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Which processor to buy?

post #1 of 101
Thread Starter 
I was wondering which processor to buy and why? I just sold My ultra high end Meridian 861 to save some money so I am familiar with quality sound. I want the same detail if possible. The choices are the B&K reference 50 S2, Emotiva DMC-1, Integra research 7.1(used), Anthem avm30(used), and any others you can think of. The Meridian was super smooth with the best dynamics I have heard. I am looking for clarity, detail, and dynamics. Which one will combine this the best? Thanks
post #2 of 101
Check out the offerings from Halo(parasound) and Classe'. I have the halo C2 and have heard the Classe SSP600. The Classe is real nice. The problem was it was to big for my shelf. I have been very very happy with my C2. It is so much better then my Krell showcase that I used to have.
post #3 of 101
Thread Starter 
What was better about the parasound than the krell? The classe is more money than I want to spend.
post #4 of 101
The Integra will be more detailed in my experience with the original model. The Emotiva, if this is their more expensive model, is basically a Sunfire TGIV which should sound similar to my TGIII which IMO has a smoother sound. My
brief experience with a B&K was pleasant enoogh but too long ago and too brief to compare.
post #5 of 101
You got rid of the best processor made and want to know which unit selling at 1/4 the price of the Meridian will sound as good?

Amazing.
post #6 of 101
Thread Starter 
Not as good overall but has some of its characteristics like dynamics. Alot of the price increase in the meridian is the build qualiy and modular design. I know there will be trade off, I am wondering what can get me close.
post #7 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuraCL View Post

You got rid of the best processor made and want to know which unit selling at 1/4 the price of the Meridian will sound as good?

Amazing.


What processor are you using?
post #8 of 101
Probably the best performance I've heard in bang/buck, especially on the used market is the Fosgate FAPT1+. Really fantastic. They have been a bit flaky with reliability though and most have needed a trip back for repair (they're not unique in this though, trust me!). Unfortunately they closed the company, but Rockford still is handling the 5-year warranty. Since they're about 1 year old or so, you've got a good 3-4 years where they have to take care of them, and after that, it works until it's a paper weight. But the sound? Wow! It would blow away a lot of stereo preamps.
post #9 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

What processor are you using?

I use an Angstrom 200. The unit is about 7-8 years old. Designed by Mike Moffat, who cofounded Theta Digital. His company has been out of business for years, so it's a dead-end product: no updates, no warranty. They originally sold for $3500, now going for 1/10th that on the used market.

But it sounds soooooo good, I'll keep it til it dies. Fact, I picked up a used one on Ebay, just to have a spare in case mine dies.

What it does to the sound ... just what you seek: dynamics, precision, clarity, smoooooooth, "the air around the notes." It's prologic decoding sounds superior to most processors' DD5.1.
post #10 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

What was better about the parasound than the krell? The classe is more money than I want to spend.

It just sounds more natural then the Krell. I started to hear more details. Subtle things. Low level items. The soundtracks also seemed better. I was hearing more musical information. For 2ch, it was way better. It's stereo was just more dynamic, but its bypass mode just was out of this world.
post #11 of 101
Thread Starter 
Funny thing is that I was looking at the angstrom but I need xlr connections. Ideas like this is what I am talking about. I will change in a couple of years anyway when DD+ and DTS + get more finalized. How is the DTS on the Angstrom, I think you need a separate decoder no? How did this compare to the proceed avp or krell hts? Thanks
post #12 of 101
DTS was an option/factory upgrade, but it was implemented in the box (plug-in card). DD5.1 required both an internal mod plus a separate A205 box*. I picked up one of those about a year ago on Ebay. Both my A200s have DTS, but only one has the DD5.1 mod. DTS is very good on the A200. Everything, sound-wise, is very very good on the A200.

I personally found the Angstrom better than anything else I listened to (Krell, Proceed, Lexicon, Chiro, and some others) ... but I never listened to anything on the order of an 861 or Theta CBIII.

Yeah, too bad about the balanced connections. As good as it sounds, I know many folks could never deal with the limitations of an older unit. Some need HDMI/component video switching, can't live without automatic room correction, need XLR, want DD/DTS HD, etc.

