Involve Audio Super Surround Preamp (Preliminary info)

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jfloftin

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Hi everyone! I am new to the forum. I have only been a member for about a month. This question is for Chucky really but I thought I would poll the membership if they might have any information.

I am very interested in the preliminary information I saw on the forum about the super surround preamp. I have been looking at the Sansui QRX-8001/9001. Part of me really wants to wait till the super surround preamp from Involve comes out and get it instead.

To Chucky a couple of questions:
1) What is the timeline on the release of this unit?
2) What are the preliminary specs?
3) What is the potential price (The Akoustos seems perfect but is out of my price range)?

Thanks!
 

chucky3042

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H Jfloftin

The latest specification is:

Involve Surround Pre Amp Specification

Date: 15.4.16

Inputs
  • HDMI x3
    • Takes STEREO Audio track
    • Video pass through
  • SPDIF
  • Phono x2 (Record Player)
    • Moving Magnet
    • Moving Coil
  • Aux x2
    • Video Pass through
  • 5.1 direct
    • Bypasses involve
  • TAPE Mon
  • Bluetooth
  • Power
    • 120v and 240v switched
  • USB 3.0
    • Play files on usb
    • For DAC with PC
    • To be developed at a later date
    • Firmware updates
Outputs
  • HDMI
    • Pass-through
    • 4k Upscale?
  • RCA
    • Stereo involve bypass Line Out
      • For B Speakers
    • Wireless for special involve speakers?
      • or an RCA add on?
    • Video
    • Front L/R
    • Rear L/R
    • Centre
    • Subwoofer (Mono, Left/Right, Front/Rear)
  • Headphone
    • modified TSS?
    • Stereo
Controls
  • Input Select
    • 9 positions
  • Level x6
    • Front Left Level
    • Front Right Level
    • Rear Left Level
    • Rear Right Level
    • Subwoofer Level
    • Centre Level
  • Rear Delay
  • Volume
  • Power on/off
    • standby?
  • involve mode
    • Stereo
    • Involve
Display
  • OLED touchscreen
  • VU Meters
    • Inputs
    • Outputs
  • Vector scopes
  • Spectrogram
  • Graphic EQ
  • DAC interface?
  • Info/Testing
    • Levels
    • Input selected
    • Firmware version
    • Theme selector
    • Logo displayed
    • Delay amount
    • Involve/Stereo mode selected
    • Speaker setup info
    • Tests
      • Level test
        • Pink noise to the speakers
      • Phase Check
      • Sine wave test
        • Test the systems frequency response
 

chucky3042

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Hi everyone! I am new to the forum. I have only been a member for about a month. This question is for Chucky really but I thought I would poll the membership if they might have any information.

I am very interested in the preliminary information I saw on the forum about the super surround preamp. I have been looking at the Sansui QRX-8001/9001. Part of me really wants to wait till the super surround preamp from Involve comes out and get it instead.

To Chucky a couple of questions:
1) What is the timeline on the release of this unit?
2) What are the preliminary specs?
3) What is the potential price (The Akoustos seems perfect but is out of my price range)?

Thanks!
Hi All

1 I am pushing for mid next year

2 See above poop

3 I am hoping for a $1990 price tag
 

ar surround

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H Jfloftin

The latest specification is:

Involve Surround Pre Amp Specification

Date: 15.4.16

Inputs
  • HDMI x3
    • Takes STEREO Audio track
    • Video pass through
...
Chucky, question regarding: "Takes STEREO Audio track." Does this imply that there is no multi-channel via HDMI? Please educate me.
 

chucky3042

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Chucky, question regarding: "Takes STEREO Audio track." Does this imply that there is no multi-channel via HDMI? Please educate me.
Hi

Cannot give you a straight answer on this, we are currently updating the HDMI circuit on this and the next Y4 for the high definition 4K HDMI. Really awkward stuff (bloody HDMI license costs us $20 K per year - crap format.....bastards!). It under review, in my heart I would like to say no as I am not interested in promoting discrete formats, but I understand it would be a wanted feature

Watch this space
 

M-D-Z

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For Chucky...... looking back to just a few short years ago, I recall the initial confusion some readers had when the first SurroundMaster announcements arrived on this site, when many folks had no idea what it was exactly, specifically what it did or did not do.

Naturally I believe that really good preampfification is absolutely fundamental to a successful high fidelity playback system.

As an unrepentant old school analog dinosaur and all-around techno-peasant, I have to assume there must be others out there who might have similar modern, and current digital technology related informational deficiencies.

May I suggest posting a fairly comprehensive statement of product purpose and scope regarding this highly anticipated preamp.
This would please me, and hopefully others, if in one place at least these following questions were addressed.

1) Who are the intended buyers for this preamp?

2) What range of component system configurations would it most appropriately be suited, or be integral to?

