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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I have a Yamaha A1 amplifier which has given many years of excellent service but lacks HDMI switching and the newer sound processing formats. The upgrade bug has bitten and I wondered what path I should take. Is it worth buying a new preamp while keeping the power amps of the A1 or should I just go for a more up to date reciever. I am worried that I will have to spend a lot of money to match the performace of my old A1 in terms of power and control.
What should I do? :dontknow:

Thanks,
M
 

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Since you already have the amps, you could get an preamp/processor. I love (and own) separates personally. HOWEVER, there are plenty of AVRs (Yamaha included) that have preouts that would allow you to still use your amp. Often that's a good way to go as AVRs are usually less expensive than a pre/pro (strange as it seems).

FWIW-A lot of the new formats offer 7.1 channels instead of the 5.1 of DD and DTS; a new AVR with preouts would allow you to use your amp AND have 7 channels of amplification.
 

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Hello,
The DSP-A1 really was groundbreaking to be sure. However, things like RoomEQ and the new Codecs available through HDMI are excellent. The Yamaha Aventage A3010 has gotten stellar Reviews and might be an excellent match for you.

If definitely using the Preamp Outputs of the new AVR, I do think the Onkyo TX-NR709 is the best value going. Especially at Accessories4less where they dropped the price an additional $50. They do sell Refurbished AVR's, but offer a 1 Year Manufacturers Warranty and can be extended to 3 Years at Shop Onkyo for around $50. If reticent to purchase a B-Stock, Newegg usually has the best prices on Yamaha and Onkyo.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the suggestions guys. It seems, as I suspected that the stength of the Yamaha A1 lies in the power amplifiers rather than the processing so the better option seems to be a new preamp. Seems odd that Yamaha do not make a stand alone preamp - unless I have missed something. Any other contenders for a quality preamp at a sensable price?

M
 

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If your looking for a pre/pro that offers alot of features you can forget it as these days a receiver with pre-outs is going to give you the same quality and far more features like room EQ and processing modes. Like Jack said the Onkyo 709 is the best option for the money. You would have to spend three to five times as much to get a pre/pro that will give you anything close.
 

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If you have the DSP-A1 then your best bet would be to simply upgrade to a new AVR. If you have separate amps (you also mentioned a Yamaha A1 which is an amp), it may not be that simple. When I first read your post I thought that you had Yamaha A1 outboard amps and a DSP A1 AVR; re-reading it makes me think that you just have the DSP A-1 that J.Jack mentioned.
 

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Hello,
I am pretty sure that the DSP-A1 has Preamp/Main In Connections where the Amplifiers can be used independently of the Preamp Stage.. My Marantz SR-19EX offers the same thing. There is a set of Clips that when removed separate the 2 Parts.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Hello,
I am pretty sure that the DSP-A1 has Preamp/Main In Connections where the Amplifiers can be used independently of the Preamp Stage.. My Marantz SR-19EX offers the same thing. There is a set of Clips that when removed separate the 2 Parts.
Cheers,
JJ
JJ---> It does. I installed about 50 of them several years ago. ALL of the internal amps can be bypassed or re-routed; a common solution was to add a larger amp on the mains and route the surrounds to the main amps in the AVR.

You could add a pre/pro and use the DSP A-1 as a multi-channel amp. I am in the minority here in my love of separates. MOST people just go with an AVR...some use it as a pre/pro. As I stated earlier, it's a bit strange that when a company removes the amps and sells the unit as a pre/pro, the price usually goes up. I have the UMC-1 and love it. I've had zero problems and plan on using the 40% off card to upgrade to Emotiva's new unit when it's released. The UMC-1's main short coming is its bass eq; it's not very good IMHO. Other than that, it's been an excellent sounding unit with no problems. FWIW-my last pre/pro was a Lex MC-1, and I still think that the UMC-1 sounds great.
 

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JJ---> It does. I installed about 50 of them several years ago. ALL of the internal amps can be bypassed or re-routed; a common solution was to add a larger amp on the mains and route the surrounds to the main amps in the AVR.

