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I need help finding an affordable HIFI preamp.

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I wan't help finding the best quality preamp in regards with my bang for my buck. I have no idea where to buy or what brands to look for that cost under $500. I want a preamp that makes my old NAD T751 look like garbage which has multiple HDMI inputs which can hopefully have video output and inputs as well like a receiver without amplification. I'm basically looking for a FULL video receiver without amplification with full pre out functionallity. I'd like it to look nice as well, and have many features like full hd video 1080P or more and full blu ray HD sound playback with every HD sound feature possible and the best blu ray players.

I'm saying this because I'm going to use my M-audio BX5a's for a while with pre out with my home made XRL to RCA cables until I can afford extreme HiFi speakers and my friend's dad who is an audio engineer will help me build a quad 405 amplifier with 5 channels. I will use this for speaker channels and sub out from the pre amp.

I'd like a full HT setup from this pre amp and it should have the capability to keep up with the best speakers in the world while looking damn good on blu rays that put these 600Hz bullcrap led tv's and movie theaters to shame.

Any help on prices for my requests? Marrantz, Harmon and Kardon, Mcintosh, B&K, NAD, Anthem, Bryston, Musical Fidelity, Escient, Conrad Johnson pop in my head but i don't know if they do what I want with video Also, I don't know the first two things about hifi compared to someone who really knows what he's talking about. Iv'e never really even heard more than a handful of HiFi systems. places other than a Conrad Johnson place don't even EXIST that I know of to audition things. Where the hell can I even audition a Marrantz pre amp or a Harmon and Kardon one, or Bryston one? Do High quality tube pre amps with blu ray complete 1080P or better HDMI capability even exist? how the hell am I supposed to know things like this?

Why are people on the internet forums telling me that tube pre amps color the signal warm when an audio engineer that has been building and repairing amplifiers for over 50 years has led me to believe that tube amp, and pre amplification is amongst the most linear ever created and that transistors present a audio engineering challenge because it colors the sound too bright and harsh more often than not?

Who am I supposed to believe? this engineer was telling me that my Velodyne ULD 18 was one of the best subwoofers ever made because it could produce sounds as low as 14Hz and can push over 120db SPL at 20Hz with no audible distortion with only a quarter inch of excursion and it is better than most subs with 2 inches or more of excursion because excursion isn't even a good thing. He told me that things like drums have a big surface area and when a 10 inch sub with 2 inches of excursion tries to mimic it, it will sound off because the drum material itself in real life has barely any excursion while producing extremely low frequencies as very high SPL's while the little 10 inch sub will produce low SPL's at the same frequency, and it will have to move ten times the excursion of the drum to produce the same sound at less volume while my ULD 18 sub can much closer mimic the drum properly because the excursion movements are much closer matched and the beat will not sound off.

members on this site have informed me that this was total bullcrap because the spider moves back in place fast enough easily on a good sub to produce the low frequencies, so I do not know who to believe or where to properly learn my information at this point, or who to trust. It seems like everyone tells me something different.

edit: I'd love the pre amp to have balanced outputs such as TRS and XLR. is this even possible with all my other requirements? I don't think it is.

I don't even think what I want even exists. This would basically be a super high end receiver hopefully affordable with tube amps with full video features for things like blu ray and console use and other uses, computer use if I hook my auzentech xfi home theater HD to it properly, and have balanced as well as RCA out and full hd DTS complete features as well as 1080P or better (even 2550x1600 and beyond for my computer would be great) but without any amplification of it's own, only pre out's.

I mean if it DOES exist, what is it? for all those features, I'd honestly pay over $2,000. I'd want it to last me years and years and pair well with a quad 405 amplifier with 5 channels and well with many renowned tube amps such as Mcintosh and Conrad Johnson.

I'm willing to bet huge sums of money that no one on this site can even help me with this, including the most active audiophiles.

I really wish something like this with Wifi network capability that worked with mobile devices from anywhere in the world like a better version of the escient fireball with a NAS storage system for music, the ability to upload all the music you wanted from your computer on the network and iphone internet streaming with an app existed.