*Weird, eh? I talked to one of the engineers about this at the time. They kept promising the DD5.1 card upgrade, and promising .... The holdup was a Motorola DSP chip whose release they were waiting for. Well, they waited so long, they ended up closing the doors without ever implementing DD5.1 via card upgrade. DTS was available almost right from the start.
post #13 of 101
Thread Starter 
If it had xlr I would be buying it right away. I just need xlr for long runs and lower the noise. I run video directly so I don't need that either. I know people think new chips and DAC's make the sound difference which is partially correct, but I think the most important sound factor is the way the circuitry is built. If it was just chips and stuff then everyhting would sound the same.
post #14 of 101
The halo has XLR. That was one of my needs as well.
post #15 of 101
Thread Starter 
The halo is also very nice. I have demo'd a halo C1 and the 5 and 2 channel amps hooked up to the M&K s-150 system. They were the 400 watt per channel into 4 ohm amps. I have always liked the sunfire processor as well. They always seem to match them well with speakers for my taste. I remember once they had a sunfire system with neosonics speakers, this was a great combination.
post #16 of 101
Please put the B&K ref50 S2 on the list. Its not talked about a lot on here but B&K makes awesome products. In my opinion and research the B&K Ref50 S2 will out perform products costing double such as the Parasound Halo line. I have compared both and the Ref50 came out WAY on top. J.H.
post #17 of 101
Thread Starter 
J.H.,

The B&K was the first processor I listed to try in my first post. I think I will compare head to head the B&K and Emotiva since I can return either if I don't like them. What did you like about the B&K better than the Parasound? Thanks
post #18 of 101
IMHO, the only processor that rivals the Meridian in sound quality is the Theta. That is your only choice. Try the Casanova, its a bargain for the used prices I have seen it go.
post #19 of 101
Thread Starter 
If I were to go for the casanova I would have included the Meridian 568.2. I need 7 xlr outputs where both of these the front 3 are only xlr. The casablanca with the upgraded cards are expensive like the 861.
post #20 of 101
I'll throw in a vote for checking out the B&K. I've been using the old Ref 50 (S1, I supposed) for a few years now and have been very happy with it.

Scott
post #21 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

J.H.,

The B&K was the first processor I listed to try in my first post. I think I will compare head to head the B&K and Emotiva since I can return either if I don't like them. What did you like about the B&K better than the Parasound? Thanks

An overall better sound quality is all. It was more crisp and clear in my opinion than the Halo. I owned a new classic 7100 and the B&K BLEW IT AWAY IN EVERY WAY! I could not believe the difference in sound. I sold the Parasound 7100 and bought the B&K Ref50 S2. In my opinion the REF50 S2 and B&K in general is the best kept secret in the HT bisiness.
post #22 of 101
Thread Starter 
The Emotiva is on its way. I will order the B&K tomorrow. Clear and crisp without harshness is exactly what I am looking for. I already have it but I want to see if I can get it at a better price.
post #23 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

The Emotiva is on its way. I will order the B&K tomorrow. Clear and crisp without harshness is exactly what I am looking for. I already have it but I want to see if I can get it at a better price.

Oh the B&K is NOT harch at all. Thats a good word to desrcibe it. The Parasound model 7100 was harsh but the Halo was better. The B&K blew both away quite easily. J.H.
post #24 of 101
MK, I am glad your doing this. I am looking forward to your reviews.
post #25 of 101
Thread Starter 
I have a feeling that they will be very close. They are going up against stiff competition.
post #26 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

The Emotiva is on its way.

Curious about the emotiva as well, just checked AV123 and they are sold out of the DMC-1 and every other product in the line?!? When did you order?
post #27 of 101
they have new shipments arriving shortly
post #28 of 101
I can personally vouch for the smoothness of B&K sound. I wouldnt give up my B&K for anything....hmmm, for a Theta Casablanca III with extreme DACs perhaps but nothing less. I have an all tube system for stereo listening and the B&K is very close to that sound. Smooth and no glare at all. Its a pleasure to watch movies on the B&K system.

MHO.
post #29 of 101
Thread Starter 
Next week(I hope) I can find out which I prefer. I love to scare the heck out of people at reference levels but none of them have ever said it was too loud or harsh. Well my sister in law said it was too loud but she does not count. I would put Mcintosh in the mix but too expensive right now. I had the older MX-132 and it was awesome, just not balanced. If it was I would be buying a used one. It was very dynamic and detailed. Any users of high end gear try the mid level equipment and thought it was just as good? I mean had in their house and a/b'd the 2. Going to a dealer does not count.
post #30 of 101
B&K has the best customer service I have ever dealt with. I am also on the fence about which new preamp to buy to replace my ref30. I'm looking forward to hearing your review. I will be very surprised if the B&K is not the clear winner...
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