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Please help! Processor questions.

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by jookster, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. jookster

    jookster
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    :hiya:

    Some of you are probably pretty aware of my journey for a old high quality processor.

    I now have the following options,

    £65 a Marantz DP870
    £200 a Denon AVP-A1 (AC-3 only) - 18 bit
    £350 a Meridian 565 or DC-1 (AC-3 only) - 20 bit.
    £450 a DC-2

    Has anyone had experience of several of these? Probably the most curious of all these processors is the Denon. I know the processing in the Denon AVP-A1 is the same as the AVR-A1.

    :lease: help and Thanks! :thumbsup:
     
  2. rags

    rags
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    If its movie sound your primarily after I wouldnt bother with any of them. Most current decent integrateds in my unsubstantiated opinion will offer better processing.
     
  3. jookster

    jookster
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    Interesting!

    Thanks
     
  4. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith
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    Hi,

    Rags,
    In what way do you believe the processing is better?, as it is certainly not the case from my experience.

    Jookster,
    What other equipment are you thinking of partnering with these?.

    Marantz DP-870:
    As you know I have one and I feel for the money it is an excellent performer, its downsides are it doesn't have that many inputs and no upgrade potential. It's 5.1 DD only (no DTS) with no analog processing, but it does provide RF demodulation for LD.

    Lexicon DC-1:
    I have heard a few of these, but not yet owned one, they are a much more flexible processor. In straight DD 5.1 the sound is quite similar to the Marantz, but that is not where it's strength lies. I feel that with lexicons the real benefit comes with with their 7 channel processing and greater setup flexibility, just about everything can be adjusted and or tweaked. It also has quite a few inputs for lots of sources, but no RF demod for LD (if that is important).

    Denon AVP-1A:
    I have not heard one, but it got good reviews, has plenty of inputs, built in RF demod, but No upgrade potential DD 5.1 only and has just been relisted on Ebay for a much lower price!.

    Meridian 565:
    I haven't heard one, but they have always been Very Highly regarded processors, very few inputs, ideally want's to be partnered with 562v switcher which pushes price up, and I believe 7.1 is only available by using digital + analog outputs.

    Paul.
     
  5. jookster

    jookster
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    Thanks Paul,

    Wonder what AVP-A1 will go for now.

    Sorry to keep you on hold about the Marantz.

    Thanks again
     
  6. rags

    rags
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    First of all in this day and age I dont know why you would consider buying an amp without DTS. And no PL2 either.

    Whilst most of the processors on the list must have been good in their day, that was a long time ago. I have direct recent experience of a Lex MC1 and tbh I wouldnt pay the £1k they currently go for as I genuinely believe that something like a Denon 2805 etc will provide the better movie sound.
    And thats an MC1 - the DC1 / 2 are even more ancient in comparison

    Jookster - unless you have some kind of ancient processor fetish :D I would personally go for something newer.
     
  7. jookster

    jookster
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    Thanks Rags,

    Well for one thing I only want my system for DVD's so PL2 isnt really necessary. Secondly how many DVDs have DTS, not many. And although I probably should give DTS a listen I have never heard it. Quite a few people say its no better or worse than DD.

    Cheers
     
  8. Orbital

    Orbital
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    I have one thing to say Rags click here

    :D
     
  9. jookster

    jookster
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    hahaha, thought it was a link to another thread!

    What you think of the processors Orbital?

    Thanks
     
  10. rags

    rags
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    I had that done a couple of months ago - a significant lug came out of my right ear !!

    Seriously I dont want to upset any older Lex owners.

    Jookster - DTS is important in my opinon and quite lot of films have it. I also feel that DD processing has improved from the DC2 etc days. I know it feels great to buy a processor for £500 that originally sold for £4000 (?) but apart from the brand name you can do better for the money - especially for some of the really old stuff. With all due respect your list does read like a processor scrap yard (ok getting ready for a hammering :rolleyes: )
     
  11. 2morex

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    Having been an owner of a MC1 version 4 with dts, etc I can say that it remains one of the best movie processors around. My only complaint with the unit was it's stereo performance, it's dacs did not perform well in this function and if you used the analog inputs the signal was double processed and really stunk.

