Computer and DAC, SACD, DVD-A, CD and Bluray Music Only- One Unit for All? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-24-2012, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm assembling a music only system, 2.0 at first but may end up 2.1 or 3.1 and am looking for a processor/pre pro/receiver to integrate the following existing pieces:

1). Hegel HD20 DAC fed by iPad through digital output from a CA dock. I use this for everything from hires music on my network to streaming Pandora, Spotify, etc.

2). Oppo 980 used for SACD and DVD-A.

3). Sony 960 Bluray Changer used for CD and Bluray playback. Right now using the digital output through the HD20 but obviously losing lossless playback on Bluerays.

Right now, this is all running through an Anthem 225 Integrated Amp and VMPS RM30 speakers and I'm pretty happy with the two channel sound. But while the Hegel DAC provides an immediacy that I really enjoy, my living room presents some bass issues that room correction could be helpful in addressing. I'm also limited to 2.0 or 2.1 currently.

When I tried subbing a Yamaha 663 receiver that I had for the Anthem, it seemed that all the magic went away. It was the opposite of the old "veils were lifted" cliche, felt more like curtains were in front of the speakers.

So I guess I'm looking for a unit that will not deteriorate the signal from my HD20 during passthrough or conversion to 3.1, accept DSD or PCM from the Oppo, deliver the benefits of lossless DD or DTS soundtracks on Bluray and give me the option of advanced room correction.

Budget up to $3K or so, will probably buy used off A'gon unless there's a deal on new to be had.

Heard a 3-channel set-up in the Maggie room at CES this year and immediately thought "that's what I want". They were using the Bryston pre/pro which addresses some but not all of my needs.

TIA for any suggestions or feedback...

John

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post #2 of 11 Old 01-24-2012, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Robert View Post

I'm assembling a music only system, 2.0 at first but may end up 2.1 or 3.1 and am looking for a processor/pre pro/receiver to integrate the following existing pieces:

1). Hegel HD20 DAC fed by iPad through digital output from a CA dock. I use this for everything from hires music on my network to streaming Pandora, Spotify, etc.

2). Oppo 980 used for SACD and DVD-A.

3). Sony 960 Bluray Changer used for CD and Bluray playback. Right now using the digital output through the HD20 but obviously losing lossless playback on Bluerays.

Right now, this is all running through an Anthem 225 Integrated Amp and VMPS RM30 speakers and I'm pretty happy with the two channel sound. But while the Hegel DAC provides an immediacy that I really enjoy, my living room presents some bass issues that room correction could be helpful in addressing. I'm also limited to 2.0 or 2.1 currently.

When I tried subbing a Yamaha 663 receiver that I had for the Anthem, it seemed that all the magic went away. It was the opposite of the old "veils were lifted" cliche, felt more like curtains were in front of the speakers.

So I guess I'm looking for a unit that will not deteriorate the signal from my HD20 during passthrough or conversion to 3.1, accept DSD or PCM from the Oppo, deliver the benefits of lossless DD or DTS soundtracks on Bluray and give me the option of advanced room correction.

Budget up to $3K or so, will probably buy used off A'gon unless there's a deal on new to be had.

Heard a 3-channel set-up in the Maggie room at CES this year and immediately thought "that's what I want". They were using the Bryston pre/pro which addresses some but not all of my needs.

TIA for any suggestions or feedback...

John

While you will not use all of it's abilities, an Integra DHC 80.3 processor would go a long way towards your goals and fit within your budget. Your next upgrade may be to rip all of your media to a network attached storage box and purchase a media streamer. This will eliminate the need for your ipad, dac, oppo and sony.
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-24-2012, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion. Just bought a mint 80.2 for my dedicated HT because I wanted MuteqXT 32 for mutiple subs. I've certainly been impressed in the short time I've used it with the digital processing and room correction but less so with its treatment of analog sources. I'm a ways away from having all my media ripped and too busy enjoying my little silver disks in the meantime :-) ...

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post #4 of 11 Old 01-24-2012, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Robert View Post

Thanks for the suggestion. Just bought a mint 80.2 for my dedicated HT because I wanted MuteqXT 32 for mutiple subs. I've certainly been impressed in the short time I've used it with the digital processing and room correction but less so with its treatment of analog sources. I'm a ways away from having all my media ripped and too busy enjoying my little silver disks in the meantime :-) ...

John

The yamaha 663 is about 5 years old and a lower model to boot. No wonder it didn't do the job. Connect everything possible to the onkyo using hdmi or digital audio. Set it up correctly and music should sound good also.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-25-2012, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Not sure which Onkyo you're referring to? I did connect everything including the Oppo through the 663 and listened to DSD direct. It did indeed sound good but right now music sounds very good and I'm trying to get to great! And with one box convenience if possible...

John

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post #6 of 11 Old 01-25-2012, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Robert View Post

Thanks for the suggestion. Just bought a mint 80.2 for my dedicated HT because I wanted MuteqXT 32 for mutiple subs. I've certainly been impressed in the short time I've used it with the digital processing and room correction but less so with its treatment of analog sources. I'm a ways away from having all my media ripped and too busy enjoying my little silver disks in the meantime :-) ...

John

You only mentioned digital sources... what are your analog ones?
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-25-2012, 06:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Phono preamp and the HD20 DAC output...

John

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post #8 of 11 Old 01-25-2012, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by John Robert View Post

Phono preamp and the HD20 DAC output...

John

If you work with digital processor, you have to drop DAC from the picture and send digital stream directly to it.. If you want to play LPs, get a didicated phono preamp, and use processor in "direct", "pure" or whatever mode, when it does not do any processing. When processor converts analog to digital to do its magic, here you are loosing clarity.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-25-2012, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Certainly makes sense. So far I haven't found the unit - at least in auditioning the admittedly older Yamaha 663 and the Integra 80.2 - whose direct or pure mode sounds as good as the Hegel DAC. And I can't decide if digitized and room corrected music through the 80.2, while certainly tighter and improved in the bass end, is worth the loss of resolution and transparency that the stand-alone DAC delivers...

John

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post #10 of 11 Old 01-25-2012, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Robert View Post

Certainly makes sense. So far I haven't found the unit - at least in auditioning the admittedly older Yamaha 663 and the Integra 80.2 - whose direct or pure mode sounds as good as the Hegel DAC. And I can't decide if digitized and room corrected music through the 80.2, while certainly tighter and improved in the bass end, is worth the loss of resolution and transparency that the stand-alone DAC delivers...

John

That is why it really is a personal thing. I happen to like the Audyssey xt32 correction over pure analog as my room is really troublesome.
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-26-2012, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I think that for movies room correction is a no-brainer and I've happily reaped the benefits of the enhanced versions of Audyssey - now XT32 like you - in my dedicated HT. The improvements have not been subtle. But working through the issues in a music-only system seems different with it's focus on individual voices and instruments versus the diffuse soundfield of surround sound movies. Maybe I'm just over thinking it...

John

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