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What do people think of the follow statements?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Nic Rhodes, Mar 19, 2004.

  1. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    What do people think of the follow statements?

    One of today’s greatest ironies is that home cinema enthusiasts who own the latest DVD players and top flight multi channel systems have got systems that are capable of better audio reproduction than the majority of CD systems resident in the homes of people who consider themselves audiophiles!

    The best dems are from dealers specialising in top quality home cinema. But audiophiles are not interested, and home cinema dealers are not interested in audio for audio’s sake – what a dichotomy!

    :devil:
     
  2. seany

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    They did say top flight, and by that i bet they mean Tag and meridion gear.. I had a very modest Av setup, a sony DB 930 and i used my Panny dvd for music . I now have Rotel gear for hifi, and its far better.

    I guess it depends on how top flight your AV gear is. But i would disagree that a £300 receiver and a £250 dvd player-would match a hifi setup in the same price range for music.

    Pound for pound, i'd say stick with 2 channel for hifi
     
  3. Nic Rhodes

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    top flight I think they are talking Pioneer, Denon and Marantz receivers
     
  4. Mylo

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    I've got a Marantz receiver SR4200, good as it is, I prefer my Arcam A7R for CD listening in stereo.

    Edit, not a top flight receiver but hailed as the most musical by the magazines in its day.
     
  5. DonMaico

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    At what price does top flight begin? would an HK avr 8500 qualify? It sells for about £1800 I think. The 5550 for around half that amount. Would that qualify? It seems pretty good with music
     
  6. eviljohn2

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    Sadly the closest I've come to "real" hifi is my Denon 1802 receiver and Tosh 420 DVD player. :(

    It sounds good to me though as I've not heard anything better :)

    To me though, top flight is the equipment that costs tens of thousands of pounds.
     
  7. avanzato

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    That sounds remarkably similar to a quote from Pioneer in Hi-Fi World mag when they tested the Pioneer Amp and DVD connected with I-link. Having run a few DVDaudio through even my lowly system they're clearly superior to CD and there's only so much you can do to make CD sound 'better'.

    As with Vinyl vs CD I already see the multi channel backlash on some forums, usually from people who have heard or added cheap multichannel to very expensive two channel systems. Then it sounds bad... I wonder why.

    Though would a true audiophile even have CD, surely they only use mono Vinyl. :devil:
     
  8. Nic Rhodes

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    Well it is from the interview with Pioneers John Bamford, ex journalist (and audiophile) and now the front man for Pioneer, one of the worlds most innovative audio firms. Certainly one of the more respected figures in the industry
     
  9. Spligsey

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    I remember Bob Stuart saying that people needed to get their head around not listening in stereo.

    Adz
     
  10. Gambit

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    One of the best music sounds I have ever heard was courtousy of Mr John Bamford at Pioneer's dem room - 757i, AX10i, Pioneer speakers. Absolutely amazing.
     
  11. overkill

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    It also depends on personal preference etc. I've heard some pretty damn good AV systems, and my own's not exactly cheap, but my Stereo system still sounds better for reproducing music. However, my AV system (surprise ) knocks my stereo hi-fi for six at reproducing movies - even when i used a DSP. I've seen "audiophiles" swear blind their hi-fi plus DSP is better than dedicated AV amps, but i have to say i've not heard one. Sure there is one out there though. ;)
     
  12. SKA.face

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    Considering Pioneer arn't exactly producing and flooding the market with 2-channel kit,what else is the guy going to say?come on he's head of pioneer.Obvious statement really.
     
  13. Nic Rhodes

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    I just don't buy that, obvious No.
     
  14. avanzato

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    Well another interesting point in the interview is that Pioneer are an Audio only manufacturer. No cars, boats or planes. In fact by Japanese standards they are specialists and one of the most innovative too.

    As a mass market product separates Two channel HiFi is dead and audiophile HiFi is a shrinking/dying market judging by the number of companies that are going bust. So any business goes where the money is. Naim now have an AV processor, something I bet they would have dismissed as not 'pure enough' even 5 years ago.

