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Best Surround Processor Currently Available? - Page 15

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 #421 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy View Post

I love it when a reviewer walks into a room (he's never been in) at a show with a room full of speakers, cables and electronics he's never heard and waxes poetic about how awesome the amplifier sounds. Excuse me?

Of course, one cannot ascribe a superior sound to a specific component in an unfamiliar room and system.  However, if the overall result is outstanding, odd's are that none of the components suck.

post #422 of 817
Very interesting thread. I just got a Bryston SP3. This after massaging the passive acoustics with a local guru. He happens to also manufacture subs, and part of the purchase of 3 of his monsters was to calibrate the room. The lower. say under 100 hz frequencies, are all corrected by a combo of a Bryston crossover and a Behringer. The room really came alive. The Bryston has added a level of detail and slam that simply wasn't there with the previous processor, an Anthem. Part of the allure of the bryston was to use it's DACs as part of my 2-channel system.I used to have a Windows -based server going through the previous gen MSB. I'm switching to a Mac-based server with Amarra and possibly Dirac.
Maybe one day I'll be satisfied.....Nah.

David
post #423 of 817
Nice! glad to hear how that worked-out finally. PM me with the acoustics changes that happened- I'm really interested to hear about it.

...and you're right, you'll never be satisfied, none of us will ever be...that's why we're here...to console each other, and ogle the upgrades we make.

Dan

BTW- my votes are still as follows: ADA Cinema Reference, Datasat RS20i
post #424 of 817
I didnt vote but I think the Illusonic Processor looks to be really interesting....I wish I could find more information on it.
post #425 of 817
I sure am surprised that Meridian 861 didn't even make the list up there since it can completely destroy most of them without question. The few it might not totally destroy, would be pure opinion at that point of which one you prefer (and those reasons can be many). It's just extremely odd that the probably longest living dominating controller isn't even on the list.

**and then again, maybe it's just "my opinion" that it will completely destroy most if not all of those above. Even if it is, there is no arguing it is so superior to most of the market, that it deserved to be on that list.**
post #426 of 817
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro2be View Post

I sure am surprised that Meridian 861 didn't even make the list up there since it can completely destroy most of them without question. The few it might not totally destroy, would be pure opinion at that point of which one you prefer (and those reasons can be many). It's just extremely odd that the probably longest living dominating controller isn't even on the list.

**and then again, maybe it's just "my opinion" that it will completely destroy most if not all of those above. Even if it is, there is no arguing it is so superior to most of the market, that it deserved to be on that list.**

It was an oversite on my part. I should've included it but once the poll was created, it was too late once the voting started. Lot's of comments on the Meridian as expected.
post #427 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro2be View Post

I sure am surprised that Meridian 861 didn't even make the list up there since it can completely destroy most of them without question. The few it might not totally destroy, would be pure opinion at that point of which one you prefer (and those reasons can be many).

I owned the 861v6 (and the 8xx line going back to v2). It has terrific sonics and for the most part performed well (when configured with the 621) as an HDMI switcher. MRC does a nice job with basic room correction at lower frequencies, and Trinnov is a terrific synthesized surround mode for two channel music sources. (Meridian in Trifield mode replaced my Audio Research Reference in stereo mode: Meridian's signal manipulation magic outweighed Audio Research's considerable superiority in pure analog processing.)

That being said, the ADA Reference performs much better in my system. Trinnov room and speaker correction (properly implemented) trounces MRC and Trinnov spatial remapping trounces Trifield. Whatever advantages Meridian's AD, DA, and analog stages might have (and I'm not conceding that they do) are outweighed by Trinnov's more advanced signal manipulation.
Edited by Brucemck2 - 8/27/13 at 9:55am
post #428 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post

I owned the 861v6 (and the 8xx line going back to v2). It has terrific sonics and for the most part performed well (when configured with the 621) as an HDMI switcher. MRC does a nice job with basic room correction at lower frequencies, and Trinnov is a terrific synthesized surround mode for two channel music.

That being said, the ADA Reference performs much better in my system. Trinnov room and speaker correction (properly implemented) trounces MRC and Trinnov spatial remapping trounces Trifield. Whatever advantages Meridian's AD, DA, and analog stages might have (and I'm not conceding that they do) are outweighed by Trinnov's more advanced signal manipulation.

Fascinating stuff. I am really excited because I get the chance to in home test a Datasat RS20i professionally setup and installed in my home on Friday. The company is sending someone to my home and we will be setting it up and then be doing movie night at my home. There is no better way to compare the models than in my room, with my cables, my amps etc. We will be switching back and forth from Meridian 861 to Datasat RS20i all day and night.

