Thread: 4, 5, or 6 channel preamps?

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Post by Jed March 7, 2005 (1 of 12)
Are there any straight 4, 5, or 6 channel preamps? Just straight preamps - no receive, tuner, Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic, DTS, etc?

Post by LC March 7, 2005 (2 of 12)
Jed said:

Are there any straight 4, 5, or 6 channel preamps? Just straight preamps - no receive, tuner, Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic, DTS, etc?

There are, but it depends on what you're looking to spend.

The Copland CVA 306 has been taunting me to go to multichannel for some time now:

http://www.divertech.com/coplandcva306.html

Also a more expensive Fosgate unit, though this has a few bells and whistles:

http://www.fosgateaudionics.com/products/FAP-V1.asp

Audio Research has their MP1 (also a bit expensive):

http://www.audioresearch.com/MP1.html
http://www.soundstage.com/surrounded/surrounded200410.htm

Probably others. So - what are you looking to spend?

Post by bmoura March 7, 2005 (3 of 12)
Jed said:

Are there any straight 4, 5, or 6 channel preamps? Just straight preamps - no receive, tuner, Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic, DTS, etc?

Don't forget the excellent Switchman Preamp from Ed Meitner's EMM Labs. Sonically it's the one to beat - excellent for SACD playback.

See the review at http://www.emmlabs.com/reviews/Switchman-2.htm

Post by Jed March 7, 2005 (4 of 12)
LC said:

There are, but it depends on what you're looking to spend.
...
Probably others. So - what are you looking to spend?

Not as much as the prices I saw on those, < $1,000.

For instance, Adcom makes a $1000 (list price) 5 channel power amp, 125 watts per channel, but I haven't seen a matching preamp.

Thanks for the information.

(I forgot to mention "no video" too.)

Post by DrOctodivx March 7, 2005 (5 of 12)
Here is an old thread with the same subject which may have useful information...

/showthread/2830/2830/y#2830

Post by Jed March 7, 2005 (6 of 12)
DrOctodivx said:

Here is an old thread with the same subject which may have useful information...

/showthread/2830/2830/y#2830

Thank you, that does help!

Post by Jed March 11, 2005 (7 of 12)
Jed said:

Are there any straight 4, 5, or 6 channel preamps? Just straight preamps - no receive, tuner, Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic, DTS, etc?

Well, after reading the replies and several hours (over several days) of meauring my small room, figuring, moving speakers around, and contemplating; besides the cost (currently too high for me), I don't think that I could get what I condider a proper MC system in my small music room ("proper" meaning 4 or 5 identical full-range speakers). And since we bought this house less than 3 years ago, we can't buy another one just to have a bigger room and I don't think I can take over one of the bigger rooms.

Back to my original question about the preamp, one of my friends has a Marantz 4-channel receiver from the early 70's (the quadraphonic era). Maybe I can talk him out of it! :-)

Post by nickc March 11, 2005 (8 of 12)
Jed said:

Well, after reading the replies and several hours (over several days) of meauring my small room, figuring, moving speakers around, and contemplating; besides the cost (currently too high for me), I don't think that I could get what I condider a proper MC system in my small music room ("proper" meaning 4 or 5 identical full-range speakers). And since we bought this house less than 3 years ago, we can't buy another one just to have a bigger room and I don't think I can take over one of the bigger rooms.

Back to my original question about the preamp, one of my friends has a Marantz 4-channel receiver from the early 70's (the quadraphonic era). Maybe I can talk him out of it! :-)

Hi Jed
I'm not sure what kind of music you listen to but you don't really need identical, or to be more precise full-range, speakers for the rear.
There are plenty of perfectly valid reasons for staying with stereo: cost, space and perhaps most importantly the dreaded "wife acceptance factor", but don't let the full-range consideration stop you from thinking of going MC.
Unfortunately I don't really listen to rock so can't help you there if that's your thing but I would hazard a guess that 80-90% of classical/jazz MC discs only have ambience coming from the rears. Of course there are exceptions even in discs like these (Berlioz Requiem, some Mahler symphonies with off-stage brass etc.) but the percentage is pretty small. A bookshelf size speaker is all you really need at the back.
Of course in the Panglossian best of all possible worlds I would love to have identical full-range speakers all around but "small" rears cna do the job adequately.
Cheers
Nick

Post by gulliver March 12, 2005 (9 of 12)
Jed said:

Are there any straight 4, 5, or 6 channel preamps? Just straight preamps - no receive, tuner, Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic, DTS, etc?

I picked up a used Rotel RSP-980 off of ebay for around $200. It's got analog Pro-Logic, but no Digital, only a 5.1 channel input. When you push the 5.1 button, it appears to take everything except the volume knob out of the signal path so it works very well for handling SACD. Soundwise, it seems to be tranparent both with two channel sources and the multichannel input.

The only caveat is that the 5.1 input is on a db25 connector, so I ended up building a cable for it. The cables are commercially available, however. I was just too impatient to wait to order one.

Post by Jed March 13, 2005 (10 of 12)
nickc said:

Hi Jed
I'm not sure what kind of music you listen to ...

but you don't really need identical, or to be more precise full-range, speakers for the rear.
...

There are plenty of perfectly valid reasons for staying with stereo: cost, space and perhaps most importantly the dreaded "wife acceptance factor", ...

I like both kinds of music - country and western. When I talk about 12 guage, I'm not talking about speaker wire.

But seriously, I have a little classical, a little jazz, a little C&W, a good amount of blues, but mostly classic rock. I was listening through my mixer at some MC SACDs, and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and Deep Purple's Machinehead seem to be from the old quadraphonic mixes. I think that would need to have good speakers in the rear to sound right. The reason is that whenever I've tried to record live in stereo with mikes that don't match, it doesn't sound right. If it is a quadraphonic recording, I think the same thing would be true as far as the speakers. If it is only ambivance, then I agree with you.

My room is small, 10.7 x 12.7 feet (3.2 x 3.8 meters). I tried moving my pair of speakers and chair around to see if I could do it so another pair of large speakers could be added, but I couldn't do it and maintain good 2-channel sound.
So a MC system in that room will have to be a big compromise - two small speakers very close to the back corners. And with my SACD player, if you have it set up for large front speakers and small rear speakers, you also need a small center speaker (I'm not sure why, if there are large front speakers).

Was far as WAF and CAF (Child factor), perhaps I could take over the dining room, which is larger, but that probably wouldn't work for the family. Also, I don't think the acoustics would be good in that room. I could take over the den, but there is a lot of traffic through there and often they want to watch TV or read in there.

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