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  1. #1

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    Default Reciever overated if amp & pre/pro are powering speakers?

    I asked this question on another topic/thread but it got off topic on that thread so I wanted to ask it here and dedicate a specific thread topic about how important is the reciever if the amp and pre/pro are doing all the powering of all the speakers?

    I was told on here to just let the amp power all the speakers and let the reciever do the decoding of latest sound formats. But if I spent so much on a reciever to just let it decode the latest from Dolby True HD and DTS MA and let the amp power the speakers then is it safe to say I over spent on that reciever (Pioneer Elite SC-05) and could have gotten the samething from a $299 recievere that decodes all the latest sounds as well? What difference in sound and power would I get if the amp is doing all the work on all 7 speakers if the reciever isn't doing any of the powering? So the recievers role is to just decode if you have a good seperate amp and pre/pro?

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    You have a higher quality decoder in the Pioneer Elite than you could have ever gotten from a 300.00 receiver, and most likely a better one than you could have gotten if you spent 2k or better on a pre/pro. My advice is to stop sweating about your amp and receiver before you talk yourself into spending big bucks to do better. To upgrade to something SIGNIFINCANTLY better that you have will run at least 3 to 4 times what you have spent already, and that will net you a 5% improvement. I do not know what speakers are in play in your setup, but if you want to hear a difference, this may be a better place to start.
    HT Setup... Pioneer Elite SC-37, Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TL's , Oppo BDP 93
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  3. #3

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    In this situation, the receiver *is* the pre/pro. And John is right.

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    I need to make it clear now that I'm NOT looking at buying a new amp anymore. I'm asking about the hookup/wiring of my system and the benefits of a reciever powering the speakers to some degree or a seperate dedicated amp with a seperate dedicated pre/pro to do all the powering. Would a dedicated pre/pro added to my Sunfire amp drive the speakers better than using the my reciever as the pre/pro? Most people's gear I see on here have a reciever, seperate amp and a seperate pre/pro.

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    You're mistaken. There is no reason to have a receiver and a pre/pro. I'm not sure that anyone here is doing that unless it's some freaky weird home theater bybass system. All it does is decode/process the signal, and send it to the amp(s). This is what your receiver is doing when you use the amp to power ths speakers.

    Yes, use the deticated amp to drive the speakers. When you do this, the reciever is the pre/pro. There is nothing wrong with doing this, and replacing your receiver with a true pre/pro is debatable. It could be better, or it could be worse. It depends on the pre/pro you select.

    Take a look at your other thread, or let us know here exactly what it is about your system that you aren't happy with.
    Last edited by phuz; 10-04-2009 at 10:50 PM.

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    I was running a Yamaha RX-v861 Receiver as a a pre/pro untill I picked up my Sunfire TGP-5. It was a huge step in the right direction for me both musically and in HT applications. I am willing to bet that the improvement I am hearing has more to do with synergy, or the ability of the two pieces to blend together than from the Pre of the Yamaha being vastly inferior to the Sunfire. The Sunifre gives me LESS in terms of processing capabilities and does not have HDMI audio. Most pre/pro's out there do not have full HDMI 1.3a capabilities yet and those that do go for well above 3k, with exception to Emotiva's, but I am not certain if it is out just yet.

    Your Pioneer is leaps and bounds better than my Yamaha ever was for surround decoding and as I said in my first comments here, if you want better than an Elite for what you are trying to accomplish, be prepared to drop major coin to Git-R-Dun.
    Last edited by nooshinjohn; 10-04-2009 at 10:52 PM.
    HT Setup... Pioneer Elite SC-37, Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TL's , Oppo BDP 93
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    Like phuz asked, what is it that's not meeting your expectations?

    One common thing I've seen with those who add an amp to their AVR, is they don't adjust the pre-out levels at all. Some are low, at default settings. The result, is the perceived sound ends up very close to the same as when they were just running the AVR. Then the complaint becomes "Why did I spend the money on this amp, if it sounds the same?"

    If you haven't already, juice those levels up a little, and let that amp stretch it's legs. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LessisNevermore View Post

    If you haven't already, juice those levels up a little, and let that amp stretch it's legs. Good luck.
    The point of being able to adjust the levels is so that all speakers are heard at the same level in the listening position, not to up the preamp source level to increase volume. If the front speakers are 4 meters from your listening position, and the rear speakers are 5 meters from the listening position, then the volume level will be less from the rear than the front. This is why an SPL meter is needed to properly calibrate the output levels for each channel. You can not do this properly by ear.

    Don't increase the preamp levels for volume. That's what the volume knob is for.

