Why can't expensive Pre-Pros even match less expensive analog preamps?

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by AcuDefTechGuy, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    In mean in terms of 2-ch stereo performance?:D

    Audioholics rating on Audio Performance (mainly 2-ch):

    $3,500 Sunfire TGIII: 3 stars
    $5,000 Integra DTC-9.4 & DTA-9.4: 4 stars
    $5,250 Integra Research RDC-7.1: 4 stars
    $4,000 Parasound Halo C2: 4 stars
    $2,500 Cary Cinema 6: 4 stars
    $2,500 Emotiva DMC-1: 4 stars

    $700 Emotiva RSP-1 Analog Stereo Preamplifier: 5 STARS

    The only Pre-Pros that has a 5 STAR audio performance was the $4,000 Aragon Soundstage (Aragon & Acurus were made by Mondial, Rest in Peace:()

    Could someone please tell me why?

    I really want to sell all my Acurus RL-11 preamps and just get a Emotiva DMC-2 when it comes out. But if none of the pre-pros can even match a $700 analog preamp in terms of pure audio performance, I just can't do it.
  2. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
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    I couldn't tell you but it would be interesting to know who rated them or gave the the stars and for what reasons.
    fmw,
  3. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    Those ratings were done by our very own Audioholic professional staff!
  4. highfihoney Audioholic Samurai

    highfihoney
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    Im not so sure were not missing something in the way they rate the reviewed gear,i know the star deal but maybe the qualifiers change between pre/pro's & 2 channel,who knows :confused:

    I do know though that ive ran 3 pre/pro's over the years as my 2 channel preamp in my main rig & i loved all 3,Ronnie (Mulester7) is running one of my old Mcintosh pre/pro's right now for 2 channel & loves it also.
  5. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
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    Now you know who to ask.
    fmw,
  6. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    That MAC is probably like the Aragon Soundstage in terms of audio performance--one of those good old companies.:D

    You think Audioholic rates the Pre-Pros vs Preamp differently in terms of audio quality?:confused:
  7. highfihoney Audioholic Samurai

    highfihoney
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    Im not sure but i do trust the reviews at AH which leads me to believe that we dont know the whole story.Maybe its something simple seperating the 4 star from the 5 star rating,something along the line's of "ease of use" or something simular.

    If it were me i'd pm Clint & ask him.
  8. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    Okay, I just PM one of them, so maybe we'll get this all straighten out.:D

    But no, I was referring to the 2-ch audio performance only, not any other factors like Ergonomics or Ease of Use, etc. Just Pure 2-ch Audio Performance.
  9. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    Well Majorloser wrote this:

    "With all things equal, "YES" the 5 star unit should perform better. But not all reviews are done by the same person. Also, all ratings are skewed by value. If you have a specific question about a review, feel free to ask the authors. I know Tom and Gene have done some Emo reviews in the past. I'm sure they'd be happy to explain.

    Word of warning: They make take a little longer to reply to PM's than me. I think they get a couple hundred e-mails and PM's a week."

    So will try to PM Clint, Tom, or Gene.:)
  10. Joe Schmoe Audioholic Ninja

    Joe Schmoe
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    I would think that the ratings are relative to price. An expensive 3 star unit may outperform an affordable 5 star one in absolute terms, but the reviewer might have had higher expectations because of the price.
    I know I am that way: Cheap and good often impresses me more than expensive and somewhat better.
  11. markw Audioholic Overlord

    markw
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    One other way to look at this.

    that little Emotive RSP-1 is only a two channel analog preamp which doesn't contain An MC processor, fancy switching, upconversion and, I believe, no bass mamagement.

    There's something to be said for the purity of a simple two channel analog signal chain.
  12. Tom Andry Speaker of the House

    Tom Andry
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    1st, Just about all of us (Gene, Clint, J, and myself) have reviewed Emotiva gear. Each of us is limited by our experience and our ratings may vary slightly with each other. As far as the RSP-1 was concerned, Gene had a unit in at the same time and agreed with my ratings.

    That's pretty much why the RSP-1 got the 5 stars. Plus, when you look at the price compared to the others, it's sort of a no-brainer... but only if 2-channel audio is ALL you're going for. BTW, it does have a little bass management but you bypass it physically by connecting your speakers to the "full range" rather than "bass managed" outputs.
  13. MUDSHARK Audioholic Chief

    MUDSHARK
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    There are many relatively inexpensive pre-amps (My $800 Parasound, for example as well as models by Creek, Jolita, etc...) that are superior aurally to far more expensive processors. Most of these units are very spartan in nature without tone controls or sometimes even balance controls. The Spartan nature is intentional to preserve the purity of the signal. My Parasound is somewhat unusual in that it has a decent phono-pre-amp built in. While the processors are providing Dolby this and DTS that, these high-quality pre-amps have a sole objective to reproduce the music as faithfully as possible to the amplifier. 99 44/100 of listeners would not notice the difference. However, the reviewers at AH are not targeted at the masses but at the fanatics who populate their forum. It is refreshing to even have an honest review of quality equipment. One can read`Stereophile or The Absolute Sound for months and not get as good a basis for comparison. The argument that if it was not good we wouldn't review it is a somewhat transparent cop-out. Audio nirvana need not cost $10,000. There are many combinations of $4-5K two channel systems that rival or even surpass systems costing many times more.
  14. cbraver Audioholic Chief

    cbraver
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    Anyone know how other reviewers have compared Emotiva gear to other brands?
  15. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    Is that an overall rating, one area, performance area? Something must be in the text for them, likes, dislikes, issues, price vs others, etc.
  16. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    I can vouch for the audio performance of my Rotel RSP 1098. They are a B & W company. Rotel tell me they will be coming out with a preamp that has HDMI 1.3 switching and decodes Dolby True HD this fall.
  17. 3db Audioholic Overlord

    3db
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    after the paradigm S6 review, I don't pay attention to the performance rating because it becomes subjective at that point.
    3db,
  18. 3db Audioholic Overlord

    3db
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    I often wonder if the point of diminishing return is reached. I think its fairly easy to build "cheap but good" judging from the many products that now fall under that category. However, maybe it takes alot of money to raise the performance level to the next rung. Wether or not its worth the extra outlay in cash is where the subjectivity point factors in.
    3db,
  19. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    So in terms of pure 2-ch audio performance, without regards to price, do you feel that the Emotiva RSP-1 is better than most pre-pros?

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