Alternatives to Casablanca III - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 234 Old 04-14-2012, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by thebland View Post

For one, I think the receiver adds heat to the circuitry in the box. And heat kills electronics. Otherwise, preamp and SSP manufacturers would add heaters in their preamps so you could get that 'hot' sound and get those circuit boards up to 100 degrees!

What do you mean receiver? A receiver is a SSP with poweramps build in which clearly adds heat. We are talking about SSPs and Univeral players here, not receivers

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I guess the VW bug and my 911 are similar cars offering similar performance. 4 wheels, an engine, a chassis and key!

The economics of software based products are fundamentally different from hardware based products, because the marginal cost of a copy of the software program is zero.
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post #92 of 234 Old 04-14-2012, 06:20 PM
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I don't know why Onkyo or similar is even mentioned as an alternative to a CBIII HD. Perhaps a busted one that fell off a building. I hate to say this but I agree with Jeff on this one regarding Onkyo.

There are a few brands that are way better than Onkyo: ADA, lexicon, meridian, arcam, Cary, mark levinson, etc...
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post #93 of 234 Old 04-14-2012, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by thebland View Post

A player is a far simpler device than a box that contains a preamplifier and 8 channels of amplification. Heat kills.

The Onkyo/Integras we are discussing are pre/pros and, therefore, do not have any channels of amplification.

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A player simply picks up the data from the disc and simply spits it out in its native form.

First, it has mechanical parts which need to be somewhat durable. Second, in the case of the Oppo, it has the ability to decode all the the codecs, do bass/channel management, stream music from a computer and play files from USB drives.

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post #94 of 234 Old 04-14-2012, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

The Onkyo/Integras we are discussing are pre/pros and, therefore, do not have any channels of amplification.

First, it has mechanical parts which need to be somewhat durable. Second, in the case of the Oppo, it has the ability to decode all the the codecs, do bass/channel management, stream music from a computer and play files from USB drives.

All true. The Oppo is quite versatile. But do you have a Onkyo Caliber SSP in your theater or something of the Meridian pedigree? I mean, parts is parts...

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There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #95 of 234 Old 04-15-2012, 01:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm sorry for using the term "receiver" wrongly when referring to Onkyo/Integra products. I meant "processor" (which is what the 80.3 is).

I would be very satisfied if any company did to processors what Oppo has done to universal players. I believe that this is edorr's point, and I heartily concur. In the last 6 years I owned 3 Oppos, and I'm happy to buy their new products when they come out because I know that they're of high quality and very reasonably priced.

There's a market opportunity in DACs/processors to do likewise. Perhaps Oppo would want to take on the challenge? I'm tempted to refer them to this thread and suggest it.
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post #96 of 234 Old 04-15-2012, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by moosik View Post

I'm sorry for using the term "receiver" wrongly when referring to Onkyo/Integra products. I meant "processor" (which is what the 80.3 is).

I would be very satisfied if any company did to processors what Oppo has done to universal players. I believe that this is edorr's point, and I heartily concur. In the last 6 years I owned 3 Oppos, and I'm happy to buy their new products when they come out because I know that they're of high quality and very reasonably priced.

There's a market opportunity in DACs/processors to do likewise. Perhaps Oppo would want to take on the challenge? I'm tempted to refer them to this thread and suggest it.

The Outlaw Audio Model 978 pre/pro seems like it has a chance to be "the Oppo" of pre/pros. It will use ESS Sabre DACS and have Audyssey multEQ XT32. It does not have any streaming functions, and is supposed to be designed with the audiophile in mind. Rumored price point is around $1500. Like any small company trying to come to market with their own pre/pro, it is taking longer than expected to be released, but Outlaw has stated they will not release it till it's ready for prime time.
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post #97 of 234 Old 04-15-2012, 06:23 AM
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There's no free lunch. Outlaw?? Really?
I have an old one in my Attic. They do there thing using yesterday's best parts so the price is low. Clunky interface, average sound.

