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Budgeting Buying a New Processor and Amplifier

by August 30, 2004
Q: Having shopped around for pre/pros and amps, I've been hearing about new formats (SACD, DVD-Audio, etc.). My current budget is at $3.5k (I don't have the cash for high-end stuff). Now, I have been wondering if I should put off purchasing right now and waiting for new components that can decode 6 ch. audio.

A: If you continue to wait for newer and newer technology, you will never own anything. There will always be newer hardware coming out which is sometimes better and sometimes worse than the current audio hardware on the market. Waiting for a new surround format is ludicrous as the software for existing formats (DD/DTS) is still not up to where it should be. I said this before and I will say it again, do not support any new audio formats until the software is established !!! Start enjoying the existing technology now and somewhere down the road, when new formats come out with software support, you can upgrade in steps dictated by your budget or "wife factor".

Q: I like software w/DTS so I'm willing to wait. So, I guess my question is does anyone have any idea at what price will I have to pay for new technology?

A: When new hardware first comes out supporting a brand new audio format, it will generally be expensive. As more companies support this format, prices drop because competition gets hot. Generally speaking, after a few generations pass, the new technology becomes much cheaper and bug free. For example, just a few years ago, a Receiver having Dolby Digital would have cost almost $2000. Today, with so many brands and models to choose from, a person may buy a Dolby Digital receiver for about $300.

Q: Or maybe I can make my purchase now and make sure the pre/pro is upgradable?

A: Separates are almost always the best choice to make if they are within your budget. They allow for easier upgradeability and, in most cases, higher performance.

Q: Sometimes this hobby can be overwhelming with choices. Can anyone give me any suggestions. I feel so confused!!!

A: One of the best ways to choose a particular product to purchase should be based on:

  1. What your needs are
  2. Budget
  3. Performance expectations
  4. Reliability of product
  5. Product Service


About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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