Do you think it's worth going with a separate AV Processor?

P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
One issue I have with Amir's bench measurements is that in some cases he did not present them in ways consistent enough to not confuse (or even mislead in certain cases) some readers. For example, one of his ranking chart based on SINAD, he mixed in the numbers measured with output at 2.4 V and 4 V. That's just one example, and I let him know about that one already and asked if you would, in future tests include the SINAD at different output levels. He said he would , and that he had prepared a template already.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
Personally I find Nad and Anthem both overpriced for what they offer. Boutique stuff. I'd go avr but that's me. Depends what features you want.
NAD reminds me of Volvo the automaker a little bit.

Back in the day, NAD made simple, solid components that just worked and worked...plain façade, not the fanciest, good value.

Now, with so much competition out there, they are still a name people expect, but they no longer seem as solid or as well built as they were years ago. That's NAD to me today.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
NAD reminds me of Volvo the automaker a little bit.

Back in the day, NAD made simple, solid components that just worked and worked...plain façade, not the fanciest, good value.

Now, with so much competition out there, they are still a name people expect, but they no longer seem as solid or as well built as they were years ago. That's NAD to me today.
Their older generation integrated amps typically measured very well, though it would seem that they still have more reliability issues that D&M and Yamaha's. If they were smarter they would have stayed away from AVR/AVP/Cs that are much more complicated to build to last and remain bug free..

Luckily my little 3 year old C326BEE is still in top shape, hopefully it would stay this way for the next 20 years.:D
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
Being in Canada, that unit would be close to $8000 CAD + 13% tax. To me if you're going to spend that kind of coin on a pre pro, the end HT would be around a 100k CAD or close to it. In my point of view, I would need to be making somewhere around 200K per year salary to make that somewhat reasonable.

I have a fair amount of coin invested in my system and I think that buying well built, long lasting components is worth while. Ex, I purchased a used 2 channel Mcintosh302 power amp for my mains and don't plan on every replacing it. Likely same for my speakers but we'll see... The main speakers are the highest cost item in the set and hardest to replace due to coin. Pre pros will get replaced to do new formats being released but the NAD is modular and can upgrade the cards without having to replace the entire unit.

I think spending somewhere under 4K CAD taxes in is what I am interested in.
It least you're not expecting better SQ.

IDK about now, but typically a good pre/pro (even a massed produced one from Marantz) would last longer than it's processing would stay current.

The NAD is over priced, but if that option of being to update the processing via the internal board appeals to you...go for it.

I've never bought a high end AVRs for that reason...still, a midlevel AVR is the prudent play...if prudent plays matter.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
Their older generation integrated amps typically measured very well, though it would seem that they still have more reliability issues that D&M and Yamaha's. If they were smarter they would have stayed away from AVR/AVP/Cs that are much more complicated to build to last and remain bug free..

Luckily my little 3 year old C326BEE is still in top shape, hopefully it would stay this way for the next 20 years.:D
I gave it away about 3 or 4 yrs ago, but my NAD stereo preamp from '83 was still working.
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Full Audioholic
One issue I have with Amir's bench measurements is that in some cases he did not present them in ways consistent enough to not confuse (or even mislead in certain cases) some readers. For example, one of his ranking chart based on SINAD, he mixed in the numbers measured with output at 2.4 V and 4 V. That's just one example, and I let him know about that one already and asked if you would, in future tests include the SINAD at different output levels. He said he would , and that he had prepared a template already.
Seems he's too busy with different people sending ton of gear to review on a daily basis. But atleast he acknowledges misses/errors and fixes them , based on feedback and tries to keep them interactive, as opposed to a one-way article or video. Every measurement exercise is a forum thread with active participation, which I find it very useful...and a huge plus is the manufacturers directly participating in those threads and providing guidance/clarifications, enabling a feedback channel to the respective product engineering, which is not somethiing you see everywhere.
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Ninja
Great points! I find myself enjoying my cheap AVR-X4400H based HT more than when I was using the $3599 (MSRP in 2012/2013) AV8801. It just seems to sound better overall, but I think it is the effects of expectation biased working in reverse gear. :D

And I am a little annoyed that my HA-1 and Sonica did not measure particularly well, much worse than the cheaper UDP-205 (relatively speaking), though they both sound transparent enough to me and the HA-1 did manage to get Amir to say "the HA-1 barely squeezes into top tier of all DACs tested.." So I can understand very well your point about the much more expensive Benchmark if it measured poorly, though I am sure it would measure well.
I still to this day miss that denon X4400h to this day I never should have sold it even going all pre pro in the theater I could have used it somewhere else
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Actually, Amir's measurements are the standard functions of an Audio Precision APx555 analyzer. Amir makes choices about which measurements he chooses to publish, and some of the measurement parameters are different than say John Atkinson chooses, but overall they look pretty comparable. Amir is very open that he's judging engineering excellence and not necessarily correlation to audibility, which is content specific and subject to an individual's ability to discern. Also, Amir is more bold in his conclusions because he isn't dependent on manufacturer samples (though he sometimes accepts them from brave companies), and he doesn't take advertising.

