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Old 05-12-2008   #31
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Default Re: ML 502 Media Console

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Originally Posted by deacongreg View Post
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??
Greg, I couldn't have put it any better. I have to say I agree with you 100 percent.

Yes, right now the Integra and Denon are the only ones to offer all the decoding goodies. And the Denon is the only pre/pro in the high end realm to offer everything it does. The other high end players out there are definitely coming out the gate soon, but will still be somewhat stripped. They will no doubt offer superb sound quality, but like you said is that nth degree of sonic improvement enough to justify spending $35,000 on a pre/pro that doesn't have all the goodies.

HDMI 1.3 is IMO a "must have" feature at this point in time. 1.3 is now becoming the standard, and as such more and more products are offering it, and will be standard on all Blu-ray machines. The ML 502 is being released with either HDMI 1.1 or possibly 1.2, is to me something that shouldn't be. At least the Classe' SSP-800 will be 1.3a, which is a big step in the right direction. And hopefully Classe' makes good on their promise to offer a free upgrade to include the HBR decoders by years end. I know that if spring or summer of '09 rolls around and still no upgrade, there are going to be a lot of very unhappy people who bought SSP-800's because they were told of an upgrade.

I just know that I'm happy I have my Denon AVP now. I'm able to enjoy any soundtrack from any movie, Blu-ray and HD DVD. Plus I get a product that can accept streamed flac, WMA Lossless, and WAV. Plus it's a fully balanced dual differential preamp that sounds every bit as good as I was hoping it would. So sometimes being an early adopter is a good choice, as the Denon has left me wanting nothing.


Seth
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Old 05-12-2008   #32
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Default Re: ML 502 Media Console

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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!!!
Yes that is going to be very interesting to find out. For me I have always wanted to own a Classe' product. So way back when I learned that they were coming out with the SSP-800, I was like "I really want one, but will it have everything I want?". After I saw what it was going to have I thought well it doesn't have music streaming capability, it doesn't have on board lossless decoding, it doesn't have a built in scaler/processor, won't have THX Ultra 2 processing, no A/D conversion on EXT IN., only 4 HDMI inputs (I need 5), no front panel input connections. Well to say, my list of needs the SSP-800 did not have.

So for me anyway, this was a HUGE buying decision that veered me away from the Classe' and attracted me to the Denon AVP. It has everything I have ever dreamed of having in a pre/pro and then some. Now even if the Classe' had offered everything the Denon has minus the music streaming options, it would have then come down to which one sounds the best. I mean a difference of $1k is not a big deal. So I would have had a much tougher decision between the two.

But the Denon TOTALLY smokes the SSP-800 with regards to Connectivity, features, and options. So for me it was a no contest.

But I am still curious to see how the Denon AVP and Classe' SSP-800 stack up.



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Old 05-12-2008   #33
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Default Re: ML 502 Media Console

Z-Man,

Why would you consider the lack of A/D conversion on Ext In to be a down side??? Ideally analog sources should stay analog, though most modern pre/pro's don't do this, ones like the ML 502 DO and it's one of the main reasons to buy them.
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Old 05-12-2008   #34
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Default Re: ML 502 Media Console

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Z-Man,

Why would you consider the lack of A/D conversion on Ext In to be a down side??? Ideally analog sources should stay analog, though most modern pre/pro's don't do this, ones like the ML 502 DO and it's one of the main reasons to buy them.
For me it's a simple answer, I'm one of those people who still owns (and uses ) an older SACD/DVD-A player with analog outs only. Since my player (Yamaha DVD S2300) is one with poor bass management, the Denon's ability to do high quality A/D conversion on its EXT IN. was a boon for me. Now I can finally do all bass management in the pre/pro. And I have been very impressed with the sound.

I figure since my universal player is still in great working condition, there is no need for me to go spend $1,500 or so on a Denon universal player just so I can use DenonLink. For my needs the Denon's ability to do high quality A/D conversion was one (of the many) things that made me buy the AVP. And instead of just skimping on the EXT IN, the Denon engineers made it dual differential like the rest of the circuitry.

Now if my Yamaha player decides to quit working within the next 6 months to a year, I will then no doubt go for a Denon universal player and use an all digital connection. But for the here and now I am very glad that the engineers at Denon implemented this very useful feature.


Seth

Last edited by Z Man; 05-12-2008 at 09:17 AM..
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Old 05-12-2008   #35
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Default Re: ML 502 Media Console

I have been spoiled by having the Meridian all digital connection for DVD-A, butI also used an Esoteric DV-50s into the 861, both sounded great and the Meridian does convert everything to digital, so bass management wasn't a problem for me. For the Denon, I plan to use a Denon 5910CI connected by both D-Link III and analog cables.
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Old 05-12-2008   #36
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Default Re: ML 502 Media Console

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I have been spoiled by having the Meridian all digital connection for DVD-A, butI also used an Esoteric DV-50s into the 861, both sounded great and the Meridian does convert everything to digital, so bass management wasn't a problem for me. For the Denon, I plan to use a Denon 5910CI connected by both D-Link III and analog cables.
Sweet! Using DenonLink III is definitely the ultimate connection method for going into the Denon AVP for high rez audio. And you're already very familiar with the sound using an all digital connection with your Meridian 861. Now you can see how multi-channel music sounds through the Denon AVP via DenonLink III and see how it compares to what you remember hearing through your Meridian 861.
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