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Best Surround Processor Currently Available? - Page 10

Poll Results: Best Multi-Channel processor currently on the market?

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 11% (23)
    Classe SSP800
  • 10% (21)
    Bryton SP3
  • 1% (3)
    ADA Mach IV
  • 13% (27)
    ADA Mach IV+Trinnov
  • 20% (42)
    Datasat RS20i
  • 15% (32)
    Theta CB3 HDMI + Extreme Dacs
  • 5% (12)
    Krell Evolution 707
  • 11% (24)
    Mcintosh MX151
  • 7% (15)
    JBL Synthesis with SDEC 4500
  • 14% (31)
    Other (comment on your answer)
207 Total Votes  
post #271 of 817
Hmm, I didn't think of how volume control would be handled if such a mod was performed to a Theta. Assuming it happens, the modded CBIIIHD would have the Dirac card fitted and one would want to retain it's onboard DRC capabilities.

This is would be where my desires and technical understanding part ways....
post #272 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Most likely they would rip out the analog output section and route the digital signal to the XLR (or RCA) connectors, exactly as they do in the Oppo. Volume control duties would indeed be relegated to the downstream Trinnov.

There are really only a few chip level digital audio interfaces, I2C, SPI, and differences in the data formatting. And most AES transmitter / receiver chips support all of them. So it's really as simple as adding one of these AES I/O chips in parallel with the ADC or DAC. I just added AES output to my Pioneer BFD23 so I could use a professional Lucid DAC. I found a single 4 AES channel (that's 8 analog channels btw) chip that was $8 retail from Digikey. It's truly a one chip solution with a few passive parts. I just used a VGA connector as I needed 12 pins for the four channels.

Now that said, you will probably still need some engineering knowledge or assistance. For example I had too much ringing on the clock line due to the added wire length. I tamed it with a small RC filter. But to calculate the part values..... And another thing to watch out for is 3.3v versus 5volt systems. But that too can be dealt with.

I just used a VGA connector as I needed 12 pins for the four channels and no room for XLR's on the back panel - not even the mini types.

http://www.akm.com/prodfolder-spdif.asp?p=AK4101A
Edited by Glimmie - 4/12/13 at 12:12pm
post #273 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by sierraalphahotel View Post

Hmm, I didn't think of how volume control would be handled if such a mod was performed to a Theta. Assuming it happens, the modded CBIIIHD would have the Dirac card fitted and one would want to retain it's onboard DRC capabilities.

This is would be where my desires and technical understanding part ways....

Good point. Theta could not do this, since it controls volume in the analog domain.

You would have two options: stick with Gen VIII DACs, or get other DACs with RS232 and synch up volume controls between CBIII and these DACs using macro programming in iRule.

The NAD M51 has RS232 and I bought one for my surround channels for precisely this feature.

Altertively, you could run all Theta (sans Dirac) channels digitally out into a Trinnov and use it for DRC and VC.
Edited by edorr - 4/12/13 at 12:02pm
post #274 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Good point. Theta could not do this, since it controls volume in the analog domain.

As do many high end processors. Full range digital gain control is nasty to do properly. Ideally 32 bit precision is not as good as a clean analog VCA. And since you ultimately need to get back to analog anyway, analog gain control a good choice. The problems though are the introduction of digital processing boxes into the chain. Perhaps what is needed is an AES processing loop feature?

Equalization also involves gain control but as it's not full level range, it's easier to do well in 32bit DSPs.
Edited by Glimmie - 4/12/13 at 12:08pm
post #275 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

As do many high end processors. Full range digital gain control is nasty to do properly. Ideally 32 bit precision is not as good as a clean analog VCA. And since you ultimately need to get back to analog anyway, analog gain control a good choice. The problems though are the introduction of digital processing boxes into the chain. Perhaps what is needed is an AES processing loop feature?

