Ayre DX-5 bluray player - Page 22 - AVS Forum
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post #631 of 1442 Old 05-29-2010, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by scottsol View Post

Our store system has been using an SSP800 via Hdmi for almost two years. Absolutely no changes were made in the setup except for putting in the Ayre. I verified that the DTS Master track was used in all cases and no changes were made to the volume.

Well that doesn't make a lot of sense then. When you bitstream using HDMI, all the player is doing is taking the information off the BD disc and passing it on to the processor to decode the data (audio stream). The actually player doesn't do any of the processing, all it is doing is passing on the information. It is a 1 for 1 transfer.
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post #632 of 1442 Old 05-30-2010, 12:21 AM
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While I didn't listen to the analog output, I have no doubt that it will sound considerably better than the CX7e.

If, as documented above, one is predisposed to hear a difference before any tests are even performed, conclusions as described below, in a sighted test no less, are not at all unexpected, and not at all reliable.

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I just spent a very short time with an early version of the unit with the audio only Hdmi unavailable. Even so, the sound via Hdmi via a Classe SSP800 was far beyond what I have previously heard on Blu-Ray.

Might have been a lot more useful to leave the other BD player connected, and just add the Ayre thru an identical HDMI cable, and get another copy of whatever BD you want to use. Play them in parallel, and have someone switch while you're not looking. Not scientific, but a better way to do a comparison.
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post #633 of 1442 Old 05-30-2010, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by LaoChe View Post

Well that doesn't make a lot of sense then. When you bitstream using HDMI, all the player is doing is taking the information off the BD disc and passing it on to the processor to decode the data (audio stream). The actually player doesn't do any of the processing, all it is doing is passing on the information. It is a 1 for 1 transfer.

Actually it makes a lot of sense.

You have to remember that every circuit, digital or analog, is nothing more than a modulated power supply.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Since every circuit is just a modulated power supply, the quality of the power supply becomes paramount to the performance of that circuit. In the case of the HDMI A/V Output, the fact that the power supply is much cleaner and quieter than other players means that the HDMI output signal will have lower jitter. And jitter is audible despite the nay-sayers in the Audio Engineering Society (yes, I'm a member...)

The funny thing is that there are thing that really make no sense whatsoever, and yet still make an audible difference. The world doesn't seem to care much if we can understand it, it just works the way it works. Gravity is a good example. Nobody has the slightest idea how gravity works. Yet we have all learned by experience that when you drop something that it will fall.

When you get a chance, try out the DX-5 sometime and see for yourself. And by the way, ScottSol was listening to the HDMI A/V Output. We also have a dedicated HDMI Audio Output which has even lower jitter levels, plus is galvanically isolated from the video circuitry plus accepts the Audio Rate Control commands from a suitably equipped processor. That output will sound even better than the regular HDMI A/V Output.

You can download the owner's manual at:

http://www.ayre.com/manuals/Ayre_DX5_Manual.pdf
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post #634 of 1442 Old 05-30-2010, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

If, as documented above, one is predisposed to hear a difference before any tests are even performed, conclusions as described below, in a sighted test no less, are not at all unexpected, and not at all reliable.

Might have been a lot more useful to leave the other BD player connected, and just add the Ayre thru an identical HDMI cable, and get another copy of whatever BD you want to use. Play them in parallel, and have someone switch while you're not looking. Not scientific, but a better way to do a comparison.

Actually, leaving the other player connected would damage the validity of the experiment. The other player has a switching power supply that generates a lot of noise. Leaving it connected would inject that noise into the system, and that is not how the customer is going to use it.

The best test is to just swap out the players, leaving everything else unchanged. Some people think it needs to be "blind". It's easy enough to do. Just put the DUT's out of sight and have someone else make the changes. They can disconnect the cables and then re-connect them to either player. I've even had them make loud noises during the switch over so that the subject couldn't possibly hear a difference in the sound of the connectors engaging.

I've done dozens and dozens of these blind tests. The outcome is no different than a sighted test, so I usually don't do them as they take longer and they require at least two people. But every once in a while I still do them just as a sanity check.
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post #635 of 1442 Old 05-30-2010, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottsol View Post


While I didn't listen to the analog output, I have no doubt that it will sound considerably better than the CX7e.

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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

If, as documented above, one is predisposed to hear a difference before any tests are even performed, conclusions as described below, in a sighted test no less, are not at all unexpected, and not at all reliable.

