Integra Research RDC-7 or Parasound Halo C2?

I have heard good things about both of these controllers, The RDC-7 has received high praise from various publications. The Halo C2 looks very promising, although it's track record is unsure as of yet, as it was just introduced about two moths ago. The Integra Research on the other hand has been out for over two years now. So even though the RDC-7 isn't new, it's totally up to date with all the new formats(THX Ultra 2, DTS-ES,DTS 96/24,DD-EX,Pro Logic 2), and it's still fully uprgadable. The RDC-7 still appears to be a strong contender in the A/V conroller arena, competeing favorably with controllers at or above it's price.

My question is, which do all think is the better choice between these two units? I want a controller that sounds awesome with both music and movies. The speakers that will be used with it are all Martin Logans. I am very critical about music reproduction, so I want something that will knock my socks off in 2 channel. I need your input, as I have no way of personally auditioning either of these controllers(no one in my area has one that I can demo).

Thanks in advance.
Any feedback, anyone??
You may wish to try this on avsforum, there may be stuff on this there. good luck
I totally enjoy the RDC-7 for 2 ch music. I found it more detailed than my CAL Alpha tube DAC. This is a great product with a strong and fast upgrade path. All of the major mags list it just below the big dollar units, not that $4500 is cheap. Hope this helps.

Thanks for your reply, I went ahead and had my dealer order me an Integra Research RDC-7. It looks like I should be very happy with the it. Is your RDC-7 the upgrade-2 version? From your reply, this unit does a wonderful job for 2 channel music listening. How much of an improvement did you notice using the digital upsampling feature? How would you describe the sound of this controller with music(warm, bright, etc.)? And , how does it perform with movies?
Upgrade 2 version is correct, I shipped it out on a Monday and had it back by Friday. I like the upsampling feature, seems to me to have a little more in the low level detail department. The sound, I don't think can be described as warm or bright. I find it quite detailed, not quite warm like the tube sound I had with the CAL DAC. Movies are Top-notch! I did compaire it to the Sunfire Theater Grand II - and it was more detailed in both departments. I am totally satisfied with this unit, and will not be changing Pre's anytime soon. The unit has one of the best user interfaces I have used. VERY easy to set up and configure.

I hope you enjoy the unit.
What kind of Amplification, speakers, cables, source, etc. will you ve using?

Right now the amp I'm using is a Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature series II, but I am considering going with the matching Integra Research RDA-7(any thought's?). Speakers are all Martin Logan(Aerius i, Cinema, Scenarios) except the 2 back center surrounds, which are Paradigm Mini Monitors, and the subs which are A/D/S MS3, Paradigm PS1000. Speaker cable is Monster Z1 with Monster Lock spade ends, with the front left and right in a dual run(shotgun) bi-wire configuration. Associated electronics and interconnects are:

Center Surround Amp: Sonance Sonamp 5150
CD Player: Sony CDP-XA20ES
DVD Player: Yamaha DVD-S2300
Bass Manager: Outlaw Audio ICBM-1(for use W/Yamaha for DVD-A/SACD)
LD Player: Pioneer DVL-919


BALANCED XLR CABLES: Cobalt Cable Ultimate Balanced XLR
INTERCONNECTS: Outlaw Audio PCA's, Monster Lightspeed 100 optical, Apature digital coax, Canare Professional SPDIF Digital Coax, Monster Cable 400 MKII

What equipment and speakers do you use with your RDC-7?
My Current system:
Sony DVP-NS999ES DVD player
Integra Research RDC-7
Odyssey Stratos Amp (2 ch.) & Carver AV-505 Amp (5 ch.)
Zu Druid 2 Main speakers
Energy Surround speakers
Zu Retro subwoofer
Zu Ibis Speaker Cables, Zu Varial interconnects
Zu power cables
Toshiba 40H80 RPT.

I am very happy with this set up. The RDA-7 is supposed to be an amazing amp, but for the money, I would keep your 5 channel for center and surround duty, and look into a good 2 channel Amp & some better speaker cables and interconnects. The Odyssey can be had for under $1200 new. Speaker cables - I have tried all of Zu's speaker cables and think that they offer an excellent product for the money.

My wifes uncle hooked up an Sonic Frontiers Amp 2 with Straightwire Cresendo Speaker Cables, and Martin Logan Odyssey Speakers with great results. You could probably find this Amp & Cables used on the market for less than the RDA-7 Amp.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for your input, I checked out the Odyssey Stratos amp and the Zu cable speaker wire, both are very nice. How much power does the Odyssey Stratos amp put out @ 4ohms? And is it stable down to 2 ohms? This definitely gives me something to chew on, thanks for sharing. My RDC-7 was supposed to of been here today(oh well, maybe tomorrow), once I get it and have it up and running, I'll let you know what I think of it.
The Stratos, I think goes to 250 at 4 ohms. I did take it to my wifes uncle, and listen to it with his martin logans, and it sounded just fine. Hope that helps.
Re the amp the key is you want a truly balanced amp. The Integra Pre uses fully balanced outputs , as it was co designed by BAT, Onkyo and Apogee. Truly balanced amps I know of are of course The Integra, BAT , Classe, which I own in two channel, Krell fully balanced and Im sure there are more, but not all amps are fully balanced. Read the complete review of the RDC-7 in Stereophiles Guide to Home Theater Feb 2001 , available online, and you will fully understand the benefit of the Integra Research RDC-7 combined with a truly balanced amp.

Thank you for your reply. Knowing that the Integra Research RDA-7 is a true balanced design will probably be the determining factor for me. Do you all know if the RDA-7 amp is stable down to 2 ohms? The reason I'm asking is my Martin Logan aerius i speakers go down to 2 ohms @ 20,000 khz. Most if not all CD's don't have much info above 18,000 khz, but many DVD-Audio/SACD titles have info above 20,000 khz. So with my speakers I need an amp that can handle a 2 ohm load. Your help will be appreciated.
Thats a good question, I do not know the answer. I can tell you that my priority as well is two channel. So what I did was get the best balanced amp that I could personally afford for the front two channels , a Classe 301, and I use an Anthem, which has XLR inputs , but is not truly balanced for the center and rears. While Home Theater still sounds awsome, it two channel where my system really shines. In fact for the first six months all I did was listen to two channel because I could not believe how good it sounded. Now again this is only my perception, but the RDC-7 sounded even better at home than it did at the dealer. The reason I believe, and my dealer agreed with me , is the Integra Amp, is 7 channels squeezed into one box, and if Im not mistaken is only rated at about 110 watts a channel. My Classe is 300 watts balanced per channel. I think I will eventually add the Classe 5 channel for the center and the rears, but my advice to you is get 2 amps. One for Stereo , one for the center and rears. If you think about the concept of seperates, having 7 channels in one box goes against the sperates theory. Just my advice. Good Luck !

I totally agree with you, having a separate amp for 2 channel listening is definitely the way to go. I have heard very good things about Classe amps, and would welcome one in my setup. What's a good price to pay for a 2 channel Classe 300 watt balanced amp?

I was reading through the online manual for the RDA-7 amp and it's power output ratings @ 8 ohms is 150w, and 300w @ 4ohms (just wanted to share). If I opt to go for the RDA-7(which right now you have me thinking about the Classe)do you think $2,900 is a good price for it?