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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not to get all Andy Rooney here, but is anyone else annoyed by the lack of preamp outs on lower end A/V receivers?


I am in the market, and I have noticed that not a single offering I've checked out from Yamaha, Pioneer, Denon, or Onkyo has preamp outs, BUT they virtually all have multi chnl preamp ins. Does anyone here use these multi channel inputs, or even know anyone who does?


I sent the email below to Pioneer customer service outlining my position on this:


***********

I was wondering why the industry in general, and Pioneer in particular, have gotten away from offering preamp outs on receivers?


I think it would be a great way to increase brand participation by offering a modular architecture to consumer products. Customers could upgrade the amplifier section of their receiver, with a variety of Pioneer 2, 3, or 5 channel amplifiers. From a technical and marketing standpoint, Pioneer could make the case that even using a 2 or 3 channel external amp, would improve the performance of the existing internal amp, by freeing up "headroom" and putting less demand on the amplifier.


External amps could also be designed and sold to power second zones, expanding functionality of existing products.


As for reducing production costs, I've noticed that virtually all A/V receivers have multichannel preamp inputs. Would it be possible to include a DIP switch array, or even a single switch that could switch these inputs to variable level pre-outs? I have to think that this input array is not commonly used, and making it multi-function would reduce manufacturing costs on budget A/V receivers.


************


Here is what I got back:


Thank you for contacting Pioneer Electronics, Inc.

Through surveys and market research, it has been found that most people do not use the preamp outputs on the receivers.

This feature is still available on our Elite product line, starting with the VSX-21TXH.


************


Well thanks Pioneer, but if I spend 1500 bucks on an A/V receiver, I better not have a need to upgrade the internal amplification. Also, I'm curious how many people use preamp ins on receivers.


What do you all think?
 

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I noticed this as well. I noticed that Denon no longer offers pre-outs until you get to the 3310. Pretty sure the 28xx series had them, but i'd have to double check.


Realistically, most people don't use the pre-amps, and as more and more features are packed into less expensive receivers and the market becomes more competitive, I would except some "less important" features to be dropped in order to hit price points.
 

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i was just looking at this the other day as well... i was wondering what the hell do i plug in back there? the option of adding an amp is probably much more popular than the idea of using the multichannel in or whatever it is.. but i guess i am not a marketing survey guru...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Joe,

Thanks for the reply. Back in the day, pre outs were certainly much more common. IMO, if manufacturers were only trying to hit price points I would understand, but they seem to frequently have replaced the occasionally useful pre outs, with multi channel ins that to my mind are useless.


The reason this bugs me so much, is that I have a nice Adcom 5 channel amp sitting around upstairs, that I'm pretty certain would far out perform the amp section of any 300-400 A/V receiver available.


I've had the amp since most surround systems were driven by VCRs. It has 3x100 W channels and 2x80W channels. I was hoping to be able to drive my LCR chnls with the 100W channels, and a pair of outdoor speakers with the 2 80Wers.


But Noooooo. :^)


Thanks


Chris
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chughes1614 /forum/post/16843308


Not to get all Andy Rooney here, but is anyone else annoyed by the lack of preamp outs on lower end A/V receivers?

It is one good way (as dictated by market research) to keep them inexpensive.
 

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Harman Kardon puts them on their cheaper AVRs. You can pick up a refurb 247 for less than $175 (2yr warranty) and the 254 is going for around $220. I have less than $175 delivered in my 254 and with the newest software it has been working flawlessly. I use the pre outs to run to a six channel amp (only use 5 of the 6 amp channels) and the sub out I run to a pro amp. Makes for a great pre/pro at a fraction of the cost. Was using an old Denon 3300 and did not have an on screen menu. The HK 254 has a good on screen menu system.
 

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Marantz and HK still have preouts on their low end receivers.


Some of the newest Yamaha receivers like the 465/565 don't hard pre-outs nor 5.1 analog inputs. Plus they have cheap spring clip terminals. The new Onkyo 507/607 doesn't have 5.1 inputs or pre-outs either.


Mfrs have just cheapened the new batch of recievers. Build quality doesn't seem as good either. I guess they figure all people want is HDMI.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson /forum/post/16843682


It is one good way (as dictated by market research) to keep them inexpensive.

makes sense too... why include something (that adds a decent amount of cost to the final unit) that 99% of your customers will never use?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chughes1614 /forum/post/16844065


Hi mjg100,

Do you know if the 254 has any zone 2 functionality? Might have to step up to the 347.


Thanks


Chris

Yes the 254 does have zone 2 capability. I have not used it so I can't tell you anything about it. I do use zone 2 on my Onkyo 805 and I would be willing to bet that zone 2 on the 254 is analog only just like on the Onkyo 805.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjg100 /forum/post/16844578


Yes the 254 does have zone 2 capability. I have not used it so I can't tell you anything about it. I do use zone 2 on my Onkyo 805 and I would be willing to bet that zone 2 on the 254 is analog only just like on the Onkyo 805.

