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Pre-amp upgrade  

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am currently thinking of retiring my Yamaha DSP3090 and replacing it
with a BK ref 30 pre-amp.
I already purchased their amp and am very happy with it's sound.
My question is: how much of an improvement will I hear from that
up-grade?
I use the system 50/50 for music and movies.
Thanks for the help.
post #2 of 13
I suspect that you will hear a great deal of improvement. B&K makes some excellent processors. For movies the B&K 30 more than holds it's own against many higher priced units that I have heard.The effects were very natural and not overly bright and harsh. I think that is the major improvement you get with a better processor as I find lesser units to be very harsh and bright sounding. I have not auditioned the unit extensively enough to comment on it with music.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your comments. I think I'll give it a go.
Helier
post #4 of 13
The BK Ref 30 has very good reviews. However, if you are not interested in a surround back channel and have been happy with the Yamaha, you may want to keep it and seek out a great 2-channel pre-amp. This will give you better sound, and cost less.

I myself recently sold my EAD Ovation which was also an excellent 2-channel preamp. I then purhased a Denon AVR-3801 for my DVD watching, and a separate 2-channel preamp. I am most most happy for taking this direction.

- Andy
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure how what you proposed would work. Do you place the 2 channel
pre-amp at the head of the audio chain and then send the output to the
sorround decoder?. If so doesn't the decoder have to be on in order for the signal to go through?
Thanks
Helier
post #6 of 13
I am not sure, but I would say the contrary: place the decoder in the monitor loop of the 2 channels preamp.

Michel
post #7 of 13
Several higher-ends preamps have an HT bypass feature.
However, this will involve an extra set of interconnects.
I believe you take the pre-out from your processor's mains and connect them to the 2 channel pre-amp bypass input. Then the 2-channel preamp is connected to you power amps as usual

However, you have a receiver and I assume you are using the receivers amps as your power amps. Now I am not sure how this scenario will work, if at all ! Oops !

- Andy
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
The yamaha that i own has pre outs, however I'm not sure that the signal
coming out would be as "clean" as when it left the source. I understand that the Yamaha will convert everything coming in into the digital domain
and later on to analogue. This processor is several years old and I believe
it's rated for 20/96 only. Wouldn't I be missing out on the best possible sound by using it?
Helier.
post #9 of 13
The B&K Ref 30 is an excellent choice.

Before going with the suggestion to keep the Yammie, do you have a dealer
that will allow you to use the B&K on an evaluation basis, ie for 2-3 days?
You should find that the B&K will hold its own against stereo preamps running out to the $1500-2000 price point.

The DSP-3090 does lack analog bypass, and the B&K has better internal
DACs than the Yammie, plus analog bypass. So if you're using your DVD
as a transport and D/A with the Yammie, you'll see an improvement there
as well. In addition, because of the analog bypass capability if you want
to add on an external DAC, you can do so as well, and just take the DAC
output as a Direct (aka analog bypassed) source.

The stereo preamp suggestion would be ok, but quite frankly, the Yammie is a little long in the tooth when it comes to technnology.

I've had the B&K Ref 30 for 4 months now, having reviewed it for Secrets,
and can tell you the analog bypass is excellent, having recently wrapped
up an audio-only review of the Sony DVP-S9000ES (Stacey did the video).
I'm currently playing with the 5.1 bypass and the Onkyo DV-939 and JVC
XV-723GD, and once again it does an excellent job of getting out of the
way.

You can read my review of the B&K Ref 30 at the Secrets website.

Your call, but I think with your mix, the B&K is the better choice.

Regards,



------------------
---
Contributing Writer,
Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
post #10 of 13
Hey John,

I saw your review on the Reference 30 at Secrets and noticed that you weren't as enthusiastic about the Reference 20. I'm helping a friend with a starter system and can get a good deal on either, but the Reference 20 will be about $800 cheaper. Can you share what you feel the significant differences are?

Thanks very much for your help!

Best Regards,
Will
post #11 of 13
The D/A convertors aren't as good on the 20 vs. 30. IIRC, there is no 5.1 bypass input on the Ref 20. The Ref 30 has a bit cleaner sound overall than the Ref 20. The Ref 30 has the added notch filter capability (which I'm starting to play with). The Ref 30 has a wider range of crossover frequencies 20Hz - 120Hz for the subwoofer, as well as 7.1 (THX Surround EX) capability.

Also, the Ref 20 lacks component video switching, which might be a non-issue for your friend -- most people will run Component Video direct to their sets anyway.

There you go.

I haven't heard info back on pricing to upgrade the Ref 10/20 to Ref 30 status.

Hope this helps.

Regards,




------------------
---
Contributing Writer,
Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
I would like to thank all of you for taking time out to respond to my questions. I am taking John's advice and going with B&K to go along with the B&K amp I already have. Idon't think I'll regret it. I'll keep you posted on this.
Helier
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, I am now the happy owner of a Reference 30 and all I can say is:What
kept me fromm doing this earlier?
Clarity? no it's more like someone took a blanket from in front of my
speakers. I never knew my Sound Waves could sound this good.
I put on Miles Davis "Kind of Blue" on my DVD player and nearly fell backwards. Now the possibilities are endless.
Thank you John and all of you guys who gave me the gentle push I needed.
Helier
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