Pre/Pro and Amp Question - Volume Control - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 08-04-2012, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey everybody, looking at a Marantz AV pre/pro and a Parasound Amp. This is maybe a ridiculous question, but how and from where is the output volume controlled? There is only a power button on the Parasound Halo A51 Should I assume the Marantz feeds a volume level?

Tim in Houston
Anthem D2v(update installed), Parsound Halo A51 5 Ch Amp, DirecTV DVR(3d), LG BDP, Onkyo CD Player, Music Hall MMF 5.1 Turntable, Cambridge Audio phone pre-amp, Knoll 50 Amp whole house distribution amp, Paradigm Studio 100's, Paradigm ADP 690 Center, Paradigm Millenia Rear,...
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post #2 of 20 Old 08-04-2012, 05:44 PM
 
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Easy search, here is the manual and other info http://www.parasound.com/halo/a51.php To answer your question, yes the pre-amp or Surround processor controls the volume.
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post #3 of 20 Old 08-04-2012, 05:52 PM
 
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Yes, the Marantz would handle volume duties. Some Parasounds have a gain control knob for each channel, but I don't think the A51 does.
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post #4 of 20 Old 08-04-2012, 08:49 PM
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Do you know which Parasound Amp were you considering? I was wondering because if it is the Halo series, it would be several times the cost of the pre-pro or the matching MM7055 amp. I may be biased because I own it, but the MM7055 often seems overlooked for amps costing 2-3x as much, while sticking with a cheap receiver or pre/pro.
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post #5 of 20 Old 08-04-2012, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
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A51. Money not an issue. I also like the five year warranty.

Tim in Houston
Anthem D2v(update installed), Parsound Halo A51 5 Ch Amp, DirecTV DVR(3d), LG BDP, Onkyo CD Player, Music Hall MMF 5.1 Turntable, Cambridge Audio phone pre-amp, Knoll 50 Amp whole house distribution amp, Paradigm Studio 100's, Paradigm ADP 690 Center, Paradigm Millenia Rear,...
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-05-2012, 06:09 AM
 
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I always think of this bit from Tommy Boy, when looking at warranties.

Tommy: Let's think about this for a sec, Ted. Why would somebody put a guarantee on a box? Hmmm, very interesting.
Ted Nelson, Customer: Go on, I'm listening.
Tommy: Here's the way I see it, Ted. Guy puts a fancy guarantee on a box 'cause he wants you to feel all warm and toasty inside.
Ted Nelson, Customer: Yeah, makes a man feel good.
Tommy: 'Course it does. Why shouldn't it? Ya figure you put that little box under your pillow at night, the Guarantee Fairy might come by and leave a quarter, am I right, Ted?
[chuckles until he sees that Ted is not laughing]
Ted Nelson, Customer: [impatiently] What's your point?
Tommy: The point is, how do you know the fairy isn't a crazy glue sniffer? "Building model airplanes" says the little fairy; well, we're not buying it. He sneaks into your house once, that's all it takes. The next thing you know, there's money missing off the dresser, and your daughter's knocked up. I seen it a hundred times.
Ted Nelson, Customer: But why do they put a guarantee on the box?
Tommy: Because they know all they sold ya was a guaranteed piece of ****. That's all it is, isn't it? Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time. But for now, for your customer's sake, for your daughter's sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality product from me.
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post #7 of 20 Old 08-05-2012, 07:04 AM
 
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A warranty is nothing more than a bet.

The customer is betting they'll collect and the manufacture is betting the customer won't bet.

Tain't no thang.
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post #8 of 20 Old 08-05-2012, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Then I wish I had bet on an Onkyo receiver when the phono in quit functioning in month 13 and O told me nothing they could do about, and then when the tuner went out about a year later and then when the HDMI out recently went out. That warranty is now gonna cost me several thousand dollars. Build a good product, warranties not needed. Most mass produced products today, assembled by assembly line workers that are told you do this this and this without a clue as to why they are doing, and an I Don't care attitude from the parent company, and your doggone right,a n extended warranty is required. But the manufacturer knows that by giving that, it most likely will not be used because they are supplying a quality product. Are you paying for it, maybe, maybe not.