Correcto..

The AVR254 has Zone II capability by using the L/R back surround amplifiers or dedicated pre-outs. But like virtually all AVRs regardless of brand and/or $ cost the source for Zone II must be analog..


Just my $0.025...
 

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Ya, it cheeses me off a little. I bought my Yamaha rxv-459 before I really new anything. Of course the audiophile bug hit me, and as I learned more I realized I would not be able to hook up an amp.



But now I want something with HDMI ports anyway... so I'll just add pre-out to the check list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj /forum/post/16844493


makes sense too... why include something (that adds a decent amount of cost to the final unit) that 99% of your customers will never use?

Well, that's how I feel about multi channel inputs. I mean, I'd be stunned if 1% of people buying a $400 A/V receiver had a super audio CD player, eh?


The other thing that bugs me is that the only reason that 1% of people may ever use preamp outs, is because the people that make the $400 dollar receivers don't offer a path to upgrade by making 2, 3, or 5 channel amps.


Instead they put preamp outs on receivers at $1000 and up price points, that have decent amps and chunky power supplies that the customer never has a real need to upgrade the amplification in.


It seems backwards to me. Shouldn't the path to upgrade be put in amps most in need of upgrade? And lets be honest, 6 RCA jacks and some wire aren't really adding that much cost to the bottom line.


And while we're at it, the new pioneer 819, that retails for 299 has preamp outs for back surround speakers but no internal amplification for them. What percentage of users that buy a $299 A/V receiver, are going to buy an external 2 channel amp to run an extra pair of surround speakers? Next to none. And if Pioneer had added 4 extra RCA jacks to the back and offered me 5.1 preamp outs instead-even if they had pumped the price to 329-they wouldn't have walked me to HK.


I'm just saying.
 

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i was considering buying the line output converters and then getting a decent 5 channel amp somewhere...


i know car audio people use these all the time for head units that dont have pre amp outputs... they make some of them that can withstand up to 400 watts... so they should easily handle the power through a midrange receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MuaySteve /forum/post/16845228


Ya, it cheeses me off a little. I bought my Yamaha rxv-459 before I really new anything. Of course the audiophile bug hit me, and as I learned more I realized I would not be able to hook up an amp.



But now I want something with HDMI ports anyway... so I'll just add pre-out to the check list.

And here is the $60,000 question. If you 459 had preamp outs, and Yamaha offered a $400-$500 5 channel amp, would you consider buying that amp from them to upgrade instead of hitting the market to buy another receiver?


I think in many cases the answer would be yes.


In fairness there have been many tech changes to the surround market in the last 5 years that might justify buying a new receiver, but certainly now the technology is becoming far more static than it has been in the last 5 years. How many more flavors of DTS can you have? How many more speakers can you add to a surround system? For myself, the number of speakers hit the wall at 5.1. I absolutely don't have a need (or desire) to have more than 5 speakers and a sub in a surround system.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code /forum/post/16844723


Correcto..

The AVR254 has Zone II capability by using the L/R back surround amplifiers or dedicated pre-outs. But like virtually all AVRs regardless of brand and/or $ cost the source for Zone II must be analog..


Just my $0.025...


Pre-outs should work with analog and digital sources.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by locomo /forum/post/16845735


Pre-outs should work with analog and digital sources.

We are not talking about using pre outs. We are talking about using zone 2. This is a speaker wire connection and you can only output an analog source. Most DVD players will output digital and analog at the same time. An Apple TV also outputs digital and analog at the same time.
 

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From a manufacturer's standpoint, I can understand it. The average consumer that walks into Best Buy or Fry's or any most other big box stores knows or cares about external amplification. And, for your lower to mid range stuff, that's where the majority of those sales come from. Sadly, the people that work there don't seem to know that either. So it stands to reason that the manufacturer will leave that feature off of receivers aimed at that demographic. They're not going to use it, so why include it? It saves the manufacturer a bit of money and they can keep the price points lower for the consumer.


The consumer that's going to have a need for external amplification is either generally more educated in what's on the market, or has the money to pay somebody more educated to pick their equipment for them. And that consumer generally isn't going to go low end.


Now, I'm not saying that don't agree with you. I'm just saying that it makes economic sense. Yes, the amps in those lower end models are generally in need of upgrade. My old Yamaha definitely fell into that category. And yes, it was an old model so it had pre outs, but I decided that it wasn't worth it to upgrade and went with a higher end unit that doesn't need an external amp.


And there are a few people that use the multi channel ins. I use mine for a SACD player (would rather cut down on wear and tear on the PS3 laser.) Not saying that a ton of people have SACD players. If that were true, they'd be easier to find.
 
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