Mining Man, on Sep 24 2010, 11:25 PM, said:
A straight $ vs $ comparison isn't easy, or fair. Economies of scale have enabled some pretty good digital technology to be cheaply available to the consumer, bundled in feature rich packages that do more than just play a CD. Entry level analogue systems are still struggling at this lower price point to minimise noise in, and degradation of, the signal path which is the whole advantage of digital in the first place.
But increase the $ in play, and analogue starts to make sense.
From my own personal experience, it took some serious dollars to better a transport bitstreaming to a Denon 4308. But a dedicated CD player and 2 channel pre, once a certain price point was reached (about 1.5 - 2 times the Denon), was easily better. I thought it would take some topping, but about the same ratio again spent on a pure analogue front end (TT & phono pre) vs the CD player, achieved about the same relative performance increase.
Is the performance gap narrowing? At different price points, I think it's a different story. At around the $2-3k mark, AVRs are really doing a pretty amazing job. And the CD / integrated combos I've heard in that price range are struggling. Not to stay ahead, but even keep up. Double the money and it's a lot closer.
I haven't heard any $6k+ AVR's. But they've got some serious ground to make up to keep up with analogue gear at that price point.
(Another point to consider, is the cost of upgrading superceded digital technology. I expect my analogue gear to be kicking along in another 10 years minimum. I'll probably have upgraded the AVR 3 times by then, and spent close to the same if not more. Hell, I'm on my 4th AVR now in just 8 years.)
From my own experience I don't think you need to spend 1.5 - 2 times the money on pre, power-amp, dac and transport to better the performance of Denon AVR. Internet has provide us as consumer a wide range of products at very good price. I can easily picked out components at the same price as Denon and outperform it as a two channel system. For 2-3k I can pick up a good DAC and transport and an integrated amp that will easily outperform a 2k AVR with similar components. It really will come down to how you spend your dollar. There are a lot of bargain out there mainly from less established small companies base in China, Taiwan and Hongkong and internet allowed these companies to market their product to customers world wide. If you stick with the name brands what you are saying it is true but consider what is outside of that small circle of established companies the picture is different.
Edited by jliang70, 25 September 2010 - 02:44 PM.