Cary Cinema 12 - Page 13 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:08 PM
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Peter,
you mentioned that The sound is definitely still a little brighter and more forward than the Meridian sound, when you say brighter, have you auditioned the Integra DHC 80.2 or 80.3, this type of brightness?

I own a Lexicon MC-12B non HD , and was considering the Cinema 12, but no one in my area has one to listen to.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:17 PM
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Solly,

I know I said "still a little brighter and more forward than the Meridian sound", but I may not be communicating very accurately, Unfortunately this is the only current-vintage processor I have tried and I have not heard any of the Integra units, so I can't really offer a comparison there.

Let me try to be more precise about the sound of the Cary. It is not at all bright or hard in the digital/transistor sense, and it is absolutely not thin sounding. The sound seems very much like the ARC VT100 II I'm using with it - lots of warmth and bloom, but with plenty of mid-range detail. Compared to the old Meridian 565 it is forward in the sense that it's like looking through a cleaner window - I haven't gone back to the Meridian, but I suspect that it would now sound dark and muddy in comparison. the Cary sounds very "fast"

Finding a way to audition these things is a real problem, and I was really surprised that in an urban area of millions of people (SF Bay Area) I could not find anyone who even had an Arcam or Anthem unit at all. I think this is the real failure of the current distribution model - dealers "own" a territory, but they seem to think that means they don't need to keep a demo unit in stock but will order one if you want to take the risk.

I mentioned earlier that I had first auditioned the C12 at a dealer in SF. We first tried it in pass-through mode with a Wadia CD player that was (I think) $8k or so, and then switched to using the C12's DA converters. In comparison to the Wadia the Cary digital processing was not quite as detailed, slightly warmer sounding, but still sounded great. In other words, in that comparison it was the warmer of the two.

Not sure this helps, but describing sound quality is tough.

Peter
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:15 AM
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Got my Cinema 12 a week ago, so far so good until yesterday when I connected the PS3 for the kids. Some games you dont get any sound at all, lots of cracks and pops when you "panning" trough the setup on the PS3. If I use TOSLINK no problem with the sound in games at all, but still a lot of noises when Im "panning" in the main screen on the PS3. I have tried PCM and LPCM, no difference. Any tips how I can get this to work properly? The settings on the PS3 has worked on 3 different AVR`s before without any problems, until now.

My unit has the latest firmware, but i dont know if the HDMI update is applied.

It also make noises when Im changing inputs, but I have also experienced the same with Electrocompaniet`s 4.8 and 4.9, so I survive.
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:43 AM
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Finaly I found a solution for my 2 "small" HDMI problems. The PS3 was sending out something that the Cinema12 didnt like, I removed all unnecessary supports for the higher samplingrates in the PS3 and the sound now works fine.

Has also a problem when I connected my Mac to the Cinema12 via HDMI, I didnt get any sound when playing musig, but movies worked. The solution here is was to change the sampling rate out from my Mac to 44.1 and again sound flowed out of my speakers. This is anyway a solution I will not continue to use, I have ordered a Musical Fidelity V-Link 192, my plan is to hook it up on the digital XLR input (AES/EBU)

Looks like the Cinema12 is a little "picky" on what signal you are feeding it, but as soon you get it right in the other end it just producing fantastic sound. So to thoose who having problems, check your gear in the other end, it maybe a setting or two that needs to be changed.
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:23 AM
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Any further updates on these things? Has anybody here compared this to the Marantz 8801? Thanks
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commuteman View Post


Finding a way to audition these things is a real problem, and I was really surprised that in an urban area of millions of people (SF Bay Area) I could not find anyone who even had an Arcam or Anthem unit at all. I think this is the real failure of the current distribution model - dealers "own" a territory, but they seem to think that means they don't need to keep a demo unit in stock but will order one if you want to take the risk.

Peter

I demoed a Cary Audio C12 fro a guy who worked out of his garage. It was the stack of shelves just right of his car.

