Originally Posted by jh901
You will win a popularity contest, but what is the prize? You've got it all figured out, so there will never be a Classe Sigma SSP, Bryston SP3, M17, or Cary Audio Cinema 12 in your own system. You will never put in the commitment and you will never give yourself a chance to hear a result that could change everything you thought you knew.
What does an AV Processor do as it pertains to movie soundtrack formats from DTS and Dolby? Once the initial processing is achieved, you've got several channels of PCM digital. The delta sigma DAC section coverts all to analog. All the same? Must be oversampling filtering. How is that achieved? How many DAC chips are there and in what configuration? What about the word clock (for jitter)? So on and so forth. Anyhow, you end up with several channels of analog which now must be amplified to line level. Merely everything can go wrong at this point. That's all. Everything. So how much of everything does go wrong? The M17 and a few others will excel at doing less harm. Few will truly contemplate this and accept the possibility that Atmos and "more" can be an unfortunate diversion.
Not entirely true -- Bryston is connecting with Storm for the SP4 and I'd actually consider that unit. But not because I believe in all the audiophile hooey, rather it has crazy functionality and 16 channels (20 with an add-on XLR card if they follow in Storm's footsteps). Sure, rumors are it'll be $14-16k, but that's price competitive with other processors at that level of customizability (e.g. Trinnov).
I'd also consider the JBL SDP-75 (at $25k), but that, too has over 16 channels and can implement the active crossovers I need for my speakers.
So, if those price-points just so happen to get me "superior sounding" DACs and whatnot, fine -- I still don't believe I can hear a difference if the unit has been competently designed (and many are, even in lower price brackets than this, IMO).
Finally, just for grins, how about you expound upon "everything" that could "go wrong" in the line stage of a competently designed unit. Since you make such a big deal out of it, you must have a few examples off the top of your head. I could throw out a few, all easily overcome by good design, but I'm curious what you have to say. I'll give you that a good line stage can reduce the noise floor and SNR, but again, at what point does it get good enough that our ears can't discern a difference? Especially if we don't have competently designed rooms
with vanishingly low noise floors and acoustic problems of their own.
Originally Posted by markus767
NAD T 758 v3 has 12 channels of Dirac Live for $1300. Competitive enough?
Sure, but we're not talking about that unit. Plus, for me, I'll have long lengths of signal cable to run in my set-up, so XLR is a requirement.