Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor
Whilst Denon gear is ok I would not call it high end. The 4311 is not even a separate pre and power, it's an AVR. My target and comparison is with the Classe, DataSat, Krell, Bryston units. With the ability to use outboard DACs you can really step the game up. The Metric Halo LIO8 I'm using is a very very nice unit, but of course there is always better.
I had a Marantz AV7701 in the demo room before I built this unit and the sound quality was not good enough. That's one of the things that prompted me to do the project in the first place!
Also I am not a fan of Audyssey, but that's another conversation entirely!
I never said Denon is "high end". I said the 4311 is the high end of
And the discussion of whether an "AVR" is as good as a dedicated Pre is also a whole another discussion.
"Classe, DataSat, Krell, Bryston" - All these are great with analog and/or up to 5.1 digital. By the time you're looking at one of their units that can do lossless/True-HD/DTS-MA, you're looking at a small house mortgage.
DACs - I'll agree that there is certainly a sonic difference between a dedicated DAC and a mass market pre/AVR. But that's a preference. It doesn't show anything one way or the other.
Now, Audyssey (or its equivalents)....
Again, YOU may not like it, but the fact that the room plays a big part in the reproduction of audio has been known for decades. We just haven't had automated algorithms, processors and the technology to implement it on a mass market scale, until a few years ago. Is room correction the end all with all? Nope. But it can certainly bring out the best (which again is subjective) in your equipment in your space.
The point being, there is a place for exotic equipment in the marketplace, and there is place for the mass market, mid/high end equipment. One is not necassarily better/worse than the other. It's the human factor that makes a difference. As an e.g. my wife cannot see a major difference between SD and HD and she's in her 30s...
Is she blind? Nope. Does she not care about picture quality? Well, she cares more about the content. Where I see frame drops, she sees one of the Kardashian sisters swishing around in a couture dress. Go figure.
And I'll go head to head with anybody who claims that they can produce the "SQ" AND feature set of a Classe/Krell/Meridian/NAIM etc on a PC for the retail price of the respective equipment. Can't be done.