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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Can someone briefly explain why you would need a Amp, Pre-Amp and Processor in your set up. I have been onto the Emotiva site and was surprised to see this sort of configuration or did I misunderstand.

I have a yamaha rx-v1000 receiver at the moment, seems simply by comparison.

Thanks.

Mark
 

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Well technically speaking a receivers is a processor, Pre-amp, and amp all in one.

Processor and Pre-Amp are usually referring to the same thing in home audio. Sometimes they are a called a Pre-Pro. Now of course there are instances where a processor refers to an Equalizer(EQ) device of some sort like the Neptune EQ.

Budget usually determines how much you'd spend on this part of your system. Generally speaking it is best to devote 20 percent of your overall audio system value to this portion of the system. The other 80 percent goes to the speakers because they actually make the sound.
 

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Hi,

Can someone briefly explain why you would need a Amp, Pre-Amp and Processor in your set up. I have been onto the Emotiva site and was surprised to see this sort of configuration or did I misunderstand.

I have a yamaha rx-v1000 receiver at the moment, seems simply by comparison.

Thanks.

Mark
I think you partially misunderstood. You only nedd a processor and amps. While A/V receivers like your Yamaha may seem simple, with only one item to buy, once a pre-pro/amp setup is installed, it should be just as simple as a receiver to operate.

There's a couple of arguments in favor of a pre-pro/amp configuration. While the format standards change frequently, the fundamental job of amplifying the signal for speaker output stays pretty much the same. You can future proof by buying the processor section and the amplifiers separately. Also, the amplifiers you buy separately are usually much more powerful than the amplifiers in receivers like your Yamaha. The advantage of more powerful amplifiers is not to play louder, but to play cleaner. The sound will be better at all levels and it will actually be safer for your speakers than underpowering them, since more speakers are damaged by distortion caused by driving underpowered amps too hard than by playing powerful amps too loudly.

While these are compelling arguments in theory, these advantages aren't as compelling practically. The Emotiva pre-pro is probably the cheapest by far at $700. The more typical cost of a pre-pro (eg Rotel) is way more than the cost of all but the most expensive receivers. If you're trying to future proof, normally you'll still be able to come out cheaper replacing an entire receiver than replacing a pre-pro.

The average home theater should be quite entertaining with a good receiver with adequate power. While unusual setups such as large areas or unusual speakers that require a lot of power (Martin-Logans or Magnepans) clearly benefit from bigger seperate amps, they'd be overkill in most situations.

I'm really interested in the new Emotiva pre-pro. I'd love to get it and two of their amps, the three channel and the five channel. Practically though, I might be better off buying a good receiver in the $1,000 range and the three channel Emotiva amp. I'd use the Emotiva for L/C/R and the receiver's amps for the less demanding surrounds. The receiver manufacturers can offer the same chips in their receivers for less because of economy of scale.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Doug,

This has very much clarified the situation for me.

The question for me know is whether I go for say the Onkyo 807 with the Emotiva XPA-3 or 5 Amp. Or go up to the Onkyo 1007 and more so the 3007 or 5007 and ignore the Amp. After years of being just a receiver owner I am very tempted by adding an Amp but do note your comments about receivers possibly/probably being adequate.

Heres a question for some views: "Would it be better to go for the Onkyo 3007 or 5007 to get the better quality processors eg. Reon v/s Farujia and other features that come with these models or go for the lower 807 model that seems to be mostly adequate and get an Emotiva Amp to supplement the receiver and deliver better sound?"

Views would be appreciated.


Mark
 

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Only you can decide which is better in your home theater. Hifi audio and video is for entertainment. Part of the entertainment is enjoying the choices you've made in the hardware.

A high-end receiver has more features than the less expensive versions. For example, some people are of the opinion that the new "wide" speaker arrangement (adding surround speakers in between the front speakers and the side-surround speakers) makes more of an improvement to the soundstage than do rear-surround or height speakers. Only a few receivers have implemented that feature so far, though.

Higher-end receivers also tend to have better audio sections, with less audio distortion then the less expensive versions. Depending on your speakers and room, however, that improvement might be very hard to hear.

Adding external amps does improve the headroom and reduces the heating in the receivers they're used with, allowing the sound system to be run at higher levels. Slight volume increases often sound better.

Whether the video scaler in a receiver is better than the scaler that's in the display is something you'll have to judge, too. Rescaling the image in several different places can reduce the quality of the image.
 

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Mark, Here is another option for you, The Onkyo 876 is on clearance you get the HQV Raon for video and Audssey plus a stellar audio section. Its a tough one to beat. and has plenty of power due to its large power supply.
If the need arises that you want to use an external amp for the two front channels it is very easy to hook up.
 

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We can't really answer what you should buy until we know your overall budget. I'd say the best thing you can do is build for the long haul. As far as pre-processors go. Generally it's better to use a receiver with pre-out amps for that function. This is largely a volume driven price.

For an amp I prefer pro-amps. They look better and have a lot more power than your standard commercial amp. Though I've also looked into DIY amps. You can get 4x 125watt kit for pretty cheap($300) no soldering is required either.
 
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