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HELP PLEASE: Inexpensive Surrount preamp/processor - rackmount if possible


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Ok, so I'm currently looking for a surround processor to feed my two channel tube integrated amp for the two mains, a Crown power amp for the two rear surrounds and possible a powered center speaker. The catch is that I need the unit to be rack mountable to fit in my audio rack along with my karaoke gear and guitar amps.

 

Also, is it possible for the system to decode 5.1 audio and use the two front speakers as a virtual center? I'd rather do away with a separate center speaker if at all possible. Ass you can see from the below picture I just don't have space for a center presently.

 

I don't mind id the surround processor is used or a Chinese brand. I just need something will handle DTS and Dolby preferrably into 4 speakers (integrating front speakers rather than center). I'll need at least one optical and one coaxial input.

 

This will make for my first surround system. To date I've focussed primarily on 2 channel audio for music playback however my wife likes the idea of a surround setup.... Which gives me the license to spend some money on new toys  ;)

 

IMG_20180624_163948_HDR.thumb.jpg.b8b842a7f08bf893c50ddf75c0dc0984.jpg

Edited by MattyW
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I'm not sure whether it's accurate or not, perhaps a dealer can confirm for you, but when I was looking recently for a slimline AV Receiver/Processor it looked like the Emotiva MC-700 could be rack-mounted using the 'URE-1.5' ears that are designed for for their UMC-200.

 

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Ideally I'm looking for something to just do audio processing at a lower cost. Hoping for something around the $4-600 mark? Just Toslink and Coaxial digital inputs required, not HDMI.

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hi mattw,

if you really don't need hdmi there's a wealth of older av processors (more receivers than processor/preamps) to choose from. in your price range.

nothing depreciates more than av gear.

for best sound stick to those companies with a good name in audio gear - rotel (whose 15-series is rack mountable), marantz, nad etc.

the better avr's will have a full suite of preamp outputs.

and YES you can run a phantom center, often with better results than a hard center, albeit with a few restrictions on best listening spot etc.

good luck with the hunt, there's a lot of stuff to choose from.

 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Happy said:

lol @ karaoke Matty lol

Heya, I love karaoke  :)

 

6 minutes ago, michaelw said:

hi mattw,

if you really don't need hdmi there's a wealth of older av processors (more receivers than processor/preamps) to choose from. in your price range.

nothing depreciates more than av gear.

for best sound stick to those companies with a good name in audio gear - rotel (whose 15-series is rack mountable), marantz, nad etc.

the better avr's will have a full suite of preamp outputs.

and YES you can run a phantom center, often with better results than a hard center, albeit with a few restrictions on best listening spot etc.

good luck with the hunt, there's a lot of stuff to choose from.

 

 

 

 

Awesome, I'll check out the Rotel 15 series. A fairly popular brand so something should be available. Denon made a nice rack mount unit it seems in the DN-500AV. Would love to get my hands on one of those. I grew up with dads Denon PMA-777 powering big B&W DM16's. I've inherited those speakers though they're in the gym as they don't really compare well with more modern speakers. Kind of rolled off up top and down the bottom.

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5 minutes ago, MattyW said:

Ideally I'm looking for something to just do audio processing at a lower cost. Hoping for something around the $4-600 mark? Just Toslink and Coaxial digital inputs required, not HDMI.

I don't see a lot for sale here in Australia but Crestron had some units that might work well for you and would most likely be under that price range if you can track a second-hand one down.  (In the interests of discloure - a relative used to work for Crestron in the US a few years back so I'm familiar with some of their stuff but haven't listened to any of it extensively outside of that or in side-by-side comparison to anything else.)

 

If you don't find exactly what you're looking for I've fairly recently listed some Cyrus gear for sale that was my old AV setup, there's a Cyrus AV Master 8 in there which might suit your processing and input needs but isn't rackmountable. 

 

 

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I'm thinking the Tascam PA-R100 might be up to the job... Brand new at slightly over $1k and means I won't need a separate amp for the surrounds..... I think it has pre-outs for the fronts.

