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Is there an AV Processor which can act as an Pre-Amp for high quality stereo music experience?

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#1
Hallo, i was thinking of a faaaaar distance future upgrade to an 5 channel Amplifer and an AV Processor which could also act as an pre-amp for my music playback. I tried to do a similar test with my Yamaha RX-V781 but the sound quality i got was pure garbage. So i was wondering if there is an AV Processor out there capable of quality music playback?

Thank you for your replies in advance :)
 
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Reksos007
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Thread Starter #3
Available budget for the prepro?
Tbh right now i am just curious if there is something like that available at all on the market and if yes, what is the lowest price for that produkt with my usage.
 

Mnyb

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#4
I whish i realy knew , I've used Meridian for the last 15 years , mostly in it's full digital capacity with digital speakers .
The analog side of any pre/pro these days seems to be a sad story regardless of price .
I have used Meridian in analog setups too, it works fine but i cant vouch for the actual performance.
 

Dimifoot

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#5
Tbh right now i am just curious if there is something like that available at all on the market and if yes, what is the lowest price for that produkt with my usage.
Of course there is.

Always, always, always keep in mind that if you need hi quality music reproduction you need quality loudspeakers and:
  • Multi sub set up, with the capability of various crossover/slopes/filter settings
  • Room Eq at least up to the Schroeder Frequency
  • Target curve (i.e tone control) settings
  • And it gets much better with multichannel reproduction
All the above are clearly explained by @Floyd Toole in his book Sound Reproduction: The Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms

These requirements cannot be achieved by simple 2 channel DACs. You need something more sophisticated if you are really into:
quality music playback
Don't expect it to be cheap though, it will never happen.
 

Cahudson42

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#6
You mentioned a stereo solution - for music as opposed to HT?

Maybe consider instead what works great for me, a $100 headphone amp with line outs to CD/Aux in/line in of the AVR or other amp. I use a Liquid Spark, for my HE400i usually, but also to feed the CD-in of a RX-596/396 for bedroom bookshelf system.

You can read amir's reviews of the LS, Schiit Heresy, Atom, etc. All perform better than AVR pre-processor sections. Add a $100 D10 if you need USB DAC
 

BDWoody

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#7
Tbh right now i am just curious if there is something like that available at all on the market and if yes, what is the lowest price for that produkt with my usage.
It is a problem...
What I'm doing for now is using a simple stereo preamp (Schiit Freya S) effectively as an external HT bypass for the front two channels only. I run my DAC and TT into that so it isn't going through the receiver, and just use it for all 2 channel listening without needing to even turn on the HT processor.

I have the line outs for the LR channels from the HT processor going into another preamp input, so I simply switch to that input and go to Unity gain when I'm using that processor for multi-channel listening, and the processor then runs the show.

Another option as you make choices...
 
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Reksos007
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Thread Starter #8
Of course there is.

Always, always, always keep in mind that if you need hi quality music reproduction you need quality loudspeakers and:
  • Multi sub set up, with the capability of various crossover/slopes/filter settings
  • Room Eq at least up to the Schroeder Frequency
  • Target curve (i.e tone control) settings
  • And it gets much better with multichannel reproduction
All the above are clearly explained by @Floyd Toole in his book Sound Reproduction: The Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms

These requirements cannot be achieved by simple 2 channel DACs. You need something more sophisticated if you are really into:


Don't expect it to be cheap though, it will never happen.
I dont expect it to be cheap. What i meant by that sentence was: What is the lowest price for that kind of product which is one box that can both be used as AV/Processor and Stereo Pre-amp, is 20.000 $ then thats the lowest price for the product. By lowest i mean, lowest possible within the category of the product. There are 8.000 $ 200 watt 8 ohm amplifiers and there are 4.000 $. The 8.000 $ might be the more known brand something something while the 4.000 $ is the lesser known brand that has fewer features(which dosnt hurt my usage) then the 8.000 $ but maintains similar quality.

When i got into the hobby i read about all the measurements, reflecting points, positioning and many more. I am aware that the pre-amp wont push my speakers and room acustic beyond their capabilities. So i dont search for a magic pill but for a all-in-one box av processor of high quality enough to be used in stereo playback without making my music sound like garbage :)
 
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Reksos007
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Thread Starter #9
I whish i realy knew , I've used Meridian for the last 15 years , mostly in it's full digital capacity with digital speakers .
The analog side of any pre/pro these days seems to be a sad story regardless of price .
I have used Meridian in analog setups too, it works fine but i cant vouch for the actual performance.
I was looking once at the Meridian speakers my self mainly for their simply design, meaning 2 speakers and one box. How dose metal genre sound on these speakers?
 
