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Old 10-22-2009   #49
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Cool Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?

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Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet View Post
Hey Dave,

here's a thought:

"Processor" is the new "preamp". With 2-channel sources that are delivered in 2.0 analog, no "processing" needs to take place in the preamp. However, unless the source is LP or open-reel, it's probably started life in your system as a digital signal, in which case it needed to get converted to analog... a form of "processing" done in a d/a converter.

I know that you and most everyone reading this thread know this, but the reason I'm stating this is because these days, with digital sources, virtually every signal at some point gets "processed" by necessity. Yes, even simple d/a conversion with linear PCM involves things like oversampling and digital filtering... some d/a converters apply analog filters, some digital, some interpolate beyond 16 bits, some "correct" 16-bit quantization (presumed) errors based on laws of natural wave-forms prior to d/a etc. etc. There's no such thing as the one and only right and perfect way to design d/a conversion... both on the software and hardware side. And so even the most basic of tasks by any CD player can be rightly termed "processing".

I say this because with digital signals, if the d/a conversion stage is incorporated into the pre-amp, then the pre-amp becomes "a processor".

That's really what is meant when high-end music lovers and film lovers talk about audio processors: most are not talking about black boxes that will intentionally alter the source sound and deviate from the original intent by adding reverb or fancy tricks that correspond to gimmicky labels on the front face plate. Rather, we're talking about things like the quality of the d/a conversion, analog output stage, volume attenuator, jitter filtering, resolution enhancement, upsampling etc. Even tasks which are bit-for-bit accurate like decoding Dolby TrueHD, MLP, or DTS-HD MA into multi-channel PCM are generally termed "processing". What does fall into the old-fashioned idea of "processing" in today's processors are things like THX re-equalization and EQ management... and naturally the algorithms used can have a damaging effect on sound quality... but well designed algorithms may in fact improve things given that your room-speaker interaction *also* changes the sound (room-speaker interaction can IMO be reasonably termed as "passive" processing because it's taking place though not by intent). Is it philosophically wrong to use an active means to counteract a known passive effect like an EQ imbalance due to speaker/room limitations? Not necessarily. I liken it to the justification of applying EQ balancing to restore the raw signal from an turntable cartridge so that it has the proper tonal balance (applying an active change to compensate for a known passive effect).

Having said all that... I've found that I prefer the sound of my friend's high-end Lexicon processor when it operates in bypass mode applying no additional DSP to the source beyond the necessary d/a conversion.

Bottom line: a "Processor" is a multi-channel pre-amp with the built-in ability to handle digital signals as well as analog: It's *today's* pre-amp, for all intents and purposes.
Yes, most of today's preamps are pretty much processors with preamplification, though I think those types should properly be called preamp-processors to differentiate them from those "purist" preamps being made with minimal processing, especially the tube type preamps preferred by tube advocates. This would also differentiate them from true processors such as the Audyssey.
And I, too prefer the Lexicon in bypass mode, for serious listening, and in processed mode for surround sound movies.
cheers
Dave Ladely
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Old 10-22-2009   #50
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Default Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?

If you're an analog ( turntable) fanatic as I am, you should be carefull before buying a preamp-processor. Some will convert the pure analog signal into digital form before reconverting it to analog. (analog-digital + digital to analog)

Analog fans wish to keep the signal as pure as possible.

That what the first simaudio moon 5.1 processor did. I dont' know if they have corrext this later on.
Thankfully, their Stargate doesn't do this.
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Old 10-22-2009   #51
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Red face Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?

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Originally Posted by Daniel-a View Post
If you're an analog ( turntable) fanatic as I am, you should be carefull before buying a preamp-processor. Some will convert the pure analog signal into digital form before reconverting it to analog. (analog-digital + digital to analog)

Analog fans wish to keep the signal as pure as possible.

That what the first simaudio moon 5.1 processor did. I dont' know if they have corrext this later on.
Thankfully, their Stargate doesn't do this.
I know a few analogue enthusiasts who have nothing but tube preamps and tube amps, who listen to their LPs in stereo with a fine turntable/cartridge and are perfectly happy. Personally, i was always bothered by the compression of so many LPs and the tape hiss, but the sound can be awfully good with very high quality LPs in perfect condition. Years back, I would buy two LPs, one to play, the other to keep as a "master", since each play causes wear that eventually destroys the LP, though it might take a few years.
cheers
dave
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Old 10-22-2009   #52
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Default Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?

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Originally Posted by DaveLadely View Post
I know a few analogue enthusiasts who have nothing but tube preamps and tube amps, who listen to their LPs in stereo with a fine turntable/cartridge and are perfectly happy. Personally, i was always bothered by the compression of so many LPs and the tape hiss, but the sound can be awfully good with very high quality LPs in perfect condition. Years back, I would buy two LPs, one to play, the other to keep as a "master", since each play causes wear that eventually destroys the LP, though it might take a few years.
cheers
dave

I have some lp from the 50s that still play perfectly. A misaligned cartridge and mishandling can destoy lps in no time.

p.s. Soon, I will change my b&K preamp-processor for something else, something better...used. Maybe Krell, classé, simaudio, bryston or anthem. they must have direct analog. I've read a lot, but I have not decided yet. It will depend on what's available.
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Old 11-18-2009   #53
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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
Exactly, a $400 receiver is going to decode DD/DTS the exact same way a $30,000 theta will.
Steve -
I'm confused about why you started this thread. Looking at your posts on the PS Audio forum, you posted the following about the PerfectWave Transport and PerfectWave DAC versus other products:
________________________________________ ________________________________________ _____________________
Quote
Steven Bruzonsky

03 October 2009 09:02 PM [ Report ] [ Ignore ] [ # 25 ]
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Total Posts: 17
Joined 2009-08-05

AVS is AVS and I’m a big guy that can take their crap at times. HA!