    Multi channel sound will mature as Stereo did and in 30 years time people will look back with amusement at those quaint two speaker systems everyone had.
     
  15. bobbypunk

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    I really disagree with that
    After watching the change there is an increase in AV equipment but Stereo is moving upmarket, It seems to me more boxes are going out and better boxes at that.
    AV amps are obviously out selling them as there is still people who don't have one.
    A budget setup 1 year ago was basic sony or technics (2 years ago Kenwood) now it tends to start at NAD that's double the amount per box.
    I would NEVER expect someone to use an AV amp as a stereo replacement without at least demming it for that use aswell.
    But I was suprised how much better an AV amp sounds when you give it a decent source (Decent T/Table or CD player) it's not always the amplifier quality that is the problem!
     
  16. overkill

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    Not likely. As above a good quality stereo system reproduces music more realisticly, and gives a better quality sound overall. Plus multi channel often sounds "gimicky" when compared to stereo. I'm not overly impressed with SACD's in Multi channel, whereas they sound great in Stereo. Again, partly a question of taste.
     
  17. SKA.face

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    2 channel stereo is far from dead,people just get sucked in by marketing and Hi-fi mags noscense.

    I suppose Vinyl is dead too?if this is the case why are Rega still making the Planer 2 and 3?new decks such as the p5 and 7,if it was so dead surely that would comercial suicide, and I would take any Rega product over any Pioneer kit.

    So why do so many people after buying A/V amps etc feel that the music side is a big let down?then go looking for 2 channel kit,offboard DACs to raise its performance?If A/V was that good surely they needen't bother.

    I am fortunate to have both,A/V & HI-FI, so i find the statement from pioneer not valid and obvious,its called marketing,and that what they say is just pushing there intrest,and what they sell:
     
  18. VirusKiller

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    I was stunned when I first heard analogue CD, radio and TV with Trifield (3-front channel) processing from my (sadly missed) Meridian 561 AV processor. And that involved A->D conversion, digital processing, and D->A conversion.

    If done well, there is no technical reason why multi-channel should sound inferior.

    My 2p.
     
  19. sceptic

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    I'm sure that the time will come when 99% of music will be produced by A/V amplifiers together with DVD players.
    I feel that the difference in quality between A/V and stereo amps tends to be exagerated as does the difference between DVD and CD players.
    Sure, there'll be some diehards who will want separate boxes for A/V and stereo amps, CD and DVD players, and DACs, but the vast majority will use the the one-box solutions.
     
  20. overkill

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    You're probably right. However, that will be midi or micro systems with AV built in, as the vast majority of systems aren't hifi, or dedicated AV, and most people are quite happy with that. Are you a die-hard then?;)


    One box solutions are good if you spend a LOT of money. Personally, while i get better quality stereo from my standard Hifi kit, and good quality multi channel from my AV kit i'm quite happy with both thanks. Especially as they cost less combined (amp's that is) than the only really good, all in one, AV system i've heard.

    I would agree however, that standalone CD will fade away - apart from the very high end. My multiformat DVD is far superior to my CD player, although in fairness, it did cost £300 more.
     
  21. Nic Rhodes

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    Electronics have come on leaps and bounds in the last 5 years, digital chips from 5 years ago are now worthless as are most of the products they occupy. It still amazes me why people want to buy most digital product > 5years at all bar the top end stuff (and I mean top). Modern chips are chalk and cheese better in ALL respects. If used correctly, any most do now, are quality solutions for silly money. Anyone listened to a Toshiba DVD connected with an optical output recently? They are great performers, not perfect, but damn good, certinly light years ahead of what the 717, 9000, 7700 era premium DVD players like mine can do.

    and I still don't buy this marketting bit, have you asked Rega / Linn etc how many turntables they make now :)

    Vinyl dead?, pretty much but those of us who have huge collections don't really care but it is basically dead. Sales of 180gm ARE tiny. Just ask outside of Vivante who else is selling this stuff? It doesn't stop it working well but yes I consider it dead, even friends who make turntables for > 40 years professionally have an interesting tale to tell ;). Would I prefer it not be dead, yes but I have faced reality. 12 inch, high end and historical are the only faint glimmers here. I am in the latter two camps.

