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Preamp for Beolabs

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Michael
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Michael posted on Thu, Nov 15 2018 12:15 AM

Hello,

I am looking for a way to replace my aging BeoSound Ouverture in my home study with something sleeker and more modern. I have a pair of Beolab 4000 that I listen to while working / using my computer at home.

Now I have cables going all over the room to the Ouverture and I am thinking maybe I could get a small preamp with a nice volume control on it instead? Maybe a bad idea. I've been accustomed to powerlink that turns the speakers on/off instantly and not slower like with RCA and I like having a beo4 remote.

However, I also saw the Yamaha WXC-50 (https://se.yamaha.com/sv/products/audio_visual/wireless_streaming_amplifiers/wxc-50/index.html) and it seems to be a quite nice device. It can also send a trigger signal to emulate the powerlink turn on/off possibly.

I also saw the Cambridge Audio Duo which lacks streaming services but probably has better quality chips inside.

Is there any other suggestions that would be good? Maybe I'll just stick with a BeoSound but please let me know if you have any good ideas :)

For now I use a headphone cable from my mac but running the sound digital over usb would probably be even more preferable for the preamp to work with. 

Beolab 50, Beolab 8000 x 2, Beolab 4000 x 2, 
BeoSound Core, BeoSound 9000, BeoSound Century, 
BeoLit 15, BeoPlay A1, BeoPlay P2, BeoPlay H9 3rd Gen, BeoPlay H6, EarSet 3i, 
BeoVision Eclipse Gen 2 55", BeoPlay V1-40, 
BeoCom 6000 and so much else :)  

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trackbeo
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Opinion: Unless you desperately need the 1 sq.ft. (incl. air rights!) the Overture takes up on your desk, I would stick with it.  

Here's why: So you don't want the "old media look"?  Personally, I like the way Overture looks, and the option to play some CDs in a pinch, and tune radio without streaming.  Also the Beolab 4000's are OK, but they aren't so good that switching to some fancy preamp or running the sound digitally over USB is going to make them sound any better than they do now.  To eliminate one wire (from your Mac), you could *add* an Apple Airport Express and stream to your Overture; you're already used to hitting the "AUX" button... this would allow you to stream from your iDevices as well.  If you want the beauty of the Beolab 4000's and must have your Beo4 remote, you should live with the "beauty" of the Overture too.  

One small step toward modernity would be a BeoSound 3200.  Or you could buy a Core, but how far are you willing to bend over just to save those Beolab 4000's?  Starting from scratch, a higher fidelity but still "hi-tech pretty" alternative might be a pair of KEF LS50's and a Naim Uniti Atom.  Of course once you give up on B&O there are many other good choices including so-called "wireless" speakers -- but finding sleekly designed components narrows the field a lot.  For example, I feel that Yamaha WXC-50 is rather... utilitarian-looking.  But if you go that route, Steve at Sounds Heavenly has a "powered trigger kit" for the speakers, and some opinions about using the 12V trigger from other equipment: https://forum.beoworld.org/forums/p/22373/185407.aspx

Howzit
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Howzit replied on Thu, Nov 15 2018 7:07 AM
I was looking for a solution as well, but the offerings from B&O right now for a source are pretty lame, except for the Beovosions, which I think are superb.

I started off with the WXC-50, and I loved it so much, that I went for the CX-A5100. I have a full Beolab 9.2.2 channel setup, and it’s great. All Beolabs are running triggered cables.

I have however been thinking about the Beosound Moment. Have you considered that?

Personally, I’m currently loving the idea of the Moment...

Beolab 9 | Beolab 8000 | Beolab 6000 | Beolab 2 | Beolab 3 | Beosound 9000 | Beoplay A9 | Beomaster 8000 | Beovox M75, / S75, / S45.2 

leosgonewild
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You can also dismantle the Beosound ouverture and place the motherboard, power supply, IR-receiver and input board in a nice casing. Say like this one https://youtu.be/sF6XzAU4K2k

Laughing

"You think we can slap some oak on this thing?"

matador43
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Hi Micheal,

Isn't a Playmaker what your looking after?