Then next week, the same thing will be happening with a McIntosh MX151.

I will post my personal opinion and my wifes after we finish testing each one.
post #429 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro2be View Post

I sure am surprised that Meridian 861 didn't even make the list up there since it can completely destroy most of them without question.
Don't know about "completely destroy" the others, but the Meridian is the only one with proprietary surround processing (Trifield).

In this day and age, seems most 'surround processors' aren't breaking any ground in 'surround processing', just licensing the technologies from Dolby and DTS (same as what AVR manufacturers are doing). And it's not like Dolby and DTS have special secret versions of their surround processing that they reserve for hi-end manufacturers; it's the same PLIIz or Neo:X found on common receivers.

In fact, if you read the banter, surround processors are no longer being judged by surround processing but instead by room correction. That may be the new frontier but, as with surround processing, they are all simply licensed technologies (from Lyngdorf, Dirac, Trinnov). Well, except Meridian.
post #430 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro2be View Post

Fascinating stuff. I am really excited because I get the chance to in home test a Datasat RS20i professionally setup and installed in my home on Friday. The company is sending someone to my home and we will be setting it up and then be doing movie night at my home. There is no better way to compare the models than in my room, with my cables, my amps etc. We will be switching back and forth from Meridian 861 to Datasat RS20i all day and night. Then next week, the same thing will be happening with a McIntosh MX151. I will post my personal opinion and my wifes after we finish testing each one.

How did yo pull that off? I would love that!
post #431 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post


Don't know about "completely destroy" the others, but the Meridian is the only one with proprietary surround processing (Trifield).

In this day and age, seems most 'surround processors' aren't breaking any ground in 'surround processing', just licensing the technologies from Dolby and DTS (same as what AVR manufacturers are doing). And it's not like Dolby and DTS have special secret versions of their surround processing that they reserve for hi-end manufacturers; it's the same PLIIz or Neo:X found on common receivers.

In fact, if you read the banter, surround processors are no longer being judged by surround processing but instead by room correction. That may be the new frontier but, as with surround processing, they are all simply licensed technologies (from Lyngdorf, Dirac, Trinnov). Well, except Meridian.

 I believe it's important to distinguish that Trinnov's Remapping that Brucemark refers to is both proprietary and unique. Both the approach and outcome are different: Remapping is neither traditional decoding or upmixing as described above.    The Trinnov approach is to correctly reproduce the soundfield, not artificially make a new one. There are some interesting points to consider here regarding Trinnov Remapping's added value proposition for the listener:

 

Stereo "upmix" Remapping: Typically it is surround content improvements Trinnov is noted for, and stereo is often overlooked.  From a practical standpoint, Remapping can be very effective in enhancing stereo recordings, particularly with wide placed fronts.  One favorite Trinnov configuration for stereo playback utilizes 5 front speakers covering an area of +/-60 degrees, as well as rears.  As we know, Trinnov is not upmixing via a standard surround processing (read "fixed algorithm"), but rather taking the given channel information to rebuild the acoustic field.  Those who have the 64bit Trinnov systems vs the 32bit 972 report more resolution and transparency in this regard. There are some list members, who like me, find stereo source remapping very effective.  Stereo sources- As a recordists, there are many choices for micing/mixing that result in dramatically different results when upmixing.  

 

Processed Channels Remapping:  Remapping can provide a very effective improvement in the playback of upmixed stereo.  Pro Logic, Logic-7, etc, have their place.  While Trinnov Remapping alone may be preferred for spatial purity, some want a more "enhanced, artificially created' listening experience.  In this regard, surround processing assumes correct speaker placement within the room (and would equally benefit from DRC). Here Remapping can typically improve spatial performance.  This is particularly true with LT/RT (left track/right track) Pro Logic encoded audio found in old movies and some stereo recordings.  Delos (John Eargle) made some wonderful Pro-Logic recordings.  In the future, any new encoded upmix could potentially be spatially Remapped, once the Trinnov system has the parameters. 

 

*In order to build a spatially correct acoustic field utilizing Trinnov's Remapping, the speakers must be first be made to voice identically, hence Trinnov's robust room correction algorithm.  From an R&D standpoint, Trinnov started with Remapping, based on advanced mathematics in 3d sound- based on Fourier-Bessel transforms.  Trinnov then applied 3d research towards solving the room correction, which, in and of itself, is another 3d puzzle.

 

Cheers,

 

edited to clarify points


Edited by Curt_Trinnov - 8/27/13 at 12:39pm
post #432 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by wse View Post

How did yo pull that off? I would love that!

