Amps/receivers with built-in scalers. Which one is the best?

darron027

Active Member
Hi all,

Very new to this scaling technology so please bare with my question -

Looking for advise on an amp/receiver with a built in scaler for the following set up -

436xde (waiting for delivery)
denon 2910 dvd player
sky+
speakers: monitor RS6 front left & right / RS LCR center / RS-FX rears + rel stampede sub (received delivery of these yesterday)

Current amp is Denon AVR 2105, which will be potentially replaced after all your welcomed feedback and advice. My thought is that a better amp would give my nice new speakers better justice and if at the same time it included a scaler of some description my picture quality would improve at the same time (although you guys may tell me that Im wrong).

My question - knowing my equipment set-up above would I benifit from an amp with built in scaler?
If yes - What makes and models do you advise I go look at?
Current budget - ''As much as it takes''

Many thanks for your advice in advance.
 

Knyght_byte

Well-known Member
do you mean upscale or upconvert?.....

upscale is actually trying to improve the picture for a display with a higher resolution (ie playing sky or DVD on a HD LCD/Plasma or HD Projector, you are trying to get the picture from 576 lines to 720 or 1080....the better the scaler the better it looks....but amps dont normally have scalers as far as i can remember...possibly some do..)

btw, good choice on the speakers......altho if you havnt unpacked the sub yet and can afford the difference, i highly recommend you go back and get the Strata 5 instead, the difference is quite a bit for only another £150 or so........


upconvert is simply taking all the video inputs on the amp (whether composite, s-video or component) and outputting them through a single cable to the display using the highest quality cable, ie component.....altho newer high end amps also offer the chance to upconvert to HDMI...)
 

Knyght_byte

Well-known Member
can recommend you try the 3805, or if its out in time the 3806......have heard the 3805 with MA speakers and its lovely, i would imagine the 3806 will be as good, but worth demoing to be sure....(i have the Silver S series, the generation before yours, S6 fronts, SLCR centre, SFX side surrounds, S2 rear surrounds)
 

darron027

Active Member
Many thanks for this info. Greatly appreciated.
Will defo take up your advice on the sub, to be honest I put a great amount of effort into the speakers but not enough time and effort into researching the sub.

Im probably thinking of up convert then with regards to an amp. Have you any suggestions as to a make/model of amp that would perform such a task? Just phone my main contact at sevenoaks regarding this after reading your very helpful reply.

Seven oaks advised that one of the best ways for me to go would be a Yamaha RX-V4600

Cheers
 

pingu

Active Member
I think the RX-V2600 does upscaling as well as up-conversion. Yamaha seem to have stuffed more video features into the 'lower' model (although I believe thr 4600 has beefier audio components).

Definitely try to demo both - plus the Denon AVR-3806 if poss. - and post the results!
I think both the Denon 3806 and Yamaha 2600 will be available in the v near future (this month?)
 

darron027

Active Member
Hi Knyght byte & pingu,
Cheers to both of you for your advise.
Will try and book demos for all the makes/models you recommend.
When I started on my new home cinama project a month ago, never realised how many varients and combinations there are out there. Its mind blowing to me as Im not too technically minded on AV equipment, but are trying my hardest to learn.

Will be moving house at the end of this week - and basically having a bigger living room I was wanting bigger and better equipment than I currently had. Thus the RS6 package etc which are the replacement for kef eggs.

The next main thing on the shopping list will be the amp - and I'll definately take all your comments and suggestions with me to all demos. Will prob initially set up with my current amp to get all going, then spend plenty of time demoing all the other beefier amps you kindly suggested.

Any more thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.
 

Knyght_byte

Well-known Member
for the speakers you have the Denon will definitely drive them well, i have no idea about the yamaha as i havnt tried it....but demo both to be sure......

has your display got upscaling in it? if so then dont worry about the amp having it, if it hasnt then mebbe go for an amp with it, altho if you only worried about DVD upscaling then your denon should be able to do it, check the specs on teh denon site ;-)
 

Knyght_byte

Well-known Member
your more than welcome for the advice....

btw, one thing, if you moving in to a bigger room and it can be kept relatively dark, get yourself a projector for movies...hehe, you wont regret it ;-)
 

darron027

Active Member
HI again.
thanks for the further info.
yes the denon dvd does upscale via hdi. Once I get my new pio this will be fine to upscale dvd's.
I was just thinking about other tv inputs such as sky etc. As not sure if the 436xde which im waiting for will have upscaling.

Did think about projector a month ago, but im afraid that my room wont really take the size of this. Moreover my missus really didn't want one - so opted to order the pio 436 to please the both of us.

Cheers,
:)
 

darron027

Active Member

Welwynnick

Well-known Member
The processors seem to take both audio and video processing very seriously. There were no prices anywhere, so I would assume they are very expensive. It would be interesting to hear from someone with any direct experience.

Nick
 

pragmatic

Well-known Member
Looks very nice, but i can assure you thats multi £K figures for one of those, and then you need a/some power amps.

The yamaha 2600 looks like the most promising video switch/scaler/hub/god like amp at the mo, but only if it can deliver!
 

pingu

Active Member
darron027 said:
HI again.
thanks for the further info.
yes the denon dvd does upscale via hdi. Once I get my new pio this will be fine to upscale dvd's.
I was just thinking about other tv inputs such as sky etc. As not sure if the 436xde which im waiting for will have upscaling.
Well, all fixed panel displays upscale to their native resolution. Otherwise, you'd get massive black borders around SD content (assuming it's an HD display of course). The question is "will my Pio upscale better than the amp/dvd".

