Originally Posted by markabuckley
I'm genuinely amazed you guys would put the SC-05 as sounding better than the 49/59TX ... and if so it must be down to specific speaker setups/appropriate impedances etc
how did you rate the 3808 vs the SC05 ?
mark....while I don't have a BB/Magnolia near me, I do travel a lot. When I hit a bigger city, I always make it a point to hit one of those Magnolia stores.
While, I don't think you can make an educated guess on an AVR (or any other gear, for that matter) in a 30 minute demo, in a showroom using speakers different than what you have, in a room different than what you're used to. I have compared the 4308 vs the SC 05 at a Magnolia about 6 weeks ago.
Whether we want to admit it or not, all of us are biased to a certain degree. I know in my case, based on past experience, I show a bias towards Elite and Marantz over something like Denon or Onkyo/Integra. I have faith in certain brands that they'll perform as advertised.
Anyway, the sales person I spoke to gave me some "gobbledy gook" about how Magnolia carries only "the best of the best" (go tell that to your local conrad johnson dealer and let me know their response to that).
He did a little comparison using the 4308 and "A/B'd" it with the SC 05. He tried to convince me that the 4308 had a better low end. In reality, what he was hearing was a "bloated" low end. Don't know how he had the controls set up, but it was clear there was some boosting going on with the Denon. Some consider that "better". I don't. Not that Denon doesn't make good stuff. They do. I thought the SC 05 was better. Sales person was astonished I felt that way.
Personally, while I'll probably be chastised for saying this, but I rely strictly on my memory when playing music/movies that I'm very familiar with....having watched/listened to, dozens of times. I want to make certain the playing field is level, too. Moreover, I rely on my familiarity with the program material, to tell me the qualities of any piece of AV gear.
I don't put much stock in "showroom" demos.
The 49/59TXi were great pieces. While the SC retains their sonic signature, in my experience they improve upon them for a few different reasons.
1) Different connection types (toslink vs HDMI)
2) More advanced MCACC
3) ICE amps
Those are the biggies. I heard an immediate difference between toslink and HDMI (in HDMI's favor) using my Marantz.
The "old" MCACC did room correction using virtual EQ. The new MCACC also adjusts for standing waves.
When I've heard digital amps in the past, I was left unimpressed with either their power, or their sound....sometimes both. That was my biggest ? before making the jump. Pioneer has removed both of those negatives for me.
To me, that's where the real differences lay between the old vs the new.