I called my local dealer(s) and told them what I already own (so they would know I have invested enough before, to cover the new) and then said to them, "I want an in house demonstration of the MX151 (or Datasat RS20i) because it does me no good to see it, hear it or touch it in your room. I cannot compare it to what I already have this way to see if there is an improvement."

They said "and what am I supposed to do when we come there and you like your Meridian better"?

I said "I will pay you your hourly professional services rate for the entire time spent on setup etc. to help you recoup your lost time".

They said, "Done. what day works best for you?"

That is exactly what I did with the MX151, the Datasat turned into a long 1 hour chat and learning experience/comparison of features. I basically told them the truth up front, don't come here thinking I will buy this unit on the spot. You need to come and show me it's worth buying. I literally told them, "Come here and beat my Meridian's *&*". That is your challenge. It was decided that the regional rep from Datasat would drive across states to my home personally to do the setup and demo etc. Again, I agreed to pay for his time.

I would rather pay for this time, then give them 12-20000 dollars for something I won't like in 2 weeks.
post #433 of 817

The challenge with the Datasat and Trinnov units is that there's soooo much flexibility provided that it might take a user literally weeks of listening and tweaking to achieve the very best subjective results i.e. don't make the mistake of thinking that a few hours of even expert setup is the last word.

 

After several weeks with a Trinnov I was still finding incremental but important improvements.  

post #434 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

In fact, if you read the banter, surround processors are no longer being judged by surround processing but instead by room correction.

The ADA/Trifield spatial remapping is more impressive than the room correction (which is very nice too). In "stereo mode" all 11.5 speakers fire, which creates an amazingly three dimensional "stereo" image.
post #435 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt_Trinnov View Post

I believe it's important to distinguish that Trinnov's Remapping that Brucemark refers to is both proprietary and unique.
My point was that the technology wasn't proprietary and unique to the manufacturers of surround processors listed in the poll (e.g., ADA) but instead licensed from other companies (like Trinnov). By comparison, Meridian didn't license Trifield and MRC from another company, but instead came up with it themselves.
post #436 of 817
Don't mean to muddy the waters but this seems like a good place to ask if there are any recent updates on a Lexicon updated pre/pro and/or ARCOS? Or is Lexicon still just treading water in the consumer market?
post #437 of 817
Lexicon who? They're out.
post #438 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro2be View Post

I called my local dealer(s) and told them what I already own (so they would know I have invested enough before, to cover the new) and then said to them, "I want an in house demonstration of the MX151 (or Datasat RS20i) because it does me no good to see it, hear it or touch it in your room. I cannot compare it to what I already have this way to see if there is an improvement."They said "and what am I supposed to do when we come there and you like your Meridian better"? I said "I will pay you your hourly professional services rate for the entire time spent on setup etc. to help you recoup your lost time".They said, "Done. what day works best for you?"

That is exactly what I did with the MX151, the Datasat turned into a long 1 hour chat and learning experience/comparison of features. I basically told them the truth up front, don't come here thinking I will buy this unit on the spot. You need to come and show me it's worth buying. I literally told them, "Come here and beat my Meridian's *&*". That is your challenge. It was decided that the regional rep from Datasat would drive across states to my home personally to do the setup and demo etc. Again, I agreed to pay for his time. I would rather pay for this time, then give them 12-20000 dollars for something I won't like in 2 weeks.

I like that, how much per hour, I am not sure my dealer would do that?
post #439 of 817
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

Don't mean to muddy the waters but this seems like a good place to ask if there are any recent updates on a Lexicon updated pre/pro and/or ARCOS? Or is Lexicon still just treading water in the consumer market?

it seems Harman Group has come to rely on third party to produce their next gen of prepros. Right now it's Bryston (JBL Synth line). It's a shame because the MP20 could've been something special.
post #440 of 817
Straight wire with gain, is the way to go if the best of the best of pure clean sound is your goal.. I would try to remove all noisy processors from the chain.
Which is very easy with discrete multi channel sources. Just use full range speakers and clean power amps. Noisy bass management and muddy phase shifting problem have now all been removed.
Why would anyone throw money at gear that really isn't needed, sure it may fix one or two small issues but cause many more which are worse and in many cases very audible.
post #441 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by joehonest View Post

Straight wire with gain, is the way to go if the best of the best of pure clean sound is your goal.. I would try to remove all noisy processors from the chain.
Which is very easy with discrete multi channel sources. Just use full range speakers and clean power amps. Noisy bass management and muddy phase shifting problem have now all been removed. Why would anyone throw money at gear that really isn't needed, sure it may fix one or two small issues but cause many more which are worse and in many cases very audible.

How do you remove the processor? You use OPPO BDP-105 straight to the amps to the speakers?

