Separates suggestions appreciated


Thanks for the time all.
migrating to separates during an upgrade to 4k before too long. Currently running a Pioneer Elite SC-07. No specific complaint but I think separates would allow me to keep my amp (and get a good one) without being obsoleted by the video end of things. maybe a dumb idea but........
My speakers are ERA all around (they should take up to 250W)  and i would call them neutral to warm that respond to power. They are 8ohm on paper and feel a bit low on the efficiency side.
A decent processor with pre-outs is about $1k (thinking maybe a Marantz SR5013) but Im a bit conflicted about an amp. Thinking Monoprice, Classe, Rotel, and such (keeping it under $2500 USD would be nice). With 90% HT and 10% 2 channel I would like to punch up the brightness a touch but keep a decent punchy bass.

appreciate any suggestions or maybe im being a knucklehead and should just stick with the receiver.

cheers
Paul
paulsax
I don't quite understand what you mean by 4K, is that what you will have to spend? Awhile back, I needed to replace my Adcom five channel amp,  and wound up buying and building (eventually), three Class D Audio kits that have done an excellent job for me. Just recently, I had to replace my old Primare preamp-processor, and I bought a nice, used, Arcam AV9 unit for a bit over $700 to replace it.

Back to the amps, for my main speakers, I made one amp using an upgraded power supply, feeding two bridged-to-mono modules, for 5oo Wpc. I am very happy with this arrangement, it sounds excellent, but I have a separate all tube system I switch to when I want to, but for a large portion of my listening, this low-cost solution does a great job.

If you're not too worried about resale, or if you wish to have High End type gear, these amps sound incredible, especially for the price, but may not be for you if you have asperations for uber high-end gear.

Just my two cents. Regards,
Dan


The Marantz SR5013 is an AVR not a pre/pro but yes you could use it as a pre/pro with an outboard amp.  My understanding is that the Monoprice Monolith amps have a very high performance/price ratio and considering they are built by ATI, should provide years of trouble free enjoyment.

Bill 
+1 for islandmandan

     A class D amp is the way to go if you want hi-end performance at a reasonable price.  Owners of mega-buck power amps rarely have positive opinions of them, however, because it's just too embarrassing how similar good class D amps sound to their amps for so much less money.

     You can buy complete amps or build one in kit form if you're handy and want to save even more money.  They offer extremely low distortion and background noise levels combined with very good power levels and dynamic range performance.  They also offer exceptionally good bass response and overall a very accurate and neutral presentation from top to bottom, very much like the audio ideal of 'a straight wire with gain' that doesn't add or subtract anything from the inputted signal.

     If you prefer a warmer sound signature, you can always utilize a tubed preamp to alter or flavor the overall sound to your preference.  Since good class D amps are so neutral, all changes to the quality of preceding gear are more easily discerned including preamp type, preamp tubes, source components, recordings and even changes to interconnect cables and power chords.
     Based on my experience formerly using good quality class AB amps (Adcom, McCormack and Aragon) in my combo music and ht system and now utilizing 2 stereo class D amps (a ClassD Audio SDA-440-CS for rear surrounds, an Emerald Physics EP-100.2SE in bridged mode for the center) and a pair of D-Sonic M3-600-M mono-blocks for my main speakers, I know the class D amps outperform my former amps in all the categories I  care about.   
     Class D amps not only perform better and cost less than class AB amps in general, they're also smaller, lighter, cooler running and use a fraction of the electricity compared to class AB amps.  In my opinion, there's really no need to consider a class AB amp unless you have the budget for the top brands like Pass.
     The benefit of going to separates are typically better performance and more flexibility in upgrading.


