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Old 08-12-2008   #55
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Originally Posted by fitzcaraldo215 View Post
Ken - I finally read your review of the Denon pre/pro. I note that you made no mention of Audyssey, which I personally think is an essential major contributor to getting the very best sound possible from a contemporary pre/pro. Since you did not mention it, I assume you did not use it in the review. It might have made a large difference in your sonic criticisms of the Denon's lack of smoothness and separation. We shall see if the new EQ in the Anthem D1/D2 is as good or better than Audyssey.
You know when writing a review of a piece like this, it becomes a monster in itself, I did in fact use the Audyssey to set up the system, and re-ran it several times with different seating positions to see how it worked, it can also be switched on and off, albeit with a bit of delay unlike the Anthem D2 which is essentially instantaneous when turning on and off the EQ. I like the D2 better so audio, for the new codecs, the Denon AVP is really excellent, and in a pure HT, likely the pre/pro to beat.

Sorry for missing that, you try to cover everything and at some point, it's just to much, that review was well over 4,000 words, close to 5,000 at one point!
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Old 08-12-2008   #56
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Originally Posted by pfslai View Post
Ken, I was really hoping the Denon would sound good. I was thinking it might be a giant killer like the GTR with the german cars. Now I have to wait a few more months. What I don't understand is where is the weight of the denon processor coming from???
I wouldn't scratch the Denon AVP off too fast. While it may not have pleased Kenny with it's 2 channel abilities, it has totally wowed me and many many others. I have had my AVP since March, and have only excellent things to say about it. I am using all Martin Logans and have a Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature II amp. I find the AVP to be very musical. I have found the analog section to sound very very good! 2 channel, multi-channel SACD/DVD-A, TrueHD and DTS-HD MA are simply amazing through this state of the art preamp.

There have been a LOT of AVP owners that came from the likes of the Krell S-1000, Krell HTS 7.1, Lexicon MC12B, Anthem D1 & D2, Theta CBIII, Halcro SSP-100, and one that owned a Meridian 568, and even a Meridian 861 V4. Now all those guys own the AVP and absolutely LOVE it!


Seth

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Old 08-13-2008   #57
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

fitzcaraldo215,

I was thinking about this today and I came on something.

Is this the first time you've had SACD??? If so, I can totally see how you'd find the new setup to rock your world, the step up from CD and even often analog to SACD is huge!! I am not saying this to pick on you, it just hit me this might be your first good multichannel, Hi-Rez experience, in which case I see why you feel as you do.

To elaborate a bit further, once I heard of the Norwegian symphonies release of Developmenti, I immediately bought a copy, and as one of the first people to order it, the copy I got was the one that came with a Blu-ray audio disc in DTS HD MA, as well as a hybrid SACD/CD copy, which I unfortunately received after submitting the Denon review (deadlines can be a bitch, especially when they sometimes get moved up!) The Blu-ray audio in DTS HD MA was unbelievable. It smoked my Esoteric DV-50s with the SACD, which bested the Denon 5910CI on the same disc in that rig, but I still prefer the Anthem D2 for it's imaging and separation on the SACD with either player.

I know people love the Denon, and don't get me wrong, I think I gave it a very favorable review, and it deserves it as well as it deserves an award from AVRev.com for what it brings to the market place, and I am sure you will see it on the gear we love list this year, but what is best for you depends on your use. In a dedicated HT, I would likely not recommend anything else now, but for a combined system for music and movies, I might not pick it as there are better units for audio.

KT
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Old 08-14-2008   #58
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Originally Posted by kennyt View Post
fitzcaraldo215,

I was thinking about this today and I came on something.

Is this the first time you've had SACD??? If so, I can totally see how you'd find the new setup to rock your world, the step up from CD and even often analog to SACD is huge!! I am not saying this to pick on you, it just hit me this might be your first good multichannel, Hi-Rez experience, in which case I see why you feel as you do.

