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Discussion Starter #1
I ask this question based on a decision I made (and may regret :) )


I am constructing my theater and really starting from scratch all at once. Its tough based on a limited budget and just using week-to-week "mad money". The construction phase is progressing well, with the electrical finished this weekend and about 1/3 drywalled. But construction can things only so far and needed to acquire some gear....A bad case of G.A.S. you might say.....


Based on the budget I decided to forego purchasing new gear. My theory is this: Buy better quality components used to get up and running and upgrade later (moving the purchased items to a family room or similar)....


But the receiver purchase may have been a mistake. I acquired an Onkyo 787. I figured I got alot of quality for my budget ($500). I looked around at the newer ones and they have more features now, but the build quality seems less than this one. The big question is lack of DPLII. Will I regret the lack of DLPII considering I have nothing now. Or should I have bought a lesser wattage and build receiver with DPLII. I figure in a year I would replace this receiver and with nothing in place now, I get a fine receiver to work with....


I am not sure of the DPLII uses. Right now, my movie collection is very limited and will build with this new system & theater in place. I know plenty have indicated DPLII is a "must have" but is it a "must have" when you have had nothing but 10 yr old "Surround sound" up to now?


Thanks,

Dave
 

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Dave:


There are several things to ponder in your case:


The main selling "hook" for DPLII is, precisely, that it promises top-quality multichannel sound performance out of "old" two-channel/four-channel software (ie. "Red Book" CDs and Dolby Surround or stereo DVDs). So that might be something to take into account.


Regarding build qualitu, I'd say that, in the long term, it is a good thing to invest in. But that is not an "absolute" statement. For instance, if you are going to be one of those persons who will be upgrading to the latest receive every other year, then the build quality issue becomes nearly irrelevant.


On the other hand, having a cornucopia of features, bells and whistles might be either advisable or unadvisable, depending upon the circumstances. If you are like my brother-in-law, who likes to listen to every software material through the "Church" or "Jazz Club" or "Arena" modes in his receiver, then features will be a good thing. Me, on the contrary, prefer to listen to each material the way it was recorded, without being "marinated" by any enhancement. But, then again, it is all a matter of tastes (for instance, although I consider it to be a nearly sacrilegious action, I've seen people pouring ketchup sauce...on top of a dish of lobster Ã* la Thermidor!!!).


Since you are faced with having to distribute your money among different, simultaneous work fronts, I believe it is a sound idea to keep the receiver investment as low as possible...but provided that investment is going to buy you "performance" (ie. Watts, sound quality) and not merely features. Once you have your whole system ready for its "maiden voyage", I bet you will be most interested on getting reassurance that your big effort was worthy and that, therefore, that will justify future new efforts. But if your money didn't buy quality, but merely features, the resultant poor performance is not going to give you the so much needed reassurance.


Just my humble opinion, nonetheless.


J.V.
 

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There is a great interview with Mark Levinson, The Godfather of High-End, in the May issue of Sterophile; Vol 25. No. 5. I found this quote rather insightful... in fact I may add it to my signature line. :)

Quote:
We would design systems that focused on quality and simplicity rather than on mediocrity and complexity.
I agree with Mr. Levinson on his priorities in component design.
 

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DPL II is great...if you use it. It is definatly an improvment over DPL I, and as a non-dvd owner (not by choice :() it was a major desicon maker for me.


Again, I watch VHS and no DVD's, so DPL II is definatly worth it.


What you need to do is (and its hard) stop regreting your purchase, and enjoy what you have purchased. I too have regretted some audio upgrades, and unfortunalty that takes away fromthe pleasure of owning them. Enjoy what you have, and you will forget what you don't have.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by codemarine
That is a good quote, but I do resent the implication that complexity equals mediocrity.


--steve
Steve,


I don't think that Mr. Levinson is implying that complexity = mediocrity. In fact if you read the quote again, you'll probably see that he is saying he designs for quality rather than mediocrity AND he designs for simplicity rather than complexity. These are 2 separate design goals that he strives to achieve. At least this is the way I interpreted it.
 

