Debating upgrading to hdmi preamp or AVR from my Reference 50

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Comments

  • polkfarmboypolkfarmboy Posts: 5,724
    Yes of course the avm 60 will best it plus it has ARC but dont expect really good analog performance. As they are releasing another stand alone analog unit that is nothing to do with HT. This makes me think that there is no D3 ever going to be released as its almost like they split the unit into two parts. The company now is a division of the guys that own Martin Logan, paradigm so the bottom dollar for stockholders is the main focus for Anthem.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,083
    The AVM is garbage for music and has nothing to do with the Anthem D2 design.

    Not exactly a stellar opinion there of the AVM's musical abilities. Can't really compare HT processors to receivers, not at that level anyway.

    I just find it somewhat amusing that most the top processors delete the gizmos surrounding HT in favor of sound quality. To get both you really have to pony up.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1403 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • polkfarmboypolkfarmboy Posts: 5,724
    Go get a listen to one Tony and you will know what I am talking about. To me its just an AVR with no amps.
  • EmlynEmlyn Posts: 2,045
    Seems like it makes sense to get a decent receiver and pair it up with a dedicated two channel preamp or integrated amp with a home theater pass through function if a system is set up for home theater and music. Cheaper and probably better than the several thousand dollar AV preamp that will be out of date for home theater and not upgradable two years from now.
    1. Polk LSiM707, 704C, 703; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz SR7011 receiver; Parasound A23 amp; Oppo 205; Toshiba HD-DVD Player; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S2 cables
    2. JM Labs Electra 920.1; Parasound JC2 Preamp; Sonic Frontiers Power 2 amp; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Oppo 105D; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio P1000; MIT S1 Cables
    3. Polk LSiM703; Pioneer Elite SC97 receiver; Oppo 203; Squeezebox Touch; MIT S3 cables
  • gmcmangmcman Posts: 1,055
    Interesting.....I'm very curious now to what they are going to release as well. I made a typo when I mentioned "D3" was referring to the D2.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,083
    Cheaper yes, better might be a stretch though. If all your concerned about is the next wiz bang thing in HT like atmos and DTS-X, then yeah, a receiver may be your best option. If you put more emphasis on the music side of things, I'd go pre/pro without hesitation.

    Pre/pro's aren't the only thing that gets outdated, receivers too fall into that clusterf**k. I've long thought that's the only way they can keep selling new gear is to make the old stuff outdated quicker and quicker. Keep creating compatibility issues for the end user to force their hand.

    A Theta Casablanca pre pro was near the tops in it's day, you can pick one up now for a song, same with Krell theatre standards, Classe 300's, Lexicon, and the OP's Ref 50. All truly well built higher end pieces that can do 2 channel as close to separates as you'll ever get. All you'd need is a modern blu-ray player like an OPPO with analog outs to have a kick arse system on the cheap for both HT/music.

    Whatever floats your boat though, just be aware whatever you buy today chances are in a few years will be outdated again and that shiny new piece you dropped 3g's on, receiver or pre/pro, will be worth a lot less. Just sayin'....nature of the beast today.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1403 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 7,458
    edited April 2016
    tonyb wrote: »
    Cheaper yes, better might be a stretch though.

    I think you might have misunderstood him? I went that route with my Yamaha AVR for HT and Dared MC-7P tube 2 channel preamp and I doubt I could get near the performance I get for 2 channel after spending the $1400 on those two pieces that I could get if I spent $3k on just an AVR.

    It definitely is way cheaper to stay one step behind in the HT world though. Is an extra $1-2k worth speakers in the ceiling? Not to me.
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,083
    I don't think the OP was looking at 3k for a receiver. If I'm not mistaken, he's looking to add HDMI and the newer whiz bang HT features while retaining some semblance of the musical side of his Ref 50....be it from a receiver or pre/pro.

    The Marantz pre/pro's may be the best option, considering price and his needs. I don't think todays receivers can compete with his ref 50 for music, none that I've heard anyway.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1403 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • Polkie2009Polkie2009 Posts: 3,836
    edited April 2016
    I can see why so many here like those Atmos DTD X Marantz prepros, they do_ offer a good bang for the buck, especially if you can snag a used one cheap. $3000 is still a bit high for me to spend on a prepro.
  • gmcmangmcman Posts: 1,055
    Many good points...Yeah I don't need to drop 2K to get ceiling speakers and staying a step behind in the HT dept is really a good choice unless you have unlimited funds rolling in.

