Pre/Power or Integrated?

dcarlsondcarlson Posts: 1,740
edited March 2003 in 2 Channel Audio
It seems like there's a lot threads regarding Pre/Power upgrades going on here recently.

I'm on the edge of taking the plunge into separates myself.

Here's what I currently have:
Rotel RCD1070
Kimber Hero Interconnects
Denon AVR2802
Kimber 4vs Speaker wire
Polk RT1000i

I went into my local shop last night to see on pricing and options. I was thinking (Thanks to Mantis ;)) of Rotel RC1070 preamp and RB1070 poweramp.

The salesman there was recommending I get an integrated over a preamp/poweramp combo. He suggested the Musical Fidelity A3 integrated (last years model and also a demo maybe to get it out of the store, I don't know but I'm always skepticle of salesmen). The Rotel RA1070 integrated and Rega Mira too.

I can't audition the Rotel pre/power or integrated. The salesman and owner of the store said they don't carry Rotel pre/power or integrateds because Musical Fidelity in their opinion is a better choice. I've read a lot of good stuff about Musical Fidelity, the store also had the new A3.2 integrated for $1900CAN and the A3 $1500CAN tax in. Rotel RA1070 integrated $1799CAN and Rotel pre/power $1650CAN.

I think I've ruled out the Rega Mira at 60watts.

Something to keep in mind is I'm in the market for a turntable in the near future too.

Any suggestions or opinions?

Thanks as usual.

Derick.
SDA-2a, Anthem Pre-2L, Anthem Amp 1, MF A324 DAC, Rotel RCD1070

Senn HD650 Cardas, Mapletree Audio Ear+ HD2, Kimber KS1030, Bel Canto DAC2, M-Audio Transit, Laptop.
Post edited by dcarlson on
«1

Comments

  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 43,071
    edited March 2003
    If it were me I'd go with the MF. Check out this deal on Audiogon.


    http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.pl?ampstran&1052685121

    edit: check out all the deals on Audiogon.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • tryrrthgtryrrthg Posts: 1,900
    edited March 2003
    I've heard the Arcam A85, FMJ A22, and FMJ32. I really like their sound. I've also heard the NAD S300 integrated pretty nice sounding also. a little more warm than the arcam (not that the arcam is bright or anything, its just more detailed). the NAD S300 has pretty good slam in the bass... I would check out the Arcam if I were you. it's pretty nice! I would like to get the A85 to go with my Dynaudio 1.3mkII (the speakers they use in the review below) but I don't have the cash at the moment...

    I believe someone on here has the Arcam receiver with some LSI's... might want to ask them about the sound...

    Arcam A85 review:

    http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/arcam_a85.htm

    Arcam FMJ32 (little more expensive)
    http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/arcam_a32.htm
    Sony KDL-40V2500 HDTV, Rotel RSX-1067 Receiver, Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, Slim Devices Squeezebox, Polk RTi6, CSi3 & R15, DIY sub with Atlas 15
  • dcarlsondcarlson Posts: 1,740
    edited March 2003
    F1nut,

    That Audiogon deal works out to $1300CAN +shipping. Any reason you'd pick the MF over Rotel pre/power?

    tryrrthg,

    Thanks for the thought but unfortunately, I'm limited to the number of manufacturers available for me to audition and Arcam doesn't fit and the ones you quoted are definitely out of my price range. :(

    Derick.
    SDA-2a, Anthem Pre-2L, Anthem Amp 1, MF A324 DAC, Rotel RCD1070

    Senn HD650 Cardas, Mapletree Audio Ear+ HD2, Kimber KS1030, Bel Canto DAC2, M-Audio Transit, Laptop.
  • tryrrthgtryrrthg Posts: 1,900
    edited March 2003
    There is a used A85 on audiogon... $950 or so (US dollars). I've seen them go for 900 or less...

    they also make lower price integrateds A75, and A65...

    but if you can't audition that doesnt help...

    oh, and sorry about the prices. I always think in used prices because it's so MUCH better of a deal to buy used! Got my speakers that way... Only 5 months old when I got them and got them for less than half of new price! Can't beat that!

    I would also go with the MF over rotel pre/pro... I've heard that Rotels Pre's aren't all that great. Get the Rotel amp and find another pre and you'd probably have a pretty sweet set up!
    Sony KDL-40V2500 HDTV, Rotel RSX-1067 Receiver, Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, Slim Devices Squeezebox, Polk RTi6, CSi3 & R15, DIY sub with Atlas 15
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,446
    edited March 2003
    dcarlson,
    you know I do have a set of Rotel seperates I don't use anymore.It's not the caliber of Musical Fidelity,but I can get you into it for around 300.00.It's in good shape and needing a home.