Millemissen
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Keep the Ouverture/BL4000 combo and - like trackbeo wrote) add a wireless receiver (APE, maybe) to it.

Why replace something, that is working?

Do you solely use the Mac as source or also an iDevice

If you really want to get rid of the Ouverture (you don’t use CD’s anymore, need the space....?), get yourself a BS Core....no fancy trigger cables needed there. Consider adding an ir-eye to it, if you are used to the Beo-remote.

MM

 

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Millemissen
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matador43:

Hi Micheal,

Isn't a Playmaker what your looking after?

Might do the job - but hardwired to the network, then.

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Michael
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Michael replied on Thu, Nov 15 2018 11:02 AM

trackbeo:

Opinion: Unless you desperately need the 1 sq.ft. (incl. air rights!) the Overture takes up on your desk, I would stick with it.  

Here's why: So you don't want the "old media look"?  Personally, I like the way Overture looks, and the option to play some CDs in a pinch, and tune radio without streaming.  Also the Beolab 4000's are OK, but they aren't so good that switching to some fancy preamp or running the sound digitally over USB is going to make them sound any better than they do now.  To eliminate one wire (from your Mac), you could *add* an Apple Airport Express and stream to your Overture; you're already used to hitting the "AUX" button... this would allow you to stream from your iDevices as well.  If you want the beauty of the Beolab 4000's and must have your Beo4 remote, you should live with the "beauty" of the Overture too.  

One small step toward modernity would be a BeoSound 3200.  Or you could buy a Core, but how far are you willing to bend over just to save those Beolab 4000's?  Starting from scratch, a higher fidelity but still "hi-tech pretty" alternative might be a pair of KEF LS50's and a Naim Uniti Atom.  Of course once you give up on B&O there are many other good choices including so-called "wireless" speakers -- but finding sleekly designed components narrows the field a lot.  For example, I feel that Yamaha WXC-50 is rather... utilitarian-looking.  But if you go that route, Steve at Sounds Heavenly has a "powered trigger kit" for the speakers, and some opinions about using the 12V trigger from other equipment: https://forum.beoworld.org/forums/p/22373/185407.aspx

True, I don't want the old media look but thats not the first issue. The issue is that the room is small. I use it as a study and a guest room. I want as little stuff as possible in it. The Ouverture is quite thick and cumbersome to wallmount. It won't look flush and modern. I love the Ouverture though and thats why I still have it. I did notice that I got more bussing noise in the background with it than with the BeoSound 4 I had for a while. I did not like it because it stood out even more so I sold it. 

Reason I want a smaller preamp is to have a volume wheel on my desk instead of on the stereo far away. I think it would work well with the rest of the computer stuff and listening to CD´s is fun but not a necessity. I do not have a radio antenna in my building because it is new so I would have to use a portable antenna for the FM-band to work which I do not want either. I do not really want to go up to a BeoSound 3200 when one of these small amps is still pretty cheap. And more modern. 

Thanks for the link, it sounds like an idea. I also realize I could probably just run the speakers directly off the computer but then I would always have to use the built in volume, but that .. works too :).  

Using an airport express is a solution but not good since I use the speakers for my work and I require immediate signal. No buffering or jams like AirPort Extreme will introduce, at least a lag. I just want a more streamlined solution to power the speakers without having to pull cables over the room to the dated but beautiful ouverture. Ironically I realized I also have a BS9000 that I do not use that I might put in the room and sell the Ouverture. Wont solve the space problem :D. haha. 

 

Beolab 50, Beolab 8000 x 2, Beolab 4000 x 2, 
BeoSound Core, BeoSound 9000, BeoSound Century, 
BeoLit 15, BeoPlay A1, BeoPlay P2, BeoPlay H9 3rd Gen, BeoPlay H6, EarSet 3i, 
BeoVision Eclipse Gen 2 55", BeoPlay V1-40, 
BeoCom 6000 and so much else :)  

Michael
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Michael replied on Thu, Nov 15 2018 11:04 AM

Howzit:
I was looking for a solution as well, but the offerings from B&O right now for a source are pretty lame, except for the Beovosions, which I think are superb.

I started off with the WXC-50, and I loved it so much, that I went for the CX-A5100. I have a full Beolab 9.2.2 channel setup, and it’s great. All Beolabs are running triggered cables.