I found Anthem's are at nearly every dealer. Arcam's seem only carried at Best Buy(with upgraded Magnolia stores) and only the AVR's. I live in the Twin Cities. Everyone else who supposed to carry Arcam basically refuses to, and calls them crap. Amazing!

The distribution networks for these "boutique" audio companies are a HUGE drag on sales.

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Old 10-29-2013, 02:22 PM
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can somebody confirm whats the current issues on cinema 12 right now?
we are considering using it on our showroom at a small theater we have. We don't have DVR but we do have XBMC as our media server?
what are currently the problems?
daniel
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:19 AM
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The only problem I had was the C12 didn't like my TiVo's 30-second skip. CODEC PoPs! EVERY time. Untolerable.

But that was quite a while ago, and there have been FW updates since then. Plus, it seems most people who buy this price range don't watch "TV" with it.

If it wasn't for the CODEC Pops I would've kept it. It was the BEST sounding piece of AV equipment I've EVER heard. Astounding. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anybody, as long as you get a return policy, so you can make sure it works well with all your sources.

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Old 11-30-2013, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhale64L7 View Post

Any further updates on these things? Has anybody here compared this to the Marantz 8801? Thanks

I tried a Marantz last summer, took it back the same day. Ugh! What crap. I don't get "it".

No offense, but IMO, I don't understand how anyone interested in a C12 can have a Marantz on the same radar. Features VS SQ.

It's like comparing luxury brand Japanese cars to German cars. ON PAPER the Japanese car wins handily. They have TONS of features, great specs, and run forever.

But when you compare how they ride, the doors sound when you close them, drive over a pothole, the design of the interior, the feedback from the steering wheel, the material across more of the dash, etc, etc. There's just a different pedigree, different expectations. If you can't see it, that's fine - but if you do, there's NO going back.

After all, there are TONS of people on AVS who think "everything sounds the same". They buy Marantz/Denon/etc.

The best way to figure it out is to TRY one yourself! I wish MORE people DID in this forum.

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Old 12-04-2013, 01:31 PM
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Really dean that is not really a good comparison. Most German cars have a lot of quality issues, just sayin.

But anyways thanks for your opinion. I ended up buying the Krell Foundation and love it. I didn't even realize that you were quoting me until I read this for like the fourth time today lol. This thread is so dead.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhale64L7 View Post

Really dean that is not really a good comparison. Most German cars have a lot of quality issues, just sayin.

But anyways thanks for your opinion. I ended up buying the Krell Foundation and love it. I didn't even realize that you were quoting me until I read this for like the fourth time today lol. This thread is so dead.

LOL! I think you missed my point. But that's OK.

It's about the driving experience. But, in a way, you've reinforced it. Because your quick, brush off of "Most German cars have quality issues" is exactly what Japanese car type people do. It's just numbers to them.

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Old 12-06-2013, 04:32 AM
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It was just a joke on my end. Definitely not a Japanese car lover. I work for Ford and would much rather own one of them or a German car. Regardless of the quality issues mentioned.

On the original question I could get the Marantz for sooo much cheaper than even retail. That is why I asked.

I realize the Cary would probably sound better but with the issues and the price difference I just wondered if it gets a lot closer then.

Its all a moot point though as I bought the Krell Foundation and absolutely loved it. Had to sell it long story. Will be buying another unless Cary can get this thing sorted out. The Krell Foundation had none of these problems. And sounded so perfect to my ears.
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:48 PM
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Hi everyone,

I'm new to this thread and have been reading about some of the quirks associated with this product. My main interest is in sound quality but I don't have enough expendable cash to be able to afford upper tier gear. I found a cinema 12 on Audigon for $3200. Its a demo product from a dealer and appears to be in good condition. Id love to be able to buy one new but this is already stretching my budget. My question is, is this a fair price for this product? Does anyone have any experience buying used or demoed preamps? I see it as a good way to get quality products for a lower price but the fact that I'm not the original owner kind of scares me. I don't have a Cary dealer located close by, so I haven't actually heard it first hand. From what Ive been reading it sounds like the audio quality is outstanding. I'm concerned about the pops etc. associated with the C12 but do you think the sound quality makes it worth owning?