My Home Theater of the Month- Le Petit Trianon

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #98 of 234 Old 04-15-2012, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by thebland View Post

There's no free lunch. Outlaw?? Really?
I have an old one in my Attic. They do there thing using yesterday's best parts so the price is low. Clunky interface, average sound.

You have an old Outlaw Model 978 in your attic? Wow, I guess you really are the Nostradamus of HT!
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post #99 of 234 Old 04-15-2012, 06:52 AM
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Emotiva is also coming out with a $1500 unit that has Tact onboard. Who knows what it will sound like but I am willing to give it a spin and at least compare to my 80.2 with xt32. Still though I am most intrigued by Trinnov.. but it seems that it will still be some time before that tech is integrated into something in the $10k or so range. I can wait. Might try a used cbiii + dirac at some point in the meantime after hearing user reports.
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post #100 of 234 Old 04-15-2012, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by hifiaudio2 View Post

Might try a used cbiii + dirac at some point in the meantime after hearing user reports.

Just to clarify.
When the Dirac Live option becomes available for the Casablanca, it will not be compatible with that used CB-III until the unit is sent back to Theta for upgrade to CB-IIIHD.
So, if Dirac Live is the ultimate goal, you might also leave open the possibility of locating a used CB-IIIHD.

When available, Theta can send you the Dirac Live card to install yourself if you have a CB-IIIHD, or they can install the Dirac Live option for you, if it is ordered at the time of upgrade to HD version.

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post #101 of 234 Old 04-15-2012, 09:25 AM
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Ah ok... yeah whatever used version I would get would be whichever is the easiest upgrade to Dirac. Thanks for the info.
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post #102 of 234 Old 04-15-2012, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks TL5. I read about the Outlaw on their website and it would be really interesting to read the reviews once it comes out.
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post #103 of 234 Old 04-15-2012, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

But do you have a Onkyo Caliber SSP in your theater or something of the Meridian pedigree? I mean, parts is parts...

Actually, the Integra is in the "theater." The Meridian is in the "other" system.

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post #104 of 234 Old 04-15-2012, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by thebland View Post

All true. The Oppo is quite versatile. But do you have a Onkyo Caliber SSP in your theater or something of the Meridian pedigree? I mean, parts is parts...

That is because there is no $2000 giant killer SSP on the market yet - no one suggsted there is. All I'm saying is the technology may be at a point where someone could build it.

You are too hung up on the cost of parts. Do the math:

A Mach IV retails for $7,800. Lets say ADA gets $4,500 and the dealer gets $3,300.

Lets assume that the $4,500 is broken down as follows:

$ 1,500 parts (this is very generous)
$ 500 assembly
$ 600 overhead (SG&A) absorbtion
$ 1,000 R&D recovery
$ 900 EBIT margin (20%)

Now lets say someone changes the business model, and tries to sell 10x as many units of the same quality as the ADA, but at $2,000 instead of ADA $7,800. The model would look something like this:

First, you sell factory direct - no dealer margin.
$ 1,000 parts (operating at 10x the scale you can get the same quality part for less, lets assume 1/3)
$ 250 Assembly (operating at 10x the scale you can drive down assembly cost per unit lets assume 1/2)
$ 150 overhead (SG&A) absorbtion (operating at 10x the scale overhead cost per unit drops dramatically)
$ 100 R&D recovery (if you sell 10x more units R&D cost per unit drop by 10x, assuming the same R&D budget to develop the unit)
$ 200 software licensing (a state of the art room correction)
$ 300 EBIT margin (15%) (since you are selling 10x more unit, you are still making far more money at $300 per unit that the high end boutique manufacturer making $900 per unit).

This shows that it is economically possible to build and market a high end SSP for $2000, using the same quality parts, and spending the same on R&D as a high end manufacturer, while licensing state of the art room correction.

This is more or less what Oppo did to the universal players market, and it could be done with a SSP as well.
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post #105 of 234 Old 04-15-2012, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by edorr View Post

This is more or less what Oppo did to the universal players market, and it could be done with a SSP as well.

