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How I've added HDMI 1.3 high bitrate audio decoding to my Parasound C1

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  • #61
    You know what would be nice, would be to have a pre-pro that has a decoder card in it, that can be pulled and replaced with a newer version when newer audio formats or HDMI revisions come along. Then you're not having to replace your entire pre-pro everytime they come out with some new bell or whistle. Just swap out the card. But barring that, the Chris method of using an inexpensive receiver as a decoder is more cost effective, since that's the only piece you have to replace to get up to date again.

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    • #62
      The tech innovation and upgrade bugs never stop, that's for sure. I went searching for possible receiver upgrades, and the Marantz AV7702 processor looks like an AWESOME choice for the latest bells and whistles, including Dolby Atmos.
      http://us.marantz.com/us/products/pa...oductId=AV7702

      I'm going to at least hold off on serious consideration until March 2015, though, as DTS is about to release their version of Dolby Atmos, which likely will be called DTS:X. Don't want to get caught up in another round of "this has the Dolby processing, but won't decode DTS discs".

      Of course, the obvious question at some point is going to be, when buying a new receiver/processor that's good enough, why even keep the old C1 processor at all? I guess as much as it cost to begin with, it's just tough to let go. Resale probably really low now. And I sure still love how it looks in my rack with all my other Halo gear.
      CHRIS

      Well, we're safe for now. Thank goodness we're in a bowling alley.
      - Pleasantville

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      • #63
        Chris, don't get too caught up in the marketing side of sound. You and I both know there's only so many different ways you can slice and dice 5.1 or 7.1. So you move a few frequency waves this way or that. Overall, in the grand scheme of things. I'll still hang onto my old Lexicon MC-12 processor with THX/DTS/Logic 7 processing, hold the bells and whistles. I don't have HDMI switching. No problem, I handled that for $120.00 at Radio Shack. Sure, it's a little more inconvenient. But I don't have to give up my broadcast quality sound that my processor was famous for. I'll use it until they pry it from my cold .... you know. Well, or it has a major meltdown, which I hope never happens. But if it does, I expect I will downgrade to receiver quality audio for listening to movies, and try to beef up a 2 channel rig. That's where I am headed.

        I love home theater. But at this point, I have little time for much more than a movie a week, if that. I watch a few shows I like, and let the rest go for now. Limited time, limits what I can do with that time.

        Enjoy your C1, that's what I say.
        Doug
        "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

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        • #64
          I see what you're saying, Doug, when it comes to coming up with newer processing of 5.1 or 7.1. Just improved ways of delivering sound from the same discrete channels. However, Dolby Atmos (and the soon-to-be-announced DTS equivalent) adds a whole new dimension of sound by finally adding discrete (and processed) ceiling speakers. If you get a chance to get a properly setup Atmos demo, do take it! It's worthwhile.

          I'm sooooo tempted to grab the Marantz AV7702. But I do want to at least see what DTS announces next month.
          CHRIS

          Well, we're safe for now. Thank goodness we're in a bowling alley.
          - Pleasantville

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          • #65
            Well, 6 years after I did this setup and posted this thread, and 12 years or so after I originally got my C1, I've finally reached a tipping point. I took advantage of a screaming deal on Panasonic's PT-AE8000 projector sale for $1,499, which added 3D to my theater. In setup, though, I discovered that because the Denon AVR-2808ci I'm using in this thread is HDMI 1.3 compliant, it can't pass 3D. I can run an HDMI cable direct from my BD player to the PJ, but not through the processor first. So I can get HD audio tracks or 3D, but not both.

            If it was just 3D, that wouldn't be that important to me. But with Atmos out now, DTS's object-based 3D audio format coming next month, and my current issue of tracking down low-level distortion in my audio path, I think the time may has come for me to replace my C1 and the outboard HDMI decoder with a complete new HDMI 2.0 AVR processor solution. I'll still keep my Halo amps and all other Halo gear. Heck, I may even keep my C1 in my rack because it looks so damn pretty along with my other Halo gear. Use it for A/V in another room, or keep for other purposes.

