1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

av32r DS the first few days.

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Steve.EX, Mar 29, 2003.

  1. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2001
    Messages:
    3,096
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +69
    Having had one of these "plumbed in" since Wednesday here are my preliminary thoughts/discoveries.
    Firstly the bad, as one who tirelessly "bangs on" about how great the products and the company is, it would be hypocritical to not disclose my "difficulties" so:
    Wednesday night when applying rudimentry settings just to get up and running the unit fell over several times (software crashing and the unit locking up), it made me quite nervous as it's not exactly a cheap unit and indeed i have used the original av32r (7.1 24/192khz) unit for a couple of years without the slightest blip whatsoever (other than of course the legendary/illusive bug that stopped the 32r from seeing a digital input about once or so every six months).
    I informed Dr. Udo on the Tag forum who came back saying that he had spoken to his people and that realistically the most probable cause was condensation based problems.
    Reading this and feeling much better i got home that evening to have the software fall over 3 times again always when tinkering in menu's and never when the unit was actually decoding/processing, more to-ing and fro-ing via e-mail and Dr. Udo has sold me a Tag link cable for 20gbp(cost) rather than 80gbp had a peice of software written so that they can talk to my machine on site (sort-of - it's not real time) and have arranged for a courier to pick my unit up on Monday with a personal promise of an under 48hr turnaround for my unit (all this is there on the Tag forum).
    So apart from the thing having spasm's (although i have to say it was completely spasm free last night) it is clear that Tag have my best interests at heart and yet again i feel that this has gone from a negative to an almost positive with the amount of bending backwards and yes sir no sir's i am receiving for my inconvenience, is anyone from Meridian reading this????
    I would also add that the software itself seems quite "twitchy" and not nearly so stable as my old Tag running v3.60, the screen is flashing and banging etc etc.

    The good stuff.
    The rear panel layout is identical to previous models, so reintegration into my set up took literally 5 minutes, the front panel is the same other than a few new badges and i row of 4 red led's which while identical in location operate under different conditions than my prevous model (for those who have their original unit's operated on to reach current spec the 175gbp cost of replacing the front panel really is the epitome of "optional".
    The only difference to the untrained eye is the top plate vents which are now much larger.
    PL2 and DTS ES discrete are now as standard (along with DTS 24/96 and THX Ultra 2)
    TMS has lost it's +sub option and now there is no option but to have the sub.
    Party mode will be popular with the "chemical generation"
    The remote is identical.
    The set-up wizard which IMHO is without peers has ungone a plethora of additions and i do not think for one moment that despite it's brilliance in it's simplicity this is one for the uninitiated.
    Additions now include:
    Variable crossovers for all channels (common nowadays)
    Bass redirection rules
    Front panel display info choices
    Boundary controls
    Video output shut downs
    Pal/Ntsc Latency.
    Zone 2 and channel deployment
    There are several others, which without looking i can't remember right now.
    Then we get to TAMREQ which i have literally spent 30minutes with on the subwoofer channel and have gotten fantastic results, when i apply myself i expect to really get somewhere, the sub's really do sound very different now and sit SO much more homogenously within the soundfield - this improvement has made music that much better also.
    I have neither the time nor inclination to attempt TAMREQ on the remaining channels right now, although i do have the necessary hardware/software standing by i will need real time without the interuptions of my son/wife to concentrte on what is an indepth subject to say the least, i will report further when i have something substantial/real world to say.
    Performance.
    Straight out of the box, callibrated and into Ballum's Tomb in 6.1 Discrete it was apparent that this was the "next level" for me, i can't believe the speed and holosonic abilities of this unit, it is just so clean, so quick, so deft of touch. I had my very (hifi) knowledgable friend around for the evening last night just to put me in my place but dare i say it we both agreed that what we were listening too was as good as anything we had heard. I am thrilled to say the least and cannot believe that this level of performance is living in my house!
    We then spent another hour listening to Carmina Burana in SACD format and were literally enthralled at the extra level of openess on offer.
    I am rather predictably going to say that this Tag is very good indeed (software problems of my unit not withstanding) and would encourage anyone to at least have a serious demo of one.

    Will report more as/when i can find some craveats/whatever when the unit comes back to me on Thursday.