    Here in the States they currently bring 1500 dollars and are selling strong. Many videophiles have abandoned the outlaws, rotels. etc and returned to this classic. Some threads even suggest that the newer MC12s and such are not that much of an improvement over the MC1. Their solution, sell the expensive stuff and return to the MC1. Spend the difference in your movie collection!

    My advice, if you want a premium processor for movies only, you cannot do better than a used MC1. Its versatility and tailored sound will not disappoint you if you explore its options. :D
     
  12. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith
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    Hi,

    Rags,
    So when you say 'Better' processing it seems you just mean that current integrated amps have 'more' different processing modes, well I am sure that is true (simply because there are more configurations to choose from now).

    However just because a piece of equipment has more processing modes it doesn't make it better, I prefer instead to go for a better quality sound than to pay for lots of modes that I shall not be using.

    Also there are always threads with people upgrading (or downgrading in your view) from their 'Current' integrated amps to processors like the Lexicon and they always seem to be very happy with the 'improvement' it brings to the sound.
    But everyone to their own I guess!.

    So you would even turn your nose up at a crappy old "scrap yard" Meridian 861 then, would you Rags :(

    Paul.
     
  13. Orbital

    Orbital
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    Rags,

    You wouldn't upset me mate because I honestly can't see how you come to that decision. I've heard all the new Denon amps bar the AVC-A1XV as I went on a demo frenzy before settling on my second hand MC-1 (got mine for £850). I honestly think your doing more drugs than Pete Doherty if you reckon the MC-1 is ready for the scrap yard.

    One of the things you have to remember with receivers is that you end up the integrated amps, which unless you get up into Yamaha Z9 territory are no match for a half decent stand-alone power amp. On top of that, with the Lex you get the joy that is Logic 7! (The bit that sold it for me) Not having PLII isn't worth mentioning really because for all the demos etc I had L7 always seemed more coherent and managed to put more sparkle into older 2 channel material than PLII did. In fact I like L7 so much I listen to everything in it near enough. I understand that most of this purely personal preference and one’s man’s Kate Moss is another mans Vera Duckworth but the MC-1 is still a class bit of kit. I know this might sound like a case of someone defending his purchase but I can honestly say it isn’t. I could put my MC-1 on eBay and easily get back what I paid for it if not a bit more, but I wouldn’t because as far as I’m concerned the only things that sounds better are processors like the MC-8, 568.2MM, Bryston SP 1.7 etc which are (for the moment) out of my price range.
     
  14. Orbital

    Orbital
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    Paul I think your getting mixed up with the Meridian 561 mate. That's the one that can only do 7.1 with the addition of Meridian DSP speakers. The 565 can do 7.1 as is and has all the normal analogue outputs for it. Your right about limited inputs though. Two digital inputs (one coax one optical) and one analogue input only if my memory serves me correctly.
     
  15. rags

    rags
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    Orbital - Read my post again. I never said them fings about the MC1 :) . I was referring to the processors on Jooksters list.

    Given that you recently bought / own an MC1 I wouldnt expect you to say anything else. I respect your opinion but it is clearly different to mine - I honestly dont feel that an MC1 in straight DD / DTS mode is as good as a Denon 2805 or equivalent latest Pioneer. Technology marches on pretty quickly.

    Logic 7 is a very good alternative to PL2 and a number of people swear by it -that still doesnt change the fact that processors like the DC1 / 2 are pretty old now and my opinion that the newer stuff from the likes of Denon / Pioneer is better.
     
  16. rags

    rags
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    That not what I meant. I was referring to better steering, channel seperation etc.
     
  17. vizslaraner

    vizslaraner
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    Oh yes.
     
  18. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith
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    That would only 'perhaps' apply on the matrix decoding, but even there I wouldn't always agree either, there are/were some pretty fine Processors which had their own great Proprietary DSP.
    For example many people still (rightly or wrongly) prefer Logic 7 DSP to PL2, and why not it is very good.

    As for the DD and DTS signals the DSP chips must match the specifications of Dolby and DTS in order to run the algorithms that decode their digital bitstreams, there is little leeway for manufacturers to differentiate their individual products in this area.
    So I don't see how you can use your better steering/channel separation argument here as it simply doesn't apply, and as Jookster said he is only really interested in 5.1 Dolby Digital.

