Originally Posted by edorr
May be semantics. If you define "Surround processing" as "decoding codec's used in surround sound" and "surround sound post processing", these is all completely standard and ADA does exactly the same as any other SSP. There is no differentiation there.
If you define surround sound processing broadly as the entire chain of processing a multi channel signal (both the analog and digital domain), obviously the better SSP does better "surround sound processing" by definition.
Well we can agree on this one!
All the standard surround algorithms are rigidly defined and decoders either use a licensed chip decoder or if done in software, they apply the algorithms licensed by the owner, eg, Dolby, DTS. So the algorithm or chip set ADA uses is the same code wise as Denon or Pioneer for example. Additionally these products prototypes are all tested and certified by the algorithm owner for compliance. And they should be. Don't you want the decoding to be an exact as possible inverse to the encoding done in the studio?
Now there are differences in quality. Not so much on the digital aside as bits are bits for the most part, but higher end units do have better analog sections which can be quite audible compared to the low end such as an HTIB from Costco.
So bottom line there is not really not that much difference between say and ADA or Theta and a "good" Japanese AV receiver like that top of the line Marantz when running the native decoder. So what is the benefit of a high end processor?
I can't speak for Theta or ADA but in my case I still run a Lexicon MC8. It's bypassed for Bluray as I simply use the decoder in the BRD player. But for older stuff like my 700 title DVHS* library, the Lexicon has many enhancement modes to plain old AC3 5.1. "Logic 7" is still renowned even after 15 years. The problem for most people is that since the older processors do not support HDMI or any of the advanced codecs, they have to be replaced. But for "trick" surround modes the older high end processors have a lot more options than the current offerings.
In my case I am an avid electronics DIYer so I have my gear modified and supplemented to give me the advanced codecs yet still use the legacy processor.
*Of course this library has been transferred to a media server today. I hardly run DVHS any more.