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We're back and a new "journey" has begun: amps and preamps - Page 3

post #61 of 2080
For the amp, why not look at ATI?

http://www.ati-amp.com/

ATI is also endorsed on Salk's website.
post #62 of 2080
Thread Starter 
The Onkyo is being purchased to be used with my HT (The rocket system...when its totally done). I'll be comparing the DAC's to the Emotiva preamp. The winner gets used with the ST's until I get my new 2-channel preamp. I only asked the question because I wanted to see what your opinions were about using the Onkyo as a preamp. I will perform some tests myself, but I wanted a general consensus. And it would seem that consensus says a dedicated 2-channel preamp will sound a lot better, which is what I expected. However, if I feel the Onkyo is better, I will use that until the 2-channel pre is purchased. In other words, I just want some opinions, but I won't let them affect my decision.

Concerning the Salk's, 2-channel is my priority...or rather 2.2 channels.

I hope that makes sense.
post #63 of 2080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

The Onkyo is being purchased to be used with my HT (The rocket system...when its totally done). I'll be comparing the DAC's to the Emotiva preamp. The winner gets used with the ST's until I get my new 2-channel preamp. I only asked the question because I wanted to see what your opinions were about using the Onkyo as a preamp. I will perform some tests myself, but I wanted a general consensus. And it would seem that consensus says a dedicated 2-channel preamp will sound a lot better, which is what I expected. However, if I feel the Onkyo is better, I will use that until the 2-channel pre is purchased. In other words, I just want some opinions, but I won't let them affect my decision.

Concerning the Salk's, 2-channel is my priority...or rather 2.2 channels.

I hope that makes sense.

Yes, that makes sense, and it does clear up the confusion. Those are some ambitious goals. I, for one, am glad to see some one willing to try to objectively determine if there is an audible difference between the DACs and preamp sections of a mass market HT receiver (Onkyo), a HT preamp/processor (Emotiva), and a dedicated 2-channel preamp. Few people go to that kind of effort. I know I haven't.

I think all of us agree that differences among speakers are easily heard and (usually) are well worth spending extra money; differences among amps can also be audible and may be worth spending extra money (depending on the power requirements of your speakers); but it is unclear, at least to me, whether there are clearly audible differences among preamps or DACs, and even less clear whether it is worth spending extra money for it. It's far easier to compare speakers than it is to compare electronic gear. I am certainly interested in hearing about your experiences and conclusions.

The smaller the audible differences become in the performance of electronic audio gear, the more that cost plays a role in the decision whether to buy or not. And everyone has different values about spending money, and within their own lives, different economic circumstances. So these decisions tend to be influenced by many things other than audible performance. I think that's why we see such a variety of opinions here about preamps vs. receivers.

I think you know where I stand on this question. I am glad to see you try to find audible differences among the various preamp level gear you try. That will be worth knowing regardless of your eventual spending decisions.
post #64 of 2080
Thread Starter 
You are spot on, R Swerdlow; after a certain price point the differences between amps and preamps are very difficult to hear if that piece of equipment is well engineered. Once that spot is reached, you're paying for small differences and its all based on preference at that point. In my search, I am trying to determine at what price category that particular point is reached. Is $700 enough? How about $1500 or perhaps $2500? My goal is to find the common ground among most of the well known and trusted manufacturers. If the common ground ends up being lower in cost than many would expect - great! If not, well, I won't get too optimistic.

The Emotive sold for something like $599 or so. It's a 7.1 capable preamp. The Onkyo 805 is a 7.1 capable receiver but gets rave reviews for the DAC's onboard. I do think there will be a difference in SQ, but I've been known to be wrong before. I mean...this one time I ended up being wrong about being wrong, so... In all seriousness though, I will be putting a good deal of time into this and will take it seriously. As mentioned above, my goal is stated and now its time to make it happen, and I can't do it without all of you.
post #65 of 2080
Just promise me that after you settle the preamp and DAC question, you don't repeat the whole process for, dare I say it...
speaker cables .
post #66 of 2080
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Swerdlow View Post

Just promise me that after you settle the preamp and DAC question, you don't repeat the whole process for, dare I say it...
speaker cables .