Equalization also involves gain control but as it's not full level range, it's easier to do well in 32bit DSPs.
Or maybe do it at the source? If you are using an HTPC, I am pretty certain Jriver can offer 64bit digital volume control through the prepro.
post #276 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

I beg to differ. While Trinnov is a fine processor that can improve 2 channel performance (dramatically in some cases), my experience is different. I have recently completely overhauled my 2 channel rig (now using MSB Signature Plus DAC + Audio Research REF5SE preamp), and the benefits of the superior hardware easily trump the benefits of applying DRC in the Trinnov. I have taken the Trinnov out of the 2 channel signal path (in order to be able to use the USB input on the DAC rather than doing AES/EBU conversion to run through the Trinnov). I just got Dirac live up and running on PC to get my DRC back, but to me, this is just "icing on the cake". If I recall correctly these are exact same words Kal R. was using to describe the incremental benefits of engaging DRC on his Meridan 861v6.

So in my system the benefits of better hardware trumps the improvements of DRC any day of the week. Not disputing anyones' different experiences, just issuing a word of caution against categorical statements. All is system and room dependent.
Thumbs up. This is about as perfect of an approach with both gear and DRC, one can take with todays tech.
post #277 of 817
My vote definately goes to JBL Processor+JBL SDEC4500 solution. Of all the room correction systems mentioned, JBL is the only one which actually verifies what it does. Apart from making all speakers follow a target curve (showing real post-measurements and not just simulated after-curves) it also optimizes the subwoofer to main integration which, in my experience, is a tricky part of setting up the system. This is also verified by the JBL system for each seat in the home theater and not just calculated.

I know room correction is not everything and I would always make actual room treatment top priority, but I still think that room correction is needed to have a great sounding system.
post #278 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View PostNo.  Their literature is suggestive but not revealing.  I have asked for one for review.

Processors Illusonnic

Cool please let us know when you review it it sound really cool! I wonder what the price tag is?

post #279 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by wse View Post

I wonder what the price tag is?
Answer.
post #280 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonasHansen View Post

My vote definately goes to JBL Processor+JBL SDEC4500 solution. Of all the room correction systems mentioned, JBL is the only one which actually verifies what it does. Apart from making all speakers follow a target curve (showing real post-measurements and not just simulated after-curves) it also optimizes the subwoofer to main integration which, in my experience, is a tricky part of setting up the system. This is also verified by the JBL system for each seat in the home theater and not just calculated.

I know room correction is not everything and I would always make actual room treatment top priority, but I still think that room correction is needed to have a great sounding system.

+1
post #281 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonasHansen View Post

My vote definately goes to JBL Processor+JBL SDEC4500 solution. Of all the room correction systems mentioned, JBL is the only one which actually verifies what it does. Apart from making all speakers follow a target curve (showing real post-measurements and not just simulated after-curves) it also optimizes the subwoofer to main integration which, in my experience, is a tricky part of setting up the system. This is also verified by the JBL system for each seat in the home theater and not just calculated.

I know room correction is not everything and I would always make actual room treatment top priority, but I still think that room correction is needed to have a great sounding system.

Does this system take the power response fully into account? For that matter, do any DRC systems?
post #282 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenLansing View Post

Does this system take the power response fully into account? For that matter, do any DRC systems?

Yes, the JBL Synthesis solution does this when used with JBL speakers.

The JBL Arcos calibration suite knows the anechoic response of the speakers which prevents it from over-compensating or doing things that should not be done.

Another system that comes to mind that does this is DEQX. (However, with the DEQX you may have to do the anechoic measurements yourself, which may be a real challenge).
post #283 of 817
I think the challenge for JBL Synthesis® in a poll and discussion like this is two-fold:

  1. JBL Synthesis® is not considered new, innovative, or cutting edge. (It's old and stale.)
  2. It takes the owner-operator out of the equation in an environment where DIY tweaking with the latest and greatest hardware and software is highly valued, and it replaces him or her with a trained, paid professional using system-specific hardware and software for an end-to-end "house" system. (It's not as individual or as much fun.)

There are ways to address to these stilted assumptions:

  1. JBL/Harman is arguably the "house" with the most talent; longest experience; current biggest investment; largest ongoing scientific, artistic, peer-reveiwed, and tested process; most collaboration; and largest portfolio of design, engineering, and innovation. (It's the scientific leader and design innovator.)
  2. JBL/Harman provides a pre-pro/CPU/PEQ/amplifier/speaker system in which all components are known in conjunction with all others for a predictably excellent outcome, compared to "my-chosen-pre/pro-with-my-flavor-of-the-month RC, my favorite amp, and my favorite speaker" which I can configure a hundred ways to Sunday in any number of possible outcomes. (It's accurate and replicable.)