    If your into it I can snap some new pic's of it.I wasn't really looking to sell it anytime soon,but since your looking......
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 43,071
    edited March 2003
    dcarlson,

    Rotel makes good gear, especially the RB-1090 amp, but a MF integrated is in a different class and for the money is a steal. Believe your fellow Polk forum fanatics, you can't go wrong with MF.

    F1
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • dcarlsondcarlson Posts: 1,740
    edited March 2003
    Man o man o man....

    You guys are all awesome.

    So, Mantis, honest opinion, your separates sound like a good deal and I truly trust you. How does your Rotel separates compare to the MF A3. Yes, snap me some pics and let me know of the models. If you want, email at [email protected]

    I never realized the A3 was that good. Monday, I`ll see if I can take it home for a demo.

    So, integrated is pretty darn close to preamp-poweramp except for upgradability? At 85watts per channel, that should be enough?

    Derick.
    SDA-2a, Anthem Pre-2L, Anthem Amp 1, MF A324 DAC, Rotel RCD1070

    Senn HD650 Cardas, Mapletree Audio Ear+ HD2, Kimber KS1030, Bel Canto DAC2, M-Audio Transit, Laptop.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,446
    edited March 2003
    dcarlson,
    Musical Fidelity is great gear.I have listened to there intergraded powering a pair of B&W N805's simply put.....amazing.

    Rotel is not in the same exact league with Musical Fidelity,Rotel is more budget gear,but strong nonetheless.Greatr prices and great performance.Clean powerfull full and warm.

    My Rotel gear is older,form the early 90's.The Preamp is a RC-971 and the amp is the RB960bx.The amp is a Dual mono design at 60 watts per channel 8ohms,and 110 at 4 ohms.This little pre and amp I love alot.But I have no need for it anymore.I'll send you some pic's.

    My new house has inwalls everywhere.Out doors on the deck,and in my office,I plan on using the Lsi9's on stands(I might even get a 2nd pair of Lsi15's)and using multiroom out of my B&K for the pre and using the REF200.2 amp.All the multiroom gear is going to be powered by B&K av1260 12 channel 60 watt multichannel amp.This amp is super cool and super powerful for multiroom.I love it alot.

    The Theater is powered by the B&K avr307.All 7 channels.SO I have no use for my cool **** Rotel seperates.As ATCvenom stated,he was going to scoop them up.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • TroyDTroyD Posts: 12,127
    edited March 2003
    Carlson,

    Only problem I see is that you Polk's don't warrant the use of separates, isn't that right, Dan? ;)

    I wouldn't rule out the Rega because it's 'only' 60wpc. I think you'd be surprised by what 60wpc of good clean power can accomplish...

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,446
    edited March 2003
    Here's some pic's Bro here.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,446
    edited March 2003
    And another.Inside the mighty Dual Mono design.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,446
    edited March 2003
    A shot of the back.Both!!
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,446
    edited March 2003
    Maybe just one more???(toys,I'll tell yeah)
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,446
    edited March 2003
    Is it me or didn't that pic show up???Strange.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,446
    edited March 2003
    ToryD,
    in ones opnion that could very well be true,from a certain point of view.But in this case our fellow member here is looking for upgrades.The Rt1000's won't be around for long.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • dcarlsondcarlson Posts: 1,740
    edited March 2003
    Troyd, Dan's right, the RT1000is will eventually be replaced. The only reason I possibly ruled out the Rega, is for future upgrades. Maybe LSIs, who knows but that's in the distant future.

    Dan, purdy pics... ;)

    So you guys feel the Musical Fidelity is a better choice? I don't want to skimp, if it's that much better. I could probably swing a sweet deal if I got a turntable at the same time. That would be a lot of cash though.

    Derick.
    SDA-2a, Anthem Pre-2L, Anthem Amp 1, MF A324 DAC, Rotel RCD1070

    Senn HD650 Cardas, Mapletree Audio Ear+ HD2, Kimber KS1030, Bel Canto DAC2, M-Audio Transit, Laptop.
  • SPEAKER7SPEAKER7 Posts: 355
    edited March 2003
    Mantis, (nice clear pics)

    Just curious how does the RC 971 compares to the RC -1070 pre?

