I am currently running my Marantz UD9004 with six shooter into the Trinnov 4 channel processer (3.0) mode. The Trinnov applies A/D conversion to the analog signal coming in. Surround channels are bypassing the Trinnov and only level matched with the L/R/C using the six shooter. I just sold my subs because I will take possesion of the Evolution Acoustics MM3's in two weeks time, which have 4 x 15" powered woofer units. Critial MCH listening is SACD and concert Blu Ray.
Intruiged by the good ADA Mach IV vibes going around, and the possibility of simplyfying my system, I got my hands on a demo Mach IVb at a price that would make it an easy resale if things don't work out. If equivalent to UD9004 + Six Shooter, I could ditch the Marantz for an Oppo 93, lose a lot of cables and the Theta + Six Shooter combo. Less complexity and a cash flow positive move to boot.
ONLY criteria for me to pull the trigger was sound quality equivalence between (1) playing MCH SACD straigth from the UD9004 + Six Shooter in DSD direct mode into the Trinnov, and (2) playing MCH SACD trough the ADA + Oppo combo at 88/24 DSD to LPCM conversion over HDMI. This was a long shot from the outset, but I wanted to give it a try. I used my two identical copies of dark side of the moon SACD allowing me to A/B switch in real time, Long story short, the ADA + Oppo did not make the cut. Marantz + SS beats it handily on SACD. I only have two identical DVD in good old Dolby 5.1 (Pat Metheny). This was a closer contest, more "body" for the Marantz, but slightly more transparency in the highs for the ADA. A matter of personal preference.
I believe this is no indictment on the ADA + Oppo hardware, but rather proof of the superiority of the DSD direct signal path on SACD, and testimony to the quality of the Marantz DACs and the transparency of the six shooter. The ADA is up for sale on audiogon. Great processor, but if you don't need input switching, do decoding in a universal player, bass management and room correction/EQ in another processor, you are better off cutting it out of the chain. Very few people meet this criteria, and my system is a bit of an anomaly, but this week-end's shootout confirmed it works beatifully. For the record, Curt @ Trinnov is also an advocate of running sources direclty into the Trinnov if you can get away with it (which most people cannot).
Edited by edorr - 7/2/12 at 7:28am