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Integra Research RDC-7, how good??


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Seth V

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Posted April 17 2003 - 08:40 AM

I know that this pre-pro isn't new, but I have read some very positive reviews about it. I am seriously considering purchasing this unit, but need some input from you fellow AVS forum members. First off, what do you all think of this pre-pro? Is it as good as it seems to be?

Some of the things I really like about this unit are the DAC's used(Burr Brown PCM 1704s and Analog Devices 1853s DAC's). The front left and right channels each use a pair of Burr Brown PCM 1704s in a dual differential configuration, with the Analog devices AD 1853s operating on the rest of the RDC-7 channels. The dynamic range and S/N ratio of the AD1853 is 120db. The Burr Brown PCM 1704 also boast a S/N of 120db. The DAC's for all channels offer 24 bit/192 khz resolution. The RDC-7 utilizes an Apogee master clock system for clocking digital signals and eliminating jitter built into the DAC's.

Another very welcome addition(at least for me) is the inclusion of an AC-3 RF input, for use with laserdisc players. Overall build quality seems quite solid. I'm not saying that I'm definitely going for this pre-pro, but I'm really thinking about it. Any feedback will be most helpful, as I need to make a decision very soon.

SVPosted Image

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Sihan Goi

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Posted April 18 2003 - 04:39 AM

I just looked at Integra's website, and this prepro isn't even on it anymore. If I'm not wrong its being replaced by the newer DTC-9.4, and the RDA-7 is being replaced by the newer DTA-9.4. Also, IIRC the RDC-7 had some problems with bass management. The low pass filter was set at 80Hz(a THX standard) and couldn't be changed. I don't know if future updates changed that. Anyway, I was originally considering this prepro, but in the end I went with the TagMcLaren AV32R. This is one prepro that has lived up to its claim of being "future proof". It has so many software/hardware updates available to it that you can just about custom make one for your specific needs. The latest version is the AV32R bp192 with dual SHARC DSPs. It uses 24/192 AKM DACs, I can't remember the exact model though.
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#3 of 16 OFFLINE   RobertR

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Posted April 18 2003 - 04:41 AM

[quote] The low pass filter was set at 80Hz(a THX standard) and couldn't be changed. I don't know if future updates changed that. [quote]

They did. The crossover could be lowered to something like 40 Hz, I think.

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Sihan Goi

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Posted April 18 2003 - 04:56 AM

Oh ok... And it turns out Integra is actually a lower end brand, with Integra Research being the higher end, with the Integra Research RDC/RDA series still in production. Then there's the super low end Onkyo. Geez, my head is spinning...
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#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Seth V

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Posted April 18 2003 - 08:05 AM

Sihan Goi, The bass management issue has indeed been addressed, as the new (upgrade 2) units now being shipped have new hardware and software, and inlcude crossover adjustments of 40/60/80/100/120 hz. Other bass management options also include separate adjustments for Dolby Digital, DTS, and MPEG, with memory setings for each. Other (UPG-2) additions include: THX Ultra 2 certification DTS-ES Discrete/Matrix decoding Dolby Pro Logic II IEEE 1394 (Firewire) port Higher Bandwidth component inputs/outputs

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Sihan Goi

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Posted April 18 2003 - 08:13 AM

Cool...should be a competent prepro then, even though its 2 years old.
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#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Seth V

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Posted April 25 2003 - 02:30 AM

Well, I went ahead and had my dealer order me an RDC-7, it should arrive today(I hope). Once I get it all connected, I'll share my thoughts as to how it sounds with both music and movies. SV

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Les Holt

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Posted April 25 2003 - 06:41 AM

Seth, I own the RDC-7, upgraded to latest status, and I think it's a wonderful pre-pro. Sounds great, has a broad range of capabilities, and is easy to use. I'm very demanding of equipment, and don't hesitate to dump it if I don't like it, so this is high praise. Les
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#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Seth V

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Posted April 26 2003 - 05:32 AM

As I was looking through the online owners manual I noticed that the RDC-7 has an A/V sync delay adjustment. This feature is very useful at times when the audio and video signals are out of sync(the result is where the sound and picture do not match and the sound is heard too early), and is a very useful feature to have when needed. And this feature can be used for any input as needed(except for sources using the multi-channel port,like DVD-A/SACD).

I can't wait to start using this controller, as it has so many features that I want to try out. I hope it comes in Monday.Posted Image

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Seth V

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Posted May 02 2003 - 07:04 PM

I just got my RDC-7 a couple of days ago, and I must say this is one fine piece of equipment. The first thing I noticed when I unpacked it is how elegant it is(pictures just don't do it justice), with a fit and finish that's first rate, every attention to detail is there. The sound that this controller produces is simply amazing. Listening to CD's was a real treat, with detail and a sense of air to the music that I just haven't experienced before. I started diging out my favorite CD's and when I listened to them I got totally lost in the music. The sound was very detailed and dynamic, and never fatiguing. I've only been using it for two days and it's sounds awesome, so I can only imagine what it's going to sound like once it's had a chance to break in. Movie sound was equally as impressive, all the formats were decoded perfectly. I really liked the THX Ultra 2 mode for movies, it made everthing sound very natural(not overly soft). This controller offers some of the best DD and DTS sound I have heard. I heard directional effects that I haven't heard before with movies I was very familiar with. As you can tell I'm very impressed with the RDC-7 controller. About the only thing that I have yet to try is DVD-Audio/SACD. I'm going to give those discs a spin over the weekend, and I'll let you all know what I think. SV

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   Ted Pugh

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Posted May 02 2003 - 09:48 PM

Seth, I the RDC 7 on a short list. What other pre/pros did you listen to or contemplate purchasing? If you could e-mail me and let me know around the dollar amt. you spent on this unit that would be great. Enjoy your weekend.

Ted
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#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Seth V

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Posted May 03 2003 - 06:58 AM

Ted Pugh I sent you e-mail regading the pricing of the RDC-7.

#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Seth V

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Posted May 07 2003 - 12:56 PM

I have been giving this controller quite the workout here lately, I have been leaving it on during the day with music playing at a moderate vol level to help it burn in, and watching movies at night. I must say the sound quality just keeps getting better and better.

I gave some DVD-A/SACD's a spin(or two or three Posted Image), and WOW! did they sound amazing! This controller kicks a@#. My Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature II amp is working pretty good with the RDC-7, although I'm curious what it would sound like with a true balanced amp(the RDC-7 offers true balanced outs). Do you all think there would be a sonic advantage to this? And if so, which amps would you recommend? The speakers I am using are all Martin Logans. What do you think of the Integra Research/BAT RDA-7 amp?

SV

#14 of 16 OFFLINE   StephenL

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Posted May 08 2003 - 05:59 AM

The Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature II has true balanced inputs. According to the owner's manual, the amp has a balanced input stage. The input impedance of the XLR inputs is 24K Ohm, each leg balanced to ground.
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#15 of 16 OFFLINE   Arthur S

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Posted May 08 2003 - 03:02 PM

Seth Let us know if you use the balanced inputs on the Sunfire as mentioned by Stephen. From what I have read, balanced only makes a difference if you have very long runs of interconnect cables (like 25 feet or more). Artie

#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Seth V

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Posted May 10 2003 - 04:29 AM

I sure am using the balanced connection option with the Sunfire amp. And yes, to my ears I definitely notice an audible improvement. The dynamics are better, detail is more defined, and the imaging is rock solid, definitely the preferred connection method. SV




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