Vantas DPA-S50 A/V Preamplifier

4.33/5 (9 Reviews)


Product Description

Surround Sound Processor Amplifier


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Reviews 1 - 5 (9 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Toby Stevens a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 21, 2008

Bottom Line:   
I may have purchased the last factory-sealed unit available! I'm a little late in the DD game, but when I saw the ridiculously low price for a brand new unit at Panacer, I jumped. What an improvement over pro-logic! This unit was mated with an exceptional receiver, the Denon AVR3000 and I couldn't be happier with the results. I love the fact that once set up, the Vantas unit essentially disappears. I also love the fact that I get LFE bass management for non-DD digital streams (must be PCM) - no monkeying around with my subwoofer or bass management if I want to listen to a CD. Just throw in a CD and the Vantas sets itself to 2-channel playback with LFE bass management; it sounds perfect. The Burr-Brown DA decoders do a very good job and the unit sounds every bit as good as my highly-acclaimed Oppo DVD player's decoder - only the Oppo is almost eight years newer. Sweet unit that will be with me for a long time, as it can be used as a stand-alone decoder or may be mated with only a 2-channel integrated amplifier for 5.1 (pro-logic receiver is not needed, unless, of course, that’s what you have). Nice unit.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   Panacer



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by AJCalhoun a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 11, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I got caught this train at the last stop.
With the unfortunate demise of Vantas the
D50 has become an incredible bargain (its
original MSRP was $649) for those of us who don't want to degrade our stereo listening but would like to enjoy Dolby Dig. 5.1 as well. The window for such a product was only open for a year or two before the market caught up with technology, but I am fortunate to have grabbed one of these, new in the box, at such a ridiculous price. It is truly a high-end item. I would otherwise agree with just about all the other reviewers as to its grand utility, its build quality, its few annoying quirks (I really don't mind taking the 4 steps over to the rack to change a setting, and it does most of it on its own anyway). I suppose if it ever goes down I'm in trouble, since the makers have folded their tent, but while it lasts I will be able to enjoy 5.1 when I want, and great stereo at all other times, something I'd have had to spend a ton to achieve otherwise.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $149.00

Purchased At:   Panacer



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tom a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: April 20, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I can't believe the difference Dolby Digital makes when watching DVD's. It's night and day as far as the difference in sound. The Vantas has truly amazed me thus far, albeit it's been only one day. My Denon AVR3000 is supposed to be 110 watts per channel up front, yet I had to
lower the db's on the Vantas 100 watts per channel rear surrounds. The tonal match is dead on from what I can tell. For $299 plus shipping, I just avoided having to buy a new receiver.

The few gripes that I have are trivial in the grand scheme of things, but worth mentioning. I wish that the unit came with a remote. I'm one of those guys that constantly tweak the speakers, so a remote would have been nice. Speaker volume adjustments can only be done at the unit, although the master volume is controlled by the Denon receiver. Also, Vantas should allow DD to be always on. The unit switches on when a DD signal is noticed. But when you skip chapters the sound will clip in that the Vantas turns off when the DD signal stops, then turns right back on when the DD signal starts again when the movies starts at the chosen
chapter. This even happens during fast forward or rewind. This turning on and off will definitely discourage me from searching through a movie in fear of wearing out the unit.

But for $299, I could not be happier about this product gving me Dolby Digital. I feel as if my Denon AVR3000 is once again worth the what I paid back in its heyday. One of the main reasons I did not want to simply get a new receiver was the fact that for regular music, I thought
my AVR3000 was superior to most of what's out there (units selling for $500-$900). A Denon AVR3300 or Marantz 7000 may sound slightly better and have more bells and whistles, but I'm more than content with my setup.

P.S. I use Infinity RS4001 for fronts, Infinity RS3001 for rear surrounds, Infinity center (forget the model#), and Infinity SSW210 (300watts dual 10") sub.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by John De Feo a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: February 5, 2000

Bottom Line:   
Picked up a DPA-P87 for a Pro-Logic THX system. Basically flawless, but it could use a remote, and slighty better bass-management. All in all, not bad for the money.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Peter a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 20, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I really did not want to degrade my audio system just so that I could improve the sound of videos, nor did I wish to break the bank with a Krell or Proceed. The unit behaves just as advertised- you get surround that is quite good and otherwise the unit is asleep. The setup requires some time as there are many connections, two more than the usual surround system. My wife can operate the thing which is a plus. The surround using audio only from the Sony DvD player with 5 channels is inferior to the stereo sound produced by my Meridian cd player, but that should not be unexpected. For me, the Vantas was just what the doctor ordered decent video sound and integration without emptying my bank account.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999




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