using a receiver as a preamp

gingerone

Well-known Member
Hi all, I'm going to ask a dull question but is it possible to use my current receiver, a Marantz sr4002 as a preamp if I get a poweramp? If so how?
 

VoodooDoctor

Active Member
I don't know your particular receiver but I have been doing this with an Onkyo TX-NR905.

Get a power amp, preferably with an AV Direct mode.
You will need an interconnect for every channel that you are going to power amp.
Connect the interconnects from the preamp section of your Marantz to the appropriate inputs on the power amp.
Run any Room EQ from the receiver.
Watch movies.

If you don't have a power amp with AV Direct you will have to set the volume control on the power amp to a constant volume level (most use 12 o'clock on the dial) and run the Room EQ. Every time you then use the power amp for movies, you'll have to return the volume to this point.

Hope that helps.
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
Not wishing to be a pedant but a 'power amplifier' generally has no volume controls. If it has a volume control it is usually a stereo 'Preamp' but I'll admit there are always products that fall in between the recognised definitions.

If you wanted to use a Stereo Preamp then VoodooDoctor's advice is sound. The main reason for doing so would be if you preferred the Stereo/Music reproduction of the Stereo Preamp over your Receiver, generally a dedicated Preamp for Stereo will be superior to a Receiver but it really does depend on your setup and room.

Make sure you use the Pre-Out 7.1 outputs on the Receiver (bottom left) to connect to the inputs on your power amp. Then connect your speakers to the corresponding outputs on the power amps.

Some half decent shielded RCA interconnects between the Receiver and power amp will serve you well, I would recommend Mark Grant cables. Very good quality, available in any size and don't cost the earth.

Have fun.

Adam :)
 

bow79

Novice Member
you should not have a problem. You have pre-outs for each channel so you connect the phono on the pre-out and then to the input on your power amp ( probably another phono but not necessarily)
there is no real point in doing this unless the amp you are connecting is a better quality or possibly power than the amps that are built into your receiver.
you can then upgrade as many channels as you have amps for. So if you have one for each channel great. If for example you only have a stereo power amp you could upgrade the front left and right and still power the other channels from the inbuilt amps.
 

VoodooDoctor

Active Member
That would be because my power amps have an AV Direct label on their input sockets despite not having a volume control!
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
That would be because my power amps have an AV Direct label on their input sockets despite not having a volume control!
Interesting, what do the 'non-AV Direct' inputs do then?
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
Looks like it does actually, is it worth going down this path in everyone's opinion?
It really depends on the power amp you intend using, the speakers and the volume levels you listen at.

When I was first into AV ~15 years ago, adding a power amp made a huge difference but Amps in receivers have come on a lot since then so it is a harder call.

Usually there is an improvement to be had but you may gain more from a speaker upgrade or an EQ aid etc.

Adam :)
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Looks like it does actually, is it worth going down this path in everyone's opinion?
My guess is that you would be spending good money to achieve rather little with your current Ruark Talismans, and that you could probably achieve more with a different allocation of your finances.

But that comment assumes your purchase is limited to power amplification and fails to consider your actual problem and goals. You didn't actually indicate what aspects of the current system's performance you wish to improve or what your final target was.
 

Rob.Screene

Member
I remember th denon thx receiver A10se had a clean sound when i went from a separates stereo system.

In fact i still use it to power the surround channels in an otherwise linn aktiv bi-amped front set with a tag processor.

These receivers go for peanuts now and have great power amps in them. If you have the space or a rack, that is

Rob.
 

Mr_Sukebe

Active Member
The answer is that functionally, yes it will.
The bad news is that almost all AV amps (certainly the ones I've tried) had almost unanimously rubbish pre-amp sections. In short, it's a side effect of cost cutting to get all those nice snazzy functions for so little money, linked to having what is quite a complex set of circuits next to critical pre-amp sections.
I've owned two Marantz AV amps over the years, and didn't rate either as a pre-amp.

If you can, use a dedicated stereo pre or integrated amp for music.
 

gingerone

Well-known Member
Mark.Yudkin said:
My guess is that you would be spending good money to achieve rather little with your current Ruark Talismans, and that you could probably achieve more with a different allocation of your finances.

But that comment assumes your purchase is limited to power amplification and fails to consider your actual problem and goals. You didn't actually indicate what aspects of the current system's performance you wish to improve or what your final target was.
Thanks for the reply, are you saying I'd get a bigger improvement if i upgraded my left and right rather than trying to chuck more power into them?
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the reply, are you saying I'd get a bigger improvement if i upgraded my left and right rather than trying to chuck more power into them?
I think you're already able to chuck way more power at them than you need for anything but the loudest disco. But I rather assumed your question was more concerned with "cleaner" rather than "more" power.

I do feel you would achieve more of an audio improvement with better speakers, but that wasn't the point I was trying to make. What I was trying to explain was that you haven't actually said what your problem was, so that we can't make any solid suggestions as to the best allocation of funds.

What make you you unhappy with your system today?
 

Wilseus

Novice Member
For what it's worth, I have found that using a power amp in this way has given me massively better sound than using my receiver alone. My Yamaha on its own is fine for movies but rather clinical and unsatisfying sounding for music.

My 6-channel Rotel only cost me £200 second hand and cured the problem. That is ridiculous value for money, IMO.
 
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