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Old 08-04-2009   #19
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Default Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?

It goes beyond what parts they use to how they stand behind and service it too - the best parts in the world won't make up for bad service.

On that note, I have to trumpet the service folks at Classe and B&W for their 1st class service and help when something goes amiss. I'll also ding Anthem on the same point - speaking from my own personal experience - Classe soared, while Anthem sorely disappointed to the point where I sold my months-old Anthem pre-amp and bought Classe. I never looked back.

I know other folks have had good experiences with Anthem - not my intention to bash them undeservedly - but mine were not, repeatedly. C'est la vie! Kudos to Tom McConville and his whole staff at Classe in Quebec, and the B&W boys up in Reading MA.
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Old 08-04-2009   #20
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Default Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celt16 View Post
It goes beyond what parts they use to how they stand behind and service it too - the best parts in the world won't make up for bad service.

On that note, I have to trumpet the service folks at Classe and B&W for their 1st class service and help when something goes amiss. I'll also ding Anthem on the same point - speaking from my own personal experience - Classe soared, while Anthem sorely disappointed to the point where I sold my months-old Anthem pre-amp and bought Classe. I never looked back.

I know other folks have had good experiences with Anthem - not my intention to bash them undeservedly - but mine were not, repeatedly. C'est la vie! Kudos to Tom McConville and his whole staff at Classe in Quebec, and the B&W boys up in Reading MA.
YES YES YES Classé customer service and responsiveness is outstanding which is why I bought Classé. Have you ever tried dealing with Integra/Onkyo customer service, I had to write to the CEO in the US to get a response and don't get me started with Denon they are even worst....

On an other note Seleco is also crappy customer service never again, JVC Pro has great customer service especially on the West Coast.
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Old 08-05-2009   #21
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Default Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?

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Originally Posted by gstarr View Post

That isn't to say that if someone wanted to trade me a Classe SSP-800 for the Integra DHC-9.9 I wouldn't be very tempted to get that gorgeous piece of audio jewelry,

but I would be somewhat shocked if it sounded any betterand I wouldn't be at all suprised if I couldn't perform numerous functions that the Integra can.

Every speaker and room has far more distortion related problems then any well-built and designed receiver, audio surround processor, or amplifier.

Greg
Hi Greg,

No doubt the Integra has a huge list of features and sounds great for the class it is in. As a hobbiest for 18 years and now a dealer for the last six years I have had a lot of opportunities to listen to a bunch of different equipment. I realize that there are many on this site that also have a lot of experience so I am by no means claiming to be an expert. For me personally, audio quality is #1, features not as important.

Side Note: When I first started in this game 20 some years ago, I used to spend hours reading and comparing all the spec sheets from brand to brand and would base my decissions soley on what the specs said. Then I visited a store called Salon One Audio and the never mentioned specs. They said don't worry about all of that just listen and let your ears decide. That has kind of been my MO ever since. Obviously some specs are still important, but comparing one reciever vs another based on their marketing pieces or online reviews really dosen't tell you anything about how they sound. Features yes, sound quality no.

What I have found in comparing several receivers and pre/pros is that they all sound different. There are improvements in sound quality in moving up the ladder of models in a particular brand as well as differences from brand to brand. For example, there are differences in sound between Denon and Marantz and they share a many of the same parts.


I have also found that when you get to a level of Classe Pre/Pros and a few other brands, (I have owned two different Classe models, but I am not a dealer) you experience a whole new level of dynamics, clarity, openess as well as improvement in 2 channel audio quality. Obviously the amps you have them hooked up to make a difference as well, but even when using the same amps, source, cables, speakers etc, you still hear differences from processor to processor. Why that is I can't really say, I just know that I hear a difference.

Having good enough speakers to resolve the differences helps as well. I'm not sure if you could hear large enough differences to justify the increased cost on a below average speakers.

Whether or not the improvement is worth the extra cash is up to the individual and probably their budget. If you ever get a chance to compare higher end separates to your receiver you should difinetly do it.

James
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Old 08-05-2009   #22
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Default Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?

