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Thread: Audio Pre/Pro??

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    HDJ Platinum Club Member gadgtfreek's Avatar
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    Default Audio Pre/Pro??


    Just wondering, since I'm not an audio specialist, is there something like a DVDO Duo for audio, that you'd use to make your rcvr even better. Im sure there are audio pre/pro's, just dont know anything about em, and what they would do for the audio signal.
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    HDJ Platinum Club Member gadgtfreek's Avatar
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    After doing a little reading, and understanding all-in-one (rcvr) vs amp and decoder, one would wonder "why?". Not exactly what I thought it was, so it'd seem, IMO, unless you have some high end gear, just buying a high quality rcvr with good processing and a good amp, would be the way to go. I really like Pioneers SC37, but I just dont think I need an audio upgrade. If anything, Id upgrade my sub.
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    HDJ Platinum Club Member trent.memphis's Avatar
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    I don't think there's a lot of audio upgrade to be had in normal HT-oriented gear. Certainly, there are audiophile companies who make HT avrs and separates, like NAD, Roksan, Meridian, Krell, Classe, etc., but, aside from NAD, those get extremely pricey.

    Better speakers are nearly always the best and easiest way to upgrade audio, so, yeah, I think you're on the right track.
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    Yeah, I dont really see it. I mean if I was making up ways to blow money, OK. But no thanks, little more than I need, and not quite the same role as a video pre/pro.
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    Quote Originally Posted by elwaylite View Post
    After doing a little reading, and understanding all-in-one (rcvr) vs amp and decoder, one would wonder "why?". Not exactly what I thought it was, so it'd seem, IMO, unless you have some high end gear, just buying a high quality rcvr with good processing and a good amp, would be the way to go. I really like Pioneers SC37, but I just dont think I need an audio upgrade. If anything, Id upgrade my sub.
    There was a time in the not too distant past that only people with separates were considered real audio guys...but technology has improved so much in receivers...and excellent stand alone amps are a fraction of the previous cost from the "glory days" of the audio purists. They still rule the roost...but the gap is so close now it takes a Donald Trump like bankroll to really put distance between a high end recevier/amp...and the ultra expensive separates....

    This is a classic example of how things have changed...in the November issue of Home Theater magazine(what you need instead of Maxim) they reviewed a Rotel(no not the chilli sauce folks) processor and amp...this pair costs $5,000. Now the good news for Rotel is they got the coveted Home Theatre Top Pick rating...the bad news is they achieved this with the processor...and the amp was horrible...performance rated a 2 and a half stars on a scale of 5...while the processor was a solid 4...but the most damning statement for a "pair" of products that are made to react to each other was the reviewer saying that you would be better off without the amp!..Rotel has been a respected name in audio for a long time...and that's as blunt as the magazine could get...ditch the matched amp..in fact even though the processor got a score of 4 stars...it failed 5 of the 7 tests!..but it scored an excellent for scaling...so how can they rate this that high...because $5,000 is cheap in the high end sector...that's why...credit was given for the value of the processor..4 and a half stars...

    To get closer to a high end audio setup without going to separates...you find a receiver that has a clean power source...and invest more money in speakers...that's the way to make major improvements without going the mega bucks route..after you reach a certain level in a "quality receiver"...spending the money on better speakers yield higher results...so if you spend $2,000 on the receiver...instead of going 4 grand..take the saved $2000 and add it to your speaker budget...

    In your case...if you are going to get into DVD Audio and SACD...you need to add 2 speakers...you are losing too much content by keeping it at 3.1...5.1 is a must..IMO...

    The demise of high end audio products is certainly linked to the disappearance of the high end stores in the US(can't speak for abroad, maybe EVIL could address it). Companies that have little experience in anything but manufacturing are now forced to get involved with the internet...sounds easy...but it's anything but easy...they either create their own website or deal with a website that doesn't just handle high end products..something they don't want to do...when you look at the amps in the high end Denons and Pioneers...it's a hard sell to anyone that's not a purist to buy separates that cost much more..

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    Dependent HD User spdntrxi's Avatar
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    HDMI is killing the high end audio products.. they cant keep up and who wants to buy flagship 6-7 grand receivers every year when HDMI xxxx.xxxx comes out. These companied need to spend millions to get HDMI sort of working.. they cant do it. Companies like Parasound have dropped the next line for such reasons.
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    Hi speedking,

    Quote Originally Posted by speedking View Post
    They still rule the roost...but the gap is so close now it takes a Donald Trump like bankroll to really put distance between a high end recevier/amp...and the ultra expensive separates....
    as a former owner of an integrated receiver that wasn't exactly cheap, I beg to differ. It is true, like you said, that nowdays high end separates have increased in price so much it takes a tycoon to afford them*, but if you pick the right ones they'll really make a whole lot of difference in your listening experience. You cite Home Theater Mag's review of Rotel separates as an example. Rotel is, in my opinion, a mid-tier brand that doesn't offer much compared to more mainstream brands like Denon or Marantz. I can't speak for their newer class D devices but I know I don't like the sound of class D, so that's easy math for me to do. You can get better stuff than Rotel for $5000 (and I'm talking both pre/pro and poweramp).

