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Old 11-28-2012, 02:08 PM   #1
goobernoodles
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Default Upgrade Receiver or go Preamp/amp route?

I know next to nothing when it comes to preamps, surround processors, amps, etc and what all is necessary or recommended when upgrading from a simple receiver setup. This is my current 5.1 setup:

Panasonic XR55
Onix X-MTM - L/R
Onix X-CS - Center
Onix X-LS - Surrounds
HSU VTF-15H

I'm looking to either upgrade to a newer receiver OR to a preamp/amp type of setup. The XR55 doesn't have HDMI, is horrendously ugly, and receivers with Audessy MultiEQ intrigue me.

Am I right in assuming that it's unlikely I won't get a major power increase if I just upgrade to a more current receiver? The 100wpc the XR55 puts out isn't exactly underpowered for a receiver.

I don't have a set budget, but I'm not made out of money. I'm thinking ~300-~600 if just upgrading to another receiver, I assume it'd be significantly more for the separate component setup.

TL;DR: Recommend me good mid-level receivers with good power/hdmi/Audessy MultEQ and/or recommend pre-amp/amp type setup that would be an improvement over my current XR55.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:15 PM   #2
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at 600 bones just get an AVR. Preamps+amps will cost you more

Denon 19xx comes to mind and should be in budget,

oddly the 1713 has MultyEQ XT and the 1913 does not. 1913 has more power
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:27 PM   #3
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at 600 bones just get an AVR. Preamps+amps will cost you more

Denon 19xx comes to mind and should be in budget,

oddly the 1713 has MultyEQ XT and the 1913 does not. 1913 has more power
That's what I'm leaning towards, but I would like to at least know what an "entry level" preamp+amp setup would run me. It seems that would be the only way to get increased power.

Edit: It appears the 1913 has MultEQ, but not MultEQ XT.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:32 PM   #4
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I wouldn't say that necessarily. Just because an AVR may have similar wattage ratings doesn't mean it won't change/improve sound quality.

Looking at the specs of your current receiver, I notice two things:

1. Power ratings are given an 6 ohms. With 8 ohm speakers (99% probability its what you have) your amp cannot deliver 100W. Also, generally speaking you only need a few watts before its loud enough to cause hearing damage. To get full output you'd be cranking the volume all the way up. Do you find yourself doing that?

2. I question the ability of an amp to deliver power when it doesn't have an adequate power supply. The fact your AVR weighs ~10lbs means something to me. The stereo receiver I use for music weighs over 45 lbs and my Denon AVR is well over 20lbs. The Denon is rated for less power than your AVR too.

Do I have any evidence to say that weight=power? Well, not directly. But high power amps need current and you simply can't get current without a properly sized transformer.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I wouldn't say that necessarily. Just because an AVR may have similar wattage ratings doesn't mean it won't change/improve sound quality.

Looking at the specs of your current receiver, I notice two things:

1. Power ratings are given an 6 ohms. With 8 ohm speakers (99% probability its what you have) your amp cannot deliver 100W. Also, generally speaking you only need a few watts before its loud enough to cause hearing damage. To get full output you'd be cranking the volume all the way up. Do you find yourself doing that?

2. I question the ability of an amp to deliver power when it doesn't have an adequate power supply. The fact your AVR weighs ~10lbs means something to me. The stereo receiver I use for music weighs over 45 lbs and my Denon AVR is well over 20lbs. The Denon is rated for less power than your AVR too.

Do I have any evidence to say that weight=power? Well, not directly. But high power amps need current and you simply can't get current without a properly sized transformer.
The XR55 is a digital receiver (class D) so it's possible that it doesn't require a overly beefy power supply to produce the same wattage.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:57 PM   #6
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Good point. The engineer in me says efficiency is good. The other part says, give me some good American iron. Although in this case all of my iron is Japanese
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goobernoodles View Post
That's what I'm leaning towards, but I would like to at least know what an "entry level" preamp+amp setup would run me. It seems that would be the only way to get increased power.

Edit: It appears the 1913 has MultEQ, but not MultEQ XT.
you can use any AVR that has preouts as a preamp which is getting harder to find at a cheap price. TBH im not sure any AVR under 800$ has them anymore

Cheap preamps start at 600 ish

cheap 5 channel amps start at 500 ish

Last edited by Anubis; 11-29-2012 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
you can use any AVR that has preouts as a preamp which is getting harder to find at a cheap price. TBH im not sure any AVR under 800$ has them anymore

Cheap preamps start at 600 ish

cheap 5 channel amps start at 500 ish
Gotcha.