    I have another question on balance out puts? what are the balance out puts?......looks like the RC-1090 has them but the RC-1070 does not....is this important to have and how would you hook the amps to the pre's without the balance outs?


    My last question.....How would you rate the Anthem line with the Rotels? are they in the same league as the Rotels?

    I'm still DREAMING about having my two channel audio system however it has been fun watching everyone on this board upgrading their equipment.

    thanks,


    dc.:confused::D
  • sareadsaread Posts: 7
    edited March 2003
    FWIW, I have a MF A3.2 Integrated and chose it over a raft of others, Rotel, NAD, Naim, etc. because it just sounded "right" to my ears. IMHO, it is a good deal when compared to other more expensive stuff. Oddly, I spent less money than I had budgeted by going with this piece; I was set to go for separates but the MF integrated just blew me away. The other revelation was when I upgraded my CD player. I auditioned the MF vs. the Rotel RCD-1070, I bought the Rotel. At about half the price, I thought it smoked the MF unit. Other than just sounding better, what really got my attention was when I put in a disc that I knew was a bad rendition (Pyramid by Alan Parsons I bought in the mid '80s - a recording that truly sucks) the Rotel improved the sound and brought out detail I didn't know was on the recording. A feat not matched by the MF. Again, money saved. The moral of the story is, buy what you like to hear, not what your wallet's ego says you need.
  • polkatesepolkatese Posts: 6,772
    edited March 2003
    Saread,
    just curious, which Polk speakers do you have?
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,446
    edited March 2003
    dcarlson,
    All gear has a place.You have to make the final decesion on what your needs are.
    You really need to listen to the 2 being Rotel and Musical Fidelity.I will say this,Rotel can't be beat dollar to dollar.I have listened to there stuff time and time again.Rotel will always have a place in my heart.

    SPEAKER7,
    Ok balanced outputs.You can't use them if the given amp doesn't have them.Like I always say Matching is key.If you use the Matching amp to the preamp,then you can use the balanced outputs.Balanced outputs and inputs provide the best possible connection between 2 analog devices.
    RC-971 vs the rc-1070?2 different worlds my man.The Rc-971 is a plain jane no IR preamp.If it didn't have lights on it,it could have been passive.But the sound quality is down right impressive.That preamp sounds really good.I have the matching amp as well in the rb960bx.Such a great seperate kit on the cheap.I offered it to anyone who needs a 2 channel rig.I'm not in any kind of hurry to sell it.I'll keep it if no one needs it.I personally like it,just don't have a current need for it.
    Now Anthem and Rotel........well I think Anthem is more on the lines of B&K.Rotel is entry level seperates.There amps are killer however and I personally like them over Anthem.Not to take anything away from Anthem,I have heard it sound awesome and sound like crap.Personally I truely believe that sound is personal.I learn about it more and more each and every day.
    More on personal sound........I have been searching for mine for a long time.I have found it.I keep trying ways to tweak it,untill the new theater room is built,then I will go overboard.It's what I truely love and respect.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • polkatesepolkatese Posts: 6,772
    edited March 2003
    Dan,
    you do keep your gears squeaky clean, or is this just for photo sessions? nice and clean, bro..
    On a different subject, what is your opinion on Bryston gears? I've been hearing good things about them, the question is, would it be a good match to the LSi?
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,446
    edited March 2003
    polkatese,
    waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.dude you kill me.Your totally insane as I am.......I love it.
    Yes Bryston amps,home theater and 2 channel I have heard a couple times and believe in there products.Very well built and killer sounding.Would I go after them with LSI????Not really.I did consider them on my quest.Not taking anything away from Bryston,it's just not my speed.
    You should give a Listen to B&K and LSI......man,everyday I'm starting to like it even more then Rotel with LSI.It's a tuff and close race,but there are things about the B&K's sound I perfer over the Rotel.Now mated with Kimberkable Hero's,it's getting closer to my own personal Nirvana.........

