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Bewildered: Best audio quality receiver(with new HD codec decoding)to use as pre/pro?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by MTrotter, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. MTrotter

    MTrotter Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmm...which receiver brand has the best pre/pro audio performance???

    I've got the bug to upgrade from my Sony DA4ES to something that does the newest audio codecs, as well as decoding DVD-Audio and SACD at the highest levels. My goal is to get away from having to use interconnects and the multi-channel inputs, since when I do that, I get into my whole OCD over-analytical thing about the interconnects. My top priority is the best compromise of audio quality for both movies and music, including my turntable. A significant factor is that the Sony is actually pretty decent on music, so I don't want to step down in that regard.

    My decision is this: I do have on hand a Sherbourn 5/1500A five channel power amp that has 200wpc(I do realize this would require interconnects, but at least it would only be one set!). Speakers are Legacy Signature II(Front L/R), Paradigm cc570v.3(center), PSB Image 5T(surrounds).

    So, I could either get a new mid price receiver(preferrably with phono input) or a pre/pro to use with the Sherbourn, OR, sell the Sherbourn and be able to get a more expensive AVR.

    For a pre-pro, the option that comes readily to mind would be to try to pick up a used Integra 9.8, but they are pricey even used, and hard to find.

    But with receivers, I am totally bewildered as to which one would offer the best audio quality as a pre-pro.

    I welcome any thoughts/suggestions.
     
  2. Chris Bedard

    Chris Bedard Stunt Coordinator

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    I have an Integra 9.8 and absolutely love it. The price may drop shortly, as they are expecting to release the 9.9 in September (at a price point of $2000 up from $1600). There is usually a wait though, as the 9.8 is still sold out mostly everywhere.

    Another thing you could do though, besides trying to upgrade, is, I'm not familiar with the Sony line, but if your DA4ES can play back high resolution PCM audio (ie, 48khz, 96khz, 128khz), and has HDMI input, save your money, keep that as a pre-pro, and get a PS3 for $400, and set it to pass audio via PCM over HDMI. It can internally decode everything and send it as linear pcm 96khz signal.

    Hell, in comparing True HD and DTS HD to linear PCM coding on discs, the Linear PCM actually sounds better ;p

    Another thing to consider is just going with a Onkyo 605 to get the HDMI 1.3 (and you can get these really cheap right now), and use that as a Pre-Pro.

    ** Nevermind about keeping the Sony, i just googled it and saw it was new in 2002. You'll need HDMI 1.3 to do the PS3 trick. heh.
     
  3. MTrotter

    MTrotter Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, I don't think the Onkyo 605 will give me all I'm looking for. I'd like the reciever to be able to do the DSD of SACD, as well as have the decoders for 192khz DVD-Audio. Also, I need phono input.

    I'm looking for what brand has the best pre section quality components.
     
  4. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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  5. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    [​IMG]

    How?

    (Notice anything missing?)
     
  6. MTrotter

    MTrotter Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, I don't see any pre-outs on the 605.
     
  7. MTrotter

    MTrotter Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, yes that 3808ci looks good, but the list price is close to the Integra 9.8. I wonder what the 3808 is going for these days.

    Also, I see that it uses the Burr Brown 1791 decoders, while the Onkyo 805 uses the 1796. I don't know if that is going to be an audible difference.

    I've just read so much about the issues the Onkyo may have, and also the hassle to get firmware updated on them. If I could find a used 805 with the latest firmware...
     
  8. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    The price can be cheaper at Amazon.com, if you catch it on sale, which they do occasionally. They also have the Onkyos. Watch for their sales, and you can get a pretty good deal.
     
  9. hodedofome

    hodedofome Stunt Coordinator

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    Rotel is going to be coming out with a pre-pro, not cheap at around $2500 I think. Marantz has a pre-pro around that price too. Both will do the newest audio formats.
     
  10. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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    I'm not aware of any receiver that can accept both DVD-Audio and SACD over HDMI and decode them internally.
     
  11. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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  12. MTrotter

    MTrotter Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, I read the article, although a lot of it is over my head.

    So, are you saying the Integra 9.8 does achieve my goal of playing the DVD-A and SACD at the highest resolutions via HDMI?

    And if so, do any of the Onkyo recievers, i.e., the 805, 875 do the same thing?
     
  13. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    According to the comparison chart, the 906, 876, and 875 all have the "DSD/Direct Mode". The 806 and 706 are listed as having DSD support but not "DSD/Direct." I have no idea what this means. [​IMG]

    Those lesser models don't have Burr Brown DACs, HQV video processing, or Audyssey XT, either. And the signal to noise ratio is listed as 106dB, rather than 110 dB.

    Interestingly, the 805 has some features of interest to you that the 806 doesn't have.
     
  14. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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    Interesting. I hope this starts showing up in more receivers and pre-pros soon.
     
  15. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Maybe one of the Yamaha's will fit the bill since even the relatively inexpensive 663 offers DSD decoding, BurrBrown DACs, pre-outs, etc. -- no idea which one would also add full DVD-Audio decoding.

    _Man_
     

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