You could add a pre/pro and use the DSP A-1 as a multi-channel amp. I am in the minority here in my love of separates. MOST people just go with an AVR...some use it as a pre/pro. As I stated earlier, it's a bit strange that when a company removes the amps and sells the unit as a pre/pro, the price usually goes up. I have the UMC-1 and love it. I've had zero problems and plan on using the 40% off card to upgrade to Emotiva's new unit when it's released. The UMC-1's main short coming is its bass eq; it's not very good IMHO. Other than that, it's been an excellent sounding unit with no problems. FWIW-my last pre/pro was a Lex MC-1, and I still think that the UMC-1 sounds great.
Hello,
I could not agree more about SSP Pricing.. Thanks to Onkyo, it has gotten a great deal better with their Integra Brand having an SSP priced at $1500. Also, now Marantz is pricing the AV7005 for I think $100 less than the SR7005 it is directly based upon.
The price might be the same for the Marantz, but I know the SSP does not cost more.. I am so glad the Emotiva SSP is working well for you.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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I am worried that I will have to spend a lot of money to match the performace of my old A1 in terms of power and control.
What should I do? :dontknow:
If money is an issue, you might look for a nice used Yamaha RX- Z7. They go for about $1000-12000. You’d be surprised what that money gets you compared to what you paid for the A1!

Regards,
Wayne
 

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If money is an issue, you might look for a nice used Yamaha RX- Z7. They go for about $1000-12000. You’d be surprised what that money gets you compared to what you paid for the A1!

Regards,
Wayne
A valid point...what's the budget? Also, as much as I LOVE separates, I haven't found them to be a great improvement over AVRs for surround. 2 channel is where they really shine IMHO.

Also, I freely admit to being in a minority here when it comes to my view of separates. MOST people just use an AVR or use the AVR as a SSP w/ outboard amps. Again, as much as I am an advocate of separates, I can't hear a big difference between them and an AVR in surround. If you have speakers that present a difficult load like electrostatics, a more powerful amp than what you normally find in an AVR is warranted.

One really great thing about going the AVR route is that you can start with the AVR and add amps later...if needed. It's both practical and economical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The Onkyo 709 looks to be a great deal at the moment and I could use this as a preamp with my A1 power amps if some of the A1's amazing oomph is missing from the Onkyo. One more question................Is it worth spending more for an 809 or even the 1009?

Thanks
Martin
 

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The three things the 809 gives you is a better video processor a bit more power and THX Ultra certification (very nice processing modes come with this) The 1009 is almost identical to the 809
 

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If you are planning on using the Yamaha as an amp, then I'd look at the one that offers the features that you want and ignore power ratings. In other words, if one only offers a bit more power then why spend the money since you have amps that already have the power that you need?

Better room correction is one area to pay special attention. Get the best room correction that you can afford-IMHO. Aside from DD, DTS, DD-HD, DTS-MA, PLII and/or Neo 6 (all "must haves" in my opinion) the extra modes are personal preference. Your DSP A-1 had tons of them; if you used them then you may still want extra modes. There's no right or wrong answer as this comes down to what you like. I don't use extra DSP modes but do not fault those who do.

The THX debate has many sides; on one hand you get an "assurance" that the component meets certain standards. On the other hand you are paying more to have THX printed on the front; the company has to pay Mr. Lucas to use his logo. There's a bit more to it than this, but that's the concise version.

So, look at what's important to you and what you will use. I personally would not pay more for a THX approved product (but I own/have owned several) if that's the only difference.
 

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I dont agree that you are just paying for a THX logo. You get some very useful processing modes that you will use if you have them. THX Ultra 2 is fantastic and so is THX Cinema. Both I use exclusively on all my movies as it sounds far more like it is supposed to in the theater.
 

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I dont agree that you are just paying for a THX logo. You get some very useful processing modes that you will use if you have them. THX Ultra 2 is fantastic and so is THX Cinema. Both I use exclusively on all my movies as it sounds far more like it is supposed to in the theater.
Sorry if I wasn't clear; I didn't state that "you are just paying for a THX logo." In fact, I stated that you get an " 'assurance' that the component meets certain standards" and "there's a bit more to it than this..." and even addressed various modes

You DO, however, pay more for the THX logo. There are companies that sell the same SSP with and w/o the logo...for a different price. I simply tried to convey that I wouldn't pay more for a piece of equipment simply because it has THX on its front and that certain modes are a matter of personal preference. If you like them, fine; if you don't like them then try not to pay more for them.

Sorry for any confusion. :innocent:
 

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Fully understand :) and agree
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It seems that the Onkyo 709 is discontinued and new stock will no longer be available. I will be going for the 809 when the next shipment arrives in a couple of weeks..........Can't wait!

Martin
 
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