Official Classe SSP-800 thread. - Page 4 - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #91 of 5844 Old 06-06-2008, 12:31 PM
Senior Member
 
RebelMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 354
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krobar View Post

Considering what other manufacturers have done in the past with so called guaranteed upgrades I would want my free upgrade signed in blood (Or at least signed to paper that I would get a full refund if the free upgrade was not provided within 18 months)

I am aware of those stories and I don't blame those individuals reluctance to try again. Though the issues they faced were predicated on designs that couldn't accurately predict the requirements of future technologies. It's quite different with the Classe' piece. They are working with a set of known variables.

The SSP-800 was supposed to launch with the dual-DSP board but supplier parts and implementations were delaying the project. The SSP-800 doesn't need the dual-DSP board to perform optimally. It's only intended to support the advanced audio codecs from Dolby and dts given the freedom (to HBR or not) and uncertainty (where to decode) of the Blu-ray format.

Quote:


The idea of the free upgrade perplexes me anyway. Why not charge $6000 for the non HBR version and then offer the upgrade for $2000 later. Sell the upgraded units for $8000. You will find some people are not interested in the HBR upgrade anyway.

We need to step back to understand why this is (the current situation). Classe' announced at CEDIA 2006 and again at CES 2007 the March release of their statement processor, the $25K SSP-900. It didn't happen.

Classe' realized, albeit last minute, the risks associated with an audio and video processor this advanced were going to be high. They also learned that shifts in the HD marketplace would eventually circumvent the need for video processing and the redundancy it would bring to a system. Why pay extra for something you don't (won't) need?

Later at CEDIA 2007 Classe' introduced another processor in lieu of the SSP-900 using similar architecture sans video processing. It would be called the SSP-800 and it was going to sell in the neighborhood of $10-$12K. Classe' would apply ALL the audio benefits found in the SSP-900 but sell it for less than half its cost! Four months later Classe' shockingly announced that the SSP-800 wasn't going to go for $12K not even $10K, but rather $8K!!! LESS THAN A THIRD the SSP-900's original price. ( Now you know where the source of my enthusiasm comes from. ) It was a shocking announcement because they announced a month or two prior an across the board price increase. I thought for sure the SSP-800 would be tagged with a $12K price.

You should see that Classe' has already done what you proposed but rather than charge an extra $2K to upgrade (for a total of $10K) they are making it free. What's so perplexing about that?

"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."
RebelMan is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #92 of 5844 Old 06-06-2008, 12:49 PM
AVS Special Member
 
ehlarson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Central New Jersey
Posts: 2,241
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by DulcetTones View Post


This may also explain the reluctance of the high-end developers of supporting HBR and being rather late to market.

So me, I would prefer a product that is cheaper by excluding the headaches outlined above.

I have some sympathy for that concept, but I think that there is some independence of audio codec from the BD standard in that if BD fails we may still see DTS HS MA and so on in other media or on servers of various types. If you can envision this sort of world having HBR audio support in the processor may turn out to be a very useful thing.

I think it is an important bit of flexibility.

"Nature Abhors a Vacuum Tube" -  J. R. Pierce
ehlarson is offline  
post #93 of 5844 Old 06-07-2008, 08:13 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Eric Carroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketingProf View Post

Wow. Classe makes some great gear, but an $8000 pre/pro that has few analog inputs, no auto room correction (because every room is different? I thought that was the whole reason for these systems!), and no video processing. Not sure where they're going with this unit. The dearth of analog inputs surprises me for Classe stuff, but seems to be the trend.

So, this unit must be for those customers who have only a few legacy analog source components (but not a turntable, or at least if they do they also have a separate high quality phono preamp), a high quality video processor, a "tuned" and tweaked listening space, and just need a digital switcher and processor. I suppose it make sense for a very small niche of very high end HTs. Or maybe it's targeted for mainly music systems.

Am I missing something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krobar View Post

It meets my requirement quite well on paper. I already have a Lumagen VP (Gamma correction is superb for my JVC RS1), no record player, only three analogue source (LD, Wii and IPod) and no turn table. I would hope to get excellent SQ and a very low noise floor from the Classe.

The lack of a VP is a far smaller issue than people make out. It amazes me how many people who have a high quality display with excellent VP inbuilt insist on using inferior pre-pro/ receiver video processing. Most people have a VP in their Display, Receiver and Disc player, a wasteful tripling up.

