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help choose a pre/pro

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by GreenEagle, Apr 20, 2003.

  1. GreenEagle

    GreenEagle
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    Which of the following preamp processors will ppl here recommend I have listen to?

    Meridian 568 (second hand),
    Tag Maclaren AV32R (second hand),
    or the new Rotel RSP1098.

    Most of the time the pre/pro I choose will be used for 80% music and 20% Movies. I like an organic type sound from my music, so am assuming the Merisian might be the one to go for since I tend to like their sound anyways.

    Any new suggestions of pre/pro's I have not mentioned here will also be entertained.

    My system is
    Rotel RB1090,Rotel RB993,Rotel RC971
    Pioneer 656A
    JM Labs Cobalt 816 (inc center)
    Sony sealed box (rears) don't know model

    cheers for your help in advance

    I thank you (ripped this saying off from another forum)
     
  2. mjn

    mjn
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    if you do a quick search, you'll see there are already quite a few long threads asking which processor/amplifer...
     
  3. rags

    rags
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    The meridian 568 without a doubt. The others whilst good are not in the same league music wise. I demoed one yesterday and it sounded awesome running through an Arcam P7 amp (and also through a Rotel 1075.

    You should be able to pick one up for around £2000 s/hand or £2300 ex demo.
     
  4. sounddog

    sounddog
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    The Meridian will out perform the Tag, but the Rotel 1098 is of course an unknown quantity as no-one has heard it yet.

    With your 80/20 split towards music, and given that you are looking at around £2000 to spend in total ... have you also considered spending the majority on a good stereo pre-amp or integrated amp, and either a Rotel RSP1066 (cheepest processor in the UK) or Marantz SR5300 or similar?

    Vikki

    PS ... hope you also have a good CD player otherwise the processors will be a little wasted if your main aim is better music.
     
  5. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    Find a dealer who will loan you the Meridian and Tag for a home demo, that will give you the best way to assess each.
     
  6. sounddog

    sounddog
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    From your post ... it seams that music is your main love.

    Have you considered buying a better pre-amp or integrated stereo amp, and spending less on the processor ... either a AV reciever (Marantz SR5300, Pioneer 2011, etc depending on how much you have to spend) or a Rotel RSP1066.

    Vikki
     
  7. GreenEagle

    GreenEagle
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    Yes music is indeed a priority. Due to space considerations initiallly I bout a Denon AVC-10SE but found the sound too flat for my liking and after demoing a Rotel RB1080, I knew that the Denon didn't cut it. So ended up with my current system and had to forgo consideration of space.

    Again though space is a consideration, that is why am looking at all in one pre/pro.
     
  8. Miron

    Miron
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    GreenEagle,
    one partly off topic issue here:
    Your amps have different gains (1090 and 993 - if I read it correctly). Even if you are going to use multichannel for 20% only I would think about another option here. Especially with new formats coming. It might work fine but if you are going to listen it on rather different volumes it is not going to be the best match alltogether.
     
  9. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I am unconvinced by those who tell you Meridian is better than the Tag or vica versa. Both are quality implementations and are aimed at 'different' people. They both start to shine with their matching sources. These and the Arcam are the pick of the bunch
     
  10. GreenEagle

    GreenEagle
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    Miron, am not sure what you mean!
     
  11. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Different gain in reference to an amp means one amp will go louder faster than the other, thus causing an inbalance between the two. In particular when you biamp this is of great concern.
     
  12. GreenEagle

    GreenEagle
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    Cheers, am not actually biamping. You are quite orrect that the input sensitivity is different but not sure it wil make too much of a difference here.

    Here are the quoated figures:
    RB1090
    Input sensitivity 1.8V/33 kohm

    RB993
    Input sensitivity 1.5/32 kohm
     
  13. Miron

    Miron
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    Well, GreenEagle, let's say it this way:
    If you know it you'll definitely spot it. If you don't know it, it might stay hidden.
    Do you know it :) ?
     
  14. sounddog

    sounddog
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    GreenEagle / Miron

    From what I rememeber ... the input sensitivity isn't whats important ... it's the gain of the amps - and I can't find this listed on Rotel's website quickly. I think the gain of the 993 and the 1080 will be similar though.

    Vikki
     
  15. Reiner

    Reiner
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    It is also of concern when mixing different amps for your 5.1 channels.
    Imagine you have calibrated the level of all channels (using a SPL meter) but when you increase or decrease the volume the e.g. rear channels become suddenly louder than the fronts and/or center. That would be rather disturbing.
     
  16. Garincha

    Garincha
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    Greeneagle/Sounddog
    Miron and Reiner are completely right here. If you change levels for more than few db you'll be able to hear the difference. Using non-gain-matched amps normally results in lost of ambience and increase of level mismatch and tonal balance.