    Steve
     
  2. CounterWhine

    CounterWhine
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,480
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Oxford
    Ratings:
    +155
    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for that. I now have another upgrade to add to my list.

    I'm really going to have to start earning more money. My upgrade list is getting longer rather than shorter and I'm running out of stuff to sell on eBay (and I refuse to sell my hamster).

    D.
     
  3. Xtrips

    Xtrips
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Messages:
    85
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    AV Forums > AV Hardware : Sources > DVD Players and recorders > Need urgent advise about DVD player !!! Please.
     
  4. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,133
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,277
    Steve

    if you need to borrow a prog cable, let me know.

    Nic
     
  5. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2001
    Messages:
    3,096
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +69
    Nic.
    Thanks that is very kind.
    The programming cable did arrive special delivery this morning however.
    Have you opened the "box" up to see if they/3rd party made a nice job of it?

    Regards

    Steve.
     
  6. uncle eric

    uncle eric
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Steve,
    Congrats on your purchase. Great review, very honest and open as usual.

    Tag are to be congratulated for once again showing the way with superb products and service to die for.

    I'd be interested to hear what differences you percieve with the sat channels when TAMREQ comes out to play.

    My feelings are that the biggest gain will be from the lower frequencys (sub) which you managed to achieve very quickly. Of course, crossing over lower than the usual 80Hz (you use Kef Refs I think?) I'm sure you will see some gains there also.

    Thanks in advance for the updates.
    Eric
     
  7. EvilMudge

    EvilMudge
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Eric,
    haven't you recently upgraded from a reasonably high spec AV32R to an MC12B?
    If so, could you post your thoughts on the difference?
    And Steve, more thoughts on the Dual Shark AV32/OldAV32 please.

    Cheers.
     
  8. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2001
    Messages:
    3,096
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +69
    Eric.
    Agreed, i have been giving this some thought for a while now and certainly with the bottom end you can make fairly big (i.e +/-3db) gain/attenuations and alterations to q bandwdths with quite lndifferent results given the non directionality and generally unresponsive nature of the ear (in relation to the highs).
    When we get up to the ears most sensitive range we are far more sensitve to many many more acoustic effects/detriments from minute timing delays, phase, reflection, inflection and group delays etc etc.
    In messing about for 5 mins with these it was clearly apparent that the results pretty much backed up my thoughts in so much as relatively small changes were very much audibly apparent, as one who has a good idea of what a flat response in an acoustically flat enviroment sounds like, i am not at all keen on trying to obtain that sound anyway (even though you couldn't with TAMREQ). And i will analyse my room and then make a decision as to how much if any re-eq to apply, certainly the main gain for me will be knocking out a 17db lift at approx 49hz something present on all 3 front speakers (and subs) but not really relative to my 2 pairs of tdm's on the side/back which have a highish roll off.
    Anyway the thinking is half the fun.

    Steve.

    I have too say that TAMREQ is a tremendously powerful tool that has the (far easier) ability to totally balls up a respectable performance with very little effort indeed whilst offering the potential for real actual gains in fidelity if you do the groundwork, apart from the sub channel there is absolutely NOTHING trial and error about it.
    Very very impressed with whole unit's actual performance however, a clear improvement on it's predecessor.

    Steve.
     
  9. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2001
    Messages:
    3,096
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +69
    Evilmudge.

    Is there anything specific you refer too?
    As far as i am concerned it is better in it's entirety (with the exception of connectivity and the remote which remains identical)
    It does not sound like the older one if that is what you mean, it sounds (on all formats) markedly cleaner which gives an impression of being brighter (but ISN'T).
    It conveys more detail and has improved panning of effects (difficlut to explain but they seem faster and cleaner but do not detract from the 360 soundfield they are in, the pan just seems to be a part of, rather than an event in - so to speak), i literally took one processor out and installed another so there was not a space in which to allow my brain to convince me of anything.

    Steve.
     
  10. EvilMudge

    EvilMudge
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks Steve.
    I've been contemplating a 2nd hand TAG, and was wondering whether going for the highest spec to minimise the cost of a later upgrade to the Dual Sharcs was worth the extra cost in the interim. Since your own personal AV32 was pretty highly specced I was most interested in whether there was a significant difference between the two.
     