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I also interpret the quote as MAD DOG does. A rep for a hi-end company once told me that AV gear could be considered buy consumers like a triangle, the three sides representing Price, Performance (build quaility, picture quality, sound quaility, etc), and Features (bells & whistles). You can only maximize any two sides to the detriment of the other. For example, if you want outstanding quality and a good price you will sacrifice features; however if you want the ultimate in performance and features then the price will be high -- Lexicon MC-12 comes to mind. :) )
 

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Discussion Starter #9
JV et al....


Thanks for the feedback, some very nice responses and the links are nice. Not exactly ringing endorsements, but as it seems with all HT gear, tradeoffs are necessary......I was worried about no DPLII, but since I have NEVER heard a DTS or DD soundtrack at home in its intended form, I suppose I will be very happy with this purchase (once the construction is done...LOL)


Thanks to all who responded to my philosophical dilemma

Dave
 

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I usually only consider one primary factor first(within my budget), and eliminate others based on this factor alone. How a unit sounds. Then if I have two or more units which sound equally clean, I only then consider features, build quality and cost as final deciding factors.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How a unit sounds

----------------------------------

Unfortunately, that is a MAJOR dilemma for me.....No high end Audio places in my area.......The listening areas a the local CC/ABC/BB are just god-awful and near impossible to get any positive feedback.....I went to ABC and they couldnt even find a way to get the system I wanted to hear hooked up and they scrambled to find any media to use in testing....shameful....


Looking in alternate areas within a reasonable driving distance will be something I will be looking into in the future.....
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ELMitz
I also interpret the quote as MAD DOG does. A rep for a hi-end company once told me that AV gear could be considered buy consumers like a triangle, the three sides representing Price, Performance (build quaility, picture quality, sound quaility, etc), and Features (bells & whistles). You can only maximize any two sides to the detriment of the other. For example, if you want outstanding quality and a good price you will sacrifice features; however if you want the ultimate in performance and features then the price will be high -- Lexicon MC-12 comes to mind. :) )
With good engineering, you can accomplish all things without any trade-offs, good sound, good build quality, great features etc. can you say Denon. Their flagship receivers can be considered the pinnaccle of audio engineering, because they are able to accomplish all those qualities in their gear.
 

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That's an excellent price for that particular receiver. I'm not big on upgrades to incrementally add one or two features. Once you get going in that mindset, you'll wind up paying a lot of depreciation every year as you swap out one component for another. I don't think that DPLII is by itself worthwhile to toss aside an entire receiver. I regard DPLII as nothing more than a DSP mode. The original Dolby Surround soundtrack is encoded with four tracks folded into a stereo soundtrack. DPL decodes this as it was originally done on the dubbing stage. DPLII is an enhancement, better implemented than most DSP modes, but conceptually analogous because there's no encoding scheme specific to that feature.


IMO, if you upgrade it has to be for more than just keeping up with all the digital format proliferation. Keep in mind that whatever you buy now, there will be a more powerful and featured packed version selling for less money next year. That's just how the industry works nowadays. But, don't let all the hype regarding new features fool you into thinking that what you have right now automatically becomes obsolete because of those new bells and whistles.


So long as your receiver can give you basic 5.1 performance (and most of the titles getting released are now in that configuration), you can play just about anything out there on the market. Until a time comes along when your receiver cannot physically deliver surround sound out of a large segment of available titles, it's not obsolete. Things like DTS, 6.1, 96/24 formats, etc. are nice to have, but hardly mandatory. I view DPLII the same way.
 

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Hello Dave

Quote:
I figure in a year I would replace this receiver and with nothing in place now, I get a fine receiver to work with....
This is a great way to start building a system. With all that you have to enjoy, you now need to spend more time enjoying (and learning)! That is the best way to see if you need DPLII, or any other new feature. The parallel to DTS is right on -- not that it was bad, just that the real urgency wasn't there, except for the manufacturers and producers. I bet a year goes by and you don't even know it's not there.


Regards, Michael
 
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