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Crystalio 2300 scaler £1300 new should I buy

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by alwyn, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. alwyn

    alwyn
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    I have been offered this and I wonderd would it make a major improvement to the pioneer 505xde or not?
     
  2. scrowe

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    It's certainly a bargain price, but still slightly dearer than a new Lumagen HDP, which may be all you require, dependent on your ancilliary equipment. From memory when I was doing the research, there were three things that swung me towards the Lumagen :-

    1. Lumagen seemed to have more flexible inputs, and dual DVI-input is a major plus for future-proofing. However, to add SDI and BNC connectors to the Lumagen will cost you more, whereas the Crystalio already has them, but if you use RCA cables and do not have any SDI sources then you don't need them.

    2. A respected dealer shared his opinion with me that Crystalio has the edge for CRT projectors, and Lumagen has the edge on plasma, and I have a 505XDE plasma, so it may be the wrong choice if aiming for the best possible picture on your 505XDE.

    3. The Lumagen still seems to have tons of unlocked potential in both software and hardware, but the Crystalio has a couple of issues that will not be resolved due to hardware limitations.

    As for your main question, major improvement 'no' , worthy and desirable improvement 'yes', £1300's worth of improvement, only you can decide, which is why everyone will recommend you see a demo.
     
  3. alwyn

    alwyn
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    Scrowe,
    Thank you for that very informative reply.
    Regards
    alwyn
     
  4. cj

    cj
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    £1300 for a £2000+ scaler is indeed a bargain. Personally I would take a Crystalio every time over over any current scaler at this price point for both analogue and digital (I currently use a Crystalio for my DLP). Do you watch a lot of PAL video sources i.e. Sky?

    As always try before you buy - you may or may not think any scaler is worth the outlay.
     
  5. alwyn

    alwyn
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    Thank you CJ,
    I would be using it for Sky,my dvd needs are well looked after by my Esoteric UX-1 universal player at £11,000 it should do.As for trying the Crystalio out before buying,who would you suggest to ask?
    Many thanks
    alwyn
     
  6. cj

    cj
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    AFAIK with a Crystalio you buy it and if you don't get on with it, then you can send it back within 7 days for a full refund (minus shipping I think). http://www.pluggedin.tv/ are the main UK distributer - I'm sure they will sort you out.

    That's some player you have there! Reading the specs. it's video is Faroudja based (same as Crystalio).
     
  7. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    I have used both and the Crytalio is simply stunning. I use it on a plasma although have seen both on a proper display too.
    For £1300 bite his hand off. I was tempted to buy it myself when I saw it, and then realised I already had one ;)
     
  8. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    Scrowe, I am interested in the above, would you share a little more on that mate?
     
  9. TT9

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    is this a one off offer, or might there be any more for this price. I would take one for this amount. . . .

    Thanks,
    Steve.
     
  10. alwyn

    alwyn
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    Gizlaroc,
    When you say you use both,are you refering to using the Crystalio with the Pioneer 505,and is your bennifit from tv as well as dvd?
    As to wether there are other units available I think the answer is yes but they are from the US not the UK
     
  11. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    No not on a 505, can the 505 take native rate?? If not then there would be benifits by sending it 720p I guess as you could use the DVI from the scaler and bypass its horrible analogue inputs, but it is when you get these units pixel mapped that they come into their own.

    The decider for me was having a play with a Crystalio and a Lumagen on my Panasonic, I use mine to watch a lot of TV and to be honest I dodn't think the Lumagen can handle Pal too well, speak to Lumagen and they say teh same thing, all sorts of weird goings on. It is not the Lumagens fault but the chip it uses so a software fix will not get round this. Sky with the Crystalio is breathtaking at times, which is why I cringe when I hear people on the Plasma forum saying "DVD via DVI is awesome but you will never get a good picture out of sky apart from the occasional show" because it simply is not true, sometimes Sky looks better than DVD.