I too am on paper a perfect target customer: 1 analog source, maybe 2 depending on SACD/DSD support over HDMI, multiple HDMI sources, and a Lumagen Radiance XP for video. I don't need a VP or extensive analog connections. But the published specs cause me pause, and I definately want HDM decoding. So I will have to wait until it goes on the bench and they ship the DSP upgrade.

Anyone with a seperate VP and HDM decoding has to be concerned about how the DSP architecture is done. The Lumagen is very fast on the video side. If the DSP architecture has too much serial delay in it (like the Integra DTC 9.8) the video gets ahead of the audio uncorrectably. So another reason to wait and see.
Eric Carroll is offline  
post #94 of 5844 Old 06-07-2008, 08:18 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Eric Carroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by RebelMan View Post

I am aware of those stories and I don't blame those individuals reluctance to try again.

You should see that Classe' has already done what you proposed but rather than charge an extra $2K to upgrade (for a total of $10K) they are making it free. What's so perplexing about that?

RebelMan,

Your enthusiasm is notable. While I have not personally been burned by a cancelled upgrade, I have noted in my investigations that there is a significnant track record in the smaller SSP manufacturer base of OEM outsourcing of the digital side (Vinci Labs), missed upgrades and missed dates. So personally, nothing against Classe at all, I remain reluctant and want to see it ship first.

I think Classe offering the DSP upgrade for free is the right thing to do and a postitive customer statement. But due to some other issues I noted in my other posting having to do with HDM processing delay, I need to see it before I commit.
Eric Carroll is offline  
post #95 of 5844 Old 06-07-2008, 08:40 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Eric Carroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I note that RebelMan updated his thread and that the DACs are the PCM1792s at 127 dB SNR. That's as good as it gets right now.

RebelMan, I note your thread says
Quote:


Texas Instruments/Burr Brown PCM1792 [Stereo Mode (x3)] (L & R, C & S and AUX1 & AUX2)

A couple of questions:
  • Did you mean the 1792A, which was what you linked to?
  • Are they configured in dual differential mode to the balanced outs? I would assume yes, but it is worth asking.
  • What did you mean by the Stero Mode x3 comment? I understand the chip has stereo vs mono modes, but the x3 confused me.
Eric Carroll is offline  
post #96 of 5844 Old 06-07-2008, 11:28 AM
Senior Member
 
RebelMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 354
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Carroll View Post

Anyone with a seperate VP and HDM decoding has to be concerned about how the DSP architecture is done. The Lumagen is very fast on the video side. If the DSP architecture has too much serial delay in it (like the Integra DTC 9.8) the video gets ahead of the audio uncorrectably. So another reason to wait and see.

Lipsynching adjustments have been a staple in the Delta Series processors and they will continue. Since it won't be doing any VP at all it shouldn't incur any delays that couldn't be accounted for. HBR decoding can place high demands on the processor and therefore the SSP-800 will not be doing any HBR decoding with its mono-DSP. That will be reserved for the dual-DSP upgrade given that it will have sufficient horse power.

"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."
RebelMan is offline  
post #97 of 5844 Old 06-07-2008, 11:37 AM
Senior Member
 
RebelMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 354
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Carroll View Post

RebelMan, I note your thread says

A couple of questions:

  • Did you mean the 1792A, which was what you linked to? Yes. The original part was obsoleted. It is common practice for IC refreshes and updates to occur throughout a device's lifecycle.
  • Are they configured in dual differential mode to the balanced outs? I would assume yes, but it is worth asking. I believe it is differential mode to the balanced outputs.
  • What did you mean by the Stero Mode x3 comment? I understand the chip has stereo vs mono modes, but the x3 confused me. The x3 indicates that three stereo DACs are used one for each pair of channels in differential mode.

"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."
RebelMan is offline  
post #98 of 5844 Old 06-08-2008, 07:25 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Eric Carroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by RebelMan View Post

Lipsynching adjustments have been a staple in the Delta Series processors and they will continue.

I think you misunderstood my point.

The problem that showed up in the Onkyo using 3 DSPs was "reverse" lipsync misalignment. Normal HDMI lipsync allows the audio to be delayed, on the assumption that video processing time >> audio processing time. However, on the Onkyo, in combination with a fast VP, audio processing time >> video processing time. It is speculated that this is due to having 3 DSPs in serial. Testing suggests this hypothesis is accurate, but the root cause is unconfirmed by Onkyo. HDMI lipsync, as normally practiced does not permit video to be delayed (i.e. a negative HDMI lipsync value).
Eric Carroll is offline  
post #99 of 5844 Old 06-08-2008, 08:57 PM
Senior Member
 
RebelMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 354
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Carroll View Post

I think you misunderstood my point.

