Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Sunfire Home Theater Discussions and Questions
User avatar
TNRabbit
R.I.P. Friend
R.I.P. Friend
Posts: 13360
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:53 am
Location: TN Native Languishing in VA
Contact:

Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by TNRabbit » Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:43 am

frankieD wrote:The only thing I know is that the III was all digital and can be upgrades with a cd. Gary & Bill are the experts. I get the feeling that the III was a step in the evolution but other than the digital I don't know why.

If you look around and have patience I'm sure you will do better than $1600.00. Mine was just back from Sunfire in the box with a warranty. They are out there.
Frankie, he's talking about the new Theater Grand Receiver (I don't know that it's officially called the III model). I think you were confusing the Theater Grand PROCESSOR (TGP-III) which WAS the first digital implementation of the processing modes, including Sonic Holography. Both Ultimate Receivers I & II used the digital domain for processing. Basically, the UR-I used the TGP-III processor & the UR-II used the TGP-IV Processor.

mikohut: you have more options going the separate processor/amp route, but the better deal for most applications is the receiver. YMMV.
TNRabbit
Image

From FrankieD's lips to your ears: Sunfire - a quiet box of endless power.

Sunfire TG-IV/400~7 Amp
Carver SD/A-360 CDP
Benchmark DAC-1
Sony SACD/DVD-A
Active bi-amp: Ashly XR-1001 & 2 Rane PEQ-15s
Main: HotRodded AL-IIIs
Sub: Klipsch RT-12d
Center: Sunfire CRS-3c
Surround: Sunfire CRS-3 (x 2)

OconeeOrange wrote:"Gary likes to play it 'loud' as do I. His system begs you turn it up until you die"

RIP WIlliam B. Dibble, 1948-2012. I'll miss you my friend.

frankieD
Frankie The Mouth
Posts: 2725
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: So Cal

Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by frankieD » Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:21 am

Saved my ass again! Thanks Gary.

P.S. Thanks for the photos of your sister on the "other" thread. :lol: :lol: :lol:

User avatar
TNRabbit
R.I.P. Friend
R.I.P. Friend
Posts: 13360
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:53 am
Location: TN Native Languishing in VA
Contact:

Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by TNRabbit » Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:40 am

I don't have any sisters who look like that~! :-"
TNRabbit
Image

From FrankieD's lips to your ears: Sunfire - a quiet box of endless power.

Sunfire TG-IV/400~7 Amp
Carver SD/A-360 CDP
Benchmark DAC-1
Sony SACD/DVD-A
Active bi-amp: Ashly XR-1001 & 2 Rane PEQ-15s
Main: HotRodded AL-IIIs
Sub: Klipsch RT-12d
Center: Sunfire CRS-3c
Surround: Sunfire CRS-3 (x 2)

OconeeOrange wrote:"Gary likes to play it 'loud' as do I. His system begs you turn it up until you die"

RIP WIlliam B. Dibble, 1948-2012. I'll miss you my friend.

User avatar
TNRabbit
R.I.P. Friend
R.I.P. Friend
Posts: 13360
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:53 am
Location: TN Native Languishing in VA
Contact:

Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by TNRabbit » Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:04 pm

Mike: to answer all your questions from the first post:
mikekohut wrote:I read somewhere that the older versions actually sound better, but is this just people saying that because they only like US products?

--I don't know that I've ever heard anyone say they sounded better, just that we don't trust the new, made in China models just yet.

If the US products are better, when did they start making in China?

Anything including/after the TGP-V processor & TGA-XXXX amps are Chinese-made.

If the US products are better, is this related more to SQ, reliability, or even both?

No hard data on this, but the general feeling is reliability/longevity.

When did Bob sell and did they drop in quality then? Or not?

Bob was pigeon-holed into the "Technical Lead" or some such slot. He said himself he was "just an employee now"....quality drop hasn't been proven yet, but it happened before with Carver and our general consensus is that it will happen again, if it hasn't already.

Did the overseas production coincide w/Bob's sell-off?

Don't know

Has their been any reliability issues with any particular model years?

The Sunfire subs have had some pretty spotty reliability records with their plate amps.

When did they begin making HDMI with these units?

TGP-V (video switching only, I believe).

Is it really true that the HDMI on Sunfire receivers carries no audio???

On the TGP-V. The new, UNSEEN models are supposed to be more advanced, but no one has actually taken possession of one yet.

What, if any, real advantage is there to HDMI?

Can I buy the very first version of this receiver and be happy?

I have one; there's not that much difference. I have no issues. Just be sure to download the latest software from the Sunfire website & update.

And, maybe just the simple question I should ask: What version of the Sunfire receiver would you buy and why?

I would buy the UR-II if I could find one cheap because it has the TGP-IV upgrades (discussed previously in this thread). If you find an UR-I cheap, though, you'd be perfectly happy with it I'm sure.


Okay, no more questions! :)

Many thanks,
Mike
The only thing I would add about new models is that the company has been promising new models now for going on a year, no one has taken possession of one yet, their website is TWO YEARS behind, and they've closed up their U.S. facility & reduced to about a half-dozen employees. SUPPOSEDLY, they'll save money by doing all this, BUT THEIR PRICES HAVE NOT CHANGED!!!! So that tells me they are after the big $$$ and could give a rat's about quality...my $.02.
TNRabbit
Image

From FrankieD's lips to your ears: Sunfire - a quiet box of endless power.

