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  1. #1

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    Default Does a Pre Amp make a big difference??

    Maybe that wasn't a good way to ask. I now am using the Onkyo TX SR805 as the pre into the Parasound HCA 1200II power amp. I love the fact that I can run my HDMI's, so I have my DVD player which has my Pandora/Net Flix etc.. so just wondering, is there something I am missing, besides the SDA upgrades I need to do??
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it!!"
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  2. #2

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    A preamp can make a huge difference even in a HT/2 CHannel System. You will always be limited by your AVR.

    WHen I had my HT and 2 channel system integrated, I ran my AVR thru my PRE and all my 2 channel directly off the preamp.

    Only the BRP and DTV ran into the AVR.
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
    Amp: Wright WPA 50-50 EAT KT88s
    Analog: Marantz TT-15S1 MBS Glider SL| Wright WPP100C Amperex BB 6er5 and 7316 & WPM-100 SUT
    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs

    Ofc: Wright WLA12 preamp: Anthem Amp 1: Pio Elite DV-79AVI: Airport Express: CAL Sigma II DAC: PA LS90 sonicaps and mills

  3. #3

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    Your question revolves to some extent around DAC's (Digital to Analog Converters). Whatever is taking the digital signal and sending it out via Analog is the chip that is important in your setup. Currently your Onkyo's DAC's are what controls how things sound to some extent since its what takes the digital signal and converts it to Analog to your amp. This is true for any digital input (HDMI, Coaxial, Optical), which comprise all the signal types your using.

    If however you had a really good CD/DVD/SACD player like the Oppo 105 which has analog outputs and you had say that Onkyo in the mix, the Oppos DAC's converters might be better than the Onkyso so you would want to use RCA cables.. but then the Onkyo's job becomes to NOT harrass the signal as it passes through it to the amp.

    So can a pre-amp make a difference: yes

    Will a pre-amp make a difference in your setup: given your sources possibly
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

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    Office Rig: Win 7 -> DacMagic w/ Pangea PSU | Pro-ject Debut III | Sunfire TGP-II | Parasound HCA-750ii | Polk RTA 11TL | Cables TBA

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    Yes. I had a (reasonably respectable NAD 1700) preamp-tuner for years, and a tube pre was on my to-do list for over 3 years. Was listening to modded RTA-11TLs at that time, but picked up a pair of SDA-2Bs over last summer. Then, picked up a Manley Shrimp pre on the forum here in the fall, 'twas quite nice!

    The last couple weeks I've got the 2B's offline while I mod their crossovers, so the 11TLs are back in the system--I can tell you that they never sounded so good with my previous pre: Improved airiness, bass, soundstage, impact... Really a noticeable difference.

    Can't wait to finish the SDA's crossovers so I can hear yet another jump in performance!

    While I was pretty pokey about my upgrade chain, you seem to be ripping through gear at a pretty torrid pace--You'll definitely want to try a pre, but my advice is to listen to what you've got for a bit--certainly helps to better understand what you've gained/changed, or even if a change is a regression. Enjoy the journey!

    Jay

  5. #5

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    In a word HELL YES oops make that two words.
    Main Rig:
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    Into JBL L123 drivers
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by agfrost View Post
    While I was pretty pokey about my upgrade chain, you seem to be ripping through gear at a pretty torrid pace--You'll definitely want to try a pre, but my advice is to listen to what you've got for a bit--certainly helps to better understand what you've gained/changed, or even if a change is a regression. Enjoy the journey!

    Jay
    Couldn't have said it better myself!

    Johnny, did you ever ask your doctor about increasing your ADHD meds, as I had suggested?

    First, I doubt the pre amp would make nearly the difference in SQ as that that you'll certainly notice from your planned tweeter upgrades, crossover and cabinet mods/upgrades. Second, as Enders said above, a great CD/DVD/SACD player like the Oppo BDP-105 might make a nice change with its high-end DAC, but if the 105 were listed on a tourists' restaurants guide, its listing would be followed by ($$$$). Further, the DACs (192k/24 Burr-Brown) of the Onkyo TX-SR805s are widely considered to be no slouch - unless, of course, Onkyo paid off many product reviewers.

