1098 - Am I nuts or what?

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  • jimmyp58
    Super Senior Member
    • Aug 2003
    • 1449

    1098 - Am I nuts or what?

    After doing a ton of research on which pre-pro to get, I settled in on the 1098 after it just beat out the Anthem AVM 20. One of the chief reasons was the tft display. Well, the prettiest girl isn't always the one you should marry. It never dawned on me for a moment to ask if the unit had a headphone jack --- it was a given. Right? WRONG!!! How in the world could they have put this unit on the market without one? Maybe I am weird but once in a while I just want to chill out without the entire house listening to my music (especially my teenage kids). Well if that wasn't the kick in the teeth that I made a bad purchase, imagine when I discovered 95% of the front panel display functions CANNOT be performed on the remote control. The heck with learning 9 other devices and using the remote to operate them. Why couldn't they have made a remote to operate the actual unit? Path? Nope! Speakers? Nope!! Mode? Nope!!! Display? No once again. For those of you that love this beast, God Bless You. Perhaps I am nuts but my $250 PDA allows me to listen to my music with headphones so I don't bother the world.

    If you guys have any advice, I'll gladly listen. Otherwise, Anthem AVM 20 here I come!!!

    Jim
    jpiscitello@ameritech.net
  • Scarp
    Senior Member
    • Mar 2003
    • 632

    #2
    1) Headphone Jack: its a surround processor, so why does it need a headphone jack? Secondly if you have a proper headphone (hey, you can afford a 3000 dollar pre/pro, so get a good headphone) you want a good headphone amplifier also. Most of the time headphone jacks in equipment are crap (in the anthem if it has one it will most likely be crap).

    2) Path? Sure, you want to switch to the CD with the remote? Press the CD button for 2 seconds and the 1098 will switch! There are no functions on the machine itself that cannot be performed by the remote.

    3) Speaker settings? Surely that can be done by the remote ... no problem.

    I'm sorry, but I guess read the manual first before complaining.
    People expect to be working with this kind of equipment without ever reading the remote ... and then start shouting at everybody when things don't work as they think they go.

    To answer you question in the topic title ... yes you are nuts

    Comment

    • Azeke
      Super Senior Member
      • Mar 2003
      • 2123

      #3
      Jim,

      Scarp has some interesting points. You should read the manually thoroughly, it is pretty well written, and may resolve some of your issues.

      Unfortunately, this is not a plug a play machine, I believe if you give the 1098 a chance, you can retain your sanity.

      Regards,

      Azeke

      Comment

      • Scarp
        Senior Member
        • Mar 2003
        • 632

        #4
        Ow ya ... "mode"? Open the little lit of your remote, there are all the surround modes you want (2ch, 5ch, etc etc ...)

        Comment

        • skipm
          Senior Member
          • Jun 2003
          • 198

          #5
          Jim-

          Rotel engineers determined years ago that the inclusion of a headphone amp had an detrimental affect on the overall sound quality and chose to leave it off their equipment. It is a very simple matter to purchase a headphone amp and connect to the tape ouput on the 1098. Or Parasound makes a unit called "ZAMP" that can be connected to the Zone 2 ouputs. It has a headphone jack as well. The best website for headphone info is headroom.headphone.com. Also, audioadvisor.com sells headphone amps and carries the Parasound ZAMP.

          As for your other issue, I have been able to do everything from the remote that I can do from the 1098's front panel except for the Display function and Andrew is working with Rotel to get that functionality on the remote as well. Everything else you mentioned can be performed from the remote.

          The Anthem is a great pre/pro and if you have your heart set on one by all means go for it. It is more expensive but you will get a headphone jack. I don't know of anyone who has A/B'd them side by side. There have been some comparisions between the 1066 and Anthem and some said there was no difference in sound, other said the Anthem might be slightly better. I personally don't think it is a fair comparison due to the price differential. It's kinda like comparing the 1098 to a Parasound C1 because they both have TFT screens. The C1 costs $6,000 USD!!! That's twice as much as the 1098.

          Like I said the Anthem is a fine unit, a tweakers dream. If you have your heart set on it, go for it and don't look back. If you are trying to justify it based on the lack of a headphone jack on the 1098, then that's going to be one expensive headphone jack.

          -Skip

          Comment

          • Danbry39
            Moderator Emeritus
            • Sep 2002
            • 1584

            #6
            Live with the 1098 for a little bit and you might be surprised as to how accomodating it is. As for the headphone jack, there are compromises made to incorporate it into the system. An outboard unit will probably sound better and can be had for a reasonable price.