Tim in Houston
Anthem D2v(update installed), Parsound Halo A51 5 Ch Amp, DirecTV DVR(3d), LG BDP, Onkyo CD Player, Music Hall MMF 5.1 Turntable, Cambridge Audio phone pre-amp, Knoll 50 Amp whole house distribution amp, Paradigm Studio 100's, Paradigm ADP 690 Center, Paradigm Millenia Rear,...
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post #9 of 20 Old 08-05-2012, 09:27 AM
 
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Every single product has at least a one year warranty. I've made claims on a warranty when I needed to, no big deal. A warranty is only as good as the company backing it up, and from all reports I've read about Parasound owners needing service, that company puts the customer first. Onkyo? Not so much.
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post #10 of 20 Old 08-05-2012, 11:26 AM
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My only point was the pre/pro you are looking at is $1500. The amp you are looking at is around $4500. That's 3x as much. I would think you would achieve better results if the budgets were reversed or matched.
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post #11 of 20 Old 08-06-2012, 03:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tank_PD View Post

My only point was the pre/pro you are looking at is $1500. The amp you are looking at is around $4500. That's 3x as much. I would think you would achieve better results if the budgets were reversed or matched.

Totally agree. Unless you already have The amp or got some killer deal on it I have no idea why one would spend three times as much on an amp than their pre pro, seems silly.
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post #12 of 20 Old 08-06-2012, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Not set on the Parasound and really looking for advice. I know a general rule of thumb is to spend 50% of a budget on the speakers. Wasn't sure on other separate components as this is a learning curve for me to go to a component system. So all constructive ideas are very welcomed. Maybe I should rethink. My thoughts were to get a really good amp that would last a long time and then upgrade the pre/pro as needed over time.

Tim in Houston
Anthem D2v(update installed), Parsound Halo A51 5 Ch Amp, DirecTV DVR(3d), LG BDP, Onkyo CD Player, Music Hall MMF 5.1 Turntable, Cambridge Audio phone pre-amp, Knoll 50 Amp whole house distribution amp, Paradigm Studio 100's, Paradigm ADP 690 Center, Paradigm Millenia Rear,...
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post #13 of 20 Old 08-06-2012, 08:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Breako View Post

Totally agree. Unless you already have The amp or got some killer deal on it I have no idea why one would spend three times as much on an amp than their pre pro, seems silly.

How is that silly? I don't think the model of speakers involved has been mentioned. The amp purchase should be dependant on the speakers, not so much the prepro. As the thread starter suggested, buying a lower cost prepro since it'll be replaced more often is a good strategy. My 4 yr old flagship Onkyo AVR is badly out of date, and I'll be replacing it eventually.

The other thing is, name a list of several 5 channel amps that have at least 250 watts per channel. Now look at their prices. The Parasound may be a little more than most, but it's a beast of an amp and has class A operation for the first 10 watts or so, which none of the other brands offer. Bohai hasn't mentioned whether he prefers to go the brick and mortar route or the internet route, some prefer the B&M route for after sale service and ease of warranty claims. And the model of speakers hasn't been mentioned yet. Before saying that too much is being spent on the amp, you should find out what speakers are involved.
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post #14 of 20 Old 08-06-2012, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bohai View Post

Not set on the Parasound and really looking for advice. I know a general rule of thumb is to spend 50% of a budget on the speakers. Wasn't sure on other separate components as this is a learning curve for me to go to a component system. So all constructive ideas are very welcomed. Maybe I should rethink. My thoughts were to get a really good amp that would last a long time and then upgrade the pre/pro as needed over time.

