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Thread: Rack Preamp Options

  1. #16
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by engineerjoe View Post
    I thought I could ask here instead of a brand new duplicate type post.
    I just got some of the JBL 500 series speakers to add to my house system. They seem to like better power than my Yamaha RX685 puts out. I connected them to my older Kenwood system and they rock but there's no HDMI inputs on that one.
    I'm looking at the Denon line of 7.2 surround sound receivers. I noticed they have a preamp in their line. I also found a Marantz preamp. Both have Balanced XLR outputs and rack mounting. That seems exciting to me as I have many amps laying around for PA use.
    Does anyone here use either of these preamps in their system? Do you like them?
    How about the newer Denon integrated receivers?
    I think the Yamaha lineup sounds great. I just feel their power output is limited. One day for no apparent reason my Yamaha seemed twice as loud? Never again though. I replaced cables and tried different settings. I believe it has some type of limiter or protection kicking in?
    Thanks for any helpful opinions.
    A few questions.

    1. Why does HDMI matter? Will this be part of a video system?

    2. A separate preamp or Pre/pro if you need video and surround modes will definitely be better, which Marantz were you looking at?

    3. What is your approximate budget?


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  2. #17
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    1 It is going to connect to my TV and other components with HDMI connections
    2 I only saw one Marantz preamp model when I searched. I'll have to go to there website and search for other models available.
    3 I can only state that I'm just looking and comparing right now. I just bought a used X32 Behringer board for my system. I hadn't considered using my pro stuff at home. It is all just sitting here and with so many posts here of pro type systems in use, I figure I just utilize what I have to the best of it's potential. I have 7 crown amps and 2 QSC amps right here.
    I would say that no more than around 4 or $500 although I have to research what I'd be missing out on available features vs. price. I found several used Denon receivers that come in below $400. I haven't decided if they will satisfy what I need. Clean higher power to drive the new JBL 520, 530s that I just got and possibly the 590s down the road a bit.

  3. #18
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    I got the new TV 2 years ago, didn't count on digital-optic outputs.

    My Denon AVR does not have HDMI ..no biggie.

    The TV does most of the switching now. I run the TV toslink out to an outboard stereo DAC to the Denon, which does the 5.1 & now does just amplification & volume. It's just not the center of the system anymore.

    The TV takes all the HDMI inputs.
    Yes, I've got my reasons and to me they're all true,
    And I wouldn't change them, not even for you.

  4. #19
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    I should have also stated that I am currently running 5.1 surround in the family room with the Yamaha RX685. A big part of this is to decide to upgrade? to 7.2. I have never heard 7.2 surround yet. I don't know how the rear sets respond or sound with 7.2.
    I do know that the Yamaha seems to be underpowered when connected to the new JBLs. Again, I connected them to my old Kenwood 5.1 and they perform much better. I am torn between using a new preamp, and a new 7.2 receiver with onboard power for simplicity. I still have my Ashley 31 band EQs and other stuff but I don't wish to utilize everything and have an overcomplicated system. My girl won't even allow my large custom JBLs upstairs! She would never allow multiple racks of equipment up there. I should have built them in when I built the large house addition.
    I think I'm answering my own questions on direction with what would be best for my situation. She has plants on each of my black JBL L series speakers. I think that solves a power struggle for supremacy in the household!
    It's funny that when a concert is on of some performer she really likes, the system gets cranked up and put to the test. Otherwise she's complaining over cords and speakers laying around. Maybe a futuristic hidden wireless system would be best?

  5. #20
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by engineerjoe View Post
    Otherwise she's complaining over cords and speakers laying around. Maybe a futuristic hidden wireless system would be best?
    That may be your best bet. I would normally suggest outboard amps, but if you can’t hide the gear and the wires, domestic bliss may suffer.


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  6. #21
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    It's now settled. I bought an older used denon AVR3313 receiver that has everything to help me here. It has preamp outputs so I could use it to drive my amps if needed. It claims to have plenty of power anyways. I believe it even has 3 HDMI outputs to drive my TVs!
    Now to hope it works when it gets here all the way from California. I probably overlooked something important again. For the low price, it seemed to be the way for me to go right now. Impulse buy Urrggg.

  7. #22
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by engineerjoe View Post
    It's now settled. I bought an older used denon AVR3313 receiver that has everything to help me here. It has preamp outputs so I could use it to drive my amps if needed. It claims to have plenty of power anyways. I believe it even has 3 HDMI outputs to drive my TVs!
    Now to hope it works when it gets here all the way from California. I probably overlooked something important again. For the low price, it seemed to be the way for me to go right now. Impulse buy Urrggg.
    It won’t handle 4K HDR or Dolby Vision content, but if you don’t have a high end very current TV, you can’t use those features anyway. You should be fine with the Denon.


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  8. #23
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    I had to read what 4K HDR meant. It's the problem for me trying to come up to current standards. Everytime I learn something, it changes.
    Ah crap! it looks like it has it?
    https://www.lg.com/hk_en/tv/lg-55UJ6500

  9. #24
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    If you want to avail yourself of the widest dynamic range (video) then you can go the route ‘wolf was suggesting, however most modern TVs no longer output multi-channel audio out of their optical port, you will typically only get a stereo downmix. The current way to handle this is through ARC.

    I’m not sure if the ARC feature on this Denon will actually work, (being a few years old the technology was a bit rough - definitely update your firmware when you get the AVR) but with a modern 4K rated HDMI cable between the Denon and the correct port on your TV you should be able to plug the 4K source directly into your TV and the full surround mix will return to the AVR via the TV/AVR HDMI link.


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  10. #25
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    Thank you for the help! I really appreciate it.
    I'm an old analog person that tried to stay that way for too long. When I saw the first digital mixing consoles while on tour, they scared the crap out of me. You have to remember that this was way before the modern cell phones we now carry. I saw the automated faders and a show mix itself thinking it would replace me even before I could understand it.
    I now feel it's exciting yet I'm always playing catch up. The current DSP inside of the amps blows me away with the capability available.

  11. #26
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    I wonder what year this Denon was released?
    I had run my system with optical cable before using the older Kenwood. Something failed and it started cutting out. I was forced to change connection method and wasn't happy with the results. So I upgraded at that time to the Yamaha.

  12. #27
    Member Fitero's Avatar
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    With recent Denon AVRs it's easy to know the approximate date of manufacture. The last two numbers of the model number indicate it's model year. Yours was widely available in 2013 if I'm not mistaken.

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