Amen to that. If our universal player, SSP, and speaker cables are inexpensive parts of our systems, then we'll have so much money left to buy better amplifiers (and speakers).

I wonder if it would be possible one day to do the SSP through a general purpose computer (e.g. mac mini) with attached I/O modules.
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post #106 of 234 Old 04-15-2012, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbrother52 View Post


Just to clarify.
When the Dirac Live option becomes available for the Casablanca, it will not be compatible with that used CB-III until the unit is sent back to Theta for upgrade to CB-IIIHD.
So, if Dirac Live is the ultimate goal, you might also leave open the possibility of locating a used CB-IIIHD.

When available, Theta can send you the Dirac Live card to install yourself if you have a CB-IIIHD, or they can install the Dirac Live option for you, if it is ordered at the time of upgrade to HD version.

BB,
Has it been announced that Dirac is user installable? That would be a huge plus for me. As much fun as it might be flying Craig out the 5 star hotel and airfare would be a killer.

Les
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post #107 of 234 Old 04-15-2012, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Les Auber View Post

BB,
Has it been announced that Dirac is user installable? That would be a huge plus for me. As much fun as it might be flying Craig out the 5 star hotel and airfare would be a killer.

I'd have to look up that press release for the exact wording, which may actually have read dealer upgradeable.

But that means opening my own Casablanca and plugging the Dirac board into some new processor board myself.
Or, shipping it to Craig to do the same thing so he can ship it back to me.

I do not think Theta wants to see our Casablanca's back at the factory for a plugin board change.

Of course many people do have a local dealer to bring it into and that would be the way to go!

TURN IT UP!
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post #108 of 234 Old 04-15-2012, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Les Auber View Post

BB,
Has it been announced that Dirac is user installable? That would be a huge plus for me. As much fun as it might be flying Craig out the 5 star hotel and airfare would be a killer.

From the article Feb.1st 2012 in TWICE, quoting Jeff Hipps.

"The solution will be available in June at $3,995 for installation by dealers and advanced consumers".

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post #109 of 234 Old 04-15-2012, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbrother52 View Post


From the article Feb.1st 2012 in TWICE, quoting Jeff Hipps.

"The solution will be available in June at $3,995 for installation by dealers and advanced consumers".

Thanks Marc, hadn't seen that. I haven't had a local since the CB I. Wish I did. Nearest sorta dealer is 3-4 hours away. I'm really not wanting to ship it back again as much as Theta doesn't want to see it.

Other than having something loosened by the FedEx drop tests I'm in the process of changing racks and getting reminded how much hook up sucks. My back and hips are telling me that very emphatically. Particularly the cables that run into the wall. What a tangled web...

After changing boards in the CB before that's not a worry. Now if I have to pop chips and resolder things I might reconsider. I can do it but I don't do enough on boards to be confident about it.

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post #110 of 234 Old 04-15-2012, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Les Auber View Post

My back and hips are telling me that very emphatically. Particularly the cables that run into the wall. What a tangled web...

After changing boards in the CB before that's not a worry. Now if I have to pop chips and resolder things I might reconsider. I can do it but I don't do enough on boards to be confident about it.

Every original CB-I owner seems to be broken in one way or the other.

Now that I think about it, some of the newer Casablanca owners ain't in such hot shape either!

Owning is this thing is a curse I tells ya

Link to the full Twice article from Theta Digitals website
http://www.thetadigital.com/download...ar%20TWICE.pdf

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post #111 of 234 Old 04-15-2012, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbrother52 View Post

"The solution will be available in June at $3,995 for installation by dealers and advanced consumers".

I have heard from one of Theta's dealers that is probably closer to the end of the year.
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post #112 of 234 Old 04-15-2012, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by audioguy View Post

I have heard from one of Theta's dealers that is probably closer to the end of the year.

That's probably the case, the quote from Twice is just to illustrate who can install it when available.

