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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello All,
I would like some advise, I have an Onkyo TX SR702 that I would like to use as a pre/pro with either a two channel stereo amp or a five channel amp. The 702 has multi inputs as well as multi outs and a descent phono stage, I have a Sota table and I listen to CD's as well. The video and sound processing of the 702 are adequate but I feel the amp section is anemic. I can't afford a separate processor at this point, so I would like to put the money into a good amp. I do a lot of stereo listening as well as multi-channel movies. Would you suggest a stereo amp for the fronts and use the 702 for center and rear channels or a five channel amp and just use the 702 for the pre/pro? The five channel amps I am considering are the Nad T955 and the Emotiva XPA-5 and the stereo amps also by Nad or Emotiva. I would appreciate any input from you guys, music is a priority. I'm just concerned if the 702 could do justice to any of those mentioned amps, and later on in this thread I hope we could discuss menu setup.
Thanks for listening, looking forward to your reply.
Best regards....Jeff
 

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Using your current receiver as a preamp/processor should work well. I would start with a stereo amp to drive your front speakers. It is likely that you will need to at least double the power of the Onkyo to hear a significant difference. The Emotiva XPA-2 is a good value. There aren't many 250 wpc home audio power amps for $800 around. You could then add an Emotiva XPA-3 for your center and surrounds if you had the urge. Another option would be to look at the Outlaw 7500 or just start with a couple of Outlaw 2200 M-blocks.

If music is truly your priority, the Emotiva XPA-2 is a robust, good sounding amp that will do a good pair of front loudspeakers proud. By the way what are the loudspeakers you are driving?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Jay,
Right now what I have are Athena F2's front, I really don't know what they are capable of since they have never been driven by anything of good quality electronics. I have Athena AS-C1 center, AS-B2's rear and AP-1400 sub. I've been out of the audio/video hobby for some time now. The only thing I've managed to salvage from the past is my Sota Sapphire 111 table. I recently bought a Panasonic 1080p plasma and this jump started my renewed interest in this hobby. My goal is to integrate my two channel listening with the home theater theme, so I guess I'm trying to build a foundation upon which I could expand this system, and I thought amplification would be a good starting point, and progress as my budget would dictate. Thanks for your input.
Jeff
 

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Hi Jeff, I'm going to throw in another option.
With the money your going to spend on a decent external 5 channel amp you would be far better getting your self into another higher end receiver This gives you two things over going with what you currently have.
One: it gives you all the newest audio formats as well as HDMI switching and video upconversion.
Two: newer receivers have much better amplification sections (more than enough for your needs) as well as very good two channel Direct audio.

The Onkyo 876 comes to mind and at under $1000 your far better off in the end.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your sound advise. I would really like to go with separates, start with a good 5 channel amp and down the road go with matching pre/pro and possibly new mains. The problem is I have a beer budget with champange taste, but I could dream. Thanks again.
 

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I think you are better off moving towards seperates if quality 2 channel listening is one of your goals. I would suspect you would need to spend more than 2k on a receiver before it would approach the sound quality of seperates. If you have the room you may want to explore having 2 different areas woth one used for 2 and one for 5/7 channel. I think your expenditure would actually be about the same. Each system could be focused on getting the best bang for the buck within its goal. A good 2 channel integrated amp or budget pre/amp combo can be had relatively cheaply especially if you don't mind used. That's only if if's feasible in your living space
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I think you are better off moving towards seperates if quality 2 channel listening is one of your goals. I would suspect you would need to spend more than 2k on a receiver before it would approach the sound quality of seperates.
I will disagree, This was the case 10 years ago but today receivers in the $800 and up range offer as much quality as pre/pro systems do on the processing side of things. The only real advantage with a pre/pro is using larger power amplifiers for each channel and that totaly depends on what kind of speakers you are driving.
Most decent receivers have a pure direct listening mode and that makes the audio as clean as possible. Tube amps may truly be the only better way to get better two channel listening.
 
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