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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:30 am 
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Location: Kelowna, BC, CA
Some of you on CAM surely know the answer to this question.

My audio budget reality is beer budget with fine scotch tastes. I'd really like a preamp with a remote (primarily for volume control purposes) as I now have a great phono pre that I won't be trading out anytime soon and was wondering if any of you have experience re-purposing one of the 5.1 pre/pros from the likes of Sunfire, Krell, Anthem etc which can now be had for under $1k as 2 channel preamp?

Thanks in advance for your input.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:53 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Im not sure how much beer you drink... :lol: but this one has been available for a while.
I don't think you have to go to a 5.1 pre for higher quality if you're not going to use it for 5.1.
Im sure some of them are excellent pre's but you are paying for 5.1 when you could put the funds into a decent 2.0
I'm also gleening ads for a decent pre under 1k $.
Best of luck
http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/ ... earch-ls3/

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:05 pm 
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Location: Vernon, BC, CA
Depends...the Bryston SP3 has the same 2ch pre-amp as the BP-17.

My Marantz AV7005, while sounding good, does not make the best 2ch pre...could not come close to the BP-17 I had.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:25 pm 
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Location: St.Catharines, ON, CA
I once had the legendary Proceed AVP2 supposedly a killer 2ch pre in a pre/pro.I was glad to move on to dedicated 2ch. equipment..Im probably at the point where I couldn't live with out a tube pre and you're not going to find that in a pre/pro

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:26 pm 
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Location: etobicoke, ON, CA
Shawn, I think some of the best deals around are for outdated Pre-Pros. Without the latest HDMI and the latest codecs, they depreciate very quickly.

This is particularly true if you need a DAC, too. The tricky part is that many of of them are optimized for movies and not particularly musical. IME they have to have been very high end to be both. I love my Bryston SP2 for music, and understand it has the same preamp as the SP 1.7, which I've seen listed for around 1000$.

If I was in the market, I would go with an older Mac, Bryston, Krell or Cary preprocessor provided space isn't a concern.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:12 pm 
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Hadn't thought of used Bryston, I'll have to start reading up on them.

No remote is a deal breaker these days otherwise the LS3 would be in my LR by now as many owners seem happy with it! I once owned an SP8 mated to a Classic 60 and it was a vg match but now the SP8 goes for about 2k+. Classic tube gear.

Space isn't a concern at all so small or big doesn't matter I'll make it work. SQ and dependability is all that matters.

Thanks guys

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:31 pm 
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Location: Port Coquitlam
The newer Krell's do. They have a (pre-amp) button which disconnects all the a/v stuff leaving you with basically a two channel Krell preamp. I wouldn't buy a new one however used ones sell for typically less than 10% of their original list price so amazing value.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:39 pm 
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Location: Burlington, ON, CA
I helped a friend with a stereo that you are describing. He purchased;
An Audio Refinement pre/pro w/remote
Magnepan speakers
High current Parasound amp
Martin Logan sub
It sounds fantastic.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:51 pm 
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Location: Welland, ON, CA
Don't forget about EAD, Enlightened Audio Design. They made some of the highest rated pre/pro's both for multi channel and two channel. The best part, there is a company Noble manned predominantly with ex EAD employees that updates and repairs all legacy EAD products. How many other defunct hi-end companies offer this kind of service? None that I know of.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:55 pm 
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Location: Crossfield, AB, CA
Have to agree with padboy1 , good deals to be had.
I'm running a Tube phono-pre into a Proceed AVP with very
good (to me ) results . Original price of Proceed was near
$7000 can. I got for less than a tenth of that . Only using
it for 2 channel .


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:59 pm 
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Location: London, ON, CA
I'm using an Anthem AVM-40. Previously had a Simaudio P5.3. I didn't compare them back-to-back, but they are similar in performance.

However, the Anthem will run 5.1 with multi-channel SACDs as well as our home theater. And, it has bass management for 2.1 (which I find VERY useful, I wouldn't be happy with 2.0 even with my larger floor standers).

How could you go wrong? And considering how little it cost (less than 20 percent of it's original value, and everything was like new in original box, one owner) ... I couldn't have purchased a 2.0 preamp for the same money that would perform anywhere near where this does. And it even has a quality DAC, considerably better than what is in my Oppo BDP-103 (which isn't too bad on it's own, but is not as smooth or refined as the Anthem DAC).

It came with a learning remote that has solved almost all of my control issues ... I was using a number of remotes before, this one controls my projector, preamp and bluray player.

I should add that you can run a good DAC into it (single ended or balanced) and use the Anthem as a 2.0 channel analogue gain stage, and it serves in this capacity very well, with lots of detail and air, transparent with solid bass.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:21 pm 
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Thanks guys, some good real world examples. Lots of reading and searching to do.

My digital front end is laughably prehistoric but serviceable Sony PS 1 with RCA out and most likely after I get this bit sorted out I'll be looking at the inexpensive but highly CAM rated Musical Paradise DAC so I want something that will mate well with it.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:35 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Other brands to consider in the "dated" category that were well engineered:
Arcam
Harman Kardon/JBL/Lexicon (no analogue mostly)
ADA
Theta

All these were multi thousand $ devices. Not SOTA but hugely superior to mass market product. Look for mid late 90s. All contain crossovers allowing sat/sub combinations that can be a direct route to a real wideband system.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:21 am 
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Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
I would stay away from the strictly home theater A/V brands. I had an Integra DTC 9.8 that didn't make for a very good 2 channel DAC or Preamp.

If you stick to the brands that also do 2 channel gear very well, you might have better luck.

I'd say you should be safe with:

Anthem w/ARC (especially if you have subs or are planning on adding subs as ARC is very good) Keep in mind that Anthem digitizes all the analog inputs (ADC -> DSP -> DAC) to run ARC so if you're an analog purist I would stay away.
Arcam
Classe
Krell
Theta
EAD
Bryston
Simaudio

Is this strictly a 2 channel system, or will you be using it for multichannel as well?

If you can extend your budget a little bit for a used 2 channel preamp, I picked up a Wyred4Sound STP-SE that sounds fantastic for $1,500. Also, if you're looking for tubes, you may be able to find a Rogue Audio RP-1 in that ballpark as well.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:27 am 
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Location: burlington, ON, CA
An Anthem D2 sounds almost as good as a Copland 305 tube pre. I heard both for extended times often.
The D2 has many more inputs and outputs than most and has upgraded better than AVR's.
There are RCA, XLR as well as AES/EBU and it upsamples everything since it also has a very good DAC system. Has 3 optical digital inputs and a bunch of HDMI and the list goes on and on. There is an ARC microphone system to fine tune the room and speaker output you use it with a computer.

The thing was almost 10K and people lined up to pay. You can get one for around $1500 to $2000 and a bit higher in 2017. Use it in pure 2 chanell or more than 2 channel.
Hard to get better for the money and features provided you have a very high resolution system. If you dont you wont hear how good it really is.


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