    For the Money back to Brystn,shop around man,shop I say.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • polkatesepolkatese Posts: 6,772
    edited March 2003
    that's what I've been doing, shop around! no real reason, other than the smell of new (to me) gears....you know that I've been checking around for the surround back, and along the way, I've been asking a lot of questions around 7.1 and the merits of doing it. What it boils down to, is my reluctant to spend money on buying 2 channel amps. Why? because I don't like to stack up amps inside the cabinets. It is pretty hot inside as it is, with the Rotel. So, the little devil inside me has been nagging for a 7 channels amp/receiver, as opposed to just buying a 2 channels amp for the rear. Get LSi7 for the job, moved Rotel to do 2 channel job along with the 9. Btw, 9 is kicking **** big time! I am ranting, am I not? it's an addiction....
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 43,071
    edited March 2003
    Bryston amp with a conrad-johnson pre = HEAVEN
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • polkatesepolkatese Posts: 6,772
    edited March 2003
    F1,
    details, man....model # at least, I am all ears...
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.
  • SPEAKER7SPEAKER7 Posts: 355
    edited March 2003
    Mantis,

    Thanks for the response on the Rotels!

    I bet your enjoying a nice weekend with your family and your B&K.

    dc.:D
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 43,071
    edited March 2003
    polkatese,

    Bryston 7B-ST mono block amps and conrad-johnson 17LS pre (w/tubes). I demoed this set up here with my SDA 2.3TL's not long ago and loved the sound. Plenty of bass slam with highs so sweet that I fell in love. Really had the Polk's singing and my ears ringing. This set up was recommended (matching SS with tubes)and I wanted to check it out, but at ten grand new, it's too rich for my wallet, so I'm saving for used. I just ordered a Sony XA777ES SACD last Thursday (should be here next week) and the plan is to get the Bryston/CJ by the end of the year.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • gidrahgidrah Posts: 3,031
    edited March 2003
    While I'm not very particular toward Rotel amps; especially against Musical Fidelity, Mantis is offering a great deal that he hasn't even posted on the "Flea Market". It may be a little under powered for some people, but it's hard to pass.
    Make it Funky! :)
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,446
    edited March 2003
    polkatese,
    I forgot to answer one of your questions from before.
    you do keep your gears squeaky clean, or is this just for photo sessions? nice and clean, bro..
    I keep my gear squeaky clean.I'm as anal as they come with my gear.I consider all of it my babies and treat them as such.I never abuse any of my gear.When I sold my entire RT series to my uncleand my Denon avr3801,he was totally shockedto see all of my gear in there orignal boxes and looking like brand new.Even his wife(my aunt)commented that the gear was new and not my old gear.........I got a kick out of hearing them go.The Rotel gear I bought used.So it's condition has remained the same since I purched it,except it's cleaner now:) .

    After reading your post and why your shopping around,I'm thinking a nice 7 channel receiver might serve you better then seperates due to your cabnet.The B&K avr507 might be the one bro.It's got plenty of power in 185 at 4 ohm load all 7 channels.It's the be all end all to me,except of course the seperates.But you know what Bro???There not nessary.There is such a small difference between the 2 it's scary.It messes with me from time to time that I didn't go seperates,only due to the fact there is that slight difference betwen the 2 in favor of the seperates,but I couldn't be happier.
    Moving the Rotel rsx1065 to bedroom duty is funny.It's so worthy of a dedicated theaterroom.And your going to move it to the bedroom.Man.............more power to yeah Bro.
    Hey you know what would be really cool?Pick up a avr507 or even a 307 to do your own shotout between the 2.Sound quality your going to be suprised.The Rotel will stand up to the B&K even though it's 2x's it's price.Thats why I respect rotel so much,not for features and flexability,but sheer sound quality.
    I see your loving the LSI9's huh.Thats cool,that inspires me to make that move for my office instead of another pair of Lsi15's.......hmm also gets me thinking about the theater.......I could use the Lsi9's in there with the REL StormIII...you know it's flexability and music abilities......and then move the Lsi15's into my office for 2 channel........damn you.....with all these ideas you put into my head ;)

    SPEAKER7,
    anytime man.Yes I'm enjoying a very nice weekend with my family.My son started baseball practice yesterday and I was so juiced up I wanted to go out and practice with the team.My son is 7 and it's his first time playing baseball.I was all choked up.Today I'm buying him new spikes,a new bat,a new glove,some new baseballs so we can practice more at home.I have my baseball glove when I played in Highschool and in the little leagues.It was the last one I bought.It's still in good shape,my brother kept it for me all these years.It brings back so many memories.
    And absolutely enjoying the B&K,it's something I should have bought along time ago.Live and learn,I'm just a late bloomer over here ;) .Thanks for asking.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,446
    edited March 2003
    gidrah,
    While I'm not very particular toward Rotel amps; especially against Musical Fidelity, Mantis is offering a great deal that he hasn't even posted on the "Flea Market". It may be a little under powered for some people, but it's hard to pass.
    Thanks man that was a nice thing to say.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
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