The problem that showed up in the Onkyo using 3 DSPs was "reverse" lipsync misalignment. Normal HDMI lipsync allows the audio to be delayed, on the assumption that video processing time >> audio processing time. However, on the Onkyo, in combination with a fast VP, audio processing time >> video processing time. It is speculated that this is due to having 3 DSPs in serial. Testing suggests this hypothesis is accurate, but the root cause is unconfirmed by Onkyo. HDMI lipsync, as normally practiced does not permit video to be delayed (i.e. a negative HDMI lipsync value).

I got your point. If there is insufficient power to process the audio signals then delays will be incurred. You neglected to mention the specific conditions under which the lip syncing issues took place. I haven't followed the Onkyo threads so I am left to assume that HBR decoding and Audyssey room correction and bass management were all running full time. This can be considerable overhead for three 32bit DSPs running in serial to handle. The SSP-900 was built for two 64bit DSPs running in parallel. I suspect the SSP-800 will be fashioned the same way when the board is released. Since MPCM creates much less demand on the DSP the interim processor should handle it, REQ and BM adequately and avoid the SSP-800 the same fate.

"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."
RebelMan is offline  
post #100 of 5844 Old 06-08-2008, 09:36 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Eric Carroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by RebelMan View Post

I am left to assume that HBR decoding and Audyssey room correction and bass management were all running full time. This can be considerable overhead for three 32bit DSPs running in serial to handle. The SSP-900 was built for two 64bit DSPs running in parallel. I suspect the SSP-800 will be fashioned the same way when the board is released.

Yes, it appears there is a serialized processing chain. The problem appears regardless of whether the various feature options are on or not - it seems to be architectural.

If the architecture of the SSP-800 turns out to be as you indicate, that would be very interesting indeed. It may be an important selling point to those with a fast video chain (like myself) where minimizing audio processing time is critical.
Eric Carroll is offline  
post #101 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 06:31 AM
AVS Special Member
 
MarketingProf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 1,331
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
As requested, I'm posting my replies to posts from another thread here since it is a more apropriate thread for this discusion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RebelMan View Post

Compared to what? Let's break down your original statement...

So, this unit must be for those customers who have only a few legacy analog source components (but not a turntable, or at least if they do they also have a separate high quality phono preamp),... Digital albums out sold analog albums 332:1 in 2007. Niche?

Not sure what your analogy is supposed to convey. If you are suggesting that most people don't play vinyl, then yes, of course. All I'm saying is that in the high end, more people do play vinyl than in the mid- and low-fi crowd, so by leaving out a phono preamp as even optional, you reduce the size of the market.

Quote:
A high quality video processor,... What consumer electronic video device now days doesn't come with some form of video processing? Niche?

True enough. But it is hard for me to imagine that someone putting this $8k pre/pro in a system would rely on the PS3 or even BD30 upscaler only.

Quote:
A "tuned" and tweaked listening space,... It would ideal but not always practical. PEQ lends itself well to those locked into one situation or the other. Niche?

The fact that it does not have auto room correction (as previous models have) leaves the listener with having to physically correct the room (which I believe can often lead to better results, but that is not my point here). Others on this thread have complained about this feature being left off this model when it was included in previous models, albeit with some debate. Some have even recommended a professional acoustician be hired. Niche? Yes.

Quote:
I suppose it make sense for a very small niche of very high end HTs. Or maybe it's targeted for mainly music systems. It makes sense to anyone interested in high quality sound reproduction. Niche?

Yes, niche. I have no doubt that this pre/pro will give very high quality sound reproduction--I would expect no less from Classe. But, the person who buys this unit has to be interested in more than just "high quality sound reproduction." That certainly is one major factor. My point is that this person also has to want to correct their room manually, have a separate VP (or not care about it enough to leave to source or projection components, which is usually inferior at this point), only has a few analog sources, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sikoniko View Post

Would it not be fair to say that for HT, anything in the > $8k range is niche?

Yes, that is a fair statement. However, given the above design choices, and I'm NOT saying that they are wrong design choices, the niche gets even smaller. Why these design choices?

Quote:
If I recall my marketing, as your name implies Professor, of the 4 P's, Price is one of them.

Yes, so? Not sure I follow your point here. Price is one of the most often used extrinsic cues to signal quality and positioning. Because Classe is building this unit for such a small niche, it's markup has to be hefty to recoup the investment in development and make a few bucks, and dealers have to be rewarded handsomely to carry and service such a few number of units to be sold--that's how it always works for very small niche products. And that's great if they know the market and can accurately forcast the number of units they can sell. I just have this fear that with the design choices they have made, the market may be smaller than they think. That's all.

