I can see changing a pre/pro for new features, but why isn't the Sunfire amp a keeper?
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I agree with Bob_reynolds. Amp design just doesn't change that much unless you want to go to something next generation like a stack of NuForce 9.2s which would be awesome.
I would also question the notion that its worth staying with one manufacturer. Very few companies do a good job with both - especially if you want some serious watts.
Check out Anthem which makes both and is highly regarded - I had their 7 channel amp and its very good. I am personally not a B&K fan but they know the territory and lots of people love them. Cary has a great reputation too - don't know much about their pres but there is no doubt they build killer amps.
Integra and Marantz offer excellent pres with all the tricks - definitely get something with Audyssey built in EQ - phenomenal in a HT setting. They make fine amps too but I would not be afraid to mix and match
Right now I am running an Integra 9.8 with a Butler and it is very sweet.
I'll bet the Integra 9.9 would make you Sunfire sing too.
Bob, Currently my Sunfire Amp has developed static out of the left rear channel and Sunfire wants up to $600 to fix it. It has worked well the last ten years and very well I might add. The processor also has developed static out of all channels when the bass is selected beyond 0db up or down especially when there is little bass signal.
I would keep the Amp however I'm considering changing the processor to get better technology. Such as HDMI in and out. I'm still going only to use 5.1 maybe 6.1 with two subs.
no comparison between old and new processors. First of course the endless proliferation of new formats. I decided this was a sweet time to get in because the key new standards have been set and stabilized. Since very little software is yet available with the new standards (due to foot dragging by the studios and a soft market) I think this will be stable for a few years. Think of the pre as disposable and the amp as a keeper.
HDMI is huge. Simplifies cabling while saving tons of money - think of one cable instead of 10 to do component and 7 channel audio - ridiculous.
Also sound from BluRays is nothing short of astounding when it comes off uncompressed. Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio (MA) and Linear PCM (Linear Pulse-Code Modulation). These formats will all convey eight discrete channels (7.1) of no-loss audio that exactly duplicate the original studio masters. WOW is all I can say - game changer
Be sure what ever you get is HDMI 1.3 compatible or better.
The new BluRay standard is 2.0 though 1.2 gets it done. (V2 adds internet access for some new interactivity that is again not widely supported yet) Oppo has a new player due this quarter which should be amazing and value priced like all their gear
This is a very interesting phenomenon. Used to be that sources were brutally expensive. You can get really SOTA great looking, great sounding HDMI sources for virtually nothing.
And of course the ultimate HDMI benefit is your HD TV... Unbelievable how straightforward and slick it all is together
BTW just so I don't get trashed - yes you can buy a Krell rig or a Pass rig - but I didn't think you would be posting if that was an option LOL