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In our time selling the HDP-4 and HDP Express II we have found that many find the DEQX concept challenging. People struggle to grasp the concept of a device that incorporates a pre-amplifier with input switching, volume control, digital crossover, speaker correction, room correction and DAC in one box. They are used to the typical signal chain of source -> DAC (if a digital system) -> pre-amp -> power amp -> speakers.
If you use a digital source then the HDP-4 and Express II basically replaces your existing DAC and pre-amplifier. The processor takes the digital input, does the speaker correction / room correction / digital crossover DSP, then does a digital-to-analog conversion. There is little point keeping your existing DAC with a DEQX, as you are just introducing another set of digital / analog conversions.
I think people find the DEQX concept hard to grasp partly because the majority of the competitors sell DSP 'black boxes' that slide between your pre-amp and power amp in your signal chain. Competitors doing the 'black box' thing include Lyngdorf RP-1, McIntosh MEN220, DSPeaker Anti-Mode 2.0 Dual Core and Trinnov ST2. They do not ask or require you to take out your existing DAC or pre-amplifier. You can simply insert a black box and experiment with modern speaker / room correction. If you don't like it then it is easy to remove it and try another black box, or just go back to your existing setup.
Direct competitors to the HDP-4 and HDP-Express II include TacT (assuming they are still making and shipping product - rumour abounds of their demise), Trinnov's forthcoming Amethyst and to a lesser extent the Classe CP-800 and Harmon Kardon HK990.
The MATE processor is designed to compete directly with these products, and be a conceptually simpler device to understand and install than the HDP-4 or HDP-Express II processors. Features:
The MATE processor will be available from the end of November 2012 is available now - click here for a link to the product page on our website to tale a look at the product description, specifications and datasheet. If you would like more details please contact us!
Nyal Mellor, Founder, Acoustic Frontiers