Upgrade Advice: Pre/Pro vs AVR vs Stay Put?? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-07-2013, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I am currently running a B&K Reference 50 S2 pre/pro with a NAD Master Series (M25) 7 channel amp. My speakers are: Paradigm Studio 100's front, Studio CC570 Center, and Paradigm in ceiling for surrounds and backs (4). HSU VTF-2 sub (closely looking at something new from PSA or Rythmik - don't really plan on duals). My Sources are an Oppo BDP-103 (just purchased last week), PS3, and ATT Uverse cable box. My room is large, non-dedicated family room 24x24 with vaulted ceilings.

I am 85% Movies/Gaming, and 15% music (Pandora via the Oppo is sweet).

I am seriously considering "upgrading" to a new pre/pro or receiver, mainly for the new audio formats that are not supported by the B&K, and something with HDMI.

My budget is somewhat flexible, but I am pretty big on value and the diminishing return value as prices go up.

I wan originally considering the Marantz AV7701 - then the 8801 pops up and gains my interest (albeit at a much higher price). The Dennon receivers seem to be vary popular;
maybe the 3312, 4311 or 4520?

Demoing the gear is not really an option, as my only local dealer is Magnolia, so no in home trials....and to be honest I'll buy from an authorized dealer online.

I have some questions and am looking for input:

Will running a receiver alone (Dennon 4311, 3313, 4520, or an Anthem MRX500) be an audible loss WITHOUT the NAD amp?

Will one of the new series receivers or pre/pro's be a significant upgrade sonically over the B&K Ref50?

I could sell the NAD amp to offset the cost of a new receiver, but I don't want to be in a position where I'm wanting more clean power (the NAD is a beast)


What would you do in my situation and why?

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-08-2013, 01:49 PM
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The room equalization software in modern receivers usually provides a significant improvement in sound quality when compared to systems like your B&K which doesn't have EQ.

Personally, I don't think you'll hear any difference, but the higher-end Denon and Marantz receivers do include preamp outputs, so you can continue to use your NAD amp and compare its sound with the AVRs' builtin amps. You can then sell the NAD (if that's what you decide) without having to suffer "buyer's remorse."

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post #3 of 6 Old 01-08-2013, 03:35 PM
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The nice thing about an amp is they do not have to be upgraded. You could get a pre-pro. Look for a used or refurbished unit. Personally, I would look for a unit with XT-32 Audyssey. A good buy right now is the Sherwood Newcastle 972. It has pre outs so you can use your amp. I have both an Onkyo and the Sherwood. I have a preference toward the Onkyo, but it also costs 3 times as much. That Trinnov is pretty amazing. It sounds like your room may be non-standard and the room correction will do wonders. For $550 shipped, it is a pretty amazing piece.
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-08-2013, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
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At this point and time, do you think a Denon 4311 would be my best value while providing solid performance?

The new Marantz AV8801 is what I really want, but the $3.5K price tag is going to be a tough sell to the wife.
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-08-2013, 08:55 PM
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Do you live in Washington state? No need to publicly answer. I'm asking since you mention magnolia. I've had an in home trial from magnolia with the marantz sr7005 over night. I borrowed the floor model over night and brought it back in the morning.

To for what you truly want and can get because you may wonder and not have total peace of mind.

I don't know anything about the receivers mentioned.
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-12-2013, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm in California and local Magnolia won't do that. I won't be buying from them, so I won't push that issue. I did purchase my Oppo 103 from them though smile.gif

It'd be nice if Anthem would put out a more affordable pre/pro based on their mrx series avr (with some updates). The avm50 is out of my price range.
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