I think you're just annoyed that he concludes that some well-regarded A/V products actually don't measure as well as a dongle, and that runs counter to your repeated assertions that they're just as good. From an engineering execution perspective some are clearly not. I use a cheap Marantz AVR in our HT system, and always figured it wasn't SOTA stuff, and I don't care. Modern TV and movie sound is completely contrived and processed. It's good enough. On the other hand, I'd be very annoyed if my Benchmark pre-amp DAC measured poorly, but I wouldn't be annoyed with Amir about it. I'd be annoyed with Benchmark Media.
Why do you have to assume that I was "ANNOYED"?

I am not annoyed at all. Just wondering about some things and seeing what others think.

Gene and AH along with others don't use the same "standards" that Amir uses.

So I'm trying to see what others think about the standards that Amir uses.

Should manufacturers use the standards that he uses?

Gene says that the Yamaha CX-A5100 has SOTA measurements. What if Amir measures the CX-A5100 and says that a $15 dongle outperforms it? What if Amir says that the CX-A5100 is another "failure" like all the rest?

What should we think if Gene says the CX-A5100 has SOTA measurements and Amir says that the CX-A5100 is a "failure" that can't measure better than a $15 dongle?
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Ninja
Why do you have to assume that I was "ANNOYED"?

I am not annoyed at all. Just wondering about some things and seeing what others think.

Gene and AH along with others don't use the same "standards" that Amir uses.

So I'm trying to see what others think about the standards that Amir uses.

Should manufacturers use the standards that he uses?

Gene says that the Yamaha CX-A5100 has SOTA measurements. What if Amir measures the CX-A5100 and says that a $15 dongle outperforms it? What if Amir says that the CX-A5100 is another "failure" like all the rest?

What should we think if Gene says the CX-A5100 has SOTA measurements and Amir says that the CX-A5100 is a "failure" that can't measure better than a $15 dongle?
Just curious what's different about how Amir measures his standard forms of measurements and what Gene and others use?

And how would those differences affect the results ?

Just curious would like to learn if someone more knowledgeable could elaborate here Is appreciate ya
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
I personally enjoy Amirs site I like the fact he doesn't take advertisements and he doesn't have to pull any punches on his results or his opinions what we do with those opinions are up to each one of us

I also have been pulling out the popcorn and watching the threads on AVS and Emotiva after his measurements right now. It's better then a movie lately :p
Lords know I have no respect for Emotiva to begin with. :D

It's great for people to do measurements. I appreciate it.

However, it's even better if we all use the SAME standards.

I don't think I qualify to debate which standards are best.

Publications like Audioholics, Stereophile, S&V, Soundstage, HTM, and many others have used SNR, THD+N, Frequency Response, Crosstalk, Pre-out Voltage, etc. to measure SOTA. Most of us have been exposed to these numbers.

But are these numbers not TRULY enough to measure SOTA? Are these not enough to truly measure engineering excellence?

What do other engineers think?
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Why do you have to assume that I was "ANNOYED"?

I am not annoyed at all. Just wondering about some things and seeing what others think.
I assumed you were annoyed because that's how your post read.

Gene and AH along with others don't use the same "standards" that Amir uses.

So I'm trying to see what others think about the standards that Amir uses.

Should manufacturers use the standards that he uses?
What are you referring to? That Amir measures SINAD and no one else publishes that particular measurement in that way? Amir has stated over and over again that his objective is to measure engineering excellence, and SINAD values at low power levels are a reasonable figure of merit. If you're wondering why he measures amps at 5 watts rather than 1 watt, he has answered that question: he doesn't think 1 watt measurements are useful to him. Amir uses relatively inefficient Salon2s in a large room, so he chose 5 watts. Since noise is generally a fixed level in volts in most amps, measure at very low power levels and noise dominates. Measure at somewhat higher power levels and noise and distortion are more balanced. At full power most SINAD figures for amps will be highly distortion dominated. So in his opinion 5 watts is a good compromise, for producing a figure of merit.

Personally, I look at the raw graphs he publishes. In computer engineering I've always despised figures of merit, and that attitude has spilled into my preference for audio data. I like to see the spectrum of noise and distortion. For the raw data Amir's measurements are "standard".

Gene says that the Yamaha CX-A5100 has SOTA measurements. What if Amir measures the CX-A5100 and says that a $15 dongle outperforms it? What if Amir says that the CX-A5100 is another "failure" like all the rest?

What should we think if Gene says the CX-A5100 has SOTA measurements and Amir says that the CX-A5100 is a "failure" that can't measure better than a $15 dongle?
We look at the data and see who makes the best-supported case for their conclusions.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Just curious what's different about how Amir measures his standard forms of measurements and what Gene and others use?

And how would those differences affect the results ?

Just curious would like to learn if someone more knowledgeable could elaborate here Is appreciate ya
I would be absolutely interested to know what @gene thinks. :D

It seems Amir thinks the Marantz AV8805 and many other components have "failed" his test.

