High end pre/pro vs pre/pro - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 286 Old 07-20-2009, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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What is the really different between high end pre/pro such as KRELL EVO 707,THETA CASABLANCA III (HDMI) or MARK LEVINSON and general top pre/pro such as DENON AVP A1HDCI(A) ,ANTHEM D2V or ONKYO. If we are not concern about 2 channels only multi channels HT.
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post #2 of 286 Old 07-20-2009, 10:21 AM
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You mean, besides the price? The most expensive processors might use some better parts. For example, they might use tighter tolerance parts. They may use pricey amps and DACs.

They might have proprietary features. Back in the say, Logic 7 was touted as a reason to get a Lexicon processor ( I think Logic 7 is used on some other processors now.)

In some cases, they might just jack their prices up.

I hear a lot about the high end companies not being able to keep up anymore. The pace of processor feature creep has accelerated. HDMI and lossless decoding are likely expensive to design, implement and test. So I would question what you are getting for paying what some people pay for a car.

You SHOULD question some of these guys. Krell charges an obscene amount for one of their pre pros, and there's no way, in my opinion that price can be justified.

I don't assume sound quality scales with price. There was just another blind test where a cheap system and expensive system could not be distinguished. So it's arguable where money spent on better spec parts and such is yielding any signficant benefits.

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post #3 of 286 Old 07-20-2009, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

You mean, besides the price? The most expensive processors might use some better parts. For example, they might use tighter tolerance parts. They may use pricey amps and DACs.

They might have proprietary features. Back in the say, Logic 7 was touted as a reason to get a Lexicon processor ( I think Logic 7 is used on some other processors now.)

In some cases, they might just jack their prices up.

I hear a lot about the high end companies not being able to keep up anymore. The pace of processor feature creep has accelerated. HDMI and lossless decoding are likely expensive to design, implement and test. So I would question what you are getting for paying what some people pay for a car.

You SHOULD question some of these guys. Krell charges an obscene amount for one of their pre pros, and there's no way, in my opinion that price can be justified.

I don't assume sound quality scales with price. There was just another blind test where a cheap system and expensive system could not be distinguished. So it's arguable where money spent on better spec parts and such is yielding any signficant benefits.

http://www.matrixhifi.com/ENG_marco.htm

MichaelJHuman, Thanks for you opinion
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post #4 of 286 Old 07-20-2009, 06:42 PM
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Some "high end" companies also hand make alot of their parts in house. This will raise price and usually, not always, usually create less faulty parts as quality control is in house not elsewhere. Just think of how many older pre/pros you see that are "high end" as opposed to the "low end". Like many things build quality cost in the short term but can be great for the long term

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post #5 of 286 Old 07-20-2009, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bigbare View Post

Some "high end" companies also hand make alot of their parts in house. This will raise price and usually, not always, usually create less faulty parts as quality control is in house not elsewhere. Just think of how many older pre/pros you see that are "high end" as opposed to the "low end". Like many things build quality cost in the short term but can be great for the long term

Thanks bigbare.I am currently live with some high end like krell,theta& levinson. As we all know today technology change very fast specially HT sound system. I wonder what I will get if I change my existing high end pre/pro to other level like AVP A1HD,D2V,SSP 800 etc.
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post #6 of 286 Old 07-20-2009, 07:39 PM
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How old is the stuff you have now? Mostly you will see connectivity (HDMI) and maybe some decoding. Depends on how old your existing components are.

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post #7 of 286 Old 07-20-2009, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bigbare View Post

How old is the stuff you have now? Mostly you will see connectivity (HDMI) and maybe some decoding. Depends on how old your existing components are.

My pre/pro is Theta casablanca iii with 2 module of extream DAC and it not yet can do True HD decode.If I waiting for upgrade it might be this year end. That is why during this period I want to find something to improve my system. If
the other pre/pro on other level can do better is fine.
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post #8 of 286 Old 07-20-2009, 08:59 PM
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The Krell EVO 707 is $30,000 and I don't believe it has the new Audio codecs yet. I just can't imagine why anyone would spend that amout of money for a Pre-Pro not up to date.