My "preopinion" of the analog output was based on my experience with the C-5xe, which I like better than the CX-7e. The analog stage of DX-5 is an outgrowth of the C-5xe. But this has nothing to do with the sound via Hdmi. Nevertheless, it is true that I expected the Ayre to sound better than the other players we have had in the system. I did not have any expectations of how big the difference would be or what their nature would be, and I expected that I might need to do a few passes to know what was going on. I certainly had no idea I would immediately hear anything as dramatic as the tines.

When I do comparisons for customers I seldom follow the standard technique of telling them what they are going to hear before playing the demo track. I sometimes don't even tell them what equipment they are listening to. It is gratifying that they still commonly hear the same differences that I heard in my sighted evaluations. So I don't bother setting up blind tests when I am evaluating equipment.
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post #636 of 1442 Old 05-30-2010, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

Actually it makes a lot of sense.

You have to remember that every circuit, digital or analog, is nothing more than a modulated power supply.

Let that sink in for a moment.


When you get a chance, try out the DX-5 sometime and see for yourself. And by the way, ScottSol was listening to the HDMI A/V Output. We also have a dedicated HDMI Audio Output which has even lower jitter levels, plus is galvanically isolated from the video circuitry plus accepts the Audio Rate Control commands from a suitably equipped processor. That output will sound even better than the regular HDMI A/V Output.

You can download the owner's manual at:

http://www.ayre.com/manuals/Ayre_DX5_Manual.pdf

Hi Charles, my compliments on your development efforts of the D5.

Am I understanding correctly that installation of your player feeding hdmi lpcm audio into a digital preamp that is rack mounted within a massive a/v and control ensemble would not have as low jitter (on hdmi) as one where the only source is your player?



I know my example here (and substitute a Steinway version of the Tact Audio depicted) is sort of extreme in noise pollution potential , but the benefits of your power supply and extensive isolation ip become diminished in this situation then?

Is there a solution for this?

I actually left you a message some months ago about incorporating the piece in a couple of these systems for very high profile clients.

This is one of the rooms:


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post #637 of 1442 Old 05-30-2010, 09:56 AM
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Is hdmi 1.4 with frame packing in the future for your BD player line?
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post #638 of 1442 Old 05-30-2010, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

Actually it makes a lot of sense.

You have to remember that every circuit, digital or analog, is nothing more than a modulated power supply.

Since every circuit is just a modulated power supply, the quality of the power supply becomes paramount to the performance of that circuit. In the case of the HDMI A/V Output, the fact that the power supply is much cleaner and quieter than other players means that the HDMI output signal will have lower jitter. And jitter is audible despite the nay-sayers in the Audio Engineering Society (yes, I'm a member...)

The funny thing is that there are thing that really make no sense whatsoever, and yet still make an audible difference. The world doesn't seem to care much if we can understand it, it just works the way it works. Gravity is a good example. Nobody has the slightest idea how gravity works. Yet we have all learned by experience that when you drop something that it will fall.

When you get a chance, try out the DX-5 sometime and see for yourself. And by the way, ScottSol was listening to the HDMI A/V Output. We also have a dedicated HDMI Audio Output which has even lower jitter levels, plus is galvanically isolated from the video circuitry plus accepts the Audio Rate Control commands from a suitably equipped processor. That output will sound even better than the regular HDMI A/V Output.

Charles,

First off, congratulations on the release of your new upcoming DX-5. I have the C-5xeMP Universal player and find it to be the best sounding player that I've owned sans BluRay.

One question though, with the DX-5 have you found through your own listening tests at Ayre that some of the expensive aftermarket HDMI cables yield better sound than an inexpensive HDMI cable from a company such as Monoprice or BlueJeans via either the DX-5 HDMI A/V Output or its dedicated HDMI Audio Output even though HDMI might not be the optimal way to transmit high quality audio?

Thanks,

Bob
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post #639 of 1442 Old 05-30-2010, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

Actually, leaving the other player connected would damage the validity of the experiment. The other player has a switching power supply that generates a lot of noise. Leaving it connected would inject that noise into the system, and that is not how the customer is going to use it.

The best test is to just swap out the players, leaving everything else unchanged. Some people think it needs to be "blind". It's easy enough to do. Just put the DUT's out of sight and have someone else make the changes. They can disconnect the cables and then re-connect them to either player. I've even had them make loud noises during the switch over so that the subject couldn't possibly hear a difference in the sound of the connectors engaging.

I've done dozens and dozens of these blind tests. The outcome is no different than a sighted test, so I usually don't do them as they take longer and they require at least two people. But every once in a while I still do them just as a sanity check.