For the most part, people with upscaling DVD players (I've got the 2910 too :smashin: ) find that they do a much better job than the panel as they generally have better scaling and de-interlacing chips in them. However, it's a lot easier for these scalers to make a good job of a nice DVD transfer than a ropey DVB feed....

You can see that dedicated video scalers that produce really good results cost 4 figures minimum - so the chances of achieving that in a sub £1000 amp are slim.

So I would say that in looking for your amp, upscaling is a nice-to-have, but not essential. I'll be v. interested to read the results of any testing you do. :thumbsup:

Cheers,
pingu.
 
hi pingu just read ur reply,
as im in a dilema as to get the denon 1720 connect via component to my plasma
or the oppo which is an upscaling dvd player n connect via dvi.
howver i have an sd panel so in your oppinion (which seems knowledgable i hope anyway ;) ) is it worth getting the oppo?
will i actually notice anydifference?
 

pingu

Active Member
Hi krismc,

If you've got an SD panel and are not likely to upgrade in the lifetime of the DVD player, then there's absolutely no point upscaling a picture as the panel will have to downscale it to fit!

However, the non-scaled digital output of the oppo may (or may not!) produce a better picture than the component output of the Denon - you'd have to demo them to be sure. It's a tricky one because Denon DVD players usually have excellent component outputs, so there may be no benefit in going digital.

What you will use is the progressive scan capability and I'm afraid you'll have to ask owners of these 2 about that (or demo them).

In summary, if you think you might go HD anytime in the next 2-3 years, I'd be inclined to get an upscaling player as long as SD PQ is acceptible now. Otherwise go for the best PQ now.

HTH,
pingu.
 

MPK

Active Member
You haven't really mentioned your budget. In my opinion you can't get a better AV amp with built-in scaler than the Denon A1XV. If that's too expensive, go for the new 4306, which will be out in a month and has a built-in Faroudja scaler, HDMI upconversion, built-in music streamer and internet radio access, Audyssey technology, etc. Will be about £1300. The model up, the A11XV for some strange reason has no built-in scaler.

Denon UK are a bit slow, as always, but you can look at the 4306 on the German Denon website here
 
pingu said:
Hi krismc,

If you've got an SD panel and are not likely to upgrade in the lifetime of the DVD player, then there's absolutely no point upscaling a picture as the panel will have to downscale it to fit!

However, the non-scaled digital output of the oppo may (or may not!) produce a better picture than the component output of the Denon - you'd have to demo them to be sure. It's a tricky one because Denon DVD players usually have excellent component outputs, so there may be no benefit in going digital.

What you will use is the progressive scan capability and I'm afraid you'll have to ask owners of these 2 about that (or demo them).

In summary, if you think you might go HD anytime in the next 2-3 years, I'd be inclined to get an upscaling player as long as SD PQ is acceptible now. Otherwise go for the best PQ now.

HTH,
pingu.

cheers :thumbsup:
think thats sorted it ill go for the denon! i doubt ill change my panel for atleast 3 years (the mrs wont let me)

i know its the wrong place but u seem clued up, as a short term method (3 months) will i notice any difference if i feed to component inputs into one using a switcher (prob a very cheap one) as i need to connect xbox and denon dvd player via component, until xbox 360 comes out which will use dvi/hdmi
 

pingu

Active Member
krismc said:
as a short term method (3 months) will i notice any difference if i feed to component inputs into one using a switcher (prob a very cheap one) as i need to connect xbox and denon dvd player via component, until xbox 360 comes out which will use dvi/hdmi
Can I ask what the long term solution is? Are you getting a component switching AV amp?

Firstly, the Xbox 360 won't use DVI/HDMI out of the box. The premium HD pack includes analogue component leads. I've heard rumors of a 3rd party HDMI connector, but nothing is confirmed AFAIK (you may know more than me on this).

Using a cheapo component switcher is probably going to have a negative impact on your PQ - how much is anyones guess. But for 3 months, it's probably liveable with.

However, if you bought the Oppo, you could connect to the plasma via DVI and keep the component for your xbox.

Or if you like Denons, is the Denon AVR-1920 in budget? That has component and HDMI (inc. scaling).
 
well i was planning on the hdmi connector for xbox!.
ill check out price for other denon or perhaps just get oppo purley for the connection and not use the upscaling
 

darron027

Active Member
Hi All,

Started this thread a couple of days ago, but now in the full swing of moving house so got little time to spare.

After reading many threads especially in the scaler forums - Im now swayed towards a stand-alone scaler (lumagen pro). These are looking to do the best job in improving picture qualities. Had some very detailed info from some of the pros out there.

To conclude - Rather than an amp with built in scaler, I am now much more inclined to go down the route of a designated amp alongside a designated scaler.

A couple of pairings I will be considering are:

Lumagen pro + arcam AVR300 (to match an arcam DV79)

Lumagen pro + Yammy V4600

Any thoughts people on the amps in particular??

They will be driving monitor RS6 speakers.

Cheers
 

pragmatic

Well-known Member
Yammy V4600 and V2600 are ment to have the same internel amps, although you'd have to confirm this with yamaha, therefore it would be just as good as the V4600. Which yo can use to see if you need a scaler or the quality produced by the amp is good enough.

Arcam is ment to be as good as a good £300-400 stereo amp (although this is better than nearly all other multichannel AV amps) with music, but it probably won't be as good as the yam at movies.

Your looking at pretty highend stuff that you can only buy from a shop, so you might as well demo while your there. If you can track down one that has the scaler your interesed in this will be even better :)
 

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