I listen to music 60% and movies 40%. I would be open to any other recommendations you may have. Im just looking to find a high quality system on not too big a budget. Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gspan01 View Post

Hi everyone,

I'm new to this thread and have been reading about some of the quirks associated with this product. My main interest is in sound quality but I don't have enough expendable cash to be able to afford upper tier gear. I found a cinema 12 on Audigon for $3200. Its a demo product from a dealer and appears to be in good condition. Id love to be able to buy one new but this is already stretching my budget. My question is, is this a fair price for this product? Does anyone have any experience buying used or demoed preamps? I see it as a good way to get quality products for a lower price but the fact that I'm not the original owner kind of scares me. I don't have a Cary dealer located close by, so I haven't actually heard it first hand. From what Ive been reading it sounds like the audio quality is outstanding. I'm concerned about the pops etc. associated with the C12 but do you think the sound quality makes it worth owning?

I listen to music 60% and movies 40%. I would be open to any other recommendations you may have. Im just looking to find a high quality system on not too big a budget. Thanks for the help!

I don't own the Cary but I would think if it came with the full warranty that it would be a good deal. I don't know if any of the problems with it were fixed however. I really wish an owner could help you out. But as you can see I think this is a ghost town.
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:09 AM
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I do not have a C12, but I have the earlier C11a. I have had the processor for about 5 years. I moved into a new house 10 months ago. The new house has a dedicated HT with room treatment and a bigger screen. When I set up the HT I upgraded the speakers, the sources, the power amps, the Audyssey equalizer, the control system and the projector but kept the C11a - upgrading to the 1.4 board. I use the system +90% music and could not be happier. I do not have any issue with pops and strange sounds that others seem to have. You lose the first few seconds when you go to a new track, which is a slight annoyance, but the sound is so good after that you soon forget this and sit back and enjoy the sound. In planning for the new HT I did not really look at alternatives to the C11a, figuring that I would see what the new system sounded like. Since moving in I am very happy with the system and have not even considered looking at alternatives. I would go with the Cary.
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:00 PM
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How good is the C12 for use with movies?

Anyone knows if the last firmware solved the problems with pops and click sound/delay with DVR etc??

It have been asked before but have notr been answered. I guess the AV 8801 will be better for movies but what about difference when listen to Music in stereo? Im using Mac mini-> SoTM USB converter > DSPeaker Dual core 2.0 XLR--> and maybe a C12..
Is it so much of a difference?

Anyone?

Last edited by AtleIB; 07-13-2014 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:05 PM
 
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AtleIB, I owned Cary Cinema 11 since 2008 and I never found any other better sounding processor for both music and movies.
I play music and movies from HTPC via HDMI, so I don't lose beginning part of any music.

I don't use the unit's HDMI switching so I can't comment on that aspect.

As a pure audio processor, nothing will sound better than Cary model 12. I have 5 Martin Logan speakers with crisp sound delivered via Theta DN2 amplifier.

Other processors (Anthem, Bryston, Classe) cost 10K with more HDMI switching and built-in calibration but won't sound better than Cary. Get Room analyzer Pro II and calibrate on your own.

Try to get a good discount from a dealer and you won't be disappointed.

Peter
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:34 AM
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Hi everyone .

Just got my 12 for two weeks . So far everything is ok . But i have something to check with you guys . Lets say you have set the EQ to ON and the LATE to HALF . So the next day you power up the 12 , does the EQ still remain on and the LATE remain HALF or both is OFF?


Thanks in advance



cheer guys
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:44 AM
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I have had the Cinema 12 for one year and I am still very satisfied. The sound quality for both music and movies are incredibly smooth yet detailed. This makes it easy to listen for hours without fatigue.

There are some quirks when changing between HDMI sources but also some ways to avoid it. Here is an example.

If I change to a HDMI source that is not yet on I get no sound only picture. The fix is to choose another HDMI input then change back again, or even better, remember to turn on the source before you select the HDMI input.

According to Cary Audio this is not a general issue and they recommend to reinstall the latest software version. I will do this but it is only possible with a active USB to serial adapter cable which I don't yet have.

