Processor Advice Digital or Not ?

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by fatboy frank, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. fatboy frank

    fatboy frank
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    Ok apologise if this is a bit of a bone question, but something i need to ask as i'm not completely sure on this.

    Currently using my Arcam AVR400 as a processor, but am keen to ditch this in favour of a proper dedicated processor, however would also like to cut down on physical size of the replacement unit if possible. My question is:
    Do i really need a processor with HDMI / digital outputs at all ?
    I've got a Panasonic TX-P50VT50B which has 4 HDMI and an Oppo BDP-103D, currently more for conveinience than anything else all my HDMI's go via my AVR. If i got an older processor that wasn't digital am i going to miss out on anything. I know the Oppo will handle HD Audio formats and i can connect that and my Sky HD box direct to the Panny. Pretty sure this will all work ok but want to check i haven't overlooked something obvious.

    Thanks for any advice.

    Frank
     
  2. fatboy frank

    fatboy frank
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    I did channel in all the cables to the panny but had the foresight to put 2 HDMI leads in there and pretty sure i could probably fish another down the channel if needed :)
     
  3. Welwynnick

    Welwynnick
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    Lots of issues there.
    Firstly, HDMI inputs on an AVR or processor are so damn convenient!
    On the whole, all processors are digital, its just the more recent ones that have HDMI inputs.
    HDMI provides a digital connection for high definition audio.
    If you ditch that, you can only use analogue HD audio or digital "standard definition" audio
    Yes, the Oppo handles HD Audio, but without HDMI, you will ony be able to use analogue connections.
    Analogue connections to a legacy (non-HDMI) processor can work fine, but you lose lots of functionality, like proper speaker management, room correction or other DSP processing.
    If you already have an Oppo 103, then you always have the option of using that as a processor, and connecting it directly to your power amp.

    Nick
     
  4. fatboy frank

    fatboy frank
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    Thanks for that Nick,

    Well using an Arcam AVR400 i'm pretty limited on room correction facilities, but the Oppo does have speaker management and crossover settings for analogue connections and to be honest i don't really use many of the DSP modes or any of the other functions.
     
  5. lokyc

    lokyc
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    How's your bass transition from mains to sub?
     
  6. fatboy frank

    fatboy frank
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    Seems to be pretty good, although i'm no expert by any means. I've started experimenting with using the analogue out's on the Oppo for multichannel and quite like the results.
     
  7. lokyc

    lokyc
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    I have the Arcam AVR360 which has a similiar processor stage as the 400.

    Less I said about bass management, the better. If your components match well, your sub should just disappear. A 2.1 setup will sound like a a 2.0 with full range speakers.

    Maybe I just didn't set things up well. But the contrast is night and day when I swapped to Anthem. ARC aside, its bass management has been lauded to be the best in the consumer market.

    The new x10's preamp stage will probably put many processors to shame.

    the DAC is pretty decent, so you can make it the centre of your entertainment needs. My current sources are just supplying digital data. So they're cheap as chips. I also don't have to worry about using expensive interconnects. RCA is rubbish as you know hence the expense to make them decent.
     
  8. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    Not the end of the world not having HDMI on your av pre-amp, although it is preferred

    For HDMI video- use external HDMI switcher (not expensive)
    Use legacy optical & coaxial audio
    For Master Audio use BD players 7.1 out, so you need a av pre-amp with 5.1 or 7.1 analogue input.

    You could get a Lexicon MC-8 for peanuts. How much would a new av pre-amp cost, many thousands of pounds £2000 at least.
     
  9. fatboy frank

    fatboy frank
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    Must admit that was my thinking too, although i would like something that featured some half decent EQ'ing. Lexicon MC-8 on the Bay at the moment that i've enquired about, but too expensive considering what others have gone for IMO. Might hold out for a Lexicon MC-12HD once the MC-14 is released in a couple of months.
     
  10. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    If you're not fussed about 7.0 room EQ. For subwoofer there's anti-mode and that's probably the most important channel that needs eq. I don't know if full on room EQ is worth it, don't have it so not missing it.
     

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