Originally Posted by thebland
Sonically, the Suite 7.1 and Mach IV are the same (same boards inside per ADA rep)... Other than that, what gives this piece the edge over the 7.1?
The Suite 7.1 is more available, so I'm asking..
First off, sorry to everyone for the tight availability on these units. We didn't expect the demand to be as strong as it is (happy problem) and even though we have ramped up production, we are still dealing with back-orders. We are working on this and you should see greater availability down the road.
I think there are three factors to consider with respect to selecting the Cinema Rhapsody Mach IV.
If front panel control is important to you, while both units let you do everything, the Cinema Rhapsody Mach IV is more elegant and the Suite 7.1 HD more industrial.
From a connectivity standpoint, the Mach IV comes in two versions - with non-HDMI video switching or with balanced audio outputs.
For the unit featuring composite, S and component inputs, we did not bother including any transcoding in our preamp but instead designed it to include a video processor loop which works much like an audio processor loop on two-channel preamps. This permits you to incorporate the scaler of your choosing while still switching inputs on the Mach IV. Essentially, all sources connect to the Mach IV (including audio) and the non-HDMI video outputs of the Mach IV (composite, S and/or component) connect to the scaler. The scaler's output (HDMI) connects back into the Mach IV (the same HDMI input is used for all non-HDMI sources). In the setup of the Mach IV, while each input has it's own distinct audio jack assigned to it, it has both a non-HDMI video input as well as the HDMI input from the scaler. As inputs are selected, the audio is processed and the corresponding non-HDMI video is sent to the scaler and then back into the Mach IV via HDMI and out to the display.
If neither balanced audio or non-HDMI switching is important, the Suite 7.1 HD might do.
The third and IMHO most critical differential between the two units is that the Mach IV features a second crossover (fixed 80Hz) that can be used in conjunction with the one in the DSP. Essentially, this permits you to run full range capable speakers in "Large" mode while still extracting bass from these channels to send to the subwoofer output (along with bass from other channels and the .1 LFE channel). So if you are using full-range speakers in your home theater array, the Cinema Rhapsody Mach IV (either one) is the way to go.
I hope this helps.