Even if doing the tests as you say reveals sonic differences, what happens when one gets the DX-5 into a typical system, let alone Cineramax's stack, wherein the AVP is connected thru HDMI to at minimum a monitor or a projector, and possibly a DVR or a media server? If the benefits of the DX-5's HDMI are masked by that, where does that leave the owner? I doubt the AV shops disconnect the display during a BD demo, but I haven't been to a high end shop in decades.
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post #640 of 1442 Old 05-30-2010, 12:24 PM
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Hi Charles, my compliments on your development efforts of the D5.

Thanks. Sorry it took so long. It was a lot more work than we anticipated.

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Am I understanding correctly that installation of your player feeding hdmi lpcm audio into a digital preamp that is rack mounted within a massive a/v and control ensemble would not have as low jitter (on hdmi) as one where the only source is your player?

One of the main factors that limits the performance of an A/V system is the fact that the audio and video grounds are tied together.

To solve that problem, all Ayre video players have used total galvanic isolation between the video system (display and scaler) and the audio system (processor, amps, et cetera). This is fine if the Ayre is your only source.

If you have other A/V sources, then one thing that helps is using a preamp that switches the grounds as well as the "hots" of the input. The Ayre K-5xeMP and KX-R do this, along with the Levinson No.32 (apparently discontinued) and the No. 326.

An even better way is to use isolators for the audio outputs of any video sources in the system. TosLink does this for free. You can buy inexpensive isolation transformers for coax digital audio. And Jensen makes high-quality analog audio isolation transformers.

This is explained on page 7 of the DX-5 owner's manual.
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post #641 of 1442 Old 05-30-2010, 12:34 PM
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Is hdmi 1.4 with frame packing in the future for your BD player line?

It's hard to predict the future. We tend to be fairly cautious when it comes to spending our customers money. It's not at all clear at this point if 3-D will be the biggest thing since color TV or just a hill of beans. I think we'll sit this one out, just like we sat out the HD-DVD/Blu-ray format war.
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post #642 of 1442 Old 05-30-2010, 12:40 PM
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First off, congratulations on the release of your new upcoming DX-5. I have the C-5xeMP Universal player and find it to be the best sounding player that I've owned sans BluRay.

Thanks for the kind words. The analog outputs will sound even better than the C-5xeMP.

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One question though, with the DX-5 have you found through your own listening tests at Ayre that some of the expensive aftermarket HDMI cables yield better sound than an inexpensive HDMI cable from a company such as Monoprice or BlueJeans via either the DX-5 HDMI A/V Output or its dedicated HDMI Audio Output even though HDMI might not be the optimal way to transmit high quality audio?

I haven't had a chance to try them, but just like everything else I expect it to make a difference. HDMI without Audio Rate Control is very susceptible to jitter, so I would expect the cabling to make marked sonic differences.

And actually I would expect it to make a difference in the picture quality also. I don't have a good explanation for it, but years ago we got markedly better picture quality with a DVI projector by using fiber optic DVI cables....
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post #643 of 1442 Old 05-30-2010, 12:45 PM
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Even if doing the tests as you say reveals sonic differences, what happens when one gets the DX-5 into a typical system, let alone Cineramax's stack, wherein the AVP is connected thru HDMI to at minimum a monitor or a projector, and possibly a DVR or a media server? If the benefits of the DX-5's HDMI are masked by that, where does that leave the owner? I doubt the AV shops disconnect the display during a BD demo, but I haven't been to a high end shop in decades.

I can tell you how to get the most out of our equipment. Most people won't do it for one reason or another. That doesn't mean that they should give up and buy Bose HTIB's. The performance advantage will still be there, regardless of the setup.

As always, one should borrow the equipment from the local dealer and take it home for evaluation. That is the only way to know whether it is worth the money to you.
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post #644 of 1442 Old 05-31-2010, 08:56 AM
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In my test the SSP was acting as the video switcher, so there was no isolation, and in addition to the PJ there was a VUDU, Sonos and DirecTV receiver hooked up.

I and my customers have had no trouble experiencing sound and picture differences between various Hdmi cables.
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post #645 of 1442 Old 06-02-2010, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

When you get a chance, try out the DX-5 sometime and see for yourself. And by the way, ScottSol was listening to the HDMI A/V Output. We also have a dedicated HDMI Audio Output which has even lower jitter levels, plus is galvanically isolated from the video circuitry plus accepts the Audio Rate Control commands from a suitably equipped processor. That output will sound even better than the regular HDMI A/V Output.

Are there any special A/V processors that you can recommend for use with the Ayre DX-5?

Also, do I understand it correctly that the DX-5 is analog stereo output only?