LMAO! We won't even go there; not worth my time. And that's all I'll say about that.
post #67 of 2080
Man, this thread is all over the place. In a day it has gone from a search for 2 channel amps and pre-amps to receivers. Quite different in nature than the meticulous organization of the speaker thread.

Nuance, I can assure you the differences between even a few hundred dollar Rouge Audio pre-amp and listening to music through a receiver are drastic. I use an Integra 9.8 for my home theater stuff, and besides for some annoying quirks it has, it serves its function very well. But I invite anyone to come hear and listen to a CD through direct mode on it in comparison to my 2 channel pre-amp. I would bet a lot of money that the word subtle does not get used. You have spent so much care in choosing your "perfect" speaker, I just hope you take the same care in choosing the source components to get the most enjoyable experience from them.
post #68 of 2080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

LMAO! We won't even go there; not worth my time. And that's all I'll say about that.

Ah, but would you do it for a bag of magic rocks, or Brilliant Pebbles I should say?
post #69 of 2080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

LMAO! We won't even go there; not worth my time. And that's all I'll say about that.

That sounds familiar. When someone once asked Dennis Murphy why the Federal Trade Commission (where he works in his dayjob) didn't bother regulating outlandish claims by some speaker cable companies, he said something similar to you: "We don't go there, and you shouldn't either"
post #70 of 2080
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

Man, this thread is all over the place. In a day it has gone from a search for 2 channel amps and pre-amps to receivers. Quite different in nature than the meticulous organization of the speaker thread.

Nuance, I can assure you the differences between even a few hundred dollar Rouge Audio pre-amp and listening to music through a receiver are drastic. I use an Integra 9.8 for my home theater stuff, and besides for some annoying quirks it has, it serves its function very well. But I invite anyone to come hear and listen to a CD through direct mode on it in comparison to my 2 channel pre-amp. I would bet a lot of money that the word subtle does not get used. You have spent so much care in choosing your "perfect" speaker, I just hope you take the same care in choosing the source components to get the most enjoyable experience from them.

Oh no worries, I will. Like I said earlier, no matter if I like the sound of the Emotiva or Onkyo better, I am still going to purchase a 2-channel preamp. Sorry about the non-meticulous organization of this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

Ah, but would you do it for a bag of magic rocks, or Brilliant Pebbles I should say?

lol!
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Swerdlow View Post

That sounds familiar. When someone once asked Dennis Murphy why the Federal Trade Commission (where he works in his dayjob) didn't bother regulating outlandish claims by some speaker cable companies, he said something similar to you: "We don't go there, and you shouldn't either"

HA!
post #71 of 2080
Thread Starter 
So we've gotten a good amount of amplifier recommendations, but what about preamps? As far as I am concerned I just want a very good 2.1 channel unit. I don't need bells and whistles; just pure sonic enjoyment. And yes, I will use a subwoofer to ensure I hear and feel even the lowest notes of a pipe organ, so the preamp needs to have a subwoofer out.

Please keep the recommendations coming. I'm have been doing/am doing a lot of research.

Thanks!
post #72 of 2080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Concerning the Salk's, 2-channel is my priority...or rather 2.2 channels.

This brings up what I think is an important point. Most of all the 2 channel preamps don't really work all that great for subs, you have to manage them ouside the preamp

An AVR is going to have bass management that is greatly superior (flexible crossover point, level matching in the source and a 24db crossover slope) to a simple 2 channel rig.

Have you though about how you want to integrate your subs? Do you have an EQ on your subs all ready?

Have Fun!
post #73 of 2080
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmannth View Post

This brings up what I think is an important point. Most of all the 2 channel preamps don't really work all that great for subs, you have to manage them ouside the preamp

An AVR is going to have bass management that is greatly superior (flexible crossover point, level matching in the source and a 24db crossover slope) to a simple 2 channel rig.

Have you though about how you want to integrate your subs? Do you have an EQ on your subs all ready?

Have Fun!

No, I have not, but I do want to use subwoofers while listening to music. The speakers aren't rate to go that low.

