10 responses Add your response
Not for nothing, but am I missing something? I wouldn't suspect that either the Oppo or the Integra would be -- by any stretch of the imagination -- an "upgrade" from the Classe gear you already own. Granted, the Oppo will have much greater functionality as a universal player than a vanilla CDP, but bet it won't play CDs as well as the Classe. And all you'd arguably gain from a current gen AVR is HDMI which, in all honesty, will be more convenient for the 2.5 seconds it takes you to plug it in, and then you'll never think of it again. I totally understand the instinct to devote resources to the two channel gear and go with "sufficient" for the HT bits, but were it me, I'd happily stick with what you've got, and then focus on dedicated two channel gear as an add-on (which is just what it sounds like you have in mind).
Mezmo, thanks for the reply!
I am going to run two channel through an Ayre qb-9 and a Rowland Synergy pre amp that runs in bypass when I am using the Classe for two channel.
The original intent of the upgrade was to 1) Be able to play blu-ray and 3D discs 2) Have a processor that is able to decode the new Dolby and DTS formats. My understanding (and again, I am just gaining an understanding of the new formats) is that you cannot bitstream these through anything except an HDMI cable and that the SSP 600 can not decode these new formats. I may be wrong though...
First of all, have to say that I am liking your taste in gear. (I'm running a qb-9, Rowland preamp, and Rowland 201's on the stereo side.) So, cheers that.
Substantively, if you want to play blue ray, you'll need a blue ray player, no question there. By all accounts, the Oppo's swell there. So that makes perfect sense to me. As for the processing end, always thought that the Classe (not to mention the 15-year old Marantz AVR I'm using) dos DTS and Dolby just fine. If there's a new codec/version that one needs new gear to use, it's news to me. (Not for a moment asserting there ain't, just hadn't heard of it). So if there's a new codec that's HDMI-only, there you go.
Personally, I run HDMI from each of my Oppo (DVD, got it before they came out with the blue ray version, or I'd have that) and the cable box, directly into the monitor/TV. But, use this for video only. Audio goes into the AVR via optical. Way I see it, there's no reason to run video switching through the AVR/processor -- it has nothing to add -- so might as well head directly from the source to the display for video. So, video is perfect for HDMI, but there's no reason (in my book) to route HDMI through the audio processor. It works for me -- but, of course, if there's a new codec that's HDMI-only for audio, and thus of no use to the Classe, then I'm clearly behind the times (which, I suppose, would be nothing new).
There are newer audio codecs than the ones Mezmo is thinking about. DTS HD Master Audio and Dolby Tru HD. Both of these are uncompressed codecs. You can do a few things to decode and hear the new formats 1) Oppo blu ray performs the decode and signal is transmitted to the classe via 5.1 or 7.1 RCA cables 2) oppo bit stream via hdmi to new processor that can decode the newer uncompressed codecs. The new codecs are very good for signal integrity. The classe is a nice piece of gear and option 1 above would allow you to keep it and still have the high resolution audio. The oppo blu ray players that process 3D material (BDP93 & BDP95) both have dual hdmi outputs to allow for a dedicated video transfer via hdmi and a second hdmi output for audio if you choose.
So, I bit the bullet today and got the Integra 80.3, paired with the Oppo 95. The sound and picture is FANTASTIC. This is my first experience with Blu Ray. I appreciate all the advice from Kal and everyone. I am really going to enjoy this set up! Especially considering I spent $4K versus the $13K I spent 5 years ago!