High End "Reference Models" are Discontinued....What Now? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 12-15-2012, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Denon has discontinued their AVP-A1HDA + POA-A1HD...Pioneer also discontinued the Susano SC-LX90....
What now? Are these brands focusing on the mass market for supermarket equipment? Yes because even the new AVR from Denon is supermarket equipment compared with the 2 i mentioned.
Does Denon plans any new High End Processor and Amplifier? What about Pioneer, so they plan a replacement for Susano? I cannot find any info on the web...
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post #2 of 12 Old 12-15-2012, 01:04 AM
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"Highest end" pre-pro from Denon's stable mate, Marantz, is the 8801. A lot of speculation that most of the guts are from the Denon 4520, with a nice copper plate and screws.

Not much of a market for these given the economy of the last 5 years, both here and in Japan. Add in the exchange rate, which would need to push the price higher to maintain the previous profit margins, and the market gets even smaller.

Neither D&M or Pioneer have been raking in the revenue and profits lately. IMO, I don't see a limited production halo product on either companies "must do" list.

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post #3 of 12 Old 12-15-2012, 06:34 AM
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the current "supermarket equipment" available from d&m (as well as a few others) produces better "sound quality" than the susano...

for one example, i would not trade my current piece of "supermarket equipment" for my old susano... for another, a very hard core susano owner is now using his as an amp being fed from a "current" pio avr in order to take advantage of "modern" dsp architecture...

the susano was a killer product for its day, and still has the lcd, which means it still has the "coolest" face plate... it was designed when pioneer still had enough r&d money to be the "cutting edge technolgy leader" (also witness the much missed kuro)... however, that was "for its day"... right now, it's outdated,and even though many of us would have paid a pretty penny to make it technologically current, that option was never made available... fwiw though, it didn't "sound" any different from its little brothers (i also owned a sc-05)...

however, judging by your posts in other threads, you have already decided that "price is a technical spec" and that you hold certain "beliefs" that are holding you back from actually improving your listening experience...

"flagship" avrs/pre-pros have sailed out to sea, and they ain't coming back... there are very good reasons for this... we have discussed it quite thoroughly on several occasions in the susano thread... as someone who has owned more than one flagship model (as well as a few "boutique" products), i can can honestly say "good riddance"... my current $2500 avr produces measurably better results (and those measured results fall well in the range of proven audibility) and has WAY more features than my $7000 susano did...

a) there is zero marketing value in a halo product any longer...
b) like every other technology based item, technology trickles down and becomes cheaper/commoditized...
c) and so on...

you basically have a choice to make... you can hang on to the beliefs you currently hold, or you can actually get somewhere... that decision is up to you...

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post #4 of 12 Old 12-15-2012, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

the current "supermarket equipment" available from d&m (as well as a few others) produces better "sound quality" than the susano...
for one example, i would not trade my current piece of "supermarket equipment" for my old susano... for another, a very hard core susano owner is now using his as an amp being fed from a "current" pio avr in order to take advantage of "modern" dsp architecture...
the susano was a killer product for its day, and still has the lcd, which means it still has the "coolest" face plate... it was designed when pioneer still had enough r&d money to be the "cutting edge technolgy leader" (also witness the much missed kuro)... however, that was "for its day"... right now, it's outdated,and even though many of us would have paid a pretty penny to make it technologically current, that option was never made available... fwiw though, it didn't "sound" any different from its little brothers (i also owned a sc-05)...
however, judging by your posts in other threads, you have already decided that "price is a technical spec" and that you hold certain "beliefs" that are holding you back from actually improving your listening experience...
"flagship" avrs/pre-pros have sailed out to sea, and they ain't coming back... there are very good reasons for this... we have discussed it quite thoroughly on several occasions in the susano thread... as someone who has owned more than one flagship model (as well as a few "boutique" products), i can can honestly say "good riddance"... my current $2500 avr produces measurably better results (and those measured results fall well in the range of proven audibility) and has WAY more features than my $7000 susano did...
a) there is zero marketing value in a halo product any longer...
b) like every other technology based item, technology trickles down and becomes cheaper/commoditized...
c) and so on...
you basically have a choice to make... you can hang on to the beliefs you currently hold, or you can actually get somewhere... that decision is up to you...