            Give it a go. You probably have a return option. If it doesn't work out, the Anthems will still be there.




            Keith
            Keith

            Comment

            • Howie
              Member
              • Feb 2003
              • 36

              #7
              I'll give you $1500 for your 1098 if you're not happy with it.
              :LOL:
              Howie




              Howie
              Howie

              Comment

              • LEVESQUE
                Senior Member
                • Oct 2002
                • 344

                #8
                Sorry to burst the bubble, but I have some Sennheiser HDD600 with Cardas upgrade cables, and I'm using the Anthem headphone amp with great results.

                I've tried some dedicated headphone amps, and the Anthem keep up with alot of them.

                Jimmy. Go for the Anthem and enjoy your headphones. You won't regret it.

                "Headphone Jack: its a surround processor, so why does it need a headphone jack? Secondly if you have a proper headphone (hey, you can afford a 3000 dollar pre/pro, so get a good headphone) you want a good headphone amplifier also. Most of the time headphone jacks in equipment are crap (in the anthem if it has one it will most likely be crap)."

                Scarp. One of the first rule when giving an opinion is not to give one when you haven't ACTUALLY heard it for real. How can you trash the Anthem headphone amp if you never did use it with good headphones?

                Second. At midnight, I like to listen to music with my headphones. So I stay in good terms with my neighbors, and my little 10 months old little girl is not moving around in her bed because of my sub... With headphones, I can really listen to loud music.

                BTW, did you ever try some good headphones? It blows any speakers for stereo listening. For HT, I prefer to use all the speakers, but for stero music, headphones is a completely different experience. No room problems, no bass nodes or canceling, no housesounds in the background...

                Here an answer I got from a SFTech about the headphone amp in the Anthem: "This headphone amp is not an off-the-shelf chip - it was designed by us".

                And because I tried it, and did COMPARE it with dedicated headphone amps, I can say that the build quality is quite good. And it's working really well with the well-know Sennheiser HDD600 that are considered a tough load.
                To spend more $$$ on electronics without first addressing room acoustics is fruitless IMO.

                Comment

                • tominizer
                  Member
                  • Aug 2003
                  • 60

                  #9
                  I'm a current Rotel owner. All my stuff is Rotel. I love my stuff. 1095 is cool but my upgrade one day will be to the AVM 20 or it's secret cousin coming out in the not too distant future. WHY......... .they are around the corner from me and their customer service is second to none. AND, I like it. It's cool in silver. Buttons feel nice!!! And I can upgrade using my computer and it's RS 232 port. I've had a hell of a time trying to get service/repairs/information/etc from Rotel. And down time is annoying as hell. But anyways, I still love my Rotel gear and will continue to participate.............. cause it's just good sh!te for now.

                  As for your passionate outburst at the 1095, hey, I can totally understand it. Yeah, you may not be right and maybe you didn't read the WHOLE manual. Whatever. Sometimes excitment gets the better of us and most real men never read manuals anyways. When we were born, we were given the gift of automatically knowing everything. You how it is............. car breaks down on the side of the road.......... you jump out and pop the hood thinking "........hey, maybe if I look hard enough I can find the problem and fix it!!" Only thing is you forgot it's a BMW 745i with more parts then the space shuttle.............. but you go looking anyways :LOL: But back tot he 1095........... you get all excited, drop the bread, then find out it's isn't what you thought................ so rampage time. It's a man trait. Take it easy on the guy.

                  Comment

                  • Matt Sprouls
                    Member
                    • Apr 2003
                    • 83

                    #10
                    Jimmy,

                    The Anthem internal headphone amp works great. Remember you can add a nice external headphone amp to the 1098 and still come out cheaper than the Anthem.

                    I just moved from a Rotel 1055 to the Anthem AVM-20 and could not be happier with the Anthem. I was and still am using a Rotel 1095 amp. I strongly recommend the Rotel amps. Note: I am not trying to compare the 1055 to the Anthem.


                    I have not listened to the 1098 so my comments maybe out of line, but here goes.

                    I think Rotel missed an opportunity to stump all over the Anthem AVM-20. Instead of putting in the display they could have focused on higher quality digital and analog components, and still came in under $3000.00.

                    Who knows maybe they already have??? My guess is they will be real close. The Anthem to me had better BM options and tweaks.

                    One thing I have noticed since moving to the Anthem is I no longer have any digital detection problems. No more cutting off the first second of audio on CD's and DVD's during mode/format changes. DVD’s no longer make clicks and pops during mode changes.

                    Please don’t take this as Rotel bashing, just my comments on two great companies products. I don’t think a person can go wrong with either product.