Any suggestions? I do not have an EQ on my subs. In fact I don't have the subs yet, but that's a whole different topic.
post #74 of 2080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

As far as I am concerned I just want a very good 2.1 channel unit.

The one unit that I have looked at (not heard) is the Emotiva Audio RSP-1 (BTW: they have some decent amps there as well). It is a real 2.1 preamp, I don't know how well it would integrate with a HT AVR.

Have Fun!
post #75 of 2080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

No, I have not, but I do want to use subwoofers while listening to music. The speakers aren't rate to go that low.

Any suggestions? I do not have an EQ on my subs. In fact I don't have the subs yet, but that's a whole different topic.

Uh-oh. I can see where this is going. Two months from now we should expect to see Chapter 3 in the "Journey's of Nuance & Funk". Or Nu-Funk as I like to call you.
post #76 of 2080
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

Uh-oh. I can see where this is going. Two months from now we should expect to see Chapter 3 in the "Journey's of Nuance & Funk". Or Nu-Funk as I like to call you.

lmao! Seriously, you have to stop. You're killing me today!!

So am I screwed? Is there no good 2.1 preamps in our (my) price range?
post #77 of 2080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post


So am I screwed? Is there no good 2.1 preamps in our (my) price range?

I have my eye on this guy
http://www.rogueaudio.com/Products_Perseus.htm
post #78 of 2080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post


Any suggestions? I do not have an EQ on my subs.

Well what you need is a parametric EQ for the sub region. I think some high end pre pros can do this? and for everyone else there are 2 main ways that I know of.

1. The BFD, It is cheap. It is ugly. It has a learning curve. It gets the job done
http://www.hometheatershack.com/foru...-faq-tips.html

2. The Velodyne SMS-1. It costs more, looks better and is easier to use.
http://www.velodyne.com/products/pro...5&sid=413p149u

Boom is bad, bass is good

Have Fun!
post #79 of 2080
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoTC View Post

I have my eye on this guy
http://www.rogueaudio.com/Products_Perseus.htm

An excellent choice! Rouge Audio builds great products in all different price ranges.

You are learning quick
post #80 of 2080
Thread Starter 
Anyone have any experience or comments about these?
Audio Refinement Pre-2DSP
Parasound Model 2100
NuForce AVP 16
post #81 of 2080
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoTC View Post

I have my eye on this guy
http://www.rogueaudio.com/Products_Perseus.htm

Me likey! Is there a sub out on that? I didn't see it labeled...
post #82 of 2080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

So am I screwed? Is there no good 2.1 preamps in our (my) price range?


Yes and no. Most true 2 channel pre-amps are just that, 2 channels. But there are ways around it. For instance, some 2 channel pre's with have both XLR and RCA outs you can run one set to the amp for the speakers and the other to the sub. But only if the sub has both stereo and low level inputs. I use the SVS PB-13 Ultra and they have that feature as well as a built-in EQ system.

Another option is to pick up a Velodyne SMS-1, I love mine. You could then run the LFE from you SSP to it and also one of the two outputs we just talked about from the 2 channel pre. This would give you the ability to establish completely different setup and crossover points for music and movies. I find properly integrating a sub into music is one of the most challenging aspects of this hobby. You want the bass to be present but never out of place, I struggle with this all the time. Currently I am not running a sub with music, but I may begin playing around again.
post #83 of 2080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Me likey! Is there a sub out on that? I didn't see it labeled...

Four tube mu-follower design
- Massive power supply
- Slow start turn on sequencing
- Auto mute at turn on/turn off
- Home Theater bypass
- Subwoofer output
- Metal remote volume
- Heavy duty gold plated RCA inputs
- Machined aluminum faceplate and knobs
- All precision components
- Individually regulated filament supplies
- Alps volume and balance controls
- 4 input selections (Phono, CD, Tuner, Aux)
- 1 Home Theater input
- 3 outputs (1 fixed, 2 variable)
- 40 - 65 dB gain phono stage
- RIAA equalization within 0.25 DB
- User adjustable cartridge loading
- Detachable IEC power cord
- Fully tested, burned in and auditioned
- 3 year limited warranty (6 months on tubes)
- Proudly hand crafted in the USA


On a side note you guys might think I'm out of my mind but since I'm ampless right now I'm driving the Dalis with a 50wpc Sonos ZP100 and it blows away my old Axioms through the Integra powered by an Emotiva IPS-1

Real life proof that speakers are without a doubt the most important part of the chain.

