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  1. #1

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    Thumbs up What is the Best of the currently avaiable Pre Amplifiers with out going overboad

    I did a lot of search here and other forums most of the recommendations/Requests are either budget restrained or basic or startup Amps or too heavy on wallet.


    So i would like to see what you Audhiophile veterans have to recommend for the below spec.
    Keeping the budget at max 3k or 4k and only considering new.
    Not looking for a inexpensive atlernatives like Emotiva (no pun intended) etc., but if you have done A/B tests and you feel it is really good then lest list it here. We are looking for budget audiphile Pre Amp.


    1) Best Avaiable DAC
    2) Audiophile grade processing and SQ
    Atleast 5 Hdmi inputs , 1 or 2 outputs
    4)Top of the line room correction system
    5)On screen display
    6) Itunes app to control
    7) DLNA/Net
    8) 7.2 or more channels
    9) 4K and 3D pass through
    10) Build and Quality

    Let me know if we are missing any key spec

    Again this is just consolidate our opinions and thoughts.... Please lets not turn and twist this thread
    Last edited by Sumerian; 08-27-2013 at 09:46 AM.

  2. #2

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    You want a lot for 4k new. The closest to what you want as far as I can tell is this....


    http://www.crutchfield.com/p_642AV88...09#details-tab

    My personal fav would be the Cary cinema 12, doesn't have a lot of the bells and whistles you may want but sound quality is pretty darn good, enough to rival a lot of pre amps. That's of course if your looking to do music and movies out of one system.
    Last edited by tonyb; 08-27-2013 at 10:03 AM.

  3. #3

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    Have you considered doing a pre / HT system? A system to do 2 channel and 5.1+ or so. A bit cheaper and maybe better 2 channel, the pre would need to be a HT bypass but.....

    Speakers
    Carver Amazing Fronts
    CS400i Center
    RT800i's Rears
    Sub Paradigm Servo 15

    Electronics
    Conrad Johnson PV-5 pre-amp
    Parasound Halo A23
    Pioneer 84TXSi AVR
    Pioneer 79Avi DVD
    Sony CX400 CD changer
    Panasonic 42-PX60U Plasma
    WMC Win7 32bit HD DVR



  4. #4

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    [QUOTE=tonyb;1956421]You want a lot for 4k new.[QUOTE]


    Ok so what would be more appropriate budget? and what will be your recomendation

  5. #5

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    [QUOTE=tonyb;1956421]Marantz-AV8801[QUOTE]

    On paper this one looks loaded

  6. #6

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    [QUOTE=Sumerian;1956426][QUOTE=tonyb;1956421]Marantz-AV8801

    On paper this one looks loaded
    I have the AV7701, which is about half the price, and it does everything you need for HT. Phenomenal quality
    .
    HT:Polk LSi c LSi 15's LSi 7's LSi FX's Dual DSW MP3K's Marantz AV7701 Sunfire TGA-7401 Oppo BDP-93 Sony PS3 Directv Genie HD DVR Sony 55" 3D LED LCD

    2 C: VR3 LSIM 703's Monitor 5B's VR3 LSi 9's Audioquest Rocket 33's DSW MP 1K Yaqin MC100B with Shuguang 50Years Treasures KT 88's & CV181Z's Tesla E83CC's Marantz 2385 Yamaha M80 Parasound 2100 Pre Squeezebox Touch Marantz SA8004 SACD Music Hall MMF 5.1 TT Musical Surroundings Phonomena II Phono Pre Solid Silver IC's, Pangea PC's

  7. #7

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    [QUOTE=Mikey081057;1956428][QUOTE=Sumerian;1956426]
    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Marantz-AV8801

    I have the AV7701, which is about half the price, and it does everything you need for HT. Phenomenal quality
    .
    Looks pretty close but the later has a better DAC i think?

  8. #8

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    Well, the thing is pre/pro's are off the bat going to be more expensive than an AVR. Better build quality, better level of adjustment, etc. Like everything else, there's a pre/pro for every budget starting with Emotiva, then up to brands like the Marantz then Cary or Anthem...Classe...Bryston, etc.

    Personally I think the Marantz is a nice blend of sound quality and bells and whistles for what you want in that price category......talking new now. However, that's a lot of coin to throw down and buying a used pre/pro or even a store demo could save you thousands. Lets face it, audio gear is horrible at retaining value.

    You seem to be all over the map with cables and gear, not yet realizing that even though you may acquire some of the best, it may not add up to good synergy once put all together. Forcing you to sell something at a loss. Take it a step at a time, every brand has what we call a "house sound", which may or may not tickle your fancy or jive with the rest of your gear. Just trying to save you some coin, maybe a little disappointment, because this audio thing is a gradual journey that your ears must get accustomed to knowing what they like. You then move in that direction knowing which "house sounds" appeal to you.

