Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?
If you are going to post something along the lines of the high end having a better design or using better parts could you please post some information to clarify those statements.
Sorry I can't get to technical for you. I wish I could, but I enjoy listening and comparing by my ear rather then worrying too much about which parts a unit has. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have the time to experiment with changing op amps, capacitors, inductors, wiring harnesses, circuit board layout, power supplies, fuses, chassis dampening, mechanical grounding, ground differentials, DACs, software algorythems, etc, etc. But most of, if not all of this stuff is over my head, so I just have fun and try to listen for the differences between various units. If some one tells me this unit has better parts, about all I can say is "cool" and let my ears decide. There is also a lot more to it than just having a few good parts. Just because a volkwagon has a mercedes steering wheel, doesn't mean it's going to drive like a mercedes.
Bottom line is we all know is that all of these processors/receivers sound different. Most of the time the more expensive ones sound better, but it is not always the case. In my experience most of the lesser expensive pre/pros are hard to listen to once you have spent some time with some of the better players out there. But once you get into the 4-7K range, going up to gear that costs more than 10K doesn't always produce results that are that much better. I can't comment on the Theta, (based on reputation I'm sure it's great) but I have owned a few others in that price range and some didn't perform any better than the the 4-7K units. Granted they were a little different, but not enough to justify spending another 3 grand. I have even had a stand alone receiver beat the crap out of some pretty expensive gear.
I would imagine unless you have been involved in desigining or modding gear for the last 5-20 years, it would be very difficult to actually have a real opinion on how different parts sound vs others.