Does anyone know of any decent receivers with pre-outs? I could purchase a receiver for now, and eventually add a 5 channel amp.
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goobernoodles View Post
That's what I'm leaning towards, but I would like to at least know what an "entry level" preamp+amp setup would run me. It seems that would be the only way to get increased power.

Edit: It appears the 1913 has MultEQ, but not MultEQ XT.
Yeah. The idea with the 1713 is to apparently be Denon's top 5.1 receiver, while the 1913 adds 7.1 support and some more video stuff. You have to go to the 2113 to get MultEQ XT and beefier amps.

As for pre-outs, the cheapest 2012 RX I can find with them is the Onkyo 717: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007JOO4YS

You have to step-up to the 818 to get a better version of Audessey, though :p
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:38 PM   #10
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emotiva is running a holiday sale and their UPA-500 80W x 5 amp is only $349 right now. but a preamp will still be pretty pricy, 499 for their cheapest. so $850 total.
advantage being you can always upgrade the prepro later
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:05 PM   #11
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At this point I think I'm going to look for a good AVR w/ preouts, and then try to get an emotiva or other 5 channel amp at a later date. What's the best way to find receivers with pre outs? Right now I have to look at pictures of the rear of receivers to check which seems ridiculous.

Found this through googling: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...M?tag=at055-20

Looks like Harmon Kardon AVR 3600 has pre outs as well.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:14 PM   #12
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the yamaha is a solid receiver. however it should be noted that YAPO is not as good as audessey. however will still work fine for most people

i have a yamaha and have no isues with it
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:18 PM   #13
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wow, seems the cheapest denon with pre-outs is now the 3313. recall the 23xx had them a few years ago, unless i'm mistaken.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
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wow, seems the cheapest denon with pre-outs is now the 3313. recall the 23xx had them a few years ago, unless i'm mistaken.
i thought they did as well
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:59 PM   #15
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wow, seems the cheapest denon with pre-outs is now the 3313. recall the 23xx had them a few years ago, unless i'm mistaken.
Oof... that thing is significantly more than I would want to spend on an AVR.

So I guess right now I'm stuck between these two:

Harmon Kardon AVR 3600
Yamaha RX-V667

Anyone have an opinion on these two? Looks like the HK can be had on buy.com for $400.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:34 PM   #16
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cheapest Onkyo seems to be the 717 but it has the crappy version of audessey (2EQ)

http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-NR717.../dp/B007JOO4YS

personally id go with the yamaha

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Old 11-30-2012, 09:06 AM   #17
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So I'm going through the same choices, just a bit more background in audio and HT. I was going to come in here and start a new thread but I may as well just ask in this thread and maybe answers may help the OP too.

I have a whole assortment of gear (which I cannot figure out where it should all go), and I'm planning on either buying a used pre/pro or AVR. So any advice or help would be much appreciated!

I have a long background in audiophilia. I grew up reading Stereophile, so I went through a phase of trying to afford the perfect system. I'm over that now but I'd still like a sweet sounding 2ch system.

Living Room:
Some of my higher end gear includes a Rotel 985 amp (sweet sounding 5ch x 100w), a Rotel 1068 prepro (great pre/pro with DD and DTS but no HDMI switching), Snell E.5 floor standers (still the best sounding speakers I've heard in my home), and a matching Snell center.

Home Theater Room (with 720p front projector)
My "newer" system which is currently taking the duties of the HT room is a front line of Monitor Audio BR series monitors, Def. Tech. BP2 for the rear, an Def Tech PF1500 sub. This system is powered by an impulse purchased Onkyo TX-NR509 when it isn't at the service shop (3 times in less than a year). I bought it because it was cheap (like $250 at the Egg) and had HDMI switching and Audessy tuning. It was good at moderate volumes with the little Monitors but never got to the mind blowing level. Now that we use the HT so much I want to get a great system in here.

I just picked up a pair of Def. Tech. Studiomonitor 350's (impulse BF purchase from the Egg...see a pattern here?). I bought them becuase I had a pair of BP8s back in the day and I was feeling naustalgic. They are bright...but wow they have a lot of bass for a monitor! They might make a great HT monitor to go with the BP2's, no?

I can't figure out what should go where. So help! lol. I'd like to not spend more than $800 on the last piece of the puzzle.

