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Old 05-08-2008   #25
wes
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Cool Re: ML 502 Media Console

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Originally Posted by kennyt View Post
Having lived with the Meridian 861v4 for a long time, and having compared MCPCM in DTS MA and DD/DTS, it just might, I will be home soon and do just the test you propose, and the Denon review with be forthcoming. I would love to say yes, the Meridian is AN AMAZING pre/pro, but the new uncompressed audio codecs have the potential to sound better from lessor gear than DD/DTS from the best. I'll let you know what I find out!

We can't wait to hear your review, hurry please as I am in the market for a new Pre/pro and have my eyes set on a Classé SSP-800 except it will come out of the gate without the new codec!!!
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Old 05-08-2008   #26
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Default Re: ML 502 Media Console

WOW guys!

Lots of great points, so many I can't even begin to easily address them all!

Yes, the Denon has a feature set that is, to date, unmatched in the AV Preamp category, and may always outdo the ultra high end companies.

Z-Man, will it outdo the Meridian 861v4/G98DH transport for CD/DVD/DVD-A??? Well, only time will tell, I will use Denon's 5910Ci universal player with their D-Link III connector, so I can use their best transport and use the pre/pro's DACs so it should be the closest comparison to the Meridian system I had as both use proprietary digital links to allow the pre/pro to do everything.

Many people do not remember Denon USED to be a high end separates company. The AVP-A1HDCi and POA mark their return into the high end market, and as such are very well built. I started looking into the specs of the unit, and while it uses the identical facia of the 5308 receiver, it only weighs ~3 pounds less!! This is without all seven channels of 150 wpc amplification! The AVP-A1HDCi is completely hand built and has six separate power supplies, this thing is truly sickly over built.

While I have not personally heard it yet, I will have it up and running in my reference rig by 5/19/2008 and will start to evaluate it then. The review should post soon after, while I expect a lot of this pre/pro, it has some HUGE shoes to fill replacing a Meridian 861v4 and most recently the Anthem Statement D2 w/ARC..........
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Old 05-09-2008   #27
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Default Re: ML 502 Media Console

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Originally Posted by kennyt View Post
WOW guys!

Lots of great points, so many I can't even begin to easily address them all!

Yes, the Denon has a feature set that is, to date, unmatched in the AV Preamp category, and may always outdo the ultra high end companies.

Z-Man, will it outdo the Meridian 861v4/G98DH transport for CD/DVD/DVD-A??? Well, only time will tell, I will use Denon's 5910Ci universal player with their D-Link III connector, so I can use their best transport and use the pre/pro's DACs so it should be the closest comparison to the Meridian system I had as both use proprietary digital links to allow the pre/pro to do everything.

Many people do not remember Denon USED to be a high end separates company. The AVP-A1HDCi and POA mark their return into the high end market, and as such are very well built. I started looking into the specs of the unit, and while it uses the identical facia of the 5308 receiver, it only weighs ~3 pounds less!! This is without all seven channels of 150 wpc amplification! The AVP-A1HDCi is completely hand built and has six separate power supplies, this thing is truly sickly over built.

While I have not personally heard it yet, I will have it up and running in my reference rig by 5/19/2008 and will start to evaluate it then. The review should post soon after, while I expect a lot of this pre/pro, it has some HUGE shoes to fill replacing a Meridian 861v4 and most recently the Anthem Statement D2 w/ARC..........
Excellent post Kenny. I totally agree with you.

The Denon is indeed a very well designed and built unit that basically left nothing out. Quad DAC's on all 12 channels, fully balanced dual differential design, high quality A/D conversion on EXT IN. which is dual differential also, high bit rate decoding, dual toroidal transformers, 6 separate power supplies, etc. Like you said, this unit is sickly over built. There is currently no other pre/pro that can match the feature set of this unit.

I personally think that the Denon AVP is definitely up there with the likes of Anthem, Lexicon, Theta, Halcro, etc. I don't know if the Denon will out-do the Meridian 861 V4, but if it at least matches it, this will go a long way in solidifying that the Denon is indeed in the same league.

The Mark Levinson 502 is pretty much in the "if you have to ask" price range. And as such, not many people will be lucky enough to own one. I know that the Denon will probably be outclassed in overall sonics by the 502. But by how much I wonder? If the Denon will give 95 percent of the sound quality of the 502, is it worth spending the extra $28 grand? Will be interesting to see if the Denon can even come close to the ML 502. IMO the Denon is the best bet in high end pre/pro's under $15k.

But you're right, it definitely has some big shoes to fill in your setup. I'm really looking forward to your upcoming review.


Seth
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Old 05-10-2008   #28
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Default Re: ML 502 Media Console

Okay guys, here is my deal on this. And kenny, you already know where I stand!!

But Z Man, I agree with you the most. I just read the reviews on the new MAC 136 pre/pro and the Lexicon MC - 12HD preamp/processor. And it seems, we are all going to have to live with being PARTLY disappointed for now. While, I have not owned my own Meridian or Mark Levinson product yet, to me it is unacceptable that these companies are not current, and up to date.

Its not just the sound, what really irks and bothers me, is that Integra, Denon, have the codecs, you NEED, NOW. While the ML 502 is, lets be real incomplete. The MAC 136, and you guys know like Andrew, I love my Mcintosh, passes video only thru HDMI. The Lexicon has some short comings as well. Again, another incomplete.

It is crazy to me, that while Jerry gave me a clear reason, why supposedly, these high end firms can not do it, at this place and time, to me they must. The format war is over. You buy, a supposedly, no holds barred product, and come up short in a key area:functionality. So, Andrew buys an Integra DTC 9.8, and is rewarded with enjoying, ALL, of what his OTHER components can fully do now to the max. With out having to COMPENSATE for their short comings. Do you think he is unhappy right now. Or anyone that has the new Denon pre/pro and amp combo. Why gentlemen, especially at this level of equipment, do we have to settle?!!

Now, I stated earlier I have never owned a Meridian or Mark Levinson product yet, but, if you are missing that nnnnnnnnnnnnth degree of musical quality, does it matter if the unit is not functional? I don`t think so if you can not even connect your other gear properly. That means the whole chain of equipment is affected. Its like what people where telling me earlier about being a new adopter to the whole, now over format war. Buy a unit, and enjoy today, and not sit on the fence for tomorrow. It seems, our Esoteric high end brethren, are not in any rush to move forward.

So, to the Victor, goes the spoils. I need all of my equipment to work, what about you??
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Old 05-10-2008   #29
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Default Re: ML 502 Media Console

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While, I have not owned my own Meridian or Mark Levinson product yet, to me it is unacceptable that these companies are not current, and up to date.
Greg,

I sort of agree, but as long as a pre/pro can accept MC PCM audio, then it is functionally current. The ML can do this, Meridian is working on new models, but no specs released yet.

I would like to see all the decoding done by the pre/pro, but so far, we are not sure what will become the standard and norm, once again we are in no man's land.

I don't know what will shake out over the next few weeks, months, year(s) so what we think we want might not be needed.......
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Old 05-10-2008   #30
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Cool Re: ML 502 Media Console

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Excellent post Kenny. I totally agree with you. The Denon is indeed a very well designed and built unit that basically left nothing out. Seth
I wonder how it will compare with the Classé SSP-800 feature wise Denon wins all ready, but sound is what I want to know!!!
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