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Old 08-30-2008   #133
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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
While I agree to a point, I must say, having had DTS-HD MA and Dolby True HD in my system, they can not be discredited. I am also a person who requires solid MC analog performance from my system, and as such, having gone through some of the 'mid fi' pre/pros, want, nay NEED a solid unit for analog!

This is becoming more important as I have gotten a TT now and have been recently smitten by the lure of analog..... From the shopping for it in the worlds largest vinyl store that happens to be seven miles from my home (www.musicfinder.com), to cleaning to the laid back presentation of the format, I am digging it!!!!!!!

KT
Kenny - if vinyl's your current thing and cost is no object, then I will say what I have said many times before: you gotta get a separate analog line stage with HT pass-through. That, or else totally separate systems. I do not think it is possible to get the best multichannel + analog in one single package, any package. There is the risk that all the EMI/RFI inside the mostly digital pre/pro, any pre/pro, will degrade the analog. So, a 2 channel line stage which is isolated from all the digital circuits by pure analog connections in and out is the optimum way to go for analog.

Even if you invest $30K in the new Krell, which is supposed to have all the latest codecs plus pristine analog totally isolated from all digital, the potential obsolescence factor can kill you. You will have invested big dollars in the inseparable digital plus expensive analog capability. The resale will, however, be driven primarily only by having the latest digital technology -codecs, etc. The digital technology side is moving very fast, while analog improvements occur very slowly. Plus, that Krell baby is huge - ugly, too, in my opinion. There is not going to be much rack space saved by putting everything in this one monster chassis.

But, I have also got to say, with 50 years of vinyl experience and a huge record collection, if the closest approach to the sound of live music is your thing, vinyl at its extreme best cannot compare to hi-rez multichannel, IMHO. In my case, you know that means a lowly, for the masses, Integra DTC 9.8 via HDMI to an Oppo 980 at under $2,000 - a fraction of what my vinyl setup cost. And, I have heard much better vinyl setups than mine. This stands the whole analog high-end audio paradigm, with spiraling, out-of-control costs, on its head. I find that exciting, too. It's about time, I say.

There is some really great music on vinyl, which is not available anywhere else. But, unlike you, perhaps I have gotten my rocks off on vinyl many times over. I am now much more interested in looking to the future and not to the past for the very best in realistic musical sound. To me, that means hi rez multichannel and not analog 2-channel.

Last edited by fitzcaraldo215; 08-30-2008 at 05:41 PM..
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Old 08-30-2008   #134
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Originally Posted by Captain Stereo View Post
Kudos on the turntable and committment to analog! Excellent. And don't get me wrong, all things being equal, of course one would want TrueHD & DTS-HD MA. Of course, not all things are equal and THIS is where I have an issue with folks who harp on if something has this chip or that chip or whatever the case may be instead of focusing on things that fundamentally affect the performance regardless of the chipset. Very unsexy things like circuit layout, noise grounding and isolation, power supply robustness and quality, chassis rigidity and freedom from resonance and vibration, implementation of the chip being used. These are far more important than just having a name chip or 'x' feature, and this is where high-end units earn their reputation and make their name. If all you have to go by is that you have "Dark Chip 4" or "True HD" or whatever, what then do you have when the next thing comes along????......an obsolete piece of mass marketed electronics that has little value. Our SSP-800 replaced an SSP-600 (no HDMI, no new format decoding) and compared to the Integra DTC 9.8, it still WASN'T. EVEN. CLOSE. The 600 playing back garden variety Dolby Digital and DTS walked all over it sonically, even with the Integra playing True HD and DTS-HD. There you have it.
Again, was the Audyssey in the Integra properly calibrated and on when you did your comparisons? With analog sources, like VHS tapes, this is, of couse, not possible on the Integra, since it cannot EQ the analog inputs. It would seem that perhaps you also did the 5.1 comparisons the same way - via analog in. This is going to play exactly from the strengths of the Classe to the greatest weaknesses of the Integra. I do not think there is anyone who would debate the weakness of the Integra via analog, or the strength of the Classe in this regard. See my previous postings in this forum. So, if analog sources is your thing, then you have made a wise choice. By all means, enjoy it.

Analog is not my thing any more. Contrary to your suggestion, this is not based on having the latest and greatest buzzwords as logos on my pre/pro. It is based on extensive listening to SACD's and DVD-A's via HDMI through my Integra. 80% of the use of my system is in this mode with classical music. Again, see my previous postings in this forum. So, for me, the opposite choice from yours is optimal. Like all things in life, it all depends...

I am a high ender, have been for 50 years, most of that in the analog-dominated era. I am not going to name drop my system, nor am I saying it is any better than yours. But, it was a quite revealing system before I upgraded from 2-channel to multichannel. All I can say after hearing multichanel SACD's of live Philadelphia Orchestra concerts I actually attended is that I am overwhelmed with the greater sense of musical realism and emotional involvement in the performance than I ever have been with any analog source material.

