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Would I benefit from a pre-amp?

 

New member
Username: Rockyjocky

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jan-08
Hi, I have a Nad C352 amp & a pair of Qaccoustic 1050 speakers.
The only music played is via a Squeezebox wireless music player, into the amp.

The sound is, IMO very good, but having read reviews, am wondering if I would benefit from buying the Nad C162 pre-amp & using the C352 as a power amp? The cost of the C162 is about all I can spend, so can't spend any more.

I listen to mainly lossless files, bands such as Rush, and wondered if I would be able to see much of a difference & whether it is worth the expense?

I listen to music as moderate volumes as I have immediate neighbours, so it's not cranked up loud.

Many thanks,

Richard
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11940
Registered: May-04
.

The C352 is not listed as being without a pre amp section. An integrated amplifier typically has an active or passive pre amp and a power amplifier on one chassis. All indications are the C352 has an active pre amp section. Unless you are bypassing the pre amp section of the C352, you already have a pre amp in the system. So, what do you think a separate pre amp will add to the sound quality? I'm not being cute nor provactive. If you don't have a clue what you're after and why a separate pre amp might make that difference, why change from something that sounds "very good"?



.
 

New member
Username: Rockyjocky

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jan-08
Hi Jan & thanks for the reply. I know the C352 is an integrated amp, I have read that sound quality may be improved by having a better pre-amp & the C162 is a better preamp than is in the C352?

One of the threads I saw is here:
http://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/164301.html

Yes the sound is very good, but if the overall gain in sound quality is noticeably better with the C162 I would spend the extra.

I know what I am after, better sound quality.

Thanks.
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 927
Registered: Jun-07
Richard- If it were me, I would use the C352 as a pre amp and add a C272 power amp to power your speakers. I feel this would benefit you more then using the C352 as a power amp and adding the C162. But thats my opinion. The pre amp section in the C352 is surprisingly good, and doesnt sound much different then the C162.
 

New member
Username: Rockyjocky

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jan-08
Hi Nick, thankyou for your reply.
The C272 is not much more that the C162 so that's an option then.
I will research that also.
Many thanks.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11943
Registered: May-04
.

"I know what I am after, better sound quality."


Oh, well, that makes everything perfectly clear. OK, if you want better sound quality, I would suggest you dump the NAD and buy some real hifi. If we're being totally non-specific, that should about do it.


See? Telling me you want better sound is about as useful as my reply. Just wanting something and thinking this thing here will get it for you 'cause you read a thread somewhere isn't a great way to go about achieving your goals. I could ask what sort of better sound do you want; but, if you can only tell me "better bass and cleaner mids" or yada yada such and such, we haven't moved this discussion forward one bit.


Therefore, let's try this again.


What do you think a separate pre amp will add to the sound quality?


If you really can't answer that question, we're just p!ssing away each other's time.




.
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 934
Registered: Jun-07
Jan said - "I would suggest you dump the NAD and buy some real hifi" LOL. Richard- Jan is a true hater of NAD, that is fine, it isn't for everyone, just like MAC, isn't for everyone.lol. The reviews and articles written by thousands of Hi Fi magazines that claim NAD is real Hi Fi, tell me that it IS in fact, budget Hi Fi gear.lol. Not everyone will like it though. You obviously like it, therefore a C272 added into your system would benefit your setup. Cheers.


Jan - LOL.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11948
Registered: May-04
.

Nick - I knew you'd be by to defend NAD but you missed the point. And I really don't get the advice to buy a different power amplifier. Do you know whether these speakers will benefit from a new power amplifier? I've never heard of them and I'm in a mood where I'm not interested in all these people who give model numbers like I'm supposed to know all the hifi gear ever made. 352 this. Qacoustic that. 1050 so and so.


You want advice, tell me what you own and tell me about what you own. Tell me what's it's not doing that you want it to do and how you think you can fix it. "I've read a pre amp will make it better." Yeah, well, I've read a pre amp will make it swell up and fall off! I don't have time to research all these numbers and names. If you don't know what good, better and like live sound amounts to, how the heck is someone else supposed to get you there?


If these 1050 so and so whatevers require a high current amplifier, then maybe an amplifier's the right choice. If they don't require high current, a new amplifier's going to do what? Do you know what this poster wants as better sound? Then explain it too me 'cause I don't have a clue.


