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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I'm considering much going with the preamp/poweramp route. However, it is just SO hard to compare pricewise to some of the higher end receivers. You can pick up a Onkyo TX-SR805 with 130x7 for less than $600. Does anyone have any suggestions for a decent preamp that isn't at a skyrocket price. I would be needing: 2/3 HDMI inputs, Dolby True HD, DTS-HD, and THX Ultra 2 certification.

I did look at the Emotiva MMC-1, and it is really nice preamp for $699, but It doesn't offer HD surround sound decoding or THX certification.
 

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You're looking for a preamp/processor, not a preamp. Generally, preamps don't have video switching, digital decoding, etc. (My conrad-johnson, a hi-end tubed preamp, has NO digital processing whatever.)

And sorry, I have NO idea what to look for except to recommend the Outlaw line...until I see that neither of their pre/pros has hi-rez decoding. Sorry again. Good luck...I'm sure they're out there.
 

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Try the Integra 9.8 pre/pro, and even though it's considered the best "bang for the buck", as well as a "genuine bargain"...it's certainly going to run you upwards of 2K; and that's discounted. If you can afford it however as well as the amps needed to make it sing, it's unlikely you'll do better at many times the price.
Cheers,
Konky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hmmm yah, i'm not so sure really want to invest quite that much into the amp yet.... it's such a tough sell when ya can get a 140x7 receiver for less than $600. I guess it's just like most things in audio, its an exponential growth in price to get the improvements.
 

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You might want to consider one of the better AV receivers that has preamp outs. Then you can use the receiver's built-in amps for those less critical channels (R & L surround and rear surround on my 6.1 system) and feed your power amps from the preamp outs for the channels that require more power. I have both Mackie and Crown amps that do a great job with my 15" JBL's. Bottom line benefit, you get the video processing and switching you need for AV plus a preamp that can drive whatever amps you use - for less than the price of many discrete AV processor/preamps.

Be careful with the selection process - most of the big box sales people have no idea what preamp out means and they will tell you most anything rather than admit lack of knowledge. I had to check the manufacturer's web site to find the ones that had the outputs that would work for me. Some of the sqales reps got confused with the 5 channel imput some receivers have for CD players that have internal decoding.
 

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To be truthfull as you are most likely already aware of, going the pro/pro direction is going to cost you three times as much and there is not a hole lot of advantage to going this rout anymore as you mention Onkyo gives you great sound for the money spent I personally would go with the 875 as it uses a toroidal power supply and has a huge 140watts per channel and can actually drive all 7 channels without much trouble.
The 875 also has the best upconversion using the Reon HQV processing.

And as already stated by southsound it as well as the 805 has pre outs so you can always add amps later if the built in ones dont do the job but I highly doubt it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, yes.... full 7.1 preout is a major requirement for me. My current amp has them, and my system wouldn't work with out them. I have electro stat fronts and i have added a powered subwoofer for them from the front R & L preout channnels.

I was considering the option you referred as well. That if i needed to expand to add some amplification for my fronts, etc. I could still do that with a receiver. 140x4 is pretty beefy... but i may want to push a little more at my electros down the line.


I can find the TX805 for $550, I can't find the 875 for less than $800... is it worth the extra $250? What are the advantages of the 875 other than the 10w per channel?
 

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The Reon HQV processing is a big advantage if you still watch alot of Standard definition video or TV (480i) it upconverts all of it to 1080p with great results. Also the toroidal power supply gives you cleaner sound and is more efficient. In my opinion its worth the $250 if you have it otherwise the 805 is a great option (I have one and am very satisfied with its quality).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, i've looked at it long an hard, and I think i've decided to take a little of both worlds... :bigsmile:

I think I've decided on the Onkyo TX-SR805... however, I am thinking about adding on an extra power amp for my fronts. I'm looking that either the Tapco J-800 or J-1400. The 800 will push 205 RMS, while the 1400 will push 310. My front electrostats are rated at 260 maximum? I'm thinking 205 RMS will give me PLENTY. The whole shabang should put me around $800... still costing less than the SR875.
 

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I would go for the Tapco Juice J-1400. It will handle peak material better. It is only $70 more, little to pay for improved sound. Remember, you probably need twice the power to hear a noticable difference in sound level. And those KingSound electrostats (84dB/1w/1m) will appreciate the extra power. The Onkyo provides 130 wpc, the J-800 only 205 wpc. The J-1400 will be more than double the power of the Onkyo and provide additional dynamic headroom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Right on.... so if the speaker is rated at 250 Maximum output... and i send it 310 RMS, it won't be an issue????
 

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You will likely never have that amount reaching the speakers except during peaks, which is acceptable. I'm running a 200 watt RMS per channel amp into loudspeakers that can probably handle 60 watts RMS. But the speakers obviously never see that amount of power. What it does provide is increased dynamic headroom so there is no effort on the amp's part to accommodate strong peaks in the program material. If there is no clipping, there is less likelihood of damage to the speakers. You have also taken the low frequency load off of those speakers with your subs which means they can effectively take more power. You are looking at about 105dB running 260 watts continuously into those speakers with peaks of 112+dB. I don't know about you but I listen to stuff at about 85 dB with rare 105 dB peaks.
 
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