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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are a bunch of high end receivers that are on clearance prices cause they don't have all the current audio codecs or HDMI switching/processors.


Krell HTS 7.1, Krell Showcase processor and I'm sure there are a bunch of Adcom, Parasound, etc also.


They all have at least one set of 7.1 analogue inputs that should work with most blu-ray players that have built in trueHD and DTS-MA decoders and analogue outputs.


Does it make sense to use these former top end DD/DTS processors for their supposedly superiour preamp sections? Matching them with a separate multi-channel amp has got to yield you a BETTER or equal result to the current all encompassing receiver in the same price point (2k or so).


Given that your older sources like DVD, and current ones like AppleTV, HD cable still use DD as their main surround codec, these older processors will still shine or be good enough.


Basically using an older tech, you get top notch pre-amp and awesome amp choices (emotiva tops my choice).


Adding a DVDO edge for modern HDMI swiching/scaling and you'll have a sub 3000 system that should easily match or exceed many modern receivers.


I currently use my older pioneer elite receiver this way with an outboard video scaler and would like to upgrade. The Integra was top on the list for an all-in-one solution + external amp, but the above value proposition would/should be BETTER and at a better value?


example of a set up;

Oppo blu-ray - 7.1 analogue out to a krell HTS 7.1 - using balanced outputs to a emotiva xpa multi-channel amp


video processing wouldn't even be needed...send the HDMI video from the blu-ray direct to the plasma/projector as the Oppo has top notch video


if you really want to improve the video on HD cable or your AppleTV, then buy DVDO edge....but I wouldn't even have to as my current video processor does an admirable job with 1080i


This set up including the DVDO edge is under $3k
 

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The more important modern feature you lose by going this route is room correction/eq/calibration systems like Audyssey, MCACC, YPAO, etc. Whether the improved preamp sections would outweigh this benefit is hard to quantify, I can see it going either way, mostly depending on how much help the room needs.
 

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I have tried a couple of setups myself. I will give you my experience, nothing more or less. These questions usually bring about huge debates. My current setup was an all ADA 5.1 system and I wanted to try out lossless audio. I tried it a couple of ways myself. Running analog thru my existing processor and running hdmi to the new Marantz 8003. The Marantz was very good with EQ and all the bells and whistles but it just lacked that fullness of sound I am used to and realism. This is compared to my Ada processor using just optical and compressed DD and DTS. You can tell lossless is smoother and a little clearer. So I then tried it with the analog and it was the combination of both. I was the best that way. Now if Ada had hdmi audio I don't know if it would be better or not. I am still using older processors as I like the sound overall better even without EQ(my room is pretty good to begin with). If you have a bad room I would suggest getting EQ to help, if not I think you are on the right track. Make sure you system match though. The Krell is very detailed and if you match that with detailed speakers you may have too much at loud levels(can get overbearing) and I am not talking about distortion, just so much going on that it is hard to hear one thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks..I guess I could piece meal it now.


just get the amp first and continue to use the elite receiver as a pre/pro. Biggest bang for my buck.


and then when the right deal on a good pre/pro pops up...along with the Oppo blu ray


Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater /forum/post/15552840


I have tried a couple of setups myself. I will give you my experience, nothing more or less. These questions usually bring about huge debates. My current setup was an all ADA 5.1 system and I wanted to try out lossless audio. I tried it a couple of ways myself. Running analog thru my existing processor and running hdmi to the new Marantz 8003. The Marantz was very good with EQ and all the bells and whistles but it just lacked that fullness of sound I am used to and realism. This is compared to my Ada processor using just optical and compressed DD and DTS. You can tell lossless is smoother and a little clearer. So I then tried it with the analog and it was the combination of both. I was the best that way. Now if Ada had hdmi audio I don't know if it would be better or not. I am still using older processors as I like the sound overall better even without EQ(my room is pretty good to begin with). If you have a bad room I would suggest getting EQ to help, if not I think you are on the right track. Make sure you system match though. The Krell is very detailed and if you match that with detailed speakers you may have too much at loud levels(can get overbearing) and I am not talking about distortion, just so much going on that it is hard to hear one thing.
 

