Confused on amplifier and pre-amplifier / DAC

ajeetk

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Hi fellow members,

My configuration:
  1. AV Receiver : Marantz NR 1609 (with pre-outs)
  2. Front Left/Right : Dynaudio Emit M20
  3. Sub : SVS PB 2000
  4. .. will be adding surrounds/center slowly as the budget permits...

After going through many of the threads, I realize that I may not be getting full/quality output from Dynaudio Emit M20, because of my AVR. Possible solution is to use preamp or amp.

Now here where my confusion is, should I go for Amplifier or Pre-amplifier. I want to be future proof, so that if I change my AVR tomorrow where there is no pre-out then also my amplifier should work, probably pre-amp will not work when there is no pre-out.

What is the possible configuration for me, just listing out as per my understanding, please correct me
  1. Option 1 : Marantz NR 1609 -> Speaker (this is my current setup and I am thinking to change for better audio performance)
  2. Option 2 : Marantz NR 1609 -> (preout)Some pre-amp approx 100-150 wpc -> Speaker
  3. Option 3 : Marantz NR 1609 -> (preout)Some pre-amp approx 50-100 wpc -> Some amplifier 100-150 wpc -> Speaker (Is this possible configuration?)
  4. Option 4 : Marantz NR 1609 -> Normal speaker out connected to amplifier 100-150 wpc -> Speaker (Is this possible configuration?)
Some of the option above may not be good and I dont have much expertise on it. I need your help to decide which is more popular combination above considering you guyz using it and more or less future proof too.

Also please do help in suggesting some good pre-amp or amp brand/model to me, which can fit in above(again a bit future proof :) )

DAC
Now this is another piece of puzzle for me in term of how it fits in Home theater AV receiver connections.

Do I actually need it and will it have a noticeable difference?
Also in the connection where it is placed, connected to AVR or amp or pre-amp? Any diagram will help me.

Many thanks to the forum, learned a lot from it!!
 

sreejithsreedharan

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Hi,

If ur Marantz already has a pre out why are u looking for a Pre amp? You can go for a powerful power amp for FR FL channels.

DAC can be connected after ur source- if its computer audio- then DAC>Marantz> speaker or if ur buying additional Pre amp, then, Source> DAC> Preamp> Power amp> Speakers configuration.

Thanks,
Sreejith
 

ajeetk

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Hi,

If ur Marantz already has a pre out why are u looking for a Pre amp? You can go for a powerful power amp for FR FL channels.

DAC can be connected after ur source- if its computer audio- then DAC>Marantz> speaker or if ur buying additional Pre amp, then, Source> DAC> Preamp> Power amp> Speakers configuration.

Thanks,
Sreejith
Hi Sreejith, so can I connect my Marantz pre-out to Power amplifier directly? I thought preout can be connected only to pre-amp as it is not line level signal.
 

ktks1

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You have mentioned (preout)Some pre-amp approx 100-150 wpc -> Speaker
Preamps don't provide power to the speakers, but power amps do.. and as Sreejith mentioned in the above post, add a decent power amp in the chain. Do check the indiqaudio saptak amp which has garnered good praise among members here.
 

ajeetk

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You have mentioned (preout)Some pre-amp approx 100-150 wpc -> Speaker
Preamps don't provide power to the speakers, but power amps do.. and as Sreejith mentioned in the above post, add a decent power amp in the chain. Do check the indiqaudio saptak amp which has garnered good praise among members here.
Ohh I see, So looks my understanding " (preout)Some pre-amp approx 100-150 wpc -> Speaker" was wrong :p

So below config looks good
AVR -> power amplifier through preout of AVR -> Speaker?

Also it is possible at all to feed AVR speaker output of each channel(the one which comes out in banana plug not the pre-out) can be connected to power amplifier directly? Can it remove dependency of pre-out of AVR?
 

reachkalyan.kr

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AVR -> power amplifier through preout of AVR -> Speaker?
This is correct .



Also it is possible at all to feed AVR speaker output of each channel(the one which comes out in banana plug not the pre-out) can be connected to power amplifier directly? Can it remove dependency of pre-out of AVR?
AVR Speaker output thru banana plugs and AVR preout will be controlled at the same time by your remote control / volume knob of the AVR.
In your case it is FR & FL .