    Re outboard DACs etc. I am a strong exponent of these technologies. I also recognise the considerable weaknesses as well. They are far from a solution to all our sorrows and need to be used inteligently where they can offer benefits. A recognition of strengths and weaknesses is essential. Again modern chipsets have enabled the few new ones on the market with GREAT potential but I remain far from convinced over the abilities of older models. Again modern chipsets have endowed the more recent devices with significant gains but these same gains can / are applied to AV receivers as well.

    I think we need to compare on a similar basis here. A CD payer with AV electronic that is of similar quality. A CD player will be cheaper to produce but it does so damn little, do we assume we get DD / PL2 / Trifield / L7 /TMS / DTS all for nothing and those extra DACs............etc etc etc. Comparison of AV multi channel audio leaves CD players somewhat lacking in their abilities.

    If done well there is NO reason why multichannel should sound any different....and many seem to be doing things well at the moment, especially Pioneer, true not perfect but these guys genuinely seem to know what they are doing (largely down to lack of motorbike Rand D) :) Why can't the statements be reasonable then?

    sucked in by markettig? Moi? Interesting concept in it's own right, personally I have neither agreed or disagreed with the comments I posted but felt them worth discussing but I still don't buy marketing here.
     
  22. CJROSS

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    If using high esolution 96-192 Khz tracks then I would say yes that would be true, but normal 5.1 DVD-V @ 48Khz ? Hmmm the jury is out on that front.

    Staright away this boils down to an argument from what I can see as stereo listening & multichannel listening and the systems that produce music from these formats. Now Pioneers head honcho is obviosly going to say that most people with topflight multichannel systems are better served musically as that’s the way his company are “headed” having given up the ghost in 2 channel stereo terms.

    Now if you listened to purely DVD-V or DVD-A is 5.1 mode, and not CD then it would be a good argument, but the reality is that CD is the format that will outlast DVD-A or SACD. Its liked by many audiophiles it does a great job when used in a decent system (like DVD-V & DVD-A or SACD I would add) but I cant help but think as someone has said above that they all lose out to vinyl for musicality & fluidity, and is that a multi-channel format ?

    So I would say Pioneers head man is only pushing multichannel because it benefits his aim for the company. Oh & I know a few audiophile with topflight AV/5.1 systems who are uncovinced about MC music for a number of reasons be it SACD or DVDA.

    MC music has a long long way to go IMHO, there is even a thread on here asking if DVD-A is dead in the water, now this is where SACD steals a march on DVDA with its stereo compatibility on every disc. Stereo be it from vinyl or CD will be here a long time dudes, and thats me speaking as someone who enjoys DVD-V music as lot from his stereo system.
     
  23. overkill

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    CJ, terrific post, couldn't have put it better myself. Covered every base too! :)

    It's also interesting to note that one of Pioneers head honchos prefers Vinyl replay, and isn't sold (he's said so publicy) on the multi channel format at all. So i guess it depends on who's speaking for "Pioneer" at the time, and on whether they have their personal or "corporate" hat on.

    Out of interest, did I not read somewhere that Vinyl sales were the only ones last year that rose significantly? (BBC text news) I know that anythings significant when you're selling in micro amounts but hey, dead? I think not. :D 180 gram sales are low? I wonder why? Exorbitant prices perhaps? At £15-18 a hit you've got to be a real fanatic to bother.

    Back on track, CJ is right, CD is here to stay for a looooooong time yet.
     
  24. Ed Selley

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    Yep, the only format that is a real growth area for media sales. So much so that my colleagues over at Cambridge Audio are currently designing a high quality offboard phono stage for their Azur amps- a project that was canned as uneconomic 5 years ago.

    Plus ca change............
     
  25. sceptic

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    I don't think, anywhere on this thread, is that disputed.
    The point of the thread is to discuss what reproduces music better - stereo or AV systems.
    Are DVD players as good as CD players?
    Are stereo amps better than AV amps?
    These, as I understand it, are the discussion points not the relative merits of 2 channel and surround formats.
     