    After looking more into the D2, that's quite the processor and while it's "only" 7.1 that's fine since I've lived with 5.1 for many years and haven't even utilized the 7.1 on my Ref 50 yet.

    It's tough when you start looking into all the newest tech and get the carrot dangling in front of the horse. The atmos is where I want to be so possibly a cheaper AVR for this in conjunction with the Ref 50 or maybe the D2V as a possible upgrade to the Ref 50 then when the dust settles with all the atmos tech I can pursue that when the time comes.

    My Ref 50 and Marantz SA8004 combo is still doing well, I'm curious how the 8004 would pair with the D2v. Sounds like if I want to go with Anthem the D2v is where I should be and as far as atmos goes ...man....tough as the whole hdmi/hdcp changes things. Is the D2V HDMI 2.0? doesn't appear to be and that would change things up quite a bit.
  • polkfarmboypolkfarmboy Posts: 5,724
    The d2v is not 2.0 but it does decode dolby dts master audio and thats what you need for 192khz per channel. The older d2 will only handle 5 channels at 96khz but it uses matrix to make upnmthe sound for the back channels. If your only running five speakers I say go with a D2 and let the player decode the audio.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,083
    I dunno man, I might be hesitant to spend D2 kinda coin. For my money, to cover HT a decent used mid line receiver has all the bells and whistles. Couple that with a pre that has HT pass thru like the Cary slp 03, roll some tubes and I think you might forget about that ref 50....and Karma it to me. :p
    HT SYSTEM-
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1403 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • polkfarmboypolkfarmboy Posts: 5,724
    Receivers are great but when you want true performance something like the D2 delivers a level of detail and refinement that can only be experienced by living with it and doing side by side co mparisons. Its exceptional for music and can do more than many of the dedicated cheap stereo preamps out there. Even a regular D2 is amazing in that regard.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,083
    The D2 is a great machine no doubt, but we are looking at under 2k for a receiver with all the HT processing like Atmos that the OP wants, and a good tubed pre, your not going to find a D2 for that I don't think.

    Also, the benefit of going the route I suggested is that the pre amp isn't going to become outdated. When a mid line receiver becomes outdated, that's easier to swallow than a 4k processor. Know what I'm sayin' ? Once that D2 becomes outdated in the HT world, you have a very expensive 2 channel pre amp, just like the Ref 50 has become.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1403 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • gmcmangmcman Posts: 1,055
    edited February 27
    So this thread has a little age to it, but I wanted to revisit it since it contains alot of pertinent info.

    I'm back on the hunt for a preamp, mainly because the Ref 50 while still sounds good, there's a fair amount if hiss from the speakers and it's only evident when the Ref 50 is powered up. Also, there's a very, very small amount of buzzing from the mids...very small.

    I may have a ground loop issue, not sure, but I've ran the gamut of plug changes, ground pin removal, etc and I swapped my old Yamaha CX-1000 for testing purposes and it was quiet.

    I did have one of my front main output RCA jacks come loose and I have since repaired that...took out a tweeter in the process. Given it's age, it's really due for a refresh.


    With what's been mentioned in this thread, I'm not dead set on Dolby Atmos and 11 channels of processing....realistically it can wait, and a couple digital inputs is fine, but not necessary.

    Having a few digital inputs for the Xbox or the Fios is fine, maybe having 5.1 as an option but that's pretty much all I will need for the time being.

    I might refresh the Ref 50 at a later date, but moving forward with this I looked briefly into the Outlaw 976. This 976 has analog pass through via the 7.1 inputs, no DSP influence and goes to the volume control.

    I understand about the Anthem D2V, also I agree with Tony that I don't want to throw down big $$$ to have a 2CH pre in a few years with outdated technology. If I can find a D2V on the cheap..it's a possibility.

    Two other options are the McCormack LD2 or the TLC-1, leaning more towards the LD2. I wasn't ready to upgrade but after the Drednought and the DNA-1 it took the system to another level and I feel the preamp is my bottle neck...especially being noisy.

    Has anyone had ears on the 976 and if so, can you compare it to another pre, good or bad?

    Thanks again.
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