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post #9 of 286 Old 07-20-2009, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nethomas View Post

The Krell EVO 707 is $30,000 and I don't believe it has the new Audio codecs yet. I just can't imagine why anyone would spend that amout of money for a Pre-Pro not up to date.

I also need to know the high end pre/pro right now is really really good or just we think it will be good?
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post #10 of 286 Old 07-20-2009, 09:31 PM
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I'm sure that anyone who spends tons of bucks for a unit is going to tell you they can hear a definite difference between theirs and a cheaper model. I truly haven't hear the new
EVO, so it may really sound excellent. It still is simply not up to date. I once owned a Krell integrated amp and it was an excellent unit. I bought the Krell S1000 last year and it lasted less than a week in my rack. I just didn't like it. YMMV! I currently have the Denon AVP A1 HD and I am very happy with it. I have owned the Anthem D1 and was very happy with it also. If the EVO sound 4X better than the Denon or the Anthem, I doubt my heart could handle it!!

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post #11 of 286 Old 07-21-2009, 06:24 AM
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Not really sure what you are looking to do here. Unless you want/need the new codecs why the change? Are you unhappy with the pre/pro you have? Sound quality wise I have to believe will be no better than latteral.

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post #12 of 286 Old 07-21-2009, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bigbare View Post

Not really sure what you are looking to do here. Unless you want/need the new codecs why the change? Are you unhappy with the pre/pro you have? Sound quality wise I have to believe will be no better than latteral.

Sorry for not able to explain clearly . Please let me try this way.
1. What is your opinion , compare high end pre/pro that do not have new codecs with new pre/pro new codecs?
2. What is your opinion, compare new high end pre/pro with new codecs with new pre/pro new codecs? Is it worth to pay more?
I cannot say that unhappy with existing system but ,if I can do my system better I want to. If the other level pre/pro with new technology can have same performance as high end pre/pro then I want to,if not I may have to go to high end again.
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post #13 of 286 Old 07-21-2009, 07:14 AM
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Do yourself a favor - buy an Onkyo SC886 and find an old dead Krell - remove the badge and stick it on the Onkyo and tell all your friends you paid $20,000 for it. Use the savings to buy something more useful like a decent used car - hell - for that you could buy a smaller new car.

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post #14 of 286 Old 07-21-2009, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbare View Post

Some "high end" companies also hand make alot of their parts in house. This will raise price and usually, not always, usually create less faulty parts as quality control is in house not elsewhere. Just think of how many older pre/pros you see that are "high end" as opposed to the "low end". Like many things build quality cost in the short term but can be great for the long term


I do not follow that logic? You think "low end" is not sold because of build quality?

There is no proof whatsoever that the high end, hand made stuff is better quality. I would actually say MACHINES are more accurate then humans and a production line that is automated is better then any line of humans doing the work. I have over 20 years of manufacturing and distribution automation expertise to back up that opinion.

The other part of your opinion is also flawed, low cost products are for sale all the time on ebay, craigslist, etc....MORE so then boutique over priced, high end stuff that brand name is more important that SQ differences. A site like Audiogon is not even remotely close to a 'standard' for what is sold and what shows long term reliability.


Another reason USED high cost products (the ones that have ZERO new features) sell is because people are dumb about audio science. They think they are getting a steal, they think they are buying superior SQ but at the end they are just buying a name.....no problem if they just want to own the name but they are fools to think OLD products will have better SQ

Lastly, what do you think a 2005 AVR that costs $300 back then would go for today??? Not much and not worth the effort to sell but its WORKS 100%.

I already have a 663 in a box that I find it pointless to sell because its a hassle to post it, answer questions, collect the money, ship it.....5 years from now it might just be thrown out!! That is the true reason you do not seen lower costs products re-sold years later....they just have little return $$$ in them.

