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Old 08-18-2008   #91
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Originally Posted by Rooney View Post
Fitz,
Though I agree with you that video processing is just for non blu ray sources, at least in my application watching TV and DVD still constitute about 1/2 to 2/3 of daily viewing. So in my setup, 1080i/720p scaling and deinterlacing are important. Also, many projectors would benefit from a color management setup. Your statement that I would get the best performance from an external VP is right on the money, but there is one significant hurdle - how do you connect your HDMI sources to 2 devices (the SSP and the VP)? Option number one is connect all sources to the VP so that each (non BR) source can be set up independently in terms of color management (rec 601 vs. 709), deinterlacing, scaling, and frame rate. The HDMI output then would run to one of the inputs on the SSP. Assuming the VP is also 1.3, the new codecs are sent to the SSP for conversion to multichannel PCM and processing. In this setup, only one input of the SSP is used. None of the scaling or other features are utilized. I feel this is a terrible waste and that's the reason it makes sense to me to combine all these functions in one box.
regards.
I think the simple answer is run everything through the pre/pro to the external video scaler/processor. If the source is 1080p, the pre/pro will just repeat it. The scaler probably will pass 1080p through, as well, but process the video if it is less than 1080p. I do not know about all pre/pros, by my Integra allows the Reon procesor to be set for pass through on less than 1080p sources. So, the pre/pro would do all the switching, take the audio only off for processing, and pass all the video through the scaler. If all this is done well (I do not think it's a big, big if), you have your cake and eat it too, with simple HDMI 1.3 hookup. I am skeptical that this will cause any video degradation, but you never know.

It's a shame you have to pay for the video processor in the pre/pro if you are not going to use it, but that's the way they make them. I have no first hand experience with Denon or Anthem, but their video processing is suposed to be quite good, and the Integra is no slouch. Classe is not putting heavy duty video processing in their unit and still charging a ton of money for it. I cannot say that I am impressed with their approach, which is more "purist". I do not think that approach has much merit in the world of hi-rez digital codecs. They might prove me wrong. It might make analog through their pre/pro purer by eliminating a main source of EMI/RFI in there. But, analog, in spite of my huge record collection, no longer holds much interest for me. It's been significantly bettered sonically by hi-rez multichannel, which even my lowly Integra does well.
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Old 08-18-2008   #92
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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
But, analog, in spite of my huge record collection, no longer holds much interest for me. It's been significantly bettered sonically by hi-rez multichannel, which even my lowly Integra does well.
There is an awful lot of good music that is not "hi-rez multi-channel". There is also some really awful "high-rez multichannel", particularly the two channel stuff that was never meant to be multichannel. The only difference between it and the mono stuff that was remastered for stereo is that the recording engineers now have five or seven ping-pong balls to play with rather than just two. Seems like you like to listen to the technology rather than the music.

Last edited by faberryman; 08-18-2008 at 07:31 PM..
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Old 08-19-2008   #93
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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There is an awful lot of good music that is not "hi-rez multi-channel". There is also some really awful "high-rez multichannel", particularly the two channel stuff that was never meant to be multichannel. The only difference between it and the mono stuff that was remastered for stereo is that the recording engineers now have five or seven ping-pong balls to play with rather than just two. Seems like you like to listen to the technology rather than the music.
There is no question that there are some absolutely irreplaceable music performances available only on 2-channel or even mono, for that matter. How about 78's, too? Really good music can transcend even inferior technology.

There is also no question that some hi-rez multichannel music is second rate, either from a musical or from an engineering perspective. But, I am finding a wealth of both good music and the best sound I have ever heard from multichannel, particularly SACD at the moment.

When I listen to recorded music, I am seeking an involvement that is as close to the real live performance as possible. Believe it or not, most of my music listening is done via a car radio or the inellegant Bose radio in my living/dining room. Do I enjoy this? Beyond question. So, when I sit down with my audio/video system, I am seeking that even deeper sense of involment with the music and the performance. The deeper, the better. This is serious listening. That's what this chase of "higher fidelity" has been about in my 50 years as an audiophile.

I am not a reviewer, so I can indulge myself in the musical experience itself, not worried so much about the technology. But, I need the technology to get the sonic veils that distract from and limit my involvement out of the way. So far, the very best technology for this in my experience is, hands-down, a really good multichannel SACD or DVD-A.

I attend concerts by my beloved Philadelphia Orchestra about 15 times a year. I was fortunate enough to have been at several concerts recorded live for Ondine multichannel SACD's. It was immediately clear to me that this medium was so superior to any other in more accurately capturing the music and involving me in the performance. It has heightened my serious listening music sessions like you would not believe. Not only is the music itself a great pleasure, but the remarkable sense of musical truth through my system is also a great pleasure. It takes me back to the original live performances themselves as I listen in my home.

So, is it any wonder that my main interests now are in seeking out other hi-rez multichannel music for my serious listening? I visit sacd.com and other review sites frequently discovering new performances to indulge my voracious classical music habit. There is plenty of good music there. Effects, ping pong as you call it, do not interest me in the least. It's the whole musical effect that's my thing.
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Old 08-19-2008   #94
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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I attend concerts by my beloved Philadelphia Orchestra about 15 times a year.
You are very fortunate to have such a fine orchestra available to you. I'm intrigued by the number of visiting conductors scheduled. What a treat. That you can attend a performance and then playback the performance on multichannel SACD gives you an unprecedented perspective on the ability of your system to recreate the "absolute sound." Enjoy the music!

Last edited by faberryman; 08-19-2008 at 11:04 AM..
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Old 08-19-2008   #95
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Talking Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Originally Posted by fitzcaraldo215 View Post
So far, the very best technology for this in my experience is, hands-down, a really good multichannel SACD or DVD-A.
I could not agree more

Quote:
Originally Posted by fitzcaraldo215 View Post
I attend concerts by my beloved Philadelphia Orchestra about 15 times a year. I was fortunate enough to have been at several concerts recorded live for Ondine multichannel SACD's. It was immediately clear to me that this medium was so superior to any other in more accurately capturing the music and involving me in the performance. It has heightened my serious listening music sessions like you would not believe. Not only is the music itself a great pleasure, but the remarkable sense of musical truth through my system is also a great pleasure. It takes me back to the original live performances themselves as I listen in my home.
I go to listen LA Philharmonic Orchestra at the Disney Concert Hall one of the best in the world at least once a month just to remind myself what good music is! Also check out www.sa-cd.net

[url]http://www.laphil.com




Last edited by wes; 08-19-2008 at 09:54 AM..
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Old 08-19-2008   #96
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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
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?


If you want the new processing now, if you are buying your Blu-Ray player right now, I think you have to move towards the Integra, Denon arena. They have the products and codecs today, so, you will get the best that is currently available. And kenny, your reviews bear this out.

So, until, as you said this all does stabilize, that is what you do. Of course, if you want to sit back and wait, that is on you. Or as I like to say, that sounds like a personal issue!!!

But, also as you pointed out in your review of the Denon`s, is there ANY pre/pro out there to date, that has all the current processing and connections, and also sounds great for audio as well???
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