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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm debating purchasing a Rotel RSP-985. Will this be adequate for decoding modern Blu-ray audio into 5.1? (or for my system, 5.0). I'll be using the RF audio out from the Blu-ray player, of course. HDMI will go to an overhead projector. The output of the RSP-985 will go to three individual power amplifiers, one for the front channels, one for the rear channels, and one for the center channel. (Phase Linear series II model 700 for the front, model 200 for the rears and center).

Will this unit be adequate? Or should I find a cheap used Harmon Kardon AVR with hdmi and preamp outputs?

Charles.
 

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Older processors can decode the Dolby Digital & DTS streams, via coaxial & optical. They cannot decode the master audio mixes.

The digital out isn't RF, that's what laserdisc had (RF demodulator to get Dolby Digital)


One way to get HD audio on older processor is to use the 5.1/7.1 RCA out from the BD player, into your processor.

Older processors are ideal if you need a lot of coaxial/optical, composite, S-video, component inputs as those older legacy connections are lacking or not as many in number on newer AVR's.

I have a Lexicon MC-8.

http://www.fein-hifi.de/images/product_images/original_images/1958_6_rsp985g.jpg

That Rotel is very old, I guess if you get it for $100 or so, or even less. Of course the three channel amps will be superior to a budget AVR.

The Rotel lacks HDMI, room EQ, and bass management will be pretty basic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Older processors can decode the Dolby Digital & DTS streams, via coaxial & optical. They cannot decode the master audio mixes.

The digital out isn't RF, that's what laserdisc had (RF demodulator to get Dolby Digital)


One way to get HD audio on older processor is to use the 5.1/7.1 RCA out from the BD player, into your processor.

Older processors are ideal if you need a lot of coaxial/optical, composite, S-video, component inputs as those older legacy connections are lacking or not as many in number on newer AVR's.

I have a Lexicon MC-8.

http://www.fein-hifi.de/images/product_images/original_images/1958_6_rsp985g.jpg

That Rotel is very old, I guess if you get it for $100 or so, or even less. Of course the three channel amps will be superior to a budget AVR.

The Rotel lacks HDMI, room EQ, and bass management will be pretty basic.
I'm building a home theater in my basement. My basement is a dance studio and is used primarily for that, but I want to put a roll-down screen and a projector on the ceiling (drop ceiling), so I can throw down some inflatable furniture and bean bag chairs and have a movie night every now and then.

I've already got a Phase Linear Series II Model 700 running the front speakers, a Phase Linear Series II Model 200 driving the rears, and another Model 200 waiting in the wings to drive the center channel. 350wpc into 8 ohms for the 700, 130wpc into 8 ohms for the 200s. So yeah, my amps are a little better than your average $100 craigslist AVR.

Will I be losing terribly much by going with the older DD and DTS mixes? Regardless of what AVR I get, I will likely be using SPDIF or coax to connect the BR player to the audio system.

There's not a single reasonably priced bluray player made today that has 5.1 analog output. At least, none I've found.
Rotel has room EQ. It has an on-screen menu that allows you to turn individual speakers up and down. Dunno what bass management is, but it can put the LFE onto the front speakers, and that's all I need. (No sub, but with Cerwin Vegas with 15" woofers, I don't need a sub).

Ideally, I want something around $150 (or less. Used of course), rack-mountable, and not too tall (2U tops). Bonus for a silver face.

Any ideas?

Charles.
 

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Rotel has room EQ. It has an on-screen menu that allows you to turn individual speakers up and down.
That isn't room EQ. It just has channel levels, and perhaps bass & treble. That isn't parametric room EQ, or phase adjustment.

No sub, but with Cerwin Vegas with 15" woofers, I don't need a sub
Those Cerwins are probably tuned pretty high, so even if they have 15" woofers a good subwoofer will outclass them.

Will I be losing terribly much by going with the older DD and DTS mixes? Regardless of what AVR I get,
I can use Lexicon MC-8 for DD/DTS but use 5.1 to get HD audio. It does sound a lot better, especially in the bass. Don't have many BD's but Tron Legacy was incredible, as those logic ships fly overhead with the engine roar.

Bass management means you filter out and re-direct the bass from your speakers to the subwoofer, generally 80hz is good all-round option. My speakers go down to 35hz but I re-direct
 

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I would go with a good, used hdmi 1.3 avr. But maybe not H/K as their reliability is a bit iffy. Maybe a circa 2009-2011 Yamaha, Denon or Pioneer, like the vsx-01 or 03. I'm still using an Elite vsx-23 and it has everything I really need.

I had an older H/K Signature 2.0 processor and it really showed it's age. It may have sounded nice but it just didn't operate the way newer products do. In your budget, look for a good hdmi 1.3 avr with pre-outs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I suppose that's the way I'll have to do it then. I just hate the all the AVRs out there are so freaking huge. I only need one input, I don't want the FM tuner or all the millions of inputs on the back. :/

Charles.
 

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I recently bought a used Arcam AV8 processor for £65 (under $100 I think?) just to hold me over until a more affordable DTS:X/Atmos HDCP 2.2 equipped processor comes out (ie one cheaper than the Marantz AV8802 that I would buy otherwise). I sold a more modern Onkyo 818 as I just didn't like the sound of it and it was too big to use in my second room.

Of course I'm limited to only DD/DTS in compressed forms (though DTS 'core' is at least at higher bit rate than DVD tends to be) though this is still up to 7.1. I do have the option of using my Oppo's analogue outputs so I can use it to decode the HD sound tracks.

The only issue is that with using the Oppo analogue outputs I get HD sound, but it is out of sync with the image on my JVC X500 (I use a Lumagen VP as well which probably causes some delay as well). There is no way to add audio delay in my older Oppo (BDP93) so I'm going to replace it with a newer BDP103 which I'll need to be able to play Atmos/DTS:X discs next year anyway.

So, since the budget is $300 then maybe something similar to my approach, but if you find lip sync an issue then you'll have to live with 'core' DTS sound at best via coax/optical unless you happen to own an Oppo BDP103 already (or some other make with audio delay built into the analogue output).
 

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How about Nakamichi AV1? £200 and pretty up to date, HDMI, HD decoding, even room EQ.

It's virtually give away price

http://www.nakamichi.co.uk/products/nakamichi-7-1-power-processor

You aren't going to get a more up to date, AV pre for anything like that.
I had one and it went back. :mad: Flaky is one word I'd use and the other I can't type on a public forum because it somehow damaged a channel on my Arcam P7 power amp so I've had to pay nearly £200 to get it repaired (admittedly I've had all the power capacitors replaced on all 7 channels while it was being worked on).

Mine was prone to turn itself off randomly also the HDMI video had a glitch when used with 1080p from my PVR so I had a strip of video down the right side that was 'cut' from the left. :confused:

Seems that other owners are still having issues with them as well, so my initial thought to wait awhile and go back for another have been scuppered: It's one thing being cheap, but if it doesn't work properly (or possibly causes damage as in my case) then I don't care how cheap it is.

PS the auto room eq doesn't work either, though it's OK if you are prepared to use REW to measure and manually set it up.
 

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I used to have a Rotel RSP-985. Paid a grand for it! If you can pick one up for $100 it's probably a good deal. If you're in Albuquerque or Santa Fe I'll trade you one used Outlaw 990 preamp for a case of Santa Fe Happy Camper IPA




or four 4-packs of La Cumbre Elevated IPA

 
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