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High End Integrated as a Pre?

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by joust, May 8, 2004.

  1. joust

    joust
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    Hi All,

    Hopefully we will be on the move out of our current house in the near future, one of the conditions of the new house is that we will have a dedicated cinema room (probabaly a converted garage). This should allow me to go to town, as such, with a new system (crt projector, new amp speakers etc).

    I have been having a think about how I would like to set up such a system, and have so many quandries. The biggest area which I would like to sort out is the pre-amp/amplifier side. I'm currently leaning towards using pro-amped speakers, either blue skies or Mackie 624's, and a decent subwoofer (probably something from Velodyne), however, what sort of pre-amp do I go for? I would think something along the like of a Meridian 568.2, or if I could find a good deal an Arcam AV8, however, heres the dilemma, how would something like a Pioneer AX10i/Denon A1SR compare for straight pre-amp duties? The system would have to cater for both stereo and movies, and I would also like the option to have multichannel DVDA and SACD (how could I get this with the Meridian?).

    All opinions welcome on this problem!!!!!

    Cheers

    Joust
     
  2. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Great choice of speakers! Have you had a home demo of the Blue Sky's yet? I'm shure you will love them if/when you do. I am awaiting the arrival of mine as I hated it when the demo was over and I had to send them back.

    What is your budget for the processor? The Blue Sky's have balanced inputs so to get the best from them you should be looking at a balanced processor, but this does push up the price. You can get a Rotel 1068 for around £1000 which has just been released. The Arcam AV8 is very rarely seen s/h and is not found at any discount so you will be paying about £3000 for it. Just shy of £600 you can get the balanced Lexicon MC-8B which I have just bought and should be arriving soon with my speakers.
    AFAIK all the above processors will be able to play from a DVD-A &/or SACD player. I did look at the Meridian 568.2, but I don't think you can connect a DVD-A/SACD player to it.
    I have not had a demo of either the Meridian 568.2 or the 2 Rotels so do not know how well they will perform with stereo. I have had a demo of both the AV8 & MC-8 and they are both IMO very good with music. The MC-8 was better and you also have the option of the excellent Logic 7.
    I think any of the receivers you listed will be fine as a processor, but a large portion of their cost does go into the amps, therefore for the cost you would almost certainly get better results from a dedicated processor.

    Having just gone through all the hard work of finding a processor that will do everything I was after I think I did go for the best within my budget (well it was well over my budget really, but hey!). Now I just have to count the days until it all arrives and then try not to kill myself getting it all wired up trying to get power to all 7 speakers.

    Mark.
     
  3. Ettepet

    Ettepet
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    Have a look here to read about the weakness of DACs used in (most) integrated amps. The Pioneer can quite easily be modified to improve its pre-amp drastically, the Denon I am not sure about.
     
  4. Peter Baker

    Peter Baker
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    I must say I have never heard an integrated receiver sound anything other than c*** on music. Maybe it's just me but they all sound harsh brittle and downright unmusical to me.
     
  5. a3rmk

    a3rmk
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    The Bryston SP1.7 is superb for music and very good with movies.
    The Meridian 568.2 is superb with movies and very good with music.
    I have had both on loan and was impressed with both.
    With regards to power you are going down the best road with actives, for movies their dynamics can't be beaten.
    Madders is selling an SP1.7 on the forum at the moment for £3k.
     
  6. Daneel

    Daneel
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    Is it just me or does a pre/pro from someone like Pioneer a few additional features (say 13 band PEQ) and some work done on pass-through/ stereo performance sound very appealing?

    I would love to get a 868 DVD player but dont want to upgrade my 2011 to an iLink model just to get that feature.
     
  7. Ettepet

    Ettepet
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    Sounds lovely, although I haven't got the cash to replace DACs at the moment. The last few weeks I spent about 3000 euro's on DVD's, and audio-equipment. (a PB2-Plus will be on its way soon, hopefully)

    I am currently experimenting with adding a DEQ2496 (PEQs, GEQs, DECs, all in abundance) to my Pioneer setup, for <250Hz room-equalization and to see if I can outdo MCACC for stereo.

    This is an expensive hobby, there should be warning signs on entering this forum! :rolleyes: :devil:
     
  8. robfitzp

    robfitzp
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    I have an AX10 for home cinema use and a Primare A30.1 for music. All the reviews say the AX10 is pretty good for music, but I was seriously disappointed.

    I think the problem is in the power amp section though as playing around with the AX10 as a pre hooked up to the primare was not too bad. So for your scenario (separate power amps) it would work reasonably well.

    If you have the amps for all channels already I would buy a processor though.

    Cheers
    Rob
     
  9. Black 5

    Black 5
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    Not sure if it's doing everything you want, but wouldn't it be worth considering an AV32R with dual processors? The room equalisation is an option that's brilliantly implemented, if a little fiddly to set up and if you're going for a dedicated room, the ultimate piece of fine tuning. I have a purpose built room for my cinema and that particular upgrade was like a 5000 pound speaker upgrade. Just a thought.
     
  10. idhutt

    idhutt
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    You can connect a Meridian DVD-A player to to the 568.2MM. The MM version will accept up to 6 channels of PCM digital input, but getting a player that outputs this, without being modified, is a different matter. Meridian DVD-A players have encrypted MHR digital outputs which the 568.2MM can also decode at 96/24. I know of one for sale at £2200.

    There is also the Meridian G68 which offers this plus multi channel analogue input. List price, just shy of 5k and very little chance of getting one second hand.

    Of course with both, you need to supply your own amplification.
     
  11. meoldchina

    meoldchina
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    A 5K upgrade ...
    Have a listen to the ATC C2 set up all but replace the ATC 10 front speakers with the ATC20. I will be getting the full set up soon after listening to this you will not get a better set up for 7K with speakers and amps. :thumbsup:
     

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