Best sounding preamp/processor for H/T - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-26-2013, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I currently have an AVR 4520 and enjoy it very much. However I have been reading some of the reviews and most say it lacks in SQ, I also feel that it lacks a bit in big sound. I have been thinking of moving on to separates and would love to hear some feedback from those that moved away from the AVR to separates. I also would like to know what are some of the best sounding preamp/processors on the market right now. Can I gain much from my current 4520? I have learned one thing, I need to stop reading reviews tongue.gif
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-26-2013, 02:14 PM
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You and me both Reef! I have the 4520 in my living room system and I think it does a good job. I have gotten to hear the 8801, Classe ssp800 and the MX151, though all individually, never in a side by side compare. My only gripe with the 4520 now is that I need to get up to -10db or more to start breaking into any kind of "big sound". I know some have said the unit is geared that way, and it's to be expected.

I must that my impressions of both the mx151 and the 8801 can't be taken too seriously because they were in different shops, with different speakers and different amps. I loved them both. The 151 was running through MC 200w/ch amp to a set of Dynaudio Countour5.4 and the 8801 to B&W CM9s. They both sounded great to me(though I liked the Dyn/mx combo more, but I suspect that has to do more with the Dyns, as they are some of my favorites.

The classe unit I heard was on some very expensive B&W 800CT series speakers and the entire thing was lack-luster.

I am in the same predicament as you...I know I want to try more, but am afraid to open the flood gates. I may take a set of my SEOSR once they are done and bring them to a local shop that has Denon, Mc, Anthem and Marantz on hand. If you have the opportunity to do the same, it could be a great way to decide.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-26-2013, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post

I currently have an AVR 4520 and enjoy it very much. However I have been reading some of the reviews and most say it lacks in SQ, I also feel that it lacks a bit in big sound. I have been thinking of moving on to separates and would love to hear some feedback from those that moved away from the AVR to separates. I also would like to know what are some of the best sounding preamp/processors on the market right now. Can I gain much from my current 4520? I have learned one thing, I need to stop reading reviews tongue.gif
wow i love my 4520. i also have the crown xls 2000 & 1500 and it sounds perfect. i use to have a yamaha 3020 and Parasound 5250 sold them both and dont regret it:)
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-26-2013, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChopShop1 View Post

You and me both Reef! I have the 4520 in my living room system and I think it does a good job. I have gotten to hear the 8801, Classe ssp800 and the MX151, though all individually, never in a side by side compare. My only gripe with the 4520 now is that I need to get up to -10db or more to start breaking into any kind of "big sound". I know some have said the unit is geared that way, and it's to be expected.

I must that my impressions of both the mx151 and the 8801 can't be taken too seriously because they were in different shops, with different speakers and different amps. I loved them both. The 151 was running through MC 200w/ch amp to a set of Dynaudio Countour5.4 and the 8801 to B&W CM9s. They both sounded great to me(though I liked the Dyn/mx combo more, but I suspect that has to do more with the Dyns, as they are some of my favorites.

The classe unit I heard was on some very expensive B&W 800CT series speakers and the entire thing was lack-luster.

I am in the same predicament as you...I know I want to try more, but am afraid to open the flood gates. I may take a set of my SEOSR once they are done and bring them to a local shop that has Denon, Mc, Anthem and Marantz on hand. If you have the opportunity to do the same, it could be a great way to decide.
How ya been Chopper? How is your project coming along? I am glad I am not alone with the 4520. To everyone, don't get me wrong, the unit is fantastic and has way more than I need at the moment, but I was expecting a big upgrade over my 3312 it replaced.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-26-2013, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post

I currently have an AVR 4520 and enjoy it very much. However I have been reading some of the reviews and most say it lacks in SQ, I also feel that it lacks a bit in big sound. I have been thinking of moving on to separates and would love to hear some feedback from those that moved away from the AVR to separates. I also would like to know what are some of the best sounding preamp/processors on the market right now. Can I gain much from my current 4520? I have learned one thing, I need to stop reading reviews tongue.gif

The 4520 has a very good preamp section, and, is very similar to the Marantz 8801; the biggest difference being the amplifier section. I suggest you borrow an outboard amplifier and try your 4520 as a preamp. My prediction is that you will be pleasantly surprised.