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post #15 of 286 Old 07-21-2009, 11:47 AM
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From my experience some "high end" audio products are excellent, some are better than average, and some are merely average, overpriced and sold for their name only. But the same can be said for mass market audio products, except that with mass market products you do usually (not always) get better performance for more money. Other than access to the new BD lossless audio codecs, there really is no reason to replace a good pre/pro or receiver, regardless of brand or price. And most pre/pros sold today have multichannel analog inputs that allow the user to enjoy those (alledged) higher quality soundtracks without getting a pre/pro or receiver with HDMI or HD codec decoding. Unfortunately, Theta Digital is and always has been years behind the curve in that regard. Maybe they are waiting to see if BD really succeeds? Anyway, for a lot less than the price of a new high end pre/pro with HDMI switching/HD decoding you can get a analog multichannel preamp that will control a legacy processor and a BD player with multichannel analog outputs.

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post #16 of 286 Old 07-21-2009, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

..... Other than access to the new BD lossless audio codecs, there really is no reason to replace a good pre/pro or receiver, regardless of brand or price. And most pre/pros sold today have multichannel analog inputs that allow the user to enjoy those (alledged) higher quality soundtracks without getting a pre/pro or receiver with HDMI or HD codec decoding .....

I agree that this will allow you to utilize legacy equipment and enjoy the new High Rez audio.

FWIW, I've decided to take the alternative, albeit more expensive approach of replacing my PrePro with an HDMI 1.3 capable unit. My main reasons are :
- to get built-in room correction that operates in the time domain, which is becoming commonplace in a lot of units
- to have the ability to accept high rez audio via a digital connection, so the PrePro can do bass management and not worry about the 10db/15db offsets with analog; apply room correction; and apply DPLIIx or equivalent without extra A/D and D/A conversions
- have the option of bitstreaming the High Rez audio and decoding in the PrePro for versatility; e.g., avoid the issue of certain BD players expanding DTS HDMA 5.1 sources to 7.1 in the player by rudimentary channel duplication. I want to have the PrePro apply DPLIIx or equivalent for proper expansion to 7.1.

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post #17 of 286 Old 07-21-2009, 04:45 PM
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boonyarat-- I can see where this thread will end up before too long. So good luck to you finding an answer to your question.

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post #18 of 286 Old 07-21-2009, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boonyarat View Post

My pre/pro is Theta casablanca iii with 2 module of extream DAC and it not yet can do True HD decode.If I waiting for upgrade it might be this year end. That is why during this period I want to find something to improve my system. If
the other pre/pro on other level can do better is fine.

Why not buy an Onkyo and find out? If you aren't impressed you can sell it. The cost pales in comparison to your Theta.
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post #19 of 286 Old 07-21-2009, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bigbare View Post

boonyarat-- I can see where this thread will end up before too long. So good luck to you finding an answer to your question.

Thanks bigbare. I wonder why this thread has to end up so soon. I just want to get more information from whoever have experience with high end pre/pro and pre/pro and no one can be wrong. I just want more opinion from whoever that willing to sharing together. Sorry for my poor english.
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post #20 of 286 Old 07-21-2009, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Boonyarat View Post

Thanks bigbare. I wonder why this thread has to end up so soon. I just want to get more information from whoever have experience with high end pre/pro and pre/pro and no one can be wrong. I just want more opinion from whoever that willing to sharing together. Sorry for my poor english.

Nothing personal to you. The problem is there are many who know all and none are wrong but the other is never right. Just not much info shared when the bickering starts, so before I respond to some, I will just bow out and let it keep hopefully rolling for you.

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post #21 of 286 Old 07-22-2009, 04:50 PM
 
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Thanks bigbare. I wonder why this thread has to end up so soon. I just want to get more information from whoever have experience with high end pre/pro and pre/pro and no one can be wrong. I just want more opinion from whoever that willing to sharing together. Sorry for my poor english.

On most audio forums usually one is not allowed to ask such questions.
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post #22 of 286 Old 07-22-2009, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

Do yourself a favor - buy an Onkyo SC886 and find an old dead Krell - remove the badge and stick it on the Onkyo and tell all your friends you paid $20,000 for it. Use the savings to buy something more useful like a decent used car - hell - for that you could buy a smaller new car.