Apart from this I am as before mentioned very happy with the sound quality. I combine C12 with an ATI AT3005 and the combination of the smooth C12 and the high power and control of ATI is very satisfying.
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Old 01-03-2015, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaby View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by blem

Hi Guys

Apols for the AFK but I wanted to give Cary a chance to response to my concerns before posting.

The good news is there is a firmware upgrade in the works, though I don't know what will be in the fix, nor when it will arrive.

I have tried to be thorough in my testing so not all of the problems I have encountered will impact on everyone interested in the this unit; nevertheless for the sake of completeness this is the latest version of my 'fault' list:

1. phantom centre doesn't work on 5.1 decoding formats on blu-ray.
Yes DVD's are fine, stereo (tv) is fine, even 7.1 on blu ray is fine, but there's a bug which means that if you don't have a centre speaker - and so use a phantom across the front stereo pair - you get NO dialogue or other centre sound when the blu ray is a 5.1 mix. As 95% of all blu discs are 5.1 that means 95% of them don't work! Cary have admitted to the fault and the fix will definitely be in the patch.

2. limitations of CES (Cirrus Extended Surround) 7.1 (?)
It works nicely on matrixing stereo (eg. tv/music) into a full surround mix but it doesn't work at all on mixes like blu-ray 5.1. Not sure if this is related to the decoding problem identified in (1) but as I specifically bought a 7.1 processor in which to matrix sound for the back channels this is a 'bug' for me.

3. the unit takes a while to lock onto a signal, routinely missing the first second or so of music
This is the most annoying of the faults as it affects my listening constantly. If I'm switching between music tracks losing the first half a second or so at the beginning is really not acceptable and I have yet to find a way of reliably preventing this. I can only assume the unit is muting any pops or crackles but it should be able to 'unmute' so quickly that the listener doesn't notice. It's certainly not a problem I've ever encountered on any other processor before and probably is the one fault that would cause me to return the unit as 'not fit for purpose' if it isn't resolved.

4. the unit also loses the lock on signal while changing tv channels/music tracks
Which may be related to problem 3, but worse, it sometimes doesn't seem able to 'find' the signal again. The only way to get the sound back is to manually change of input (eg. from 3 to 4 and then back to 3) in order to force the unit to find it and lock on again. No, it's not a show-stopper, but it is inconvenient/frustrating.

5. sometimes the lock is only partial and I get sound out of only one speaker
This too may be related to the same synchronisation/locking problem, or it may be something else. As it happens it's always only the right speaker that works (the left is dead during this time), though I'm not sure you can read anything into that... I have to change inputs and then back again to get the sound to return to both left and right.

6. pops and crackles appear occasionally when changing music tracks/tv channels
I've always been bemused when reading about this kind of thing happening with other processors (such as the 11a) as I've never had a problem with meridian or bryston, but now I have heard it I can see why folks get concerned (ie. could it damage the rest of the system?). The noise occurs sometimes at the same time as it loses the left signal (see point 5) but not always, and it's far from every time - perhaps 1 in 20 times.

7. unsettling sound when the unit is powered off (a 'crackling')
This one may not be a 'fault' as such (perhaps just relays switching) but it doesn't sound healthy, not unlike the kind of crackles/shorting you get when electronic components are not earthed properly. I'm less bothered by this one and so am only after a reassurance that it won't affect the longevity of the unit.

As and when I hear more I'll provide a further update; in the meantime I understand that the President of Cary is on the case so they are certainly taking the issues seriously. I would also add that I don't have an issue with a company that releases products with minor faults provided they then seek to address them quickly and efficiently.

...'til next time - cheers !


This is a great update. I appreciate your candor.
I have to say, the DACs in the best Esoteric will best almost any processor amp. Then, you need to bypass the processor DACs, but less quality players, the HDMI should use the better processor DAC.

I think the best processor would have two sets of balanced inputs, or, at leaat, one front pair and RCA. Most best players CD/SACD and DVD universal have only main balanced outputs.

