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Preamps do make a difference..

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djb

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Is the Denon and HT receiver? If so have you tried it in "Direct" mode?
The Denon is a 2.1 100 watt stereo receiver, not sure of the model offhand. It has a HPF and I used it. The HPF cutoff is not listed in the Manuel. I tried direct mode, but never liked it at my listening volumes. To much of a V curve for my preference.
 
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djb

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So your overall chain is Modi 3+ > Emotiva PT1 > Emotiva A2 > Lintons?

Before buying another DAC, do you plan to compare the internal DAC in the PT1 to your Modi 3+?

Why Geshelli, give that the performance vs price for any of them isn't particularly good?
Yes. That is my chain and I planned on trying this exact comparison when I get a chance. I use a blue ray player as a cd transport and Wiim into the Modi.

Also have a SMSL su1 I could sub in too. Ironically, I'm not yet convinced that dacs make much of a difference when we are speaking of $100 and up. Cheap ones or the one in the Wiim mini there is a noticable improvement.
 
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djb

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For what it's worth, I could not hear a difference between my PC running Foobar >Topping E30 > Emotiva PA-1s >Paradigm Studio 40v3s versus swapping out the E30 for a D10, running the coax out to a digital input of a ca. 2009 Onkyo TX-SR875 in its "pure direct" mode, even though the SINAD for the AVR is about 20 dB worse than the E30/PA-1 combination. I no longer have the PA-1s or Paradigms, but I still cannot discern a difference between the D10>Onkyo>KEF Q150 versus the D10 feeding an SMSL A300...other than the Onkyo actually producing less tweeter hiss than the A300.
I just got the A300 2 weeks ago and concur with the tweeter hiss in my Paradigm Studio 10's. It's a very functional, small unit and it doesn't bother me when music is playing. This is for my "leftovers" hodgepodge office system.
 

sejarzo

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Ironically, I'm not yet convinced that dacs make much of a difference when we are speaking of $100 and up. Cheap ones or the one in the Wiim mini there is a noticable improvement.

AFAIC, there's no value in spending more unless you need a particular feature. I bought a used SMSL DO100 for $145 because I wanted a volume knob and balanced outputs. I always recommend looking at the Head-Fi classifieds for used DACs, because if you wait 6-10 weeks, you will very likely find what you want to try at big discount to new pricing.
 
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sejarzo

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I just got the A300 2 weeks ago and concur with the tweeter hiss in my Paradigm Studio 10's. It's a very functional unit and it doesn't bother me so Im keeping it.

The interface is a bit kludgy IMHO but for a small system, even with it's "uncompetitive" SINAD, it does present a good value...especially as lightly used ones are going for $120 on a variety of platforms as of late. We plan to downsize soon and I knew I would never have another room large enough to make use of my 40v3 plus Hsu sub combination--so I bought one to see how the sub $500 combination of A300 and Q150s on sale sounded. Given that I spent $475 in 1977 dollars on my Apt Holman preamp...all I can say is the value of "solid-but-not-fancy" gear these days is truly phenomenal. I am also having a blast listening to my new Kali LP-UNFs via the direct USB connection at my desk.
 
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djb

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The interface is a bit kludgy IMHO but for a small system, even with it's "uncompetitive" SINAD, it does present a good value...especially as lightly used ones are going for $120 on a variety of platforms as of late. We plan to downsize soon and I knew I would never have another room large enough to make use of my 40v3 plus Hsu sub combination--so I bought one to see how the sub $500 combination of A300 and Q150s on sale sounded. Given that I spent $475 in 1977 dollars on my Apt Holman preamp...all I can say is the value of "solid-but-not-fancy" gear these days is truly phenomenal. I am also having a blast listening to my new Kali LP-UNFs via the direct USB connection at my desk.
Good power, bass mgt, HPF, small footprint, good sound... what's not to like with the A300? What really sold me over other chi-fi was the remote! My office stack of A300, Wiim mini, su1 dac, and sony blue ray, makes a compact stack on a small shelf.
 