ZONE 2 preout it totally a different game altogether.

AVR banana speaker post output can be connected to a power amplifier through a small adapter called speaker level to line level converter/ Hi to Low level adapter .There are lot of discussion about this topic and the distortion concern by using this adapter.

Hope u got your answer.

Atb
 

ajeetk

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This is correct .




AVR Speaker output thru banana plugs and AVR preout will be controlled at the same time by your remote control / volume knob of the AVR.
In your case it is FR & FL .

ZONE 2 preout it totally a different game altogether.

AVR banana speaker post output can be connected to a power amplifier through a small adapter called speaker level to line level converter/ Hi to Low level adapter .There are lot of discussion about this topic and the distortion concern by using this adapter.

Hope u got your answer.

Atb
Thanks Kalyan.. Yeah I am clear now that AVR -> power camplifier thorugh preout -> speaker is the most preferred and popular option.

One query though, can a pre-amplifier be connected to speaker directly? is it possible? or a pre-amp output is always fed to a power amplifier and then only power amplifier can be connected to speaker?
 

argho

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If you want to improve the quality of your amplification, this is the only way to do it.

AVR Pre-out -> Power Amplifier -> Speakers

Now your AVR acts as a pre-amplifier, and you can control the volume using your normal AVR remote.
It also reduces the load on your AVR, and it can (if required) use that additional power to drive the surround speakers.

Hope its clear now.
 

ajeetk

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If you want to improve the quality of your amplification, this is the only way to do it.

AVR Pre-out -> Power Amplifier -> Speakers

Now your AVR acts as a pre-amplifier, and you can control the volume using your normal AVR remote.
It also reduces the load on your AVR, and it can (if required) use that additional power to drive the surround speakers.

Hope its clear now.
Yeah argho, getting clearer now..

Somehow I went into wrong direction of pre-amp and was looking to purchase it too :)
 

reachkalyan.kr

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One query though, can a pre-amplifier be connected to speaker directly? is it possible? or a pre-amp output is always fed to a power amplifier and then only power amplifier can be connected to
No.Preamplifier doesn't have a juice to make your speaker to sing.
IMHO ideal preamp out will be around 2-4v and slightly more on certain brands.
Every power amp needs preamp secion to drive. in your case it is Marantz which has inbuilt DAC and Preamp .

Preamp is mainly used for switching the inputs,controlling the volume and matching the poweramp impedance to achieve best out of it and if reqd adding some flavour to the sound signature ( thru dsp / LF and HF play around if reqd )

It is not mandatory to have Preamp to drive power amp if your DAC can provide above mentioned options and your source is limited to one input.

NOTE - Your budget matters a lot here to try those pre pro setup.
its your call

YMMV.
 

ajeetk

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No.Preamplifier doesn't have a juice to make your speaker to sing.
IMHO ideal preamp out will be around 2-4v and slightly more on certain brands.
Every power amp needs preamp secion to drive. in your case it is Marantz which has inbuilt DAC and Preamp .

Preamp is mainly used for switching the inputs and matching the poweramp impedance to achieve best out of it and if reqd adding some flavour to the sound signature ( thru dsp / LF and HF play around if reqd )

It is not mandatory to have Preamp to drive power amp if your DAC can provide above mentioned options and your source is limited to one input.

NOTE - Your budget matters a lot here to try those pre pro setup.
its your call

YMMV.
I see, this is a vast area :p Thanks again. Will DAC improve the quality Kalyan? think it will fit in this way ? AVR -> DAC(through preout) -> power amplifier? is it correct?

Decided now to have a power amp only :) This platform saved me from the unexpected purchase of pre-amp :)

Also, based on your experience can you please help in mentioning some popular tested power amplifiers?
@ktks1 has suggested Indiq Saptak, will go through it. Looking for other options too, so that I can have a comparison.
 

reachkalyan.kr

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AVR -> DAC(through preout) -> power amplifier? is it correct?
No.Dac is not Seperate in your setup it is inbuilt before the preout. it is part of AVR.

Normal Pre pro setup -
Source ( Streamer ) => DAC( Dedicated) =>Preamp( Dedicated ) =>Power Amp (Dedicated) => Speaker.