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Reksos007
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Thread Starter #10
You mentioned a stereo solution - for music as opposed to HT?

Maybe consider instead what works great for me, a $100 headphone amp with line outs to CD/Aux in/line in of the AVR or other amp. I use a Liquid Spark, for my HE400i usually, but also to feed the CD-in of a RX-596/396 for bedroom bookshelf system.

You can read amir's reviews of the LS, Schiit Heresy, Atom, etc. All perform better than AVR pre-processor sections. Add a $100 D10 if you need USB DAC
What i meant was an solution which incorporates both HT and stereo music. So you have one box for the Dolby codes with DAC and preamp section for music playback. Basically stereo pre-amp with Dolby, DTS codes.
 

Dimifoot

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#11
without making my music sound like garbage :)
My music sounds like garbage when the room destroys the bass response. ;)

Anyway, a cheap solution could be an Oppo 205, has sub out, XLRs for L-R, Dolby+DTS decoding for movies, digital inputs and a universal disc player. No RoomEq though, you will have to apply equalisation at the source, so not optimal.

Next step up around 4000-6000$, and this is the entry level of prepros, you could look at a Monoprice HTP1, a NAD M17, or wait for the JBL SP55 to be ready. Or maybe an Anthem AVM60 or an ARCAM AV40 (still has some bugs).

When you go up to five figure products things get more serious, look at the Lyngdorf, Bryston/Storm Audio, Trinnov.

All the above benefit from subwoofer integration and proper Room Eq software, and as a result you will get a much better music experience, even if their SINAD is around 95-100db , comparing to a 2 channel dac with a SINAD of 110 (inaudible difference) that can't use subs and RoomEq.

When you achieve a well balanced 5 channel system you will discover that up mixing stereo music to multichannel is way more rewarding than stereo reproduction;).
 
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Reksos007
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Thread Starter #13
My music sounds like garbage when the room destroys the bass response. ;)

Anyway, a cheap solution could be an Oppo 205, has sub out, XLRs for L-R, Dolby+DTS decoding for movies, digital inputs and a universal disc player. No RoomEq though, you will have to apply equalisation at the source, so not optimal.

Next step up around 4000-6000$, and this is the entry level of prepros, you could look at a Monoprice HTP1, a NAD M17, or wait for the JBL SP55 to be ready. Or maybe an Anthem AVM60 or an ARCAM AV40 (still has some bugs).

When you go up to five figure products things get more serious, look at the Lyngdorf, Bryston/Storm Audio, Trinnov.

All the above benefit from subwoofer integration and proper Room Eq software, and as a result you will get a much better music experience, even if their SINAD is around 95-100db , comparing to a 2 channel dac with a SINAD of 110 (inaudible difference) that can't use subs and RoomEq.

When you achieve a well balanced 5 channel system you will discover that up mixing stereo music to multichannel is way more rewarding than stereo reproduction;).
I feel you there :(

I looked at the JBL SP55 and it looks hot but with these prices i might be better off buying the AVR SP35 and an Stereo Power amplifier for the front speakers. I am more of an used gear hunter but with the product of this caliber that will be impossible.

What is the difference between Lyngdorf, Bryston/Storm Audio, Trinnov vs JBL SP55, Arcam AV40 and Anthem AVM60? Is the 5 figure price for the brand or for the more fancy room correction?

I was once invited to a Hi-Fi where mostly speaker manufactures showed off their gear and in one room they showed off the multi channel music. Out of curiosity i sit down and was blown away. I am more fan of the death metal genre but the pure beauty of the classical music that was played in front of me was so mesmerising. The small details of each instrument surrounding me, giving a 3D effect. Just for the quality of the experience damn. I just wish a heavy metal band made a multichannel release of their album. With so many instruments engagede in this genre, i would unclutter it a lot.
 
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Reksos007
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Thread Starter #15
Audioholics has measured some Yamaha receiver pre-outs, and they were weak; Denon/Marantz is more consistently good.
But what about their longevity? Before i bought my Yamaha rx-v781 i read a lot about Denon/Marantz issues and saw a lot of owners switching from these 2 brands back to Yamaha.
 

Mnyb

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#16
I was looking once at the Meridian speakers my self mainly for their simply design, meaning 2 speakers and one box. How dose metal genre sound on these speakers?
O have not been inte metal since my teen years in the 80's :) The larger Meridian speakers do have the SPL capacity I'm using the smaller DSP5200 (3 front ch) and DSP3100 (rear ch) and an analog rhytmik sub .

In this case the processors analog circiuts do not matter when using digital speakers .

And their procesors do have room correction below shröder freuency and tone controlls bass and a treble thats really a tilt control similar to what quad used to have. You can slighly tilt the whole spectrum top to bottom as needed for subjective reasons I use that a lot since i'm always in to small rooms so the speakers get a bit to schrill when you are to close to them .