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Ok, snagged the Tascam PA-R100 for $977.50 couriered to my work place. Pretty happy with that. It has pre-out's and it's rack mountable. Will be able to retire a few components from my audio rack with it and just use it to power the surrounds and possibly a center if that turns out necessary.

 

Perhaps if I can find a speaker the size of an amp it could fit in my existing entertainment unit. Not ideal though it would work. Better than nothing right?

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Guest Muon N'
2 hours ago, MattyW said:

Ok, snagged the Tascam PA-R100 for $977.50 couriered to my work place. Pretty happy with that. It has pre-out's and it's rack mountable. Will be able to retire a few components from my audio rack with it and just use it to power the surrounds and possibly a center if that turns out necessary.

 

Perhaps if I can find a speaker the size of an amp it could fit in my existing entertainment unit. Not ideal though it would work. Better than nothing right?

Best if you can get a center that matches the mains in sound, does the maker of those speakers make a center in the same vain?

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No, just the big fronts and bookshelves with 10" bass drivers. I'm going to take a close enough is good enough approach with this.  It's only TV and movies after all ;)

Edited by MattyW
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Guest Muon N'
16 hours ago, MattyW said:

No, just the big fronts and bookshelves with 10" bass drivers. I'm going to take a close enough is good enough approach with this.  It's only TV and movies after all ;)

A couple of years ago a lot of people seemed to like the Krix center speakers.

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Guest Muon N'

@MattyW You are not allowed to pull those speakers out so the inside of the front baffle isn't behind the lead edge of the cabinet, are you?

 

I may have asked this at some point in the past, but It's messing with me..........still ;)

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22 hours ago, MattyW said:

Ok, snagged the Tascam PA-R100 for $977.50 couriered to my work place. Pretty happy with that. It has pre-out's and it's rack mountable. Will be able to retire a few components from my audio rack with it and just use it to power the surrounds and possibly a center if that turns out necessary.

 

Perhaps if I can find a speaker the size of an amp it could fit in my existing entertainment unit. Not ideal though it would work. Better than nothing right?

 

nice amp. i didn't know tascam made avr's.

it turns out to be a re-badged onkyo/integra for the home install market.

it should perform well.

 

when it comes to centers, nothing/phantom is best sonically if you can sit equi-distant from your main speakers and if those speakers are setup to optimise imaging.

as suggested by muon, pull those big boys forward a bit to clear the edge of your cabinet.

Edited by michaelw
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I've just recently purchased a used Dali Ikon Vokal 2 centre which should do the trick as the maker of my floor standers (Oatlon) don't make centres or surrounds.

 

My home has some surrounds on the walls already.  No idea what they are though if rubbish I'll source something else.

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Well,  I've received the Tascam PA-R100. Hopefully I'll have all required cables for setup by the weekend or it will have to wait until next weekend.

 

Just waiting for IEC to IEC cables for the Furman and 4k Hdmi cables.

 

I've 1U of space left in the bottom of the rack. I might get a Leicozic DX2350 amp to power the cheap little speakers on the deck to fill this space. Doubt I'll ever actually use it though.

 

IMG_20180730_183305.thumb.jpg.404119330b0a05c8c8e623f2ce3fc0aa.jpg

Edited by MattyW
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  • 1 month later...
On 23 July 2018 at 1:28 PM, MattyW said:

Would you have any links to the Crestron units in question? I found the Crestron site though nothing for sale anywhere....

Crestron (like Extron which i use a lot of) generally can only be purchased via a pro based AV install company, think those that outfit universities and convention centres.

Second hand there's quite a bit on flea-pay.

For reference the Extron unit that would suit you is an SSP7.1.

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I have a Rotel RSP-1572 AV 7.1 processor I’ve owned from new with original box, manual and unused remote etc. Haven’t used it since upgrading to a Marantz AV8802a for ATMOS and balanced connections.

 

happy to be made an offer, I’ve been to lazy to bother advertising it. The Rotel provides the HT basics including 6 hdmi inputs and 2 hdmi outputs, provides excellent 2ch sound.

 

JDH

Edited by jdh500
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