whitehart

Advantages and disadvantages of pre/power over intigrated

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I know I was flippant in a previous post. IME the only advantages of having separate pre/power amps is if you go high end. Entry-level or budget offerings, a well sorted integrated is better VFM IMHO. Let's face it you'll be hard pushed to find a bummer at any price. The quality of integrateds across the board are of an even keel (pretty much). 

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Super Wammer
20 minutes ago, plasticpenguin said:

I know I was flippant in a previous post. IME the only advantages of having separate pre/power amps is if you go high end. Entry-level or budget offerings, a well sorted integrated is better VFM IMHO. Let's face it you'll be hard pushed to find a bummer at any price. The quality of integrateds across the board are of an even keel (pretty much). 

Hmmn, well it is one opinion but I suspect the difference would surface in listening not only between the pre/power option but also between different integrated amps no matter what the price level.

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48 minutes ago, Fourlegs said:

Hmmn, well it is one opinion but I suspect the difference would surface in listening not only between the pre/power option but also between different integrated amps no matter what the price level.

All amps are pretty much equal, within the same price range. However, there are slight differences in tonal qualities and that's, I believe, is what many people mix up. Therefore the amp you choose will reflect or dictated by the rest of your kit, room size, acoustics so on and so forth.

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Not all power amps behave similarly into all speakers. The premise is incorrect.

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I do have quite a lot of gear.....  looking round my office, I only have one integrated (and it was a freebie, Sony TA F730es) , and I use that as a power amp, for my trio preamp. For me the flexibility is important. My most used preamp only has 2 pairs of outputs. It has some active speakers plugged in to one pair, and the other alternates at present between  a 2a3 SE amp, and my high speed class A amp (in use at the moment). I do have an integrated in the garage though, and that's just fine. And one in the living room. That acuphase gear looks lovely. Lived happily with a luxman L85v for a few years, but I didn't have much kit then. 

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4 hours ago, Tin said:

Both integrated as separates have potential merits and issues.

The best way is just listen and see what you like best. Its not our ears you need to satisfy.

******************

Of course that goes without saying.

As previously mentioned, it's not possible to hear before I buy

Mac

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7 hours ago, Metatron said:

Best listen to active speakers

ah you mean separate power amps albeit installed in the loudspeakers :D 

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Super Wammer

Hi Mac, I read your message in the Accuphase owners club thread that the power amp in question would be the P-4200. Not knowing it, I looked up the brochure on Luxman’s website and was slightly surprised to see that it ‘only’ produces 90 watts into 8 ohms, continuous, as a stereo device.  (Bridged, it’ll provide 360 watts!)

I’m not exactly sure what your E-470 integrated is rated at, but the E-480 is 180 watts into 8 ohms - that is double the power. It consumes more (mains) power too, inevitably.

Although your Harbeths are an easy load, the maximum power output difference might be relevant if you like realistic levels.  Otherwise, as I’ve never owned a separate pre- and power amp, I’d limit my thoughts to the practicality of switching the power amp on and off, given it isn’t specified as having a remote control. Maybe the preamp does the job through a connection, but I thought it might be inconvenient if this doesn’t apply.   

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6 hours ago, hifinutt said:

would it not just make sense to move to a better integrated like the accuphase E650 ? 

http://www.accuphase.com/model/e-650.html

this is a good point. Like for like a pre power may offer some advantages over equivalent specved integrated. However the cost of pre power will usually double which equals a better specified integrated.

I also suspect you could look at the class A Accuphase which depending on your speakers may give a better result than the big watt integrateds or pre power options.

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38 minutes ago, graham67 said:

Like for like a pre power may offer some advantages over equivalent specved integrated.

Could you elaborate on that?

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The advantages being along the lines of the reasons mentioned above, e.g. isolation of pre circuitry from.power amp, separate power supplies etc.

Picking an old example such as Audiolab, Rotel etc who would sell a pre, power and integrated all very closely related, the more costly combo offering improvements best described as incremental.

However any advantage conferred is unlikely to be as much as getting a much better performing integrated for similar cost.to the pre/power.

The above comment is a generality of course, as companies like Quad didn't sell an equivalent integrated you bought a 33/303 or 34/405 etc. And the design was such that the advantages of pre/power were exploited, big transformers in power amp etc. But I do have some reservations about pre/power combos that just seem like an integrated in two boxes, hence the like for like reference which I didn't fully explain

all IMO of course 😊

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Moderator

I was sent this review some time ago and I found it fascinating. Firstly, because I own the amp and secondly, because despite it being so highly regarded at the time, people at that lofty price level generally felt that a pre-power combination was the way to go. My mate has replaced £9k worth of currently available amplification and separate phono-stage with one because he thinks it sounds better. 

UK Hi-Fi History Society - Lentek

I don't think integrated amplifiers are better but neither are pre-powers, there are just well designed and poorly designed products.

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Yes and they are still an interface of source and speaker. If that slightly dated article showed one thing it is that personal preference is the final arbiter, and small, technically minuscule seeming details are present even though the designers have chosen to go all out for neutrality. Two tenths of a dB with a low Q is all it takes to change the presentation of a system, this is today a doddle to assess for oneself. It is certainly less change than a speaker will impart on most amps.

Imagine someone today saying that a Naim NAC/NAP was the epitome of amplifier design? No discredit to the Lentek whose virtues I have not experienced, but really, is that the competition, no Jap super amps in the line up?

Sent from my BLA-L09 using Tapatalk

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Yes and they are still an interface of source and speaker. If that slightly dated article showed one thing it is that personal preference is the final arbiter, and small, technically minuscule seeming details are present even though the designers have chosen to go all out for neutrality. Two tenths of a dB with a low Q is all it takes to change the presentation of a system, this is today a doddle to assess for oneself. It is certainly less change than a speaker will impart on most amps.

Imagine someone today saying that a Naim NAC/NAP was the epitome of amplifier design? No discredit to the Lentek whose virtues I have not experienced, but really, is that the competition, no Jap super amps in the line up?

Sent from my BLA-L09 using Tapatalk

I am a lover of high-end Japanese equipment and I agree but at that time, the UK wasn't having it. Fortunately, though short lived, the Lentek struck put on its own to those levels, IMO.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

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On 09/06/2019 at 20:58, Colinjg said:
On 09/06/2019 at 14:59, Psilonaught said:

Separates allow for tube preamp and solid state power. Separate power supplies in separately shielded enclosures is another benefit.

:)

So does this integrated:

IMG_2847.thumb.JPG.c4699cccc31ca18d41675bf5345382fc.JPG

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