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Old 09-02-2008   #151
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Originally Posted by wes View Post
Sorry did you do the comparison?
I did. With all other things exactly the same, and swapping only the processors and matching settings and levels, the Classe SSP-600 (to say nothing of the 800) playing standard DD & DTS smoked the Integra playing back True HD and DTS-HD. And again, as the Classe does not have EQ, I did not engage the Audyssey. It was a straight up comparison of the two.

Now a post or so later, there was some banter about the EQ in the new SSP-800. Here's the thing. With any auto-EQ, there's a chance that it might get something wrong, and as an end-user, you have no way of measuring it to really know. Classe's take was that by making a high-quality parametric equalizer a function to be done by someone with the equipment to measure the room and set the EQ manually, you ensure a good result. Also, who's kidding who, if one can afford an $8,000 processor, they're not sweating another $500 or so to make sure the EQ has been professionally set up. Granted this is more hassle and work, so no arguments on that front.
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Old 09-02-2008   #152
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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.
Classe was originally to have introduced the SSP-800 at between $10,000-$12,000. They were convinced by some peers in the industry to price it to be a world beater that more could afford, even though with the years of R&D spent on it, it would mean that it in and of itself would not make them a king's ransom. Why are people resentful of high priced things? Classe is a tiny company compared to Integra and the engineers they employ are some of the finest that have ever worked in this industry, including the man who engineered the Linn CD12 and many of Mark Levinson's finest from their glory days. Again, the Integra is great for what it is - a nice mass market product that will be obsolete in a year (hence the DTC 9.9 even though the 9.8 is still selling great). The SSP-800, REGARDLESS OF FORMATS NEW OR EXISTING, will be a world class piece of audio gear for as long as it's running.
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Old 01-24-2009   #153
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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?

My plan is to have a very good 2 channel preamp with a moderately priced processor or pre/pro on the tape loop. For straight music listening I'll just use the preamp and for video I can switch in the pre/pro thru the tape loop. The pre/pro will have the extra channels amps plugged directly into it.
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Old 01-27-2009   #154
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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?
Despite 10 months or so passing since this question was put the high-end products are still few and far between and the question is relevant today.

I had a TAG Mclaren preamp (with Parasound Halo JC1s for stereo and a Rotel RMB1095 for 5 surround and B&W 802 and HTM1/CM2 for sound creation which are all still fine) which was one of the best in the business, perhaps equal to Meridian. Of course since the company went under I am stuck with the long-stnading codecs (Dolby Digital/DTS and others) and I never got the video modules.

I bought a blu-ray player (actually I am on my second now), so to properly handle HDMI and Dolby and DTS master codecs, not to mention the burgeoning era of DNLS and digital transmission/transcoding, I needed an upgrade. I couldn't wait becuase my balanced output on the TAG has become intermittant. A purchase of a relatively inexpensive Marantz AV8003 fit the bill and I haven't looked back.

I am having trouble deciding if its really poorer in sound than the TAG (especially for a quarter the cost and lots more features). Some repairs on the Parasound have changed their sound characteristics (not worse, just different), plus i have moved to a bigger house, so although I have niggling feelings about the sound I have nothing to complain about. This was to be a stop gap foir a couple of years but I wonder if a >$20,000 preamp is really worth it. I guess AB comparisons in my environment are the only way to know from now on.

Mark
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Old 01-27-2009   #155
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

Hybrid: My hi-end suggestion when a high-end preamp is used with pre/processor is to run standard analogue from the src and digitals to the processor. The only downside is the extra set of interconnects and the matching of volumes. It will be a rare day or a extremely costly processor to match the quality of a hi-end 2 ch preamp. For video run your DVMI, etc straight to the TV/monitor from your video source. My pre is a Krell KRC-HR and procs include the krell Evol 707, Yamaha DSP-A1, and the RX-Z11 to identify whether the price / performance ratio is acceptable. IMO, maybe the 707 is as good on XLR to XLR basis to the HR, but the other two don't compare. With the EVol pres, I question whether the 707 matches. Have not YET done the comparisons. My assumption is that video is moot.
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Old 01-27-2009   #156
wes
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

Well I could not agree more which is why I have not upgraded my pre/pro in seven years I wanted to have a processor that would have HDMi 1.3 and the new Codec for blu ray.

With that in mind I recently upgraded my speakers a year ago getting 802D and upgraded amplification as well Classé CA-5200 I love the combination and will get the Classé SSP-800 in the spring after it can decode DTS Master Audio and DD tru HD I don't think I will need anything else after that It should keep me happy for an other seven or eight years
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