I have however been thinking about the Beosound Moment. Have you considered that?

Personally, I’m currently loving the idea of the Moment...

VERY interesting! I have been playing with the thought of getting rid of my beovision avant 55" and replace it with an OLED TV and/or a projector. I want to keep my Beolabs and I will miss the experience but since B&O is apparently getting rid of the TV department I don't see many different choices. I've had a very expensive Yamaha amp before RX-V3800 and I recall that it felt a bit light on bass. I don't know if it is a signature tone or something in that device and my old speakers. I used to have passive speakers but then moved to Beolabs and had it running Beolab 8000 pretty nicely on its pre out. 

Beolab 50, Beolab 8000 x 2, Beolab 4000 x 2, 
BeoSound Core, BeoSound 9000, BeoSound Century, 
BeoLit 15, BeoPlay A1, BeoPlay P2, BeoPlay H9 3rd Gen, BeoPlay H6, EarSet 3i, 
BeoVision Eclipse Gen 2 55", BeoPlay V1-40, 
BeoCom 6000 and so much else :)  

Michael
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Michael replied on Thu, Nov 15 2018 11:07 AM

leosgonewild:
You can also dismantle the Beosound ouverture and place the motherboard, power supply, IR-receiver and input board in a nice casing. Say like this one https://youtu.be/sF6XzAU4K2k

Laughing

That actually feels like a cool project :D. SInce I work in IT I almost want to cram it into a 1U format but at the same time not really :D. Why did you do this by the way? :) 

Beolab 50, Beolab 8000 x 2, Beolab 4000 x 2, 
BeoSound Core, BeoSound 9000, BeoSound Century, 
BeoLit 15, BeoPlay A1, BeoPlay P2, BeoPlay H9 3rd Gen, BeoPlay H6, EarSet 3i, 
BeoVision Eclipse Gen 2 55", BeoPlay V1-40, 
BeoCom 6000 and so much else :)  

Michael
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Michael replied on Thu, Nov 15 2018 11:16 AM

matador43:

Hi Micheal,

Isn't a Playmaker what your looking after?

Seems it might do the job since it has line in but I do not now how it works. Is it always on or do I need a remote to activate the line in? I don't think the old AirPlay format is optimal for streaming, I would rather have something newer for that but PRIMARILY and probably only, i will use it as a preamp for my computers line out. 

 

Millemissen:

Keep the Ouverture/BL4000 combo and - like trackbeo wrote) add a wireless receiver (APE, maybe) to it.

Why replace something, that is working?

Do you solely use the Mac as source or also an iDevice

If you really want to get rid of the Ouverture (you don’t use CD’s anymore, need the space....?), get yourself a BS Core....no fancy trigger cables needed there. Consider adding an ir-eye to it, if you are used to the Beo-remote.

MM

Well, it works. But it takes up space and I want to keep it minimal and not run cables as now under my carpet. I would brefer a more clean look. The BS core cost 13 000 SEK, its 10 000 more than the Yamaha that also has a volume knob and a bunch of wireless streaming capabilities. I think it is too expensive for what it would do in this situation - powering my desktop speakers in my study only. I could add a wireless streaming device to the ouverture but it would just introduce either lag or lower quality audio over bluetooth. I want immediate and no fuzz audio. I listen to music while working but also videos and I edit my own videos and sound too, so a solid and no lag solution is very important.

Beolab 50, Beolab 8000 x 2, Beolab 4000 x 2, 
BeoSound Core, BeoSound 9000, BeoSound Century, 
BeoLit 15, BeoPlay A1, BeoPlay P2, BeoPlay H9 3rd Gen, BeoPlay H6, EarSet 3i, 
BeoVision Eclipse Gen 2 55", BeoPlay V1-40, 
BeoCom 6000 and so much else :)  

Millemissen
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Michael:

Well, it works. But it takes up space and I want to keep it minimal and not run cables as now under my carpet. I would brefer a more clean look. The BS core cost 13 000 SEK, its 10 000 more than the Yamaha that also has a volume knob and a bunch of wireless streaming capabilities. I think it is too expensive for what it would do in this situation - powering my desktop speakers in my study only. I could add a wireless streaming device to the ouverture but it would just introduce either lag or lower quality audio over bluetooth. I want immediate and no fuzz audio. I listen to music while working but also videos and I edit my own videos and sound too, so a solid and no lag solution is very important.

