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Processor dilemma

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by tmcevoy, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. tmcevoy

    tmcevoy
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    I wonder if anyone can help with this. I have always been into hifi and have recently decided to add on a multichannel for movies/sacd
    My present system is
    Helios 1 Cd Player , Canary Audio Ca608 integrated valve amp with a pair of Living voice Avatar OBXR .
    I have added a Denon DVD 2900 player , Sky+ , 2 Monarchy Audio SM70 Pro , one as a monoblock to run the centre channel and one to run both rear speakers.
    I bought A Proac CCTwo Centre speaker and a pair of Proac 1SC for the rears.
    I now need to tie the whole thing in with the right processor , I am prepared to spend up to £3,000 and am happy to look at secondhand products.
    I have looked through a lot of the forums but am still confused , does anyone have any recommendations for something that would fit in with the above system.
    Any help would be much appreciated.
    Thanks a lot
    Tony
     
  2. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
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    Arcam AV8 would be a good place to start looking.
     
  3. alexs2

    alexs2
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    As above,the Arcam is worth a look,as are the following

    Lexicon
    Krell
    Naim
    Tag(although with the current takeover by IAG it may be worth letting the dust settle).

    You've got quite a "warm" sounding system there,with valve amps and the Avatars,so be careful to audition any processors in your system to be sure you get the right sound.
     
  4. tmcevoy

    tmcevoy
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    Thanks , does that mean I need a warm sounding processor to match in.
     
  5. alexs2

    alexs2
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    No..just that you're obviously accustomed to,and like the sound of the system you have,and adding in something radically different may alter the sound in a way you don't like...just a case of matching things carefully.
     
  6. tmcevoy

    tmcevoy
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    Thanks , does that mean I need a warm sounding processor to match in.
     
  7. tmcevoy

    tmcevoy
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    Thanks , would you consider the bryston 1.7 a good match then
     
  8. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Yes....thats an excellent and neutral sounding processor(and one I forgot to include!) and a very good choice to include on your shortlist.

    Ideally you need to get a few of these home to demo in your own system once you've decided on a few candidates,and any good dealer should be willing to oblige at that price level.
     
  9. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Another thing to consider is that each of these has it's own particular strengths and weaknesses,and it's going to be down to your own preferences as to which wins,in terms of ease of use Vs sound quality etc.
    For me,at the time I bought it,the TAG was the best,and has been absolutely superb,but a bit lacking in the sound quality on CD via it's own DAC's,so I use it with an external upsampler/interpolator.
    The Krell is well worth a look also,although you may find it's sound quality a little on the cool side compared to your current system....mine also tends towards that end of the spectrum,especially when compared to an ancient pair of Quad II's that I use from time to time for stereo only....lovely sound though!
     
  10. tmcevoy

    tmcevoy
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    yes its trying to find the right one that fits in best and that works with dvd audio , sacd and movies obviously. The Bryston apparantley has the best bypass so that would work with my helios cd player . It is the most expensive and hard to get hold of secondhand unlike the tag/lexicon etc
     
  11. alexs2

    alexs2
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    If you're planning to include DVD-A and SACD than a good analogue bypass is going to be essential to you,but with that in mind,have a look at the Meridian processors also,as a route into DVD-A via encrypted digital links from their players,if you were considering a good DVD-A and DVd player.

    Apologies for continually adding to the list as more decent processors come to mind...short term memory loss here!
     
  12. tmcevoy

    tmcevoy
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    I already have the Denon 2900 which does dvd-a and sacd
     
  13. alexs2

    alexs2
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    OK...still worth a look at Meridian's processors which also have a nice smooth sound,in keeping with the rest of their gear,and may suit your requirements.
     
  14. tmcevoy

    tmcevoy
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    Am I right in saying that the Meridian dosent support SACD though
     
  15. Peter Baker

    Peter Baker
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    I have a fairly similar system to you, and used to run triode valve amps, so know the kind of sound valves make.
    I spent a lot of time trying to get a great musical sound out of HT pre/pro and amp.
    For me, the best sound was from the Proceed I now own. It just seemed more musical and involving, with a smooth creamy yet detailed delivery.
    Problem is, the Proceed AVP, and indeed the entire line, have been discontinued by Madrigal. It also only goes to Prologic/DD/DTS, instead of Prologic2 etc. If this doesn't bother you, there are a few ex dem models around for approx £2-2.5k.