    Lumagen has promised some pretty impressive features though in the future, per pixel de interlacing of 1080i was one, but if that arrives as a software upgrade I would be amazed, looking inside the unit I can't see it has the muscle to do it, maybe they will slip in that it willl be a hard ware upgrade only at some point.

    They are both really good units and leagues ahead of what was on offer a couple of years ago, and I would have either in my system, but you have to weigh up what you want it to do and if you view Pal then it is as far as I am concerned a no brainer.
     
  12. Baggy

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    Would you be willing to let us know where in the US?
     
  13. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    The used US prices seem to be fairly hi, remeber that in the US the street price for the Crystalio is $3300, you may get a better deal on a Lumagen though as they go for a street price of around $2200.
    The one that Kun Ho had for sale is the first used Crystalio I have seen for sale.

    Try

    www.audiogon.com

    www.videogon.com

    and the classifieds on

    www.avsforum.com
     
  14. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    GIZ: The Lumagens don't use the full SIL processing chipset. They therefore have some flexibility in what they can bend out of the 504. Current firmware is as good/superior to other implimentations of this chip.

    I owuld agree that's a great price for a Crystallio. Well worth going to look at. I'd also consider looking at the other alternatives of course.

    Gordon
     
  15. alwyn

    alwyn
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    Gizlaroc,
    You use the word used for the Crystalio that I am buying,thie unit is brand new and is in fact complete with the latest firmware and is fully HDCP compliant.
    One last question,I will be using the Sky box connecting it to the Crystaio via scart to rgd composit sinc is this ok?
    alwyn
     
  16. scrowe

    scrowe
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    Yeah, when I was trying to decide, I found a few mentions of a 'macroblocking' bug inherent in the chipset design used by the Crystalio, and the fact that there were some problems with the HDCP implementation on certain resolutions, also it would never be able to do 'genlock'

    Now, I don't even understand most of that, and it may be that they are not 'real' problems in the 'real' world, but they were discussed, I think, on the AVS forum.
     
  17. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    I had a JS converter going in component as I was using a Zektor switcher, but I would recommend going SDI if possible, well worth getting the soldering iron out for.
     
  18. alwyn

    alwyn
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    I have now orderd the Crystalio 2300 and should have it in about a weeks time, the unit comes with full warranty and has free return to the vendor should there be any problems.Anyone interested in purchasing same then wait till I have had delivery and can confirm everything is ok
     
  19. alwyn

    alwyn
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    Unfortunatly my Sky+ box is model2 and apparently sdi cannot be added and I dont feel like putting out £500 for the model 1 that is being offered with sdi fitted especialy considering the new box that Sky will have to bring out next year for HD TV that will have HDMI
     
  20. Vince M

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    I have to slightly dissagree with this $3300 u.s. price..they can be had a fair bit cheaper than that :)..
    Like most things in the u.k. they are overpriced -over here..
     
  21. Madders

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    Alwyn - I would be interested to know where you can get a new Crystalio scaler for that price. My HD Leeza is awesome but I wouldn't mind an extra SDI input! :)

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  22. alwyn

    alwyn
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    MADDERS,
    Sorry cant say,UK suppliers are kicking up a fuss about US suppliers selling so cheap they have obviousley seen my message concerning price.Suggest you look at ebay US. I am sure you will find a good price
     
  23. Madders

    Madders
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    No problem Alwyn. I understand. Probably not appropriate to PM me either... ;)
     
  24. Joe Fernand

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    Hello alwyn

    1.3K seems a lot to pay for a box that's not got a long term future in your system!

    DVD - you say your Teac does a better job.
    SKY - you say no to an SDI upgrade.
    SKY HD - your processor wont do anything with that signal.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  25. alwyn

    alwyn
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    Thanks Joe,any more good news.
    I did incidentaly buy a sky sdi enabled box so I should at least get the benifit of better tv.As for the Esoteric and the qaulity of its output for dvd,well its so good,I doubt if any scaler at any price would make any real difference remember this unit is selling in the UK for £11,000 so its got to be good
     
  26. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello Alwyn

    Going SDI with SKY is a smart move when you've invested in a decent quality processor.

