Originally Posted by kennyt
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 New audio and video formats have outdated older units quickly and greatly dropped any potential resale value. The best of the best pre/pro's from only a year or so ago are completely outdated now because of HDMI and all the new HDM advanced codecs.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?
Despite 10 months or so passing since this question was put the high-end products are still few and far between and the question is relevant today.
I had a TAG Mclaren preamp (with Parasound Halo JC1s for stereo and a Rotel RMB1095 for 5 surround and B&W 802 and HTM1/CM2 for sound creation which are all still fine) which was one of the best in the business, perhaps equal to Meridian. Of course since the company went under I am stuck with the long-stnading codecs (Dolby Digital/DTS and others) and I never got the video modules.
I bought a blu-ray player (actually I am on my second now), so to properly handle HDMI and Dolby and DTS master codecs, not to mention the burgeoning era of DNLS and digital transmission/transcoding, I needed an upgrade. I couldn't wait becuase my balanced output on the TAG has become intermittant. A purchase of a relatively inexpensive Marantz AV8003 fit the bill and I haven't looked back.
I am having trouble deciding if its really poorer in sound than the TAG (especially for a quarter the cost and lots more features). Some repairs on the Parasound have changed their sound characteristics (not worse, just different), plus i have moved to a bigger house, so although I have niggling feelings about the sound I have nothing to complain about. This was to be a stop gap foir a couple of years but I wonder if a >$20,000 preamp is really worth it. I guess AB comparisons in my environment are the only way to know from now on.