3) Will it be compatible with, or redundant to any, if not all of the features and functions included in the new Surround-Master V2?

Please cover these questions with the presumption that a deep and profound ignorance of ‘digital-age’ technology exists for some of us older potential buyers.
For example; Only one tape input, four of my open reel decks are quad, MM & MC Phono compatibly? it connects to and works seamlessly with an OPPO UDP-205?,

I have been patiently holding off on buying the SM-V2 until I see more clearly what the new upcoming preamp evolves into.

Thank you in advance!
 

M-D-Z

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When I first saw the proposed faceplate image, I cheered with excitement thinking that there were going to be six actual physical meters, until reading further when it dawned on me that they were virtual representations displayed upon a digital touchscreen.

Is there any hope for dedicated XLR inputs and outputs?
Of course it’d also be great to find a Nuetrik PowerCon receptacle on the back panel for a removable AC cord!!!
 

chucky3042

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For Chucky...... looking back to just a few short years ago, I recall the initial confusion some readers had when the first SurroundMaster announcements arrived on this site, when many folks had no idea what it was exactly, specifically what it did or did not do.

Naturally I believe that really good preampfification is absolutely fundamental to a successful high fidelity playback system.

As an unrepentant old school analog dinosaur and all-around techno-peasant, I have to assume there must be others out there who might have similar modern, and current digital technology related informational deficiencies.

May I suggest posting a fairly comprehensive statement of product purpose and scope regarding this highly anticipated preamp.
This would please me, and hopefully others, if in one place at least these following questions were addressed.

1) Who are the intended buyers for this preamp?

2) What range of component system configurations would it most appropriately be suited, or be integral to?

3) Will it be compatible with, or redundant to any, if not all of the features and functions included in the new Surround-Master V2?

Please cover these questions with the presumption that a deep and profound ignorance of ‘digital-age’ technology exists for some of us older potential buyers.
For example; Only one tape input, four of my open reel decks are quad, MM & MC Phono compatibly? it connects to and works seamlessly with an OPPO UDP-205?,

I have been patiently holding off on buying the SM-V2 until I see more clearly what the new upcoming preamp evolves into.

Thank you in advance!

Hi M-D-Z

Difficult question as in many ways the super preamp is a bit of a holy grail for us Involve types. Both Dave "the Bitch" and I have Nakamichi Dragon hybrid active electrostatic speakers and as such power amps are not high on our list but pre amps are. Things have changed (largely for the worse in my view) in recent years with the removal in many cases of the good old RCA connectors from TV's and Bluerays etc, replaced by the wretched HDMI or optical in some instances. In addition most people now use Bluetooth from their phones!

Additionally to add to the confusion vinyl records are making a comeback and most commercial preamps do not have a good if any phono stage for MM and MC cartridges. Amongst it all we are trying to promote the superiority (in our view) of matrix surround and to have the ability to instantly do A/B comparisons from discrete to Involve

All this added up to our desire for the super preamp. The only problem we have struck is Dave's time and frankly cash flow issues and the imperative to keep generating funds to pay wages etc. We really have made a loss on the SM etc but our long term goal is adoption of the Involve recording format (more on whats happening there later - hint refer to the Suzanne Ciani release) and adoption of a major CE. The SM represents a low cost entry to surround for the average Joe- a new product will be released by another manufacture under license to us shortly.

So pardon my rambling the preamp is in someways chasing a fuzzy finishing line with the changing connectivity in the industry (the new HDMI V2 for example). Also we have recently decided to not pay the annual $20 K license to HDMI and so we are deleting it from the Y4 but including pre made RCA/ HDMI adapters in the package. This impinges on the pre amp a we now may opt to do the same on it.....just cost reasons in a crap market.

I am personally attracted to real analogue meters instead of the GUI display but this needs to be discussed by QQ and us. In general we want the pre amp to be able to to connect and interface to anything and provide great surround

Dave has completed several aspects of the design but it will take a while. If we succeed in attracting an investor or a deal with a major CE then time / funds can be better allocated to this project.

The new SM is at a weird half way point between a nifty accessory to a pre amp, in fact if you are just after a basic but very high performance pre amp and no phono then the SM will work fine. A preamp provides mixed connectivity and buffers impedance's. The SM is an excellent buffer!

Over to you guys in regards to XLR but it does add cost specially if you want isolation.

Regards

Chucky
 

Soundfield

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I am personally attracted to real analogue meters instead of the GUI display but this needs to be discussed by QQ and us.

Over to you guys in regards to XLR but it does add cost specially if you want isolation.

Hi Chucky-

I think I would prefer the look of real electro-mechanical VU meters too, but the attraction of their virtual implementation would be that it allows for the possible option of other types of display as well – particularly the vectorscope!

