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zydeco

AVR or Pre-Pro for Stereo based A/V System

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zydeco   

I'm running a set-up that comprises three A/V sources set-up for stereo down-mix that are connected to a TV via HDMI. Audio comprises of stereo speakers plus 2 subwoofers with the TV optical output used to feed a mini-DSP that manages sub and overall EQ (as well as D/A conversion). All this works well but I'm re-considering purchasing an AVR or Pre-Pro so that I don't have to route audio via the TV so that a) TV doesn't have to be on to listen to music, b) additional sources can be added and c) sound quality is improved. My assumption has been that a pre-pro is a better solution given the focus on music but I'm open to an AVR (using pre-outs to my stereo power amp) if audio isn't impacted as this would allow me to use the speaker outputs to drive a set of patio speakers. Our room set-up means that we'll stick with stereo + sub (or at best add a centre channel) and, no doubt, over time we'll add new A/V sources and replace our current 1080p TV with whatever is the latest at that point in time. I'm guessing that this means that support for 4K + HDMI 2 + HDR etc. is important (but I'm not sure) and that ATMOS etc. isn't important. Access to streaming services and airplay would be a nice addition. So my questions are: a) Is it correct to assume that a move to AVR / pre-pro will have a major improvement in sound quality given that it allows audio to by pass the TV? b) Is it best to focus on a second-tier modern AVR / pre-pro (e.g., AV7703 or AVM60) or an older statement pre-pro; e.g., AV8801? c) Do any specific AVR / pre-pro come to mind?

 

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:) al   

avr with pre outs to power wont cut it for 2ch, unless spending 

 

for pre pros which do a pretty good job wiht 2ch  I can think of either the marantz av8802a or 2nd hand a av8801 8802 will need to be one go for given needing 4K HDR pass through etc ! 

 

avr route maybe consider one of the ones better with 2ch e.g. likes of nad/arcam/cambridge audio/rotel or upper end denon or rotel. again big dollars s not only chasing an AVR of quality but it will have to be a latest gen one as none older superseded ones will do 4K HDR etc

 

another choice is a 2nd tier AVR (i.e. dont have to go upper end flagships and what not) and couple with a good 2ch integrated with ht bypass. the good part with this is 2ch no longer limitation of AVR and the 2ch integrated can buy any superseded unit as they are all pretty damn good no matter age and we have had 2ch integrated with ht bypass for some 15 years now ! 

 

not if using digital sources... then dac either built in the source or stand alone will be a requirement to feed the 2ch integrated :)

 

 

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Satanica   

If you got something with Dirac Live like an Emotiva XMC-1, could you do away with the mini-DSP?

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Kaynin   
Posted (edited)

You can drive outdoor speakers with a pre-pro set-up too, you're not just limited to an AVR.  I recently bought a new AV8801 and 7 channel amp, utilised in a 5.1 system in the lounge and 2 channel outside.  Any pre with zoning/B switch will do the job.

Edited by Kaynin

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zydeco   
avr with pre outs to power wont cut it for 2ch, unless spending 
 
for pre pros which do a pretty good job wiht 2ch  I can think of either the marantz av8802a or 2nd hand a av8801 8802 will need to be one go for given needing 4K HDR pass through etc ! 
 
avr route maybe consider one of the ones better with 2ch e.g. likes of nad/arcam/cambridge audio/rotel or upper end denon or rotel. again big dollars s not only chasing an AVR of quality but it will have to be a latest gen one as none older superseded ones will do 4K HDR etc
 
another choice is a 2nd tier AVR (i.e. dont have to go upper end flagships and what not) and couple with a good 2ch integrated with ht bypass. the good part with this is 2ch no longer limitation of AVR and the 2ch integrated can buy any superseded unit as they are all pretty damn good no matter age and we have had 2ch integrated with ht bypass for some 15 years now ! 
 
not if using digital sources... then dac either built in the source or stand alone will be a requirement to feed the 2ch integrated
 
 


Thanks. So the options are a) a top tier AVR or b) separate stereo pre-amp with HT bypass plus a 2nd tier AVR. I'll do a bit of reading on both options. The other consideration in my situation is that the requirement for 4K HDR etc. will push up the cost of AVR / pre-pro so it'd be good to understand whether this does in fact make sense for our situation.