Tim
Wow lots of info, thanks much.  I'd not even thought of islandmandan's approach.  Oh to answer his questions 4k as in TV (drives me to do something) and like to keep under 2500 USD for the amp(s).
Appreciate it.
paulsax:"migrating to separates during an upgrade to 4k before too long. Currently running a Pioneer Elite SC-07. No specific complaint but I think separates would allow me to keep my amp (and get a good one) without being obsoleted by the video end of things. maybe a dumb idea but........ "

Hello paulsax,

     After reading your post question again, I'm a bit confused.  Are you stating your current hdtv is 1080P and your going to be switching to a 4K hdtv,  and possibly a 4K video player, soon and you're concerned your audio is going to be obsolete? 
     If so, I'd be more concerned that the video processor in your SC-07 is going to be obsolete than the audio.  The video processor won't process or pass through 4K video at all.  But I believe there's probably a work around for the audio.  There's not a new surround sound audio format associated with 4K video that I'm aware of.  
     If you want to go to 4K video and audio separates, I think you'd have four options:

1. Sell your SC-07, buy a 4K compatible A/V Preamp and either a single multi-channel amp or a combination of a multi-ch amp and several stereo and mono amps to power all 7 or 9 surround channels.

2.  Buy a 4K compatible A/V preamp and use your current SC-07 to power all 7 or 9 surround channels.  
      Your SC-07 A/V receiver has more than enough power for any home use, but it’s possible to add additional amplifiers to every channel of your system using the pre-outs if you'd like.

3.  Sell your SC-07 and buy a new A/V Receiver that's 4K compatible and has 7 or 9 surround channel amps.

4.   Sell your SC-07, buy a 4K compatible Video Disc Player that has a built in 7.1 or 9.1 channel audio surround processor and either a single multi-ch amp or a combination of a multi-ch amp and several stereo and mono amps to power all 7 or 9 surround channels. 
      I know the Oppo 205 4K player was capable of this but Oppo has exited the video disc player market recently.  I've heard rumors that Panasonic is planning on coming out with a similar 4K player but I don't know for certain.
     As I stated on my last post, I currently use an Oppo 105 Blu-ray player connected directly to several class D amps but this unit only has an internal audio surround processor for up to Dolby 7.1 with no Atmos and video processing of up to only 1080P. 
     So before I could upgrade to a 4K OLED hdtv, I'm also going to need a 4K Video Disc Player with a built in audio processor like the rumored Panasonic player or some other brand. 

Tim
Completely correct Tim. Upgrade totally driven by video. That said if I am changing video I thought I should be able to do better with the audio.  Option 3 was Mr first inclination but I got to thinking about option 1and realized I don't know much about amps and possible options. Thanks for options 2 and 4. 2 would be the cheapest for sure. 


Thanks for all the ideas and education.
Hello paulsax,

    Yes, option#2 would definitely be the least expensive but it does nothing in terms of your desire to migrate away from using an A/V receiver and toward using separates.  In my opinion, it actually complicates matters by using your existing A/V receiver to power all channels of a new A/V preamp component.  
    The main thing you'd be gaining with a using a new 4K compatible A/V preamp is 4K video processing similar to the 1080P video processing currently incorporated in your SC-07 A/V receiver.
    If you're not overly concerned with having 4K video processing with a new 4K hdtv, however, there is a 5th option you should be aware of:

5.  Buy a new 4K hdtv and keep your SC-07 A/V receiver.  You should be able to connect the video directly to your new 4K hdtv and completely bypass any video signal being sent to your SC-07, since it's unable to process 4K video anyway.  You would just connect the audio to your SC-07 and still retain your 7-9 channel surround sound.

    If a company in the near future offers a new 4K video disc player that has the same functionality as the Oppo 205, then this would also be a worthwhile addition to your system in a few aspects:

1.  It would likely include a 4K video processor that optimizes 4K picture quality as well as up-sample non 4K discs and video signals to 4K.
2.  It would likely include an internal 7.1-9.1 channel audio surround sound processor with 7-9 channel audio outputs that can be connected directly to external amps. 

      Using a 4K video disc player with these features along with a combination of separate amps for 7-9 channels,would also allow you to complete a migration to separates and eliminate the need for your SC-07 A/V receiver.
    This method would allow you to incorporate a 4K hdtv, a 4K video disc player and a switch to separates in stages as your budget allows.  Just another option to consider but, unfortunately, it does rely on a company introducing a 4K video disc player with the required features I described.


Tim 
  
thanks Tim.  gotta say this option resonates with me.  appreciate it.

p