Edit: Based upon the 2 hrs I've put into my Dalis I never see needing a sub for 2 channel. I can't get this stupid ass grin off my face.

Tube preamp is definitely next on my list!
post #84 of 2080
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoTC View Post

I have my eye on this guy
http://www.rogueaudio.com/Products_Perseus.htm

I heard this preamp hooked to the McCormack I ended up buying. It is an excellent preamp. I had my eye out for a used one when I was looking but it never popped up. This would be a fantastic choice.
post #85 of 2080
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

Yes and no. Most true 2 channel pre-amps are just that, 2 channels. But there are ways around it. For instance, some 2 channel pre's with have both XLR and RCA outs you can run one set to the amp for the speakers and the other to the sub.

This is not really optimal though.

You are sending a full signal to your mains that you want crossed over. Do you really want to send 28hz (or other low tones) to your mains?

Running full on your mains all the time makes it harder to properly mate the subs. Folks don't generally run an EQ on their mains to tame the bass region. It is better to have a controlled crossover point rather than hoping that the sub can just get dialed in at the right spot to mate with the way your mains roll off.

Have Fun!
post #86 of 2080
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmannth View Post

This is not really optimal though.

You are sending a full signal to your mains that you want crossed over. Do you really want to send 28hz (or other low tones) to your mains?

Running full on your mains all the time makes it harder to properly mate the subs. Folks don't generally run an EQ on their mains to tame the bass region. It is better to have a controlled crossover point rather than hoping that the sub can just get dialed in at the right spot to mate with the way your mains roll off.

Have Fun!

There are plenty of downsides to this as well. I would never want to break the signal chain of my front speakers by putting an EQ device in between. Also, there is no issue with sending a full signal to your speakers and a crossed over signal to the sub. If done properly the only time you would hear the sub is when it plays below what the speakers are capable of.
post #87 of 2080
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoTC View Post


On a side note you guys might think I'm out of my mind but since I'm ampless right now I'm driving the Dalis with a 50wpc Sonos ZP100 and it blows away my old Axioms through the Integra powered by an Emotiva IPS-1

Real life proof that speakers are without a doubt the most important part of the chain.

Edit: Based upon the 2 hrs I've put into my Dalis I never see needing a sub for 2 channel. I can't get this stupid ass grin off my face.

Tube preamp is definitely next on my list!

Damn, I guess I need to get over to the Dali thread and welcome our newest member

I use no sub with my 400's and still have excellent bass.

Tube pre should be next on you list, there are so many wonderful option.
post #88 of 2080
Just a couple comments on the sub implementation. Most subs that I have seen have a high pass filter built in. In this case, you don't even need two sets of outputs on the preamp. You just go preamp->sub->amp. You set the crossover frequency on the sub and your set.

Many 2-channel preamps have two sets of outputs if you want to run a full signal to your mains, but also add a sub as well. You can always split the output as well.

To me, a sub out might be nice, but it is definitely not a requirement IMO.

I still don't understand the point of the Onkyo since you already have the Emotiva, but maybe some things are meant to remain a mystery

BTW, I just saw my little beauty will be showing up tomorrow. Too bad I don't have an amp to hook it up to yet!

post #89 of 2080
Ok, since we are showing off our tubes...



post #90 of 2080
I use an Onkyo Pro PR-SC885P in my theater. It is a pre/pro that does all you desire. I picked up a Parasound A21 for a great price used. Together, you should be able to get those for $2500 or less. If you truly want only 2 channel, then I would rip all your music in lossless format to your PC and buy a Squeezebox(mod to taste) and send its output directly into your amp(or sub>>>amp). Skip the preamp. So a Squeezebox and a A21 would run well under $2000.
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