I think, even with the Oppo, models 95 and 105, the DACs would be best if bypassed, not to mention Esoteric, or Accuphase.
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Old 04-05-2015, 03:21 AM
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I'm using an 11a. There is a phantom center channel with LPCM from an Oppo BDP-105, but not with bitstream. This is my second 11a, and the seller claimed it had been serviced by Cary shortly before I bought it. It does behave much better than my previous 11a, with no transients when pausing, restarting, or fast-forwarding a DirecTV Genie HD-DVR, nor when stopping then ejecting Blu-ray discs with the Oppo or discs with the Sony XA5400ES. There is a transient when stopping DSD with the Oppo. After reading this thread, I'm not sure it's worth it to upgrade to a 12. I bought the 11a specifically for DSD surround from the Sony, available only via HDMI. For stereo, I use an Ayre C-5xeMP through a Parasound JC-2 BP.

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Old 04-26-2015, 05:42 AM
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C11a/C12 update

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbphd View Post
After reading this thread, I'm not sure it's worth it to upgrade to a 12. I bought the 11a specifically for DSD surround from the Sony, available only via HDMI.
Although I bought the C11a for DSD surround from a Sony XA5400ES, I find that surround sound and bass management are superior when the Cary is in the loop compared to using an Oppo 105 as processor. The front LR channels from the Cary are passed through a Parasound JC-2 BP. Using coax direct from a DirecTV Genie HD-DVR to the Cary avoids the delays when pausing or fast forwarding encountered with HDMI. Stopping a disc before ejecting it seems to avoid transients with the Sony as source. I use the Oppo to process video from the HD-DVR and to play Blu-ray discs; its HDMI link to the C11a has been well behaved. After consulting Dan Wemmer of Cary tech about the advantages of a C12 over a C11a -- quicker HDMI linking and better sound -- I'm awaiting a C12 I bought from an Audiogon listing. I use neither the Cary nor subs for stereo, just an Ayre C-5xeMP or JC-3 phono stage directly to the JC-2.

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Old 05-06-2015, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbphd View Post
After consulting Dan Wemmer of Cary tech about the advantages of a C12 over a C11a -- quicker HDMI linking and better sound -- I'm awaiting a C12 I bought from an Audiogon listing.
The C12 has been installed, and the sound does seem superior to that of the C11a, but the HDMI artifacts, transients upon starting or stopping a disc and a several second delay in startup, are evident and may be even more severe than with the C11a I've been using. I think the transients may occur only when playing DSD, but I haven't tested it yet by playing a non-DSD disc with the Oppo 105 and Sony XA5400ES. Blu-rey discs exhibit none of the HDMI transients but do have the delay.

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Old 05-06-2015, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbphd View Post
The C12 has been installed, and the sound does seem superior to that of the C11a, but the HDMI artifacts, transients upon starting or stopping a disc and a several second delay in startup, are evident and may be even more severe than with the C11a I've been using. I think the transients may occur only when playing DSD, but I haven't tested it yet by playing a non-DSD disc with the Oppo 105 and Sony XA5400ES. Blu-rey discs exhibit none of the HDMI transients but do have the delay.

db
A some guys over at the Emotiva XMC-1 SSP owners thread are having similar issues with their Oppo 103/105 players when stopping the track. The issue stops, or can't be repeated when switching to PCM.

Oh what is being reported is more of a load thump, is this what you're hearing or is it static type sounds?

Djoel

My sacd collection Speaker: Ascend Tower RAAL, Horizon RAAL center, Tower NrT rears SSP: XMC-1 Amplification: XPA-5 G2 Display: Samsung PN64D7000 Source: Oppo 103, HTPC 16TB Jriver 19, Tivo Premier, Apple TV2g ,Roku 2 Power:Panamax M5300-PM
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Djoel View Post
A some guys over at the Emotiva XMC-1 SSP owners thread are having similar issues with their Oppo 103/105 players when stopping the track. The issue stops, or can't be repeated when switching to PCM.

Oh what is being reported is more of a load thump, is this what you're hearing or is it static type sounds?