    For a good pre/pro, under your requirements, I can't see how you could go wrong with the Marantz. If I was to chase down a used one, Anthem D2, Bryston, Classe ssp800, and Cary cinema 12 would all be contenders

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    Let me add, than many find an AVR coupled with an amp to be more than satisfactory. Some may even rival decent pre/pro's. But as we all know, build quality is essential to squeezing out the absolute best sounds. An AVR is a compromised product in that you have many separate pieces squeezed into one. One of the more important components is the build quality of the analog output stages. Separates usually have better builds in that department over an avr, better built dacs, etc. That's not saying that a top of the line avr can't compete either, just that if those incremental differences in sound is important to you and worth the extra coin to get it, then only you can make that decision.

  10. #10

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    Tony,
    Thanks for the input and recomendations

    This is just to learn/ gather information from folks here...

  11. #11

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    The Marantz AV8801 is probably the best fit for all your criteria. I believe the AV7701 does not have Audyssey XT32.

    I have a Anthem AVM-50v with a Sonos connect which does most of that. It does not have the full iPhone/iPad app, but I never really have used those in the past (I doubt I have used the one for my Onkyo 5508 more than once a month). It does not have 4K or 3D, but I could do the 3d update for around $500 and don't need the 4k video.

  12. #12

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    Audio Advisor has the marantz on demo:
    http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo...mber=1MAAV8801

    "Our Demo Clearance gear falls into three categories:

    Photo samples we have used in our catalog photo shoots.
    Gear that we have auditioned in our own listening rooms.
    And products that have been returned by customers because they do not like the finish, size, shape, sound, etc.

    All demo clearance items are carefully inspected by our technicians before we offer the item for sale. All come with the original manufacturer warranty and are guaranteed to work and sound like new. "

    They left off the fourth category which is "we want to sell under MSRP and this is how we dodge it".
    Last edited by unc2701; 08-27-2013 at 01:52 PM.

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    I wanted to add that Yamaha has a new pre/pro model ,CX-A5000. I'm not sure how it compares to the Marantz AV8801 or if it even comes close to the Marantz's specs. etc... Tony mentioned some excellent choices too.

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    Is Marantz well regarded here among polkies?

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    Honestly, I had looked at the some of the Marantz pre/pro models a year or two ago and held off , thought I had heard of some problem with them. I can't recall if it was just a one time problem someone had on theirs or if it affected a number of units. Hope someone can chime in and correct me if I'm wrong on this.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by unc2701 View Post
    Audio Advisor has the marantz on demo:
    http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo...mber=1MAAV8801

    "Our Demo Clearance gear falls into three categories:

    Photo samples we have used in our catalog photo shoots.
    Gear that we have auditioned in our own listening rooms.
    And products that have been returned by customers because they do not like the finish, size, shape, sound, etc.

    All demo clearance items are carefully inspected by our technicians before we offer the item for sale. All come with the original manufacturer warranty and are guaranteed to work and sound like new. "

    They left off the fourth category which is "we want to sell under MSRP and this is how we dodge it".

    Though little risky ebay has brand new ones for around 2200 i think

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sumerian View Post
    Though little risky ebay has brand new ones for around 2200 i think
    That beats the price on the Yamaha CX-A5000 ($2,499.00) over at Crutchfield and at One Call.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sumerian View Post
    Though little risky ebay has brand new ones for around 2200 i think
    Accessories4less.com has refurbs of the Marantz for $2300.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sumerian View Post
    Is Marantz well regarded here among polkies?
    I would say so. Keep in mind every brand, every product line puts out a turkey every so often. Research specific models to see which are or aren't.

  20. #20

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    No opinions to add...the better A/V Pre/Pro's are expensive...never ran one.

    Don't know if you have seen these links but it is a nice list of past and present.

    http://www.audioholics.com/av-preamp-processor-reviews

    http://www.hometheater.com/category/...reviews?page=1

    http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

    Great read here:

    Deconstructing the home theater pre-processor
    http://www.acousticfrontiers.com/wha...processor.html


    Interesting unit not talked about around here..but maybe someone should get one of these and test it out:

    Nuforce AVP 18 - MSRP $1,095
    https://www.nuforce.com/index.php?op...temid=1098Talk

    Talk
    http://www.avsforum.com/t/1465920/nu...eamp-processor
    http://www.avsforum.com/t/1478114/nu...eviews-insight
    http://www.whathifi.com/forum/home-c...nuforce-avp-18

    That's all I can add....but, one day I might want to do a HT bypass system or a 2 in 1 rig.
    Last edited by WLDock; 08-27-2013 at 03:48 PM.
    FAMILY ROOM
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    2 Ch Dreaming...hoping to purchase, build someday
    OPPO 105 | Squeezbox Touch | Odyssey, or HALO A21 amp | DIY Statements towers

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by WLDock View Post
    No opinions to add...the better A/V Pre/Pro's are expensive...never ran one.