The BS core cost 13 000 SEK,’....then you ahould definitely make a weekend trip to Copenhagen:

http://beocentrum.dk/beosound-core-10329/

You could use the ‘Essence Remote’ with that.

The Core has a toslink in (for your computer) and it has ‘autosense’, means it turns on with the incoming audio signal.

Would also be great with your Avant 55 via NL.

P.S. If you use the ‘sound setup’ for (editing) video, I suppose that you have the speakers right at your desktop.

In that case a Core with connection to the BL4000’s and to the computer would mean very short cables!

 

However, if you really think of getting rid of the Avant, you might as well think completely different.

If I may say so.......then this forum might not be the right one - at least I have no advice for an alternative solution ;-)

 

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Michael
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Michael replied on Thu, Nov 15 2018 11:54 AM

Millemissen:

The BS core cost 13 000 SEK,’....then you ahould definitely make a weekend trip to Copenhagen:

http://beocentrum.dk/beosound-core-10329/

You could use the ‘Essence Remote’ with that.

The Core has a toslink in (for your computer) and it has ‘autosense’, means it turns on with the incoming audio signal.

Would also be great with your Avant 55 via NL.

P.S. If you use the ‘sound setup’ for (editing) video, I suppose that you have the speakers right at your desktop.

In that case a Core with connection to the BL4000’s and to the computer would mean very short cables!

However, if you really think of getting rid of the Avant, you might as well think completely different.

If I may say so.......then this forum might not be the right one - at least I have no advice for an alternative solution ;-)

MM

Then it would also mean I need a remote to be able to turn the volume up and down, that I do not already own and have to buy as well. Only to be used with this single device :). I do not really see the Core as a potential candidate for this unfortunately. It is overly expensive for the purpose and probably not optimal. NL is not a bad idea but I don't think I will stream from my TV to my study. It is good that it has autosense though. 

Beolab 50, Beolab 8000 x 2, Beolab 4000 x 2, 
BeoSound Core, BeoSound 9000, BeoSound Century, 
BeoLit 15, BeoPlay A1, BeoPlay P2, BeoPlay H9 3rd Gen, BeoPlay H6, EarSet 3i, 
BeoVision Eclipse Gen 2 55", BeoPlay V1-40, 
BeoCom 6000 and so much else :)  

Millemissen
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I can only point you in the direction - whether you want to go there or not, In the end you will know.

By the way NL also works in the opposite direction....you can easily stream from the Core including the toslink-connected computer to the BV AVANT.

N.B. of course you would have to buy the remote - nothing comes without costs!

A pro is that it is flexible.....when you are not sitting right in front of the desktop - you take the ‘volume knob’ with you.

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Michael
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Michael replied on Thu, Nov 15 2018 12:11 PM

Millemissen:

I can only point you in the direction - whether you want to go there or not, In the end you will know.

By the way NL also works in the opposite direction....you can easily stream from the Core including the toslink-connected computer to the BV AVANT.

N.B. of course you would have to buy the remote - nothing comes without costs!

A pro is that it is flexible.....when you are not sitting right in front of the desktop - you take the ‘volume knob’ with you.

MM

Thats true :) 
Well, yes but I can stream from my computer to my Avant using the built in AirPlay 2 support in my Mac, and it works pretty well. Then not only audio but also video if I want to do so.
Having the remote would just put another thing on my desk, and a remote that can not control my other devices so I do not see it as beneficial unfortunately :(.  

Beolab 50, Beolab 8000 x 2, Beolab 4000 x 2, 
BeoSound Core, BeoSound 9000, BeoSound Century, 
BeoLit 15, BeoPlay A1, BeoPlay P2, BeoPlay H9 3rd Gen, BeoPlay H6, EarSet 3i, 
BeoVision Eclipse Gen 2 55", BeoPlay V1-40, 
BeoCom 6000 and so much else :)  

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