I understand you...
It's interesting when you say the new Denon or Marantz produce better sound than the Susano... I don't believe it, the AVR series is "mass equipment" for massive public, not High End.
You can even tell me your Mini Cooper runs better than Ferrari, and i only believe it if i want to.

I see brands today that have what they call "High End Processors" like Mcintosh MX-151...or the Ultra High End Krell Evo 707 and DATASAT.

Question nº1: Are they at the level of the Denon AVP-A1HDA? Cause i see many people selling the Denon upgrading to others...
Question nº2: What processor today has the same quality (and here i mean build quality/sound/video processing) or better than the Denon AVP-A1HDA? Cause the Mcintosh in my opinion for $12000 USD is years of light behind the Denon, Mcintosh does good Amps but Processors?! PLEAASE.....GIVE ME A BREAK!!!
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post #5 of 12 Old 12-15-2012, 10:54 AM
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^^^^

Advances in DSP available in the newer AVR's far outweigh any build quality differences in terms of SQ. That's why they sound and measure better. A better analogy than cars would be other electronics: That "high end" computer purchased for $4k five years ago won't outperform a current generation $1k computer.

It's not a matter of "beliefs" and making price a technical spec may make you feel more exclusive/special but it isn't an indicator of SQ across generational changes in electronic devices.
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-15-2012, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

^^^^
Advances in DSP available in the newer AVR's far outweigh any build quality differences in terms of SQ. That's why they sound and measure better. A better analogy than cars would be other electronics: That "high end" computer purchased for $4k five years ago won't outperform a current generation $1k computer.
It's not a matter of "beliefs" and making price a technical spec may make you feel more exclusive/special but it isn't an indicator of SQ across generational changes in electronic devices.

Saying a $1000 Processor is better than a $4000 Processor is something very subjective. Do you believe they have the same built quality and will last the same?...rolleyes.gif Or built quality doesn't matter anymore? Besides that just name an AVR that gives you 200watts per channel like the Susano (and in reality 250watts per channel measured). Just name it... Only a Pre/pro can reach it and beat that power.
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post #7 of 12 Old 12-15-2012, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by MV_Cinema View Post

Saying a $1000 Processor is better than a $4000 Processor is something very subjective. Do you believe they have the same built quality and will last the same?...rolleyes.gif Or built quality doesn't matter anymore? Besides that just name an AVR that gives you 200watts per channel like the Susano (and in reality 250watts per channel measured). Just name it... Only a Pre/pro can reach it and beat that power.

What issues in build quality of the current AVR's do you believe negatively impact SQ in an audible way?
What significant benefit does 200 wpc give over the current 150 wpc available in the current TOTL AVR's? For the rare application where 150 wpc isn't enough, moving to a 200 wpc amp isn't the answer.

Compared to modern DSP, anything you might come up with will have exponentially less (if any) impact to SQ.
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-15-2012, 11:57 AM
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The Susano had a great amp section, no doubt. But if one needed/wants a powerful amp, there are plenty of powerful amps from a variety of firms that can be had, ranging from Emo/Outlaw to Wyred4Sound (for class D) to Mc's/Bryston etc. That said, I've seen plenty of dead "high end" pieces, and plenty of "future proof" high dollar pieces, end up in the busted/broken sections of flea bay, so high price doesn't automatically correlate with higher build quality.

In the end, the question is moot for most AVR's in the price range you are discussing. While nothing is perfect, solid state electronics are fairly robust, and many mass produced items will last well past their features/compatibility will remain relevant.

As for SQ, I think room correction is going to be one of the most differentiable items on that list. Several good programs exist, Audyssey MultEQ XT32, Anthem's ARC, and Mc's Room Perfect for example. The aforementioned Marantz (and Denon AVR that the 8801 is based on) provide XT32. Anthems more boutique nature may appeal to you, and the D2 is available with ARC, and of course the Mc w/Room Perfect.

