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Duvet

General Discussion: Pre/power versus Integrated

45 posts in this topic

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Ok whats peoples views. I 've had both a few times and i've got to say that a pre power wins most of the time imho. Theres a greater sense of depth and control to the music especially if upping the ante with a pre and two mono's. Basically a good biggun beats a good little'n.

Shall i stay or get my coat.

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I'll add my views next week, after I hear my first pre/power amps in my system.

Of course the big question is: which cable to buy to connect the two? And having decided, would a more exspensive cable squeeze a bit more fidelity out?

(Did I just mention cables?)

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Good evening Duvester,

By coincidence I've just been comparing a supernait on home loan in a friends system with my 282 pre and my old still unsold 200 power. I think your prognosis is just about spot on the supernait is an excellent product but with the pre-power there was more control, everything seemed in better order and more defined.

But there is obviously a premium just for having 2 boxes (3 if you have monos) and no doubt there are some cracking integrateds out there.

As ever you pays your money...........

Strat

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I don't think its a definite to say pre/power is better than an integrated. I've had pre/powers in the past as well as integrateds and they just did what they did.

If they are well designed with top notch PSU's, there is no reason why either won't sound as good as the other. Some integrateds are almost the same as the pre/power versions, just well, err..integrated.

I've read reviews for the MA2275 vs the MC275 and MC201(?) pre. The pre/power is just a bit more expensive. The reviewer said each did some things better than the other and it would be down to preference, andhow much space you had. The former is fooking huge and doesn't fit on your average rack. Don't know how I'd deal with it in two bits.

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The very best integrated amps are effectively a pre amp and two power ampsin one box,ie: separate power supplies and decent isolation between parts. Combining power supplies is almost always going to be some sort of compromise.

Mind you, I've heard some extremely good integrated amps and some bloodyawful pre/power combos.

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Prolly true that a good pre-power beats a good integrated from the same company, but some of them can get very close, and often have a charm of their own. Add in the relatively small price and size, and the law of diminishing returns, and it's no surprise that integrated amps like the A&R A60 and Naim's various Naits have so many fans.

For more money, I've heard a pretty fine Lavardin and a great Densen integrated, and as something like an Ongaku no doubt proves, power isn't everything.

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I think one of the advantages of pre-power is that you have more upgrading possibilities - and the chance to balance your system as you think appropriate e.g. single stereo or 2 monos. Experience has told me that the Pre has far far far more impact on the staging of the sound (If that's the right way of describing it) than some realise.

Strat

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Below £3000 I'd go for an Integrated.

Above £3000 I'd seriously look at Pre-Powers.

That is just my ears and my preference though from kit I have heard. Much better VFM v Performance ratios below £3000 in integrateds I find. Then you step into an area of diminishing return, increase in performance but it will cost you.

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I would imagine within the same brand that the pre-power will offer ultimately better performance. A good integrated can outperform a pre-power from another brand, as i've discovered.

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Papa Lazarou wrote:

I would imagine within the same brand that the pre-power will offer ultimately better performance. A good intergrated can outperform a pre-power from another brand, as i've discovered.

Nail head interface there Phil. It is all about comparing the others marques.

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Would I rather have a Kondo integrated, or a Cyrus pre/power?

I think the discussion is moot. Better to talk good amps, and bad amps.

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browellm wrote:

Would I rather have a Kondo integrated, or a Cyrus pre/power?

I think the discussion is moot. Better to talk good amps, and bad amps.

Ah, but would you want a Kondo intergrated or pre/pwr?

Generally amps are built to a price with more spent in a given range on the pre/pwr combo. A fair amount of any up charge is the casework and with an easy speaker load the pre/pwr isn't always going to be the best option.

The best speakers are often the hardest to control or most revealing. Its here the usually lower compromise pre/pwr justifies its existance.

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Well what are the best sub £3000 Pre-powers then? that compete with Integrateds ? I faced this dilemma with my Primare A30.1 II, the next step up for me was Integrateds such as :

Krell X400i, Moon I-5, Sugden A21SE, Karan I180.

I ended up thinking that I could have got a Primare Pre30 with A30.2 for the same cash as the Integrateds above. Mind you I upgraded with a 1989 Sony ES !!

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