I've been in literally hundreds of HTs from small, several hundred dollar systems to large, several hundred thousand dollar systems. Sometimes the several hundred dollar systems sounded better balanced than some of the $100k plus systems. ("Excess" is not "excellence.") I've heard amazing systems with high end equipment that literally drove me out of the room with fatigue. ("Sounds fantastic" is not "sounds right.") I even fled from a JBL Synthesis® set up where the owner refused the calibration because it was "good enough" without it. (You know who you are.) I've been in HTs that were like architectural, visual wet dreams burdened with garish, overbearing sonic nightmares. ("Pretty" is not "pleasant.")

Is Synthesis® perfect? No, just as no room, no performance, no recording, and no thing is perfect

Can other systems have
More heavy bass? Yes.
More prominent mids? Yes.
Sharper highs? Yes.
More room-shaking physicality? Yes.
Better looks? Yes.
More volume? Yes.


So, to each his or her own, but I put my cash into the JBL Synthesis® system and have not regretted it, especially after hearing some much more expensive set ups with boomy bass, in-your-face mids, piercing highs, and ear damaging volume complete with distortion and clipping. Even if more expensive set ups matched the JBL, I would be glad to have saved the $$$.

Well, Sanjay correctly might call me out as a JBL whore, but it really was the completeness of the Synthesis® experience that drove me to buy some other, more expensive JBL stuff, to start thinking seriously about room treatments, to be more receptive to RC in general, and to be open to implementing the JBL/Harman recommendations regarding placement, multiple subs, etc.

I want to listen to excellent, accurate music and movies as much as possible with as little ongoing effing around as possible.

smile.gif
post #284 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View PostAnswer.

Pricey for such an unknown!

post #285 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by wse View Post

Pricey for such an unknown!

No worries:
Quote:
This is a high-end audiophile product.

It's all explained right there.
post #286 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by filecat13 View PostNo worries: It's all explained right there.

Yes, HIGH END AUDIOPHILE and other one is MADE IN SWITZERLAND!!!

post #287 of 817
Maybe I will sign up as a PI dealer, purchase say lets start at 50 units, then sell them off at deep deep discounts.

I need the first 50 high dollar AVS'rs to step up with deposits however.eek.gif

Been away for some time. Should be back more often for all those that missed me...
post #288 of 817
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmiles View Post

Maybe I will sign up as a PI dealer, purchase say lets start at 50 units, then sell them off at deep deep discounts.

I need the first 50 high dollar AVS'rs to step up with deposits however.eek.gif

Been away for some time. Should be back more often for all those that missed me...

Welcome back Mike smile.gif
post #289 of 817
Now you might need to include the following in this comparison XMC-1 Emotiva includes specific version of the Dirac Live™ 7.2 Room Correction System.
post #290 of 817
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wse View Post

Now you might need to include the following in this comparison XMC-1 Emotiva includes specific version of the Dirac Live™ 7.2 Room Correction System.

When was that announced? I just thought it was shipping with a PEQ?

Edit - Just read that on their website. Might give the Datasat a run for it's money at 10% of the price. wink.gif
Edited by adidino - 6/17/13 at 7:17pm
post #291 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidino View PostWhen was that announced? I just thought it was shipping with a PEQ?  Edit - Just read that on their website. Might give the Datasat a run for it's money at 10% of the price. wink.gif

 

I think today

 

http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/processors/products/xmc1

post #292 of 817
Interesting. TacT must have really dropped the ball since they were to,provide the room correction technology. This could be interesting. I use the PC version of DiracLive and love it.

We shall see!!
post #293 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy View PostInteresting. TacT must have really dropped the ball since they were to,provide the room correction technology. This could be interesting. I use the PC version of DiracLive and love it.

We shall see!!

Heard that it is a modified version of the Software, probably less capabilities!

post #294 of 817
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wse View Post

Heard that it is a modified version of the Software, probably less capabilities!

