First step is to check the input impedance of the amp and make sure the pre's output impedance is at least 10 times less.
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Walter - It took the purchase of a power amp for my AVR (a Pioneer Elite) for me to realize that, in my case, the preamp section of the AVR was the bottleneck in my system, not the amplifiers within the AVR. I kept the amp anyway, and eventually upgraded to a better preamp-processor (and then later on a dedicated 2-channel preamp). The good news is that, IIRC, Butler sells direct with a return option.