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Old 03-31-2008   #9
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: South of Kansas City, USA
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

Originally Posted by kennyt View Post
I am curious to see what you all think of this.

I have had some of the best pre/pro's ever made, including my reference Meridian 861v4. I have also had many reference level pre/pro's along the way, going back to the Proceed PAV/PDSD combo, Linn 5103, etc....

Clearly, the pre/pro market is one of the fastest changing markets in audio, and has been for a long time. New audio and video formats have outdated older units quickly and greatly dropped any potential resale value. The best of the best pre/pro's from only a year or so ago are completely outdated now because of HDMI and all the new HDM advanced codecs.

So I ask you, is it worth buying an ultra high end AV preamp or should we all just buy the new Denon or Integra pre/pro and save our money until this crazy ride stabilizes?
At this moment in time, if we want modern HDMI 1.3a pre/pros with lossless decoding, we have little choice but to buy Integra or Denon -- the big boys are incapable of moving that fast -- an email from Classe' indicates that their new pre/pro will be out shortly, but will not have nearly the capability of the Denon, Anthem says no way--that their HDMI 1.1 works just fine and that there is not the need for a newer version, Lexicon recently mentioned that they had no immediate plans for a modern pre/pro giving the same reasoning and same link to an HDMI 1.1 white paper as did McIntosh, and McIntosh is probably a couple of years away from a modern pre/pro.

THEN comes the cost -- while quality amps keep reasonable resale value (and I see a quality amp lasting 20-30 years or more), a few recent peeks at the resale value of Lexicon and other current model pre/pros from high end companies showed extremely poor resale value.

Frankly, I cannot stand the depreciation of high end pre/pros -- they have become almost disposable -- one high end brand that retailed at $14000 was recently for sale on A-gon for $4000. Even IF I could afford to take that big a financial hit, I would rather put that money into something else. For me, the highest end pre/pro I am considering is the Denon (or perhaps the pre/pro portion of the Pioneer Elite SC-09TX receiver which is the same total price as the Denon).

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