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How much difference does the processor make?

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by dunkyboy, Sep 23, 2002.

  1. dunkyboy

    dunkyboy
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    Hi,

    I currently have a system consisting of a Yamaha DSP-E800 AV proc feeding a pair of ATC Active 10's in the front (via an ATC CA-2 stereo preamp) and a pair of Mission 77DS surrounds in the back.

    My plan for future upgrades is to first add another Active 10 in the centre, and then replace the Yamaha with a high-end processor such as a TAG AV30R (or 2nd-hand 32R?), or maybe a Meridian. (I would presumably then drive the Mission surrounds with a decent stereo power amp.)

    I was just wondering what kind of improvement I could expect from such an upgrade. I ask because spending £1 - 2 grand on a piece of kit when a £300 one will do seems a bit silly... The thing is, I'm very pleased with the sound of my system at the moment - it's big and dynamic and impressive and very involving (the ATC's are truly fantastic speakers), and it should get even more so now that I've got an ATC subwoofer on the way.

    So is a processor upgrade really worth the cash? Where is the improvement in going from a budget proc like the Yamaha to a high-end one like the TAG?

    (I plan to demo some processors in the future, but as this upgrade won't be happening for a *good* long while, I don't know how willing my local dealers will be to give me a home loan...)

    Cheers,

    Dunc
     
  2. sc1977

    sc1977
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    you get what you pay for m8

    :D
     
  3. Lowrider

    Lowrider
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    You get better bass management, very important now that you are getting a subwoofer, receivers don´t do it very well...

    You get better DACs, better surround processing, upgradeability...

    You get better power supply and components, less distortion, less intermodulation, better SN ratio...

    Better sound in the end...
     
  4. garmtz

    garmtz
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    You WILL hear some very real improvements: more detail, less harshness, more natural tonal balance, better and faster steering, sound becomes more detached from the speakers, etc.

    These improvements were shocking even when I went from a Lexicon DC-1 processor (which isn't bad at all) to a Lexicon MC-12.
     
  5. MikeK

    MikeK
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    You don't necessarily get any of these

    better DACs, better surround processing


    but I would sincerely hope and expect to get most of the rest ! :)
     
  6. dunkyboy

    dunkyboy
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    Hmm, I suppose I was really asking what the improvement in sound quality is like... I mean, in hifi, as you go up the price/performance ladder, you get more resolution/detail, greater dynamic range, improved transparency, treble sweetness, bass control, imaging, and a general sense of "confidence" (not sure how else to describe this - maybe just psychological? :p)

    What sort of improvements along those lines does an improved processor bring?

    I kinda get the impression that I'm not going to be satisfied until I get the chance to take home a TAG and try it out against my lowly Yamaha. :) It will happen.. oh yes, it will happen. ;)

    Cheers,

    Dunc
     
  7. garmtz

    garmtz
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    All of the above! :) Really!
     
  8. dunkyboy

    dunkyboy
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    Okay, now I'm itching to try out a TAG or Meridian in my system... Wonder if I could convince one of my local dealers to do me a home loan on an item i wouldn't be purchasing for a year or more, hehe. :p On the other hand - I probably shouldn't, seeing as right now I don't know what I'm missing! :)

    Cheers,

    Dunc
     
  9. garmtz

    garmtz
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    You will be very spoiled if you loan them now... ;) I think you will then buy the processor earlier than you might have anticipated... :)
     
  10. Guest

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    dunkyboy


    I used to own a Denon AVC10SE which was a really nice AV amp.
    I now own a Meridian 568.2 & Parasound Power amp.

    Don't quite know how to put this in words, but with the Denon, it was like sitting in the imaginary middle row of a music performance.

    With the Meridian /Parasound combination, it feels like you're in the box-office seats right in front of the music performance.

    I've enjoyed going through some of my CD collection.
    I'm quite prepared for the long winter nights

    :)

    Adzman
     

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