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I'm still hanging on with my trusty B&K Reference 50 (v1). After tuning the notch filter and parametric EQ with REW, this thing really sings. That's why I've just not been that motivated to upgrade - I have my doubts that I'll achieve an improvement in sonics.

However, one of these days it would be good to move up to an HDMI unit! My amp is a Lexicon CX7 (possibly the best HT investment I've ever made). I have it hooked up to the Ref 50 via the balanced connections. What Pre/Pros are out there now that support this? Will they switch 3D HDMI signals? Would like to keep it in the $2-3K range if there are good pieces at that price point. I could go higher - it would just delay the upgrade further into the future.

Is 4K video going to be a contender? Should I just hold off until that settles out?
 

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You can get the Marantz AV-8801 for under $3k street price.
 

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Lots of options in that price range, Integra makes several with Balanced outputs as does Emotiva and as mentioned Marantz.
 

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It'll be shipping the second Tuesday of next week.. lol
LOL...good one!

To the OP....I have a Integra DHC80.3. It is balanced with all the features...I am selling it because I am moving to the McIntosh processor to match my McIntosh amps. If you are interested $1700...if not totally cool...The Integra DHC80.3, Marantz AV8801 and Yamaha CX-A all are great and compete with each under and all are under $3k if you shop them around.
 

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+1 on trying to get the Emotiva XMC-1. Last I heard production was supposed to be a full throttle in June. I think there is a waiting list that has been around for about 5 years so it might take a couple of months to get one. I might also wait for a few users reviews also. Some of Emotiva's processor have had problems when they first appeared.
 

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I agree the XMC1 sounds like a winner but until I read some reviews of an actual unit in use I'm a little hesitant to recommend one as they have had many issues in the past.
 

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Accessories for Less is running a promo on the Yamaha A5000 combo; $3500 for 11.2 channels. The extra channels are used to add proprietary DSP ambience which really do work well on my Yamaha. Alternatively you could use an emotiva AMP for $1,000. But I'd spring for the extra channels to complement the fantastic DSP modes that Yamaha is famous for.
http://www.accessories4less.com/mak...5000-11-channel-x-150w-power-amplifier/1.html
http://www.accessories4less.com/mak...-cx-a5000-11.2-channel-av-preamplifier/1.html


EDIT:
You must have both items in the check out at the same time to qualify for the discount.

Personally, I would do a Yamaha Processor with an Emotiva AMP.
 

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If one's home theater room will only feasibly be able to handle speaker set ups of 5.x or 7.x, what advantages does a pre/pro or receiver of 9.x or 11.x capabilities give you? Just curious from those members that do have experience with this situation.

I'm also reading in some of the posts in this thread that the pre/pro's recommended have balanced outputs. None of these however are actually fully balanced processors. Just because a processor or receiver has balanced outputs doesn't mean it has a fully balanced design.
 

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If one's home theater room will only feasibly be able to handle speaker set ups of 5.x or 7.x, what advantages does a pre/pro or receiver of 9.x or 11.x capabilities give you? Just curious from those members that do have experience with this situation.
We have a nine channel and for the expense, have a top of the line room correction software and a very robust amplifier system. We purchased with the understanding that we were only going have a 5.2 system. The output levels are super and achieving clean reference level play is not a problem nor after a two hour movie, listened at reference levels, does the amplifier have a heat problem like so many smaller units do.

We upgraded from a Marantz SR5007 which is a 7.2 capable system and so far, other than the dreamy nature of the yet to be released Emotiva XMC-1 w/XPA-5 amplifier, nothing has come close to turning my head away from our Denon AVR-4529CI. For our needs, purchasing an Emotiva rig would be a vanity purchase and not because, for our needs, our current AVR is lacking in any way.

Our experience is limited and I hope the above gives you the insight you were hoping for.

...:T
 

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If one's home theater room will only feasibly be able to handle speaker set ups of 5.x or 7.x, what advantages does a pre/pro or receiver of 9.x or 11.x capabilities give you? Just curious from those members that do have experience with this situation.
The channel-count capability doesn't help you much unless you're going to do "Zones", but the AVRs with 9+ channel capability also come with other features that do matter regardless of how many channels you use, like Audyssey XT 32, dual sub EQ, etc.
I'm also reading in some of the posts in this thread that the pre/pro's recommended have balanced outputs. None of these however are actually fully balanced processors. Just because a processor or receiver has balanced outputs doesn't mean it has a fully balanced design.
...The advantages of which are highly debatable anyway. All balanced designs, wether fully balanced internal topology or not, have far higher parts counts (usually more than double the single-ended counterpart), noise sources, etc. For the typical HT devices that are only balanced at the interface (and nearly all are not really balanced, but rather differential..not the same thing), the pro-balanced argument can only be interface noise immunity.

There are a few fully balanced devices, (the Denon AVP-A1HDA comes to mind, though it's internally differential, not balanced). The arguments that focus on the possible distortion reduction benefits of a fully balanced topology are weak because there are other, lower-cost ways to accomplish the same thing and the reduction of even-order distortion products is of limited benefit as they are typically well below audibility already, and less audible than odd-order products which cannot be cancelled in a balanced topology.

So balanced benefits get down to common-mode noise cancellation, which cannot be taken for granted with a device with so-called balanced I/O because CMRR is almost never specified, and certainly not as it should be...a curve spanning the audio band and above into RF. The other little "gotcha" is that the presence of an XLR on a consumer device seems to imply it can interface with pro gear, but often that's not the case because of different operating levels. Pro gear clips at +21 - +24dBu which corresponds to between 8 and 12Vrms, but consumer gear often clips at 2 - 4Vrms, sometimes much lower. The result is people try to use pro gear with their consumer "balanced" device and end up with level incompatibilities.

In short, if you don't need the noise rejection because all your gear is co-located and shares the same ground/earth, I'd put my money into something that makes a real and positive audible difference, like speakers or acoustics. If you're running very long interconnects to devices that don't or can't share the same power phase and ground, then a balanced device with good CMRR can save your bacon.
 
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