Pre-amp to receiver?

If I play a CD , and connect  a  Denon  CD player OUT to Dynaco PAT 5 preamp IN , and then the preamp OUT  to a CD IN of an Optimus STAV 3000 receiver( which has no connector in back to separate the receiver's preamp and amp) I  seem to be able to use both the Dynaco tone controls and also the Optimus tone controls to effect sound through speakers.

The questions are two...1) since the Optimus has its own quality of preamp, which of course does not rise to level of Dynaco PAS 5,  will this mean that no matter what quality signal the Dynaco is inputting into the Optimus receiver CD input, that signal will  degraded to however  the Optimus receiver preamp would handle a direct CD IN signal without the Dynaco, or will it be improved  isomewhat due to an added emphacis on some frequencies or the ability to discern those frequencies or whatever by the Dynaco?

2) if the above is audio anathema,  as i suspect, is there a correct way to bypass the receiver's preamp (with a receiver that does not have the two small metal connectors in the back to disengage its  preamp from amp) and insert the Dynaco 5 as the tone controls?

I googled this question but the net seemed to provide confusing or inadequate response.

Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read and/or respond..

I forgot to add that the Optimus speaker  output  is inputted to  the 
Dynaco Amp IN and the speakers  themselves are connected to the Dynaco

I suspect you have not gotten an answer yet because it is difficult to understand how you have everything connected. Please explain again how you have this connected. You might just want to list the components you have and ask how to connect them for best sound quality.

Is this what you have:

CD Player
Dynaco Pre-Amp
Optimus Receiver
Speaker pair

If this is what you have, there is no need for the Dynaco pre-amp. You are simply sticking something into the chain that provides no value. You've injected additional circuitry and an additional volume control that provides no benefit and potentially degrades the sound. Since your receiver does not have an "amp-in" input to bypass all of the receiver's pre-amp circuity from the mix, there is no reason to use the Dynaco pre-amp.

Based on my interpretation of your setup, I suggest you set it up like this:

CD player (line out) -> Optimus receiver (CD line input) -> )receiver's L&R A/front speaker outputs) Spkeakers 

first of all, thanks for taking the time to explanation was indeed confounding and anyone who took a peek just blew it by.

what i was  doing , was inserting the preamp between the CD player and the receiver ( receiver did not have a bypass for its built in preamp) and then also hooking the receiver speaker OUT to the preamp IN and controlling the tone, volume, balance using the preamp and receiver controls...I know this defies rational audio behavior but somehow it worked...for instance on Kinks "village green preservation society" which always sounded disappointing on my entry level audio, now suddenly the soundstage opened up and the imaging revealed instruments that heretofore seemed hidden...
the same on other CDs..

i fool around with the controls of both the dynaco PAT 5 preamp and the Optimus STAV 3000 receiver .  the rest of the set up is a Denon CD changer DCM 370 and usie a pair of NHT zeroes and BIC venturi 620s

once again, thanks so much responding. By the way, i am looking for used audiophile speakers... i went to a audiophile store recently to hear what high end sounded like and was blown away by the totem hawks  so i am looking for something similar   but used at a more affordable price...say about $700-$ seems almost impossible to outbid people on ebay or even know what a steal is. Apparently everyone uses the shark, craiglist, ebay to find listings.

I  prefer to look locally  so i can audition and  save on you know of any  other sites that may list vintage audio  lthat is not on the shark ( thereby competing with the cognoscenti on ebay craiglist audiogon, etc) .)?

i would also really like to know good articles or sources of information on good vintage speaker buys.

See, All good deeds are punished.

but thanks for the've got a generous heart

Sorry, I still don't understand how you have your system connected. You said " and then also hooking the receiver speaker OUT to the preamp IN". This does not make sense to me. Speaker outputs use speaker cable and pre-amp IN is a line-level connection and would use an RCA interconnect cable. The way you have written it does not make logical sense. 

BTW, do you need a receiver (pre-amp, amplifier and tuner in one box) or do you really only need a power amp? Since you like the sound using the tone controls in the Dynaco pre-amp, can you replace the Optimus receiver with a power amp? Would probably sound better and would be more straight forward.