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post #113 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 08:34 AM
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TheBland,

You have clearly jumped head-in to the pool of hypocrisy. Your system consists of pro amps, pro eqs, speakers that very few if any would describe in this forum as high-end, yet you are critical of an Onkyo processor you have never heard because of it s price....where to begin?

As you know, I agree with many of your points of view regarding pro equipment, but your stance that Onkyo is crap and does not belong in a high end audio is no different than the the claims made by some posters in this forum that your system is mid-fi because of the pro-equipment and quality of the speakers.

Regarding the price, do you actually think that ADA could produce Onkyo's latest top of the line SSP anywhere around $2.5 K? We are talking about huge discrepancies in ability to disperse R&R dollars, benefit from volume purchases, benefit from total units sold, and so on. In fact, it would not be that surprising if ADA made the same SSP, they would have to sell the Onkyo unit for a similar price as you paid for your ADA to cover their R&R, productions and distribution costs.

Lastly, we know you love your ADA (excluding projector, it is probably one of the most expensive pieces in your HT room), but your stance against a product you have never heard in your system, and which reasonable people such as Kal have promoted is at best laughable (considering your prior stances and your system), and at worse the sad copy of gullible high-end audio enthusiasts who consider cost a common element of high performance.

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence, than it does knowledge. Charles Darwin
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post #114 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Raul GS View Post

Regarding the price, do you actually think that ADA could produce Onkyo's latest top of the line SSP anywhere around $2.5 K? We are talking about huge discrepancies in ability to disperse R&R dollars, benefit from volume purchases, benefit from total units sold, and so on. In fact, it would not be that surprising if ADA made the same SSP, they would have to sell the Onkyo unit for a similar price as you paid for your ADA to cover their R&R, productions and distribution costs.

If you flip this, this is just another way of saying a high volume manufacturer could design and build a SSP with the same quality parts, and the same level of licenced or in house developed R&D as ADA, sell it for $2,000 - $2,500 factory direct, and make money. This was my earlier point.
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post #115 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Raul GS View Post

TheBland,

You have clearly jumped head-in to the pool of hypocrisy. Your system consists of pro amps, pro eqs, speakers that very few if any would describe in this forum as high-end, yet you are critical of an Onkyo processor you have never heard because of it s price....where to begin?

Is the Onkyo Pro Gear, too?? Nope. You can't compare. Onkyo is Mass market. As you know, pro gear provides the necessary performance at high levels required by large rooms when full dynamics and accuracy are required. My LCRs cross at 90 Hz, have two heavy duty 8" drivers and a compression driver at the top. I required these as no conventional tweeters could handle the high levels or maintain the fluid softness required at lower passages or during complex scenes with a lot of sound in the background. Now to get things right with my LCRs, they are EQ'd and snug in a baffle wall in a line at ear level across the front of the screen. They do amaze!

Quote:


As you know, I agree with many of your points of view regarding pro equipment, but your stance that Onkyo is crap and does not belong in a high end audio is no different than the the claims made by some posters in this forum that your system is mid-fi because of the pro-equipment and quality of the speakers.

The Onkyo, in my experience, is crap. IT is spec'd for basements and family rooms. Harsh. It's just my opinion. They play to the masses and as such I can't imagine dealing with them one on one with an issue. They can't compete against a boutique company. .. and you pay for that in the price.

Quote:


Regarding the price, do you actually think that ADA could produce Onkyo's latest top of the line SSP anywhere around $2.5 K? We are talking about huge discrepancies in ability to disperse R&R dollars, benefit from volume purchases, benefit from total units sold, and so on. In fact, it would not be that surprising if ADA made the same SSP, they would have to sell the Onkyo unit for a similar price as you paid for your ADA to cover their R&R, productions and distribution costs.