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Quote:
Does it make sense to use these former top end DD/DTS processors for their supposedly superiour preamp sections?



Don't assume by name or price that the pre amp will be better, the krell showcase in a cheap unit that offers nothing but its name.
 

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What does detailed mean? If you can hear more 'detail' doesn't that mean you can hear the audio more clearly, meaning there's less distortion? So wanting a less detailed speaker to match with a more detailed amplifier means you want more distortion?


Just curious.
 

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I can tell from that picture that the Krell has a detailed, open, sound, with a tight bottom end and a wide and deep soundstage. It is like a veil has been lifted from the music. All sense of grunge and grain has disappeared, and I can tell you would hear things in your music that you never knew were there.


Thanks for another informative post, Doug.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by poopiehead /forum/post/15552214


Does it make sense to use these former top end DD/DTS processors for their supposedly superiour preamp sections?

The holy grail of analogue pre-amps is transparency. Even if we assume the Krell can do this, leaving absolutely no sonic signature of its own, then what are you really listening to? The bass management, DACs and analogue section of whatever player is connected. Will that sound better than the bass management, DACs and analogue section of a Pioneer Elite receiver?


Sanjay
 

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I think the most important question here is: Why on earth would anybody in their right mind, refer to themselves as...poopiehead
 

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From a picture?
 

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First, read this article before deciding you really need the new HD audio codecs:

http://www.hemagazine.com/node/Dolby...compressed_PCM


Then, decide whether you really want your receiver/prepro, etc involved in your video switching and that HDMI is important or not. Lastly, decide if you think you will be satisfied with the audio coming out of a receiver? If the answers to all those questions is "no," then you are a prime candidate for the oldie but goldie route with preamps/processors. But not all separate, high end pre/pros are much better than receivers, and some are not as good. Ideally you would be able to audition several of them, as I have done, but it took many months and lots of buying/selling at Audiogon. And some legacy pre/pros are great at HT processing (Lexicon/JBL) but not great at 2 channel music, if that is important to you. But you can use a good analog 2 ch preamp with a digital processor if you want the best of both. I do this with the JBL AV-1 and the Citation 7.0 analog preamp. As for a one-box solution, you can read the long thread started by Zissou about the best sounding affordable pre/pros and decide which ones you think will do it for you. Based on my hands-on experience I recommend the Lexicon MC-4/JBL AV-1 for HT processing - it is hard to beat at any price. The Aragon Soundstage, Audio Refinement Pre2 DSP and the Bryston SP-2 are also very good digital processors. The Aragon also has a nice analog section; the Pre2 DSP also has a very good analog section, but it is a little quirky to use. I do not recommend the Cary Cinema 11 or the Proceed AVP2, but that is just my personal preference; others here like them both. Beyond that, brands I have not heard but would list for consideration based on reviews/reputations is the Parasound C-2, Primare 31.7, Simaudio Stargate, Classe SSP-30 Mk II, and the Anthem AVM-30. You might also want to consider the Bel Canto PrePro, which is no longer in production but is considered first class in it's field, has a truly excellent analog section (based on my experience with the BC Pre6), and can be had for about $2K at Audiogon right now.
 

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Just this past holiday season, I purchased a used top end Proceed AV preamp with a component video switcher. I'm using a entry level Anthem two channel 200 watt amp to power my fornt end speakers that are now bi-wired. I use my TV as my center channel, due to no room to place a speaker or amp in my current room arrangement. All at a cost of 1.7k for what was a 4k preamp.


To answer your question, the sound is far better than any receiver in two channel mode. Why, receivers just can't produce the power that seperates can. I'm waiting on the new Oppo blue ray player which Oppo claims they will improve the analog section over their current players. I heard one of these players at my local dealer and the sound convinced me to purchase one. I use the digital output into an AVM20 and love that sound as well. But with the new Oppo, I will use the analog out for movies. At 500 dollars for this player and 1.7k for the preamp, I think I made a very good choice or choices.