Source-amplifiers-speakers is that what you do, I need to try it but I like the SSP-800 smile.gif
post #442 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by wse View Post

How do you remove the processor? You use OPPO BDP-105 straight to the amps to the speakers?

Source-amplifiers-speakers is that what you do, I need to try it but I like the SSP-800 smile.gif

That is the idea. Its time to rethink what is really needed now that prologic type steering is now history, sure at times with music its fun to toy with at home. All will agree after the party is over and drugs are out of your body, stereo music sounds its best the way it was mixed down.
post #443 of 817
I think that is what the SP3 brings, minimal tweak to the signal. When they do DSD it would be more interesting to me. Same with the new Krell Foundation.
post #444 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by joehonest View Post

That is the idea. Its time to rethink what is really needed now that prologic type steering is now history, sure at times with music its fun to toy with at home. All will agree after the party is over and drugs are out of your body, stereo music sounds its best the way it was mixed down.

Never did drugs no interest, but I like Prologic IIx for music smile.gif
post #445 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidino View Post

it seems Harman Group has come to rely on third party to produce their next gen of prepros. Right now it's Bryston (JBL Synth line). It's a shame because the MP20 could've been something special.

I know JBL Synthesis went with Bryston because they were getting nothing available anytime soon from Lexicon. I owned a Bryston processor at one time and it was good but not as good as the Lexicon-built JBL Synthesis AV-1 I still use. As to Lexicon being dead I would like to see some documentation of that. Last I read in another thread is that they were still working on their ARCOS system and taking their time doing it.
post #446 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

I know JBL Synthesis went with Bryston because they were getting nothing available anytime soon from Lexicon. I owned a Bryston processor at one time and it was good but not as good as the Lexicon-built JBL Synthesis AV-1 I still use. As to Lexicon being dead I would like to see some documentation of that. Last I read in another thread is that they were still working on their ARCOS system and taking their time doing it.

Hmm... considering the last processor they released was the MC-12 V5 in 2005, I'd say they were dead... You're looking for resurrection. Possible - but dead for now.
post #447 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

As to Lexicon being dead I would like to see some documentation of that. Last I read in another thread is that they were still working on their ARCOS system and taking their time doing it.
It's not a question of Lex being "dead" or not, but them releasing new pre-pro. They could be alive and thriving, making tons of money via their automotive deals (like the rest of Harman), but as long as they don't release a new pre-pro how does them being "alive" benefit those of us in this hobby. As for ARCOS, it's already been in use for 2½ years on JBL Synthesis systems.
post #448 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

the last processor they released was the MC-12 V5 in 2005
MC-12HD in 2006
post #449 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by joehonest View Post

Straight wire with gain, is the way to go if the best of the best of pure clean sound is your goal.. I would try to remove all noisy processors from the chain.
Which is very easy with discrete multi channel sources. Just use full range speakers and clean power amps. Noisy bass management and muddy phase shifting problem have now all been removed.
Why would anyone throw money at gear that really isn't needed, sure it may fix one or two small issues but cause many more which are worse and in many cases very audible.

This was my thought for a solution calling for shortest path that includes DRC.  The Oppo>Trinnov/DRC>Amps>Speakers  serves this philosophy well. I think it works because of the combination of  64bit floating point processing, with the user deciding just how much and what kind of correction is done.  When I approach mastering studios with the same concept, they always insert DRC in bypass first, then see if it changes anything. If it does, it's gone. Same process could be used here.  If one inserts another device in the chain, and it's in bypass, can you hear it?  

post #450 of 817
The Casablanca 3 HD is by far the best sounding Pre Pro there is.. More important its the only truly upgradable machine and has kept this upgrade path for over 18 years.

It has incredible Dac Architecture and a sound signature like no other.

The Bass Management and 12 individual environment setups make this by far the best in class piece of Audio Gear ever.

Ask me why i am so passionate.. Of course i am a Theta Dealer. The Worlds Largest in fact but i also sell and install Bryston and Anthem and Krell and lots more and there is great product out there but nothing like the Cb3HD..

There are no Prepro's that allow you to do what casablana allows. For instance you can have an input for 2 Channel full Range no crossovers and another input for 2 channel full range with sub. These are single button push controls. This is why people that understand Casablanca would never leave the brand.

You can have a multi channel input for instance from DVD/Bluray with Crossovers set and lets say the sub set equal to normal listening. Then you can have another input for the same DVD/Bluray with the Sub/Subs set for any DB you want so with a single button push you can have the subs set low for night or quiet listening.

This incredible flexibility and changeable Dacs makes Casablanca the most amazing world class Pre Pro ever.

CRaig
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