Need a new pre/pro

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert Standefer, Jul 27, 2001.

  1. Robert Standefer

    Robert Standefer Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's my current setup:
    Sunfire Cinema Grand amp
    MartinLogan Aerius i mains
    MartinLogan Cinema center
    Polk Audio f/x 500 surrounds
    Sony TA-E9000ES pre/pro
    I'm looking for a new pre/pro to mate with my amp. Can anyone suggest some pre/pros for me that have:
    DD and dts
    Balanced outputs
    Balanced input (not a requirement)
    analog passthrough (not a requirement)
    Coaxial or optical digital out
    Built-in tuner (not a requirement)
    Some of the pre/pros I've been eyeballing include:
    Theta Casa Nova (used)
    Sunfire Theater Grand II (used)
    Proceed AVP (used)
    Classe' SSP-30
    Rotel 985 (and 976)
    My budget maxes out at around $3000 for the pre/pro. Can you give me some tips?
    Thanks,
    Rob
     
  2. Vishwa Somayaji

    Vishwa Somayaji Stunt Coordinator

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    If DPLII is not a must have, then you may take a look the new upcoming AVM 20 from Anthem. It is feature rich but lacks DPL2 and DTS Neo. Word is that they may upgrade this processor with those features in the future. Otherwise, it is good. It has XLR outputs, 7/3/1(coaxial/toslink/xlr) digital inputs, 7 s-video inputs, 2 component inputs with 100MHz bandwidth(good for 1080p), 3 independent zones and a record out and the feature list goes on and on. It will be in your price range after a decent discount. You can get more detailed info atwww.sonicfrontiers.com
    Good luck
     
  3. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    I would say you should look at the newest updated version (with ProLogic II and DTS-ES Discrete & ES Matrix, plus Neo:6) of the Integra Research RDC-7 pre-amp. Or their CD-ROM software/firmware upgrade kit for consumer PC's is $49 for the original release.
    It has everything (just no balanced inputs, but a 7.1 bypass input instead) you want plus THX EX, a phono input, an AC-3 laserdisc RF demodulator built in, Apogee Electronics professional studio-grade 24 bit/192 kHz DACs and ADCs and Master Clock jitter reduction, digital input upsampling, consumer software upgradeability, display re-labeling, FireWire IEEE input-ready (for digital DVD-Audio interface, and more), etc.
    They may even add flexible bass cross-overs in the future.
    Stereophile Guide to Home Theater classified it as a Grade AAA product and a super steal for the money. It was designed by THX, Apogee, Balanced Audio Technologies, and Onkyo.
    It may be a little bit over your $3,000 budget (retails at $4,000, although you can work it down), but well worth it. A lot of satisfied customers so far.
    Integra Research There were four authorized IR dealers in Texas when I did a dealer search.
    Dan
    [Edited last by Dan Hitchman on July 27, 2001 at 03:36 PM]
     
  4. Robert Standefer

    Robert Standefer Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys. I'll definitely check out the Anthem and the Integra. A couple of others that I learned about today are the Acurus Act-3 and the Aragon Soundstage. The Aragon in particular seems very interesting.
    -Rob
     
  5. JohanK

    JohanK Second Unit

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    Robert, FYI, Klipsch bought out Mondial (parent company of Aragon and Acurus) and is phasing out the Acurus line (at last report). The exact direction of the Aragon line is uncertain. It will stick around (at last report) but speculation has it that the Aragon products will be 'downgraded' in the sense that they will be more mass market oriented (but, this is just speculation).
    ------------------
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/bbs/equipment/28687.html
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Robert Standefer

    Robert Standefer Stunt Coordinator

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    Vishwa,
    The AVM2 is $2795US MSRP, how much with the AVM20 be? I can't find any reviews or online vendors; it must be really, really new. The AVM2 seems pretty awesome; but like I mentioned, the AVM20 isn't out yet so I can't get a solid comparison!
    The AVM2 and AVM20 are on my shortlist. In fact, they are at the top of said list. Thanks for the heads up!
    -Rob
     