Also, implicit in most of the above arguments is the assumption that adding the features I mention will somehow automatically reduce sound reproduction quality, but we know this is not true, with the possible exception of VP. Auto room correction was on previous models and is optional--one does not have to use it if he feels the sound is degraded, but it could improve it. A phono preamp could be made an option for those who want/need it. More analog inputs should not degrade the sound in any way.

In the end, I guess I'm just baffled by some of the design choices made.

Marketing Professor
Music, then Movies...
MarketingProf is offline  
post #102 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 07:03 AM
AVS Special Member
 
dsmith901's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 8,966
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 20
IMO the audio world does not follow classic economic/marketing theory. While I have not heard (and probably never will) every high end audio piece, from the several I have owned I have not seen a consistent correlation between price and performance in the audio level above mass market. On the contrary, I have seen what appears to me a deliberate market decision to overprice products just to make them appear more desirable. High quality parts and circuit design do incur a certain cost, and mass market economics of scale do not come into play in the high end except in chipsets, but there is no way IMO to justify price levels 10 times that of an accepted quality component, especially if the megabucks piece provides little, if any, real improvement in the listening room.

"The truth is out there!"
dsmith901 is offline  
post #103 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 08:24 AM
AVS Special Member
 
MarketingProf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 1,331
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

IMO the audio world does not follow classic economic/marketing theory. While I have not heard (and probably never will) every high end audio piece, from the several I have owned I have not seen a consistent correlation between price and performance in the audio level above mass market. On the contrary, I have seen what appears to me a deliberate market decision to overprice products just to make them appear more desirable. High quality parts and circuit design do incur a certain cost, and mass market economics of scale do not come into play in the high end except in chipsets, but there is no way IMO to justify price levels 10 times that of an accepted quality component, especially if the megabucks piece provides little, if any, real improvement in the listening room.

I mostly agree with what you say, but actually that does follow marketing theory (although, not economic theory). "Signaling" has a great deal of theoretical and empirical support. Price is only one cue that can be used to signal high quality. Others include exclusivity, packaging, advertising (or lack thereof), and so forth. The relationship between price and objective quality is much weaker than price and subjective quality. Thus, in markets where quality is more subjective, sellers can signal high quality with high prices, even though objectively there is little evidence to support such a high price.

Nonetheless, some sellers signal high quality and deliver, based on what can be viewed, measured, and judged as objectively as possible, and the rest is subjective. Now, don't get me wrong, I personally think that listening is the ultimate test and if what I hear flies in the face of everything else, I don't really care. However, other sellers, in a highly subjective quality product market, can signal high quality and not deliver, and it can be tough to tell.

As far as I can tell, Classe builds very high quality components that are well designed and well engineered. They also meticulously constructed. Is this particular pre/pro worth $8K? That is for each potential buyer to judge based on what they hear and their personal priorities.

Will it appeal to enough buyers? I don't really know. That is why I raised the issue of missing features that I thought would be included on such high priced gear.

Marketing Professor
Music, then Movies...
MarketingProf is offline  
post #104 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 09:34 AM
Senior Member
 
RebelMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 354
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
You still haven't answered the question. Compared to what is the SSP-800 targeting a niche audience?

If we look at the AV industry as a whole then clearly the high-end makes up a smaller portion. That is if we limit high-end to mean high cost. It's not always the case that something has to be expensive to perform well given the economies of scale of some companies. But for the sake of simplifying this discussion let's assume it means both.

We can now narrow down the high-end field into two groups, one that is interested in making a statement and one that is interested in making good sound. I like to believe the latter makes up the majority. I also like to believe that these people are going to be interested in getting the most performance for their dollar. Performance could mean different things to different people but this group will primarily be interested in getting the best sound quality that they can afford. Other factors will go into the decision and will not be based on SQ such as convenience features. But what sacrifices will one need to make to satisfy both of their criteria? It's a two sided question if you look at it from the manufactures point of view too.

Classe' built the SSP-800 to process sound. Historically speaking that's all surround sound processors did. It wasn't until standard definition video processing entered the picture () that SSPs became AVPs. However, current and future market trends seem to indicate that people want high definition audio and video content. The SSP-800 caters to these people for HD audio in the same vain that the SSP-600 catered to them for SD audio.