The verdict is in!!!@@@

#1 PS Audio PWT and PWD to Six Shooter

VS

#2 PS Audio PWT to Theta CB3 using latter’s Extreme DACs

I’ve played around a bit with cables, accessories, etc. My configuration now is on the bottom a Symposium Ultra platform, then a set of three Symposium rectangular “cubes” (I tried Symposium Rollerblocks, but didn’t like them primarily because the components on top rolled some and weren’t stable enough), then the PWT, then on top of the PWT the PWD (with its rubber feet screwed off, the PWD fits on top of the PWD like they were one component, as that is how they are designed), then a 3/8 thick Symposium Svelte Shelf, then on top of the shelf a Bright Star Little Rock weight. I settled on 1M Granite Audio balanced interconnects from PWD to Six Shooter preamp. 2M Cardas Neutral Reference balanced digital cable from PWT to CB3. Granite Audio power cords plugged into PS Audio Premier Power Plant not using the Multiwave feature (like the regular sine wave better musically in general). The I2S HDMI cable between the PWT and PWD is a Blue Jeans Cable 1 foot Belden Series F-2 (in a few week’s PS Audio’s silver HDMI 1M cable will arrive and I will try it out).
________________________________________ ________________________________________ __________________

so on your earlier comments on this forum, you've said that cables differences are subjective and, I believe, discounted another person's comments that they heard a difference, yet on the PS Audio site you are talking about switching out cables and hearing a difference.

As quoted above, you say that a $400 receiver is going decode DD/DTS the same as a Theta (and implying that they sound the same), yet you own a Theta CB-3 and Six Shooter which, depending on the configuration can cost almost $30K. So I guess you're saying that you like paying a lot for "audio jewelry" if it all sounds the same?

You've repeatedly said that all electronics sound the same and DBT would prove it, yet looking at the things you've done with your PWD versus the Theta DACs, it appears that you believe otherwise.

You also told me on the PS Audio discussion forum that I would hear a difference if I bought a 2-channel preamp instead of listening to my Onkyo Pro PR-SC886P and you used your use of the Theta Six Shooter as an example (good advice here, I did! and I also improved the sound by getting a PWD myself instead of using the 886P's DACs).

I can't tell if you're truly trying to have a spirited discussion by starting this thread or you were trolling...at any rate, your comments on this thread versus the one at PS Audio seem very contradictory.

ChrisG
Seattle, WA
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Old 11-19-2009   #54
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Default Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Gossard View Post
Steve -
I'm confused about why you started this thread. Looking at your posts on the PS Audio forum, you posted the following about the PerfectWave Transport and PerfectWave DAC versus other products:
________________________________________ ________________________________________ _____________________
Quote
Steven Bruzonsky

03 October 2009 09:02 PM [ Report ] [ Ignore ] [ # 25 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts: 17
Joined 2009-08-05

AVS is AVS and I’m a big guy that can take their crap at times. HA!

The verdict is in!!!@@@

#1 PS Audio PWT and PWD to Six Shooter

VS

#2 PS Audio PWT to Theta CB3 using latter’s Extreme DACs

I’ve played around a bit with cables, accessories, etc. My configuration now is on the bottom a Symposium Ultra platform, then a set of three Symposium rectangular “cubes” (I tried Symposium Rollerblocks, but didn’t like them primarily because the components on top rolled some and weren’t stable enough), then the PWT, then on top of the PWT the PWD (with its rubber feet screwed off, the PWD fits on top of the PWD like they were one component, as that is how they are designed), then a 3/8 thick Symposium Svelte Shelf, then on top of the shelf a Bright Star Little Rock weight. I settled on 1M Granite Audio balanced interconnects from PWD to Six Shooter preamp. 2M Cardas Neutral Reference balanced digital cable from PWT to CB3. Granite Audio power cords plugged into PS Audio Premier Power Plant not using the Multiwave feature (like the regular sine wave better musically in general). The I2S HDMI cable between the PWT and PWD is a Blue Jeans Cable 1 foot Belden Series F-2 (in a few week’s PS Audio’s silver HDMI 1M cable will arrive and I will try it out).
________________________________________ ________________________________________ __________________

so on your earlier comments on this forum, you've said that cables differences are subjective and, I believe, discounted another person's comments that they heard a difference, yet on the PS Audio site you are talking about switching out cables and hearing a difference.

As quoted above, you say that a $400 receiver is going decode DD/DTS the same as a Theta (and implying that they sound the same), yet you own a Theta CB-3 and Six Shooter which, depending on the configuration can cost almost $30K. So I guess you're saying that you like paying a lot for "audio jewelry" if it all sounds the same?

You've repeatedly said that all electronics sound the same and DBT would prove it, yet looking at the things you've done with your PWD versus the Theta DACs, it appears that you believe otherwise.

You also told me on the PS Audio discussion forum that I would hear a difference if I bought a 2-channel preamp instead of listening to my Onkyo Pro PR-SC886P and you used your use of the Theta Six Shooter as an example (good advice here, I did! and I also improved the sound by getting a PWD myself instead of using the 886P's DACs).

I can't tell if you're truly trying to have a spirited discussion by starting this thread or you were trolling...at any rate, your comments on this thread versus the one at PS Audio seem very contradictory.

ChrisG
Seattle, WA
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