Processing ability of higher-end receivers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Samuel Des, Aug 10, 2001.

  1. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

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    Do progressively higher-end models have better "process." e.g., will a 5800 out "process" a 3801? I wondered, because Denon low-ends seem to be similar to their high-end, aside from the difference in power and possibily a few features.
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    SAM
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    I have never seen a review that talks about the decoding ability of one receiver vs another.
    Most of these box's use nearly identical decoding chips to convert the DD digital signal to analog.
    Some of the units have better-on-paper Digital to Analog chips, but the arguments I have seen over these come from the the numbers on the spec-sheats, not that one unit sounds better than the others.
    But thats one of the benifits of a digital source: from a decoding/processing viewpoint - all the units should be identical.
    (DVD players on the other hand - The players with a 50 mhz or faster processor seem to score higher on various video tests done by Secrets of Home Theater. Here is where processing power seems to make a difference.)
     
  3. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

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    Ah, thank you Bob. I often wonder whether it really is worth purchasing the more expensive end, when the pratical difference in power is minimal. Though I have to admit that I purchased my receiver based, in part, on something many would perceive as trivial: I liked its girth and weight. [​IMG]
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    SAM
     
  4. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    The processors can make a difference. The higher end processors are usually faster, and are better "equipped", so to speak, to handle rapid bit input changes more quickly. For example, you ever notice how some receivers take longer than others to "lock back on" to the bitstream at the layer change. A lot of that has to do with the speed of the DSP at the heart of it all.
    Now, in the case of the Denon 3802, for instance, vs. the 5800- the latter has 2 SHARC processors. The 2nd one is used for THX post processing. That can be DSP-intensive, so they opted to offload that function to a 2nd processor. It probably could have been done with one, but the built in "overhead" of the additional processor helps to guarantee a more trouble free output.
    I agree with Bob, though- the "sonic signature" of the receiver is more affected by the DACs, preamp circuit, and power amp portion, and power supply.
    If you were to, for instance, get outboard amps for a "lesser" product, thus relieving the load of the power amp section, I bet you would have a VERY hard time telling the difference.
    The processing and preamp circuitry in a piece like the 3802 (to continue with that example) is every bit as good, and in some cases, better than, a dedicated preamp costing twice the price. So what gives? Denon is able to make and sell a gazillion of these, whereas the preamp is a much lower volume unit. Lower volume drives up manufacturing costs per unit, and causes the unit cost to rise at each point through the chain, from distributor to dealer. End result- the cost is higher for what is effectively the same piece of gear.
    I bet if Denon made a pre-processor that was the 3802 without amps, it would still probably cost the same amount of money.
    I also bet that's why they don't do it. [​IMG]
    Was that way more than you were looking for? [​IMG]
    Todd
     

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