    About Rotels, 991 and 993 have same gains. They are the same amps indeed. 1080 should match because it is nothing else than 991 under new cover with few minor tweaks. However some people measured real gain and said it did not match completely. But it is still close enough to be used along with 993. 1090 is different story and does not match any of Rotel amps and is not really thought for multichannel setups. Also you should be aware that Rotel amps have pretty different gains when used ballanced and single ended

    This made me laugh :laugh:
     
  17. Garincha

    Garincha
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    Forgot this one (to go back to the root of this thread)

    There are more and more good pre/processors on the market. But three companies established themselves as real masters of this area. TAG, Meridian and Lexicon. You can find more or less everything you need by looking at these manufacturers. Latest step was introduction of room EQ.
    Since it is rapidly changing area there are some very fine deals on the second hand market here. Just taka a look around.
     
  18. cskates

    cskates
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but surely differences in the gain of the amps can be corrected using the channel level adjustments? Since the gain is a constant, the relative levels would be the same across the volume range.
     
  19. EvilMudge

    EvilMudge
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    You'd think that, and in a perfect world it would be, but sadly not in the real world. It wil only be the same at reference level, ie where it's been calibrated to.
     
  20. Garincha

    Garincha
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    This is what pre/pro manufacturers normally claim - marketing crap of course , it is of course not so.
     
  21. cskates

    cskates
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    Still not getting this, I'll use an example of my thinking.

    Say you have two amps A and B with a gain of only 3dB and 6dB. If you input 1V into each you'll get 2V and 4V won't you? If you trimmed B's input by 3dB to 0.5V and left A's input at 1V you'd get 2V from both amps. (3dB is a doubling/halving isn't it...?)

    Am I totally wrong, or is it much more complicated than that in practice? (I have a 5 channel amp, so I have no bias - just curious!)
     
  22. EvilMudge

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    Gain in a transistor is not perfectly linear, it varies with frequency and input current. So whilst the gain match will be pretty good at the reference level, the further away from this level you go, the greater the discrepancy between two different fixed gain amplifiers will be. The solution is to calibrate your system at your usual volume level, and only vary the volume a short way up or down depending on the situation.
    How sensitive to this effect you are is something you can only find out by trying it.
     
  23. Woolies Boy

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    If gain variancies are such an issue wouldn't they cause problems with subs that have their own amp. Also I guess this is another pitfall for music listeners who want to use existing two speaker/amp systems for L and R and then surround receivers for the remaining 3.1 channels. Is the best option to calibrate the system twice for high and low level listening and just stick very close to those two volumes and make the required adjustments when moving from one to the other?

    WB
     
  24. EvilMudge

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    With subs it's not an issue, as the problem is more pronounced with frequency rather than input current - and a sub should be providing the vast majority of the output in the sub 80Hz region, if not all.
    The problem is one of panning between the two different amps, but keeping the frequency content the same.
    We are talking about effects that the vast majority of won't notice though. Sony in particular has been changing the specs on the amps driving the rears relative to the fronts without anyone noticing.
     
  25. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Transistors are about as un linear as ampliying devices get, a Triode is the most linear. In fact they are REALLY bad in this respect. Re subs well level humps of bumps of 20dB in a room are not uncommon, 10 -15 dB are the norm, mainly due to room resonances, a few db here and there is irrelevant over a small range, however room resonances are not as much of an issue > 250 Hz and it is EASY to spot a few dB change, this is of course how shops sell amps and DTS wins the DTS vs DD war. :rolleyes:
     
  26. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Just in my defence ... what I said was that input sensitivity and gain are not the same thing. I also said that Rotel don't tell us what the gain of the 993 and 1090 are (well not that I can see on their website). Everything else said I agree with. I didn't disagree with anything Reiner wrote.

    What you need to compare is the gain curve of each amp and see how close they match.

    Vikki
     
  27. GreenEagle

    GreenEagle
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    All this makes me laugh. How does a simple question about picking the right pre/pro turn into matching gain for amplifiers.

    It is fair to point his out but it's up to me to do the matching that will suit my listening enjoyment.
     
  28. GreenEagle

    GreenEagle
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    Just wanted to add that alot of my listening is in 2 channel and if the movies don't sound exactly right is not much of a big deal to me.
    I watch movies to kick back at weekends (which is probably once every other month) not analyse every single nuiance of what going on.
     
  29. Miron

    Miron
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    That's why I added that "off topic" line.

    Anyway, all this written from Reiner, Dominic, Mark and Garintcha makes really nice reading and will be of good use to people browsing this forum who want to do best matching for their amps.

    Cheers all :hiya:
     
  30. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Thats cool ... but if thats your situation I'd definately look at a high end integrated or pre-amp, and a lower end AV Amp or Processor. A £2000 pre or integrated amp plus Marantz SR4300 will probably suit you a lot more than a £2500 processor will - but its you money and your choice of course.

    Either get a good pre-amp to go with the 1090 or sell the 1090 and spend more on an integrated - no recomendations for stereo kit at that kinda price cause I've no idea!!

    BTW - you do have a CD player / other analogue source as a DVD player isn't going to hack it as a music source in a several thousand pound system.

    Vikki

    PS ... sorry I already said this and you said about space considerations ... but I think you need to consider priorities and rationalising some of that kit of yours.
     

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