If you purchase a receiver, just make sure you have preamp output so you can purchase an external amp later. I didn't go that route, because I like using balanced interconnects and the Proceed just sounded very good. I'm hoping to find a nice tuner with balanced outputs to go into my preamp.


Good luck.
 

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Somehow, the use of bi-wiring on the main speakers and the use of the TV as the center channel seems incongruous to me.
 

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Yes the TV as center channel isn't the best in anyway. I'm looking into adding a center channel, but I only care about two channel or stereo sound.


If you have tower speakers and can bi-wire them with a good amp, you should. The biggest difference using bi-wired speakers is the base response or midrange to lower end response. On all the systems that I have listened to where we took the time to compare, bi-wiring seems to make the base respond much faster and deeper sounding. Now, I have only noticed this with good tower speakers and good amps. If you use some flagship type receiver, you might hear it in that configuration as well. Years ago, I heard a pair of very good speakers in bi-wire mode using a Denon 530x receiver and that was very nice. In fact, that was the closet a receiver has ever sounded to a component system that I have heard to date.


Warning, if you have tower speakers and you do try bi-wiring them with a good amp, you may never go back to anything less. I certainly haven't.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by perrykg /forum/post/15574091


If you have tower speakers and can bi-wire them with a good amp, you should. The biggest difference using bi-wired speakers is the base response or midrange to lower end response. On all the systems that I have listened to where we took the time to compare, bi-wiring seems to make the base respond much faster and deeper sounding. Now, I have only noticed this with good tower speakers and good amps. If you use some flagship type receiver, you might hear it in that configuration as well. Years ago, I heard a pair of very good speakers in bi-wire mode using a Denon 530x receiver and that was very nice. In fact, that was the closet a receiver has ever sounded to a component system that I have heard to date.


Warning, if you have tower speakers and you do try bi-wiring them with a good amp, you may never go back to anything less. I certainly haven't.

OK. Just a note to say that my experience is the opposite: bi-wiring made absolutely no difference each time I tried it. OTOH, it does no harm, except to the wallet.
 

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Quote:
From a picture?
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...or-3-2003.html


PCM 1737 and T.I.'s 1605.

Quote:
First, read this article before deciding you really need the new HD audio codecs:

Even if you do not care about the audio you should upgrade for 1080p video.

Quote:
To answer your question, the sound is far better than any receiver in two channel mode. Why, receivers just can't produce the power that seperates can.

Sound would be a subjective opinion and the amp section in receivers are rated to a certain wattage so if you need more to power your speakers obviously you need a seperate amp.

Quote:
If you have tower speakers and can bi-wire them with a good amp, you should. The biggest difference using bi-wired speakers is the base response or midrange to lower end response. On all the systems that I have listened to where we took the time to compare, bi-wiring seems to make the base respond much faster and deeper sounding.

just by bi-wiring your speakers it will make no difference, unless you used more then one amp and you speakers could use the extra power for a higher SPL.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by poopiehead /forum/post/15552214


example of a set up;

Oppo blu-ray - 7.1 analogue out to a krell HTS 7.1 - using balanced outputs to a emotiva xpa multi-channel amp

Buy amps with input level controls and connect the Oppo directly to the amps. It may sound better... certainly no worse.


My point is that a high level analog stage ain't doing much in the way of pre-amplification. Distortion and S/N figures will be great in any reasonably designed device. So if your player has stellar D/A... AND all the control for bass and phase management to get everything right (few do), this might be the way to go.


But my experience on HD MC material like SACD and DVD-A has proven that HDMI bitstream out to a reasonably capable AVR is usually the better way to go. Factor in the auto setup abilities of Audyssey or MCACC and the improvement over analog can be significant.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson /forum/post/15574286


OK. Just a note to say that my experience is the opposite: bi-wiring made absolutely no difference each time I tried it. OTOH, it does no harm, except to the wallet.

I have to agree. I have done both and don't feel bi-wiring was worth the money.
 
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