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Should I sell my Integrated reference amp- Marantz PM-17 for a replacement AVR

Rega

superczar

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Ah, before the integrated lovers flame me to pieces on what sounds like an extremely naive question above, here is some background:

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Till some time ago, my audio setup was based around a Marantz PM-17 Reference series Integrated amplifier coupled with a very capable pair of Phase Tech V12 speakers

The lady of the house however wanted a full AV room setup so I had to give in and we got a AV receiver (Marantz again), a Subwoofer (Polk DSW Pro 500) , a B&W center and some cheapie surrounds

I configured the system in a way that the front floorstanders are still wired to the reference grade Intgrated amp while the center, sub and surrounds are hooked to the AV receiver

The pre-outs of the AVR are hooked to the line-in on the amp
Thus this way, I can switch to pure stereo mode whenever I want
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Now that the history is covered, a few weeks ago, we decided to upgrade the AVR to a unit that also features a HD Video upscaler
We have auditioned a few and given the budgetary constraints, we realized that we can either:

A) Sell the existing AVR and upgrade to a mid-range HDMI upscaling AVR (the existing AVR is already listed for sale in the classifieds section, and i think should be sold in a few days)

B) Sell the existing AVR, sell the Integrated Amp (sob!) :( and get a single high grade AVR

Now I absolutely love that Amp, and I had spent a bomb to get the unit
But having said that, I get less & less time these days to listen to music alone and have been wondering if this Amp is overkill

What would you guys suggest?
 

venkatcr

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Look at this simple solution.

keep your existing system and swap your DVD Player with a 1080p upscaling player, Connect it directly to the TV for upscaled picture and to the AVR for surround sound.

This way for a slight change (<20K), you can have your cake and eat it too.

Another option you can look for is that Video Upscalers are available as independent units. again you can get 1080P upscaled picture through your current system.

Cheers
 
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superczar

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Will these DVD players also upscale existing external input sources?
I was also hoping to upscale my Wii and Tata sky inputs
 

venkatcr

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Will these DVD players also upscale existing external input sources? I was also hoping to upscale my Wii and Tata sky inputs

No they will not. DVD Players will only upscale what they are playing. If you want to upscale more than just a DVD output, you have to go in for an external scaler, or change your AVR.

What about your TV? If it has a upscaling engne, it should be able to do it by itself.

Cheers
 

superczar

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The TV is a Bravia 32S and I guess it has its own internal upscaler, but am not very sure how good its internal upscaling capbilities are
I saw a similar TV hooked to Tatasky via a Harman Kardon AVR (with a Faroudja upscaler) and the end result was far better than what I get on mine
 

venkatcr

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At the outset have you kept the upscaling on your TV on? Check your manual and confirm this. Secondly your TV supports 1366 X 768 pixels and can upscale only upto 720p. The other one you saw may have been upscaled up to 1080p. If what you was was a 720p, your TV can also do that. For a 32inch, 720P is more than enough and a 1080p will be an overkill. We have discussed this before many times, but on anything less than 42 inches, a 1080p will be an overkill.

Even of you buy an AVR with 1080p upscaling engine, it will be forced to tone it down to 720p to display on your TV.

If you want Full HD, you may have to change your TV as well as your AVR. It is decision time, my friend !!!!!! If it is good picture you are looking for the shortcoming lies elsewhere, not in your AVR. BTW, what is your Marantz AVR model number?

Another thing to remember is that Marantz is moving away from including any video engine in some of their new AVRs. They prefer to focus on the sound and leave the video processing to external engines such as DVD Players etc. Some of their model just support a HDMI pass-through, so you will have to be very careful in what your choose.

Cheers
 

psychotropic

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very simple decision....NO!, go with option 1

"Sell the existing AVR and upgrade to a mid-range HDMI upscaling AVR"

your TV is an HD Ready 32 inch.......even otherwise at 32 inches you can't tell the difference between FUll HD and HD Ready.....so getting a fancy upscaling AVR with a Faroudja chip and a grand piano and a champagne chiller.....makes no sense whatsoever.....

That said even a decent mid-range AVR like the Onkyo 606 has a faroudja chip and does video upscaling, so no need to go for anything fancier than that. Unless of course there is a screen upgrade in the offing.....
 

afj

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very simple decision....NO!, go with option 1

"Sell the existing AVR and upgrade to a mid-range HDMI upscaling AVR"

your TV is an HD Ready 32 inch.......even otherwise at 32 inches you can't tell the difference between FUll HD and HD Ready.....so getting a fancy upscaling AVR with a Faroudja chip and a grand piano and a champagne chiller.....makes no sense whatsoever.....

That said even a decent mid-range AVR like the Onkyo 606 has a faroudja chip and does video upscaling, so no need to go for anything fancier than that. Unless of course there is a screen upgrade in the offing.....

the grand piano and champagne sounds good:D
 

persiflage

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ROFL @ champagne chiller!!! :D

My advice: do nothing.

Yes. Save up for an upgrade that makes a meaningful difference (receiver AND screen). Prices are falling all the time and that helps.

Till then, make do with workarounds already suggested.

If you love your amp as much as I love any of mine,you're going to regret selling it, and the sacrifice won't be worth it anyway.
 
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afj

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im with persiflage on this. youre not going to really achieve anything much by changing. infact youre going to lose a lot more in music quality if you sell the integrated. and from your post it seems like you dont want to. but if youre going in for a change go for option a
 

superczar

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Thanks for the suggestion guys
Think I'll choose option A for now
Will very likely be getting a HK AVR354 for now
 

unleash_me

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Shux! Here I was making my sinister plans to lure you into selling your PM17 to me LOL. That was one mistake I did long time back ?? sell off my CD/PM17 combo. Still regret it.