Djoel
I hear a loud thump. I think changing the Oppo 105 to PCM may stop the thumps when using that player, but I don't see a similar cure when using the Sony XA5400ES. The Oppo exhibits no such thumps when playing Blu-rey. Neither player exhibits thumps when playing a CD. I don't understand why that should be if it's an HDMI problem.

db
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by dbphd View Post
I hear a loud thump. I think changing the Oppo 105 to PCM may stop the thumps when using that player, but I don't see a similar cure when using the Sony XA5400ES. The Oppo exhibits no such thumps when playing Blu-rey. Neither player exhibits thumps when playing a CD. I don't understand why that should be if it's an HDMI problem.

db
Sorry to hear about the issues, are you the only member that has experience this issue?

Yes, it's sounds like the same problem, I have not heard anyone complain while using a BR disc, it's definitely a DSD/ and what ever HDMI boards they're using currently.

I really hope Cary finds a fix soon.

Djoel

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Old 05-07-2015, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Djoel View Post
Sorry to hear about the issues, are you the only member that has experience this issue?

Yes, it's sounds like the same problem, I have not heard anyone complain while using a BR disc, it's definitely a DSD/ and what ever HDMI boards they're using currently.

I really hope Cary finds a fix soon.

Djoel
I doubt Cary will find a fix soon. As the C11a thread attests, it was a problem with that processor as well, a problem that apparently afflicts other small specialty manufacturers of audio components.

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Old 05-07-2015, 11:33 AM
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I doubt Cary will find a fix soon. As the C11a thread attests, it was a problem with that processor as well, a problem that apparently afflicts other small specialty manufacturers of audio components.

db

Yeah, I almost bought a Cary 11a, if you look for my user name you'll find me fighting with the power at be. One of Cary sales person PM to share what he thought of me
Good luck

Dan

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Old 05-07-2015, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Djoel View Post
Yeah, I almost bought a Cary 11a

Dan
I'm not at all unhappy I bought the C12, and I still have the C11a I had been using. The surround sound and bass management are superb. I paid a bit over $1200 for the C11a and a bit under $2800 for the C12. IIRC, I sold my previous C11a for about $1400. So for the sound quality they provide, I think they are bargains. I pass analog stereo from the Cary through a Parasound JC-2 BP that it shares with an Ayre C-5xeMP and JC-3 phono stage. I'll need to decide whether to sell the C11a or use it to replace a Proceed PAV/PDSD pair in another setup. If i do replace the Proceed pair, I'll put them in my audio museum along with my Marantz 18, a receiver that cost a full month of post-doc stipend in 1966, my AR3as, and AR turntable. The Marantz and ARs were my music source until I went Proceed and KEF.

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Old 05-07-2015, 02:32 PM
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I'm not at all unhappy I bought the C12, and I still have the C11a I had been using. The surround sound and bass management are superb. I paid a bit over $1200 for the C11a and a bit under $2800 for the C12. IIRC, I sold my previous C11a for about $1400. So for the sound quality they provide, I think they are bargains. I pass analog stereo from the Cary through a Parasound JC-2 BP that it shares with an Ayre C-5xeMP and JC-3 phono stage. I'll need to decide whether to sell the C11a or use it to replace a Proceed PAV/PDSD pair in another setup. If i do replace the Proceed pair, I'll put them in my audio museum along with my Marantz 18, a receiver that cost a full month of post-doc stipend in 1966, my AR3as, and AR turntable. The Marantz and ARs were my music source until I went Proceed and KEF.

db
Yeah that's what I keep hearing, it gotta be that Analogue stage that makes these Cary SSP sound so great.
I had their Cinema 5, and the MB500 mono ss amps, and they do sound sweet.


Take care

Dan

My sacd collection Speaker: Ascend Tower RAAL, Horizon RAAL center, Tower NrT rears SSP: XMC-1 Amplification: XPA-5 G2 Display: Samsung PN64D7000 Source: Oppo 103, HTPC 16TB Jriver 19, Tivo Premier, Apple TV2g ,Roku 2 Power:Panamax M5300-PM
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