The D2 may be a nice spot for you. "High End" design, boutique level panache, and widely acclaimed as a very good sounding prepro.

As for me, I've played with higher end pre-pro's, and flagship AVR's. I'll admit, at the time I felt I noticed a difference, and maybe I did, but I wouldn't put my money on the line in a blind test. Currently I am greatly enjoying my Denon AVR, using its onboard amps, and I don't miss my old Aragon 8008, or Proceed Amp 5. Well maybe a little, but its mainly because I thought they were cool and fun to look at.

With that in mind, I do understand the desire to own "the best" and if that's what you want, go to town. Just don't convince yourself that there is much, if any, difference in sound quality between different well made components. Moreover, well made starts at a much lower price than some think, and a $2-$2.5k receiver is probably well above that threshold.

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post #9 of 12 Old 01-05-2013, 08:24 AM
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This thread was getting interesting. Surprised it stopped.

I've owned high end gear for several years now but I'm starting to question how well high end measures up now a days against processors like the recently released Marantz 8801 and Integra 80.3. Has mid-level gear reached the level of high end or have we just been convincing ourselves that high end sounds better? After recently auditioning a Marantz 8801 at a member's home, I was really impressed how great it sounded compared to my Classe CT-SSP which is nearly 3 times the price.

I will admit, I'm a little conflicted right now about this subject.

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post #10 of 12 Old 01-05-2013, 09:43 AM
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^
Ah, a little confused, I remember well - ' Bob Dylan '

I found that by taking the pre/pro path, helped 'slow' the HT processor technology train down a bit. By this I guess I am trying to say, I have found seven channels of amplification that I am very satisfied with, so essentially I have eliminated amplification as a variable, basically simplifying things a bit. This is an acceptable path for me, since HT processors and amplifiers have much varied rates of obsolescence. I am also looking at the Marantz 8801, it is at my upper limit and is not in my immediate future.

Steve
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post #11 of 12 Old 01-05-2013, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by adidino View Post

This thread was getting interesting. Surprised it stopped.
I've owned high end gear for several years now but I'm starting to question how well high end measures up now a days against processors like the recently released Marantz 8801 and Integra 80.3. Has mid-level gear reached the level of high end or have we just been convincing ourselves that high end sounds better? After recently auditioning a Marantz 8801 at a member's home, I was really impressed how great it sounded compared to my Classe CT-SSP which is nearly 3 times the price.
I will admit, I'm a little conflicted right now about this subject.

Hey Tony. Was the compare with movies and stereo? I have the Classe as well and I still think the Classe has the best analog section and sound of any pre/pro I have heard. That was the point of buying the Classe. A combined high-end rig.

I will have to hear the Marantz sometime. I don't know about Onkyo or Integra but it seems some say that stereo is a bit subpar but movies are just fine.

It is a tough pill to swallow when spending near $10k on a pre/pro. It's not something that can be replaced every two years (for me anyway). I would love to hear the Bryston piece as well.

Also was surprised to read from OP that Denon discontinued their separates. I bet something new is coming from them.

Rick

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post #12 of 12 Old 01-05-2013, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr.SoftDome View Post

Hey Tony. Was the compare with movies and stereo? I have the Classe as well and I still think the Classe has the best analog section and sound of any pre/pro I have heard. That was the point of buying the Classe. A combined high-end rig.
I will have to hear the Marantz sometime. I don't know about Onkyo or Integra but it seems some say that stereo is a bit subpar but movies are just fine.
It is a tough pill to swallow when spending near $10k on a pre/pro. It's not something that can be replaced every two years (for me anyway). I would love to hear the Bryston piece as well.
Also was surprised to read from OP that Denon discontinued their separates. I bet something new is coming from them.
Rick

I agree 100% on the analog section. However, if we're talking digital, does it still make sense? OR does it make even more sense to have something like the Marantz for home theater duties and a high end 2 channel piece with home theater bypass (if you are not doing multichannel music) for stereo duties.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Classe but the Marantz made reflect on the whole subject of high end processors when in the digital domain.

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