If you take look back at the evolution of surround sound development, in the last 15 years, it remained relatively constant, with respect to 5.1 digital playback. Video on the other hand has seen rapid development and progress which doesn't look to be slowing anytime soon. I think one could reasonably predict, given previous events and with fairly good accuracy, that surround sound of the future will again remain steady with the advent of the new audio codecs. Video, however, will continue to shift.

People and companies like Classe' that have a little gratuitous foresight, see these trends continuing to gain momentum. The choice to separate audio and video processing, among other things, from the SSP-800 was a prudent move going forward and a necessary one to bring uncompromising audio performance to a lower price point. With respect to the high-end market this was not a niche decision but the proper thing to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketingProf View Post

Not sure what your analogy is supposed to convey. If you are suggesting that most people don't play vinyl, then yes, of course. All I'm saying is that in the high end, more people do play vinyl than in the mid- and low-fi crowd, so by leaving out a phono preamp as even optional, you reduce the size of the market.

For nostalgic reasons vinyl is staging a minor comeback but it will never regain market dominance. Its position now and forever is truly relegated to the select few. There is no place for vinyl in the high definition world and it has no business being in an SSP. To pay $18K just to "gotta have it", aka Simaudio CP-8, would be foolish for most and down right stupid for a Marketing Professor sitting on the receiving end (if you know what I mean). ( I am giving you some credit here that you wouldn't succumb to marketing pressures. ).

Quote:


But it is hard for me to imagine that someone putting this $8k pre/pro in a system would rely on the PS3 or even BD30 upscaler only.

I would have to ask you in return who in their right mind would ever consider buying the PS3 or BD30 to play SD content in the first place? People, including yours truly, bought the PS3 for its ability to playback HD content, and it does that superbly.

Quote:


The fact that it does not have auto room correction (as previous models have) leaves the listener with having to physically correct the room (which I believe can often lead to better results, but that is not my point here). Others on this thread have complained about this feature being left off this model when it was included in previous models, albeit with some debate. Some have even recommended a professional acoustician be hired. Niche? Yes.

None of the previous models performed room correction but they did support automated speaker calibrations. The SSP-800 is the first of its kind in the Delta Series to offer room correction tools. People that are serious in getting the most from their system will spend the time or the money to achieve the best that it can provide and use the right tools for the job. People that are ignorant of room correction practices or just plain lazy will seek convenient automation. I know a few high profile people that are honest enough to admit that. However, some of these people also know what’s best and they will always return to controls that require manual intervention to achieve the best performance possible. Anyone that is willing to compromise sound quality just for convince (at this level) have misguided interests or they are in the other (niche) group.

Quote:


Yes, niche. I have no doubt that this pre/pro will give very high quality sound reproduction--I would expect no less from Classe. But, the person who buys this unit has to be interested in more than just "high quality sound reproduction." That certainly is one major factor. My point is that this person also has to want to correct their room manually, have a separate VP (or not care about it enough to leave to source or projection components, which is usually inferior at this point), only has a few analog sources, etc.

There is nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, that the SSP-800 cannot do with the proper ancillaries AND deliver top tier audio performance to boot.

Quote:


Yes, that is a fair statement. However, given the above design choices, and I'm NOT saying that they are wrong design choices, the niche gets even smaller. Why these design choices?

Simply because it makes sense to build the right tool for the right job. I ask, why cram a bunch of stuff into a box that you may not need and most likely will never use? Worse yet have to pay for it just to get that feel good moment knowing that you have it... "just in case"?

Quote:


Also, implicit in most of the above arguments is the assumption that adding the features I mention will somehow automatically reduce sound reproduction quality, but we know this is not true, with the possible exception of VP. Auto room correction was on previous models and is optional--one does not have to use it if he feels the sound is degraded, but it could improve it. A phono preamp could be made an option for those who want/need it. More analog inputs should not degrade the sound in any way.

True but it will drive up the price, aka Simaudio CP-8. Why spend on redundancy when you don't' need to?

Quote:


In the end, I guess I'm just baffled by some of the design choices made.

It could be that you haven't been involved long enough in this area of interest to understand why. The choices are obvious to those that have. I'll agree that the SSP-800 is catering to a specific demographic but it's not a niche market. Not in the least (with respect to high-end as it was defined).

I get the feeling that the SSP-800 appeals to you more than you are willing to let on. If I am wrong then either you have your sights set on something more exorbitant which concerns you or you are trying to come to terms with the Swiss Army knifes which frustrates you. Let me help. If you get the SSP-800 you can always add what you need when you need it. Recurring Sales = Marketing 101 eh? LOL

"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."
RebelMan is offline  
post #105 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 10:05 AM
Senior Member
 
RebelMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 354
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketingProf View Post

As far as I can tell, Classe builds very high quality components that are well designed and well engineered. They also meticulously constructed. Is this particular pre/pro worth $8K? That is for each potential buyer to judge based on what they hear and their personal priorities.