  7. Scott_Sylke

    Scott_Sylke Stunt Coordinator

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    Robert,
    I have almost the exact set-up as you. I have:
    Sunfire THeater Grand II
    Sunfire Cinema Grand
    ML Aerious I's
    ML Cinema
    ML Scripts
    Sunfire True Sub Siggie.
    I would have to highly recommend the Theater Grand II. It mates perfectly with the Cinema Grand. Unless you REALLY NEED DLP II and center surround......you can't pass this up. If you look around on-line.....you can find them new for around $2500. The main reason I would recommend the Theater Grand II is because of their service and trade up policy. They will be coming out with a Theater Grand III next year, and all you have to do to upgrade is send in your Theater Grand II and $1000. I was told by a rep from Sunfire that the Theater Grand III will have all the new technologies. SO, if you are wanting to upgrade again in the future......I don't see any better deal out there.
    ------------------
    Scott
    a.k.a. KCWolfPck
    See my Home Theater Page .
    [Edited last by Scott_Sylke on July 27, 2001 at 07:18 PM]
     
  8. Darrel McBane

    Darrel McBane Second Unit

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    I'd like to add the B&K Reference 30. For under $3000 it may meet all of your needs and for music would compete with any others and well under your budget. I'm using the Acurus Act-3 and you can find many on E-Bay or Audiogon for a very good price. But the future of the unit is certainly an issue. Mondial has had upgrade options in the past and hopefully will offer a trade up at some time. But time will tell?! Good luck.
    ------------------
     
  9. Robert Standefer

    Robert Standefer Stunt Coordinator

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    The Anthem AVM 20 has 10ch output (8.2), analog bypass on all analog inputs, balanced ins, balanced outs, 1080p-capable component video switching, and THX EX.
    That's quite a feature set for a pre/pro that, new, is $500-$600 more than a used Sunfire Theater Grand II. I really like the Sunfire, but the truth is, I've seen nothing about the TG III so I can't bet on it.
    The AVM 20 is at the top of my list until I can get some info about a new Sunfire pre/pro.
    -Rob
     
  10. Curtis_Edwards

    Curtis_Edwards Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are interested in a silver Anthem AVM-2 I have one for sale. Had it for about 4.5 months.
     
  11. Vishwa Somayaji

    Vishwa Somayaji Stunt Coordinator

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    I see that the questions have been answered. I didn't see the thread for a couple of days. My apologies. AVM 20 sure looks good but the DPLII issue will deter a few from buying it right away. I have the anthem MCA series II amps and like them a lot. I would like to buy the AVM 20 myself. But, I hvae been holding out for DPLII. I am not going to buy it without either DPLII included or a firm commitment with a date. The going price on it should be in the 2600-2700 range.
    I did wrtie to Sonic Frontiers about the DPLII about a week or so ago. I am yet to hear anything from them. Wait and see. From all the reading I have done about the motorola chips there is going to be an upgrade. Question is , When?
     
  12. Curtis_Edwards

    Curtis_Edwards Stunt Coordinator

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    I too have written to Sonic Frontiers about DPLII and here is the reply.
    "Why no DPLII - now there's a question that keeps coming up. The answer is really simple: The only microprocessor that currently handles it (as well as DTS-ES) is the SHARC. When Motorola provides to us (and all the
    other manufacturers using Digital DNA) the software code for DPLII, we'll be looking at the path towards upgrading through software. There's no telling when this might be."
    This response came from the Technical side of the house.
    Just wanted to let you guys know.
    --CUE
     
  13. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

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  14. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

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  15. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Robert, are you running version 2.01 software on the TA-E9000es? If not, I'd update that and then when the TA-P9000es 5.1 bypass comes out this fall, add that. That will solve any shortcoming the TA-E9000es may have.
     
  16. TomH

    TomH Second Unit

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    I was playing with a TA-E9000 this weekend and found it to have an exceptionally high quality look and feel (IMHO much better than the Denons)as well as extremely user friendly operation. Does anyone know if there is going to be a successor? The 9000 is physically limited to 5.1, correct?
    Also,
    There is a new Rotel coming in the $1500. range. Search this forum for info.
    Tom
     
  17. rajiv

    rajiv Stunt Coordinator

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    Robert,
    Take my biased opinion and get the Proceed AVP used. There will be a major hardware/software upgrade for it next summer.
    Good luck,
    Rajiv...
     
  18. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Robert,
    Just reiterating what I already said-- The best choice I've seen of the ones stated here is the Integra Research RDC-7. It's a friggin' steal for what you get... plus real DTS-ES 6.1 and ProLogic II (with the software upgrade), pro grade DACs, and pro grade Balanced XLR outputs for all 7.1 channels. Firewire IEEE ready.
    Dan
     
  19. TomH

    TomH Second Unit

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    There is a Lexicon MC-1 on Audiogon for 3K.
    Tom
     
  20. TomH

    TomH Second Unit

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    The B&K Ref 30 also uses the Motorola chip. I guess thats why they have been really quiet about DPL2.
    Tom
     

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