    Otherwise, my second favourite was the Bryston, whilst the Krell Showcase also sounded pretty good. A final alternative, which surpised me with its immediacy was the Naim AV5

    Best of luck

    Peter
     
  16. tmcevoy

    tmcevoy
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    Hi Peter , does the proceed support sacd/dvda and does it have a good analogue bypass. Thanks for your help
     
  17. chrisgeary

    chrisgeary
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    tmcevoy: meridian 500 series processors do not have analogue multichannel inputs. you can still use SACD in stereo though.
     
  18. lowrider

    lowrider
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    With smooth powers I recomend the Krell, I have the Showcase with Bel Canto power, it was a bit too agressive with Bryston power, it is perfect with the tube like highs of the Bel Canto...

    One great quality of the Krell is how good it sounds at low/medium leves, the TAG dual processor I had before needed lots of volume to sound decent...

    It has a great analog bypass and balanced outputs...

    I also have a Proac CC2, great center speaker... :thumbsup:
     
  19. tmcevoy

    tmcevoy
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    Just looked the krell up but dosent seem to have analogue inputs for sacd/dvd-a , is that correct
     
  20. Peter Baker

    Peter Baker
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    The Proceed does not have a multichannel analogue input for SACD/DVDA, but does have an excellent 2 channel analoge bypass, which to me sounds better than the Bryston. OTOH the Bryston can support SACD/DVDA.
    Frm my point of view, I'm not that worried about these, as I prefer music in stereo, and in front of me.
    Another option which is supposed to be excellent on music/HT is the EAD, although I never tracked one down.
    BTW, how do you find the OBX's? Kevin is always trying to get me to upgrade.

    Peter
     
  21. tmcevoy

    tmcevoy
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    fantastic , i started with the auditoriums a few years ago then went to the avatars abd now obx , i'm tempted to upgrade again to obx r2 which you'll get automatically if you upgrade
    I'm really pleased with them and wouldn't change them for anything. When you get to turn them up really loud (hard with 2 kids) they're mazing
     
  22. Peter Baker

    Peter Baker
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    One other thought is the Naim AV5 I mentioned earlier. I believe this has a pass through enabling you to use your Canary integrated for music, whilst only engaging the Naim pre stage for HT.
    BTW, where are you located? I could offer a home dem perhaps on the Proceed as a marker.
     
  23. tmcevoy

    tmcevoy
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    Thanks Peter , I understand the Naim has issues with non Nail amps so that counts that out. As for the proceed thanks for the offer but as it dosent support SACD it counts that one out too.
    It's obviously not going to be easy but its very important that I get it right , don't want to make an expensive mistake. Spoke to Kevin today , he's seen the Bryston paired with 5 obx's and 5 Monarchy Audio's and thought it was very impressive.
     
  24. rags

    rags
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    Im not much of a music person but also give the Parasound C2 a try. My local dealer sells most of the regular brands inc Meridian, Lex, Arcam etc and he gave it a proper spin for the first time at the weekend and was impressed. He was somewhat sceptical at first and couldnt really look passed his regular brands. The guy he demod it to in a head to head against the Lexicon MC8 and Arcam AV8 ended up buying it.

    Im not drawing any conclusions as to it's musical abilty as I listen to cd's once in a blue moon (as a movie machine it is quite superb without a shadow of doubt in my opinion) but might be worth auditioning as for a new processor it sits right in your budget.
     
  25. lowrider

    lowrider
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    Of course it has analogue inputs for sacd/dvd-a, plus a balanced stereo input if your CD suports it..

    I do favour music over movies, as my kit shows: Sonus Faber EAII + Signum, Proac CC2, REL Strata x 2, Arcam FMJ DV27, Krell Showcase and Bel Canto eVo 6... :smoke:
     
  26. tmcevoy

    tmcevoy
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    I have gone ahead and ordered a bryston sp 1.7 , thanks to everyone for their replies. It should arrive an a couple of weeks , just have to figure our how to connect everything up
    All the best
    Tony
     
  27. Peter Baker

    Peter Baker
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    I'm sure you'll be happy with it. I was talking to Kevin about my feeling that the Bryston was a bit aggressive, and we agreed that it was probably the amp rather than the pre/pro that caused this, so you're setup should be great.
     

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