But, really, at this point I don't have anything and I don't care about anything if "I want better sound" is all the poster can provide after telling me everything sounds very good. If it sounds very good and you want better, then it doesn't sound very good, it sounds OK; and you should be able to tell me why it doesn't sound very good and what needs to happen to get it to sound very good. If it sounds very good, why do want better? Better what?! If you just want it to sound different, that's easy; dump the NAD and buy some real hifi.


I don't hate NAD. I just don't like their sound or their service. That has nothing to do with my response. You've missed the point, Nick.


.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11949
Registered: May-04
.

"The reviews and articles written by thousands of Hi Fi magazines that claim NAD is real Hi Fi, tell me that it IS in fact, budget Hi Fi gear."



Thousands?!!! I've got reviews that say a Panasonic receiver is real budget hifi gear. Maybe not thousands, but I can come up with a few. You've missed the point on this one too, Nick.


.
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 935
Registered: Jun-07
Jan-"I knew you'd be by to defend NAD but you missed the point"

Perhaps I am not the one missing the point. I was just having some fun. Im not here to defend NAD, I could care less if anybody like them on this forum or not. The fact that I recommended a power amp over the pre amp was just based on his budget, and the fact I didn't think the C162 would improve his system at all. Because it wont. I agree with you that if it sounds "very good", then it should be left alone. If the power amp doesn't give him what he wants, then return it, and at this time there isn't much to do based on what he can afford. Start saving.

"Thousands?!!! I've got reviews that say a Panasonic receiver is real budget hifi gear. Maybe not thousands, but I can come up with a few. You've missed the point on this one too, Nick."

I havn't seen Panasonic win props such as TPV's product of the year. Sterophile's budget product of the year. Home Theater Mag's Class Product of the Year, TAS - Editors Choice Award 07. I was just stating that some people out there like it. Perhaps Richard does, or perhaps he doesn't and just doesn't know it yet. Either way, I was just having some fun. And to be serious about it, I don't give a rats behind about reviews. Its just another mans opinion.

Perhaps this is the time we should call Richard out on telling us what he feels he is missing with the sound he is getting at the moment? Or maybe I'll just shut up now.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11951
Registered: May-04
.

"Or maybe I'll just shut up now."


Richard seems to have.


Sorry, I don't think a recommendation for a power amplifier just because the pre amp won't make much difference is a recommendation that makes much sense. That just seems to be saying, "Go spend some money since you and no one else knows what you want."

I like most of your answers, Nick; but I would prefer that most everyone on the forum give some sort of reason for their recommendations. Tell me what a recommendation is supposed to achieve and why that's important to the overall scheme of the system under review. Otherwise, ... eh, I got nothing. But, that's pretty much how this forum has always operated.




.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11952
Registered: May-04
.


"I like most of your answers, Nick ... "



Even if you do like NAD gear.
 

New member
Username: Rockyjocky

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jan-08
"I've never heard of them and I'm in a mood where I'm not interested in all these people who give model numbers like I'm supposed to know all the hifi gear ever made. 352 this. Qacoustic that. 1050 so and so".

Jan, my original post here wasn't directed at you, it was directed at people who are familiar with the equipment I have. Nick is familair with the amp at least.

This reminds me of a concert review where the critic didn't even like the band to begin with.

I'll end this discussion here.
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 936
Registered: Jun-07
Jan-"I like most of your answers, Nick; but I would prefer that most everyone on the forum give some sort of reason for their recommendations. Tell me what a recommendation is supposed to achieve and why that's important to the overall scheme of the system under review. Otherwise, ... eh, I got nothing. But, that's pretty much how this forum has always operated."

I agree.


Richard- No need to end the discussion, may I ask what your source is? Cd Player? Dvd Player? Record Player?
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 937
Registered: Jun-07
Jan - http://www.qacoustic.co.uk/floorstanding_speaker/moreinfo.htm

His speakers are 6ohm - 92db.
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 938
Registered: Jun-07
Richard- these don't seem like a speaker that needs a lot of power to open up. Perhaps a power amp is not the right answer here. But neither is a pre amp. The C352 is a nice budget piece IMO. Perhaps putting that money into a nice cd player or record player would benefit you much more.
 

