Was looking at the state of prepro’s yesterday while traveling. Being a self declared techno-nerd I’m always scanning for what’s new in in the 16 channel+ market. Ogling the likes of Trinnov Attidute32 and wondering what is more desirable … that or my next car …. The big announcement with them is waveforming … placing 2 to 4 subs on one wall to produce a low frequency wave and having another 2 to 4 subs on the opposite wall to null out the reflections …
Emotive is still promising an any day now RMC-1 expansion module to go beyond 16 channels but after several years of collective breath holding most true believers have died from lack of oxygen. I get the impression the RMC-1 is underpowered in the speed department and still not 1000% in the software department … but I’ve never tried one … just an impression from the forums. Watching Emotive over the years has solidified a basic mistrust and that’s a shame as I really want to like them.
Anthem AVM 90 and AVM70 are two units I’m following. More then a few claim Anthem’s ARC (room correction) software does an excellent job. The 90 is an 8K 15.4 (9.4.6) which at $7.5k USD is of interest because it can drive 4 independent subs. The AVM 70 also is 8K but only 15.2 (9.2.6). It has a lessor quality audio chain but at half the price I’d bet it is the better value. Having not heard or tried either that’s just my educated guess … from my reading these had a bit of a rocky road … the AVM70 software wise and the 90 had problems getting out of the gate … they don’t have all the bells and whistles like Auro-3d etc but not a biggie IMO.
The newest and most compelling prepro I’m following is the Marantz AV10. It’s a direct competitor to the AVM 90, with a high quality 15.4 audio chain and list price ($7.5K USD). It has an additional trick in that a set of heights/tops can be switched to another set of speakers for Auro-3d which uses a center height and a overhead VOG (voice of god) speaker. Basically it has all the bells and whistles. Marantz’s units are usually pretty well tested before released and I trust them to just work. It’s default room correction is Audyssey (which I use but have not really dug deep enough into. My understanding is that it’s better then most give it credit for if you take the time understand it). … optionally the AV10 can run Dirac live but with all the options it will cost you another $800 or so.
Right now my AV8805 is holding me … think of it as a slightly noisier, 4k AV10 with 2 less channels, 2 less subs and Audyssey only. By the time I’m ready for that next prepro I’m hoping the AVxxx is out with something so compelling I’d have to buy it … or perhaps I’ll just get a refurb AV10 as my next placeholder to replace my 8805 placeholder