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  1. #1

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    Default The search is almost over...

    So I've been looking for a new Pre/Pro for the past year, and I am happy to say that I am pretty pretty close to pull the trigger on one.

    Contenders:
    - B&K Reference 70
    - Integra DHC-80.1
    - Parasound Halo C3 (still not released with promises promises since July 09)
    (This has been my choice based on the early promises of Features)
    - Marantz AV-8003
    - Anthem AVM50 (MSRP price is the highest, so it has

    It has been a tedious efforts to look, audition, and research of all these Pre/Pro. At the end, ALL of the above Pre/Pro have its shortcomings, (excluding Halo C3, since it still hasn't been released).

    Based on my #1 criteria that has been and always been key, that is audio quality (which B&K REF50S2 has been really good), my choice is Marantz AV-8003. It is a bit outdated, but the Pre/Pro has its toroidal PS that is (perhaps) one of the reasons it has the best SQ.

    I'll be offering my REF50S2 here once I received and installed the Marantz.

    Look forward to clean up the back of these gears and do the cablings again (NOT).
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  2. #2

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    Default

    Look at the Classe 600, super sexy,no hdmi but damn, top notch.

    I would throw a vote towards the Anthem.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by polkatese View Post
    So I've been looking for a new Pre/Pro for the past year, and I am happy to say that I am pretty pretty close to pull the trigger on one.

    Contenders:
    - B&K Reference 70
    - Integra DHC-80.1
    - Parasound Halo C3 (still not released with promises promises since July 09)
    (This has been my choice based on the early promises of Features)
    - Marantz AV-8003
    - Anthem AVM50 (MSRP price is the highest, so it has

    It has been a tedious efforts to look, audition, and research of all these Pre/Pro. At the end, ALL of the above Pre/Pro have its shortcomings, (excluding Halo C3, since it still hasn't been released).

    Based on my #1 criteria that has been and always been key, that is audio quality (which B&K REF50S2 has been really good), my choice is Marantz AV-8003. It is a bit outdated, but the Pre/Pro has its toroidal PS that is (perhaps) one of the reasons it has the best SQ.

    I'll be offering my REF50S2 here once I received and installed the Marantz.

    Look forward to clean up the back of these gears and do the cablings again (NOT).
    Are you sure thats the one you want?
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  4. #4

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    Default

    "SURE" is a strong word, Dan. :)

    What I REALLY want is an Anthem Statement D2V. But I'd rather put that kind of money to my kids college funds. So no matter what I picked from the list, it will be a compromised.

    Btw, words from my dealer: Halo C3 is now May/June 2010. At this point, I am back to "Wait and See" mode with C3. Who knows what kind of problem it will have after the release. All bets are off. That's why the Marantz is a good compromise (in my book) for the time being. I'll snap a few pics when I get to install it next week.
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by polkatese View Post
    "SURE" is a strong word, Dan. :)

    What I REALLY want is an Anthem Statement D2V. But I'd rather put that kind of money to my kids college funds. So no matter what I picked from the list, it will be a compromised.

    Btw, words from my dealer: Halo C3 is now May/June 2010. At this point, I am back to "Wait and See" mode with C3. Who knows what kind of problem it will have after the release. All bets are off. That's why the Marantz is a good compromise (in my book) for the time being. I'll snap a few pics when I get to install it next week.
    I'm willing to bet a Pioneer ELite SC-27 makes for a better preamp over the Marantz for less money.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  6. #6

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    I like the Anthem out of those choices and would discourage anything Integra over the standard, top end Onkyo lineup.

  7. #7

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    You could be right Dan. I won't know since I haven't consider receivers in my search nor any plan to use a receiver as a pre/pro.

    Mark, Anthem is definitely the front runner. I am not committed enough for it though, since it is loaded with bells and whistles that I won't be able to exploit.

    Feature wise, I am actually very impressed with the Integra. Awesome ergonomics.
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  8. #8

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    But what does it offer aside from ergonomics? I thought about it as well and ended up choosing a Onkyo 5007. The faceplate on the Onkyo is certainly no Honda.

  9. #9

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    how do you like your 5007 Mark?

    you know the one brand that used to be the flavor for many was Denon. Has it gone soft or plague with similar problem(s) even more so than others?
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  10. #10

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    Honestly, it's too much for me....this thing boggles my mind with what it can do and I feel ridiculous but at the same time strangely pleased with its purchase.

    In regards to the Denon, the CI series is quite nice and I especially like the wireless function they threw in for the upper models. It's just neat and if you use it once, it would be that one selling point, you know what I mean?

  11. #11

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    I'm considering an upgrade similar to yours. Ironically, many of the same products are on my short list.

    The Integra DHC-80.1 and Onkyo 5507 are the same unit with different faceplates and the Audyssey Pro calibration liscence missing from the 5507.

    I'll probably get ripped a new hole, but I'd also like to see what happens with the Emotiva XMC-1. They put quite a few buttons on the front, but for the right price and performance, I may be able to get over it.

    I also like minimalist faceplates so the Integra and Anthem move to the bottom of the list in that respect. WTF is Anthem thinking with like 100 buttons on the front? I use a remote for 99% of tasks that the front buttons offer.

    I haven't looked at the B&K or C3 models. I'll need to do that.

