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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Upgrade dilemma – Amp vs. Pre for SACD/DVD-A Performance


My current set-up:

AV Receiver: Marantz 7000

Speakers 5.1: Rockets (750s/200 center/250s rear) and Velodyne (Circuit City special from 2 years ago, CT-10 I think—may upgrade sub)

Souce – Audio: HTPC via digital coax (CDs ripped with lossless (APE)/Audigy2/MediaJukebox) to the Marantz

Source – Video: Old Sony DVD, “upgrading†to a Bravo D1 w/ DVI out

Display: Sony HS10


I’d also like to purchase a universal SACD/DVD-A player. The Denon 2900 is on my short list right now, and I’d like to see how well it is received.


I’ve also got the itch to upgrade my amplification. I’m thinking I may go w/ a stereo amp, probably with the likes of a Parasound or Rotel. Depending on how that goes and my priorities in life (read: if I still have the upgrade bug), I may add a mulit-channel/higher end amp down the road along with a separate pre/pro.


For now though, I’d like to try out high-res/multi-channel audio, with some quality amplification to the 750s, which I’m assuming could also free up some power to the center and rears. Also possibly factoring in the decision is that the 750s are a arguably a bit more laid back than the 200/250s. So upgrading with a “brighter†amp for the 750s and using the allegedly “warmer†sound of the Marantz on the center and rears would hopefully offset general sonic missmatch concerns when using different amps on a 5.1 system.


Based on reading some of the people’s experiences in this forum and others, is that when upgrading to seperates, often times a bigger difference is noticed with the introduction of a pre/pro rather than than introducing a new amp. I’m lead to believe that the improvement with the Pre is a result of better processing and “cleaner†electronics.


For my purposes though, I’m satisfied w/ HT performance -- I live in an apartment in NYC and although I’ve yet to experience a complaint by nieghbors—knock on wood—I rarely listen at or above reference levels (I live on the ground floor and don't share a wall with anyone). So HT sounds fantastic, but for Music I tend to be a little more critical.


What I’m wondering then is whether using the “source direct†mode (6-channel analog-in into the Marantz) for SACD/DVD-A playback, then taking the L/R signal via pre-out to the upgraded Amp will bypass the “dirty†(relative to an expensive Pre/Pro) electronics from Marantz. In other words, for SACD/DVD-A playback, is the Marantz OK under this set-up, or will it still be a weak link for front channels sonics.


Thanks for any advice,

Karl
 
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