We have a 4 year old 60" Panasonic HD TV used for streaming Netflix / Catch-Up TV via ATV, ripped movies via PLEX and live / recorded TV via FetchTV. Current set-up sees our seating quite close to the screen and I can imagine that 4K TV / source would be a step up but we've got no plan to replace the TV until it's end-of-life. I'd guess that we'd just move to the new standards on TV / source as a process of replacement.

My thinking has been to purchase a AV pre-pro that supports the new video standards on the basis that it minimises churn and is future proof but I guess that this latter argument might not make sense given the changing standards? Also, if I do get an older AV pre-pro then does this mean that it won't work with new sources (I'm more likely to add new sources before a new TV)? Any advice in navigating this landscape would be really appreciated.


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zydeco   
1 hour ago, zydeco said:

 


Thanks. So the options are a) a top tier AVR or b) separate stereo pre-amp with HT bypass plus a 2nd tier AVR. I'll do a bit of reading on both options. The other consideration in my situation is that the requirement for 4K HDR etc. will push up the cost of AVR / pre-pro so it'd be good to understand whether this does in fact make sense for our situation.

We have a 4 year old 60" Panasonic HD TV used for streaming Netflix / Catch-Up TV via ATV, ripped movies via PLEX and live / recorded TV via FetchTV. Current set-up sees our seating quite close to the screen and I can imagine that 4K TV / source would be a step up but we've got no plan to replace the TV until it's end-of-life. I'd guess that we'd just move to the new standards on TV / source as a process of replacement.

My thinking has been to purchase a AV pre-pro that supports the new video standards on the basis that it minimises churn and is future proof but I guess that this latter argument might not make sense given the changing standards? Also, if I do get an older AV pre-pro then does this mean that it won't work with new sources (I'm more likely to add new sources before a new TV)? Any advice in navigating this landscape would be really appreciated.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

 

 

Edit: I guess that the question is whether current A/V standards are stable enough to warrant an investment in an up to date pre-pro or, alternatively, whether the landscape is such that it'd be best to just cross that bridge when replacing the TV.

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Have you looked at the Classe Sigma integrated?

It's based on the Classe Sigma SSP which is an AVPrePro with 7.2 Atmos and recently updated to HDMI2.0 HDCP2.2. It's probably one of the few AVPs that I'd consider for stereo only playback.

The integrated matches the SSP switching with modules from the 2 channel power amp the Classe Amp2 and removes the processing for surround sound.

So you get 2 channels. HDMI switching. And a sub out if you need it. It also does AirPlay, network streaming and has a USB DAC.

https://classeaudio.com/sigma-2200i/

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powerav   

Like everything in life it comes down to the holy dollar and how much you can spend. If your pockets are deep then get a pre/pro with whatever channel power amp you need to drive all your speakers. The downside is if you want to get atmos you need a lot of extra channels and the space to keep all the large boxes in. The other option as stated is an AVR with preouts to a integrated amp with ht bypass. The downside to this is usability as it can be a bit pain switching the integrated to the correct imputs when needed.

I went from an AVR to pre/pro with a hiend poweramp and the improvement was there but not huge. Then went to a mid level AVR and a $750 integrated amp for ht bypass. Surround content remained the same and 2 channel music improved again but usability is harder for family members. A universal remote would fix.

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I've too been considering he options listed above, the further I look into it the more I come to the same conclusion. Mid level AVR and intergrated with HT bypass. It does everything you need at both ends of the hifi and home theatre spectrum. 

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:) al   
43 minutes ago, metalheadz said:

I've too been considering he options listed above, the further I look into it the more I come to the same conclusion. Mid level AVR and intergrated with HT bypass. It does everything you need at both ends of the hifi and home theatre spectrum. 

 

the good part about this is the integrated with ht bypass are affordable and can keep forever. dont spend a fortune on avr and they can come and go with the way standards there keep changing :)

 

best of both worlds ! 

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zydeco   
2 hours ago, DoggieHowser said:

Have you looked at the Classe Sigma integrated?

It's based on the Classe Sigma SSP which is an AVPrePro with 7.2 Atmos and recently updated to HDMI2.0 HDCP2.2. It's probably one of the few AVPs that I'd consider for stereo only playback.

The integrated matches the SSP switching with modules from the 2 channel power amp the Classe Amp2 and removes the processing for surround sound.

So you get 2 channels. HDMI switching. And a sub out if you need it. It also does AirPlay, network streaming and has a USB DAC.

https://classeaudio.com/sigma-2200i/

 

Thanks. That's more or less exactly the one box answer but out of the price range. 