  26. CJROSS

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    Nic I find your vibes that elderly DAC chipsets are superseded by modern designs as a purely personal one, I have never bought into the hype of new chipset design improving as much as is stated in “hype” from manufacturers (who have to perpetuate imprvements to stay in business) or the press, if it did we would all be listening to better CD playback than SACD/DVDA can manage at present don’t you think ?, sure there are good/bad playback from every era. Recording quality has had much more of a pronounced effetc in CD terms than chipset improvements to me in the real world, I would argue that CD could always sound decent, I can still hear how good an elderly late 80s £300 Sony 16Bit 4x oversampler sounds today with a top drawer recording, I don’t think todays £300 CD players improve that much on it.

    You and I have had a few disagreements thru the ages on what is classified as “acceptable” in DAC terms and PCM transmission quality thru BNC, RCA & Toslink digital outputs, now it would be amiss of me to say but you have constantly dinged away at “inferior” connections in the past, Ive pointed this out on occasion when many audiophile such as myself find them perfectly accpeptable, In fact I even posted here recently a letter in HFN from a happy user of a DVD transport into an elderly DAC (Theta Gen II IIRC) and lo & behold Toshiba DVDs are now becoming accpetable as CD transports, even better still use their optical toslink outputs & they are better cutting out “circulating interference” as Paul Miller would say (maybe because boatloads of Chord DAC 64 users are finding this ?), I cant help but think that a lot of audiophile “opinion” is generated by 0hype” in certain circumstances almost akin to a “power of suggestion” from others, I could point you to our chats about RCA SPDIF and its less than sterling standing in the audiophile world yet I cant see what Musical Fidelity does now with its A3.24 or its Trivista apart from choke regulation in the power supply dept. Has its DAC design really changed that much from the X-24K ? If it has I have not read why, which brings me to a point I have felt that the simple separation & provision of “individual” power to a DAC does more for the sound that jitter rejection in “real terms”, a lot of DVD users with seriously tasty systems Nic over on HFC can testify to how good a “717, 9000 or 7700” sounds off a decent DAC design. I have always tried to compare what I hear in my CD system to what I hear in my vinyl setup and I can tell you Im not hearing things when I say I think a DAC off a non Toshiba DVD player is plenty fine for stereo. “Levels of acceptance” vary wildly in audiophiles Nic. You cvan be quite unlucky as I think a lot of cable believers are for example in that you are never happy until you have exhausted every reason to be unhappy with your system, some people are very lucky to get there earleir.

    Interestingly I can see what you are saying here, using Vivante as an example though is pretty bad in that they charge exorbitant prices even for non 180g vinyl (HDCDs, XRCDs, SACDs or DVDA also I would add), I only ever buy 180g when its in sales for example, it’s a bit like SACD or DVD-A in that Im damned if Im paying for more than a CD these days for a format, now are we really saying here that vinyl is going down the pan ? It will continue at its present rate as there is a market for it Nic, unlike SACD (which is being bankrolled by Sony as a “loss leader” and DVD-A well no need to say anything about DVDA is there ?) which brings me to DVD-V, I have long thought this the best VFM medium, the price you can buy a 22 track live concert on DVD-V with 16/24/48 PCM & DD5.1 & DTS is astonishing, as such my collection for use in stereo has increased tenfold.

    Nothing wrong with having views like that I would say but the user on the ground, especially off other digital medium like DAB or Digital radio via Freeview is giving DACs a new lease of life, its been noticable on many forums Nic that DACs out rival “serious” CD players for many audiophiles, and these DACs vary from good ones to bad ones.

    Cost purely and simply Nic, you will never be able to compete in stereo terms pound per pound will you ? As much as I rate Tag kit a brand new AV32R as a DAC or stereo pre-amp can be easily matched at new rrp away down the scale in stereo terms, now 2nd hand wise well it evens out.

    Your comment appear to me to agree with the sentiments of Mr Bamford Nic, in fact giving them credence by saying :

    ATB & regards.
     
