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Old 08-05-2008   #37
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 68
Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

Originally Posted by jimmydaves View Post

I really appreciate your last two posts and I have a couple of questions.

I feel the Integra 9.8 is the processor for me, especially with my audio use is about 90% home theater and I don't do too much just critical listening. I just read the review of the 9.8 in the newest Home Theater magazine, however, Integra is already on the way to releasing the 9.9 model for $200 more. I haven't yet found out the differences or additions or what, but if you felt the 9.9 is better than the 9.8, would you make the change and upgrade?

Secondly, even though I don't listen to alot of music, I do like to listen to my CDs at times and was wondering if the Oppo 980H is also a good CD player? I know it's good for upconverting DVD's, etc and there is the 981 and 983 Oppo models. I don't know the difference between them. I use my Playstation 3 as my Blu Ray player and my XBox 360 as my HD DVD player. What I need/want is an upconverting DVD player that is also a very good CD player, so would you feel that the Oppo 980H would fit that bill or is there another Oppo model that would do just as well for my needs?

I think the Integra would be the best bet for me as a processor and now that leaves the amplifier. I had read so many good things about Class D amplifiers and Bel Canto being rated very highly in many publications. They are relatively expensive but I like the fact they are monoblocks, but most dealers are leading me to the M1000 model which is 500 watts into 8 ohms which I think is overkill for the Paradigm Signature speakers I've ordered. They say it's not just about the power, but the sound quality.

One of the best amps I've ever owned was a parasound amp, I believe it was 200 x 5 but this was about 8 years ago and I remember it had individual volume pots in the back but I was using it with B&W CDM speakers at the time and it was a wonderful sound. The Parasound had detail, soundstage, bass, midrange, extended but not bright treble. Very, very nice. I know nothing about any of the new Parasound amps.

I'm not sure I need a 200 x 5 amp and this is why. My front 3 speakers definitely could benefit from 200 watts per channel, but my side surrounds don't get used that often in movies and basically just for effects and they're fairly small speakers. I just cant picture wasting 200 watts for each of those speakers. Just seems like an incredible waste.
Looking at the initial DTC 9.9 specs, it seems that the major improvement is an upgrade to the Digital Signal Processing inside giving it more power or at least just more memory. So, it has Audyssey Dynamic EQ and some additional THX modes that the 9.8 lacks. If this is all, then I do not see myself upgrading my 9.8, which I have had since last fall. There may be a few other upgrades I am not seeing. We'll have to wait until it comes out and gets reviewed, but it looks like a very incremental upgrade. The outsides are identical.

See my other posting in this forum regarding Parasound Halo amps. A steal. I am 99% satisfied with them. You can get them at Audio Advisor with a free 30-day trial. I did a comparison of the sound in stereo of my > $12k Martin Logan Prodigy's driven by Krell monoblocks vs. Martin Logan Clarity's costing me $1,200 with Parasound Halo A23's. The striking thing was how similar these two combinations sounded to one another. Except mainly for the deep bass, which is handled by the subwoofer anyway, there was only a very slight sonic difference between the two!
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