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This message is somehow a transcription of a post I made on the HI-FI Choice site. I'd like to know your opinion from a HT point of view.

I just read the surround sound special from Hi-Fi Choice January issue. It finally arrived here and I must say I was overjoyed with HFC for their decision in making this test.

Still some doubts come to my mind. My ansiety for this article was due to the fact (I think I share with so many others) that I'd like to have a HI-FI/HT setup that do not compromise too much of eachother. Actually, HI-FI is more important to me than Home Cinema (at least more 'used'), but still, I have some requirements for the HT part like DPL, DD and dts decoding, S-VHS switching and some space/flexibility for upgrading.

Enough introdution, let's get to the point. In all 9 setups tested, there are 3 that have my atention: Arcam's (Alpha 10 + DAVE module + Alpha 10 power amp), Denon's (AVR-3300) and Rotel's (RSP-985 + RB-985MkII amp).

Although price difference between Arcam and Rotel is not much in the UK, here in Portugal is around 900GBP, so it's worth considerating the 2 setups. My REAL question is: what do those stars mean? When HFC say that Rotel (£2.225) has 3 stars in sound quality and Denon (£800) has 4 stars in sound quality, does this mean that the Denon sounds better than the Rotel? or,it means that the Denon is a good integrated solution (better than NAD770)? How do I compare integrate solutions with pre/power combos in this test?

I know that this test was done in a audiophile point of view, but wouldn't it be good to have included some sort of comparison with pure 2 channel equipment? Like the 3 stars of sound quality in the Rotel mean that the Rotel is (in 2 channel performance) as good as a xxxxx pure integrated 2 channel amp...?

Best Regards,

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