50% is good. For example my 2-channel breakdown ends up being a 2:1:1 price ratio of Speakers:Amp:Source.
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post #15 of 20 Old 08-06-2012, 12:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bohai View Post

Not set on the Parasound and really looking for advice. I know a general rule of thumb is to spend 50% of a budget on the speakers. Wasn't sure on other separate components as this is a learning curve for me to go to a component system. So all constructive ideas are very welcomed. Maybe I should rethink. My thoughts were to get a really good amp that would last a long time and then upgrade the pre/pro as needed over time.

So you are shopping for speakers too? Perhaps we should start from the beginning, I agree with the idea that 50% should be spent on speakers. The thing is, it's difficult to know what sound characteristics you would like and there are many different types and styles of speakers. But there are some basics that would help you out. What size is your room? Is it rectangular, does it have open areas that it shares with other rooms? Do you have a vaulted ceiling?

Next up, what have you been watching movies and listening to music with(in other words, what is your base line of sound quality)? If you've been listening to TV speakers then you won't need a 10,000 system to acheive superior sound to what you're used to. And the size of the room will determine how much power you will need to achieve the volume levels that will satisfy you, you might not need reference levels. I sure don't.

Have you decided on whether to shop at a traditional store vs buying on the internet? If you are comfortable with it, buying online can save you a lot if you know where to go. For instance, Audio Advisor.com may have great selection and brands, but their prices are pretty much full retail, unless you get something on sale.

For speaker shopping, it should really be done before anything else. The speakers you buy will determine the rest of your budget, and the amp you will need to achieve wanted volume levels. For instance, if the speakers you get have a sensitivity of 85db, then you will need a more powerful amp than speakers that are reated at 88db. I suggest you listen to some bright speakers and some laid back speakers to start, like Klipsch and B&W. Bring music and movies that you are familar with. Maybe even take notes on what you like about each speaker.

Good luck, hope this helps.
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post #16 of 20 Old 08-06-2012, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes it did, thanks. Currently have Aprerion bookshelf's. They were bought for a previous room. The new room is 25 x 23' and has 25' vaulted ceiling plus opens in to a kitchen area that is about same size, but with 12 ft flat ceilings. One wall is all glass. So I think these speakers are probably under performers for that size room. Listening will be probably 25% music, 40% movies and rest HDTV. Those percentages are likely to change based on the sound array set up. I do like the Aperion sub I have, just not crazy about the speakers. Thinking of floor standing L-R (for music)and bookshelf center(should they all be the same brand?) . Would probably leave current Aperions as back surrounds.

As far as internet, I have no problem ordering from it. I have seen some pretty decent speakers online like Salk that I really like, again always hard to buy without listening to them. Open for other online speakers buying direct as well.

Tim in Houston
Anthem D2v(update installed), Parsound Halo A51 5 Ch Amp, DirecTV DVR(3d), LG BDP, Onkyo CD Player, Music Hall MMF 5.1 Turntable, Cambridge Audio phone pre-amp, Knoll 50 Amp whole house distribution amp, Paradigm Studio 100's, Paradigm ADP 690 Center, Paradigm Millenia Rear,...
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post #17 of 20 Old 08-06-2012, 06:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bohai View Post

Yes it did, thanks. Currently have Aprerion bookshelf's. They were bought for a previous room. The new room is 25 x 23' and has 25' vaulted ceiling plus opens in to a kitchen area that is about same size, but with 12 ft flat ceilings. One wall is all glass. So I think these speakers are probably under performers for that size room. Listening will be probably 25% music, 40% movies and rest HDTV. Those percentages are likely to change based on the sound array set up. I do like the Aperion sub I have, just not crazy about the speakers. Thinking of floor standing L-R (for music)and bookshelf center(should they all be the same brand?) . Would probably leave current Aperions as back surrounds.
As far as internet, I have no problem ordering from it. I have seen some pretty decent speakers online like Salk that I really like, again always hard to buy without listening to them. Open for other online speakers buying direct as well.

