Best dual purpose processor - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-17-2013, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
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So, living in NYC, the addition of a dedicated home theater is a pretty considerable investment, far more so than a high end processor. So, I am left with the question, what is the best dual purpose processor for HT and two/multi-channel audio. I have a Meridian 861 v4, using the balanced outputs. The possibilities include upgrading to the v6, or trying something else. Was thinking the Ada + Trinnov, but concerned about the quality of the dac's, and wonder if I will miss the Meridian up sampling, etc. I believe the room correction of the Trinnov is superior to the Meridians MRC. Bryston's sp3 seems great, but living in an apartment, room correction seems very important. So that would be an issue. The McIntosh unit seems compelling, though absurdly massive! Could be, the Meridian is the way to go, just wanted a 2nd opinion.

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post #2 of 7 Old 09-19-2013, 08:07 PM
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Meridian (also my preferred brand, as you know) has IMHO amazing upsampling and apodizing etc for 2 channel CD audio . Their 818V2 is very well regarded for 2 channel listening - however a Hitchhiker in CT claimed to my his 861V8 upgrade vaulted the 2 channel performance of his 861V6 to 818 levels. He needs MRC to tame the bass in his primary listening room.

I am not as picky about bass or maybe just have a room that doesn't need a lot of RC, so I am really happy with my 818v2 and my pair of 8k's. I never got into multichannel that much so my primary listening room is 2 channel.

I would recommend auditioning the 861V8 either in M's space in Soho or at the HH'ers in CT (I can give you contact info ) . There is also a HH'er in DC that owns both the surround processor and the 818 in a chain. That turns out to be an expensive approach to dual 2-channel/HT !

what kind of speakers, sub are you using in your apartment ?
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-20-2013, 03:13 PM
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I had the 861v4 too, and upgraded to the v6. It's not a subtle upgrade, and makes for markedly better performance.

I now use the ADA Reference. For two channel sources I go direct into the Trinnov section, and the sonics are stunning.

If you use Trifield for two channel sources on your 861 then IMO the Trinnov is superior. If you're only going to have two speakers then I'd do the 861vx
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-10-2013, 05:38 PM
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Yetis, there are a few good processors that serve the dual purpose well: Meridian 861, Bryston SP3, Theta Casablana with Extreme DACs (or outboard Gen VIIIs), Classe SSP800, and Levinson No. 502. That's the top tier. You can't really make a mistake with any of them, but of these, I think the 861 V8 is the best choice for 2-channel and surround sound quality, upgradeability, outboard HDMI video processing, and value. Trifield is a my favorite surround sound mode, as well.

Yes, I did say, "Value." The reason is that the 861, as expensive as it is, when combined with Meridian speakers, offers you a complete system that includes amps, interconnects, and speaker cables that is lower cost than a top flight system from the other worthies I mentioned above. Start adding up the cost of top-flight amplification, cables, and speakers, and you'll see what I mean. Meridian looks better and better.

What's more, with the 861's ID41 card option, you also get sensational sounding network music and very good sounding Internet streaming. Scaling the system for additional rooms of audio is also easy and surprisingly inexpensive. You can have an iPad controlling your system if you like, at no additional charge.

I would also submit that Meridian makes the most technologically advanced product:
1. Meridian invented high res blu ray sound. Dolby licenses the technology from Meridian. That's right; little old Meridian provides Dolby with the technology it needs.
2. Meridian doesn't buy off-the-shelf chips. It writes the processing code. Think what that means in terms of upgradeability.
3. Apodizing technology is solely found in Meridian.
4. Only Meridian has DSP processing that compensates for your speaker proximity to your walls (a crucial consideration in a Manhattan apt), center channel height adjustment (once you hear this, you have to have it), and bass enhancement.

If you're serious about purchasing anew 861, I will be happy to arrange an appt for a private demo on Greene Street. As a bonus, you'll get to see the Reference 810 projector, play with Sooloos, and hear 8Ks in all their glory. If you do purchase a system, we can also arrange for a Meridian field tech to tune and calibrate the system perfectly. I've sent you a PM.
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-17-2013, 10:09 PM
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PF is absolutely correct , Meridian is top end stuff and I would take him upon the demo. The only caveat is if you have a very large cinema then hearing GRAVITY in ATMOS is my new benchmark for surround sound, hearing the space station bombarded by meteorites form every angle and falling apart in ATMOS at the Dolby Facility is a game changer in surround sound for me, holy mackerel! Too bad there is no d-box at the Dolby Reference Room. Ladies (Manufacturers, installers, enthusiasts) :)we need to start incorporating atmos at once into our home cinema processors.....
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-18-2013, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PF View Post

4. Only Meridian has DSP processing that compensates for your speaker proximity to your walls (a crucial consideration in a Manhattan apt), center channel height adjustment (once you hear this, you have to have it), and bass enhancement.

Speaker positions effect time and freq domain behavior, both of which are addressed by both Trinnov and Dirac.

Noah
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-20-2013, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I appreciate the offer. I will stick with the Meridian for now, but I could never buy 8000's,their just too large. I also question how a 13 year old speaker design isn't due for a major overhaul soon. Maybe the 7200's could be in the future.

One question for the collective group. I am always surprised how you never see people discussing Meridian in wall Dsp's. Dsp speaker tech seems to be the hot thing for theater design, yet I rarely see Meridian dsp's used. I guess Meridian is proprietary, so makes it a little more limiting?

Thank you
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