Originally Posted by Blackdevil77
That's all very good to hear. Has anybody heard the Cary audio cinema 12 pre/pro? On one of the reviews of the amp I will be using (Outlaw 7900), the Cinema 12 was the pre/pro used and the reviewer kept making remarks on how wonderful the sound was. The Cinema 12 got fantastic reviews as well. Only problem is it doesn't have XT32 or any Audyssey room correction to my knowledge, not to mention costs 5 grand.
These days there is very little sonic difference between high end components such as prepros and amps. The big differences in sound quality come from elsewhere: principally the room the system is in, the speakers, the treatments used and any electronic EQ used.
By far the single most important component in any system is the room itself. Changing amps and prepros is more or less pointless if they are going to be used in a poor room. The subtle differences between one unit and another will be completely lost in a poor room.
Speakers are the hardware area where significant sonic differences can be readily heard and I'd venture to suggest that an extra $3,000 spent on speakers and subs will yield vastly more sonic gain than spending the same additional $3,000 on a different amp or prepro.
Similarly, $3,000 spent on improving the room will give far more sound quality improvements than spending that sum on the difference in cost between a Cary and an 80.3.
Finally, XT32 is probably the biggest single step towards better sound quality that a normal consumer can take. The difference it makes to any system that has it is astonishing. I would go so far as to say that a $2,000 unit with XT32 will almost certainly yield better results than a $5,000 unit without XT32, assuming that the room is not fully treated.
This is not to knock Cary, which I am sure are superb units. But it's a question of prioritising expenditure as I see it. If you have a really well-treated room, and fabulous speakers, then by all means spend money on upgrading the prepro. But, as I say, I wouldn't be in a hurry to abandon the benefits of XT32 (unless my room was so good that further electronic EQ added very little - which is extremely unusual).