Regarding vintage speakers, you will often find great vintage Infinity speakers, like Infinity Qb or RSb for less than $200. I also see a couple of pair of Vandersteen Model 1 or 1b locally for $225-$250. These are great speakers for that money if they are in good working condition.


sorry to belabor this....thanks for hanging in there.

if you google images for the dynaco pat 5 and look at the back panel, you will see speaker terminals labeled "amplifier" (also two sets of terminals labeled speaker which i assume  connect to the speakers themselves)...I assume that the speaker wires from the Optimus receiver( or an Amp) are attached  the Amp terminals on the Dynaco Pat 5...what else would it be for?
i have the same situation with my McIntosh  C 26   where the connection from an Amp to the Mac  is by speaker wire...I guess the MaC or dynaco Preamp connects between source and amp to massage the  source signal  and then the output of the amp connects to the Dynaco  via the Dynaco AMP speaker terminals by speaker wire. I always thought this was bizarre---i thought it would be by some type of RCA plug.

The speakers themselves are connected to the speaker out terminals on the Dynaco preamp.

I saw a listing for rectilinear III high recently for under $100...any opinion?

... your kindness transcends audio...

OK, I've googled an image of the back of the Dynaco PAT 5. I see what you are saying. I will say that I have never seen a pre-amp with speaker binding posts, so that is what threw me off. I don't understand the whole point of having speaker level inputs and outputs on a pre-amp, so I'm going to gracefully bow out of the conversations sine I have no idea how the PAT 5 works.

I'm not familiar with the Rectilinear III speaker. I did google it and the guys over at forum seemed to like them. BTW, regarding anything vintage audio, I would recommend that you check out AudioKarma. Lots of vintage audio guys over there. They have a dedicated Infinity forum that I frequent.

Good luck in your audio journey........

Rectilinear III are easily 40 - 50 year old speakers.  Did you want that kind of a restoration project?

They were well regarded speakers.  Rectilinear was located in downtown Brooklyn, before they moved up to the Bronx.   


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Hi ebm,

what are you referring to as downgrade...the dynaco pre-amp or something else?

anyway, its bizarre that the dynaco functions not only as a pre-amp but also a speaker switch ( if you connect the speaker wires from the receiver into the dynaco and then consequently to the speakers) .
I thought any additional item in between the receiver ( or amp) such as , say a Niles speaker switch , or the dynaco preamp, degrades the signal...i assume dynaco offered this feature on the preamp for amps that could only be connected to one pair.

i know the mac 26 preamp offered varieties of speaker pairing such as right and left into right, etc, so it might be worth connecting the speakers to the mac 26 rather than just the amp...

finally, i know i might end up sacrificing my receiver when it finally gets unnerved by the dynaco preamp sending signals to its own receiver preamp...i am willing to lose the $10 cost Optimus for the sake of this experiment...but can anyone comment on what i now perceive as a much better soundstage and imaging as a result of this heretical hook up? Can a good pre-amp improve the capability of a receiver pre-amp if it does not blow or fry it.?

Again, thanks to all
Since you like the Dynaco so much,why not do it the correct way and get a power amp to use with it?  

....understood, but  to belabor the issue, still curious from a tecnician as whether it is electronically sometimes acceptable and producing good results to connect a preamp to a receiver's preamp since so far my receiver has not fried and the music from the speakers has improved noticeably...

....but will connect it eventually to an amp

although it wouldn't bypass the volume and tone control on the receiver, connect the PAT5 to one of the Tape Monitor loop on the receiver, so you can switch the PAT5 in or out by just pushing a button, as long as you don't turn the PAT5 volume too high it should be fine.
If you can diy, modify one of the tape monitor in/out to pre-out/ power-in is the best way to go.

...first of all...nice handle!

 and thanks for, pardon the pun, input...

so since , in one configuration at least, and i believe in your suggestion,  my dynaco preamp is going into optimus receiver's preamp and the sound from the speakers has improved, does this mean that electronically somehow the receiver's  preamp electronic innards  that deal with the incoming source signal ( beats me what that would consist of....i guess resistors or whatever) somehow they don't get fried by the Dynaco's  additional input and somehow improve their stretch or capability of the optimus preamp electronics?

I have read that it is audio anathema to hook a separate preamp into a receiver preamp  in ALL that because one is rolling the dice as far as damaging the equipment while never improving the sound so why do it ...,or is it rolling the dice, sometimes not damaging equipment ,and sometimes improving the sound?

I believe the PAT5 helps to trim off some high frequency "hardness" of the CD signal. Many years ago, I bought  a used ARC sp-6c tube preamp via audiogon, just to make sure everything works, I hook it up to one of the line input of my receiver, I got the same result like yours, CD sounded much better!
However, connect the preamp direct to the poweramp section and bypass those tone and volume control from the receiver, the sound was further improved.