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  1. #1
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    Seeking advice: 5-channel pre-amp for a 2-ch enthusiast..

    Hey guys....I'm new to the forums, and I'm hoping somebody here has been in the same boat as me. I feel like I'm straddling a very uncomfortable fence between the 2-ch and 5-ch world :-)

    My system consists of:

    Seas Odin DIY Speakers
    2 x Audiosource Amp/Two
    Audiosource Amp/Tuner Two
    (on the way) Pioneer DV-45A SACD/DVD-A DVD Player

    Until recently I have been purely interested in 2-channel stereo, and it is there that my 1st priority lies. Now, with the purchase of a new hi-def screen, and an SACD/DVD-A player on its way - I want to get into hi-fi 5 channel audio. Mostly for SACD/DVD, not so much for movies - but it would be nice to have the option.

    Problem is, having a 2-ch audiophile mind, I don't want anything super fancy. Sound quality is very important to me, I don't need bells and whistles. I am looking for a pre-amp which will act essentially as a 5-channel volume control because I will likely be buying additional amps for the rear channels and center channel. Low noise, no decoder needed (as it is included with the DVD player)....analouge at least one 5-ch input is a must.

    I was considering the Denon AVD-2000 but I'm not sure if it is exactly what I'm looking for. The price is definately right...and Denon has a good name in my opinion. What do you think?

    Another question: what is all this talk about 'Bass Management' with DVD-A/SACD players? Is that just an adjustable active x-over?

    Thanks for your thought....I'm really stressed over this one! Sound quality #1 here - I'm looking for a big volume knob with low noise!
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    The preamp processor market is very competitive and you will not find what you are looking for. All the pre/pro are going to have several features to compeat and they are all expensive with the price going up each year. You will need to be sure the preamp has the 6 way RCA analog inputs to support your SACD/DVD-A. I think Rotel still offers the RSP-1066 at about $1,500. that is a good bang for the buck. It is the least I would go. Many people use receivers for preamps which to me is an oxi-moron because the preamps are usually very inferior, even in ultra expensive receivers. You might try the used market and look for an older 5.1 unit that has older software and is being sold so someone can have 6 or 7.1. I have not jumped into 5 channel audio so refrain from explaining bass management. Preamp processors go up in price from the Rotel. Classe offers a $3k pre/pro with no video switching. Anthem has one at $3k that is loaded with features. B&K is around the same. I know you say audio is first but buy with surround sound in mind because I guarantee you will like it more than you think if you ever hear one set up correctly.

  3. #3
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    Hmmm, it seems unfortunate that I would have to spend that much $ just to come up with a 5-channel pre-amp with no frills. The pre-amp I use currently is an AudioSource Pre/Tuner Two - I paid $300 for it and it has been a great little unit. Blowing $1500 on a new Rotel is a bit overkill for me at this point.

    thanks for the suggestions though! Maybe I'll hunt around for an older receiver like you suggested...

  4. #4
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    For the benefit of anyone stuck in the same situation as myself I thought I'd post to say that I've found the perfect pre-amp for my needs...the Audio Refinement Pre5:

    http://www.audioreview.com/Preamplif...3_1591crx.aspx

    no decoder, no filters, great reviews - and hopefully for around $500 on the used market (as soon as I found one). Thanks to the guys at the Madisound forums for pointing this out to me!

    Cheers,

    Clay

  5. #5
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    I'm glad you found something that will fit your needs. I'll have to see what it's all about. I am shocked that any manufacturer would make a 5 channel preamp with no decoder. I wonder what would be the purpose and who would want one other than some one like yourself who had a nitch? I was in a nitch situation once and my piece would have fit your bill but it was an Arcam Xeta 2 and only 12 was sold in the U.S. The Xeta 2 was a preamp Dolby Pro Logic processor that had been upgraded to except the 6 analog inputs and pass the signal through. I sold it some time back and got a different pre/pro. Can you imagine my surprise when I found it and then realized there might only be 12? If this 5 channel passive catches on this may turn the industry around. There just wasn't nothing like this around before. And it would have made sense with those going from Pro Logic to 5.1 and DVD players having built in decoders. But the industry made it difficult on consumers in order to sell more gear. Now that they put the decoder for SACD in the DVD player I guess they will do a 180. Looked at the reviews, seems those who wrote are happy with it. I was leary because of the S/N only being 90dB but we all know that most spec sheets are equivalent to toilet paper.
    Last edited by Mr Peabody; 02-03-2004 at 04:52 PM.

  6. #6
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    Well, I certainly didn't come across very many 5 channel pre-amps without decoders, so I count myself lucky in finding this one at such a good price for the (supposed) quality....since I am in a 'nitch' afterall

    There is also an audio refinement pre-2dsp which contains a decoder but for much more $$....a little out of my range at the moment...

    Cheers,

    Clay

  7. #7
    Forum Regular Registered Member 46minaudio's Avatar
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    Adcom has a GFP 750 used sells for about 650.They also have a 710 new I think around 550 to 600.Both of these are 2 ch pres with a HT pass through.Your reciever needs to have pre outs on the frt 2 chs to work...There are others with this feature.IMO the direct 2 ch bypass on your pioneer will sound just as good...

  8. #8
    Forum Regular Registered Member 46minaudio's Avatar
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    Sorry just reread your post and was under the impression you had a 5.1 receiver..I think Sony sells somthing like what you are looking for.

  9. #9
    Forum Regular Registered Member 46minaudio's Avatar
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  10. #10
    Forum Regular jeskibuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 46minaudio
    I think Sony sells somthing like what you are looking for.
    Yup..."46min" is correct. I have one and it looks like it might be just what you're looking for, but many people have difficulty with a Sony unit in their system. Mine does its job well except that I get some hum out of it until it warms up a little bit (under 30 seconds). I bought mine on eBay for just under $400 from this place which I highly recommend.
    Click here to see my system.

  11. #11
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    Thanks guys - I'll take a close look at that Sony as well!

  12. #12
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    I personally don't think the Sony would be much better than a receiver. The Audio Refinement would be more bang for the buck.

    I was using a built in decoder of my Denon DVD and using the Arcam piece to distribute the 5.1. What made me switch to a full A/V preamp is no one as been smart enough yet to allow you an extra input to the DVD decoder. I wanted to run digital from my satelite receiver and take advantage of a few other features.

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