I agree if you have Polk or bose speakers don't bother buyin Classé SSP-800 on the other hand if you have B&W 800 series or Focal Grand Utopia or any high end speakers then you will hear a difference. Now an other option I have seriously consider when I change my system in ten years or so I will look at what they use in recording studios around the world Genelec powered speakers and DSP controled then all you need is a good transport like the Oppo and you are free of pre/pro and amps

Of course Abbey Road uses B&W 800D and Classé CA-M400 ( owned by B&W) but that is because they want to support the locals

http://www.abbeyroad.co.uk/studios/studio1/

Five 800D bi-amped with two Classé CA-400 monobloks each

http://www.abbeyroad.co.uk/studios/penthouse/
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Old 08-05-2009   #23
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Default Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by levoncam
The two simplest answers are different converter technologies and , perhaps just as important, different analogue components.
Anyone who can't AT LEAST hear a difference through a truly high end rig is wasting their time on this thread.
The differences between HDCD an non HDCD on encoded discs, was obvious in an almost distorted sense of depth. The Theta Gen V was undeniably magical in its ability to impart body, and space to the instruments and the recorded room. I have never heard d/a's in higher price ranges (many exist) but for under 6k retail that bad boy stood ALONE.
On a side mote, we were not Theta Dealers and it ****ed me off that the Gen V was so frickin' good.

Hey man, we level matched and not a word was said by the switcher at any time during my evaluation.

Do you believe that all amplifiers and preamps sound alike?
Again this is 100% subjective, why not go for the machina dynamica teleportation tweak?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rs350z
there is a big difference in sound quality between a good top of the line receiver and a top of the line high end processor/amp combination. i have both types of systems in my house. i have always had the top of the line HT yamaha receiver and a separate audio system. my yamaha or my onkyo ht receivers hooked up to my totem mani 2's sound terrible. these receivers claim 140+ watts of power but realistically, they are very weak in the amp category. my amp used in my audio setup is bigger and heavier than either of the ht receivers. so what i do now is use the ht receiver for the center and surround channels and route the front signals thru a quality 2 channel preamp/amp combination. i have also demo'd a newer classe ssp ht processor/amp combo against my ht receiver and the classe has more power (drives the speakers better), cleaner sound (non-fatiguing), more enjoyable to listen to, but also 3 or 4 times the cost. IMO, worth every penny.
Amps are easily measureable like everything else and as long as the amp can properly drive the speakers there will be no sonic difference, this has been backed up with many double blind tests.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gstarr
the Anthem AVM-50 and Anthem D2 which cost between $5K and $8K are both great with far superior build quality to the Integra. Not that Integra is built poorly, it is built with good quality commercial receiver-type enclosure. The Anthems are built with far more expensive machined metal, rather than the pressed steel on most rerceivers.
Not really, the anthem D2 internalt pictures don't look spcial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlpiii
It always seems like those starting this type of discussion have not done the critical listening first, they just post pics. and questions.
Really? It seams like the high end is not interested in critical listening since they are against double blind tests.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wes
Classé has two 64bit Ti Chips and many other attribute including decoding all the new codecs, that makes it an amazing sounding pre/pro.
Did they release the new DSPboards yet? Anyways they do not offer better processing then the integra and remember that DD and DTS is decoded the same way and set by those companies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wes
Now, yes I wished Classé would sell their pre/pro at $2000 but then again they need to pay the Canadian labor rate rather than slave labor where Integra is made in China! This is why Classé has to sell it for more, in addition the touch panel is great as it allows to pre-screen movies or music
So you agree that the extra money does not go for better parts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by graniterocks
I have also found that when you get to a level of Classe Pre/Pros and a few other brands, (I have owned two different Classe models, but I am not a dealer) you experience a whole new level of dynamics, clarity, openess as well as improvement in 2 channel audio quality. Obviously the amps you have them hooked up to make a difference as well, but even when using the same amps, source, cables, speakers etc, you still hear differences from processor to processor. Why that is I can't really say, I just know that I hear a difference.
Cables don't make a difference, this has been proven long ago so I take this with a grain of salt and nothing more then your subjective opinion.
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Old 08-05-2009   #24
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Default Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?

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Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
Did they release the new DSPboards yet? Anyways they do not offer better processing then the integra and remember that DD and DTS is decoded the same way and set by those companies. So you agree that the extra money does not go for better parts? Cables don't make a difference, this has been proven long ago so I take this with a grain of salt and nothing more then your subjective opinion.
Soon end of August, yes and in addition there are better parts look how it is built I agree that the decoding is the same but how the sound is transferred is not the same.

Classé vs Integra

http://www.htguide.com/forum/showthread.php4?t=28891

http://www.classeaudio.com/reviews/index.htm

Integra

http://www.integrahometheater.com/mo...=Separates&p=i

Not quite the same built quality on Features the Integra is no questions asked the winner in quality of Sound I am sorry I will take the Classé any day. It is like driving a Lexus 450 vs a Yugo
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