Anyways, good decision mate!
 

afj

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just a note to all fellow members that may think of selling off parts of their music system. pl remember that the loudest sounding unit in your home shouldnt be the lady of the house.....:D. when you want to escape from it all TURN UP THE VOLUME
 

anm

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where are you buying it from? I've read forums about several issues with this unit. Seemingly they can be fixed by firmware upgrade, but I am not sure if h/w needs replacement too.


Thanks for the suggestion guys
Think I'll choose option A for now
Will very likely be getting a HK AVR354 for now
 

ajinkya

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The TV is a Bravia 32S and I guess it has its own internal upscaler, but am not very sure how good its internal upscaling capbilities are
I saw a similar TV hooked to Tatasky via a Harman Kardon AVR (with a Faroudja upscaler) and the end result was far better than what I get on mine

Why is it that the upscaling system included with any LCD/Plasma seems to be inferior to that included with AVRs/DVD players? On a purely functional basis, shouldn't the TVs have much better chips since their only job is to display good video? As opposed to AVRs which do surround sound, video and a myriad other functions?

I would think leaders like Sony, Pioneer, Panasonic would be doing substantial R&D in what they put into their upscaling chips...and it's not like the TVs are cheap compared to AVRs so cost does not seem to be a clinching factor. What am I missing?
 

ajinkya

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Another thing to remember is that Marantz is moving away from including any video engine in some of their new AVRs. Some of their model just support a HDMI pass-through, Cheers

Venkat,
Would you happen to have the description/model no. handy? I would be very keen to audition an A'V'R that just does the surround sound job well...haven't found one yet except at very high prices (Arcam, Primare) .

Thanks,
Ajinkya.
 

venkatcr

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Venkat,
Would you happen to have the description/model no. handy? I would be very keen to audition an A'V'R that just does the surround sound job well...haven't found one yet except at very high prices (Arcam, Primare) .

Ajinkya:

This needs to be confirmed by someone else.

But based upon my reading of some reviews and looking at the specs, none of Marantz's new models from SR4003 to SR8002 have any upscaling engine. When I say upscaling I mean taking any video input through any input methodology (such as 480i, 480p, 720i,...... through composite, S-Video, or component) and upscaling them to 1080p for output through HDMI.

The SR 4003 has just HDMI Switching and Repeating. In other words it is will simply pass any signal it gets in its original form. You can switch a composite/S-Video to component, and a composite /S-video/component to HDMI.

The SR5003 and SR5003 both support what Marantz calls, '10 bit video convertor'. This will take all inputs through any source and allow you to output them though the HDMI for a TV that has either an interlacing engine or a progressive engine.

The SR 7002 and 8002 support 'upconversion (with TBC) to HDMI and 480i/480p convertor'. Here a 480i signal that is received through a composite or component socket is upconverted to 480P and output through the HDMI socket. All other signals are just passed though. TBC refers to Time Based Convertor, whatever that means.

This is my understanding. I could be wrong. It will be nice if someone confirms this.

Cheers
 

arun malur

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Hi Venkat :

You are absolutely right regarding up conversion of Marantz models. In the SR8002, which I have, from the manual it is clear about I/P conversion, though have not used this feature as yet. Not clear about the TBC as it is nowhere mentioned.
 

venkatcr

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Why is it that the upscaling system included with any LCD/Plasma seems to be inferior to that included with AVRs/DVD players? On a purely functional basis, shouldn't the TVs have much better chips since their only job is to display good video? As opposed to AVRs which do surround sound, video and a myriad other functions?

I would think leaders like Sony, Pioneer, Panasonic would be doing substantial R&D in what they put into their upscaling chips...and it's not like the TVs are cheap compared to AVRs so cost does not seem to be a clinching factor. What am I missing?

What you are saying makes very simple common sense. But the custom in the industry is different. There are two major factors that affect the industry. One is cost, and the other is core competence.

TVs are manufactured to display the image with the quality it is received in, without too much modification to the input data. They do basic up-conversion or down-conversion to fit their native resolution, and to de-interlace a interlaced image to progressive image. As technologies improved, the TV manufacturers have focussed on improving their display mechanism, and the bulk of the R&D and investment is on display systems and the electronics needed to drive that. Everything else have been left for outside processing. This way they keep their costs low, and also specialise on what they are good at - making sexy TVs.

Originally the upscaling tasks were left to the specialist who were always one step ahead in the market. These manufacturers such as Fardoudja, DVDO, Gennum, Silicon Optics introduced their own products into the market. These were very complicated technologies, and were kept out of being a part of TVs as they would make the TVs too expensive. Some of these products used to cost 3000 to 10,000 dollars, and were limited to the videophile market. A TV that cost 10,000 dollars would sell in very small numbers.

Again as technologies improved, and costs went down due to scale of operations, manufacturers such as Fardoudja, DVDO, Silicon Optics found their independent products to be too expensive for the market. They changed their production methodology, created LSI chips, and started working with DVD player manufacturers and AVRs makers to capture the market. Thus the task of upscaling has now been left to the AVRs and DVD Players. One reason for DVD players could because they are closer to the source and can extract the maximum data for the DVD.

I think the AVRs have introduced upscaling more to handle competition. When high definition players become common and 1080p sources also become common, all these will become moot in any case. Unless of course companies such as Fardoudja start offering technologies for upscaling to 2000p and 24fps. And, the best part is they are already working on such technologies.

Cheers
 
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