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Old 09-02-2008   #145
wes
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Cool Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Originally Posted by Captain Stereo View Post
Comparing the Integra to the Classe is like comparing a Chevelle to a AMG Mercedes. Different worlds. Would someone, anyone, please just compare these two and stack the deck against the Classe by using the Integtra's Audyssey and by using it to do True HD and DTS-HD and then compare it to the Classe, un-EQd and doing standard DD & DTS and explain how much better the Classe is please? My comparison apparently didn't do the trick.
Sorry did you do the comparison?
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Old 09-02-2008   #146
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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You know this is very interesting as I have been debating between Integra DTC 9.9 soon to be and the Classé SSP-800. I wished Classé had incorporated the Audyssey Pro, but they said it doesn't work !! Like you I love SACD multichannel music for classical music. My point of reference is the LA Philarmonic playing at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. http://www.laphil.com/

Having said this, I want to hear both units before making a decision on spending my hard earn money. I have a few Classé amps and think they work very well. I also have an old Integra Research RD-C7 and it works fine but I wanted to get a new pre/pro with HDMi 1.3 and DTS Master Audio as well as Dolby Digital Tru HD as I am a big movie buff. I wished high end companies would be less snobs when it come to technologies from other established firms. I guess they figure if you can spend 8K for a pre/pro you can fork an other $2500 for Audyssey pro if you really want it! You know what is interesting is that they had in the SSP-600 an Automated EQ system as well. I guess they are trying to cut corners.



You said you have not heard the Classé SSP-800 but say that you don't like the architecture what do you mean.

Classé uses Texas instrument 64 bit DSP chip where as Integra uses three TI 32-Bit Processing DSP Chips. I think that Classé is using a lot more powerful processing which of course does'nt mean it is better but still. Again I am looking to hear both and make a decision for myself.
Well, I think Classe is being disingenuous when they say Audyssey does not work. Unfortunately, that has been my recent experience with them, as I described in my earlier post. There are too many really good reviews out there on Audyssey. I am thinking Stereophile, Absolute Sound, etc., the real music listener magazines. Plus, Wisdom Audio is now behind it in a very big way on speaker systems costing upwards of $30K. I also do not think Denon and Onkyo/Integra are idiots, whatever you might think of their gear. You know what I think. My system sings with it on. Pro is even better as an upgrade.

My main concerns about the Classe 800 come down to 7.1 lossless to be delivered later and lack of video processing. I know you use an Oppo 983 with excellent video processing, but I would also want it for TV from my cable box. I think it's a non-issue with Blu ray. The Integra does not process Blu Ray, just pass through. I think most pre/pro's do it that way. It's a great pre/pro, except for these things, and ...

There was some news about a Classe home-grown EQ to be delivered later. It was going to be "installer calibrated". I am not a fan of that, at all. I also do not trust EQ unless it has a lot of research behind it. Only Audyssey and Anthem's ARC impress me with their credentials. Nobody else really comes close. Also, I do not like EQ in standalone boxes. They are much more expensive and are analog in, analog out, meaning extra A-D, D-A conversions.

Bottom line: to me the Integra sounds really good and it has the features now. Even if you decide later you want to upgrade to something better, you are not going to take a bath fnancially, because it is in such strong demand.

I do not know how much better the Denon is with even more features (most nonessential, IMHO) for a lot more $$. Reviews seem a little luke-warm. If Anthem would only get HDMI 1.3 working, they might really have something. I got Stereophile today, and Kal says it's a better sounding package with ARC than the Integra. Curiously, he did not compare it to the Integra with Audyssey Pro, which he has on his Integra. Then there is the over $10K stuff. I would not go there because of potential obsolescence factors. That's too much money to risk. And, are they 5x, 10x, 15x better than than the Integra? I do not see how this is possible, but others might disagree.
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Old 09-02-2008   #147
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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I wished high end companies would be less snobs when it come to technologies from other established firms.
Part of it may have to do with licensing fees as well.
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Old 09-02-2008   #148
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Part of it may have to do with licensing fees as well.
Well, with regard to Audyssey, that could not have been a factor in Classe's case. If Onkyo can afford it in their $1,000 avr's, Classe should have had no problem on a much higher margin product. No, I think it's a marketing decision driven by Classe's need to differentiate themselves from the others. They did not just want to be to the casual observer a more expensive Denon, Marantz, Nad, Onkyo or Integra. It's a shame. Since I believe good EQ like Audyssey can improve any product (and room/system), good as the 800 may be, it would have been a real killer with Audyssey. But, a lot of high end buyers do not share my enthusiasm for EQ. EQ has a bad name going back to analog EQ. A lot of people just do not know that the DSP-based EQ in Audyssey or ARC is an entirely new ball game. It works extremely well.

Don't forget Trinnov EQ is waiting in the wings. They have European roots and excellent acceptance among European and some American audio pros. Sherwood will be bringing out an AVR with a consumer-grade version of it. Maybe that's not a great place to start, but we might start to see it in higher end Euro gear.
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Old 09-02-2008   #149
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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
Well, with regard to Audyssey, that could not have been a factor in Classe's case. If Onkyo can afford it in their $1,000 avr's, Classe should have had no problem on a much higher margin product.
It is just possible than Denon/Integra/Onyko received a volume discount and the per unit cost of adding Audyssey to a Denon/Integra/Onkyo receiver is less than the per unit cost of adding Audyssey to the Classe SSP-800. I only suggest this as a possibility.
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Old 09-02-2008   #150
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Originally Posted by faberryman View Post
It is just possible than Denon/Integra/Onyko received a volume discount and the per unit cost of adding Audyssey to a Denon/Integra/Onkyo receiver is less than the per unit cost of adding Audyssey to the Classe SSP-800. I only suggest this as a possibility.
Classé is not willing to pay the licensing fees I agree to either THX or Audyssey, to bad the could have included Audyssey Pro and dominate the market oh well!
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