Originally Posted by gbaby
Roger, if you had to give up a processor, would you give up the Classe processor or the ATMOS processor? In other words, does the great hi fi sound of the Classe trump the latest ATMOS sound of the Marantz or does ATMOS trumps quality sound?
The sound quality issue I have with the 7702 is twofold. First, it dropped PLIIx, and the alleged replacements, Dolby Surround, Auromatic, or Neo:X, are not my cuppa tea by a country mile.
Second, the XT32 is way off the mark, it rolls off my subs <30 Hz, and tries to fix SBIR dips with boost and makes a mess of the midbass. Everything sounds like it comes out of a box
. I refuse to $pend more on Audyssey Pro in an attempt to fix those issues, as I'm not confident it could even do so with the crude target curve tweaks.
With the 7702 EQ and surround modes bypassed, i.e. straight stereo, it compares very well with the SSP-800 in stereo (I have hardwire A/B switching). They sound identically muddy in my room. So it is very hard to really drill down into more subtle aspects of any sonic nuances that may distinguish these units, as they are obscured by the generally unattractive sound of my uncorrected room. I can say that the noise floor of the SSP is cleaner -- absolutely no hum/buzz artifacts whereas the 7702 has some way down in the noise (confirmed by other users). It takes some effort to detect that difference, though, and the noise can be mitigated.
As for height effects, in my room the surrounds are at 20 deg elevation to MLP, and the walls are covered with diffusors, not absorbers. I get an excellent sense of height (in the MLP), apparently so good that the difference with Atmos and Auro content is not overwhelming, as others report. I like the effect, but it does not transform the experience thus far. Looking forward to more Atmos movies.
The recommendation is to lower the surrounds closer to ear level to help the heights shine better. When they lower the surrounds in cinemas, I will consider that.
Back to your question. >>if you had to give up a processor, would you give up the Classe processor or the ATMOS processor?<< The AV7702 would go, in a heartbeat. When someone makes an Atmos processor with PLIIx and PEQ (or some equally acceptable EQ), then I'll consider retiring the Classe.