Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Hello, Sep 25, 2003.
What are the advantages or not, from a separate pre + power over a receiver in movies and music?
Sound quality. A top end processor will probably sound better than a top end AV amp.
Power. A seperate poweramp will probably have better quality power supply (large high current torodial) and capacitors, plus better build.
Upgradbility- you can spend most of your budget on the best poweramp(s) you can afford at that time- say a Rotel 1095 or better. Look for a cheap processor. You'll then have stonking amounts of clean power. So when you upgrade the processor you'll end up with a top end system. Of course you could do a 50/50 split. Also when you replace the processor you don't need to replace the poweramps (in a AV amp you'll loose money on re-spending money on poweramps; although they're internal)
That's the gist of it. Course some top end AV amps will be better than budget processor & poweramp setup.
Why a "Look for a cheap processor", isn't the processor that decodes the sound source?
With the solution of pre/power its good in stereo?
Sorry for so many questions, but i don't know what solution to buy. i don' wanna regret anothe time.
It's just a option. You could buy a something like a Rotel 966 for £200, or even a older processors I've got (Denon AVD-2000 or Harmon Kardon ADP-303 for £100 each, or even less) both do what most people will need- Dolby Digital.
You could put that money you were going to put into the processor into the poweramp instead. Then look around for a Tag AV32R, Lexicon MC-8, Bryston SP-1, Arcam AV8 etc. The best processors are not exactly cheap. Them above three will do a reasonble job, and at £100-£200 certainly not breaking the bank. Whilst your looking around- you've got a decent poweramp.
Of course this doesn't matter if you can afford a MC-12 and Krell poweramps in one go.
With the solution of pre/power its good in stereo?
My Budget is around 2000 £.
The solution pre/power is good for any speakers, or they will require High-End speakers (mines are KEF Q55.2).
Well say 50/50 split on the budget-
Rotel 1066 Processor is £1000 rrp (believe you can get it for £900)
Or a second hand Lexicon DC-2, £900 (OK for stereo, but really primalary a HT processor)
Doubt you'll get a Tag AV32R... unless the first released models (seen a couple for £1200)
Or a Tag AV30R- not as upgradeable as a AV32R though. Don't see many about.
Rotel 1075- £800. 5 Channels
Second hand- Rotel 993 (3 channel, 200W per channel) and a 991 (2 channel, 200W per channel) £700 for both
There's many other makes of poweramps- maybe buy several 2 channel poweramps- say three 2 channels (total of 6 channels) there's no fixed method of getting a AV system.. basically any method of acquiring at least 5 to 10 channels of amplifcation in any arrangement (monobloc, 2 channel, 3 channel, 5 channel, 6 channel, 7 channel) - and depending if you want to bi-amp centre any speakers or leave them single powered)
I've got four 2 channel poweramps- one is biamping the centre, two for left/rights (biamped) one for sides, and will be buying another 2 channel for rears.
I bet I've confused you now!
lets see, the solution Rotel 1066+1075 will be in stereo too. It would be ok to my speakers.
The above are just examples. You don't have to buy the 1075!
Just look around for (a total of) 5 channels of amplifcation. Find out what amplifiers are within your price range. I can't say whether the Rotel's are great- only you can say for yourself. Same for the Processor. I might say "Yeah it's brilliant for AV & Stereo" but you might compare it with whatever you've got at the moment and think it's pants. The same for the DC-2 or Tag processors.
Don't settle for the 1075 just because I said so. Why not demo a couple of poweramps & processors from a dealer?
Since the question has been asked, i think it's worth saying this: the top integrateds from Pioneer/Marantz/Denon etc offer superb value for money. The best AV processors in the world (Lexicon, Theta etc) do not. To say the price/performance curve takes a very steep incline at this point is like saying saying Jimmy Hill suffered the odd 'foot-in-mouth' incident.
How did he do that without kicking himself in the chin then?
I'm going to vote for 2nd hand processors (and maybe power amps) represent the best VFM at this sort of price point.
Why did you say that?
Probably because most people would be happy with a top-end AV amp setup (and offer value for money), and only those who are picky or want the best would notice the difference between a expensive amp and a decent AV Pre-amp/poweramp setup. To get that extra 1% or 10% might cost £1000+ on equipment, plus extra cabling, physical space on racking, more complex setup (and lower WAF) etc.
quite simply the law of diminishing returns has kicked well in by the time you get to the very high end. Between a £4k and £10k machine...... the difference isnt going even approach the difference between £400 and £1k machines...... so up at the high end the value for money compared to lower is simply poor.
Agree with buns and Nathan, although I would add that value for money CAN be had if you shop around.
For example, the Pioneer AX10 (or whatever model no. it is) costs around £3000...although you could probably get one for less...say £2400?
I bought a Lexicon DC-2 processor for £820 from these forums (originally £3800), Rotel RMB1075 5 channel power amp £760 (brand new), and a Rotel RB1070 2 channel power amp £440 (brand new). Total cost = £2020.
Now although I don't have all the latest sound modes (dts-es discrete) @ £2020 I have (I'm guessing) a far superior processor/amplification setup than the Pioneer can offer.