Sweet!
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post #23 of 286 Old 07-23-2009, 06:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

Do yourself a favor - buy an Onkyo SC886 and find an old dead Krell - remove the badge and stick it on the Onkyo and tell all your friends you paid $20,000 for it. Use the savings to buy something more useful like a decent used car - hell - for that you could buy a smaller new car.

Or better yet you can transplant the hardware from the onkyo into the chassis of the krell.
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post #24 of 286 Old 07-23-2009, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Monger View Post

Why not buy an Onkyo and find out? If you aren't impressed you can sell it. The cost pales in comparison to your Theta.

Better yet buy a refurbed 886 from shoponkyo and if you do not like the SQ return it within 30 days for a full refund. A majority of members (myself included) who bought the 886 from shoponkyo are saying the units they received are brand new units. Its a win-win.

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post #25 of 286 Old 07-31-2009, 04:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boonyarat View Post

Sorry for not able to explain clearly . Please let me try this way.
1. What is your opinion , compare high end pre/pro that do not have new codecs with new pre/pro new codecs?
2. What is your opinion, compare new high end pre/pro with new codecs with new pre/pro new codecs? Is it worth to pay more?
I cannot say that unhappy with existing system but ,if I can do my system better I want to. If the other level pre/pro with new technology can have same performance as high end pre/pro then I want to,if not I may have to go to high end again.

Hi Boonyarat,
In your system the casablanca is very good,(best surround Processor I have LISTEN too) and I would wait for upgrade to CB III for HD audio and yes it is much better sounding,but most systems do not get full benefit as surround PRE not very good,YOUR SYSTEM WILL REALLY LET IT SHINE the only way to get better sound is ANALOG out and 6 channel pre but means changing cables etc.Another option is denon or new arcam av888,the denon won,t sound as good as CBIII,but it will be foolproof in it,s operation.
Regards Victor
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post #26 of 286 Old 07-31-2009, 05:16 AM
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Michael Human's position is reasonable and well thought out. The real high end is very slow to respond to advances in technology. Some say they're upgradeable but by the time they do, technology has moved on and the prices for the upgrades can be quite substantial. If you can afford to wait, and consider the upgrade and repair costs reasonable according to your standard of living, do what you want.

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post #27 of 286 Old 07-31-2009, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boonyarat View Post

Thanks bigbare. I wonder why this thread has to end up so soon. I just want to get more information from whoever have experience with high end pre/pro and pre/pro and no one can be wrong. I just want more opinion from whoever that willing to sharing together. Sorry for my poor english.

I questioned Bigbare and he seem to hate being questioned. I think he was angry at my reply questioning his opinion on high end products.

It was a normal time for him to leave, its a common occurance because debate on a topic isnt really something he is interested in.

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post #28 of 286 Old 07-31-2009, 07:39 AM
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For HT use IMO the most important factor in new gear such as the Onkyo is the room correction software. Properly implemented it is my opinion that it will improve the sound and experience far more than going from a low end processor to a high end processor.

The Audyssey Pro of the Denon and Onkyo, and ARC of the Anthem are excellent room corrections.
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post #29 of 286 Old 07-31-2009, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victor tubeman View Post

Hi Boonyarat,
In your system the casablanca is very good,(best surround Processor I have LISTEN too) and I would wait for upgrade to CB III for HD audio and yes it is much better sounding,but most systems do not get full benefit as surround PRE not very good,YOUR SYSTEM WILL REALLY LET IT SHINE the only way to get better sound is ANALOG out and 6 channel pre but means changing cables etc.Another option is denon or new arcam av888,the denon won,t sound as good as CBIII,but it will be foolproof in it,s operation.
Regards Victor

Thanks Victor, your sharing experience and opinion is useful for me.
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post #30 of 286 Old 07-31-2009, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rnrgagne View Post

For HT use IMO the most important factor in new gear such as the Onkyo is the room correction software. Properly implemented it is my opinion that it will improve the sound and experience far more than going from a low end processor to a high end processor.

The Audyssey Pro of the Denon and Onkyo, and ARC of the Anthem are excellent room corrections.

Thank you rnrgagne, for your good opinion.
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