Thanks.
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post #646 of 1442 Old 06-03-2010, 07:51 AM
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Are there any special A/V processors that you can recommend for use with the Ayre DX-5?

I don't have any direct experience, only second-hand recommendations. Many consider the Classe SSP-800 or the Theta Casablanca to be the cream of the crop. Others think you are better off to get an good, but less expensive, processor like the Arcam or the Rotel and use it in conjunction with a good two-channel preamp with a bypass mode like the Audio Research or the Ayre.

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Also, do I understand it correctly that the DX-5 is analog stereo output only?

Not quite. The analog output is stereo only. But it also has two HDMI outputs. One has both audio and video, but is recommended for video only. The other has only audio and will give the best multi-channel sound quality of any source.
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post #647 of 1442 Old 06-03-2010, 10:32 AM
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Two more questions;

Does the DX-5 run the same firmware as the other OPPO players/mods? The reason I ask is because the OPPO BPP-83/SE/NU can move the subtitles for DVD and DB movies. If the DX-5 runs the same firmware is should be able to do so as well...?

Also, if there are any new firmware updates from OPPO, can these be applied to the DX-5?
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post #648 of 1442 Old 06-04-2010, 08:21 AM
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Does the DX-5 run the same firmware as the other OPPO players/mods? The reason I ask is because the OPPO BPP-83/SE/NU can move the subtitles for DVD and DB movies. If the DX-5 runs the same firmware is should be able to do so as well...?

Also, if there are any new firmware updates from OPPO, can these be applied to the DX-5?

How dare you insult us?! Ayre uses custom firmware.

Of course, the only difference is the logo on the "splash screen"....

There is actually a lag time of a week or two before the Ayre version is ready. In some cases there may be other differences as well. There was an interim version (that was never released) that didn't include the BluTV and the DLNA, as Oppo didn't consider them stable enough for an expensive player. But the current Ayre version is essentially identical to the Oppo version.

The Oppo firmware cannot be installed on the Ayre player and vice versa as there is a special "signature" file. Also the Ayre players will connect to the Ayre website when looking for firmware updates on the internet.

But Oppo has been very good about keeping us supplied with the latest firmware updates. I think we are on the fourth Ayre version, and we finally shipping! We've never had to wait more than a few weeks for the Ayre version.
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post #649 of 1442 Old 06-05-2010, 11:25 PM
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. I think we are on the fourth Ayre version, and we finally shipping!

Wow what a great and informative thread. I discovered it about a week ago, and had to wait till I just finished reading it, to learn whether or not you're shipping. Charles, you are a very patient man. I appreciate it so much when the heads of companies such as yours keep an active dialog going for so long with so many posters.

Congrats on the release of your new player. It is on my dream list for sure. If it didn't mean also buying a new processor that has HDMI audio in, and sooner rather than later a 2ch preamp as well, and a 2ch separate amp, I'd be seriously looking at it now.

Currently, I'm running a Denon 5910 into a Parasound Halo P7 analog mch pre amp, for video and audio, plus a Dish Net DVR optical out into a Nuforce AVP17 and then analog outs through the Halo bypass for TV. Has to be an all in one system for now.

Could get away with replacing the Halo and the nuforce with something like a Marantz prepro for now, just to get the Ayre into the system, and add a 2ch preamp later, and upgrade the prepro when someone implements the ARC circuit.

At any rate, I was excited because I have been thinking of upgrading to a better 2ch solution and adding computer audio. Two of the products I was most interested in were the C-5xe mp and the QB-9. To discover that you've built a single unit that is better than either and also can do multichannel movies was an eye opener for me. Now I won't have to wait till I can dedicate (read: build) a separate room to 2ch audio, and keep it in just one system. (Hmmmmm.... thereby "saving" thousands of dollars and justifying the cost of the DX-5. Yeah--that's the ticket! I'm actually saving money, who knew?)

Anyway, thanks again for the great thread, and your greater patience with people like me, who have bigger dreams than wallets. I just may do it anyway.

Good luck with your new player.

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post #650 of 1442 Old 06-06-2010, 01:16 PM
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Two of the products I was most interested in were the C-5xe mp and the QB-9. To discover that you've built a single unit that is better than either and also can do multichannel movies was an eye opener for me. Now I won't have to wait till I can dedicate (read: build) a separate room to 2ch audio, and keep it in just one system. (Hmmmmm.... thereby "saving" thousands of dollars and justifying the cost of the DX-5. Yeah--that's the ticket! I'm actually saving money, who knew?)