Considering that its big brother was $25K and intangible for most people and delivers the same level of audio I would say yes. I can absorb the latter but the former would have been a pipe dream.

Quote:


Will it appeal to enough buyers? I don't really know. That is why I raised the issue of missing features that I thought would be included on such high priced gear.

Over 200 units and counting for a boutique manufacture is the start of something very good. What other next generation processor in its performance class comes close?

"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."
RebelMan is offline  
post #106 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 10:13 AM
Advanced Member
 
MikeSp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: south of metro Kansas City
Posts: 750
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by RebelMan View Post



Over 200 units and counting for a boutique manufacture is the start of something very good. What other next generation processor in its performance class comes close?

While the Denon AVP is not considered extremely high end as is the Classe, I cannot help but wonder how they compare in terms of quality of sound and capability -- in terms of room correction and onboard lossless HD audio decoding, the AVP is ahead. The price point of the Classe pre-pro is not that much higher than that of the Denon AVP -- it will be interesting to read of some reviews of both pieces before I make up my mind.

MikeSp

Pioneer Elite Kuro, McIntosh amplifiers -- MC501 monos (3) and MC352's (2), McIntosh MX150 pre-pro; Oppo 83SE; speakers -- Aerial Acoustics Model 9's for mains and CC5 for center, Def Tech BPVX/P's and BPVX's for surrounds and JL F113's (2) for subs; Roku 3; PS3; Wiii; Tivos; and Monster HTPS...
MikeSp is offline  
post #107 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 10:48 AM
AVS Special Member
 
MarketingProf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 1,331
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by RebelMan View Post

To pay $18K just to "gotta have it", aka Simaudio CP-8, would be foolish for most and down right stupid for a Marketing Professor sitting on the receiving end (if you know what I mean). ( I am giving you some credit here that you wouldn't succumb to marketing pressures. ).

Thank you!

Quote:


I would have to ask you in return who in their right mind would ever consider buying the PS3 or BD30 to play SD content in the first place? People, including yours truly, bought the PS3 for its ability to playback HD content, and it does that superbly.

I purchased a PS3 for exactly the same reason.

Quote:


There is nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, that the SSP-800 cannot do with the proper ancillaries AND deliver top tier audio performance to boot.

Exactly my point. So why not offer a phono board as an option? But, I am beginning to see your point.

Quote:


Simply because it makes sense to build the right tool for the right job. I ask, why cram a bunch of stuff into a box that you may not need and most likely will never use? Worse yet have to pay for it just to get that feel good moment knowing that you have it... "just in case"?

As I've said, it can be optional.

Quote:


It could be that you haven't been involved long enough in this area of interest to understand why.

Only about 30+ years. But I admit to having never spent more than $4k on a single component (not including speakers).

Quote:


I'll agree that the SSP-800 is catering to a specific demographic but it's not a niche market. Not in the least (with respect to high-end as it was defined).

Not as I see it. YOu even agree that the "high end" by any definition is a niche market to begin with. I guess the question is whether this unit would appeal to as many "high end" consumers as other offereings. Going back to the last generation of "high end" pre/pros, wouldn't you think that the Parasound Halo C1 attracted a larger market segment?

Quote:


I get the feeling that the SSP-800 appeals to you more than you are willing to let on. If I am wrong then either you have your sights set on something more exorbitant which concerns you or you are trying to come to terms with the Swiss Army knifes which frustrates you. Let me help. If you get the SSP-800 you can always add what you need when you need it. Recurring Sales = Marketing 101 eh? LOL

No, I have no interest in the SSP-800; I was simply surprised by the design choices when I read about them. Your explanations do make sense, once I acknowledge the culture in which they are embedded. I guess I've lived in the "lower high end" too long. Thanks for the explanations though. They really helped.

Marketing Professor
Music, then Movies...
MarketingProf is offline  
post #108 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 11:40 AM
AVS Special Member
 
sikoniko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 1,068
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSp View Post

While the Denon AVP is not considered extremely high end as is the Classe, I cannot help but wonder how they compare in terms of quality of sound and capability -- in terms of room correction and onboard lossless HD audio decoding, the AVP is ahead. The price point of the Classe pre-pro is not that much higher than that of the Denon AVP -- it will be interesting to read of some reviews of both pieces before I make up my mind.