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in general, pre/final was once used precisely because the pre-amplification part of the integrated amplifiers was often poorly performing.
From there, all the theories that are still popular today were born. Theories which frankly, given the performance level of modern electronics, find less and less practical space.
I fear that most of the audible differences nowadays can be attributed to an incorrect implementation of the system, or to an incorrect use of the devices.
Yes, because it is absolutely not taken for granted that users "assemble" and use what they use correctly.
Looking online and speaking with acquaintances frankly, every now and then I realize that the imagination and creativity of many users regarding the use of devices is very widespread...
at that point, yes, every error solved will be able to produce an audible difference, but mathematically I would speak of a tendency that leads from negative to neutral...
generally modern devices all "sound" well, if by definition we can understand a response of the system to the ear, gratifying, balanced and respectful of the timbral balance of the audible frequencies.
However, I also still like playing with preamps, power amps, integrated amplifiers, sources... after all it's part of the hobby...
 

MaxwellsEq

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Adding an preamplifier can be very beneficial if you have lots of analogue sources with different output levels (e.g. a 1970s tuner and modern CD player).

They also an audible benefit if they correct a previous impedance mismatch (e.g. where the ratio of input and output impedances is less than 10). Or if they correct a gain/noise issue in the chain. They also often have tone controls which can be useful with poorly balanced music.
 
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djb

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in general, pre/final was once used precisely because the pre-amplification part of the integrated amplifiers was often poorly performing.
From there, all the theories that are still popular today were born. Theories which frankly, given the performance level of modern electronics, find less and less practical space.
I fear that most of the audible differences nowadays can be attributed to an incorrect implementation of the system, or to an incorrect use of the devices.
In retrospect, I probably should have titled this thread with "CAN" instead of do.

I think the improvement I hear is due to the the better implementation in the PT1. It has an all analog path and probably more effective high pass processing. This is just a guess, I'm not engineer. I admitted, I didn't hear much if any real difference when I bypassed the Denon amplifier and added the A2. I do think headroom has to help with dynamics especially with more power hunger speakers.
 

OldHvyMec

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Imagine, needing to trust your ears. How... constricting.
I can't imagine not trusting what I like to hear and used for 49 years in a professional capacity as a master mechanic.

I find repetitive testing the most boring and constricting thing on this earth after 49 years using equipment night and day
only to find that I was right to begin with using my TRAINED ears. I've left many engineers with a new perspective on
personal abilities vs their standard, change this first attitude because this is how "I" was taught. Mechanics, Musicians,
and quite a few well trained music engineers can tell quit a bit by using the strangest of tools like a 1/2" 24" dowl and hearing
every single thing moving in an engine as big as an early Honda Civic.

The facts are some people have a LOT better hearing and trained hearing on top of that. Most people are not as fortunate or
TRAINED in many cases. What you feel, coupled with what you can hear is all part of a HD mechanics apprenticeship. I've worked
with blind mechanics on two different occasions and one (Rudy Salazar) for over 3 years. They will tell you straight up not being
able to see was an obstacle but trained hearing and FEELING was an absolute must. Both men were excellent automatic transmission
repairmen and seldom used analog gauges other than a few pressure setting, the face of the analog gauges were removed at no
charge from the suppliers. Earls Transmission (Earl) had his sight restored only to have it slip away a second time.

Rudy tried to drive all the drunk mechanics home one night in the late 60s. He got quite a ways down the road before he was finally
stopped. He told me he just used the curb. Nobody parked on the streets back then and who is going to arrest a blind man that was
drunk with no drivers license? Rudy was a bright star and fun to be around for sure. He taught me a lot as a young apprentice.

I've met a few people that could ace ABX testing with cables too. Rare but they certainly exist. I'm not one of the few but I know
what I like and don't like. A preamp can certainly add wonderful features and flavor too the chain. Enjoy OP. I'm with you on any
Denon HT product or any other HT brand for that matter. Great sound effect that's for sure. Music, Meh! It's my opinion and it is
as biased as can be. :) I'm a hypocrite not a liar (not usually anyways.). LOL

Regards
 

SIY

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I've met a few people that could ace ABX testing with cables too. Rare but they certainly exist.
And yet not one of them has ever demonstrated this magic ability. Huh.
 

Sal1950

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I've met a few people that could ace ABX testing with cables too. Rare but they certainly exist.
Only if one of the cables is very out of spec or of poor design, a difference that would be easily measurable, no magic involved
I'm also a retired mechanic but there's a big difference between diagnosing a piston slap or
timing chain problem by ear than hearing differences between solved electronic designs.
 
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