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post #1 of 81 Old 11-03-2015, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Stereo Pre-Amp

Hi guys

I'm presently using the awesome Anthem integrated 225 as a pre-amp via its stereo pre outs to a separate amp for my 2 channel bliss. It sounds really really good up to a certain volume level. If I push it past 9 O'clock, the music gets edgy and bright. So needles to say, I stay right below the threshold where heaven meets hell

Is there a solution to this problem Or do I just get rid of the 225 and plunge into a dedicated stereo pre-amp? If the latter, what would you guys recommend that's in the low to mid range pricing?

My set up: Oppo 105D to integrated 225 via XLR's to XPR 5 amp via RCA to 803D speakers.


Thanks much






Roma
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post #2 of 81 Old 11-04-2015, 05:23 AM
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You may want to try going directly from the 105D to the amp, bypassing the Anthem (just make sure to lower the 105D volume first).
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post #3 of 81 Old 11-04-2015, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I tried that when I first got the Oppo, there were random popping sound not loud but clearly present. So I've not tried it ever since. I'll give it another shot and hopefully no weird random poppin sounds.

In any case, do you think the Oppo has sufficient power to drive the XPR 5 with authority?


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post #4 of 81 Old 11-04-2015, 08:15 AM
 
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It's possible that you might reduce your issue by using RCAs from Oppo to Anthem. The Oppo certainly has sufficient power. I would pose your popping issue on the Oppo thread, it shouldn't be doing that, or at least my Oppo 95 never did that when connected straight to an amp. Is that your system as you described, or do you have 5 speakers?
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post #5 of 81 Old 11-04-2015, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes I have a 5.1 configuration. I also have the AV8801.


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post #6 of 81 Old 11-04-2015, 04:47 PM
 
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Not sure if you are into tubes or not. I'm using one of these:
Check it out here http://www.tubenirvana.net/aretha.html
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post #7 of 81 Old 11-04-2015, 05:36 PM
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One assumes you are using the FIXED output on the OPPO.

Because I had my turntable to compare to, I realize that the output of my Harman Universal Disk Player was very high relative to the turntable. So, I did some tests which can be seen in this post in another forum -

https://www.avforums.com/threads/for...d-spl.1561542/

I discovered the signal level of the Universal Player was about 12db above that of the equivalent Line Level Signal from my Turntable.

It sounded like it too. Most like the the signal level was so high it was overdriving the Input Stages in the Pre-Amp section. It was really grueling to listen to.

I bought some 12db Harrison In-Line Attenuators from Parts Express to pull those levels down, and now my Universal Player sounds sweet as silk.

I can't say with certainty that that is the problem you are having but it is something worth considering.

It was noticeable to me because I had another non-digital disk source to compare it to. Without the ability to compare, I would have thought all my CDs were crap recording.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #8 of 81 Old 11-04-2015, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernstmach View Post
Not sure if you are into tubes or not. I'm using one of these:
Check it out here http://www.tubenirvana.net/aretha.html

I am thinking of tubes



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post #9 of 81 Old 11-04-2015, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Stereo Pre-Amp

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Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
One assumes you are using the FIXED output on the OPPO.

Because I had my turntable to compare to, I realize that the output of my Harman Universal Disk Player was very high relative to the turntable. So, I did some tests which can be seen in this post in another forum -

https://www.avforums.com/threads/for...d-spl.1561542/

I discovered the signal level of the Universal Player was about 12db above that of the equivalent Line Level Signal from my Turntable.

It sounded like it too. Most like the the signal level was so high it was overdriving the Input Stages in the Pre-Amp section. It was really grueling to listen to.

I bought some 12db Harrison In-Line Attenuators from Parts Express to pull those levels down, and now my Universal Player sounds sweet as silk.

I can't say with certainty that that is the problem you are having but it is something worth considering.

It was noticeable to me because I had another non-digital disk source to compare it to. Without the ability to compare, I would have thought all my CDs were crap recording.