    And Orbital,
    Thanks for the correction on the Meridian.

    Paul.
     
  19. booktrunk

    booktrunk
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    I personally agree with RAGS.

    The processing of the modern amps has developed a lot, the companies have slightly customised the chips etc... and basically there is a difference no I cannot put my finger on it but modern integrated amps have i think better processing built in then older more expensive processors. I think they do the job quicker, but that is just my opinion.

    I would love to hear say a Denon 3805 with a power amp, against a few processors with the same power amp just to find out if i'm totally wrong or not :)

    Steff
     
  20. 2morex

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    Mr. Smith: Perhaps you should do yourself a big audio related favor and audition a MC1. I think you'll be a convert. Is it dated?, sure. Does it have the newest technologies?, no. But like an old valve amp it sounds good when used for its intended purpose and that is what matters in this hobby. It's DTS modes are superior to anything else I have heard, whether it is channel separation or not. I too, enjoyed the logic 7.
     
  21. Orbital

    Orbital
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    For the life of me I honestly can't see how you think the Denon's and Pioneer’s are better than the MC-1. Like I said I've demo'd (had them at home) and they didn't even come close IMHO. But like you said we all have our own views and this board would be a boring place if we didn't.

    As for the technology marches on statement your quite right. But does technology marching on automatically create a better product? I think we all know that isn't always the case. The AV/HiFi world is littered with examples of new products not living up to their parent’s pedigree. The new Meridian G series processor is an example that springs to mind, lots of people swear that the 568.2m is still the better unit for movies and music. I think the MC-1 is a classic and still shines compared to all but the daddy's on the integrated scene. But that's just my opinion :)
     
  22. recruit

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    :laugh: And alot of people also say the Complete opposite!

    So Orbital it must be that all new processors and Intergrated AV Amps are not as good as the Older generation then.... :D

    Cheers
     
  23. Orbital

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    Now where in my post did I say that? All I said is that just because a product is new it doesn't automatically make it better than its predecessor, which I think most people on this board would agree with. Having PLII does not a better amp maketh. Obviously if having PLII is the be all and end all then it will make the difference, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about the best straight DD and DTS for the money and on that front the MC-1 is superior to the Denons and Pioneers of this world, again IMHO :)

    As for the Meridian G series I’m sure the majority of their owners are over the moon with their purchases, I’m just pointing out that I’ve read on this and other forums of owners who are not as impressed.
     
  24. 30CenturyMan

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    I'll say it again...

    People forget about the DACs.

    A lot of people talk the talk when it comes to the processing side of things, ie. Steering, speed, imaging blah, blah, etc. etc. but most of them are just repeating things they've read in reviews and on forums. I would question how many of them have experience of more than 3 or 4 processors/receivers in the same room with the same partnering equipment and set-up correctly.

    Which receivers and processors have you heard booktrunk? I'd be interested to hear your opinions on the models and their respective differences in sound quality or 'quickness'. :)
     
  25. recruit

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    I heard you say it!!! :p

    Only Jokeing he didn't really... :)

    Oh Ok he did :devil:
     
  26. Paul Smith

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    Is this mean't to be directed at me?
    As I have already said "I prefer instead to go for a better quality sound", I don't mind how old equipment is as long as it sounds great.
    And as it happens I have heard the MC1, but I went for a processor that was better for music as that was important to me.

    Scott3,
    I also think the quality of the DACs is important (and often overlooked) and they generally have a much greater effect on the sound than any of the processing.

    Paul.
     
  27. Orbital

    Orbital
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    This is the best thread we've had for a while on here. I'm quite enjoying it :D
     
  28. mps

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    Bearing in mind that Jookster hasnt had a say in it apart from starting it. :thumbsdow
     
  29. rags

    rags
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    Ask me and Ill tell you how many I have heard. Please.
     
  30. 30CenturyMan

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    I don't doubt you may have heard a fair number, but how many were in the same room with the same partnering equipment? And how do you know the perceived differences in sound quality was down to the actual processing and not the DACs? :)

    Knock yourself out...
     

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