                    I always recommend Rotel when asked where to start listening for 2ch or HT.

                    Regards,
                    Matt
                    Regards,
                    Matt

                    Comment

                    • Andrew Pratt
                      Moderator Emeritus
                      • Aug 2000
                      • 16507

                      #11
                      The Anthem to me had better BM options and tweaks.
                      Matt its been awhile since I last played with the Anthem so can you tell me what the anthem can do that the 1098 can't for BM and tweaks etc?




                      Comment

                      • Matt Sprouls
                        Member
                        • Apr 2003
                        • 83

                        #12
                        Andrew,

                        I may list something I like below that the Rotel 1098 can do so please forgive me. The analog BM was one of the primary reasons I went with the Anthem and the sound quality over my 1055.

                        Two BM setups, one for music and one for cinema, you can set the input to auto detect. If an input set to Auto has LFE present in the bit stream it will run in cinema mode if not music mode. This is great for me since I use my DVD for CD transport.

                        The BM on the Multi input has two options you can run “Analog Direct” putting only the volume control in the path or you can use what Anthem calls “Analog DSP” which sample the analog input at 24/96 applies either Music or Cinema BM options and then send it back through the DAC. I have read some folks can hear the difference; I can’t so I use Analog DSP, which is an available option on all analog inputs.

                        The ability to swap surrounds, so when playing a movie your surrounds and rears function normally but when listening to multi channel input the rears are used instead of the surrounds. Not a big deal for me but may be handy in the future.

                        Room resonance (notch filter), has a low freq test tone generator to allow you to take SPL levels then you can custom tune a notch filter to help handle stand waves. You can adjust the center freq, width and the level of the center freq attenuation.

                        Volume limiters per source with password protection, keeps house setters from melting those voice coils.

                        I did not even consider the THX post processing or the Anthem proprietary processing initially, but have been experimenting with them a lot here lately and like the sound so far.

                        I did not care at all for ProLogic II on the Rotel, the Anthem sounds good to me using it.

                        The headphone output sounds awesome through my Grado 125’s.

                        Like I mentioned before the Digital detection is instantaneous. My Rotel drove me nuts.

                        Three things (I’m sure there is more) that I know the 1098 does that the Anthem does not is trans-code video, HDCD and DTS 24/96. I would like to have HDCD and not sure if DTS 24/96 will be a big deal or not in the future.

                        Also... I think the Rotel 1098 and 1066 look a lot better.

                        If I think of anything else I will edit.

                        Regards,
                        Matt
                        Regards,
                        Matt

                        Comment

                        • Danbry39
                          Moderator Emeritus
                          • Sep 2002
                          • 1584

                          #13
                          Matt,

                          That's a fantastic post. Thanks for taking the time. The Anthem's flexibility sounds outstanding. I still haven't seen/heard the 1098, but would be interested in a head to head between the Anthem and Rotel (actually, several head to heads since one comparison might be too biased).

                          With me, it comes down to the sonic characteristics of a piece of equipment, although the features/flexibility do matter.


                          Jimmy,

                          Wondering where you're at with your Rotel?




                          Keith
                          Keith

                          Comment

                          • Matt Sprouls
                            Member
                            • Apr 2003
                            • 83

                            #14
                            Keith,

                            I agree; if I did not like the sonic characteristics of the Anthem all the tweaks in the world would not make me happy.

                            Like I said before I don't think a person can go wrong with either a Rotel or Anthem as far as basic sound quality is concerned.

                            Matt
                            Regards,
                            Matt

                            Comment

                            • Andrew Pratt
                              Moderator Emeritus
                              • Aug 2000
                              • 16507

                              #15
                              Sounds like a great product:T The Rotel can set upper limits on its volume as well but I believe its a global setting. There's also the ability to do bass management on the multichannel inputs if you so desire but not sure how well it works ( I have it set to be an analog by pass).

                              Really though once you get to this level each product is going to sound incredible so it comes down to a couple of features here or there and cost.




                              Comment

                              • Danbry39
                                Moderator Emeritus
                                • Sep 2002
                                • 1584

                                #16
                                Matt,

                                I've heard nothing but positives about the sonic characteristics of the Anthems. Your rundown of its flexibility was one of the best I've read. I guess, it's like Andrew said, a matter of preference for features, performance, and price. I'd add customer service. I know Rotel has been good as far as customer input and delivering on the upgrades. I've also heard the same about Anthem.

                                I'd be happy with either one.




                                Keith
                                Keith

                                Comment

                                • Matt Sprouls
                                  Member
                                  • Apr 2003
                                  • 83

                                  #17
                                  Guy's,
                                  I want to thank you for having such an open dialog. I know over on AVS this could have went down hill real fast. This forum is pure class.