    So............with priorities in order, is the pre really at, or even near, number 1? Plenty of time for that later.
    Last edited by teekay0007; 01-10-2013 at 07:13 PM. Reason: additional harrassment

  7. #7

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    I added the Parasound 2100 and with out a doubt the detail of 2100 better then Any AVR I have heard.Now I am not saying at all the some AVR's can't sound really good for two or even 2.1 or 2.2.But like "EndersShadow post states yes it would improve you 2.channel.He and F1nut, h9 and others in here have a wealth knowledge on this same subject.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tankman View Post
    I added the Parasound 2100 and with out a doubt the detail of 2100 better then Any AVR I have heard.Now I am not saying at all the some AVR's can't sound really good for two or even 2.1 or 2.2.But like "EndersShadow post states yes it would improve you 2.channel.He and F1nut, h9 and others in here have a wealth knowledge on this same subject.
    I'll second this as I have had similar experiences. Even with the model suggested.

  9. #9

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    My audio life got a whole lot better when I discovered tube preamps.
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by nspindel View Post
    My audio life got a whole lot better when I discovered tube preamps.
    Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner!
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  11. #11

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    Yes it does. Dedicated circutry gives better results than an all-in-one receiver. If you have a turntable, a seperate phono-preamp makes an even bigger impact for your vinyl collection than the built-in phono preamp in a preamp.
    Statistics show that 98% of us will die at some point in our lifetime.

    The other 2% will work for WalMart.

  12. #12

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    Default Preamps and Parasound

    Probably the wrong forum, but on the subject of Preamps, any opinions on the Parasound P7?
    I've always been an ardent 2 channel man (dating back to my hafler DH-110 in 1982) , and recently I've been rediscovering all the great vinyl reissues out there and listening along/comparing the sound to their SACD 2 channel counterparts.
    After seeing so many multi-channel remixes on fare such as "Wish You Were Here" I'm curious about what multi-channel may have to offer. I hear the P7 has a nice solid analog 2 channel section so one doesn't have to compromise. Anyone have any experience?

    Polk SDA-SRS
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  13. #13

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    I see someone still uses 8-Tracks and a nice selection of tape decks on this thread.
    Statistics show that 98% of us will die at some point in our lifetime.

    The other 2% will work for WalMart.

  14. #14

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    Like I said in the start of the thread.. "just wondering" the more I listen to what I have, the more I like it, and I will never want to see a turntable again, so I think I'll just enjoy what's working and do the SDA mods when I can. I may look into this Oppo thing down the line, but I can't imagine having Pandora sound any better through an Oppo than my 80 dollar Sony DVD Blue Ray player??
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it!!"
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  15. #15

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    Depends on how you use the system and your room conditions. I have been very pleased with the MCACC room correction features in my Pioneer Elite AVR. Since I don't have perfect conditions for SDA's right now, running the room correction has improved how they sound dramatically. Having had separate pre-amps in the past, I can tell you that they do have superior sound quality (I miss my tubes) over AVR's but it's a trade-off depeding on how you want to use the system or what features you want to have. When the kids are out of the house and I go back to having a dedicated two-channel rig, I will definitely have a separate preamp again.
    _____________________________________________
    Home Theater: polkaudio Modded SDA SRS 2.3TL's, LSiM706c, 4 X TC265i Rears, SVS PB12 Plus/2
    Pioneer Elite SC-67, Sunfire Signature Cinema Grande 400, Oppo BDP-83

  16. #16

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    It was a world of difference when I went from a very nice AVR to a preamp... I would never go back personaly

  17. #17

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    I may very well be the last person on the planet still listening to 8 tracks, (they will have to pry them from my cold dead hands.)
    and make no claims about sonic fidelity , its more about nostalgia and keeping a working version of the once prominent format around.
    But I will sing the praises of the Oppo's great Sabre Dac's. Couldn't believe the difference from my old Philips CD-921.

    Polk SDA-SRS
    Polk SDA-2
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    Rega RP6/Exact
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    Philps CD-921
    Oppo BDP-95
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