Adding a high end pre-Amp to a sound processor

If you use a high end pre-amp like an Ayre K-5xeMP and using theater pass through will it make the sound any better.  I played with rolling op-amps in my Anthem D2v and adding like an OP629 it made it sound better(richer, wider soundstage).  But adding a little hiss which bugged me.  So I removed them.  I created an cross over with the same op-amps and the hiss is now gone but the treble is a little harsh when I play music and turn it up loud.  I'm wondering if I should get a good pre-amp.

I know the gain is 0 DB is theater mode but I'm thinking the pre-amp is kind of functioning like the rolling of the op-amp as it interacts with the amp.


If I buy I pre-amp I plan on running a new DAC directly through the pre-amp but wondering if there is any improvement to any sound coming through the pre-amp from the sound processor.

Hi there,

Have you tried putting power supply bypass caps near the op amps? Try that and then try swapping.

Small Cornell Dubelier (1.0uF) may really clean things up.

Preamps act like a buffer. Whether that is a good thing or not will end up being a matter of implementation. I think Ayre makes some of the very best sounding line buffers, so if that was an option I’d definitely try it.

HT bypass modes vary in operation though. Some are relay/switch based. They connect the output directly to the input, with no internal circuitry. You don’t get any benefit, or demerits, by using the preamp. Others are zero gain circuits. The signal from the HT processor, or Bluray player, still goes through the preamp circuit.

Personally I use a Parasound P7, which has a built in 8 channel (7.1) control with an Oppo 103 as the multi-channel source and skip the processor. With a simple set up and limited HDMI inputs, it works fine.

The biggest reason for using a preamp AND a processor is when you are a music fanatic, have a great 2 channel set up and want the HT to be a supplement, not a replacement. Users of a setup like this tend to spend a lot of time looking for a preamp that sounds great in 2 channel mode, and probably LP’s first.


I have some Tantalum cap bypassing the power supply near the op-amps.  I like the room correction the Anthem d2v does.   I don't see any Ayre line buffers on their website.  My thought to use the XO as a linebuffer but as a plus I can pull in my subs for 2 channel.

I about about had it with messing around with my XO and/or rolling op-amps and figured let the expert design the equipment and buy something good if it gives me what I want.

I have one main room (den).  That is mix use.  I do love my 2 channel but not quite a fanatic.   Video (30%) and Audio 70%.