Attack of the Clones (Processors)
It seems the 21st century has brought about the human obsession with cloning. You’ve heard about it in the news that scientist have cracked the human genome. Since then, there have been plenty of movies about cloning ranging from Scifi films such as Star Wars Episode II, and soon to be Star Trek Nemesis, to comedies such as Multiplicity, and action films starring our favorite bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger in Seven Days.
It’s no wonder that cloning is making a popular presence even in the audio consumer marketplace. This began with LD and DVD players about a decade ago when McIntosh released a Laser Disc player with Pioneer guts in a fancier case for about twice the price of the latter. Many companies such as Yamaha, and Denon followed suit by offering Panasonic / Toshiba DVD platforms with their own case and markings. In some cases, however, a few of these companies cloned these DVD players, but made subtle upgrades to the DAC sections for improved audio fidelity.
We were surprised (OK, not really) to discover that cloning has made its presence in Digital Preamp Processors. These processors were originally co-developed by East Tech and Cirrus Logic for Outlaw Audio for OEM purposes to later sell to Audio Hardware Manufacturers with customized chassis, faceplates and logos to accompany them of course. Eastern Tech in an Asian OEM which manufacturers the design and specifications of these processors. The DSP is CD4932-63L which provides decoding for Dolby Prologic II, and all the varieties of Dolby Digital, and DTS including EX, and DTS Neo:6 and Cirrus Logic’s own Extra Surround as well as their Triple Crossover.
The following “Clone” Processors featured in this article are:
- Sherbourn PT-7000, $1500 Retail
- Atlantic Technology P-2000, $1699 Retail
- Outlaw Audio Model 950, $899 Retail
- Crystal 192/24 DAC’s and 96/24 ADC’s
- Cirrus Logic 4932-63L Chipset
- Same Backpanel layout
- Power Consumption 45watts
- Defeatable global analog 80Hz crossover for DVDA/SACD input
- Cirrus Logic Triple Crossover
- Cirrus Logic Extra Surround
- DD EX, DTS Neo:6, Prologic II
- Second Zone Operation