Steve/bluewizard
Steve

Yeah that's what I thought too. The gain from the Oppo feeding into the 225 must be high. I'll try your method and see if it helps.

I found the attenuators on Amazon, looks like it goes between the RCA connection. I'm running XLR from the Oppo to the Anthem 225 and RCA from 225 to the XPR 5 amp.

Will it work?


Thanks


Roma

Last edited by romavictor; 11-04-2015 at 06:44 PM.
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post #10 of 81 Old 11-04-2015, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm listening to my Oppo via the AV8801 stereo xlr inputs right now, the 225 is clearly miles ahead of the marantz.

I think I'll stick to the 225 for now until perhaps I could find a sweet tube amp.


Roma
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post #11 of 81 Old 11-04-2015, 06:44 PM
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Question What about the room?

Quote:
Originally Posted by romavictor View Post
Hi guys

I'm presently using the awesome Anthem integrated 225 as a pre-amp via its stereo pre outs to a separate amp for my 2 channel bliss. It sounds really really good up to a certain volume level. If I push it past 9 O'clock, the music gets edgy and bright. So needles to say, I stay right below the threshold where heaven meets hell

Is there a solution to this problem Or do I just get rid of the 225 and plunge into a dedicated stereo pre-amp? If the latter, what would you guys recommend that's in the low to mid range pricing?

My set up: Oppo 105D to integrated 225 via XLR's to XPR 5 amp via RCA to 803D speakers.
Roma, is there any particular reason you're identifying the electronics, in particular the Anthem, as the root cause of the problem? A well designed pre-amp wouldn't be deviating appreciably from a ruler flat FR as it's output voltage goes beyond a certain point.

From the symptoms you describe [edgy and bright (metallic?) at increasing volume], it sounds more like a speaker/room interaction problem to me. What's your setup like? If your listening between two fairly non-absorbent parallel walls, you may be experiencing flutter echo, which does produce significant high frequency content and can sound "zingy" or "metallic" as it's contribution to the direct/reflected sound mix increases at higher volumes.

I suggest you investigate this first before you start swapping out perfectly good pieces of electronics.

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post #12 of 81 Old 11-04-2015, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIEGAR View Post
Roma, is there any particular reason you're identifying the electronics, in particular the Anthem, as the root cause of the problem? A well designed pre-amp wouldn't be deviating appreciably from a ruler flat FR as it's output voltage goes beyond a certain point.



From the symptoms you describe [edgy and bright (metallic?) at increasing volume], it sounds more like a speaker/room interaction problem to me. What's your setup like? If your listening between two fairly non-absorbent parallel walls, you may be experiencing flutter echo, which does produce significant high frequency content and can sound "zingy" or "metallic" as it's contribution to the direct/reflected sound mix increases at higher volumes.



I suggest you investigate this first before you start swapping out perfectly good pieces of electronics.




My speakers are 803D's

I have a wall next to my right main and the left main is wide open next to a hallway and closest wall is about 5 feet to the left. Ceiling are slanted from 8-25 feet tall.

Basically it's not a square box.


Roma
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post #13 of 81 Old 11-04-2015, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romavictor View Post
My speakers are 803D's

I have a wall next to my right main and the left main is wide open next to a hallway and closest wall is about 5 feet to the left. Ceiling are slanted from 8-25 feet tall.

Basically it's not a square box.


Roma
Thanks. What about your front and rear walls... are they relatively uninterrupted parallel surfaces?
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post #14 of 81 Old 11-04-2015, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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The front and rear wall are about 25 feet apart with sofa and dining table in between


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post #15 of 81 Old 11-04-2015, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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My living room is basically connected to the dining room which is open to the kitchen


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Stereo Pre-Amp

So I played around a little bit today, tried listening to music via the AV8801, direct from Oppo to amp and back to the integrated 225.....I definitely prefer the 225's overall musicality and dynamics and I think the main contributor of the problem I was describing above is the fixed volume output in the Oppo that was driving the anthem at full max power.

I changed the volume setting on the Oppo to variable output and set the max volume at 75, now the 225 has more breathing room to expand slowly and gracefully depending on the Oppo's volume output.