 

1 hour ago, powerav said:

Like everything in life it comes down to the holy dollar and how much you can spend. If your pockets are deep then get a pre/pro with whatever channel power amp you need to drive all your speakers. The downside is if you want to get atmos you need a lot of extra channels and the space to keep all the large boxes in. The other option as stated is an AVR with preouts to a integrated amp with ht bypass. The downside to this is usability as it can be a bit pain switching the integrated to the correct imputs when needed.

I went from an AVR to pre/pro with a hiend poweramp and the improvement was there but not huge. Then went to a mid level AVR and a $750 integrated amp for ht bypass. Surround content remained the same and 2 channel music improved again but usability is harder for family members. A universal remote would fix.

 

I've already got dedicated power amps for the speakers so the AVR option is of waning interest

 

4 hours ago, zydeco said:

 


Thanks. So the options are a) a top tier AVR or b) separate stereo pre-amp with HT bypass plus a 2nd tier AVR. I'll do a bit of reading on both options. The other consideration in my situation is that the requirement for 4K HDR etc. will push up the cost of AVR / pre-pro so it'd be good to understand whether this does in fact make sense for our situation.

We have a 4 year old 60" Panasonic HD TV used for streaming Netflix / Catch-Up TV via ATV, ripped movies via PLEX and live / recorded TV via FetchTV. Current set-up sees our seating quite close to the screen and I can imagine that 4K TV / source would be a step up but we've got no plan to replace the TV until it's end-of-life. I'd guess that we'd just move to the new standards on TV / source as a process of replacement.

My thinking has been to purchase a AV pre-pro that supports the new video standards on the basis that it minimises churn and is future proof but I guess that this latter argument might not make sense given the changing standards? Also, if I do get an older AV pre-pro then does this mean that it won't work with new sources (I'm more likely to add new sources before a new TV)? Any advice in navigating this landscape would be really appreciated.


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Any advice about whether the time is right to buy into the new A/V formats given the above?

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:) al   
4 hours ago, zydeco said:

 


Thanks. So the options are a) a top tier AVR or b) separate stereo pre-amp with HT bypass plus a 2nd tier AVR. I'll do a bit of reading on both options. The other consideration in my situation is that the requirement for 4K HDR etc. will push up the cost of AVR / pre-pro so it'd be good to understand whether this does in fact make sense for our situation.

We have a 4 year old 60" Panasonic HD TV used for streaming Netflix / Catch-Up TV via ATV, ripped movies via PLEX and live / recorded TV via FetchTV. Current set-up sees our seating quite close to the screen and I can imagine that 4K TV / source would be a step up but we've got no plan to replace the TV until it's end-of-life. I'd guess that we'd just move to the new standards on TV / source as a process of replacement.

My thinking has been to purchase a AV pre-pro that supports the new video standards on the basis that it minimises churn and is future proof but I guess that this latter argument might not make sense given the changing standards? Also, if I do get an older AV pre-pro then does this mean that it won't work with new sources (I'm more likely to add new sources before a new TV)? Any advice in navigating this landscape would be really appreciated.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

 

 

if already have all separate power amps as you suggest, then what is the point of getting an AVR ? I would just buy an av processor and be done with it. 

 

then choices are simple, when comes to priority with 2ch i can think of either marantz AV8801 or 8802A as choices. its then worth deciding whether want 4K UHD/HDR. since down have display and without thoughts on replacing I dont see the sense in getting something and paying top dollar for current model if dont need it. as far as future proofing the problem is we already have hdmi 2.1 and nothing we have right now is capable of hdmi 2.1 so forget about future proofing. we dont even have gear right now that complies fully with current standards let alone what the future will dream up :)

 

if planning on upgrading your AVR for 4k uhd then maybe consider what gear will support 4k uhd. however forget about trying to 2nd guess for the future as no one including the OEMs even know what lies just around the corner :)

 

 

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powerav   

The question is how many channels of poweramp do you have? and do you want a dolby atmos setup?

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zydeco   
1 hour ago, :) al said:

 

if already have all separate power amps as you suggest, then what is the point of getting an AVR ? I would just buy an av processor and be done with it. 