So 2nd hand is always worth a look...
Well a DC-2 for £800 is good value, but what did these list for? 5 grand like the MC-1? I had an MC-12B in my system, that lists for 9 grand. Of course it sounds good, but I would describe the sound as a 'moderate' step up from the top-of-the-line integrateds, but at triple the cost and sans power amplification (I used Chord amps with it).
Do not discount the DVD/amp package as well, as people like Denon and Pioneer are at the cutting edge with their jitterless digital interfaces. Look at the whole. A Pioneer amp/DVD linked by firewire subjectively sounds as good as a far more expensive processor/DVD transport linked by godawful SPDIF.
Two questions you need to ask:
1. What are your budget limitations?
2. How important is AV going to be to you?
If the answers are 'none' and 'very' respectively then by all means buy a Theta or Meridian processor, Mark Levinson monoblocks and the best speakers you can find...
hi,daninthemix, all help is good
the answers to your questions are:
1:around 2000 £
2:50% AV e 50% Music.
Your dudeness, what did you replace the MC-12 with? Also how much a killing did you make flogging it on E-bay?
Not entirely sure I agree with the processor / power amp being the better option. An A1-SR denon was recently sold on here for £1100 and I have just bought an AX10 for £1200, which must be a better bet than an ancient processor - neither of these are too shoddy sound quality wise. And if the internal power amps are not to your liking that would still leave room in your budget for a 'proper' power amp for front L/R (e.g. 2nd hand Chord SPM600) or a rotel multichannel - used 1075 about £500 and 1095 about £1k.
at just over £1000, there is no prayer that a processor and power amps of modern era can match the value of those level of all in ones. But matching value and matching performance are a different matter....... even these sort of machines are going to come second best to an older lexicon/meridian processor. The thing they will have is bells and whistles though. For £1200 you could get an old dc series lexicon and one of those £500 1075's at a push...... now it isnt new, but im fairly confident that sound wise it would be a significant step up from an integrated, even of the level of the AX10 or A1-SR
Ah the age old "I've bought a top of the range AV amp, I'm in denial so I'll put down the top end previous gen processor/poweramp combo's so it'll make me feel better I've bought something better"
Somewhat arrogant post from you I have to say!! I retyped this sentence as the original was more along the lines of "cocky w^%ker....." I know you feel the need to defend all things lexicon from the posts on the tag threads but come on!
Not in denial and not saying it definitively *is* better, though it is for me without question. I bought an integrated because I already have a decent hifi amp, the Pioneer does component video switching and at £1200 it is cheap for what it does - find an equivalent processor and power amp for that budget that does what I want it to - there aren't any.
Note also we are not talking about previous generation processor, the DC series is previous previous generation, and performance improves all the time.
"it'll make me feel better I've bought something better" - grow up! I was putting a different point of view to you in response to a question posed for god's sake. I don't need validation (apologies for using such an Americanism!!) from someone I don't know on a forum about a piece of electronic equipment - I am not *quite* that sad!!
That sounds like a rant reading it again - just spent 4 hours driving home from Wrexham so forgive the ranty tone.
On the subject of older processors, there is currently a Lexicon DC1.2 on ebay at £900 buy it now and a Meridian 561 at less than £100 at the moment.
Question for Nathan (out of curiosity really) - the seller of the DC1.2 claims it has DD-EX and DTS-ES - is that right?
DC-1 is THX-EX Surround. I would not pay £900 for a DC-1. I has less inputs than a DC-2, and lesser quality DAC's as well.
If you do buy a DC-1, make sure it has version 4 of the firmware (shown on the display when you switch it on)
Most I'll pay for a DC-1 would be about £600.
I replaced the MC-12B with a CBII (superior DAC on the front, Std. on the rears/sub).
I made a small amount on the 12B, but I thought it sucked balls especially playing back music, so was glad to be rid of it!!
Expensive thing to buy without testing it's music performance first !!!
I've only heard an MC12B once, but I thought it did a remarkable job of music, so long as you're using the processor's DACs. I suppose maybe it isn't the equal of top-of-the-line CD players. To be fair I've not listened to any of the top-end processors - Casablanca II, Meridian 861 or Linn Kisto - but musically speaking I thought the MC12B was streets ahead of any of the middle-range processors (Bryston SP1.7, Meridian 568.2, Arcam AV8, Tag AV192R).
It also has the best steering of any processor I've heard - especially clear and sharp in the rear channels. The only thing I thought was a bit suspect on the MC12B was the analogue bypass. But in all other respects I'd certainly far rather have an MC12B than my Bryston SP1.7 - or at least I would if the MC12B didn't cost twice as much.
(And you've got to love the ability to do bass management and the LFE channel on separate subwoofers).
I dunno Nic - me and you have different thoughts on speakers too
Regardless of my personal disdain for the 12B, you must agree it's a complete rip off for what you get?! (at retail cost, anyho)
The Theta does a much better job, but I still find myself longing for my old SA-1 CD player from time to time
Anyone else feel left out of this conversation?
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