AVR but I doubt if it peaks at 9V. If that is the case even a quarter turn of the volume knob should play my MG12's very loud as I can get full amplification from the Rotel RB-1080 (which claims its sensitivity as 1.2V) but that is not the case with the USP1. After the 10 O'clock position on the volume knob it is a struggle to drive my MG12's.

Try the Antimode 8033 first before spending a lot of money on pre-amps. I bought the B-version for $248. The C-version I guess is $350. You can sell it easily at Audiogon if it doesnt work for you. It is just plug and play type. No tweaking. Just plug it, press 2 buttons and it runs the sweep and applies the correction. The difference between B and C versions is that in the C version the volume automatically adjusts during the measurement , if it is very loud to begin with. You can go to the sub woofer forum to get more details.
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post #28 of 180 Old 12-26-2010, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by SoundofMind View Post

I must complement the impressive systems you have nicely integrated into both rooms, BTW.
Yep. All the gear I would like to have but it probably costs twice as much as my house :-)
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post #29 of 180 Old 12-26-2010, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by SoundofMind View Post

I am shopping for a 2 ch or MC preamp to integrate into my 5.1 HT setup. I am hoping for specific recommendations, critiques and reviews of units that are available new or used for under $2K.

I am strongly considering upgrading my Oppo BDP-83 to the soon-to-be-released 95 and want to make use of the great DACs for 2 ch analog. I have a Denon AVR 4310 with Audyssey MultEQXT and it sounds great for cable sources as well as for HDMI bluray and SACD from my current 83's. I run the Denon preouts to an Emotiva 5 ch XPA5 to power Dali Helicon 400s FR/L and matching c200 CC. Surrounds are Polk in- walls currently. The FR/L have been run as full band for 2 ch.

So far I have tried the HT bypass route using the Oppo 83's dedicated stereo analog outs into a Parasound 2100 2 ch pre w/ HT bypass and was overall unimpressed with the SQ compared to the Denon (some additional mid/high clarity but boomy bass). I repositioned front R/L as best I could but I get far better 2 ch SQ from the minimal (direct) analog processing route through an Emo UMC1 prepro, which gives a broader, more detailed soundstage, and the bass is not boomy. But the bass could be clearer yet so I am considering bass traps. I guess a less expensive option would be the emo USP1, which offers slightly more sophisticated bass management than the 2100. Or I could try out the Parasound P7 (but I hear it sounds very much like the 2100). I should have a Velo DD10 soon which has some EQ ability built in and would allow more placement options to try to tighten the bass.
I am looking for your suggestions, including specifics for a good stereo pre w/ HT bypass, new or used under $2K.

Some 2 ch units I am considering, only within budget as they can be found used: Moon P5 and McCormick RLD-1. Neither allows bass management.

I am using a Classe cp 50 with phono much the same way you are describing. I am very pleased with the sound both with vinyl and stereo cd, and sacd, and it does have the theater bypass. I have seen these on audiogon and ebay once in a while for around 1k.

Mike
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post #30 of 180 Old 12-27-2010, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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^ So you are running full band 2.0, I presume, with no bass mgmt? What are the AVRs and other preamps you've compared it to?

Yes, I still like playing with Dalis.

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