But here's the thing, I could still use some warmth and smoothness just around the edges of the frequency spectrum if you know what I mean....

Is there something I can put in between the Oppo and the 225 or in between the 225 and the XPR-5 to warm things up just a tad?

Any ideas? Perhaps an inline tube device....I know I could change the whole thing and get me a tube pre-amp but I rather keep the 225 and improve upon it.


Roma
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post #18 of 81 Old 11-05-2015, 01:30 AM
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That's what I was going to suggest next. Use the Variable Volume on the Oppo.

But you need some way to calibrate it. Thought I suspect, if it sounds good then it is good.

In my case, I calibrated the volume of the CD/DVD to the volume of my turntable which I used as my standard. It seems to have worked well.

But, can we assume that this has given you proof of concept? By that I mean, if it sounds better now that you turned down the input volume, then that is a pretty good sign that the Oppo was over-driving the Anthem.

Do you feel that it sounds correct now???

Steve/bluewizard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
That's what I was going to suggest next. Use the Variable Volume on the Oppo.

But you need some way to calibrate it. Thought I suspect, if it sounds good then it is good.

In my case, I calibrated the volume of the CD/DVD to the volume of my turntable which I used as my standard. It seems to have worked well.

But, can we assume that this has given you proof of concept? By that I mean, if it sounds better now that you turned down the input volume, then that is a pretty good sign that the Oppo was over-driving the Anthem.

Do you feel that it sounds correct now???

Steve/bluewizard


Yes Steve

it feels like the anthem has more control over the signal than it had before when the Oppo was simply jamming it full throttle. I could actually turn up the anthems volume all the way up to 12 O'clock and not lose the integrity of the music.

I would still like to warm things up just a tad or two. Give it some silky smoothness. Any recommendations that I could use to improve upon what I already have?

Thanks guys


Roma
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post #20 of 81 Old 11-05-2015, 02:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernstmach View Post
Not sure if you are into tubes or not. I'm using one of these:
Check it out here http://www.tubenirvana.net/aretha.html

Ernst

What are you using it with? System wise. Can they make it with balanced in and outputs? Or do you think the RCA is good enough?

Thanks


Roma
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post #21 of 81 Old 11-05-2015, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romavictor View Post

i would still like to warm things up just a tad or two. Give it some silky smoothness. Any recommendations that i could use to improve upon what i already have?
dsp

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post #22 of 81 Old 11-05-2015, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romavictor View Post
Yes Steve

...

I would still like to warm things up just a tad or two. Give it some silky smoothness. Any recommendations that I could use to improve upon what I already have?

Thanks guys


Roma
Do I understand correctly that you are using the Anthem 225 Stereo Integrated Amp as a Pre-Amp, and that you are feeding an Emotiva XPR-5 Five Channel Power Amp?

And is that XPR or XPA?

And is it a 5-Channel Power Amp?

http://www.anthemav.com/products-cur.../page=overview

The Anthem is 225 watts per channel to 8 ohms both channels driven.

I'm curious, with that amount of power, why you are even using the Emotiva XPR-5? I can't find specs on that but the XPA-5 is 200w/ch.

Actually according to this article form Audioholics, the XPR-5 is 400w/ch to 8 ohms. That makes a little more sense.

I'm curious how you ended up with a Stereo Amp/Pre-Amp and a 5-channel Power Amp?

I think as to your question about making the sound more warmed up and more silky smooth. I can only say that the equipment you have is the equipment you have. Not much you can do about that but change equipment or speakers.

However, I would give some thought to Room Acoustics. You don't want equipment like this in a overly reflective room.

I don't think we have much of a description of your room, or photos, but if you could mellow the room, that would mellow the sound of the speakers.

Room Acoustic Treatment need not stand out as can be seen in this Photo -

Image -

http://loudshop.gr/images/detailed/4...oustic_art.jpg

Steve/bluewizard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romavictor View Post
Yes Steve

it feels like the anthem has more control over the signal than it had before when the Oppo was simply jamming it full throttle. I could actually turn up the anthems volume all the way up to 12 O'clock and not lose the integrity of the music.