  11. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2001
    Messages:
    3,096
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +69
    Mark.

    My honest opnion would be that if you were to come and have a "blind " demo of the two you would say the new version was the better, whether you would consider it 1500 better of course is something for you,
    I am very pleased indeed and as far as i am aware have only been roused to use the term "thrilled' at this point in my AV forums membership, which is nearly or there abouts 3 years in one guise or another.
    This has had a knock on for my not so old Kef 203's/202c and Servo's in so much as tonally it is better.
    As i think of it the best comparison i can think of right now is that of one between vaniila cd and sacd, it,s the same material but much cleaner in it's delivery - if that makes sense.


    Steve.
     
  12. buns

    buns
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2001
    Messages:
    6,066
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    Belfast
    Ratings:
    +1
    One of the things that most interests me is the stereo performance...... what sort of a step are we talking about between a highly spec'd standard machine and The DS? I know that the standard is meant ot be a very capable stereo pre, so speaking purely from that point of view, what is the comparison?

    ad
     
  13. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2001
    Messages:
    3,096
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +69
    Buns.
    If i were honest and had to scale "differences" i would say the full blown multichannel (and of course multi-channel derived from 2 channel stereo) was where the instant WOW how much better is that (for want of a better term) factor is, given the all the new processing power (and it's abilities to place the minutest detail amongst the busiest soundscape) allied to the new super stable power supply.
    the 2 channel performance is indeed and without doubt improved with noticeable gains IMO in dynamics (leading edges and the like) and space.
    i really need some more time with my known quantities of music examples, but am/was immediately aware of a new boy on the block even at this rather premature stage.

    Steve.
     
  14. buns

    buns
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2001
    Messages:
    6,066
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    Belfast
    Ratings:
    +1
    Thanks Steve..... I'll be looking forward to continued reports! :D

    ad
     
  15. Spligsey

    Spligsey
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    2,054
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +136
    Steve Ex.



    I hope it's a real instrument, and not a fake electronic manipulation????????

    We're talking organic here guvnor!


    Adzman
     
  16. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I heard the Tag Dual Sharc last week. A Technics AV amp sounds better!

    Troll ahoy! :rotfl: :p
     
  17. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2001
    Messages:
    3,096
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +69
    As a further up-date, unfortunately my Tag has gone completely "tonto" this evening.
    For no extra charge it developed a "vo-coder" effect across the back channels.
    I am fairly confident that there is no "Cher" dsp program i have missed so it is now rather indignantly sat in it's box in the hall awaiting the man who can to make it feel all better again.

    Is it just me (myself and Peter - Petrolhead were speaking about this this morning) but if there were 10,000 boxes on a shelf and one had a dog turd in it, with unerring military precision i would be able to pick that box out even if i was blindfolded and blind drunk!

    Steve. :(
     
  18. EvilMudge

    EvilMudge
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    So that would be considerably better than American military precision then...
    Sorry to hear about this. Look forward to finding out if anything else is improved once it comes back.
     
  19. buns

    buns
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2001
    Messages:
    6,066
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    Belfast
    Ratings:
    +1
    Pardon my ignorance! How have you set up? Did you just use a spl or did you get yourself a mic and software to do it properly?

    ad
     
  20. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2001
    Messages:
    3,096
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +69
    Ad.

    Indeed for my subs i simply used an spl meter, (the tag allows you to select any frequency in 1 hz steps form 20hz to your set crossever point)
    I do have a mic (although an spl with line out is as good) and RTA software (with a soundcard i have yet to install!)
    But not the time and now nor the TAG!! for a few days.

    Steve.
     
  21. cskates

    cskates
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2001
    Messages:
    151
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Belfast, UK
    Ratings:
    +1
    Hi all,

    I've also had my AV32R (original 5.1, old DACs) upgraded to dual SHARCs and 192/24 DACs. I feel the sound is improved, and it seems to be more musical and more forgiving of poor quality sources. Since my AV32R is still only 5.1 channel I can't make use of the THX Ultra 2 features - apart from the sub boundary correction, but TMREQ is far better. The biggest feature benefits for me are TMREQ and the more flexable bass management.

