Need help on a pre/pro for dedicated HT - AVS Forum
Receivers, Amps, and Processors > Need help on a pre/pro for dedicated HT
avtexan's Avatar avtexan 01:28 PM 12-12-2012
I am down to my final selections on a dedicated home theater and I need some help. The room is 13.5' x 21' with 9' ceilings. It is light controlled and will be acoustically treated. It will be a 7.2 setup. I was planning on using my B&K Ref 2220 (220x2) and B&K Ref 7270 (200x7) amps. I will be using (2) Paradigm Sub 15 subs and use Triad Gold LCR's. The side and rears will be Triad as well. The PJ is a Runco LS-10i on a 120 wide 2:37 AT screen.

I have gone back and forth on a choice for pre/pro. My top contenders are as follows:

Integra DHC-80.3
The least expensive of the bunch. How will it stack up to the others in sound quality. Best feature by far but do I need or will I use them.

NAD T-187
I like that it does not have a VP onboard. I would use the lumagen with this one for sure. I wish it was xt32 over xtpro.

Maratz AV8801
I have never looked at Marantz very closely. Not sure how it would stack up. I like that it has xt32 but will the VP be good enough to not need the Lumagen.

Mac MX-121
Always wanted one, probably over priced but I sure wish it has xt32.

Anthem av50v
I have heard great things about ARC. How good is the VP vs a Lumagen?

So my questions are:

1) Sound Quality: Is one of the units I am looking at be a clear winner over the others?

2) Room Correction: Knowing that I can run PBK on the Paradigm subs will there be a big difference between XT PRO, XT32 and Athem's ARC?

3) Video Processing: I have been looking at a Lumagen VP. Will any of the units above come close to an outboard processor? I will be watching mostly BD movies and Directv.

4) Any votes for an overall winner? All of the units are in the budget but is one a better value.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
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sfm's Avatar sfm 03:01 PM 12-12-2012
FWIW, I've had an original Anthem D2 (added ARC when it became available) for over 6 years now and within the last year added a Lumagen Radiance XS to take over the video duties (currently using our trusty JVC RS-20 Projector)... IMO the improvement in visuals was substantial. I've always used some type of calibration software and meters (D3 and i1pro) to calibrate video but adding the Radiance and then utilizing the subsequent 125pt color calibration support have really improved things from a video standpoint.

Can't comment on the VP improvements with the D2V (50V) over the D2 but I believe the anthem V versions use the same (or similar) video processing chip as the Lumagen but the software controlling the chip is much more sophisticated and flexible with the Radiance. As I want to expand my 5.1 setup to a 7.1 I am starting to look at an upgrade for the D2 (Marantz 8801 or a used 50v are current candidates... wanting to stay around 4K or less). Whatever I get the Lumagen XS will handle the VP duties.
avtexan's Avatar avtexan 12:19 AM 12-13-2012
Thanks for the info sfm. I will go with a Lumagen mini for sure. So that takes care of #3. Does anybody have any thoughts on the other questions?

1) Sound Quality: Is one of the units I am looking at a clear winner over the others?

2) Room Correction: Knowing that I can run PBK on the Paradigm subs will there be a big difference between XT PRO, XT32 and Athem's ARC?

4) Any votes for an overall winner? All of the units are in the budget but is one a better value?
avtexan's Avatar avtexan 02:46 AM 12-15-2012
Any other thoughts from the forum? This is my last piece of equipment to pick and I am really stuck.
ultra 150 pilot's Avatar ultra 150 pilot 03:40 PM 12-15-2012
I owned the anthem d2 for 2 years, it's a very nice sounding and well built pre pro and arc is very functional. However once I heard the Mcintosh mx135(non hdmi) I fell in love with the sound. I had the mx150 in my ht for a week but preferred the mx135.

The older Mac stuff really does have excellent sound.

I've had many pre pros in my ht

Krell, Cary cinema 11, theta Casablanca, marantz pre, tag maclaren 192,classe ssp
avtexan's Avatar avtexan 02:51 AM 12-17-2012
OK so I have it narrowed down to the Anthem av50v and Marantz AV8801.

Sound Quality: Is one of the units a clear winner over the other?

Room Correction: Knowing that I can run PBK on the Paradigm subs will there be a big difference between Marantz's XT32 Pro and Athem's ARC?

Video Processing in the units won't matter as I will use the Lumagen.
ultra 150 pilot's Avatar ultra 150 pilot 05:28 AM 12-17-2012
I have not heard this particular marantz model so I can't comment on the sound, but I would choose the anthem not only does it have great sound but the support is excellent, build and resale is very good as well
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