You referring to Dirac for the Emotiva? Specs say Dirac Live. I wouldn't be surprised if it's the most current version available. Indicates it controlled by a PC or Mac which makes sense to do anyway. I think for those looking to stay in this price range, might be a home run. Will depend how it sounds of course....
post #295 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidino View PostYou referring to Dirac for the Emotiva? Specs say Dirac Live. I wouldn't be surprised if it's the most current version available. Indicates it controlled by a PC or Mac which makes sense to do anyway. I think for those looking to stay in this price range, might be a home run. Will depend how it sounds of course....

Let's wait and see Emotiva doesn't have a good track records when it comes to pre/pros!!  Plus I can't imagine DIRAC to pist off DATASAT :)

post #296 of 817
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wse View Post

Let's wait and see Emotiva doesn't have a good track records when it comes to pre/pros!!  Plus I can't imagine DIRAC to pist off DATASAT smile.gif

Dirac is not going to care about pissing off Datasat. It will be about selling 1000 units vs 10,000 units. They will likely see more licenses sold from a sub 2k processor vs 20k. The price of the processor doesn't matter to Dirac.
post #297 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidino View Post

Dirac is not going to care about pissing off Datasat. It will be about selling 1000 units vs 10,000 units. They will likely see more licenses sold from a sub 2k processor vs 20k. The price of the processor doesn't matter to Dirac.
Agreed. Dirac sells to several companies. To my knowledge, they don't have any exclusive relationships with Datasat.
post #298 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidino View Post

Dirac is not going to care about pissing off Datasat. It will be about selling 1000 units vs 10,000 units. They will likely see more licenses sold from a sub 2k processor vs 20k. The price of the processor doesn't matter to Dirac.

True volume speaks as long as the profit margins are still there, I wonder if the pre- pro will stink like their amps! OOPS I have to be carefull I could be banned because I am not an EMOTIVA lover!
post #299 of 817
Very impressed with the MX151. With Lyngdorf bypassed I would say it is a solid performing processor. With Lyngdorf running, it performs on another level. Goes to show you how much of a difference a properly implemented room correction can make.

I have a fully treated acoustically friendly dedicated room. My previous MC12B's room correction helped a bit, but was only marginally better. Bass never seemed right though. However the Lyngdorf/Room Perfect room correction in the McIntosh created astounding results. The Lyngdorf EQ process had a bit of a learning curve to set up, but thanks to Thrang, I successfully got through it.

If I had to review the processor, I would say very similar results to what Thrang posted on his room thread. What an improvement in dialog intelligibility, midrange, seamless integration of soundfield between speakers. Bass is tight and authoritative and never boomy or bloated. Sounds do seem to appear where no speakers are present. A very smooth sounding system and at the same time detailed and transparent. It sounds great at all volume levels including moderately low, which is not an easy task to pull off. I know certain speakers perform better at different volumes so they are certainly part of the picture as well. Bulldogger's for his first hand experience with this processor certainly influenced my purchase.
Edited by G-Rex - 6/30/13 at 4:10am
post #300 of 817
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Rex View Post

Very impressed with the MX151. With Lyngdorf bypassed I would say it is a solid performing processor. With Lyngdorf running, it performs on another level. Goes to show you how much of a difference properly implemented room correction can make.

I have a fully treated acoustically friendly dedicated room. My previous MC12B room correction helped a bit, but was only marginally better. Bass never seemed right though. However the Lyngdorf/Room Perfect room correction in the McIntosh created astounding results. It had a bit of a learning curve to set up, but thanks to Thrang, I successfully got through it.

If I had to review the processor, I would say very similar results to what Thrang posted on his room thread. What an improvement in dialog intelligibility, midrange, seamless integration of soundfield between speakers. Bass is tight and authoritative and never boomy or bloated. Sounds do seem to appear where no speakers are present. A very smooth sounding system and at the same time detailed and transparent. It sounds great at all volume levels including moderately low, which is not an easy task to pull off. I know speakers are part of the picture as well. A thank you to Bulldogger for his first hand experience with this processor. That certainly influenced my purchase.

I couldn't agree more! wink.gif

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