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Budget/mid price processor?

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by Keiron, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. Keiron

    Keiron
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    I've not been following "market trends" with hifi and AV over the last few years, but I'm now on the lookout for a reasonably priced (say less than £300) processor. I'm amazed that everything on the market seems to be at least a grand. What are the alternatives?
     
  2. buns

    buns
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    I dont think there are any. Unless you buy a 2nd hand older rotel....

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  3. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Yamaha DSP E800??? otherwise an integrated with preouts. Unless yoou happen to have a number of Big power amps there is little point in a seperate processor.
     
  4. Keiron

    Keiron
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    There's a lot of point in having a separate processor! Apart from giving you the ability to mix and match and greater upgrade flexibility, there are sound quality considerations. I have a Yamaha receiver and a single pair of Dynaudio 42 speakers - the sound is so so. I recently bought an old Quad 306 power amp (theoretically less power than the Yammy) - and it's a considerable improvement when the Yammy is used as the pre to this. But when I use my old Sony processor with the Quad, it's an entirely different league to the Yammy.
     
  5. buns

    buns
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    i think the point HD is making is that the price level you are considering makes the use of a processor of questionable benefit. There will be an exceptionally limited choice and you will be stuck with the barest of bare feature lists

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  6. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Thankyou for clearing that up ad.
    Are you looking for stereo processor or surround?
     
  7. Keiron

    Keiron
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    Sorry, my response does come across a little aggressive - didn't mean it to!:blush:

    It's odd that I'm actually at the moment taking a step "back" to stereo. I bought the Yammy a while back to ready myself for multi channel SACD and DVDA - but where are all the discs?!?

    So I'm sticking with the Dynaudios (extremely high quality by the way) and the Quad power amp. My plan was to get an up to date processor (multi channel, but good in steree too) so that I can always add more power amps and speakers later - if SACD etc ever really does take off. The Yammy will be up for sale. My Sony's good to a point, but limited flexibility.

    I should add I've no interest in movies (well, Kieslowski made them in Polish and mono so all this gear's a bit overkill!)

    The Rotels look interesting, I'll keep an eye open.
     
  8. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    S/H Arcam stereo processor?
     
  9. bobbypunk

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  10. AOD

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    I had a similar dilemma myself some time ago.

    I started out with a Yamaha (E580 I think) and then followed it up with an E492.

    By the time I got to this point, I had all my amplification offboard, so a dedicated processor made a lot of sense, except there wasn't much as you say under a grand.

    One option I did try for a while was to use a receiver with pre-outs for all its channels. That way I got all the features including Pro-Logic II, but took advantage of my amplification.

    I used a Marantz 4200, but any similar unit with pre-outs for *all* channels would do the trick. Their current offering, the SR4400 would do what you want (amongst others).

    Eventually I got tired of the popping noises with the Marantz and took it back. After a lot more saving I jumped to the Tag AV32R and haven't looked back since.
     
  11. Keiron

    Keiron
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    Thanks Anthony
    Probably an obvious answer to this, but woulld you say that the jump to the Tag from the pre outs of your Marantz made a huge difference?
    The switch to using the old Quad power amp from the on board power of my Yamaha receiver is substantial, I'm wondering whether the weakest part of a budget AV receiver is the power amo or the preamp/processor (my guess is probably the former).
     
  12. AOD

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    The most dramatic changes I've noticed with my setup have been as follows:

    1. Using power amps in place of the onboard amps in the Yamahas. The sound seemed to become more effortless, unfortunately this only served to highlight the lousy noise floor of the Yamaha kit I had. Very hissy!

    2. Going from the Marantz to the Tag. Huge difference, razor sharp soundfield, excellent effects steering and it does pretty well in stereo as well ;). Sounds good with my PS2 as well :smashin:.

    I used to get really hacked off when I had the E492, the amount of hiss it would generate was truly annoying.

    In answer to your question, I think I would probably upgrade the amplification first and then the processing side. Of course this all depends on available funds etc. Better amplification will maximise your current processing, changing the processing side gives you the chance to take things up yet another notch.

    As to which is compromised on most in a budget receiver, I don't think you can generalise it to any sensible degree. It will vary from unit to unit, but my thoughts are that the first thing to be changed/uprated should be the amplification. I looked upon my Marantz as a stop-gap until I laid my hands on an ex-dem Tag.

    You could do something similar, for example an ex-dem AV32R or perhaps even a Cyrus AV5. It all comes down to what your priorities are and how long you want to wait. My "killer" feature was Pro-Logic II, especially with a large VHS collection and a PS2.

    Of course the best thing to do is find a dealer who will loan you a machine so you can judge the impact with your setup. Then let your ears do the rest!
     

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