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Old 08-21-2008   #109
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

fitzcaraldo215,
Thanks for the link to that site with the detailed instructions on setting up the Audyssey. I originally did just the 3 poisitions but after doing all 8 in the specific positions it made a huge difference. With Audyssey, my onkyo pre/pro and blu ray concerts it's the best sound I've ever heard. I have to say, the Onkyo/ Integra pre/pros are an amazing value for the dollar for digital.
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Old 08-22-2008   #110
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Originally Posted by Lotus View Post
The real question here is what will we be getting with the new Pre-Pros?


I recently had Trinnov technology shown to me and compared side by side with Denon's top of the line unit using Audyssey. The Trinnov tech totally smoked the Denon. Of course the Trinnov eq was valued at around $15,000. Then I was shown a less expensive unit using the same tech (this is a receiver from a well known company that hasn't announced the unit yet). The receiver should street for around $3500 to $3000. It was amazing just what the Trinnov in it was capable of doing.

So we're going to see techs improve in areas of setting your sound up correctly for your room, speakers, etc. The higher end companies will likely be going with Trinnov while the mass production companies will likely stick with what they have.

As long as the high end manufacturers are going out and providing us audiophiles with reasons to invest in their products we will continue to do so. If the day comes when there is no difference besides cost we're not idiots and we'll abandon them fast just as the projector market is seeing high end units being abandoned for mass production units.

It should be interesting to see what Sherwood does with Trinnov, which seems to be a very credible and a different approach to EQ. Heaven knows, Sherwood sure needs some credibility. Trinnov seems to have strong credentials in the European pro market. Maybe Trinnov will also be a better approach to EQ in HT. We'll see. Possibly the European HT makers will get on the Trinnov bandwagon, because they do not want to do a "me, too" to their Japanese competitors, as the high enders here do not. They need to at least look like they have something different which they can claim is better, or they will lose the game.

The real point is that DSP-based EQ is here to stay. It improves the sound in very significant ways. Anybody who even thinks about making a pre/pro or even a $500 receiver without it will be an also-ran.
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Old 08-22-2008   #111
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Originally Posted by Lotus View Post
Will there be a noticable sound difference between a high-end unit and a low end with the new lossless audio formats? More than likely that will be hard to discern.
Did we hear a difference between high end units and low end units with respect to two channel lossless, i.e. CD. I think so. No reason to think otherwise with respect to 5.1 and 7.1 lossless. You may have to wait a bit for the high-end units but patience is generally rewarded.
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Old 08-25-2008   #112
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

Seems like the answer may be to get the ModWright guys (Dan Wright) (www.modwright.com) to offer a modded Integra. Start with the stock unit. Keep the codecs and connectivity, keep the DSP, keep the Audyssey, clean up some of the shielding, and at the final stage replace the Burr-Brown DAC with something truly sweet and high-end.
or -
Keep the Integra DSP and do HDMI-out into an external multi-channel DAC that takes HDMI 1.3! (does that even exist?). Let the new pre-pros do their thing (digital compatiblity, decoding, EQ'ing). Then let audiophile-quality DACs do their thing to the final digitial signal.

CaliFan
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Old 08-26-2008   #113
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Originally Posted by CaliFan View Post
Seems like the answer may be to get the ModWright guys (Dan Wright) (www.modwright.com) to offer a modded Integra. Start with the stock unit. Keep the codecs and connectivity, keep the DSP, keep the Audyssey, clean up some of the shielding, and at the final stage replace the Burr-Brown DAC with something truly sweet and high-end.
or -
Keep the Integra DSP and do HDMI-out into an external multi-channel DAC that takes HDMI 1.3! (does that even exist?). Let the new pre-pros do their thing (digital compatiblity, decoding, EQ'ing). Then let audiophile-quality DACs do their thing to the final digitial signal.

CaliFan
I would not want to go there, myself. It could open a can of worms about warranties, updates and the like. And, for what? There are no HDMI-in DACs, first of all, not yet, anyway.

I also do not think there is a serious issue about the Integra's DACs. I think the biggest differences we hear among DAC's is from the analog output stages. I am not talking about those DAC's with atomic clocks, or ring-DAC's, or other such exotica. Maybe the double-differential DAC chip idea is superior. The DAC chips themselves are mostly, some exceptions, off the shelf items in high-end DACs. The sound has been crafted and voiced mainly on the analog side of the DAC to give a unique and slightly different sound. Sometimes the differences are mainly euphonic. Some people prefer one sound over another. After Audyssey EQ, many of these individual differences tend to disappear, anyway.

Some people are Ok with the Integra DAC's with Audyssey EQ while others will not be. The only area of the Integra's music performance I think could really use improvement is the analog input stage for vinyl. I can get around this by just using an analog line stage with HT pass-through for vinyl. I still save a lot of $$$ over a high end pre/pro that has better analog-in, but the better pre/pro will not surpass the line stage in this department. There is too much EMI/RFI inside the pre/pro chassis, in spite of shielding. Possibly a pre/pro could be shielded adequately to eliminate this and come close to an analog line stage, but what's the point? Many home theater setups don't even have an analog source, so why should they all pay for a really good analog capability when many will not use it? Charlie Hansen at Ayre thinks as long as your pre/pro is hooked to a TV, cable box, etc. it is picking up noise from switching power supplies in those devices via the interconnects, even if they are turned off and their power supplies are idling. Analog signals, are, unfortunately fragile, and susceptible to all forms of EMI/RFI.

Is the Integra the end-all, be all? Of course not. It's just a realy great $1,600, soon to be $2,000, for the 9.9, pre/pro that sounds pretty darned good as it is, except for the analog-in issue, where it only sounds OK. That aside, it's arguably competitive with much more expensive units sonically, even without regard to features.
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Old 08-26-2008   #114
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Cool Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Originally Posted by fitzcaraldo215 View Post
Is the Integra the end-all, be all? Of course not. It's just a realy great $1,600, soon to be $2,000, for the 9.9, pre/pro that sounds pretty darned good as it is, except for the analog-in issue, where it only sounds OK. That aside, it's arguably competitive with much more expensive units sonically, even without regard to features.

I don't do Vinyl to inconvenient and pricey, so you are saying I would be better off with Integra DTC 9.9 vs Classé SSP-800? My interest are SACD and Blu Ray
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