David Lynch Current Equipment: Marantz AV8801, Proceed HPA3, Parasound HCA-1206, Aerial Acoustics LR5's (LCR), Aerial Acoustics LR3's (sides), RBH in-walls (rears), Seaton Submersive, Marantz VP15s1, 106" Carada BW screen, Oppo BDP-103.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-27-2013, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChopShop1 View Post

You and me both Reef! I have the 4520 in my living room system and I think it does a good job. I have gotten to hear the 8801, Classe ssp800 and the MX151, though all individually, never in a side by side compare. My only gripe with the 4520 now is that I need to get up to -10db or more to start breaking into any kind of "big sound". I know some have said the unit is geared that way, and it's to be expected.

I must that my impressions of both the mx151 and the 8801 can't be taken too seriously because they were in different shops, with different speakers and different amps. I loved them both. The 151 was running through MC 200w/ch amp to a set of Dynaudio Countour5.4 and the 8801 to B&W CM9s. They both sounded great to me(though I liked the Dyn/mx combo more, but I suspect that has to do more with the Dyns, as they are some of my favorites.

The classe unit I heard was on some very expensive B&W 800CT series speakers and the entire thing was lack-luster.

I am in the same predicament as you...I know I want to try more, but am afraid to open the flood gates. I may take a set of my SEOSR once they are done and bring them to a local shop that has Denon, Mc, Anthem and Marantz on hand. If you have the opportunity to do the same, it could be a great way to decide.

ChopShop,

I really appreciate your post smile.gif. The fact that you clearly mention that you liked the 8801 and MX151 but you did not do any direct comparisons is refreshing.

Bill

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post #7 of 9 Old 08-27-2013, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdlynch View Post

The 4520 has a very good preamp section, and, is very similar to the Marantz 8801; the biggest difference being the amplifier section. I suggest you borrow an outboard amplifier and try your 4520 as a preamp. My prediction is that you will be pleasantly surprised.

I agree with your thoughts. I'm using a 4311 as a preamp and I'm very happy with the way it sounds. I think that the 4520 would make a fine preamp and would come close in SQ to that of the 8801.

Bill

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Denon 4311 (in preamp mode), Parasound 2100, Boston Acoustics A7200 amp, Oppo BDP-103, Consonance CD120, Panasonic TC-P60GT50 plasma, Panamax 5100EX, Salk Song Towers, Song Center, ADS 300C (surrounds) and two Rythmik F12SEs.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-27-2013, 12:06 PM
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I'm as prone to upgraditis as most here. But there's no more audible change obtainable than changing speakers and tackling room problems such as first reflections and reverb times control...

This said, my change from a Yamaha RX-V2700 AVR to a Emotiva UMC-1 + XPR-5 combo made a big change anyway. Especially the rather unefficient B&W CMC center benefitted. And no, my last of the run UMC-1 (bought for the upgrade card) didn't cause any problems at all after about 10 months of daily use!

Building a HT with 7.2.4 layout and ◤SEOS-24◥ LCR.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-27-2013, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by erwinfrombelgium View Post

I'm as prone to upgraditis as most here. But there's no more audible change obtainable than changing speakers and tackling room problems such as first reflections and reverb times control...!

I agree with your thoughts on speaker changes (upgrades) and room issues 1000% smile.gif. I have tried numerous amps (of different types), preamps, AVRs and prepros with minimal to no SQ differences. But I have gained substantial SQ improvements with speaker upgrades and proper speaker location in my room. I would love to do room treatments but it wouldn't work well in my listening / living room.

Bill

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Denon 4311 (in preamp mode), Parasound 2100, Boston Acoustics A7200 amp, Oppo BDP-103, Consonance CD120, Panasonic TC-P60GT50 plasma, Panamax 5100EX, Salk Song Towers, Song Center, ADS 300C (surrounds) and two Rythmik F12SEs.
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