Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???
The real question here is what will we be getting with the new Pre-Pros?
Will there be a noticable sound difference between a high end unit and a low end with the new lossless audio formats?
More than likely that will be hard to discern. So we will likely be gauging it on antiquated codecs and products. Certainly a high end processor will do a much better job (when hooked up to an equally high quality player) with old stereo and 5.1 codecs. Is that worth the cost difference?
I suppose that is exactly what you're asking.
Historically the answer is: NO.
They generally are not worth what they cost. However some people will pay that much for them because to them they are worth it. I currently am using an Arcam AV9 in my set up. It has HDMI and handles the PCM lossless just fine from my latest BD player. The sound is stunning in my theater as is the video. I'm pretty damn happy when I'm at home watching a movie. Is it better than what I'd hear from a Denon setup? Sure, but I don't even use the setup for stereo playback (that is done in another room in the house). So how much better would it be over the Denon with the same codecs being played? Hard to say, but I'm willing to bet miniscule. I'm still happy with my choice because 98% of my library isn't BD. So for now my Arcam is the answer.
I recently had Trinnov technology shown to me and compared side by side with Denon's top of the line unit using Audyssey. The Trinnov tech totally smoked the Denon. Of course the Trinnov eq was valued at around $15,000. Then I was shown a less expensive unit using the same tech (this is a receiver from a well known company that hasn't announced the unit yet). The receiver should street for around $3500 to $3000. It was amazing just what the Trinnov in it was capable of doing.
So we're going to see techs improve in areas of setting your sound up correctly for your room, speakers, etc. The higher end companies will likely be going with Trinnov while the mass production companies will likely stick with what they have.
As long as the high end manufacturers are going out and providing us audiophiles with reasons to invest in their products we will continue to do so. If the day comes when there is no difference besides cost we're not idiots and we'll abandon them fast just as the projector market is seeing high end units being abandoned for mass production units.