    The price of the Esoteric is no indicator of how good or bad it is - and why keep quoting UK SRP when your punting the idea of cutting out UK Distributors of US products; I'm sure you didn't PAY 11K for the Teac.

    I'd be very interested in hearing why any dealer would supply the XDE PlasmaTV/Teac Esoteric combination anyway - seems madness to me.

    The Teac Esoteric uses a Faroudja Deinterlacer and I'm sure the Crystalio boys will argue that they can do a better job if your player can output Interlaced via DVI :)

    Interested to hear how the 'shoot out' goes once you have everything up and running.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  27. alwyn

    alwyn
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    Joe,
    I dont buy everything from the US for instance the Esotecic,I bought that from Japan (just for a change) and then there is my new Sky box from Mancester.
    One thing about the Esoteric,the dvd part is only a secodary feature the main function is cd and sacd in which it is without doubt one of the worlds finest.Im suprised an expert like you in the trade hasnt tried one out
    One last point,when UK dealers start charging realistic prices I will be delighted to buy from them I have bought all my 5 plasmas from the same UK retailer my latest one the 505 xde cost me with table top stand £3750 would you have matched that?
    Best wishes and I hope trade is good
    alwyn
     
  28. Joe Fernand

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    Hello Alwyn

    We don't get many enquires for the Esoteric and no doubt we could not have supplied at the price you bought it in from Japan at - unfortunately there's the small matter of Import Duties, VAT, and usually a Distributor mark up to add to the price the manufacturer supplies these units at.

    I know a few folk with the Teac Esoteric units and not one of them has purchased in the UK - they have all imported from Japan or the US.

    IF CD and SACD is your main bag I wonder why the UX-1 and not the X-01!

    What percentage margin do you feel is realistic for UK dealers to charge on top of our purchase price? The price you paid for your XDE (if it includes VAT) makes no commercial sense as far as the dealer is concerned! What margin is your dealer working to?

    Trade is OK - profit levels are not so good :)

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  29. alwyn

    alwyn
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    Joe,
    He is a main pioneer dealer and gets the diplay bonus that perhaps you do not get and that make up the difference in profit,also I buy a new plasma each year so I naturaly get special treatment
    As to what constitutes reasonable margins,I would turn the question and ask do you think that retailers should get up to 40% on some products from certain manufacturers ? I will give you an instance, a guy that I know in the trade recently sold a full range of interconnects and speaker cables valhala costing £27,000 and made £10,000 profit is that reasonable I dont think so.And then there is the Esoteric £11,000 in the UK. $10500 in the US and Japan and Hong Kong what is it it with us in the UK do people think we are mugs?
     
  30. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello Alwyn

    I've been reselling Pioneer Plasma Display and PlasmaTV since 1998 and as we keep 435XDE, 505XDE plus MXE products in our demo stock we get Dual Display discounts just like the rest.

    PlasmaTV is now a mass market product and as such quantity matters - forget about the quality of the Retailer; the manufacturer now don't care who sells the products just as long as they sell lots of them :)

    Interesting that you grab two 'high cost' products to show the extremes of the profit margins folk are taking - your Plasma supplier is making sub £150 on your sale; he'll need an awful lot of customers to buy new displays every year to stay in business.

    The guys selling esoteric cables are in a different ball game - was the customer happy; did the salesman think he had ripped the customer off or given him good value; can anyone justify £27k on bits of wire.

    What price do Teac UK put on the UX-1 and what price to become a dealer? Surely you are as bad as they are when you headline your post with 'I have the 11K GBP product' and then say its only worth 11K US!!! Has anyone bought one of these units at 11K GBP?

    As before interested to hear how you get on with the Crystalio VPS-2300/Pioneer XDE combination - just don't buy HDMI cables from your friend in the Trade :)

    Best regards

    Joe
     

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