Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Upgrades - Will They Ever End?

I recently upgraded my AVR to the Pioneer VSX1018AH. This AVR is only THX Select 2, but it does feature the latest format decoders [DTS HD MA and DDTrHD] and given that processing seems to be the fastes evolving part of Home Theatre these days, I have decided to take a different path from the norm. The way I see it, our Home Theatres can be broken into 2 major groups [just like like real cinemas] - the A chain [Source Components and Processing] and the B chain [Amplifiers, Speakers and Room Acoustics]. Generally speaking, we are less likely to upgrade the B chain, but with BD came new audio formats that I decided that I needed to own.
When you purchase an expensive AVR, you are paying for the quality of the amplification as well as DACs and processing, and given that it is very possible that the current line up of processing could reach an end of life sooner than later, why not just upgrade the parts that needs upgrading?

I used to have separates [pre/pro and power amps] and I would someday like to go back to that arrangement, as dedicated power amplifiers do make speakers sound nicer [warmer] than the amps built in to an AVR. A few units like the one pictured below would be sweet!
So the way I see it, this AVR will serve as an AVR until I get my power amps, then serve as a good pre/pro. Should there be new formats or a reason to upgrade, I simply replace the AVR. The reason I suggest an AVR is that dedicated pre-pros are very hard to move as whoever buys it has to have separates to use it.


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