Originally Posted by Webmonkey
How many of you Integra 80.3 owners considered buying something like a NAD M15 HD2 or the basic Anthem processor instead?
I have not heard the NAD, but I agree with other posters that XT/32 is a significant advance over plain XT. I seriously doubt that the the NAD would outperform an 80.3, except perhaps via the analg inputs. But, again, I have not heard it.
I have much listening experience with the Anthem D2V, since several friends own one. I see and hear no advantage to it. It is very good, but several of us do not think it justifies the extra $$$. Another Integra owner and I would not even want an Anthem in an even swap, if we were forced to live with it. Again, performance via the analog inputs might be better, but I do not need or want that. Probably only people who still play a significant amount of vinyl do. Even so, that difference may be rather small. Having just packed many, many boxes of vinyl for my move to a new home, I am reconsidering whether to hold onto the thousands of Lp's I have. Likely, I will never listen to them again. I do not think vinyl compares to hi Rez Mch for music. But, in this crazy world of audio and the undisciplined worship of individual preferences, some think vinyl is the cat's meow. Ditto for this or that set of sonic signatures on CD playback, which is also of no interest to me.
In any case, I totally agree with Kal, as I usually do. Like he, I am primairily a Mch music lstener, and I am quite satisfied with my Integra. I hear no qualitative difference between music and movies, though hi rez music is often at a higher resolution and is, therefore, somewhat purer sounding than typical 48k Blu-rays. They both sound terrific, though, and I am a very critical listener who uses the standard of live classical concerts as my reference. Generally, a similar live reference standard does not exist for movie sound. So, it is pure individual preference without a live reference, which us not a meaningful, universal distinction, in my view.
I am sure that there are somewhat better sounding prepros against the tough standard of live performance at much, much higher price points, but, mostly, they lack the sophistication of Audyssey XT/32, expecally when upgraded to Audyssey Pro. Therefore, they require a better, more ideal room as a starting point. Even, so, I think the Integra with a Pro calibration cannot be beaten by much, certainly not by the ones you mentioned. But, definitive, comparative listening evaluations are very tough to find. Kal in Stereophile probably has the best comparative listening experience out there. He rates a few prepros higher than the Integra, but he still uses one in one of his homes. That says a lot, I think.