Wow, that is one big space to fill with sound! Since you seem happy with the Aprerion brand, I'd look at the Verus Grand models for your center and fronts. If you are serious about Salk, I'd phone them up and talk to a rep. That is a great company and well regarded around here. But for the sub, Aprerion seems a step or two back of the best Internet brands like SVS, Rythmik or HSU in the bang for buck department. For about 1000, you can get some pretty serious bass. My HSU VTF-15H amazed me and from reports I've read, Rythmik and SVS can offer even better performance. You could go the the sub section of this forum and ask for recommendations. The bass heads there will gladly offer good advice.

For an amp, since you are open to Internet Direct, I'd suggest Outlaw Audio or Emotiva. Both have great 5 channel amps at the 200 watt level and offer in home trials. I have amps from both companies and prefer the Outlaw for it's better bass control. I also like that company does as much manufacturing of the amps in the US as it can, which for me stands for something. But that's up to you. I also have a Parasound amp and think it's the best sounding of the three I have, but as mentioned earlier, they are not cheap for the Halo line, and the New Classic line can be matched from the other brands I mentioned for much less.

The prepro you are looking at, you should know that Marantz will be releasing 2 new models by the end of the summer or so. The new ones should have updated features, though thus far Marantz hasn't been on the cutting edge of things. I would suggest you look for a model that has the best room correction software from Audyssey, XT32. Your room having such high ceilings would create sound issues that the room correctcion could tame for the most part.

Perhaps others might have some thoughts/ideas as well but that is a start!
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post #18 of 20 Old 08-06-2012, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks runnin', is there a pre/pro that you would recommend in the 1500-3000$ range?

Tim in Houston
Anthem D2v(update installed), Parsound Halo A51 5 Ch Amp, DirecTV DVR(3d), LG BDP, Onkyo CD Player, Music Hall MMF 5.1 Turntable, Cambridge Audio phone pre-amp, Knoll 50 Amp whole house distribution amp, Paradigm Studio 100's, Paradigm ADP 690 Center, Paradigm Millenia Rear,...
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post #19 of 20 Old 08-06-2012, 08:38 PM
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Thanks runnin', is there a pre/pro that you would recommend in the 1500-3000$ range?
Marantz and Denon are owned by the same company and put out similar products. Different look on the front but almost same on the back. The best room correction software they sell is audyssey xt32. Onlyt the Denon 4311 for $1200 has this. A receiver but has 11.2 preamp out. Hook up any amp you want. I recommend running at least the surrounds off the receiver. 140 watt 8 ohm x 2 easy. Drives 4 ohm speakers all day long. The most reliable model in this price range by far! I'm doing 11.2 with an Emotiva xpa5 (200watt x5) amp for the main 5 speakers and it plays super loud and clear. Not $10k Lexicon/McIntosh clean, but close. Not as clean as parasound a51. That amp goes for $4500 new though. Not really rated any cleaner than emotiva. Outlaw only does 5 or 7 channel amp but another good value. Even a good pro amp like QSC PLX2502 for the fronts is better value than a51 (425w x2 8ohm 0.05% thd and 106 db s/n ratio $1100). More efficient power use with class h. I only use class D amps for my subwoofers. You should run dual subs and big efficient towers in a room that big. I like Hsu Research and SV sound.
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post #20 of 20 Old 08-06-2012, 09:52 PM
 
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Thanks runnin', is there a pre/pro that you would recommend in the 1500-3000$ range?

That Denon 4311 is a good option, lots of people use a receiver's pre outs and you've got a prepro. But if you really want to go with a dedicated prepro, Integra has a couple of options. The 40.2 which is their entry level processor(if there is such a thing) and the 80.3, which has the Audyssey XT32. I think Onkyo also has the SC5508 with the Audyssey, but the list is pretty short. These units mostly sell through dealers I think, and they both list a little over 2000. Either of those would do the trick nicely. The options get pretty expensive after that.

The Marantz 7005 is nice, but it doesn't have the processing power of the models I mentioned. Still it is much cheaper and definitely has its fans.
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