Your thoughts on preamp/processors

Ok, what are your thoughts on this?

I have a EAD Ovation. I love it, it sounds awesome, looks great, but is a huge pain. If you are not familiar with EAD, their products do not have any buttons on the front.

So here is the issue, the batteries in the remote died while I was away on a business trip and when my wife put new batteries in, it dropped all the codes. Now it does nothing, not even volume up or down. I contact noble and they offer a remote for $275. While I debated on this, I bought a harmony universal figuring I can use it in another room if it didn't work. I was surprised, but they had EAD Codes in their online database.

So, now the unit works with the universal remote. However now my wife is even more confused by the system and it seems everytime I am away on business, she cannot operate this component. I have a 3 year old and he has no patience, this only frustrates the whole situation as she is trying to figure it out, he is bugging her in the background.

Do I just ditch the thing and get a new unit with a volume knob and traditonal buttons on the front?

Is there anyhing that can compare to the sound quality?

Is it smart to buy a unit that does not have HDMI?

I do have a seperate 2 channel music room, but even with that, I find I listen to quite a bit of music in this room as well as DVD Concerts.

I have FOCAL SPEAKERS, HD DVD Player and Pioneer Plasma in the room where the Preamp processor will go...

Sorry that was so me out here.
That so sucks.... the remote is simple.. the biggest problem you are having is switching video and audio.. she probably doesn't get it..

I never had problems with my 3 EAD's... but the hardest thing explaining to (not all...but most) women is that you have to change the video input and the audio input, and you can't do this with the EAD.

The EAD gear sounds soo smooth and natural compared to other surround processors.... but you need video and audio switching to make your life easier, by making hers easier..

Buy a Receiver that switches video and audio, Get a Denon 3808 or something... so when she see's the DVD she gets audio also...

I switched to a Meridian because I wanted to run multiple subs which the EAD wouldn't do and because I wanted Dolby II. I still miss the naturalness of the EAD and the amazingly easy setup! Take the money out of your video system and put a projector up in your audio room for you with the money you get back from switching all your components down to a receiver.

Good luck!
I have the same problem .
All was well with the Onkyo A/V receiver . Upgraded to a pre/pro and 5 channel amp and the wife and kids could no longer "make it work".

I am in the process of going back to a A/V receiver !
Well, I guess I should have added, that I also purchased a HD DVD Player and my Pioneer TV is auto sensing input. Problem is the TV will not pick up the HDMI source right away. The player is killer, but it takes awhile to load and thus does not output signal right there is another source of frustration. I think I am going to call Harmony and see if they can help, maybe there is a way to delay switching the tv input?

Thanks for the help so far. Anyone have any luck with a different preamp processor that sounded as good?
If you are just having video switching problems you can buy an Oppo HDMI switcher which has a remote and you can program the harmony to control that. 3 HDMI sources into 1.

When you get down to this level of programming of delays, the Harmony products are really hard to get right.. This is where the extra "Work" required on the Pronto's give you the flexibility to achieve all these setting. I use a Pronto 7000 with an RF receiver (supports 4 IR devices) so the remote doesn't have to be pointed at the electronics. I will get another RF receiver later so I can control all my devices without having to point it at everything. I have a Harmony remote also which was fast and easy to get up and running but couldn't handle my Video scaler and projector correctly with all the custom settings (delays and additional macros).

Don't forget to checkout AVSforum . com for programming remote tricks and remotecentral . com
Just a thought on making the wife and kids happy. For the sake of the others in the household. Hook gear such as dvd player both to the TV and into your processors. Easy for the family to just use dvd hooked directly into AV input on TV. They won't have the full surround audio, but ease of use goes along way. When you are there and can operate gear, all can enjoy the full effect.
I too love the sound of my EAD Ovation+ and am saddened by its abysmal ergonomics. My wife can't operate our home theater but luckily she doesn't want to.

I also hate the burst of digital noise the EAD often makes when I load or eject a DVD. I have to mute the EAD every time to avoid it! It's embarrassing for such expensive gear to misbehave like that, but I do love the sound.

Any suggestions on an as good or better sounding pre/pro with good ergonomics would be appreciated! HDMI support of high-def audio formats would be great too.
Chouca: if you are having noise problems switching inputs and syncing with your DVD it's because of the amount of jitter your DVD player has.... You need to reduce the "Digital Flywheel" down to 3 which is the least sensitive to having a high end transport, otherwise it might be your digital cable.. This won't eliminate it but it will help it considerably and it will sound better. The default setting is '1' which is not very compatible with most dvd players.

The "Digital Flywheel" is a built in anti-jitter processor that EAD released a manual supplement describing how to change it.. I don't have mine anymore but you should look it up or contact Boolean electronics.
I hear you. I had the same problem up until a month ago. I have a Pioneer plasma too and was using and ATI 7 channel amp and a Sherbourn 7010A processor. It sounded really good, but there was always the control problem for the rest of the family.

My solution was to sell the ATI and Sherbourn and buy a Pioneer receiver. I purchased the Pioneer VSX-94TXH from Ebay and a SR+ cable from Pioneer. The SR+ cable allows the receiver and TV to talk. Se everything up in the receiver once and off you go. The units both change inputs when needed. If i want to watch tv using the Pioneer plasma's tuner. Once push of the remote button and there it is. My family now has no problems.

The sound quality didn't change. The pioneer receiver sounds really good too. I have a HD-A3, a Playstation 3 and a DVD/VCR combo going through the HDMI inputs of the Receiver. It is really nice to use one cable for the video and sound and the ability to decode Dolby HD.

A Pioneer receiver and SR+ cable from Pioneer should solve your problem.

I am seriously thinking just to sell the EAD and my amp and get a HDMI 1.3 reciever.