Specifically, here's what we're reacting to:
|The PAV/PDSD costs nearly twice as much as the AVP. Is this combination twice as good? In a word, no. The much more costly combination of the PAV and PDSD offers a more future-proof, modular, card-cage architecture along with more inputs (including six-channel analog pass-through) and greater versatility. The PAV/PDSD has balanced outputs for all channels while the AVP has balanced outputs for just the front three channels, and there are some sonic advantages to the dual-chassis configuration. Performance with surround sound material provides a more fully integrated soundfield with a slightly more holosonic presentation from the PAV/PDSD combination, but the AVP is certainly no slouch in this area.
The law of diminishing returns is operative here. You seldom get a linear return in higher performance for higher cost, but if you can afford nearly $10,000 for a digital controller, this probably doesnâ€™t concern you much. The Proceed PAV/PDSD is a little better than the Proceed AVP and they are both exceptional products. Highly recommended.
- Richard Hardesty
Now I'm not rapping Hardesty, because all he was doing was delivering the party line prepared by Madrigal. But think of what fools we felt like, as PAV/PDSD owners, who said despite the laws of diminishing returns, we want the "best" product, even if it's just a little better than something half the price.
That extra $5,000, so I rationalized, was in the staying power of the piece (by the way, I have no idea what he's talking about with respect to 6 channel analog pass-through, though someone recently posted that they'd accidentally figured a way for the PAV to do this, even though Madrigal vehemently denied that ability).
Thank goodness it only stayed with me until 2001, when I saw the writing on the wall. I was tickled to get $4000 back on a mint unit with over two years of warranty remaining (wonder what Madrigal does when someone actually needs one of these fixed? Maybe they say they'll give them $500 off on the new AVPII?).
Oh, well. I should have realized that something that offered high end s-video switching, at a time when component video had just emerged, was a bit suspect. But I was too new to the high end to trust my instincts that told me something was wrong with the product. Nevermore.
Maybe the most unfortunate part about it is that they've dropped the ball in the silliest places. The PDSD sounded great, as good as any processor I'd heard, but I'm referring now to the overall sound quality, not surround modes. It lacked anything but basic bass management, and never once offered any of the promised "upgradeable" additions. In short, it was a complete default on the promises made by Madrigal.
Don't know why anyone would put their confidence in this company now. They have to earn it.