MikeSp

By all means, compare them and buy the one you like better.

ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country can do for you.
sikoniko is offline  
post #109 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 11:47 AM
AVS Special Member
 
MarketingProf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 1,331
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by RebelMan View Post

Over 200 units and counting for a boutique manufacture is the start of something very good. What other next generation processor in its performance class comes close?

Boutique = niche?

Marketing Professor
Music, then Movies...
MarketingProf is offline  
post #110 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 01:15 PM
Senior Member
 
RebelMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 354
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSp View Post

While the Denon AVP is not considered extremely high end as is the Classe, I cannot help but wonder how they compare in terms of quality of sound and capability -- in terms of room correction and onboard lossless HD audio decoding, the AVP is ahead. The price point of the Classe pre-pro is not that much higher than that of the Denon AVP -- it will be interesting to read of some reviews of both pieces before I make up my mind.

Agreed, it will be interesting. As for the HBR decoders they are coming but are moot for SQ. As for RoomEQ, both require professional calibration for best response, another moot point really.

"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."
RebelMan is offline  
post #111 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 01:16 PM
Senior Member
 
RebelMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 354
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketingProf View Post

Boutique = niche?

From where you are sitting, perhaps, but not over here.

"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."
RebelMan is offline  
post #112 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 01:40 PM
Senior Member
 
RebelMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 354
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketingProf View Post

Not as I see it. YOu even agree that the "high end" by any definition is a niche market to begin with. I guess the question is whether this unit would appeal to as many "high end" consumers as other offereings. Going back to the last generation of "high end" pre/pros, wouldn't you think that the Parasound Halo C1 attracted a larger market segment?

Yes, the high-end is a niche market with respect to other markets but not so much with respect to itself. When you consider the kind of company that Classe' keeps (Mark Levinson, Simaudio, Krell...) I suspect many more would be high-enders will consider the SSP-800 as their best catalyst to join the ranks. That's the advantage the SSP-800 has over its competition. The question I think you are asking, will people come down? That's much harder to predict but they'll be watching, very closely, if they are genuinely serious about SQ and not with making a statement.

"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."
RebelMan is offline  
post #113 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 01:53 PM
AVS Special Member
 
MarketingProf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 1,331
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by RebelMan View Post

Yes, the high-end is a niche market with respect to other markets but not so much with respect to itself. When you consider the kind of company that Classe' keeps (Mark Levinson, Simaudio, Krell...) I suspect many more would be high-enders will consider the SSP-800 as their best catalyst to join the ranks. That's the advantage the SSP-800 has over its competition. The question I think you are asking, will people come down? That's much harder to predict but they'll be watching, very closely, if they are genuinely serious about SQ and not with making a statement.

Gotcha. Actually, I think we are looking at two sides of the same coin. I was looking at whether the lower end high enders would move up say from some Parasound, Anthem, etc. and it seemed like a rougher road. Moving down, however, (ahem, in price only) would seem to be an easier decision.

Marketing Professor
Music, then Movies...
MarketingProf is offline  
post #114 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 02:21 PM
Advanced Member
 
DulcetTones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 850
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSp View Post

While the Denon AVP is not considered extremely high end as is the Classe, I cannot help but wonder how they compare in terms of quality of sound and capability -- in terms of room correction and onboard lossless HD audio decoding, the AVP is ahead. The price point of the Classe pre-pro is not that much higher than that of the Denon AVP -- it will be interesting to read of some reviews of both pieces before I make up my mind.

MikeSp

If you consider the Classe a high-end product, it would be fair to think those interested in purchasing it would also be interested in the Audyssey SEQ box; in other words looking to get the best sound quality (hopefully ) from ssp-800, and also best room correction/flexibility available from Audyssey.

The question is, does the Denon AVP provide the same results as the Audyssey SEQ in terms of room correction and flexibility?

Cheers
DT
DulcetTones is offline  
post #115 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 03:52 PM
AVS Special Member
 
fyzziks's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Altadena, CA
Posts: 1,512
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by DulcetTones View Post

If you consider the Classe a high-end product, it would be fair to think those interested in purchasing it would also be interested in the Audyssey SEQ box; in other words looking to get the best sound quality (hopefully ) from ssp-800, and also best room correction/flexibility available from Audyssey.

The question is, does the Denon AVP provide the same results as the Audyssey SEQ in terms of room correction and flexibility?