New member
Username: Rockyjocky

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jan-08
Hi Nick, All of my music comes via a squeezebox which is a Logitech wireless (or hardwired) music player.
I stream music to it in the form of FLAC files wirelessly.
They are CD's ripped to FLAC.

If it matters, I don't have a problem in maintaining the wirelss stream of music, it is always constant.

Many thanks.
 

New member
Username: Rockyjocky

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jan-08
"Richard- these don't seem like a speaker that needs a lot of power to open up"

They are good at low volume, which is important to me as I have shared walls with neighbours & cannot play music loudly.
I also, might be listening still at 2am.

I like the Squeezebox for its flexibility as I can sometimes increase my collection by 3 or 4 'albums' a day. I use DIMEADOZEN a lot & listen to live shows mainly & really don't want to start burning CD's again :-)

Maybe I have hit the sweetspot for my budget, in which case that's fine.

Cheers.
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 939
Registered: Jun-07
I use FLAC as well, very good choice.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11956
Registered: May-04
.

"His speakers are 6ohm - 92db."



With a minimum impedance of 3.8 Ohms. Yikes!






"these don't seem like a speaker that needs a lot of power to open up."



They will need lots of current and most speakers with this sort of impedance dip require most amplifiers to be cooking away to get that current level to the speakers. These speakers will suck up power.



That still doesn't tell me what "better sound" is. RD, if you want my help, you'll have to say so. I've got better things to do if you don't. Otherwise, Nick's your guy but I don't think he has experience with your speakers any more than all the others who have jumped into this thread. Looking at those numbers I can tell you this isn't the speaker I would pair with a NAD integrated amplifier. But a pre amp isn't going to change that.


But, IMO, you keep saying things sound good and very good. I don't know what you want to improve. So, even if you want my help, I'll need more information.



.
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 940
Registered: Jun-07
wow, I didn't see the 3.8 Ohms dip. Wah. Thats scary. Ive never heard of these speakers. So I am going to stop myself here. A power amp MAY help, but at low level listening volumes...probably not. Richard, my speakers are 100 pound bahima's that are tri-amp/wireable and are also 6ohm and are 91db. They choked with my 100 watt receiver, but the amp breathed life into them, and power them at high listening levels without breaking a sweat. But, this difference is only noticeable when the volume level is turned up. Just the way I like it. But your listening habits consist of low volumes, then a power amp isn't your answer.

Richard, when listening to your music, what do you feel your system can do better? What is your reason for upgrading?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11959
Registered: May-04
.

"But your listening habits consist of low volumes, then a power amp isn't your answer."


I don't think that's exactly true. As I said, most speakers with this sort of impedance dip will also have a large capacitive component to the impedance. That means the amp is going to have to work hard to pass sufficient current through the numerous crossover components that contribute to the low impedance point. Yes, it means that wimpy amps aren't going to manage this speaker when you crank up the volume. But this sort of speaker is typically one that requires the amp be working hard at all levels to slug through the crossover components. This speaker probably sounds much better at high volumes than at lower levels. At low levels there simply isn't enough voltage and current to make this speaker sound it's best. That's a guess. I don't know this speaker and I'm simply surmising from what I typically have found with such a speaker with these sorts of numbers. As with another post, the older Magnepans don't sound good until the volume is raised to the point where the amplifier is working too hard. Well, yeah! Dificult to drive speakers are difficult to drive all the time. Put 300 watts in front of them with high current capability and the speakers pay attention. A NAD integrated, good luck. In cases like this, the high sensitivity spec is almost the worst thing to have. The amp just isn't working hard enough to make good sound when it's outputting 1/2 watt. Remember the amplifier's damping factor/NFB loop will be tied to the ground return of the speaker after the signal returns through the crossover. Throw all the crossover caps and inductors in the path and the damping factor goes to crap.




None the less, the question is still, what's "better"?


.
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 946
Registered: Jun-07
hmmm yeah ive never owned or even came across a speaker that dropped below 4ohms before. Therefore..no experience with dealing with such a load. Nor will I ever have. lol. Good to know though. I would love Richard to tell us what is missing from his system.
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