That's what we're all about -- saving our customers thousands of dollars by selling them a $10,000 player -- everything you wanted plus multi-channel and video thrown in for free!

Now if you can just figure out a way to get your wife to see how you are "saving" thousands of dollars.... Good luck!
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post #651 of 1442 Old 06-06-2010, 01:58 PM
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That's what we're all about -- saving our customers thousands of dollars by selling them a $10,000 player -- everything you wanted plus multi-channel and video thrown in for free!

Now if you can just figure out a way to get your wife to see how you are "saving" thousands of dollars.... Good luck!

Convincing my wife that I am saving all that money by buying a DX-5 is a tough sell; especially since we have an OPPO 83 in our home theater system and a C-5xeMP player in my dedicated 2 channel rig in the adjacent room. I think that I've got her sold on letting me get a QB-9 DAC for my audio rig but so far she is not too cool on letting me buy a DX-5 to run back and forth from one room to the other when I'm done listening to my stereo to set it up in the Home Theater room so we can watch a movie Oh, well!
I do have one more idea though--perhaps I could run a long pair of XLR interconnects from the listening room through the wall to the home theater room so the DX-5 could share both systems without having to be moved. Ya think that would work
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post #652 of 1442 Old 06-06-2010, 02:41 PM
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That's what we're all about -- saving our customers thousands of dollars by selling them a $10,000 player -- everything you wanted plus multi-channel and video thrown in for free!

Now if you can just figure out a way to get your wife to see how you are "saving" thousands of dollars.... Good luck!

Actually it's "girlfriend" for now but after 62 years as a bachelor--52 as a bachelorette for her--it may soon become "wife."

So I'd better act fast.

Couldn't find a link for your dealer in Phoenix, but I did for one in Santa Fe--(I'm near Albuquerque). Are they still dealers, and do you have links for the one in Phoenix?

Thanks

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post #653 of 1442 Old 06-06-2010, 05:59 PM
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Mine will be here on Thursday. It will take a few days to get it up and running. I cannot give you a review on the BD as we are not video people, but a full review on the audio portion will follow.

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post #654 of 1442 Old 06-06-2010, 06:00 PM
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What is the final asking price?

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post #655 of 1442 Old 06-06-2010, 06:13 PM
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I honestly do not know. I am sure I will get a bill soon however.

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post #656 of 1442 Old 06-06-2010, 06:22 PM
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Well, enjoy, regardless. Look forward to hearing your report.

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post #657 of 1442 Old 06-06-2010, 08:36 PM
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BTW, I've been assuming this player has some means to set the usual surround sound parameters-- distance/delay and relative volume per channel. Is this correct?

An interesting piece I've found that may well work as an audio only multichannel processor with the DX-5 is here:
http://www.ada.net/products/ht/suite_7.1.php

I think it goes for about $5500.00. Charles or anyone have any thoughts on this?

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post #658 of 1442 Old 06-06-2010, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

I don't have any direct experience, only second-hand recommendations. Many consider the Classe SSP-800 or the Theta Casablanca to be the cream of the crop.

The Classe is a very nice piece, and in the rarified air of the hiend, a pretty good deal. The Theta cannot, as of yet and probably never, handle HDMI so IMO is something of a non-starter. Krell makes a nice piece, the Evo 707, although I've not had a lot of hands-on experience with it. My personal favorite, for a number of reasons, is the Meridian 861v6 - it is the one I own. Downsides are price, around $26K, and the need for an external box, the HD621 adding $3K to the price, for HDMI connectivity - although the 621 is the most elegent, audio-centric implementation of HDMI I've seen.

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post #659 of 1442 Old 06-06-2010, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ca1ore View Post

The Classe is a very nice piece, and in the rarified air of the hiend, a pretty good deal. The Theta cannot, as of yet and probably never, handle HDMI so IMO is something of a non-starter. Krell makes a nice piece, the Evo 707, although I've not had a lot of hands-on experience with it. My personal favorite, for a number of reasons, is the Meridian 861v6 - it is the one I own. Downsides are price, around $26K, and the need for an external box, the HD621 adding $3K to the price, for HDMI connectivity - although the 621 is the most elegent, audio-centric implementation of HDMI I've seen.

Take a look at the unit in my post above yours. It might be ideal if you only want great sound from a digital input like the DX-5.

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post #660 of 1442 Old 06-07-2010, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonhawk View Post

Take a look at the unit in my post above yours. It might be ideal if you only want great sound from a digital input like the DX-5.

Yes, it's an interesting piece. ADA make nice stuff. No balanced output for those like me whose amps require it.

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