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    Ok, thank you for clearing that up. Yeah it would be stupid to add a dedicated pre/pro to what I already have now that you explained it and also it would be stupid with the amount of space and weight all that takes up. That could be over 400lb with the reciever, amp, pre/pro, power conditioner, bluray/dvd player, PS3, cable box.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digitalvideo View Post
    Ok, thank you for clearing that up. Yeah it would be stupid to add a dedicated pre/pro to what I already have now that you explained it and also it would be stupid with the amount of space and weight all that takes up. That could be over 400lb with the reciever, amp, pre/pro, power conditioner, bluray/dvd player, PS3, cable box.
    I'm still not sure you understand.

    You either have a receiver or a pre/pro. Not both. A pre/pro is pretty much just a receiver without the internal amplifiers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phuz View Post
    I'm still not sure you understand.

    You either have a receiver or a pre/pro. Not both. A pre/pro is pretty much just a receiver without the internal amplifiers.
    No, I think I understand now. My reciever (Pioneer Elite SC-05) is a reciever and a pre/pro and has the Ice amps right?

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    Basically, yes.

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    Some of my misunderstanding was my ignorance on the quality of my Pioneer sc-05 reciever and what is was capable of doing and not thinking it was a good enough pre/pro. Is the Pioneer SC-05/07/09 series of recievers a better quality pre/pro than a seperate dedicated pre/pro? I kind of thought a reciever was a poor man's combo packaged amp/pre pro for people who couldn't afford or were too lazy to buy a seperate dedicated amp and seperate pre/pro.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digitalvideo View Post
    Some of my misunderstanding was my ignorance on the quality of my Pioneer sc-05 reciever and what is was capable of doing and not thinking it was a good enough pre/pro. Is the Pioneer SC-05/07/09 series of recievers a better quality pre/pro than a seperate dedicated pre/pro? I kind of thought a reciever was a poor man's combo packaged amp/pre pro for people who couldn't afford or were too lazy to buy a seperate dedicated amp and seperate pre/pro.
    Your reciever is better than many pre/pros out there. The real answer to this is very subjective and something only you can answer. Traditionally seperates are regarded as better, but you are at a level with your equipment that you may or may not get "better" results if you switched to a pre/pro.

    The real question with all of your posts, is what is it about the sound of your system do you not like?

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    Quote Originally Posted by phuz View Post
    The point of being able to adjust the levels is so that all speakers are heard at the same level in the listening position, not to up the preamp source level to increase volume. If the front speakers are 4 meters from your listening position, and the rear speakers are 5 meters from the listening position, then the volume level will be less from the rear than the front. This is why an SPL meter is needed to properly calibrate the output levels for each channel. You can not do this properly by ear.

    Don't increase the preamp levels for volume. That's what the volume knob is for.
    The point I was making was that the preamp output levels may be attenuated by the AVR. (as in, too low at the default setting) And no, I did not do this by ear, not sure why you assumed otherwise.

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    nooshin I disagree with this


    To upgrade to something SIGNIFINCANTLY better that you have will run at least 3 to 4 times what you have spent already, and that will net you a 5% improvement.

    You can have an integra 9.8 hdmi 1.3 preamp for 1000 and it will kick any receivers noisy butt

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    Quote Originally Posted by buymesome View Post
    nooshin I disagree with this


    To upgrade to something SIGNIFINCANTLY better that you have will run at least 3 to 4 times what you have spent already, and that will net you a 5% improvement.

    You can have an integra 9.8 hdmi 1.3 preamp for 1000 and it will kick any receivers noisy butt
    The Pio alone is a very good AVR to be used as a pre/pro, and I don't doubt that the Integra is either but how much better? I'll take a look at the Integra (not that I'd ever purchase it), just like to know what type of chips that thing is running for video/etc and DAC's for any analog ins/outs or decoding you want done specifically by the Integra.

    The statement made above didn't pertain to every separate pre/pro, but just to give the OP a general understanding that if you want better be prepared to spend more $.
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    Quote Originally Posted by buymesome View Post
    nooshin I disagree with this


    To upgrade to something SIGNIFINCANTLY better that you have will run at least 3 to 4 times what you have spent already, and that will net you a 5% improvement.

    You can have an integra 9.8 hdmi 1.3 preamp for 1000 and it will kick any receivers noisy butt
    I too am aware of the Onkyo. From my perspective, the Pioneer Elite's decoding abilities are better than the Onkyo's. Further, the price you quote is not for Integra. It is for the PR-SC885, though I do not dispute there may be used out there for that price, as the 9.8 as been replaced by the 9.9
    HT Setup... Pioneer Elite SC-37, Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TL's , Oppo BDP 93
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