  27. CrispyXUK

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    I reckon they cripple AV amps and DVD players so they dont lose out on the stereo market, I also like conspiracy theories :)
     
  28. CJROSS

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    Sceptic it is very clear to me that this thread is based on : Multichannel music is better than stereo based music, now it’s a complex argument that encompasses many different views, but a very simple way of looking at this argument is taking vinyl stereo, and basing that as the “benchmark” audio to strive for, as such relating even 5.1 24/96Khz DVD-A or MC SACD at its best, I have rarely ever seen comment from anyone in forums like this, the press or even people like John Bamford saying MC music beats quality vinyl in stereo. I have also heard a few 5.1 setups in my time, and MC music for me has so many anomolies from the way the mix has been done to the kit doing the job that stereo “pound to pound” is way ahead, guys we only have 2 ears not 5.1 a good mantra to remember when 5.1 comes up as a better format for conveying music.

    Oh I should point ou that I don’t think vinyl is as is superior to CD in those terms as is made out by hardcore audiophiles, they have differing presentations both convey music in different ways to me. I also speak as an adopter of hi-resolution formats away before SACD or DVDA with 24/96 DAD stereo (about to be re-released as “HDAD” FWIW) came about.

    We all want the best quality recordings we can get, for example 24/192 in stereo is where the action should be but is it ? MC music has actually muddied the levels of quality we can get IMHO.

    Sound per pound, is your money better spent on 2 channels of reproduction or 5.1 the proof is in the pudding, audiophiles can trust there ears but how many go the whole 5.1 route ? even those that do acknowledge to get the best from CD or vinyl their monies are better spent on 2 channel systems. MC music & a system based on that is a compromise to cater for the extra channels is there any argument in that ?

    All IMHO of course.
     
  29. Gambit

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    For all the poeple who think Pioneer's "head honcho" is pushing multi channel for Pioneer's benefit, I think you forget who we're talking about. John Bamford is head of products, ex-HiFiChoice editor and a thouroughly honest man. He made the move to Pioneer because he believed they were going in the right direction with their technology. He still uses a Townsend Rock turntable ***, he just knows that DVD-A and SACD are the nearest things to the master tapes available. I was at Pioneer in a work capacity, so not BS or spiel was given, just "listen to this". I think if you were ever to meet him, you'd pick up pretty quickly he really doesn't BS - once you've heard the stuff, you'd know why.
     
  30. CJROSS

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    *** ? Eh forget who he is ? eh is head of products for Pioneer UK, who have abandoned stereo playback as high quality medium. Im sure he is a pretty decent chap in fact I liked his interview in HFW when I read it.

    But Gambit to put comments like that into the public domain ie via a Hifi mag are pretty well up for audio user scrutiny or disagreement. The jury is out on MC music & the kit that processes & amplifies the signals from both SACD & DVDA. As much as you don’t like to see comments like that its pretty clear to any person that he has a vested interest in saying such things as that is the slant Pioneer are going at hifi with now, it’s a bit like hyperbole from a stand manufacturer or a cable company, its just opinion at the end of the day nothing concrete but pushed to the masses as “universal truth”. FWIW I have no problems with anyone saying that they hear in MC is good have heard some good stuff myself, just that when the old chestnut of something being superior comes up well its contentious at least and up for discussion. You will note I still use a trusty old 717 and I have a lot of time for Pioneer (one of the first companies to persue pure 24/96 LPCM transmission – their IEE firewire transmission is the thinking of a forwardly facing audio company) so I have no axe to grind about their products, but lets be honest their lack of imputus in stereo products ie chasing the 5.1 sector is tangiable, and the assumption that SACD/DVDA in 5.1 mode is superior to CD or Vinyl in stereo is at best “debatable”.

    This type of comment is exactly like vinyl fans saying how bad CD is, when clearly the majority of audiophiles find it very acceptable and nowhere near as bad as suggested.

    As I have said the proof is in the pudding, in 5 years time if the world has taken to Pioneer 5.1 systems for their music replay then I will gladly eat my balaclava. In fact Pioneers present kit would be blowing down the doors in MC music from SACD or DVDA then, but it aint. If its as good as is suggested by the head of products at Pioneer then it will be quickly adopted.
     

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