Why the hell don't they have things like this?
Edited by coreyL - 2/3/11 at 11:02pm
Pimprig
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Pimprig
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post #2 of 2
Thread Starter 
http://www.irawoods.com/Marantz-AV80...eamp-Processor

I think this may be one of the very few Pre amps that meet my requirements as close as possible.

do they have anything like this cheaper, with every possible feature this one has?


is that the same exact pre amp? the more expensive one says THX ultra 2, what the hell does that mean?

seriously, I need help finding the best possible bang for my buck

Also, what does "poor video scaling" exactly entail? is that only turning 720P into 1080P? because my equipment will have 1080P or better for a fact. I have no idea what this actually means and have not paid attention, but I really want video quality to be amazing on my computer, my blu ray player and any other video device I connect to this.

I will use a new HD 5000 series or a similar video card to send HDMI to this thing. I want to get a 40 inch or bigger screen at some point but I'm aiming for the pre amp first. I would love to have the ability to have amazing video playback from an hd5000 series card with perfect bitstreaming and have perfect photo editing quality from it as well. The new screen I wish to get Has to be better than my professional photo editing quality S-IPS display or I will not buy it. color accuracy is the most important possible thing in my display for me, and I'm looking into 10bit color displays. I'd love my new display to be that good.

so basically:

Does that Marantz even have perfect photo editing quality video output or not, if the input signal is that good, and the display is that good? Could I connect my current 4890 to the Marantz, then the Marantz to my Gateway FPD2485 which is a PROFESSIONAL photo editing quality S-IPS 1920x1200 display which looks better imo than dell's $1000+ ultrasharp and have it look just as good as dvi straight to my monitor? this is the second most important reason I'd be buying my pre amp. It HAS to have this feature.

also, like I said, is there anything with all of these features for less? This is also very important.

Does this thing even have tubes? I found it from googling HDMI pre amp.

now, looking at this, XRL or TRS outputs is a COMPLETE MUST. I MUST have this feature.

how well does mp3 upscaling work on this thing?

Looking at this, AV/networking is also a must, but Wifi is not. How well does it work on this compared to cheaper ones? I like the NAS and escient options presented in this one.

Help anyone?

Edit:

also, why are people saying setups without any pre amplification are the best on audio forums? this makes no freaking sense. there HAS to be pre amplification somewhere. If you connect a blu ray player, it's in the hdmi or rca output. If you use a Musical fidelity cd player directly out to my BX5a's to the XRL input then the musical fidelity IS the pre amp signal, is it not? this makes no sense because all the pre amp would do to the musical fidelity would be provide a different interface and volume control options so I wouldn't have to mess with the volume knobs ont he back of my studio monitors, and in this case it would provide video options like modern receivers?

why the hell are so many people saying false conflicting crap? now i feel like I know nothing at all about audio and everything is bullcrap.

EDIT AGAIN:

I am looking for as close to lossless playback from hdmi from a blu ray player or bit streaming from my auzentech x-fi home theater hd as possible.
Edited by coreyL - 2/3/11 at 11:59pm
Pimprig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 860 @ 3.8ghz EVGA P55 LE Diamond Radeon 4890 955mhz core, 1050mhz mem Corsair xms 3 4GB, ocz reaperx 4gb (8gb total) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD caviar black 2tb (2x1TB) RAID-0 LG SATA super multi win7 ultimate on desktop and laptop. Gateway FPD2485 24" 1920x1200, samsung19"1440x900 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
G15 v2, logitech G13 BFG GS series 550 watt, HX1000 getting RMAd Antec 300 alienware tactx, mx revolution, g9, razer lachesis 
Mouse Pad
adesso cybertablet m14 
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Pimprig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 860 @ 3.8ghz EVGA P55 LE Diamond Radeon 4890 955mhz core, 1050mhz mem Corsair xms 3 4GB, ocz reaperx 4gb (8gb total) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD caviar black 2tb (2x1TB) RAID-0 LG SATA super multi win7 ultimate on desktop and laptop. Gateway FPD2485 24" 1920x1200, samsung19"1440x900 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
G15 v2, logitech G13 BFG GS series 550 watt, HX1000 getting RMAd Antec 300 alienware tactx, mx revolution, g9, razer lachesis 
Mouse Pad
adesso cybertablet m14 
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