    I respectfully disagree with your statement "To get closer to a high end audio setup without going to separates...you find a receiver that has a clean power source...and invest more money in speakers...". Speakers are indeed vital to an audio setup, but also something you supposedly get right the first time around. Unless you made a false step in your unexperienced days and bought speakers you ended up not liking that much, they should be a fairly final investment: once you have what you like, it's time to make it sound good by means of a good amplification. I've heard (and owned) quite a handful of integrated AVRs and never have I witnessed one that could come even close to my NAD separates (let alone my Krells or those of my friends). And trust me when I say I'm no tycoon - I'm not poor either, that much is obvious, *but it's really a matter of knowing what and where to look for. That, and some good old having friends in all the right places, if I may quote the Manchester Orchestra on this

    Quote Originally Posted by speedking View Post
    In your case...if you are going to get into DVD Audio and SACD...you need to add 2 speakers...you are losing too much content by keeping it at 3.1...5.1 is a must..IMO...
    I concur to the importance of surround sound: finalizing your speakers' layout should be the first thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by speedking View Post
    when you look at the amps in the high end Denons and Pioneers...it's a hard sell to anyone that's not a purist to buy separates that cost much more..
    It depends. If you heard a pair of Krells, I personally guarantee you that you wouldn't think of Denon as "sounding good" any longer

    Quote Originally Posted by spdntrxi View Post
    HDMI is killing the high end audio products.. they cant keep up and who wants to buy flagship 6-7 grand receivers every year when HDMI xxxx.xxxx comes out.
    I agree. In fact, this is something I've never liked about the mainstream market: they come up with a new, appealing, and often useless knick-knack every year to force buyers to upgrade their stuff, then you compare a new HDMI 1.3/1.4 AVR to an older, non-HDMI high end pre/pro and find out the latter performs a lot better with non-HD audio than the newer receiver does with HD audio.

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    Between this, and the SACD thread, I've come to the realization I'm just not an audio guy. Don't get me wrong, I can tell the difference between a DVD with 5.1, and a BR with DTS Master, but above that, I really lost interest. I look at the cost of the higher end audio, and it just does not suit me, because going from my $1700 3.1 system, so say a $15k 5.1 system, would not give me that much more enjoyment. It's not that I'm saying it would not sound better, it's just that I can't see spending that kinda money for audio, when I'm already happy.

    But different strokes for different folks. I'd compare it to how speed says Im picky about displays and video. Maybe if I was more into audio, and had worked with it more, Id be more picky, but Im not. I'm actually glad Im not as anal about audio as I am video, because my bank account would be unhappy. I have to wonder if I should leave it alone or risk developing another bad habit
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    R.I.P. Loves2Watch ev666il's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elwaylite View Post
    I look at the cost of the higher end audio, and it just does not suit me, because going from my $1700 3.1 system, so say a $15k 5.1 system, would not give me that much more enjoyment. It's not that I'm saying it would not sound better, it's just that I can't see spending that kinda money for audio, when I'm already happy.
    I can totally understand your point, elwaylite. It's the same for me when it comes to video, to an extent. Even if I had deals tantamount to robbery on most of my gear, I have still spent a lot for it and I realize that's not something everyone would necessarily be interested in or deem worthwhile. It just does it for me

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    Give me a few more years, Ill prob start blowing money on audio crap too. I just moved up to this system, in early 2009, so Ive not had good audio for long.
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    Dependent HD User spdntrxi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elwaylite View Post
    Give me a few more years, Ill prob start blowing money on audio crap too. I just moved up to this system, in early 2009, so Ive not had good audio for long.
    Good audio does not have to be that expensive.. my 2 channel system consisted of klipsch Lascala's ($1300) and used Sony SACD player I got off ebay ($20) and a vintage Scott 233 tube amp. ($200) In fact it is better then the 2 channel stereo I am getting from my KL-650's and Denon A100. There where things I like about the Scott tube amp more then say a McIntosh tube amp I had... and the Scott can do a center channel as well...really cool for something from the early 60's.

    I will probably go pre/pro one of these days..hoping that this HDMI/HDCP stuff settles down. I just ordered a large external amp...so when that day comes I will be ready...XLR cables already in possession.
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    HDJ Platinum Club Member trent.memphis's Avatar
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    There are also excellent bargains to be had on used audio gear, because the audiophiles with lots of money to burn are constantly upgrading or just trying different gear. There's a ton of turnover on excellent, very lightly used equipment. Audiogon can be your best friend.

    But, like you said, elway, if you don't hear the difference, great! You can save some money. I'm that way on video. I can see the difference between true HD done right, and non-HD or HD done badly, but that's about it. My eyes just aren't good enough to pick up on the stuff you and David and bama and some of the other guys see.

    I'm going to disagree with you a bit, evil. Maybe buying speakers is something you're supposed to do only once, but almost nobody does. Not even audiophiles. Not even really, really wealthy audiophiles. And among non-audiophiles, almost everybody's speakers already fall far short of resolving what their existing electronics can provide, much less resolving it accurately.
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