                                  Regards,
                                  Matt
                                  Regards,
                                  Matt

                                  Comment

                                  • jimmyp58
                                    Super Senior Member
                                    • Aug 2003
                                    • 1449

                                    #18
                                    All:

                                    Thanks for all the feedback --- subjective and objective. I think both Scarp and I were having a bad day the other day (more me than him). Quite honestly, though I am quite advanced with all the equipment I have, I have never heard of a headphone amplifier prior to posting my comment the other day. So for that Scarp --- thanks!

                                    So here's where I am at. I called my sales rep and he loaned me a Rega headphone amp to see if this would start me on the right path. It works wonderfully! I had to do some fooling around with the three component in units (DVD-V, DVD-A/SACD & Cable HD). I simply disconnected them from the 1098 and connected them directly to their component ins on the HDTV; I also sent a composite signal from each of these units and my two CD carousels to the 1098 --- I absolutely love the results on the tft display. I admit I am NOT the most patient guy in the world and being born a male predisposes me to NOT reading manuals BEFORE starting a task. Oh well, I will invest the time to learn how to use the remote. I admit the sonic quality actually sounds better in my home rather than at the store --- which is great.

                                    I'll keep you posted on how this all materializes.

                                    Thanks again...

                                    Jim
                                    jpiscitello@ameritech.net

                                    Comment

                                    • Danbry39
                                      Moderator Emeritus
                                      • Sep 2002
                                      • 1584

                                      #19
                                      Jimmy,

                                      That's great about the Rega. They have an excellent reputation. About the manuals, that's sissy stuff. Get it out of the box and let her rip!!! Just joking, kind of. That's what I always do til I figure out I'm lost without the manual. Didn't used to be like that in the days of two channel only. Plug everything in, adjust the balance knob, and that was that.

                                      Keep us posted.




                                      Keith
                                      Keith

                                      Comment

                                      • Andrew Pratt
                                        Moderator Emeritus
                                        • Aug 2000
                                        • 16507

                                        #20
                                        I usually don't bother with manuals either but since I had a few hours to kill on the plane before I got my 1098 I downloaded the pdf and read it on my notebook on the flight out east and I must admit it was very well written.

                                        Thanks Matt we strive to be a friendly forum and I won't stand to see that change...luckily we've manage to gather a fantastic bunch here and its exceptionally rare that I ever need to do any true "moderating" which is a blessing compared to some of my friends that "work" on the other boards so for that I say thanks guys you're the best:T




                                        Comment

                                        • tominizer
                                          Member
                                          • Aug 2003
                                          • 60

                                          #21
                                          What's the price difference that people are seeing between the Rotel and the AVM 20.............. I mean what it's actually being sold for versus MSRP?!?! I've heard $4800 for the AVM 20 and $4500 for the Rotel 1098 is what retail is (in Canadian Dollars). That's not a huge difference.

                                          Comment

                                          • jimmyp58
                                            Super Senior Member
                                            • Aug 2003
                                            • 1449

                                            #22
                                            In US Dollars, $3,000 for the Rotel 1098 & $3,100 for the Anthem AVM-20.
                                            jpiscitello@ameritech.net

                                            Comment

                                            • Matt Sprouls
                                              Member
                                              • Apr 2003
                                              • 83

                                              #23
                                              The Anthem is $3,399.00 if my memory is correct.

                                              Matt
                                              Regards,
                                              Matt

                                              Comment

                                              • Andrew Pratt
                                                Moderator Emeritus
                                                • Aug 2000
                                                • 16507

                                                #24
                                                given the numebers above the Rotel seems to go for about $2775US in canada...not sure about the Anthem up here though




                                                Comment

                                                • Scarp
                                                  Senior Member
                                                  • Mar 2003
                                                  • 632

                                                  #25
                                                  levesque: as a general rule of thumb "do not use headphone jacks that come with the equipment". That goes for most good equipment. Why? Because its internal and usually a cost thing also, since not all of their users use it. Also when you can afford a good surround processor you will want a good headphone and for a good headphone you really want an external amp (the same reason why we have a seperate poweramplifier and a seperate pre-amplifier/processor).

                                                  Even on a lexicon MC12, there is no headphone jack I think.

                                                  For stereo a "good" headphone is nice indeed. But again, you want a good headphone and not a cheap bad one and again then the external amp is better again.

                                                  Anyway ... i'm glad the topicstarter got around to use the 1098 properly now Good luck.

                                                  Comment

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