Best Preamp or Receiver with Preouts under $1000 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-10-2013, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I've just now begun on building my pair of DIY speakers as can be seen at this link.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1459575/tmm-ae-td-10xs-with-xr1464-horn-and-bms-4594-cd

I'll be posting updates to that post this week yet. I'm currently running an Onkyo 616 receiver which does a pretty good job as a budget receiver with my mini Ewave DIY speakers. These new speakers will be going into my living room when completed and running in only stereo for the time being. I will probably add a pair of surrounds but no center channel. These speakers will be powered by a Crown XTI2002 amp in 4 ohm stereo for 800 watts per channel. This will allow me to EQ the speakers with the amp as well.

I'm looking for a preamp that can meet the following requirements.

1) Of course output to the XTI2002. (preferably balanced outputs)
2) Allow for streaming Pandora and Spotify. (Preferably via WIFI. Otherwise I will need to run another Ethernet from my basement.)
3) Support at least 4 HDMI inputs and ARC.
4)Cost less than $1000 unless there is a marked improvement.
5) Support 7.1 at a minimum. This one should be easy. I have no plans to go to 9.1 or 9.2.
6) Have excellent audio quality with music in stereo.

I've been looking at used and refurb units even . The models that I've been looking at are the Onkyo 818, Marantz 7005 or 7701, Denon 3313 or 4411, and the Onkyo 5508. I'm open to suggestions.

Please help me with this choice. So far the highest end receiver I've purchased is my old Onkyo 805 which has a great amp section but can't stream Pandora and is missing ARC.
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-11-2013, 03:45 AM
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The Denon 3313CI would be my choice. Preamp outputs for full 7.1 and on board Spotify & Pandora. I just bought the 2313CI for my 2 channel set up (I needed better bass integration), and love it, but its preamp outputs are only for zone 2, so you'll need the 3313.

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post #3 of 9 Old 06-11-2013, 05:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

The Denon 3313CI would be my choice. Preamp outputs for full 7.1 and on board Spotify & Pandora. I just bought the 2313CI for my 2 channel set up (I needed better bass integration), and love it, but its preamp outputs are only for zone 2, so you'll need the 3313.

Does the advantage of the 818 having XT32 over the 3313 with XT offer that much?
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-11-2013, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Any other thoughts?
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-11-2013, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I've read that the Sherwood 972 can be a bit flaky at times but would that compare to these modern receivers as a preamp?
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-11-2013, 11:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsloms View Post

Does the advantage of the 818 having XT32 over the 3313 with XT offer that much?

XT32 has greater filter resolution for both satellites (X 32) and subs (X 4) than XT. There's a comparison here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/795421/official-audyssey-thread-faq-in-post-1/51750#user_h2

Generally, I think where XT32 really comes into it's own is with multiple subs in odd shaped rooms. Having said that, the Onkyo 818 does have a "budget" version of XT32 (see here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/795421/official-audyssey-thread-faq-in-post-1/51750#user_818) which, if you're running multiple subs, does negate the advantage of XT32 over XT somewhat.

You've sort of got some disparate requirements listed that will make it a bit tough to meet your $1000 budget (although I'm unfamiliar with your market). If you want balanced pre-outs, you're looking at pre/pro, but streaming capabilty means that it needs to be no more than a couple (?) of years old. If streaming is a bigger priority than balanced pre-outs, then I think an AVR is the best bet. Out of the models you've listed, the Denon 4311 is probably the pick. Another possibility to consider is a used/refurbed Integra AVR.

Actually, forget all that! biggrin.gif This is a real smokey: a new "Slimline" Marantz NR1604 is way less than $1000, has 2.1 channel pre-outs and ticks off all six of your requirements and supports all "new media" from what I can see.
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The network functions of the NR1604 let you enjoy the music library of your iPhone®, iPod touch® and iPad® using AirPlay®, and a wide variety of content such as music streaming from Pandora, Spotify, and SiriusXM. With the network functions you can also use your Android or iOS device to operate the NR1604 via the available Marantz Remote App.
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The optional RX-101 Bluetooth wireless adapter lets you stream music from your portable Bluetooth device to the NR1604.

http://us.marantz.com/DocumentMaster/US/NR1604SpecificationSheet.pdf

The 2 X 50WPC would be adequate to drive 2 surround speakers. The only thing you'd need to check is the maximum pre-out voltage, to ensure it'd drive your Crown to (close to) full power. See how you go! smile.gif
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-12-2013, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsloms View Post

Please help me with this choice. So far the highest end receiver I've purchased is my old Onkyo 805 which has a great amp section but can't stream Pandora and is missing ARC.

You're not gonna find balanced outputs on an AVR under a grand. If you're willing to go with an cheap (and more user-friendly) external solution for streaming (AppleTV, etc.) and sound quality is the primary goal, look at the Anthem MRX 300. In your budget, and room correction software superior to anything else near its price (except for the aforementioned Sherwood, which is also excellent but not a current-production piece).

Get it from a "custom installation" dealer (no online sales) and you'll even be spared the "High End audio salesman" full-court press to buy idiot wires, etc.

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post #8 of 9 Old 06-13-2013, 04:22 AM - Thread Starter
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You're not gonna find balanced outputs on an AVR under a grand. If you're willing to go with an cheap (and more user-friendly) external solution for streaming (AppleTV, etc.) and sound quality is the primary goal, look at the Anthem MRX 300. In your budget, and room correction software superior to anything else near its price (except for the aforementioned Sherwood, which is also excellent but not a current-production piece).

Get it from a "custom installation" dealer (no online sales) and you'll even be spared the "High End audio salesman" full-court press to buy idiot wires, etc.

I'm going to do some running tonight. I have a local Anthem dealer that I'll stop by and check out the MRX receivers. My TV does stream Pandora as well but it's convenient having it in the receiver. From the reading that I've done on them the MRX series is highly regarded as having excellent sound quality. Does is also have HDMI audio return channel to be controlled by the TV for powering on and off as well as volume control?
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-13-2013, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsloms View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

You're not gonna find balanced outputs on an AVR under a grand. If you're willing to go with an cheap (and more user-friendly) external solution for streaming (AppleTV, etc.) and sound quality is the primary goal, look at the Anthem MRX 300. In your budget, and room correction software superior to anything else near its price (except for the aforementioned Sherwood, which is also excellent but not a current-production piece).

Get it from a "custom installation" dealer (no online sales) and you'll even be spared the "High End audio salesman" full-court press to buy idiot wires, etc.

I'm going to do some running tonight. I have a local Anthem dealer that I'll stop by and check out the MRX receivers. My TV does stream Pandora as well but it's convenient having it in the receiver. From the reading that I've done on them the MRX series is highly regarded as having excellent sound quality. Does is also have HDMI audio return channel to be controlled by the TV for powering on and off as well as volume control?

It claims to have the return channel, but my TV doesn't so I've never personally used it. It also has CEC, but CEC wastes a lot of energy on the MRX and all AVRs. It's a bit of kludge, really. I have it turned off and use a Harmony remote.

The MRX is a commodity part just like all the others, except for the fantastic room correction system.

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Crown Audio Xti 2002 475w Stereo Power Amplifier 20hz To 20khz Frequency Response 1 4vrms Input Sens , Onkyo Tx Nr818 , Marantz Av7005 Pre Processor , Marantz Av7701 Audio Video Preamp Processor , Denon Avr 3313ci Receiver
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