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Looking for and Comparing Pre/Pro with balanced outputs

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've read many of the other forums on this subject but have some questions. So first let me explain my situation.

My application is an backyard theater (BYT). I currently use a PS3 as my source, the HDMI goes to an Optoma HD71 and the audio is broken out and sent to a Behringer mixer. From here I run xlr cables to a pair of mackie SRM450v2 powered speakers. Speaker wire run is currently about 25' and should not get over 40'.

This set-up obviously works rather well, but unfortunatly does not allow me to upgrade to 3.1, 5.1, or even better 7.1. This has put me in a hunt for a rack mountable pre/pro with HDMI support and at a reasonable cost. Reasonable being around $1000 new. This gives me a reasonable used price.

So now some of the questions:

Do I really need a pre/pro with XLR out's? That is, is it going to make a difference if I simply use an adapter from the xlr to something else? is that even possible? My Mackies accept balanced and unbalanced signals.

The list of equipment I've found to date includes: Denon DN-A7100, Outlaw Audio 990, Integra DHC 9.x. Are there others I'm missing that fit my needs?

If the XLR out's really aren't vital and I can just use an adapter what equipment would you recommend that can do 7.1 and hdmi.

Thanks!
post #2 of 6
My understand, though I have never done it, is that you can use a direct box. I would think that's much cheaper than a pre pro with balanced outputs. You could even use a receiver with pre outs, and they are usually cheaper than a pre pro.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/CleanBox/

You could call Sweetwater or ZZounds and they might be able to find you something cheaper than the Cleanbox.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I believe I need the Pre/Pro though because I want to able to do 5.1 or 7.1. I would also like the pre/pro for its ability to act as a switcher. Sorry for the confusion.
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdepaola View Post

Do I really need a pre/pro with XLR out's? That is, is it going to make a difference if I simply use an adapter from the xlr to something else? is that even possible? My Mackies accept balanced and unbalanced signals.

Balanced output isn't really needed unless you need to use long interconnects between the preamp and amps, like 15' or more. RCA output is fairly reliable for under 15', and with good RG6 quad shielded cable 25' may be acceptable.

A decent 7.1 preamp processor (I own one) is the Onkyo SC885, very similar to the Integra 9.8, nearly identical in fact.

I agree with MichaelJHuman however, a decent AVR can be as useful if it has preout jacks, and most will be as feature laden as any prepro for less money. My SC885 is very comparable to the Onkyo SR875/876 AVRs, it just has no amp section
post #5 of 6
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/CleanBox/

I don't recall exactly, but I remember something about the Cleanbox really cutting back amp output or frequency response. You could do a search on Hometheatershack to find it. An inexpensive receiver with a strong used amp seems like it would get you everything you're looking for. Outdoor sound is...
just that. Its really tough to get the theater experience.
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by BNW View Post

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/CleanBox/

I don't recall exactly, but I remember something about the Cleanbox really cutting back amp output or frequency response. You could do a search on Hometheatershack to find it. An inexpensive receiver with a strong used amp seems like it would get you everything you're looking for. Outdoor sound is...
just that. Its really tough to get the theater experience.

The tough part is getting any bass into the mix. A couple of 18" sonotube subs might do the trick. And piss off the neighbors.
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