Going from 7.1 to 5.1 {crazy} or{suggestions}??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Tompkins, Feb 16, 2002.

  1. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    I have been kicking around something in the back of my head here lately. With all this talk of Outlaw "which is priced right" Anthem AVM-20,Lex MC-1, B&K ref 30 which are all excellant units, but MAYBE I could get a better SOUNDING unit for movies and music at the same price by getting a GREAT older 5.1 processor would be the thing to do. I currently have a Denon 4802 in a 7.1 setup used as a pre-pro which is really nice.DPL II not inportant and could due without 7.1 if the RIGHT SOUNDING pre is out there.
    One, do you'll think I'm crazy going from 7.1 to 5.1[​IMG]
    Two, assuming you dont think the above, what are some NICE older pre-pros you would suggest ??
    They would have to be better then the 4802 as pre so Sherwood, acurus etc. are out"although there nice"
    Im looking for REALLY NICE..EAD comes to mine but Im not familar with it...thats why Im taking suggestions or maybe just a rolling inventory list of great older processors that can be had on the used market for fair price. Number one thing is of course SOUND....thanks
     
  2. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    "One, do you'll think I'm crazy going from 7.1 to 5.1"

    I don't think so, but that's just my opinion. I have a 5.1 setup in a 22'x14' room, and I can not find a suitable placement for the rears in our room. Speakers on the walls, on the ceiling, or in-walls are not negotiable (per the "boss"). The compromise is I get to have TWO subwoofers in our room to replace our M&K MX-125mkII. For me, it is more important to have very good bass response than it is to have very good surround sound. IMO.

    Michael
     
  3. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    John,

    I'm with Michael on this one. I think "quality sound" especially in 2-channel and great 5.1 is a very desirable combination, although I'd like DPL2.

    I can only fit 5.1 in my room, so you could say I'm biased because of that. Additionally I get to save on two speakers and amps (major cost for me).

    I have listened to quite a few 7.1 systems and just don't hear the benefits for the $$$ over good 5.1 (IMO).
     
  4. DougO

    DougO Stunt Coordinator

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    I had a Denon 3802 setup as 7.1 and compared to the Yamaha RX-V2200 setup as 6.1, not much difference in my room to my ears. I still say well done 5.1 is the minimum needed, and more than that, dare I say, is likely overkill for many room configurations (maybe even mine). I like PL2 music mode (for movies) as I do not have DirecTV DD receivers, yet, and I do experience a 5.1-like surround experience on newer active, well-mixed movie soundtracks.
     
  5. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

     
  6. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    John,
    I think you are nuts [​IMG]
    Seriously, what are your sources (by %) and preferred listening mode for each source? For 2 channel, the older prepro questions usually come down to: need analog bypass? need 5.1 inputs? use separate analog preamp with unity gain? total budget?
    You also might be playing this upgrade, downgrade, sideways game too much and going in circles [​IMG]
     
  7. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    I think Ricky is probably correct, as one who went from a lexicon dc-1 to sony 777es and then to a 3801 to adcom gtp-830 and so on ...As you can see I am up and down and all around like a merry go round[​IMG]
    My percentage would be 40music 60/HT. I LOVE two channel music mostly, not so crazy bout 7 channel music
    .
    My rear back speakers are 10 feet back and not really sure there is enough improvement to justify. What I am going to do is watch a 7.1 movie and switch back/forth to 5.1 to see if I can tell much difference.
    Analog bypass and 5.1 inputs required. Total budget, well everything is pretty much set except I guess 4802 as pre.
    I guess what it boils down to is, IF there is a pre-pro out there that has 5.1 inputs,analog bypass, and absolutely rocks on two channel with exceptional HT that would be a MAJOR step up in sound quality for about 1500.00~2000.00
    BASS MANAGEMENT and ability to do minor tweaking....
    What is does not need is DPL II as Im only picky about music and dvds.
    But alas I guess there isnt such a beast.
    I am NOT saying I am going to do this but it would be intersting to see what pre-pros are out there that fit this...Meridian, EAD, CAL, theta, all older used units I mean as price is an issue
    I havent researched these units as they have always been out of my price range...so was just looking for input...thanks
     
  8. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

     
  9. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    John, I've sent you a PM.
     
  10. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Evan S, I signed up to HTF with my work email, wont be able to read your email untill monday.
    John Morris, I will say that you do make a strong argument for Outlaw and it is very tempting..
    But I dont know if I'm ready to come out of the closet just yet.... as in Outlaw supporter, what ya think I meant...
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Really though, I have never said I wouldnt maybe give Outlaw a try. The weird thing is, I have time as I have the 4802 so I want to check all angles.
    Lexicon mc-1 on my mind too!!
    I get a nagging feeling that if I get the Outlaw, that the Rotel or something else will best it and maybe quickly. Along with the hesitation that maybe the Outlaw PART II is the one for me..??
     
  11. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    John, I didn't send you an e-mail...I sent you a private message. Click on your user control panel and see what I have to say...you'll be interested I think.
     
  12. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    JohnT,

    Merc is right in going after analog bypass instead of great dacs in the prepro...otherwise your 2 channel performance is fixed by the built-in dacs. The problem with pure analog bypass in your system is maintaining the integration of your two svs subs with the NHT 2.9 mains. At least your Denon can pass a full-range signal to your subs in direct mode. I think most processors lose subwoofer bass mgmt with analog bypass.