I am thinking about bringing the Rotel 985 into the HT and getting a pre/pro (perhaps a used Marantz 8003) to power the Studio 350 and BP2's and get a matching center. Or do I just get an AVR like a Marantz SR6006? I would then put the POS Onkyo 509 in the living room to power the Monitor Audio speakers then move the Snells to a 2ch system.

So to tie this into the OP's thread: Is 100wpc from a higher end amp like the Rotel as good or better than 110wpc from a decent AVR like the SR6006?

Wow I thought writing it out would help...but no. Thanks
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:27 AM   #18
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So to tie this into the OP's thread: Is 100wpc from a higher end amp like the Rotel as good or better than 110wpc from a decent AVR like the SR6006?
yes its better

my suggestion, get a prepro/AVR with preouts to use with the rotel in the HT
move the onkyo someplace else

i cant comment on your speakers as im not familiar with them

Last edited by Anubis; 11-30-2012 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:13 AM   #19
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I'm sure my living room wouldn't mind your Rotel amp.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:24 AM   #20
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I bought an onkyo 707 from accessories4less for cheaps a while back. I needed the pre outs as well.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:04 PM   #21
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Quote:
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I bought an onkyo 707 from accessories4less for cheaps a while back. I needed the pre outs as well.
I was going to say this... it's clearly a case for a4less.

refurb Onkyo 709 (MultEQ XT) - $450
new Sherwood R972 (Trinnov) - $550
refurb Denon 3312 (MultEQ XT) - $600

Depends if you're ok going back a bunch of model years for that Onkyo.

Ah wait, a current-model new option:
new Pioneer SC-1222-K (Advanced MCACC) - $600

I'd probably stick with Audyssey, but that's your call.

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Old 11-30-2012, 12:13 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Or do I just get an AVR like a Marantz SR6006?
The SR6006 has MultEQ XT Pro, which would make it a nice pre if you want more power on top.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:28 PM   #23
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Quote:
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I was going to say this... it's clearly a case for a4less.

refurb Onkyo 709 (MultEQ XT) - $450
new Sherwood R972 (Trinnov) - $550
refurb Denon 3312 (MultEQ XT) - $600

Depends if you're ok going back a bunch of model years for that Onkyo.

Ah wait, a current-model new option:
new Pioneer SC-1222-K (Advanced MCACC) - $600

I'd probably stick with Audyssey, but that's your call.
Great post. Do you have a preference out of the two with Audyssey?
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:44 PM   #24
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The SR6006 has MultEQ XT Pro, which would make it a nice pre if you want more power on top.
Yeah I guess that's sort of the wild card option. Get an AVR and use the Rotel to run the system (at least 5 channels of it) if the AVR is found to not have enough sack.

But if that is the case wouldn't I be better off just getting a stand alone pre/pro from the begining? I guess my question can be boiled down to "how good are modern AVRs compared to older highend gear?"
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:56 PM   #25
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Great post. Do you have a preference out of the two with Audyssey?
Depends on how much the cash means for your wallet and the rest of your system, I guess.

The only difference you're really looking at (well, unless you have a turntable or are excited about the additional Audyssey target curve(s) on the Denon or something -- actually, I haven't checked to see if the latter difference still applies) is that the Onkyo (which I hadn't realized is just last year's) seems to have a spottier reliability record. But your unit may be fine and hassle-free... so who knows?

Personally if I were going to spend $600 on the Denon I'd probably spend an extra $100 to get the Marantz SR6006 refurb. XT Pro...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwme View Post
Yeah I guess that's sort of the wild card option. Get an AVR and use the Rotel to run the system (at least 5 channels of it) if the AVR is found to not have enough sack.

But if that is the case wouldn't I be better off just getting a stand alone pre/pro from the begining? I guess my question can be boiled down to "how good are modern AVRs compared to older highend gear?"
I just don't think you're going to see much difference between 100wpc and 110wpc, even if the latter is more "real" than the former (and Marantz has been pretty good with their numbers in the past). Twice the power to deliver 3db more and all that.

200, 500, 1000wpc... then we're talking.

Btw, the 8003 is from the last (I believe) year of Marantz having dated DSP circuitry that couldn't handle anything past regular Audyssey MultEQ. So... blah. The 6006 kicks its ass on processing. The Onkyo/Integras from that vintage still cut it, though, if you don't need 3D or the like.

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