Cheers
DT

Not quite. The SEQ has twice the resolution of the embedded versions of MultEQ. On the other hand, I think with the SEQ you pick a single target curve and live with it, while the Denon has switchable curves.
fyzziks is offline  
post #116 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 04:17 PM
Advanced Member
 
DulcetTones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 850
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
fyzziks,
I think thats true about the switchable curves, however I thought I read an interview where it could possibly be added to the SEQ in future via a software update (I could be very wrong here though).
The other aspect is what manual features will be added to the ssp-800s system EQ, and whether this can compliment the Audyssey SEQ.

Although I have to say Classe may have taken the right route with what they are doing with this product, as long as the audio lives up to being stunning and integration with something like Audyssey SEQ works very well.

And while HBR codecs are not currently supported, is there a problem in using the uncompressed PCM soundtrack (via HDMI) that is on the Blu-ray films?

Cheers
DT
DulcetTones is offline  
post #117 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 09:15 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Eric Carroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
The advantage of the SEQ is that it is seperate. The disadvantage is that it is seperate :-)

Being separate usually means you can be more powerful because the processor gets all the DSP not just a slice of it. Thus the additional resolution of the seperate SEQ.

But it also means you have to go through another ADC/DAC conversation stage, adding noise, and limiting yourself to the performance of the ADC/DAC design. So, for example, if you think the SSP-800s digital handling & DAC is truely the best, running it through a (possibly inferior) processor seems to defeat the purpose of investing in a top of the line SSP. This argues for keeping it internal to the SSP where the processing can be done in the digital domain without additional ADC/DAC stages.

I note the SEQ now has a balanced unit on the web page. A welcome addition to many I am sure.
Eric Carroll is offline  
post #118 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 10:09 PM
AVS Special Member
 
rnrgagne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,619
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Liked: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by DulcetTones View Post

fyzziks,
I think thats true about the switchable curves, however I thought I read an interview where it could possibly be added to the SEQ in future via a software update (I could be very wrong here though).
The other aspect is what manual features will be added to the ssp-800s system EQ, and whether this can compliment the Audyssey SEQ.

Although I have to say Classe may have taken the right route with what they are doing with this product, as long as the audio lives up to being stunning and integration with something like Audyssey SEQ works very well.

And while HBR codecs are not currently supported, is there a problem in using the uncompressed PCM soundtrack (via HDMI) that is on the Blu-ray films?

Cheers
DT

Audyssey just came to market with a fully balanced SEQ ($5K) that should mate well with something like the 800.

I had the SEQ with the NAD M15 and I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between it and the built in Audyssey XT "Pro" of the 9.8 with multi channel music and movies but oddly the SEQ was a bit better in 2ch.

My take on room EQ's, especially quality ones that operate in both the time and frequency domains, is there's no logical reason for Classe not to include some version because if one chose not to use it, it wouldn't affect the sound one iota. All it would require is more DSP horsepower and IMO would be an asset in most rooms if one did choose to use it. I think Classe is just "cheaping out" and using a lame excuse not to have it.
There's a better argument for not having a VP in the box, with newer 1080p displays and players having increasingly better on board processing and possible signal contamination to the audio. But I'm skeptical on that too.

I agree with Prof that it's a puzzling feature set to come out with at this point in the HDMI 1.3 game. Same with the Cary 11a only having two HDMI inputs...
Right now IMO the Denon AVP is the only one that got it 100% right feature-wise, it'll be interesting to see if they hit that number with the audio quality too.
rnrgagne is offline  
post #119 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 10:35 PM
Senior Member
 
RebelMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 354
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnrgagne View Post

My take on room EQ's, especially quality ones that operate in both the time and frequency domains, is there's no logical reason for Classe not to include some version because if one chose not to use it, it wouldn't affect the sound one iota. All it would require is more DSP horsepower and IMO would be an asset in most rooms if one did choose to use it. I think Classe is just "cheaping out" and using a lame excuse not to have it.

Some version of what? Audyssey? Classe has room EQ in the form of a 5-band PEQ for each channel and it uses the 64bit floating-point processing capabilities of the DSP to achieve high precision. If it nets you the same or better results (using one less A/D and D/A stage) in the process, then what difference does it make who supplies the means?

"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."
RebelMan is offline  
post #120 of 5844 Old 06-09-2008, 10:47 PM
Senior Member
 
RebelMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 354
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by DulcetTones View Post

And while HBR codecs are not currently supported, is there a problem in using the uncompressed PCM soundtrack (via HDMI) that is on the Blu-ray films?

No, MPCM is fully supported.

"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."
RebelMan is offline  
Reply Receivers, Amps, and Processors

Tags
Classe

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off