Your current setup -
Source ( Bluetooth/ HDMI/ RCA cable inputs to AVR) Marantz 1609( u are using inbuild DAC,Preamp, Power amp section of the Marantz ) => Speaker.


If you add power amp to your setup ,
it will be changed as Source ( Bluetooth/ HDMI/ RCA cable inputs to AVR)=> Marantz 1609 pre out( Dac and Preamp inbuild) => Power amp( Seperate power amp ) => Speaker

Hope iam not confusing here

DAC will improve the sound quality .Yes..subject to other components in the remaining chain from source to speaker.

If you have basic setup and investing on dedicated High end DAC .May be u may not get satisfied.

If you want to experience DAC,U can also add dac in your setup if you have source ( eg - Cd player/ media player/ Tv with digital out ( Optical / Coaxial )) which can be fed into the dac and output of dac to Analog input of your AVR .
 
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ajeetk

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No.Dac is not Seperate in your setup it is inbuilt before the preout. it is part of AVR.

Normal Pre pro setup -
Source ( Streamer ) => DAC( Dedicated) =>Preamp( Dedicated ) =>Power Amp (Dedicated) => Speaker.


Your current setup -
Source ( Bluetooth/ HDMI/ RCA cable inputs to AVR) Marantz 1609( u are using inbuild DAC,Preamp, Power amp section of the Marantz ) => Speaker.


If you add power amp to your setup ,
it will be changed as Source ( Bluetooth/ HDMI/ RCA cable inputs to AVR)=> Marantz 1609 pre out( Dac and Preamp inbuild) => Power amp( Seperate power amp ) => Speaker

Hope iam not confusing here

DAC will improve the sound quality .Yes..subject to other components in the remaining chain from source to speaker.

If you have basic setup and investing on dedicated High end DAC .May be u may not get satisfied.

If you want to experience DAC,U can also add dac in your setup if you have source ( eg - Cd player/ media player/ Tv with digital out ( Optical / Coaxial )) which can be fed into the dac and output of dac to Analog input of your AVR .
Got it now.

As I am mostly into set-top box -> AVR, DAC may not be much helpful (only option is if I feed Set top box audio out -> DAC -> Prem amp -> amp -> speaker ) then DAC will help. For now I am not much into that level of audiophile.

I will just plug in an amp and that should be good for me :)

Please do suggest if there is any time tested amp
 

sreejithsreedharan

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Hi Sreejith, so can I connect my Marantz pre-out to Power amplifier directly? I thought preout can be connected only to pre-amp as it is not line level signal.
I blve you hve got ur answer from the above posts.

Also- if you are more into movies then you dont have to go for a separate DAC. Your AVR will do the job. But if you want to improve the stereo music listening experience you can go for source>separate DAC> Pre amp> Power amp> speaker mode or source> dac> integrated stereo amp> speaker mode.

Thanks,
Sreejith
 

ajeetk

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I blve you hve got ur answer from the above posts.

Also- if you are more into movies then you dont have to go for a separate DAC. Your AVR will do the job. But if you want to improve the stereo music listening experience you can go for source>separate DAC> Pre amp> Power amp> speaker mode or source> dac> integrated stereo amp> speaker mode.

Thanks,
Sreejith

Yes Sreejith, thanks for your time, it is good for me now

Just looking for good time-tested amplifier options
 

Nagaraj S

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Between an AVR pre out and a dedicated preamp, the dedicated one will make a world of difference for stereo listening. I switched from a Marantz AVR pre out to an entry level dedicated preamp, and the difference in stereo SQ has been remarkable!
 

ajeetk

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Between an AVR pre out and a dedicated preamp, the dedicated one will make a world of difference for stereo listening. I switched from a Marantz AVR pre out to an entry level dedicated preamp, and the difference in stereo SQ has been remarkable!

Hi Nagaraj, thanks for your response.

How can I fit pre-amp and amp in configuration with set-top box/Apple TV? will it support 5.1/Dolby atmos formats?
 

Nagaraj S

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Hi Nagaraj, thanks for your response.