No the ADA (like other 'high end' SSPs) is built to a different spec for a more discerning customer. THe Onkyo folks start at a low price and back fill the box with whatever they can fill it with to make it work. The boutique company's start with performance in mind, at least in the company's I purchase from. I do my home work and I travel to CEDIA most years to meet the people and the designers (e.g. Richard from ADA as well as Curt Hoyt). I generally don't arm chair my purchases here as I take the performance of my room seriously. I don't want to walk in to my theater, throw in a blockbuster soundtrack and come away anything less than awestruck.

Quote:


Lastly, we know you love your ADA (excluding projector, it is probably one of the most expensive pieces in your HT room), but your stance against a product you have never heard in your system, and which reasonable people such as Kal have promoted is at best laughable (considering your prior stances and your system), and at worse the sad copy of gullible high-end audio enthusiasts who consider cost a common element of high performance.

I've heard the piece, not in my room, but the interface and sounds were not to my taste. It may explain why so few here own in this forum own one. Kal has his opinions and they are perfectly valid. That said, apparently Bruzonsky found it equally capable to his CBIII but not me with my Halcro or ADA. For me, there is the other part of outfitting a high end, minimally compromised room that keeps many big box pieces out of the equation. I mean why spend $100K on a room and chance it on a $2000 SSP? Time is a factor here and it takes time to do an honest comparison. I look at purchases not only by spec, but by reputation, history of excellence and user experiences - not just parts or costs. There is more than a dollar amount that goes into any purchase be it home theater or not. To your point,, I went from a $2000 Denon BD player to a $500 Oppo and am very pleased with the results of the Oppo. Though the Denon is quieter and built like a tank, the picture is very close. I've had my Oppo serviced once due to a faulty tray (but not my Denon). I generally start at the high end until I prove I can cut and add something cheaper. But I'm not swayed at all on the SSP argument.

I have opened up my theater on a few occasions to 50-75 AVS forum members for a full on demo home theater meet with some notables from AVS attending (Mark Seaton, Art Ted White, etc). The positive feedback speaks volumes of my room and equipment choices (pro audio with a great boutique SSP). My favorite complement of all time, however, was when my wife was entertaining the publisher of Vanity Fair at our house and just the week before he was treated to a demo in Harvey Weinstein's personal home screening room. He much preferred mine (pro audio and $10K SSP).

My Home Theater of the Month- Le Petit Trianon

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #116 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 10:51 AM
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No the ADA is built to a different spec for a more discerning customer. THe Onkyo folks start at price and back fill the box from there to appeal at mass market merchants.

Onkyo may be a massmarket outfit, but their top of the line $2,500 SSP is not catering to the mass market. It is catering to discerning customers that cannot afford to spend 10K. They have the advantage of being able to produce such a piece leveraging their high volume manufacturing expertise. Again, I am not suggesting the latest Onkyo is equivalent to the ADA, but merely making the point, a $2,500 SSP that is equivalent to the ADA can be economically build and sold in a manufacturer direct sales model.

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Originally Posted by thebland View Post

I've heard the piece, not in my room, but the interface and sounds were not to my taste where I did hear it. It may explain why so few here own in this forum own one. Kal has his opinions and they are perfectly valid. That said, apparently Bruzonsky found it equally capable to his CBIII not mot me with my Halcro or ADA.

You never heard the latest Onkyo that we are discussing here (neither have I neither has Steve). You are the first to point out progress in digital technology has mode the 25K processor obsolete (10K now gets you all you'll ever need in your estimation). Yet at the same time, it seems inconveivable to you that Onkyo can build a vastly superior SSP for the same aount of money in 2012 than their models that are a few years older. This is incidentally what Kal reported about the new Onkyo compared to his Integra.
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post #117 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Onkyo may be a massmarket outfit, but their top of the line $2,500 SSP is not catering to the mass market. It is catering to discerning customers that cannot afford to spend 10K. They have the advantage of being able to produce such a piece leveraging their high volume manufacturing expertise. Again, I am not suggesting the latest Onkyo is equivalent to the ADA, but merely making the point, a $2,500 SSP that is equivalent to the ADA can be economically build and sold in a manufacturer direct sales model.