I can not fully recomend Meridians speakers nowadays since they are very expensive for what they are and no real development has gone in to them for 15 years , they are basically the same as when i bougth them they "uppdated" over the years , but it looks mostly cosmetic to me .

And the whole multichannel hifi market have basically collapsed .
Meridian did the rigth thing back in the late 1990's and early 2000's a fully digital solution including speaker xover and room correction (yes the speakers have built in digital xover) and DVDA playback or other multichannel sources and uppmixing of 2ch to several formats so that you can use all 7.1 channels . Very nice .

But you get a propriotary solution , thats a kind of expensive hole to dig yourself into . Thier digital speakerlink fits no other speakers . The problem is that pre/pros are not allowed to have unecrypted multichannel digital outs , hence if one wants to go this way pre/pro and speakers most go together in some encryption scheme.

You can use a Meridian processors analog XLR out to traditional amps and speakers and use room correction etc . but then you have competition from other brands and again the prices may be prohibitive.
 

Mnyb

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#17
I feel you there :(

I looked at the JBL SP55 and it looks hot but with these prices i might be better off buying the AVR SP35 and an Stereo Power amplifier for the front speakers. I am more of an used gear hunter but with the product of this caliber that will be impossible.

What is the difference between Lyngdorf, Bryston/Storm Audio, Trinnov vs JBL SP55, Arcam AV40 and Anthem AVM60? Is the 5 figure price for the brand or for the more fancy room correction?

I was once invited to a Hi-Fi where mostly speaker manufactures showed off their gear and in one room they showed off the multi channel music. Out of curiosity i sit down and was blown away. I am more fan of the death metal genre but the pure beauty of the classical music that was played in front of me was so mesmerising. The small details of each instrument surrounding me, giving a 3D effect. Just for the quality of the experience damn. I just wish a heavy metal band made a multichannel release of their album. With so many instruments engagede in this genre, i would unclutter it a lot.
In this case a used Meridian G68 for a good price could do it (or G65) for hdmi you need an add-on video switcher with digital outputs (for the audio) Meridian have sevaral of those to
 

Matias

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#18
I separate things: music playback chain has its own dac, preamp, and the preamp receives front L+R from AVR for HT. Center channel I would amplify separately too with a small poweramp directly to the AVR C out, and leave only surrounds for the AVR to amplify directly. So that 2ch music playback chain is best, and shared with 5 ch.
 
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Reksos007
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Thread Starter #19
O have not been inte metal since my teen years in the 80's :) The larger Meridian speakers do have the SPL capacity I'm using the smaller DSP5200 (3 front ch) and DSP3100 (rear ch) and an analog rhytmik sub .

In this case the processors analog circiuts do not matter when using digital speakers .

And their procesors do have room correction below shröder freuency and tone controlls bass and a treble thats really a tilt control similar to what quad used to have. You can slighly tilt the whole spectrum top to bottom as needed for subjective reasons I use that a lot since i'm always in to small rooms so the speakers get a bit to schrill when you are to close to them .

I can not fully recomend Meridians speakers nowadays since they are very expensive for what they are and no real development has gone in to them for 15 years , they are basically the same as when i bougth them they "uppdated" over the years , but it looks mostly cosmetic to me .

And the whole multichannel hifi market have basically collapsed .
Meridian did the rigth thing back in the late 1990's and early 2000's a fully digital solution including speaker xover and room correction (yes the speakers have built in digital xover) and DVDA playback or other multichannel sources and uppmixing of 2ch to several formats so that you can use all 7.1 channels . Very nice .

But you get a propriotary solution , thats a kind of expensive hole to dig yourself into . Thier digital speakerlink fits no other speakers . The problem is that pre/pros are not allowed to have unecrypted multichannel digital outs , hence if one wants to go this way pre/pro and speakers most go together in some encryption scheme.

You can use a Meridian processors analog XLR out to traditional amps and speakers and use room correction etc . but then you have competition from other brands and again the prices may be prohibitive.
What competing product do Meridian face now? as when it comes to active speaker with digital xover i only heard of meridian. How would you compare Meridian to other speakers you heard?
 
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Reksos007
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Thread Starter #20
I separate things: music playback chain has its own dac, preamp, and the preamp receives front L+R from AVR for HT. Center channel I would amplify separately too with a small poweramp directly to the AVR C out, and leave only surrounds for the AVR to amplify directly. So that 2ch music playback chain is best, and shared with 5 ch.
By amplifying the Central channel not from the AVR but from a power amp. What difference did you notice? Is the sound thicker and more power?
 
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