Originally Posted by kennyt
Well, let's bring it back to earth now please!
Having personal experience with many of the worlds best AV preamps, and doing the review of the Denon for AVRev, I can say you must have had a poorly set up or designed 2 channel rig if this is true! While the Denon does the new codecs very well, it can't hold a candle to the likes of the Anthem D2 for audio and isn't even in the same field as the Meridian 861.
Fitzcaraldo, I must disagree with you, and while I am happy you feel so pleased with the Integra and Oppo system, I feel you are incorrect with your deductions, there are better pre/pro's, and much better to my ears. I guess it all comes down to listen for yourself, hearing is subjective and does deteriorate over time with age. I am still waiting for the best pre/pro and am single handedly trying to review them all to find it.
What recordings and sources are you using for your judgement?. I don't think you can use movies as a standard. Music is the only reference that you can have a decent real life frame of reference for against the live original. Even there, there are a lot of caveats about using amplified music,. Acoustic music is the very best standard. If it's good with acoustic music in terms a faithfulness to the original, it'll be good with movies and everything else.
My 2-channel system was glorious. I am sure there were even better than this, though, and I have heard many of them. My listening is 80% classical, 5% other music and 15% video. I base my opinion on Ondine heavily on multichannel SACD's of live Philadelphia Orchestra concerts I actually attended. No other recordings I have heard in any medium come as close to the sound of the original as the best multichannel SACD's. I am convinced that it will only get better as more music is released in the 7.1 lossless Blu-Ray.
I have a huge record collection going back 50 years, but I am not talking about analog via my pre/pro, at all. In my opinion, analog should not be going into any pre/pro, if it is to be at it's best. There is too much digital processing going on inside there which will degrade analog to a greater or lesser extent. Analog should be routed to a separate analog preamp with home theater pass-through. So, yes, there are a lot of deficiencies in the Denon and Integra as to analog inputs. But, I am not talking about those. I am talking hi-rez digital at its best vs. analog at its best vs. CD at its best with acoustic muic. For me, the Integra and the Denon stand at the top of the class in terms of sound and features. Audyssey EQ has a lot to do with this because it time and frequency aligns everything, including the room, the speakers, the amps, and even the DAC's and analog output stages of the pre/pro because the Audyssey calibration mike hears the net result of all of these. Because it's DSP-based, and works in the time domain, it has none of the negative side effects of previous generations of EQ.