I would still like to warm things up just a tad or two. Give it some silky smoothness. Any recommendations that I could use to improve upon what I already have?

Thanks guys


Roma
Audioquest Type 4 speaker cables. You can buy the cable by the foot($5/ft) and that's what I'd recommend for your fronts.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audio4life View Post
Audioquest Type 4 speaker cables. You can buy the cable by the foot($5/ft) and that's what I'd recommend for your fronts.
Looks like a joke post.
Over the years, I've been to many audio meets which they routinely do double blind test of speaker cables and interconnects. No audible difference was detected and yes, a set of Audioquest speaker cables was in those.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LFEer View Post
Looks like a joke post.
Over the years, I've been to many audio meets which they routinely do double blind test of speaker cables and interconnects. No audible difference was detected and yes, a set of Audioquest speaker cables was in those.
Looks like one of those tall tale posts, making it up as you go.
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Originally Posted by audio4life View Post
Looks like one of those tall tale posts, making it up as you go.
Nope, it's real. You don't have to take my word for it, try the blind comparison yourself. It got rid of my cable myth.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
Do I understand correctly that you are using the Anthem 225 Stereo Integrated Amp as a Pre-Amp, and that you are feeding an Emotiva XPR-5 Five Channel Power Amp?

And is that XPR or XPA?

And is it a 5-Channel Power Amp?

http://www.anthemav.com/products-cur.../page=overview

The Anthem is 225 watts per channel to 8 ohms both channels driven.

I'm curious, with that amount of power, why you are even using the Emotiva XPR-5? I can't find specs on that but the XPA-5 is 200w/ch.

Actually according to this article form Audioholics, the XPR-5 is 400w/ch to 8 ohms. That makes a little more sense.

I'm curious how you ended up with a Stereo Amp/Pre-Amp and a 5-channel Power Amp?

I think as to your question about making the sound more warmed up and more silky smooth. I can only say that the equipment you have is the equipment you have. Not much you can do about that but change equipment or speakers.

However, I would give some thought to Room Acoustics. You don't want equipment like this in a overly reflective room.

I don't think we have much of a description of your room, or photos, but if you could mellow the room, that would mellow the sound of the speakers.

Room Acoustic Treatment need not stand out as can be seen in this Photo -

Image -

http://loudshop.gr/images/detailed/4...oustic_art.jpg

Steve/bluewizard


Steve

I ended up with the system I have today simply due to economic in/convenience. I was powering the 804's with the 225 which did a beautiful job until i recently purchased the 803D's which wasn't having it. So I got the xpr 5 which has lots of power and does a great job especially for movies.

But having 2 solid state equipment does not help with warmth and smoothness of the music especially with digital sources. So what I did was, I ordered the mac C2500 pre-amp last night and will be picking it up tomorrow.

Yes my very first vacuum tube and Mcintosh machine
And am hoping to pair them with the MC452 in the not so distant future.

I always loved my integrated 225 and feel sad parting with it which I never thought I would but It makes me feel better that I'm replacing the anthem with a mac. A worthy successor.







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post #28 of 81 Old 11-06-2015, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audio4life View Post
Audioquest Type 4 speaker cables. You can buy the cable by the foot($5/ft) and that's what I'd recommend for your fronts.

I use Mogami neglex cables for the mains and Gotham GAC 4 for the interconnects. Excellent and affordable cables.


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post #29 of 81 Old 11-06-2015, 12:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LFEer View Post
Nope, it's real. You don't have to take my word for it, try the blind comparison yourself. It got rid of my cable myth.
That's funny in that I used to be a firm believer in all cables sounding the same, until I did a comparison myself, with the above cables. The difference was not subtle.
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post #30 of 81 Old 11-06-2015, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audio4life View Post
That's funny in that I used to be a firm believer in all cables sounding the same, until I did a comparison myself, with the above cables. The difference was not subtle.
Blind comparison?
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