Like

Help selecting receiver for pre/pro

 

New member
Username: Toneman

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-05
Hi, I've been lurking here for a couple of weeks, and I must say, this place is just a wealth of information & experience. Amazing.

I am in the process of doing a long overdue upgrade to my audio system, which is used about 70/30 in favor of music listening. I currently have Rotel separates, RB-985 power amp (5x100w) and a RTC-970 (prologic only). I love the power amp, as its very clean and plenty powerful for my uses, but the RTC-970 has to go. I'd like to replace it with a surround receiver and run the preouts thru the RB-985. Budget for the receiver is
300-400 USD.
Current speakers (which will also be getting replaced) are Klipsch KG5.2's and the matching center, of which the model number escapes me at the moment. I have some old PSB small bookshelfs that I'm using for surrounds at the moment. The PSB's will probably be replaced later, as finances permit. At any rate. I've really grown to dislike the in-your-face attitude of the Klipsch and will definitly be replacing them, once I get the electronics sorted out.

I'm considering the HK AVR235, HK AVR525 (either of which I'd probably buy refurb from Harmon Audio on Ebay), Marantz SR4500 (refurb for 349 at AC4L.com). The above selections are based totally on reviews I've read, as I haven't listened to them. I don't have a Marantz dealer nearby. I went to the local Circuit City to check out the AVR235 and they had it hooked up to a crappy Bose cube system, so like I said, I haven't heard it. In the CC environment, they could have had it connected to the best speakers in the world, and I still wouldn't know what it sounds like.

I've not ruled out Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo, Pioneer - but from what I've read here and elsewhere, the HK's and Marantz's will probably suit me better since music listening is my priority. I'm certainly open to other suggestions. (The local Best Buy has a Pioneer 1014 open-box for 279, awful tempting).

Anyway, just wanted to get you guys opinions as to what receiver might be best suited to use as a pre/pro run through the Rotel power amp. I'm leaning towards one of the HK's. I don't like the fact that the Marantz has no on-screen, although it looks really great otherwise.

Almost forgot, room size is 16x16x7, carpeted.

Suggestions?

Thanks,
Tony
 

ZiggyZoggyOiOiOi
Unregistered guest
Tony... your case is very similar to what I just went through. My opinion is that in the sub-$400 range, the build quality of the HKs is better than the others (although I have not looked at, and can't comment on, that particular Marantz receiver). Really what you have to consider is which unit has the most features that you want/need. For me, the AVR235 was the perfect fit, and for $261 (refurb from harman on ebay) it couldn't be beat for the purpose of being a pre/pro with an Outlaw Audio amp. I didn't need all the DSP settings of the Yamahas, the Denons only have 1 coax digital input in that price range, I've never been a big Onkyo fan (personal preference), and the Pioneer 1014/1015 was really disappointing - only one crossover frequency (80hz) for bass management, no AV sync, etc.

I would say that if you're already leaning towards HK or Marantz, you're in good shape. Just choose whichever fits your needs best.
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 757
Registered: Feb-04
I like h/k, but surely there must be better value in a pre only if you know you are not going to use the receiver's amplifiers. Are all preamps more expensive than receivers? (I don't know much about that market)
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 758
Registered: Feb-04
Oh... and sorry to hear you don't like your Klipsch KG5.2's. You might want to offer them for sale on the Klipsch forum and find a good home for them.
 

New member
Username: Toneman

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jun-05
Thanks Ziggy. I'm beginning to think the AVR235 fits me best. I'd consider the 335 if I could find one at a good price, mainly because of the improved set up features, but I can do without that. I'm considering the 525 only because I may at some point want to use a couple of the amp channels for speakers in a 2nd room or outside, and the extra power may come in handy, and being a discontinued model it may sell at a good price.

One thing I meant to ask in my original post, but forgot. How much influence will the reciever have on the "sound" of the Rotel? (my first instinct tells me it won't affect it). I've heard HK's and Marantz's described as "warm" and "neutral" sounding. Similarly, Yamahas are usually described as bright. I don't know, but I think the "sound" of a receiver is mostly determined by the power amp section and not the preamp section, am I right? I'd describe my Rotel as neutral sounding, but I've only ever heard it while connected to the Rotel preamp. So if I ran say, for example, a Yamaha receiver through it, will I now get a "bright" sound? (which I do not want, by the way). Or would it have no effect at all?
 

New member
Username: Toneman

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jun-05
Peter -
I have to admit, I haven't really looked that much at actual pre/pros, but the few I did see were way out of my price range. And since I see others using a receiver for a pre/pro, it seemed a good way to go. Also, I think I will be using a couple of the amps in the receiver, since my Rotel only has 5.

As far as the Klipsch go, there are times, with certain music, that I think they sound absolutely wonderful, but with other music they grate on my nerves and exhaust me. But I do have two friends interested in buying them from me.
 

ZiggyZoggyOiOiOi
Unregistered guest
Peter.. since he indicated ~30% movies, multi-channel pre/pros are expensive. The companies that make the inexpensive receivers don't make dedicated pre/pros. About the best deal you can find is to buy a used Outlaw 950 for $500-600 since the 990s are starting to ship.
 

ZiggyZoggyOiOiOi
Unregistered guest
Tony.. the preamp should have little to no impact on the sound of your Rotel. It is the amplifiers (and the associated power supply) that creates those effects.

As far as the extra power goes, the 235 is rated at 55W/channel all channels driven and 70W/channel 2 channels driven. If you were only using 2 of the HKs channels (presumably to drive back surrounds in a 7.1 setup) you should be able to bump the output enough to equal the Rotel on the other 5 channels.
« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

Facebook

Shop Related Deals

Directory

Main Forums

Today's Posts

Forum Help

Follow Us