Will I hear a difference? Which is the best fit? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-12-2009, 06:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Current Set Up (TV Room is 18L x 14w x 11h):
5.1: AV123 Reference 2 (fronts), Reference 100 (center), Reference 1 (rears), SVS PC-Plus 20-39
Emotiva UL preamp and amp (LMC-1, LPA-1)
Pioneer 6020FD
Blu-ray player: PlayStation 3
DVD Player: Pioneer Elite 59avi

80% blu-ray (across all genres - kids, action, drama, etc.), 10% FIOS HD TV, 5% DVD, 5% music

I am thinking about changing my preamp/amp to take advantage of the lossless HD codecs from the PS3 (I have had no issues with the Emos technically or sonically). I know I will need a receiver that has HDMI in (which means I have to pass my video through the receiver) so:

Will I really be able to tell a difference in the audio quality from the lossless formats?

My assumption based on what I have read (seen a few threads here of course on this subject) is yes the audio difference is obvious and can be quite substantial depending on the source material but wanted the folks here to confirm this given my setup.

Will passing the video through the receiver degrade my video in the slightest?

So, the obvious next question, is one of the following receivers better for my situation or is it more of a whatever sounds better to you situation, they are all quality products? To be clear, I do not need (or necessarily want) upscaling of my video, and honestly I don't want the receiver to do anything to the video at all - I want a clean pass through. Since I mostly use my setup for blu-rays I want that signal to be pristine, as though I don't have an intermediary connection. I am assuming all of these receivers have that capability.

Yamaha V1900
Pioneer Elite SC-05
Onkyo NR906
Marantz SR6003

The first three are obviously similar (+/- 10 or 15%) in street price and the Marantz is 30%+ cheaper, wasn't sure if it still fit in though given my lack of need for video upscaling.

Should I use the Emotiva Amp with any of these? I was assuming I would but wanted to make sure that is the right thing to do

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-12-2009, 08:26 AM
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Did you buy the LMC-1 directly from Emotiva? If so, you can get a 40% discount on the UMC-1 when it becomes available ($699 is the regular price). Either way, I would wait and get the UMC-1 instead of any of those receivers. It will be cheaper than any of them, especially if you get the discount, and will do most everything those receivers will do for you. Also, you can keep using the LPA-1 (which you could also use with all of the receivers you have listed). If you are dead set on getting something now, and most of your viewing is on bluray, you should get a lower end avr with pre-outs and hook it to the LPA-1 (by in large, the video processing and amp sections on those amps are why they cost more than the lower end units). The Yamaha v663 or Pioneer 1018 are a good place to start looking.
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-12-2009, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback. My understanding is that the PS3 will do the audio decoding of the lossless codecs and pass that through the HDMI to the receiver and then to the speakers. I thought I read there was no way for the PS3 to pass the lossless codecs to the receiver for decoding there. One thing I noticed was that the Yamaha v663 HDMI is 1.3 not 1.3a - or at least that is what they report. Not sure that makes a huge difference or not - my understanding of it would be no, not a big deal. So, I don't need a receiver that has a "superior" decoder if my PS3 is going to be doing the decoding anyway...

That said, the UMC-1 does look like a good fit. I do have to admit my issue there is when will it be released. I waited I think 2 years from the time a bought the LMC to the time they could deliver - all the while being told it was "any day now". I got it through av123, not from Emotiva directly so not sure I would get the discount, I guess I will ask. Still, your post has me considering it, as well as a "lower end" avr and maybe still the Marantz...

I sure hope I can tell the difference when I upgrade to the lossless codecs - or maybe more importantly, my wife can tell the improvement
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-12-2009, 01:57 PM
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On the other hand, high rate Dolby Digital (640 kbs) is excellent and high rate (1.5 Mbs DTS,) has been argued to be transparent to the original. I suspect most people would be quite happy with lossy audio from Blu-ray. Thinking about it this way, there's no compelling reason for receiver side decoding.

My point being that you should not have feel lossless audio decoding is a must have. Having a receiver with lossless audio decoding gives you more flexibility, though, and removes the possibility of buyer's regret over not getting it.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-12-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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Quote:


One thing I noticed was that the Yamaha v663 HDMI is 1.3 not 1.3a - or at least that is what they report. Not sure that makes a huge difference or not - my understanding of it would be no, not a big deal.

Don't wory about that.

Quote:


That said, the UMC-1 does look like a good fit. I do have to admit my issue there is when will it be released. I waited I think 2 years from the time a bought the LMC to the time they could deliver - all the while being told it was "any day now".

I would say wait for a bit and try to contact them or research some more release info, other then that a lot of people really like the yamaha 663.
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-13-2009, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I am waiting to hear back from Emotiva. Other than that I think I am down to considering the Marantz 5003 and the Yamaha 663. Any thoughts on comparing those two?
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-13-2009, 02:30 PM
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The PS3 will take care of the decoding so all you need is a receiver that will accept a multi channel PCM signal, If I were you I'd wait for emotiva and not worry about playing around with a receiver and just get a quality processor.

In my personal opinion not having the advanced codecs is not a huge reason to upgrade, if however you are looking for HDMI switching then I'd say its worth the upgrade.
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