    Don't know if you have seen these links but it is a nice list of past and present.

    http://www.audioholics.com/av-preamp-processor-reviews

    http://www.hometheater.com/category/...reviews?page=1

    http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

    Great read here:

    Deconstructing the home theater pre-processor
    http://www.acousticfrontiers.com/wha...processor.html


    Interesting unit not talked about around here..but maybe someone should get one of these and test it out:

    Nuforce AVP 18 - MSRP $1,095
    https://www.nuforce.com/index.php?op...temid=1098Talk

    Talk
    http://www.avsforum.com/t/1465920/nu...eamp-processor
    http://www.avsforum.com/t/1478114/nu...eviews-insight

    That's all I can add....but, one day I might want to do a HT bypass system or a 2 in 1 rig.
    Looks like you are Mr wiki or you have good search skills.

    Thanks for all the references.

  22. #22

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    Just doing what I can....I ignored a lot of HT stuff over the years in favor of car audio. Now coming back, there is are area's I'm really rusty on like digital, formats, codecs, etc side of things. So I am learning just like you and have dreams of an awesome HT someday. ...but I know it will take time. So, I try to read what ever I can.
    FAMILY ROOM
    TV - Mitsubishi WD-73734 73" DLP 1080P | AVR - Pioneer Elite SC-65 | Source - Sony PS3 Slim 320GB | Front - PolkAudio RT3000p | Center -PolkAudio CS400i | Surround - PolkAudio F/X1000 | Sub - DIY Stereo Integrity HT 15 | Sub Amp - Behringer EUROPOWER EP2500

    2 Ch Dreaming...hoping to purchase, build someday
    OPPO 105 | Squeezbox Touch | Odyssey, or HALO A21 amp | DIY Statements towers

  23. #23

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    Point being, when asked about the "best" of anything, it's all subjective. In audio, your choices are numerous in any category.

    My advice....buy something that meets your needs and wallet, has a good reputation in build quality, dependability, and customer service. Proven track records are nothing to sneeze at.

  24. #24

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    Within the last year I upgraded my AVR pre/pro to the Onkyo SC5509, and have been very pleased with it so far. There was an immediate and obvious improvement in sound quality over the AVR, which is the main concern to me. I just use it as a pass through for video. It might not have all the bells and whistles you want, but at $2500 it is less expensive than your range.

    http://www.crutchfield.com/p_580PRS5...7186465&awdv=c

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sumerian View Post
    Though little risky ebay has brand new ones for around 2200 i think
    Be careful Denon/Marantz has a strict policy for their warranty and most on eBay are not authorized to sell their products. Go to their D&M website to see the E-sellers that they will honor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pitdogg2 View Post
    Be careful Denon/Marantz has a strict policy for their warranty and most on eBay are not authorized to sell their products. Go to their D&M website to see the E-sellers that they will honor.
    yeah its risky to buy off Ebay

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    Within the last year I upgraded my AVR pre/pro to the Onkyo SC5509, and have been very pleased with it so far. There was an immediate and obvious improvement in sound quality over the AVR, which is the main concern to me. I just use it as a pass through for video. It might not have all the bells and whistles you want, but at $2500 it is less expensive than your range. http://www.crutchfield.com/p_580PRS5...7186465&awdv=c
    +1 Your Onkyo pre/pro is gorgeous Blue Fox. Talk about a solid looking unit, love all those XLR's!

  28. #28

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    Marantz Support is also very good... They are still here in the U.S. too.
    HT:Polk LSi c LSi 15's LSi 7's LSi FX's Dual DSW MP3K's Marantz AV7701 Sunfire TGA-7401 Oppo BDP-93 Sony PS3 Directv Genie HD DVR Sony 55" 3D LED LCD

    2 C: VR3 LSIM 703's Monitor 5B's VR3 LSi 9's Audioquest Rocket 33's DSW MP 1K Yaqin MC100B with Shuguang 50Years Treasures KT 88's & CV181Z's Tesla E83CC's Marantz 2385 Yamaha M80 Parasound 2100 Pre Squeezebox Touch Marantz SA8004 SACD Music Hall MMF 5.1 TT Musical Surroundings Phonomena II Phono Pre Solid Silver IC's, Pangea PC's

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    Within the last year I upgraded my AVR pre/pro to the Onkyo SC5509, and have been very pleased with it so far. There was an immediate and obvious improvement in sound quality over the AVR, which is the main concern to me. I just use it as a pass through for video. It might not have all the bells and whistles you want, but at $2500 it is less expensive than your range.

    http://www.crutchfield.com/p_580PRS5...7186465&awdv=c
    OK I have a 600$ Onkyo 709 AVR.... its has all the options i spec'd above expect the DAC thing.

    if it is just tech it will be easier but from what i understand SQ is whole different thing... I am trying to identify a pre amp with SQ and nice of tech.

    from what i am seeing i think the more its moves towards SQ the tech gets down and price goes up.

    I think to preserve the SQ they need to be conservative on what they put on ?

  30. #30

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    No, it's just a matter of reaching price points for targeted consumers. If you want everything, no holds barred top shelf, it's going to cost some coin.

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