Not another receiver question (a new take on a tired subject) [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : Not another receiver question (a new take on a tired subject)

07-07-2007, 08:12 AM
I have posted this elsewhere, but I'd like as many responses as possible...

I've been wondering for quite some time, how big a difference A/D & D/A converters and specifically DSP chips make as receivers are updated from year to year.

Here is my quandary. I have a set of three paradigm studio speakers (60's and the matching center) and being driven by a proceed HPA2 and rotel RB-960BX (bridged mono for the center channel). This certainly provides more than enough power, probably more than I need. I use my receiver to power my rear PSB bookshelf speakers which it does admirably. However, my receiver is an outdated Denon 2800. My question is this:

Save for new features such as hdmi switching and other bells and whistles which I'm not particularly interested in, is there a sizable difference in dsp (i.e. D.D. and DTS) processing in newer receivers. I'm talking the old formats, not this new lossless stuff.

For example, I know that my receiver has a 24 bit dsp chip. I have noticed that newer models provide 32 bit and 48 bit processing. While I have no doubt that these chips provide more processing power, is this necessary given what D.D. and DTS demand. Will there be a sizable difference in sound quality. I'm not interested in small diminishing returns albeit I know it's not going to be monstrous either.

Is it worth going out and buying a more sophisticated receiver if I am not going to take advantage of many of the newer features right away. Perhaps I will in the future, but it seems this particular piece of equipment is outdated so quickly, it doesn't make much sense to buy for the future. Now I would like DPL2, but that alone is not enough to warrant a purchase, but it is a factor as I listen to regular TV broadcasts in DPL all the time.

Keep in mind, I only listen to CD's and DVD's. I won't be upgrading my TV (my trusty CRT Hi Def set) or jumping into Hi Def DVD's anytime soon.

It would seem as though I could pick up a used model from the last two years relatively inexpensively. Probably in the realm of $500 give or take. I know pure separates is an option, but it doesn't seem like I could go this route inexpensively. I don't care about power, as it will only power the rear speakers.

I would gain burr brown D/A converters and at a minimum a 32 bit dsp chip. What is the consensus? Is there really a big difference? Just curious, it's been bugging me. I hope I haven't trivialized your time with yet another receiver question.

07-07-2007, 10:17 AM
What is your quandry? It sounds like you don't see a reason to upgrade. So why upgrade? For DD 5.1 and DTS what you have is probably fine. I doubt you would hear $500 worth of difference with a DAC upgrade.

Meanwhile, you have different amps for different channels and you are using an HT receiver as a pre-amp/processor. With the way you like to mix and match and get granular with your system upgrades, you are a good candidate to move up to seperates. Go used, it might not be as expensive as you think.

07-07-2007, 12:11 PM

I didn't put much thought into my system. It was a series of value purchases. Both the proceed and the rotel are used. The Denon was a floor model. The Center channel was a floor model. The only thing I bought new was the PSB's (they were my mains) which was on close out and the Paradigm Studio 60's. Hell I even bought my sub used (Velodyne hgs 18"). But I have killer gear as a result at least imho. I wanted a high end (to me) system that didn't break the bank.

My three fronts match, and I'd love matching rears however both my rears and fronts are Canadian manufactures with 1" aluminum dome tweeters, so they aren't that far off. Hell they even use the same testing facility. The receiver seems to be the weak link at this point.

It doesn't seem like they update separates all that often, and I'm not aware of any 5.1 pre/processors in the sub $1000 market even used.

I dunno, just stuff I've been kicking around and wanted other peoples opinions, if they were willing to take the time. Thanks for responding.

07-07-2007, 04:42 PM
Here is one:

Or get the lower model new for $700:

07-07-2007, 06:10 PM
You might want to dump your Rotel and try to find a HPA3 to run your center and rears.Then you can get a real pre-pro as a next step and get rid of that Denon.The difference between a reciever as a pre-pro and a real pore-pro can be large.