How can I fit pre-amp and amp in configuration with set-top box/Apple TV? will it support 5.1/Dolby atmos formats?
The preamp I use (Parasound ZPre3) has a HT bypass. With this, the preamp let’s the AVR signal unaffected to the power amp. All non-stereo source switching (Blu-ray, TV etc) is done by the AVR, and the preamp kicks in only during stereo. Hope I have understood your question, though!
 

fLUX

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Hi fellow members,

My configuration:
  1. AV Receiver : Marantz NR 1609 (with pre-outs)
  2. Front Left/Right : Dynaudio Emit M20
  3. Sub : SVS PB 2000
  4. .. will be adding surrounds/center slowly as the budget permits...

After going through many of the threads, I realize that I may not be getting full/quality output from Dynaudio Emit M20, because of my AVR. Possible solution is to use preamp or amp.

Now here where my confusion is, should I go for Amplifier or Pre-amplifier. I want to be future proof, so that if I change my AVR tomorrow where there is no pre-out then also my amplifier should work, probably pre-amp will not work when there is no pre-out.

What is the possible configuration for me, just listing out as per my understanding, please correct me
  1. Option 1 : Marantz NR 1609 -> Speaker (this is my current setup and I am thinking to change for better audio performance)
  2. Option 2 : Marantz NR 1609 -> (preout)Some pre-amp approx 100-150 wpc -> Speaker
  3. Option 3 : Marantz NR 1609 -> (preout)Some pre-amp approx 50-100 wpc -> Some amplifier 100-150 wpc -> Speaker (Is this possible configuration?)
  4. Option 4 : Marantz NR 1609 -> Normal speaker out connected to amplifier 100-150 wpc -> Speaker (Is this possible configuration?)
Some of the option above may not be good and I dont have much expertise on it. I need your help to decide which is more popular combination above considering you guyz using it and more or less future proof too.

Also please do help in suggesting some good pre-amp or amp brand/model to me, which can fit in above(again a bit future proof :) )

DAC
Now this is another piece of puzzle for me in term of how it fits in Home theater AV receiver connections.

Do I actually need it and will it have a noticeable difference?
Also in the connection where it is placed, connected to AVR or amp or pre-amp? Any diagram will help me.

Many thanks to the forum, learned a lot from it!!

Few questions here, where do you feel you are facing the shortcoming with the Dynaudio M20 ? For movies or music ? While the Dynaudio M20 are certainly being under driven with the 1609 , its very important to understand how you want to go forward with your setup.

A preamp's main functionality is to provide the necessary signal level and to the power amp. The power amplifier has speaker cable posts where you connect your speaker and then speakers demand the requisite power based on your desired output volume chosen.

Now you are using just the AVR , connecting the speakers directly to your AVR via speaker outs. So you are using the DAC/Pre/Power amp section of your AVR to drive your speaker. The pre-out you see at the back are to relieve your AVR of the Power Amplifier duties and connect an external power amplifier directly to the AVR. If your use case is to get best out of your speakers and only for playback via AVR this option suits you the best. Get a nice power amplifier based on your budget (under 50k - Crown XLS1502/2502/Gold Saptak (under Group buy) , under 90k - Indiq Platinum Saptak )

Lot of us prefer to not use the AVR at all for music and form a different chain using the same set of speakers , this is where a preamp comes into a picture. We have a preamp which sits between the AVR & the Power Amp , this allows to connect multiple input sources (like AVR/CD Player/Turntables etc) and choose which one we want to use the speakers for. This chain involves lot of components and can be built as one wishes to use. I would recommend to not think on this lines for now, get a power amplifier and forget about DAC/Preamp and other sources for playback.

Recommend you to start with AVR with Preouts -> Power Amplifier -> Speaker . Decide on your budget and get a power amp, when I owned a M20 even a Crown XLS2502 opened up the lows by a good amount. Would suggest to try Gold Saptak/Platinum Saptak though

P.S - Please note that you will not be able to use the poweramp without a pre-out in your AVR, I see you have put in a line about wanting to use the power amp with any AVR. So do keep this in mind
 

ajeetk

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The preamp I use (Parasound ZPre3) has a HT bypass. With this, the preamp let’s the AVR signal unaffected to the power amp. All non-stereo source switching (Blu-ray, TV etc) is done by the AVR, and the preamp kicks in only during stereo. Hope I have understood your question, though!
Perfect Nagaraj, as I understood, is the below picture correct?

1622881895526.png 1622881895526.png
 
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