            Soooo... what's it going to be? I'm still SO tempted to buy a Marantz AVR 7702. There's even a guy I found that would sell me a NISB unit for $1500 + shipping that he bought and doesn't want. But it would be best if I can hold out for a month or more until the next models come out that include DTS's object-based audio. DTS is releasing their product March 2015, with equipment manufacturers to follow. Wish I had a ton of spare money, but not the case right now.
            CHRIS

            Well, we're safe for now. Thank goodness we're in a bowling alley.
            - Pleasantville

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            • #66
              Originally posted by Chris D View Post
              Well, 6 years after I did this setup and posted this thread, and 12 years or so after I originally got my C1, I've finally reached a tipping point. I took advantage of a screaming deal on Panasonic's PT-AE8000 projector sale for $1,499, which added 3D to my theater. In setup, though, I discovered that because the Denon AVR-2808ci I'm using in this thread is HDMI 1.3 compliant, it can't pass 3D. I can run an HDMI cable direct from my BD player to the PJ, but not through the processor first. So I can get HD audio tracks or 3D, but not both.

              If it was just 3D, that wouldn't be that important to me. But with Atmos out now, DTS's object-based 3D audio format coming next month, and my current issue of tracking down low-level distortion in my audio path, I think the time may has come for me to replace my C1 and the outboard HDMI decoder with a complete new HDMI 2.0 AVR processor solution. I'll still keep my Halo amps and all other Halo gear. Heck, I may even keep my C1 in my rack because it looks so damn pretty along with my other Halo gear. Use it for A/V in another room, or keep for other purposes.

              Soooo... what's it going to be? I'm still SO tempted to buy a Marantz AVR 7702. There's even a guy I found that would sell me a NISB unit for $1500 + shipping that he bought and doesn't want. But it would be best if I can hold out for a month or more until the next models come out that include DTS's object-based audio. DTS is releasing their product March 2015, with equipment manufacturers to follow. Wish I had a ton of spare money, but not the case right now.
              Hi Chris, I was wondering if you could give me some advice based on your knowledge and experience on Parasound EQ. I've been looking at buying a Parasound C2 controller, but I'm wondering if I would be gaining anything considering I have a Marantz SR6007 AVR, Halo A52, Halo A23 in my sound works. In your post you're considering upgrading to a higher end Marantz 7702, which is no doubt an upgrage to the SR6007 I believe which is 2 years old? My question is this; Is there any benefit in quality of sound the C2 would have in my system besides looking pretty sexy beside my other Parasound gear? I think you mentioned there would be more bass control with the C2 and I might be able to use the Balanced connectors, but the Marantz only has unbalanced, so this may be a disadvantage right there for me. Asking price is $800.00 for the C2 which is a bit high possibly. I know you speak highly of the C2 and it appears from what I've been reading in your thread here the C2 is outdated in some ways, without HDMI connects, up-scaling etc but back to my original question, do you think there is any benefit to spend this money on the C2 or would the sound be just as good with what I have already?

              thanks much!
              Mike

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              • #67
                Hey, Mike! Welcome to the Guide and Club Parasound. :banana:

                The answer to your question is, yes, there could be benefits, but you need to know what you're gaining and losing. The C2 is a $3,000 high fidelity A/V pre/pro, that is now about 12 years old. I have not experienced the exact model of the SR6007 myself. But given what I've experienced of the Marantz line, I would hazard an educated guess that the SR6007 is a good, solid unit, and the C2 would be a step up in sonic clarity from the SR6007, for the analog, coax digital, and optical digital sources that you would connect directly to the C2 instead of the SR6007. But as you note, the C2 lacks all technology developed in the last 9 years or so.