I don't know of any other 3rd party who has measured the AV8805. But S&V measured the AV8802, and it seems to have SOTA measurements.

@PENG can elaborate on the AV8802 measurements, but I think S&V measured SNR at 130.38dB, Crosstalk 92.21 dB, THD+N 0.008%, FR 20Hz-20kHz @ -0.04dB/-0.01dB. Are these NOT SOTA numbers?

But I also assumed the AV8805 would measure as well as the AV8802. I could be wrong. :D
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Ninja
Lords know I have no respect for Emotiva to begin with. :D

It's great for people to do measurements. I appreciate it.

However, it's even better if we all use the SAME standards.

I don't think I qualify to debate which standards are best.

Publications like Audioholics, Stereophile, S&V, Soundstage, HTM, and many others have used SNR, THD+N, Frequency Response, Crosstalk, Pre-out Voltage, etc. to measure SOTA. Most of us have been exposed to these numbers.

But are these numbers not TRULY enough to measure SOTA? Are these not enough to truly measure engineering excellence?

What do other engineers think?
I'm no engineer but I learn a lot from you guys some of his issues with these 2 prepros were in some of those measurements you posted

In fact he seemed pretty upset in the Emotiva review based on a couple of those measurements more so then the Monoprice review

As others have stated he does measure those ones the same way as everyone else
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Ninja
I would be absolutely interested to know what @gene thinks. :D

It seems Amir thinks the Marantz AV8805 and many other components have "failed" his test.

I don't know of any other 3rd party who has measured the AV8805. But S&V measured the AV8802, and it seems to have SOTA measurements.

@PENG can elaborate on the AV8802 measurements, but I think S&V measured SNR at 130.38dB, Crosstalk 92.21 dB, THD+N 0.008%, FR 20Hz-20kHz @ -0.04dB/-0.01dB. Are these NOT SOTA numbers?

But I also assumed the AV8805 would measure as well as the AV8802. I could be wrong. :D
Honestly from what he measured I have to say out of all the prepro's coming out so far Monoprices HTP-1 is looking the best at least it's the least glitchy
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Ninja
Honestly from what he measured I have to say out of all the prepro's coming out so far Monoprices HTP-1 is looking the best at least it's the least glitchy
And the measurements weren't bad it had an issue or 2 I think that have been resolved which is the only reason he didn't endorse it
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
I assumed you were annoyed because that's how your post read.
Yeah, I was not annoyed at all. I don't even read his reviews, except for when PENG or KEW or someone posts links to his reviews and I look at some graphs.

Hopefully someone (definitely not I :D) will loan Amir the CX-A5100 so that we can see the merits of his measurements.

I think most of us feel like Gene's measurements are gold standard.

But we'll see. :D

On another note, what I am 100% ANNOYED about is that my 3YO GE Electric Range's 12" 3600-Watt Burner burned out and I have to replace the burner, which will cost me $150 from Amazon and about 1 hour of YouTube video watching. :mad:

So Amir's reviews don't come close to annoying me. Real life crap annoys me.
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Yeah, I was not annoyed at all. I don't even read his reviews, except for when PENG or KEW or someone posts links to his reviews and I look at some graphs.

Hopefully someone (definitely not I :D) will loan Amir the CX-A5100 so that we can see the merits of his measurements.

I think most of us feel like Gene's measurements are gold standard.

But we'll see. :D
Yeah for a guy who helped bring us Microsoft audio I take Amir's opinions with a grain of salt :) I remember his ranting about inaudible jitter measurements with Arny K. His comparing limited functionality dac boxes with an avr or pre-pro....meh. I do find it somewhat funny Amir can't figure out how to connect the last couple of hdmi based processors up via hdmi....
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Honestly from what he measured I have to say out of all the prepro's coming out so far Monoprices HTP-1 is looking the best at least it's the least glitchy
I didn't read his review, but he didn't say that a $15 dongle outperforms the HTP-1? :D

I think he said that about the Marantz AV8805.

Like @Irvrobinson says, I think Amir's measurements are probably geared toward ENGINEERS and high-tech people. That's not me. :D

Now if he were to provide the same standards as Gene does (SNR, THD+N, Crosstalk, FF, Pre-out Voltage), then I might be more prone to look at Amir's reviews.

Like I said, S&V measured the Marantz AV8802: SNR 130dB, XTalk 92dB, THD 0.008%, etc. Does the AV8805 measure the SAME?

If Amir were to measure the AV8802, would he also say a $15 dongle outperforms it?
 
Gmoney

Gmoney

Audioholic Field Marshall
I personally enjoy Amirs site I like the fact he doesn't take advertisements and he doesn't have to pull any punches on his results or his opinions what we do with those opinions are up to each one of us

I also have been pulling out the popcorn and watching the threads on AVS and Emotiva after his measurements right now. It's better then a movie lately :p
Yeah them Emotiva fanboys do get upset if anyone says anything about EMO gear. Emotiva use to put out some good amps but they changed up about every two years and if that. Today I wouldn’t even think of getting anything Emotiva.
 

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