Preamp vs Av receiver preouts

So I have a pretty good setup going on for myself, but my weak point is still my receiver on the music side of things (I use it for HT but I'm talking stereo right now). I have the Martin Logan ESLs, a 15" rythmik sub, yamaha aventage rxa-1060, Anthem mca225 hooked to the preouts of the yamaha (and a splitter to connect the sub L/R), and a schiit modi+. Would a separate preamp make much difference instead of the preouts on the receiver even though I use the yamaha in pure direct mode or is it not worth the addition? And if so what ballpark preamp are we talking to make said difference? Something like the parasound zpre3 looked interesting to me, but I haven't heard a separate preamp in a system before and don't know what difference it would make. I can't do much more in terms of room treatment in my room either. Thanks in advance! 


I recommend adding the preamp if you have room. I run a Parasound P6. Pre outs from a Denon 4700 receiver to the bypass input on the P6. And the AVR sub out to the sub bypass on the P6. All stereo inputs go straight into the P6. If I need HT input, just flip the P6 input to Bypass. I do a lot of TV viewing on mute with stereo running.

This configuration works great, assuming you have the available real estate.

@sgoods555 My Home Theater and 2 channel occupy the same space.  Getting a separate Pre will elevate your 2 channel music listening.  I have Anthem’s 1140 receiver, before that Marantz top tier receiver, neither cheap but adding a separate Pre made a big difference.  A pre with HT bypass is a great convenient feature but if you go with a Tube Pre you’ll likely have to have the Pre on when using your HT set up,  you’ll be burning hours on your tubes.  A better solution is a high quality switch box that will allow you to switch between the 2, keeps things separate.  Plenty of options on what you can snag for a Pre.  

Good Luck! 

Another vote for dedicated preamps making a world of difference. Like you, I have a great receiver (Arcam AV40) but adding a Pass XP22 was a game changer. I have it hooked up to the preamp HT bypass, it works great.

There are numerous excellent dedicated preamps that can easily outperform the preamp section of an AV system.  Among those choices will be the Zpre3. Don't let its price point mislead or deter you.