    This may sound silly, but my main requirement is DSD over HDMI. My Denon 3808ci does it and I'd like to maintain that feature. Another requirement is more than 4 HDMI inputs.

  12. #12

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    Default some C3 brochure

    DSD over HDMI? haven't thought of that, that would be cool feature if it becomes mainstream.

    I am still holding hope for C3, but looking at the latest brochure of the rear, boy, it seems bare. They could and should add more HDMIs and more 5.1 analog set inputs.

    A quick note: Audyssey is such a neat feature. It should be a must in ALL pre/pro, IMHO.
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    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  13. #13

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    I guess my dream Pre/Pro remains that: a dream. Parasound announced that they cancelled 3 (three) products, C3 is one of them.

    At least they do a heartfelt apology (see attached) unlike B&K and its REF70 fiasco.

    oh well, Marantz, you'll be my horse from now on... :)
    Attached Images  
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by polkatese View Post
    I guess my dream Pre/Pro remains that: a dream. Parasound announced that they cancelled 3 (three) products, C3 is one of them.

    At least they do a heartfelt apology (see attached) unlike B&K and its REF70 fiasco.

    oh well, Marantz, you'll be my horse from now on... :)
    That is very rare but it shows where the industry is right now. I'm constantly seeing company after company fall apart. Everyone was geared for an entirely different business model.

    Times are tuff and this will not be the last of this.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    I'm willing to bet a Pioneer ELite SC-27 makes for a better preamp over the Marantz for less money.
    Polkatese, the Marantz is on my short list also. We have two high end audio stores left in town. One carries Marantz and the other Pioneer Elite... but I can't compare them side by side. When are you going to pull the trigger on the Marantz?
    HT in Progress
    Receiver - Harmon Kardon AVR520 5.1
    Fronts - Polk SDA 1C
    Center - Polk CS350
    Monitor - Sharp Aquos LCD
    NMT - Mede8er500x
    Cables - Signal Ultra

  16. #16

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    Des Moines, I did it already! I had it since end of January, it took about 200 hours to break in. At about 120 hours, it started opening up quite a bit. Initially it has digital edge to it, but now it has completely transformed into transparent, detailed, and very revealing. Its two-channel analog is great. Make sure you run the 6 position Audyssey. It makes a huge difference. Optical locking is a snap with my DirecTV DVR, which wasn't the case before with B&K. All in all, I am pretty impressed with its sound. There was a shootout back in 2008 by Steve of SoundVideo (over at avsforum.com) and Marantz came second, first was B&K REF70, which is plague with many problems (on the codecs side). Integra came up last. I don't believe Anthem was in the shootout.
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  17. #17

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    Polkatese, thanks for the feedback! Are you using HDMI to connect all components? I'm not familiar with the aduyssey option but will do some research.
    HT in Progress
    Receiver - Harmon Kardon AVR520 5.1
    Fronts - Polk SDA 1C
    Center - Polk CS350
    Monitor - Sharp Aquos LCD
    NMT - Mede8er500x
    Cables - Signal Ultra

  18. #18

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    Yes, I use HDMI for DVD, XBOX360. For analog 5.1/7.1 multi-channels, I use RCAs (Signal Cabla Analog 2) and do a Direct Input 7.1 anytime I am listening to CD/SACD/DVD-A. It also has balanced XLR for even more dedicated CD Player. None of my players has balanced XLR so it's a moot point for me. However, from the Pre/Pro to Power Amp, I do use XLRs (Signal Cable Analog 2 XLRs).

    When you get a chance to audition the Marantz, see what they use for Power amp. The matching MM8003 is also very nice. Have fun getting your ears on..:)
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  19. #19

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    Polkatese,

    I will check out the amp they are using and let you know. I was hoping with 140 watts from the Marantz pre/pro that I would not need an external amp. Am I overestimating the power capability of the pre/pro?
    HT in Progress
    Receiver - Harmon Kardon AVR520 5.1
    Fronts - Polk SDA 1C
    Center - Polk CS350
    Monitor - Sharp Aquos LCD
    NMT - Mede8er500x
    Cables - Signal Ultra

  20. #20

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    I think we might have a slight disconnect, Des Moines. Do you mean to check out for a Marantz Receiver (i.e. SR8002) which has 125 watts x 7 channels (http://www.amazon.com/Marantz-SR8002...921053&sr=1-25) or AV8003 which is a Pre/Pro (Networking Preamplifier)? If you do, then yes, you don't need external power amplifier. If you meant AV8003, then you will need an external power amp. Either way, I am pretty sure that the functionalities of its Pre/Pro are identical.
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  21. #21

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    Definitely a disconnect on my part. I was reading the reviews and thinking the 140 watt MM was integrated. duh. This is way out of my budget so I will have to dream for awhile. I got excited about Marantz when I auditioned the SR6002 last fall but wanted ethernet capability, which is when I started reading about the AV8003. I read on the forum that Matt Polk is also a fan of Marantz.
    HT in Progress
    Receiver - Harmon Kardon AVR520 5.1
    Fronts - Polk SDA 1C
    Center - Polk CS350
    Monitor - Sharp Aquos LCD
    NMT - Mede8er500x
    Cables - Signal Ultra

  22. #22

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    gotcha...wait for SR6003 which most likely will have ethernet/Networking DLNA. Or another option is to get an Universal player Oppo BDP-83 which has a built-in DLNA streaming feature.
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

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