You never heard the latest Onkyo that we are discussing here (neither have I neither has Steve). You are the first to point out progress in digital technology has mode the 25K processor obsolete (10K now gets you all you'll ever need in your estimation). Yet at the same time, it seems inconveivable to you that Onkyo can build a vastly superior SSP for the same aount of money in 2012 than their models that are a few years older. This is incidentally what Kal reported about the new Onkyo compared to his Integra.

I just don't see a reason to demo a new Onkyo. Yes yesterday's $25K is today's $10K but the $25K SSP has not been replaced by the $2.5K Onkyo in my estimation. I don't have the inclination to try it out either. Many times with an SSP it is not a 2 hour demo that convinces you that all is good, it is living with a piece for a few weeks or months... then you know exactly what you have. Unlike a piece of source equipment, doing the proper due diligence on an SSP is far more work and I don't have the inclination to do so because I haven't seen anything new. But if that piece is your budget and you have the time, I see nothing to lose in trying. For me, I have gotten a bit away from getting my hands dirty and go with a sure bet more often than not on critical pieces in my theater. Now I did try the $50 bass shaker in my front row versus $500 Buttkickers in my main row... and the Buttkickers ended up being worth the price. But it only took minutes to see (feel) this!

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There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #118 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Is the Onkyo Pro Gear, too??

Irrelevant, the prejudice expressed in these fori against better made pro equipment (as you know, there is a lot of junk in pro audio as well) is no different than the prejudice your recent posts exhibit against the newest, top of the line Onkyo SSP (which seems to qualify under "better made").
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y LCRs cross at 90 Hz, have two heavy duty 8" drivers and a compression driver at the top. I required these as no conventional tweeters could handle the high levels or maintain the fluid softness required at lower passages or during complex scenes with a lot of sound in the background.

And you know the latest top of the line Onkyo SSP processor cannot do this how? Their specs? Objective measurements? Reviews by somewhat respected "professional" reviewers? Blind comparison in a system you respect?

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The Onkyo, in my experience, is crap. Harsh

Again, we are talking about their latest unit which Kal has stated is an improvement on their prior efforts. So how is your prior experience relevant? (BTW, you are making your statements as facts, not as opinions, but I digress)

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No the ADA is built to a different spec for a more discerning customer.

And this differs how from the claims made by the high-end enthusiasts that consider price an important factor and who frequently describe your system as mid-fi (at best)?
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THe Onkyo folks start at price and back fill the box from there to appeal at mass market merchants.

Assuming you are correct, how does this preclude them from producing a quality unit? Is part of the design requirement for mass market merchants that the unit sound poorly? Also, how does this change the fact the claim that if ADA produced the unit, it would probably have to retail around the same price as your ADA unit? Do you understand the benefits of productions of scale, the benefits of numbers of sales and how each of these affects cost factors in R&R, parts and productions costs?
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I've heard the piece, not in my room, but the interface and sounds were not to my taste where I did hear it.

And you know the fault lied in the unit because you were clear of bias and the room and speakers had no effect? No need for a blind comparison or listening to it in your place because it clearly stank? Yes, I agree, you exhibit none of the tendencies of the parties you so frequently revel in criticizing as deluded.
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not mot me with my Halcro or ADA.

Again, considering this is a new unit, you know this how in the context of your HT?

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence, than it does knowledge. Charles Darwin
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post #119 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 11:14 AM
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See above for reasons as to why I won't demo this piece!

My Home Theater of the Month- Le Petit Trianon

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #120 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by thebland View Post

I just don't see a reason to demo a new Onkyo. Yes yesterday's $25K is today's $10K but the $25K SSP has not been replaced by the $2.5K Onkyo in my estimation.

No one says the 2.5K Onkyo is at par with the ADA (we don't know how they compare). I am just saying that your assertion that an ADA level SSP cannot be build and marketed for $2,500 because of the cost of components is incorrect.
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