                I assume that you're not currently using the amplification in the SR6007, and are only using the pre-outs to your Halo amps. So are you thinking of doing what I did in this thread, and use the SR6007 as an outboard HDMI decoder, for the C2 which would become your main processor? If so, adding the C2 would not add any benefit to the HDMI audio (or video) that you'd be passing through the SR6007. As I mentioned, it could only potentially make the other audio sources clearer that you would connect direct to the C2 and bypass the SR6007.

                If, on the other hand, you're looking to **replace** the Marantz with the C2, you'd have to realize and accept that you'd be losing all HDMI decoding capability. In today's home theater world, that'd be a huge loss, as all modern and future HT technologies are using HDMI. (until they develop an HDMI replacement)

                My personal advice - if it were me, at this point, I'd stick with the SR6007, and plan out your next upgrade to simply replace the SR6007. If you can afford it now, you could go with the Marantz 7702, which I have to say is an AMAZING unit and an incredible value for what it does. PM me if you're considering buying one. Other A/V units with Atmos are also options, but so far the 7702 is the best of the bunch I've found. Otherwise, models with the DTS:X audio format will be out this fall, and would be good time to buy things then.

                Stand by for a post on what I'm doing next, when I get time to post it up.
                CHRIS

                Well, we're safe for now. Thank goodness we're in a bowling alley.
                - Pleasantville

                Comment


                • #68
                  Hey Chris, good to be here thanks!

                  Just to give you a little more of my intentions in seeking a practical application combining the C2 into what I have already, yes I would basically do what you did, have the Marantz as the decoder for the C2. Rather than replace the Marantz with the C2 (no I would be giving up a lot not having all HDMI decoding capability I need it!).

                  From my limited understanding (as I am learning at a rapid rate some of the basics here) it would be good to utilize the HDMI on the Marantz for most sources as you say and as you have done in your set-up. If I could use the balance inputs and outputs on the Parasound C2 and my A52 that would be the first good improvement. (the Marantz SR6007 does not have balanced connections unfortunately, which may speak of more reason to upgrade to the 7702).

                  Also I'm more interested in audiophile quality sound for music than I am for movies, but in any way I could use the C-2 to enhance sound whether that is utilizing the "analog, coax digital, and optical digital sources that you would connect directly to the C2 instead" as you say. Any DVD Blu-Ray movies from the Blu-ray player would have to be decoded (I have a 3d Panasonic Viera plasma TV) so I'll need the Marantz decoding capabilities and HDMI for video, but I'm wondering if I could do a bypass from the C-2 for sound, if I'm correct the sound would have to be run from the analog outputs on the Blu-ray to the Analog input on the C2? Somewhere the amp has to be connected, I'm assuming it would be after the Marantz for most HDMI sources, but I also have the other A23 2ch amp I could run off the C2 for strictly stereo usage. Either way the amp in each setup will be last piece of equipment to the speakers.

                  Right now I have analog connections hooked up on Blue-ray going to the SR6007 Blue-ray analog inputs for my Zone-2 sound and I have the HDMI hooked up as well. My Parasound A23 powers the Zone-2 speakers from the Zone 2 pre-outs on the SR6007. The C2 as a "Controller" may have excellent benefits in bass management as well. That seems to be a weak spot in most the new integrated amps these days is not being able to control bass and treble like we seen in equalizers in days gone by. My SR6007 gives only 5 choices of decoded sound including the Pure setting which is not that good in my opinion. So one of my real beefs has been for these controls to set the levels as we like them individually to our own preferences.

                  So this leads me to look at the money picture(pro's and con's) vs the 2 options. Buy the C-2 and use what I have or just upgrade to the 7702 Marantz or even wait till fall for the DTS:X release. Considering I should upgrade anyway this would be the cheaper of 2 options. Selling the SR6007 would put $500-$600 towards the upgrade and savings of $700 on the C2 nets me $1300 towards the upgrade. It appears to make more common sense as I write this and the fact you yourself are considering upgrading too after all this time with the C2 says something!

                  Do you think the musical sound will be as good, superior or equivalent to the C2 on the 7702? This is what' it's all about isn't it?

                  Mike

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