 

then choices are simple, when comes to priority with 2ch i can think of either marantz AV8801 or 8802A as choices. its then worth deciding whether want 4K UHD/HDR. since down have display and without thoughts on replacing I dont see the sense in getting something and paying top dollar for current model if dont need it. as far as future proofing the problem is we already have hdmi 2.1 and nothing we have right now is capable of hdmi 2.1 so forget about future proofing. we dont even have gear right now that complies fully with current standards let alone what the future will dream up :)

 

if planning on upgrading your AVR for 4k uhd then maybe consider what gear will support 4k uhd. however forget about trying to 2nd guess for the future as no one including the OEMs even know what lies just around the corner :)

 

 

 

Yes, a separate pre-pro seems the go. Your comments on the "future proof" perspective are really helpful. Is it correct to assume that a new source (e.g., Oppo 203/205 etc.) will work with an older Pre-Pro such as AV8801 (understanding that the I won't get full UHD benefits)? If so, then it's a simple decision in my situation.

 

48 minutes ago, powerav said:

The question is how many channels of poweramp do you have? and do you want a dolby atmos setup?

 

Only really interested in stereo although, potentially, I might add a centre channel down the track. No option, though, of rear, side or height speakers.

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powerav   
20 minutes ago, zydeco said:

Only really interested in stereo although

Oh wow!

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zydeco   
Oh wow!

It'd be nice to be able to run surround but shared room / room design precludes this option. I am, though, a believer in EQ and subs so I'd use these features as well as source switching & decoding.

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:) al   
30 minutes ago, zydeco said:

 

Yes, a separate pre-pro seems the go. Your comments on the "future proof" perspective are really helpful. Is it correct to assume that a new source (e.g., Oppo 203/205 etc.) will work with an older Pre-Pro such as AV8801 (understanding that the I won't get full UHD benefits)? If so, then it's a simple decision in my situation.

 

 

Only really interested in stereo although, potentially, I might add a centre channel down the track. No option, though, of rear, side or height speakers.

 

hi zydeco. newer sources like oppo 203/205 will work wiht older pre pros. and yes wont pass 4k uhd...however they also come with dual hdmi outs ... for just that reason that there is no reason to replace the av processor. if ever updated the display. you run hdmi video out the oppo, and feed hdmi audio out from oppo to the legacy av processor. and there is no need to replace the processor.

 

2 minutes ago, zydeco said:


It'd be nice to be able to run surround but shared room / room design precludes this option. I am, though, a believer in EQ and subs so I'd use these features as well as source switching & decoding.

 

i run a shared multi purpose room and still get away with a 7.1.5 system :D but yes understand if there are specifics with your room that makes surround not a possibility :)

 

a 2nd hand av8801 should be a pretty affordable purchase I would imagine :)

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zydeco   

One clarification. I'm running a 2.2 setup where the .2 involves two subwoofers each taking a mono

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

 

 

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zydeco   
Posted (edited)
One clarification. I'm running a 2.2 setup where the .2 involves two subwoofers each taking ...

 

 

One clarification. I'm running a 2.2 setup where the .2 involves two subwoofers each taking a mono

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

 

Edited by zydeco

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zydeco   

Argh - something strange happened with the posts above when using Tapatalk so I'll try again using the web. The clarification is that I'm running a 2.2 set-up in which the main speakers run full range and subwoofers run <80Hz with a mono signal. All this is to smooth room response and the reason for mentioning it is that it more or less makes the model of pre-pro + stereo pre-amp / integrated unworkable. Main implication on current plan is that it demands that the pre-pro can be set-up to support required EQ. My quick read indicates that the Emotiva XMC-1 will support this model for both stereo and surround sources via stereo mode with enhanced bass. I think that the Marantz units will also support this mode but haven't been able to track down a manual for the AV8801.

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powerav   
Posted (edited)

The Parasound P5 and Halo integrated have dual subwoofer control.

Edited by powerav

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:) al   
39 minutes ago, zydeco said:

Argh - something strange happened with the posts above when using Tapatalk so I'll try again using the web. The clarification is that I'm running a 2.2 set-up in which the main speakers run full range and subwoofers run <80Hz with a mono signal. All this is to smooth room response and the reason for mentioning it is that it more or less makes the model of pre-pro + stereo pre-amp / integrated unworkable. Main implication on current plan is that it demands that the pre-pro can be set-up to support required EQ. My quick read indicates that the Emotiva XMC-1 will support this model for both stereo and surround sources via stereo mode with enhanced bass. I think that the Marantz units will also support this mode but haven't been able to track down a manual for the AV8801.

 

the marantz av8801 have dual sub outs and it does proper dual sub calibration and even if want to take further utilising audyssey pro cal. and yes can be configured the  way have listed if so wish :)

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