Really Bummed and Confused

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Neville, Feb 23, 2002.

  1. Neville

    Neville Extra

    Jul 28, 2000
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    I just recently lost out on a used Classe SSP-25 piece. The unit had problems and I was unwilling to take a chance on it.
    So now I am back to square one.. I have read through the numerous posts regarding the Outlaw 950, Rotel 1066, and the Anthem AVM20. All of these have very strong points and some negatives. I am really looking for some good guidance on my decision.
    My current set up is Outlaw 750 amp, Carver HR-875 receiver as a pre/pro (Dolby Pro Logic only), Arcam MDC CD player, Krix Fronts and Center, Energy rears and sub, Panasonic VHS, Hitatchi Ultravision 50" TV.
    That being said I have finally decided that I need to upgrade beyond Dolby Pro Logic.
    Here is what I feel is important to me.
    1) The unit must have good musical characteristics first and foremost.
    2) I use to think analog bypass on the CD inputs was key, but I am unsure at this point. From what I can tell my cd player has 16 bit DACS, which means the DACS in any of the newer pre/pro should be an upgrade ( That being said I do want the ability to upgrade my CD player in the future, so I think analog bypass may be important. I also think any CD upgrade I make will be to a DVD/DVD-A/SACD/CD type player so it may only be important to have the analog bypass on the 6.1 inputs? I simply don't want to be limited by the DACS in the pre. Having bypass should allow me to upgrade music sound by upgrading external input components with better DACS. Correct?
    3) Since the next upgrade on my list after the pre/pro will be a DVD player and I would like to upgrade my CD player in the future as well, I am strongly considering combining this into a single upgrade. I am also very interested in DVD-A and SACD so any unit I buy will need to be compatible with these types of players. This may mean that audio bypass on the CD inputs is irrelevant. I do think I need at a minimum the analog bypass on the 6.1 audio inputs though. I have to admit I get very confused over this issue and the more I read the more confused I get.
    4) I will be a very long time before I ever go with a 7.1+ speaker set up. As far out as I can see I will alway have a 5.1 set up. I mention this because I believe I read that some units will not pass information to the rear speakers in certain music modes. It will be important that when I do upgrade my digital source that I can have the sound sent to the rear speakers appropriately. Again, I get overwhelmed with alot of the information on this board reagarding so of these nuances.
    5) I do not need a unit that is a flash in the pan. I need something that I will be happy with for 5+ years. I usually upgrade a piece at a time, but I do not need the latest and greatest.
    6) I am have no idea about the bass management. Here is what I know now. Unless we are watching movies I turn the sub volume down on the box itself. It would be nice to be able to do this through the unit if possible, rather than having to have rear access to my sub. This will make it easier to place.
    7) Speaker time delays. Since I have no intention of adding any more speakers to the system I don't know if it is important to be able to set the rear and side differently. However, I do feel it is important to be able to set the lefts and rights (mains and or rears separately) since I can forsee future moves where I may not have the luxury of placing my speakers equi-distances from left to right. Speaker placement is a constant fight between my wife and I.
    8) I don't think all the specially DSP modes really matter to me. As long as they are better than my current Pro Logic I should be happy. I am very interested in some of the music surround modes though, althought skepitical that I will prefer them over good 'ol 2 channel. I am hoping to be suprised in this arena.
    9) Video inputs. From what I can tell all the new units have all three types. I don't know if this should be important to me or not.
    Other than the three units being discussed the most here recently are there any older units that may fit my needs (ACT-3, REF 30, Sunfire, etc.)
    My hope is to keep this in the $1500 price range but I am wiliing to spend more if that is the only way I can get my needs. I realize the Classe piece didn't fit these needs, but I really like the piece musically and had gotten they guy down below 1K for it. Now that it is a dead deal I have no idea where to turn. I am in information overload.
    Alot to the posts I am reading primarily discuss the short comings of these units capabilites. For instance can't adjust this or that. These are all very valid it just makes it very difficult to sift through to determine if the lack of this or that really effects my needs. I thought if I laid out those needs it might be easier to determine which units I should concentrate on. All the above units.
    I really appreciate the help of this forum. I realize I mostly lirk here, due to time constraints, but any help is greatly appreciated.
    Thank you in advance.
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Jan 23, 1999
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    I'd recommend checking out the Outlaw 950 threads. Seems to be a hell of a pre/pro. Recently I got myself a Sherwood Newcastle AV-P9080 and I'm tickled pink with it, though it is definitely "trailing edge" technology. On pure 5.1 and stereo it sound very good to me.
  3. John Doran

    John Doran Screenwriter

    Jan 24, 2002
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    if you're concerned about music-playback at all, then i would strongly recommend analog pass-through on any unit you consider - if you don't, then you will be limited by the DACs onboard the pre/pro, making any upgrade in your source components useless.

    also, a good dual-purpose pre/pro should have dual. isolated power supplies in order to insulate each of the analog and digital circuitry from one another and reduce noise.

    in short, i think that most musical pre/pros will cost a lot of money.

    in the end, you might wish to think about the purchase of a relatively inexpensive surround processor and a good separate line-stage pre-amp, a combination which will probably sound better for music than most much more expensive digital controllers.

    but there's others who undoubtedly know more kicking around here...
  4. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

    Mar 2, 1999
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    Certainly the Outlaw 950 should be on your short list with your $1500 budget.

    Also, consider a higher end receiver and use that as a prepro. Sony's new es receivers (da3es and da5es) along with Denon's 2802 3802 receivers would be in the mix.

    Now if you want something proven but nice for a 5.1 setup, I'd also take a look at Sony's TA-E9000es (can be had for under $1,000 from prepro. Upgrade this processor to Version 2.01 (with $129 upgrade package from oade as well) and add the P9000es analog bypass for $475 and you will more than likley beat most receivers in the same price range. The Sony package will be about $1600 or so for the 3 pieces (TA-E9000es, TA-P9000es and the upgrade software).

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