On the subject of XLR connectors, I would definitely vote against their inclusion if the pre-amp is largely aimed at a domestic rather than professional market. As you say, it would add significant cost and to what end – how much domestic equipment is fitted with them that most users would have any need to hook up to? I’ve a house stuffed full of hi-fi equipment from fairly budget stuff to high end and none of it uses XLR. I have had equipment that used them in the past, but in all honesty I couldn’t tell the difference from decent RCA links. Nor would I really expect to unless I were using really long interconnects and was in a very electrically noisy environment. I doubt they confer any advantage in the vast majority of home installations. Indeed, I could easily make an engineering case that, other than their ability to reject common mode noise, their additional circuit complications make them inherently inferior from a purist signal handling perspective!
 
Last edited:

chucky3042

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Hi Chucky-

I think I would prefer the look of real electro-mechanical VU meters too, but the attraction of their virtual implementation would be that it allows for the possible option of other types of display as well – particularly the vectorscope!

On the subject of XLR connectors, I would definitely vote against their inclusion if the pre-amp is largely aimed at a domestic rather than professional market. As you say, it would add significant cost and to what end – how much domestic equipment is fitted with them that most users would have any need to hook up to? I’ve a house stuffed full of hi-fi equipment from fairly budget stuff to high end and none of it uses XLR. I have had equipment that used them in the past, but in all honesty I couldn’t tell the difference from decent RCA links. Nor would I really expect to unless I were using really long interconnects and was in a very electrically noisy environment. I doubt they confer any advantage in the vast majority of home installations. Indeed, I could easily make an engineering case that, other than their ability to reject common mode noise, their additional circuit complications make them inherently inferior from a purist signal handling perspective!

Clear thinking!!
 

chucky3042

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Is there an update of the whereabouts of the preamp? Have been waiting eagerly for this unit to happen!
Regards
Update is that we are overloaded with other paying customer R+D jobs and our solar battery company www.zenaji.com and trying to push out the new Surround Masters next week and the redevelopment of the Y4 system. We have done a bunch of work on the preamp and have solved stuff like Bluetooth, optical, NFC , HDMI (if we can budget the $20 K license). We have started prelim work on the GUI .

just noticed if you go to http://www.zenaji.com/about you can see our ugly gobs.

It will happen, I also want one!
 
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chucky3042

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Dear All

I had an epiphany over the weekend after returning to my vinyl origins. I rediscovered how much I hated clicks and pops even after lots of cleaning processes. Then thanks to kap'n krunch who directed me to the "$40 click repair software" which is fantastic most of my desperate problems are solved - sort off. My only issue is its not in REAL TIME and I have to frig around with bloody computers that take all the fun out.

Turns our many years ago I did a lot of preliminary research on de clickers (as I have always been neurotic and obsessive) and I have prodded Dave the Bitch to add a REAL TIME declicker/ de popper into the super surround pre amp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh we have not in anyway dropped this project, and a lot of work done for the new Y4 surround amplifier is transportable to the preamp. Its Dave's next big project (he is already 40% into the design)

Patience!
 
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DuncanS

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I was wondering about changing my Pioneer SC-LX86 AV Amp as I have had HDMI issues with it and the NUC (I have a splitter & HDCP 2.2 to 1.4 converter in the way now and I can get audio out), its a pain and irritating as it is only 7 years old and cost a fair whack. But it has 5.1 analogue inputs. The only one I have found that does (actually its 7.1) is the Denon AVC-X8500H and that costs a fair whack just to get multi-channel analogue in. So an Involve Pre-amp with all the bells and whistles (as in Post #2 & even better + Post #17) would be a great option. Thus I'd get a cheaper AV Amp with HDMI 2.2 and spend the extra amount on an Involve Pre-amp, plus the money goes to a small operation, Involve, rather than to a huge company that doesn't give a sh*t and stops support for their products the moment a new one is released. So over to you Chucky!
 

chucky3042

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I was wondering about changing my Pioneer SC-LX86 AV Amp as I have had HDMI issues with it and the NUC (I have a splitter & HDCP 2.2 to 1.4 converter in the way now and I can get audio out), its a pain and irritating as it is only 7 years old and cost a fair whack. But it has 5.1 analogue inputs. The only one I have found that does (actually its 7.1) is the Denon AVC-X8500H and that costs a fair whack just to get multi-channel analogue in. So an Involve Pre-amp with all the bells and whistles (as in Post #2 & even better + Post #17) would be a great option. Thus I'd get a cheaper AV Amp with HDMI 2.2 and spend the extra amount on an Involve Pre-amp, plus the money goes to a small operation, Involve, rather than to a huge company that doesn't give a sh*t and stops support for their products the moment a new one is released. So over to you Chucky!
You mentioned the evil HDMI word.....wash your mouth out!
 
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