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Hello group. Been reading a long time, first post. I need a new Preamp to replace my Onkyo that crapped out after 4 long months...:mad:
I am considering the Marantz 7702mkII, the Anthem AVM60 and the Yamaha CX-A5100.

I like the functionality of the Yammy, seems to be the least glitchy for all the web based streaming and set up. Seems the Anthem may have the best sound quality but it doesn't seem to upscale video and I have heard good things about the Marantz as well.

Just wanted to get some feedback from some of you with more experience than me. I want something reliable, with good sound quality (mostly 2 channel for now, maybe more later) and good picture quality.

Thanks for any suggestions you might have.
 

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Might consider one of the recent Emotiva 7.1 pre-amps. Would have to go used, but feature-rich, well regarded, and certainly come in at a low price-point.
 

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Might consider one of the recent Emotiva 7.1 pre-amps. Would have to go used, but feature-rich, well regarded, and certainly come in at a low price-point.
The only Pre they sell with HDMI ports is about $2,500. That is in the range with any of these and doesn't seem to have nearly as many features.
 

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Curious, why do you need good picture quality from the pre? What video processing do you need the unit to handle? My display has been better than any of my avrs in handling such but I only use hdmi sources.
 

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Sorry I forgot that they dropped some of their more basic lines in favor of trying to appeal to the higher end crowd. They had the UMC-2000 from around $600-700 for quite a while (I'm sure it can be had used for under $500 if that's a route anybody is interested in going). Very solid 7.1 preamp, especially for the price.
 

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Sorry I forgot that they dropped some of their more basic lines in favor of trying to appeal to the higher end crowd. They had the UMC-2000 from around $600-700 for quite a while (I'm sure it can be had used for under $500 if that's a route anybody is interested in going). Very solid 7.1 preamp, especially for the price.
 

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Curious, why do you need good picture quality from the pre? What video processing do you need the unit to handle? My display has been better than any of my avrs in handling such but I only use hdmi sources.
I only use HDMI as well. I feed everything through the preamp and one HDMI into the TV. My current pre up converts now to 1080p and later to 4k when I get a 4k TV. With it broken, now my DirecTV feeds directly to the TV and the sound comes back to the pre through the Optical out from the TV. I can tell a big difference in picture quality since I lost the up scaling from the preamp.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hello group. Been reading a long time, first post. I need a new Preamp to replace my Onkyo that crapped out after 4 long months...:mad:
I am considering the Marantz 7702mkII, the Anthem AVM60 and the Yamaha CX-A5100.

I like the functionality of the Yammy, seems to be the least glitchy for all the web based streaming and set up. Seems the Anthem may have the best sound quality but it doesn't seem to upscale video and I have heard good things about the Marantz as well.

Just wanted to get some feedback from some of you with more experience than me. I want something reliable, with good sound quality (mostly 2 channel for now, maybe more later) and good picture quality.

Thanks for any suggestions you might have.
Right now I am leaning to the Yamaha. Just wanted to know if anyone had any reason not to buy that unit or if one of the others was considered much better.
 

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I only use HDMI as well. I feed everything through the preamp and one HDMI into the TV. My current pre up converts now to 1080p and later to 4k when I get a 4k TV. With it broken, now my DirecTV feeds directly to the TV and the sound comes back to the pre through the Optical out from the TV. I can tell a big difference in picture quality since I lost the up scaling from the preamp.
Instead of upscaling standard definition to 1080p, which it appears you are doing, consider purchasing DirecTV's HD service. The DirecTV HD picture quality is far superior to upscaled SD and you would no longer need to upscale SD to 1080p. Our Yamaha Aventage AVR has upscaling to 1080 but I never have any need to use it with DirecTV HD or any other sources. When you purchase a UHD television, obtain DirecTV's 4K service, again eliminating the need to upscale.
 

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Instead of upscaling standard definition to 1080p, which it appears you are doing, consider purchasing DirecTV's HD service. The DirecTV HD picture quality is far superior to upscaled SD and you would no longer need to upscale SD to 1080p. Our Yamaha Aventage AVR has upscaling to 1080 but I never have any need to use it with DirecTV HD or any other sources. When you purchase a UHD television, obtain DirecTV's 4K service, again eliminating the need to upscale.
Alex, of course I have the HD package with DirecTV and the HD programming is fine. But not all the channels I watch are HD channels and that is where I see the difference. It isn't that many, but I have up-scaling now, I like it so I want it on my next unit as well. That is why I selected the three I did to begin with. They have the feature set I am looking for.

I might also consider an AVR like the Yamaha 2050 or even wait on the 2060 or even a Denon, but for now, I am focusing on these pre-amps and just wanted some opinions.
 

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Curious, why do you need good picture quality from the pre? What video processing do you need the unit to handle? My display has been better than any of my avrs in handling such but I only use hdmi sources.
For what audio video processors (or higher-end AVR's) cost manufacturers such as Yamaha and Denon/Marantz should do at least as good a job of handling video as TV's. We as purchasers are getting bad value if they don't. If the AVP's and AVR's have poor video quality it also reflects badly on the quality of engineering at Yamaha and Denon/Marantz.
 

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For what audio video processors (or higher-end AVR's) cost manufacturers such as Yamaha and Denon/Marantz should do at least as good a job of handling video as TV's. We as purchasers are getting bad value if they don't. If the AVP's and AVR's have poor video quality it also reflects badly on the quality of engineering at Yamaha and Denon/Marantz.
If they do just as good a job then why use the avr's video processing? My tv does a better job the times I've tried it with my avrs (and my tv has far more precise adjustments should I want to use my colorimeter). If you're talking about upscaling legacy stuff, haven't had a source I've needed to do that with so no experience there. IMO why generate more heat in an avr unnecessarily?
 

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Alex, of course I have the HD package with DirecTV and the HD programming is fine. But not all the channels I watch are HD channels and that is where I see the difference. It isn't that many, but I have up-scaling now,
Gotcha. I have not watched any SD channels on DirecTV in a long time.

As far as upscaling goes, I tested my Yamaha 2020 AVR's upscaling processor on DVDs a few times in the past. Compared with the superb upscaling provided by my Sony S6500 and Samsung H5900 Blu-ray players, the Yamaha's picture quality was disappointing and significantly inferior. I found the picture to be unwatchable (viewed on Panasonic's final-generation 65" plasma TV). I would expect the same overly "soft" looking picture if the Yamaha upscaled DirecTV's SD channels as well. (Note that when the Yamaha's processor is disabled, the AVR passes through HDMI video in perfect condition.)
 
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