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  1. #1

    Should I get a receiver or a pre?

    Hi everybody,

    my first post here, even though I am Italian I feel better writing here than on Italian forums but bare in mind that my english is so and so and as such you gotta apologize me for mistakes.

    Situation is that I have a very old 2 channels setup, JBL 4311B speakers, Adcom GFA-GFP pre + final, a tiny old Carver TFM-6 final amp, Sony CDP-X505ES cd player for the audio part.

    There are then a sat receiver with an HDMI output, an Apple TV3 and a PS3, a NAS where I store movies (which have to be converted before given to the ATV3 which is such a nice but worthless piece of equipment when up to video formats...), on top of it all a Sony 40" LED screen (my son got a Panasonic which decodes every kind of video file I throw at it through the NAS, the Sony s**ks at that!).

    I would like to simplify it all and have one box in place of my pre+amp so that I have less cables and here the solution would be a receiver (I always liked Marantz, dunno why...), hook the PS3, Sat decoder and ATV3 via HDMI and the CD player through optical or RCA.

    On the other hand I could get a pre-processor and use the amps, found an Emotiva UMC-1 on the used market here in Italy but it lacks a network connection (could come handy to stream music from computers - all Apple - spread along home), the possibility to pull an usb cable to listen music stored on iDevices and other little faults I don't like.

    Basically I need an HDMI hub to connect all the peripherals to one box and then use my amps, at this moment I am at 2 channels, I could even add a turntable (I am chasing a Gyrodec ) so a phono pre would be handy, I would look at the used market since the budget is quite limited, 500-700$ being my limit.

    What would you suggest keeping in count I listen to music and could add a center channel and, later on, a sub (even though the JBLs go quite low...)?

    Thank you so much and happy new year's eve everybody!!!


  2. #2

    Hi Giovanni, welcome to HomeTheaterEquipment forum.

    If your budget is $500 - $700 US Dollars, I think a pre/pro will be out of your budget. The possible exception would be possibly a used Marantz AV7005 which can be found at the upper end of your budget. That would leave you no money for additional amps.

    The good news is that Marantz AVRs are fantactic and can be found new within that price range. Used pieces would be even less. I would also look into Denon products. If you find one with preamp level outputs, you could always add external amplifiers, if needed. As for network capabilities, most newer Blu-ray players have all those features as well.

    As for your older Adcom equipment, I was and still am a big fan of their power amps and the GFP line of stereo preamps. As a matter of fact I would love to have the GFP-750 to use as a dedicated two-channel set up. As much as I love the newer AVR and pre/pros for movies, I do not like them for music.

    Be sure to post back what you find.

  3. #3
    Owner-Publisher Jerry Del Colliano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    West Los Angeles, California

    How about an Outlaw 975? That's a good AV Preamp.

    I like Marantz receivers if you want to go that route. I used one recently for about 2 years and was very happy with the Slim Line form factor.

  4. #4

    The choice is difficult, on one hand I'd like to simplify and as such a single box would do nice but I know I will sacrifice something (not that I mind too much about sound quality, I mean, can't and don't want to run behind hi-end neither I have the environment to turn my living into a concert hall...) on the 2 channels end, on the other I'd like to make use of the two amps I already own (the Adcom GFA-535 and the little Carver TFM-6CB) and get a pre-amp/processor so I can maybe get a little better quality with my budget compared to an AV integrated solution.

    I found here in Italy an Emotiva UMC-1 for sale for the equivalent of 450$, when reading its features I found missing ability to network it on the LAN to play streamed music or video content, other features seem to be what I need (plenty of HDMI, RCA and Optical inputs) besides the eventual phono pre which I can get when and if I get the turntable, no possibility to hook a music player through an USB cable is another issue but no big deal, can still hook it through an analog input.

    Clearly I have no much knowledge about the video dept, I only know my BluRay player being the PS3 and my TV to be an HD (1.920 I guess), maybe the Emotiva could do fine, dunno...

    Will give a look at your suggestion for an Outlaw 975 Jerry, thank you for your suggestion, Tracy, you hit a point, I don't think my setup is very well sounding (Sony CD player I know being a very good one for its age but could benefit from a more up to date converter found in a pre-processor), the speakers are old but I still like them (there is a very far chance I could get a couple of Martin Logan Sequel but this is another thing...), the Adcom pre-amp are not the best but, still, would a processor like the Outlaw, Emotiva etc make things worse in the audio dept?

    Come on with suggestions please!!!

    Thank you so much for your patience and input



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