    I haven't had the problems that Steve has had with his AV32R, but there are a few teething bugs in the software. The most serious I can think of is that after playing an HDCD disk you need to cycle the power to get any sound from a non-HDCD source. The other bugs I've seen are relatively minor, problems with the user defined scrolling start-up text or resetting to the default mode for a digital input when switching CD tracks.

    TMREQ is a very powerful feature and it's easy to spend hours fiddling with various filters to improve (or not!) the sound. In my case I've followed the Tag case study and used ETF and a PC to setup TMREQ. Even if you're not using a Tag processor, the free version of ETF can be useful for tweaking speaker positions or crossovers.
     
  22. buns

    buns
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2001
    Messages:
    6,066
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    Belfast
    Ratings:
    +1
    How accurate is the whole affair using a mic and pc (or spl)? Can you do the sweeps sufficiently slowly to give a fairly bog standard mic set up a good chance of accuracy? And how about sound card mic inputs..... do these not tend to be rather noisy?

    Ad
     
  23. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2001
    Messages:
    3,096
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +69
    Ad.
    I am sure you are right, this is something i have yet to "face" and am rather keen on "bouncing" off others as regards prefered kit and methods as to be absolutely honest i really have no idea or any inclination to understanding the enigma that is P.C technologies.
    I have nothing good whatsoever to say about pc's and when they break down i have a zero tolernce policy.

    Steve.
     
  24. buns

    buns
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2001
    Messages:
    6,066
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    Belfast
    Ratings:
    +1
    I know what you mean Steve! :D

    Maybe this is asking too much, but id rather have liked if tag had at least given some hardware recommendations for the task...... they say plenty on the software front but hardware wise its like they are saying any old thing will do..... not very tag like!

    ad
     
  25. cskates

    cskates
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2001
    Messages:
    151
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Belfast, UK
    Ratings:
    +1
    The ETF software is neat in that it uses the left channel of the line input as a loop back from the soundcard output, and the right channel as input from the microphone. Since the microphone is connected to a line input you should have a mic pre-amp, or I use my Maplin SPL meter with it's lineout. The loopback is used to cancel out any distortion in the soundcard's output or input.

    ETF can use a sweep, or a burst of something called MLS (sounds like whitenoise). Both methods produce very similar results, with the MLS supposedly better because it gives more time for resonances to build up. It seems to work well enough, I don't have any calibrated alternative so I can't vouch for it's absolute accuracy.

    I would've attached an image of the before and after curves for my sub, but the forum only allows a 300x300 postage stamp sized image :(
     
  26. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2001
    Messages:
    3,096
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +69
    There you are you see?
    For the record what card are you using?

    Steve.
     
  27. buns

    buns
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2001
    Messages:
    6,066
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    Belfast
    Ratings:
    +1
    So what you are saying is that the inputs ARE noisy, but the software effectively is effectively filtering this by correlation measurements....... makes good sense to me! Thanks for that!

    May i ask what moneys are involved in the software?

    ad
     
  28. cskates

    cskates
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2001
    Messages:
    151
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Belfast, UK
    Ratings:
    +1
    I'm using a SB Live Pro (pretty old, before the SB Live Value, MP3 etc came out), I've also used the generic onboard sound on another PC. The SPL meter is a digital one from Maplins which I already had.

    ETF costs $150 but you can download an evaluation version that allows 2 measurements before you have to quit and restart. The evaluation version also doesn't save which means you can't overlay one graph on top of another.

    The Tag site has a few PDF files on setting up TMREQ that go into a bit of detail about what the measurements from ETF actually mean.
     
  29. Xtrips

    Xtrips
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Messages:
    85
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi steve, just got my AV32REX upgraded to DUAL and so forth.
    Right out of the box, the AV32 didn't work.
    I can hear 'sparks like' noise in every channel everytime i am in multi-channel modes. It is impossible to run the TMREQ setup as I am afraid I can dammage my speakers with that digital noise thrown at them.
    I guess they are gonna take it back for repair or tuning.
    :mad:
     
  30. simonthepieman

    simonthepieman
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    Messages:
    267
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +12
    steve
    I own a new 192 bypass not ds
    Now that yours is up and running how about an update
    review!!!!!
     

Share This Page

Loading...