    I see two options (among many).

    1) Maybe the Citation 5.0 prepro? Retail $4k, ~ $1k used, separate paths for analog and digital signals, excellent 5.1 sound, 6axis....and stereo subs in the analog domain. No 5.1 inputs; if you are serious about CDs and DVDs only, you can probably do without this for another year.

    2) Get two NHT SA2 subwoofer amps and integrate with the 2.9s at ~ 50hz. Add a $200 creek obh12 passive preamp between your prepro and front amps. Sell the 4802 and get a budget 5.1 HT digital prepro...maybe the baby parasound prepro (~ $550 used?) to match your parasound 2205 amp?

    Now you have 5.1 and analog bypass with subwoofer integration in the analog domain. The game is now DACs and CD Players (not prepros and amps!). You liked the adcom gtp830 sound right?...start with the adcom gda700 dac for ~ $300 used.

    Merc,

    Do you use the sub for 2 channel music?
     
  13. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Ricky, that will give me something to kick around. As far as Starting a new Dac/cd player game That is in the future either way for me. You will see me on the sources board before to long, stirring up trouble over there[​IMG]
    Evan, wow that message service thing is cool, I didnt even know about it. Anyway I sent you a PM but I'm not sure I did it right, did you get it ?
    PS. My subs are not on in PURE DIRECT mode on the 4802..I can live without the subs for music anyway
    and I agree that analog bypass is critical... thanks
     
  14. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    John, I've got it and I already replied. We can converse on this subject via that forum. I want to keep this pretty discreet. Thanks.
     
  15. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    JohnT,

    My mistake. You like your svs subs so much, and mention crossing the 2.9s at 60hz on the denon...I assumed you used the subs for 2 channel music. Maybe you should just get the Sherwood prepro with great analog bypass for under $450 sealed and wait a few months for the new prepros to all be released. Besides the adcom dac, the EAD DSP-7000III is also under $400 and basically the EAD Ovation dac.
     
  16. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    You might consider the Sony TA-E9000ES and adding the matching TA-P9000ES analog pre amp to it. This would give you steallar 5.1 (6.1 matrix mode with latest firmware), top notch bass management, tons of inputs and with the TA-P you'd have two 5.1 inputs for both SACD and DVD-A as well as true analog by pass modes. The TA-E can be found on the used market for around $600 or about $1K new and the TA-P ban be had from Oade.com for $400 I think. The TA-P was recently reviewed by one of the AV mags recently (stereophile?) and they raved over it...just a thought
    TA=P9000ES review
    TA-P9000ES at Oade
     
  17. ling_w

    ling_w Second Unit

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    The Meridian 565 is a real nice piece for music and HT. Although it does have 7.1 and custom DPL that has steered surounds.

    Where it really shines is in its multi-channel music modes, especially Trifield. It is something that has to be heard. It modifies the L&R channel's signal based on the research on the human hearing model. As a result, soundstage become expanded, but still realistic, imaging becomes precisely defined, basically everything becomes more realistic. I originally was going to run the L&R through my tube preamp for 2 ch listening, but after hearing its music surround modes, I decomissioned my preamp.

    I've heard the 565 in 7.1 music and movie mode. In movie modes, it helps steer the front-rear flyovers more smoothly, and it actually synthesize new information for the side surrounds based on the main and surround information. In music modes, it actually helps alot, especially live music where you want to hear the sound of the hall, where first reflection is very important in determining the hall's accoustics and the realism of the reproduced music.
     
  18. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Ling_W, how old is the Meridian 565 and what does it go for on the used market. I will do a search on it find out more.
    Andrew, I thought about the sony 2 box solution but in this case would just keep the 4802 little while longer..
    Ricky, I also thought about the sherwood but it would be a stop gap measure and I would prefer to stop the gap with the 4802[​IMG]
     
  19. ling_w

    ling_w Second Unit

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    John,
    The Meridian 565 probably goes for less than $2k used. It originally came out around 1994, but there has been many upgrades to it, the last major one coming in about the year 2000 (actually they came up with a newer version of the software a few months ago.) It might lack some functionality like video switching and multiple audio switching (which could be alliviated by hooking up the 562 or 562v switching unit.) They only discontinued it because they had so many complete overhauls that they think it is a diservice to 565 owners in telling them to do big upgrades so many times.
    We're not talking abou fully loaded, top of the line mid-fi stuff like Denon or very good processors like B&K Ref-30. This was the absolute best there was. The meridian was voted as Class A by Stereophile.
    Basically this was a $5k processor that can be had for cheap because it is discontinued. A newer functionally equivalent model, the 568, runs for $7-8k.
    It was used as reference by a staff member of Secrets of Home Theater online journal.
    They also almost exclusively use the Trifield mode for music in the Meridian processor, bypassing gizmos like DPLII Music Mode.
    You can read reviews of the 565 by Secrets here:
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_3_2/v3n2f.html
    And its DTS upgrade:
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...ridiandts.html
    Their review of the 568, which talks a bit about Trifield:
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...r-12-2001.html
    Their review of the 861, in which they compare it to his 565
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...processor.html
    Their look at DPLII, with a brief talk about Trifield and DPLII for music
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...c2-3-2001.html
    Some review of speakers that talk about the Trifield mode:
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...1speakers.html
     
  20. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Ling_W thanks for the info!! I will give it a gook look, as this is the kind of info I was fishing for!![​IMG]
     

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