So, I am happy and you are happy. Ain't life great?
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Old 08-30-2008   #135
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

I am so over the new direction of this thread that I am merely watching the posts.....

We all can blow smoke up each others a$$e$, but when the day is done, there is a major difference between pre/pro's.

I aplaud those who have found nirvana in inexpensive gear, and I wish I could do the same, but alas, I can not. Maybe this is why I review gear for others to read about, maybe it is just my ill fated life situation, I don't know.

I do know when Jerry Del Colliano and I speak, which is almost daily, we seem to almost always agree on the sonics of gear. This for me is my gold standard. I run a serious rig (check my system if you have doubts), and one that is far beyond the level of most reviewers, in print or on line, and I will continue to provide my honest opinion of gear I review, positive or negative here now and forward.

I am still looking for the be all end all pre/pro, and when I find it, regardless of price, Jerry and I will own it!!!!!!! It unfortunately isn't out there yet. Hopefully CEDIA will surprise us with new gear we haven't already heard of, but I am somewhat pessimistic about this.
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Old 08-31-2008   #136
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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
Again, was the Audyssey in the Integra properly calibrated and on when you did your comparisons? With analog sources, like VHS tapes, this is, of couse, not possible on the Integra, since it cannot EQ the analog inputs. It would seem that perhaps you also did the 5.1 comparisons the same way - via analog in. This is going to play exactly from the strengths of the Classe to the greatest weaknesses of the Integra. I do not think there is anyone who would debate the weakness of the Integra via analog, or the strength of the Classe in this regard. See my previous postings in this forum. So, if analog sources is your thing, then you have made a wise choice. By all means, enjoy it.

Analog is not my thing any more. Contrary to your suggestion, this is not based on having the latest and greatest buzzwords as logos on my pre/pro. It is based on extensive listening to SACD's and DVD-A's via HDMI through my Integra. 80% of the use of my system is in this mode with classical music. Again, see my previous postings in this forum. So, for me, the opposite choice from yours is optimal. Like all things in life, it all depends...

I am a high ender, have been for 50 years, most of that in the analog-dominated era. I am not going to name drop my system, nor am I saying it is any better than yours. But, it was a quite revealing system before I upgraded from 2-channel to multichannel. All I can say after hearing multichanel SACD's of live Philadelphia Orchestra concerts I actually attended is that I am overwhelmed with the greater sense of musical realism and emotional involvement in the performance than I ever have been with any analog source material.

So, I am happy and you are happy. Ain't life great?
Indeed it is. And let me also be clear about my comparison. It was the Integra DTC 9.8 decoding TrueHD and DTS-HD MA from blu-ray versus an SSP-600 decoding standard DD & DTS from the same blu-ray discs. Let me repeat from an earlier post. It WASN'T. EVEN. CLOSE. The Classe was dramatically better in every way. New formats from a mass market product, even a great one like the Integra, cannot compete with something built to the standard of the Classe products. In the same way that a Linn CD12 playing back red book CD will blow away in every way an Oppo SACD player playing back SACD. These are not subjective opinions. These are empirical facts. I am glad you enjoy your current rig and if you are happy with it, that is great. This hobby of ours has far too many people chasing gear instead of enjoying music and movies.
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Old 08-31-2008   #137
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Originally Posted by Captain Stereo View Post
Indeed it is. And let me also be clear about my comparison. It was the Integra DTC 9.8 decoding TrueHD and DTS-HD MA from blu-ray versus an SSP-600 decoding standard DD & DTS from the same blu-ray discs. Let me repeat from an earlier post. It WASN'T. EVEN. CLOSE. The Classe was dramatically better in every way. New formats from a mass market product, even a great one like the Integra, cannot compete with something built to the standard of the Classe products. In the same way that a Linn CD12 playing back red book CD will blow away in every way an Oppo SACD player playing back SACD. These are not subjective opinions. These are empirical facts. I am glad you enjoy your current rig and if you are happy with it, that is great. This hobby of ours has far too many people chasing gear instead of enjoying music and movies.
Empirical facts? Sorry, but from everything you have said, that does not seem to be the case at all. The fact is you preferred the Classe. That is a subjective asessment. Once again, was Audyssey properly calibrated and engaged during your listening sessions? That is a simple matter of fact.
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Old 08-31-2008   #138
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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
Empirical facts? Sorry, but from everything you have said, that does not seem to be the case at all.
Should we give your subjective opinion any greater weight than his subjective opinion. Why don't we call it a draw. You stop posting how great the Integra is and he stops posting how great the Classe is. As a matter of fact, why don't we just shut down the thread altogether since its title calls for a response in the form of a subjective opinion. This bickering is just silly.

By the way, it's funny no one responded to my post a few days ago. The silence is deafening. Care to weigh in on it?

"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."

Last edited by faberryman; 08-31-2008 at 10:17 AM..
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