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Old 08-14-2008   #61
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

Kennyt,
Just a reply.....no consensus but......do you know how long I've been waiting for Lexicon to "get with it"!!!!!!!!!! I so want to take advantage of the new audio formats and keep hoping that the Lexicon "albatross" will free me to listen to "new" music!!!!with an HDMI enabled processor!!!!!!!!

PS the Integra 9.8 is lookin' might good & the price is right!!!!!!
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Old 08-14-2008   #62
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

Has anyone heard anything about the new Marantz processor. It does quite has as many features as the denon but it's about half the price. I'm so tempted to get this as a machine to bridge me over til the high end manufacturers get their act together.
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Old 08-14-2008   #63
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

The whole point of shopping, listening and comparing is to find a pre-amp/processor that does what you want it to do at a price you can afford. So, if it does what you need (and your financial position has not drastically improved) then why change what you've got? Use it, enjoy it and get your money's worth out of it! The trick, of course, is to get something you really can live with after the razzle-dazzle of the showroom demo has worn off. That's where a good, helpful dealer comes in, right?

You mentioned having a Proceed PAV way back when. It was the first (or among the earliest) pre/processor to lay claim to high-end status. Although the PAV was a well-made product with great features and a very high spec, it actually fell short in the sound quality department. If you played a movie everything sounded good. But listening to music in stereo was much less satisfying, especially when compared to good stereo pre-amps of the day, several of which cost markedly less than the Proceed PAV (and had far fewer features, of course).

Meridian of England soon realized the market potential and released pre/processor models that raised the bar for sound quality. Linn and others followed suit.

The question is, has that technology trickled down into any more affordable pre-processors? Can you buy one these days that really plays music to a high standard without costing an arm and a leg? Is there, heaven forfend, a receiver which can lay claim to really good music reproduction as well as surround sound for movies? I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on this!
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Old 08-14-2008   #64
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Originally Posted by starvinmarvin View Post
The question is, has that technology trickled down into any more affordable pre-processors? Can you buy one these days that really plays music to a high standard without costing an arm and a leg?
Not one I know of to my standards yet, and I've had most of them in my home! I am waiting for one to keep me pleased with music and go the new codecs.....
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Old 08-14-2008   #65
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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
Has anyone heard anything about the new Marantz processor. It does quite has as many features as the denon but it's about half the price. I'm so tempted to get this as a machine to bridge me over til the high end manufacturers get their act together.

I have not heard it. Compared to the Integra DTC 9.8, it costs $1,000 more and has an RJ-45 jack for network connection, which the 9.8 lacks. Apparently the Integra DTC 9.9 will have that in a fw months. What it lacks that the Integra has is one less 12 volt trigger(minor). There is no mention of the video processing Marantz uses. Integra uses the highly regarded REON chip.

The biggest difference in specs is that the Marantz has only Audyssey MultEQ for 6 mike position calibration. The Integra (and the Denon) have MultEQ XT for 8 position calibration and greater accuracy in the filter calculations. MultEQ XT is also upgradeable to Audyssey Pro - up to 32 mike positions and even greater accuracy of the filters - in these units. The Marantz' Audyssey is not upgradeable.

This Audyssey capability, which I think is crucial in today's HT systems, makes me think the Integra is the much better buy. I have owned the Integra since last year, and I think it's great. I have upgraded to Audyssey PRO, and it is significantly better than MultEQ XT. So, for my money, the Marantz is of no interest. But, it's your pocketbook and opinion that matters.
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Old 08-14-2008   #66
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

Quote:
Originally Posted by starvinmarvin View Post
The whole point of shopping, listening and comparing is to find a pre-amp/processor that does what you want it to do at a price you can afford. So, if it does what you need (and your financial position has not drastically improved) then why change what you've got? Use it, enjoy it and get your money's worth out of it! The trick, of course, is to get something you really can live with after the razzle-dazzle of the showroom demo has worn off. That's where a good, helpful dealer comes in, right?

You mentioned having a Proceed PAV way back when. It was the first (or among the earliest) pre/processor to lay claim to high-end status. Although the PAV was a well-made product with great features and a very high spec, it actually fell short in the sound quality department. If you played a movie everything sounded good. But listening to music in stereo was much less satisfying, especially when compared to good stereo pre-amps of the day, several of which cost markedly less than the Proceed PAV (and had far fewer features, of course).

Meridian of England soon realized the market potential and released pre/processor models that raised the bar for sound quality. Linn and others followed suit.

The question is, has that technology trickled down into any more affordable pre-processors? Can you buy one these days that really plays music to a high standard without costing an arm and a leg? Is there, heaven forfend, a receiver which can lay claim to really good music reproduction as well as surround sound for movies? I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on this!
I disagree strongly with Kenny. The Integra DTC 9.8, soon to be a 9.9, does play hi-rez multichannel music to a very, very high standard for under $2k. It displaced Levinson and Theta 2-channel gear in my system costing over 8 x as much. It is also quite decent on 2-channel digital, but it is not up to the very highest standards for analog inputs. I do not think any pre/pro at any price can do analog input as well as a separate analog line stage.

Actually, the technology leadership in today's pre/pro's clearly belongs to the Japanese brands, including the Integra. They have leapfrogged the traditional high end in features, such that it now the high end that is trying to avoid total obsolescence by adding the features the Integra or the Denon already have. We are talking about pretty basic things like advanced codec support and HDMI 1.3. plus some great breakthroughs like Audyssey EQ, which is brilliant.

I have a >$50 K system, and I have heard quite a few high end 2-channel and multichannel systems at obscene price levels. I have not heard everything, but nothing I have heard rivals the sound of SACD or DVD-A through my my Integra driven by an inexpensive Oppo 980 player via HDMI. I use it 80% of the time just for classcal music. Hearing SACD's of the Philadelphia Orchestra in live concerts I had attended convinced me that it plays music better than I had ever heard it reproduced anywhere.

Last edited by fitzcaraldo215; 08-14-2008 at 06:56 PM..
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