To elaborate a bit further, once I heard of the Norwegian symphonies release of Developmenti, I immediately bought a copy, and as one of the first people to order it, the copy I got was the one that came with a Blu-ray audio disc in DTS HD MA, as well as a hybrid SACD/CD copy, which I unfortunately received after submitting the Denon review (deadlines can be a bitch, especially when they sometimes get moved up!) The Blu-ray audio in DTS HD MA was unbelievable. It smoked my Esoteric DV-50s with the SACD, which bested the Denon 5910CI on the same disc in that rig, but I still prefer the Anthem D2 for it's imaging and separation on the SACD with either player.

I know people love the Denon, and don't get me wrong, I think I gave it a very favorable review, and it deserves it as well as it deserves an award from AVRev.com for what it brings to the market place, and I am sure you will see it on the gear we love list this year, but what is best for you depends on your use. In a dedicated HT, I would likely not recommend anything else now, but for a combined system for music and movies, I might not pick it as there are better units for audio.

KT
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Old 08-14-2008   #59
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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fitzcaraldo215,

I was thinking about this today and I came on something. ...

KT
Whoops. I hit send to soon on the last post. Yes, Kenny, you are absolutely right. This is my first extended experience with multichannel and with SACD using source material of my own choosing. I had been listening to high end stereo SACD at dealers going back to its inception. I thought it had promise then, but I did not bite. More recenly, I had also auditioned it with several high end pre/pros last year. Unfortunately, auditioning multichannel at even good dealerships is very, very difficult. It's still relegated to the video room. And, because of the setup complexity, it's very, very hard to hear 2 competing pre/pros in the same setup. You are right, though, it does rock my world. Nothing I have ever heard sounds as much like the real thing. It's not even close. I have not been this excited about a sonic development since my own first, hand-soldered Dynakit stereo 50 years ago.

It's not a total surprise that the traditional, music-listening focused, high end audio mags - The Absolute Sound and Stereophile - who claim to be pursuing the very best sound, neglect hi-rez multichannel almost entirely. The only exception is Kal Rubinson in Stereophile, who is excellent. But, even he will not just say this is the very best sound reproduction that is available commercially. I suspect his bosses would not like it. The traditional mags have become part of the high end establishment which is still heavily dominated by stereo only, tubes, vinyl, and the like. It's where their advertising and loaners come from. It's also where they have built their subscriber base. Old traditions die hard in audio.

Though I have not heard it, I am just as excited as you about Blu-ray music. I think it is going to be even much better than SACD/DVD-A. I am very aware of the 2L recording "Divertimenti". I am just waiting a bit for the Blu-Ray player issues to sort themselves out between the 1.1 and 2.0 specs. I have a hunch that Oppo, which is working feverishly on BR, is going to bring out a stunner by the next CES. Fortunately, I waited for multichannel pre/pros to sort themselves out to a critical "tiping point" , so I have not yet had to endure the frustrating and expensive features obsolescence "game" that you and many others have gone through. Some new, whiz-bang features, such as many on the Denon pre/pro, are totally superfluous to me. I do not see myself ever wanting or needing to use a lot of them. So, why pay for them?

I have a lot of respect for Anthem. Kal will be reviewing the D-2 in an upcoming Stereophile, together with its proprietary EQ, based on Dr. Floyd Toole's years of lab research at the Canadian Research Council. His work on speaker testing and listener preferences has enabled Canada to become a formidable producer of quality speakers. He is now, of course, in charge of all speakers for Harman, including the incredible Revel's. His research is rivaled only by Audyssey's, going back to THX. The 2 EQ approaches are quite a bit different from one another. Based on their background, one would expect Audyssey to be focused more on movie sound, while the Anthem/Toole approach would stress music reproduction. Who knows, when the Anthem D-3 finally comes out with HDMI 1.3, I might be tempted to move on up.

Happy listening!
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Old 08-14-2008   #60
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

You need to hear Developmenti on Blu-ray!!! It makes SACD sound thin and veiled!!!

As for the D3... I suspect we are a little bit away from an HDMI 1.3 upgrade, but I hope it comes sooner than later, and is of course offered as an upgrade for those with prior D1/D2's, but given Anthems history, I am sure it will!
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