Sunfire TG-IV/400~7 Amp
Carver SD/A-360 CDP
Benchmark DAC-1
Sony SACD/DVD-A
Active bi-amp: Ashly XR-1001 & 2 Rane PEQ-15s
Main: HotRodded AL-IIIs
Sub: Klipsch RT-12d
Center: Sunfire CRS-3c
Surround: Sunfire CRS-3 (x 2)

OconeeOrange wrote:"Gary likes to play it 'loud' as do I. His system begs you turn it up until you die"

RIP WIlliam B. Dibble, 1948-2012. I'll miss you my friend.

User avatar
BillD
R.I.P. Friend
R.I.P. Friend
Posts: 7126
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:29 pm
Location: The west's most mid-western town, Scottsdale, Arizona

Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by BillD » Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:29 pm

The thing I worry about the China gear is that it has been known for some time that China is counterfeiting parts and substituting them in gear manufactured there. So, say Sunfire designs a piece and gives a parts list to the Chinese manufacturer. To save money, he substitutes Chinese counterfeit parts for those specified for the unit being built (puts melamine into milk). You get the picture on the sound quality and longevity os such a unit.
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
_________________
Carver: C-4000 & C-1 preamps, PSC-60 preamp/tuner, TX-11a tuner, M-400 (2), C-500, M-500, M-500t, M-500t Mk.II, A-500x, AL-III loudspeakers (2 pr.)
Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer

mikekohut
TFM-45
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:33 am
Location: Savoy, Illinois

Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by mikekohut » Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:26 am

The last two Ultimate Receiver I pieces that sold on eBay went for $880 and $882 each plus shipping while the last Ultimate II went for $1285. You guys think the II is worth $400 more? From your previous comments, it would seem not.

Now, what might the consensus feeling be about new-in-box refurbished (B-stock)? I once bought a B-stock and 6 months after use a problem cropped up - constant popping between signal sources. Co-inky dink, or a general trend experienced by most who've had experience purchasing refurbished stuff?

I ask because there's a refurb, new-in-box, Ultimate II out there on eBay right now....
"Watch those meters dance...."

Jag_97470
SILVER-7 TUBE AMP
Posts: 3370
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:06 am
Location: Oregon

Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by Jag_97470 » Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:29 pm

Its just my opinion, but personally I'm staying away from B-stock. I would rather purchase a used item and if problems arise, I'd feel more comfortable sending the unit to Rolland at CarverAudioRepair.com
I then know it's done right.
But again, just my opinion. ;)

frankieD
Frankie The Mouth
Posts: 2725
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: So Cal

Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by frankieD » Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:34 pm

For what its worth I've purchased several "B" stock items. There was a Harmon-kardon/Infinity outlet store here that featured mostly "B" stock.

I have never had any problems with them. One of the tech told me that "B" stock are usually checked out more thoroughly than regular (A?) stock.

It also depends on why the item was returned. sometimes it hasn't even been used, if its returned its "B".

Just my experience.


FrankieD

User avatar
BillD
R.I.P. Friend
R.I.P. Friend
Posts: 7126
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:29 pm
Location: The west's most mid-western town, Scottsdale, Arizona

Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by BillD » Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:43 pm

As far as the Ultimate I versus the Ultimate II, they should track the difference in price between a TGP-III and a TGP-IV. If it's more than that, the URII isn't a good deal. Otherwise, I'd rather have a URII, just as I'd rather have a TGP-IV (unfortunately I have a III).
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
_________________
Carver: C-4000 & C-1 preamps, PSC-60 preamp/tuner, TX-11a tuner, M-400 (2), C-500, M-500, M-500t, M-500t Mk.II, A-500x, AL-III loudspeakers (2 pr.)
Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer

mikekohut
TFM-45
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:33 am
Location: Savoy, Illinois

Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by mikekohut » Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:46 pm

As far as the Ultimate I versus the Ultimate II, they should track the difference in price between a TGP-III and a TGP-IV. If it's more than that, the URII isn't a good deal.
---

?
"Watch those meters dance...."

mikekohut
TFM-45
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:33 am
Location: Savoy, Illinois

Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by mikekohut » Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:17 am

Guys-
Talk me out of this:

http://www.wwstereo.com/#/ecommerce/sto ... _0_0_1_-1/

The TGR-3 has HDMI, but no audio with the HDMI - okay, just means another set of cables - is this really a problem? Seems not if the TGR-3 is a better unit that the Ultimate I or II, functionality-wise (more seamless with the latest technology - still not sure on this).

A new, refurb Ultimate III is on eBay for $1500 or whatever the reserve is set ($1200?) and, with patience, an Ultimate I should be relatively easy to grab for about $900.

Honestly, I am not concerned about Chinese manufacture - reviews indicate it is a well-built piece. Sure, sub-par parts could fail, but my main concern is really with sound quality and feature set. I figure if these things are notably better than I'll risk reliability (sure, a PITA if necessary, but maybe I upgrade before this is an issue?).

Honestly, I really don't know which direction to go....

Choices:

$800-$900 used Ulimate I on eBay
$1200-$1300 new refurb Ultimate II on eBay (said to be w/warranty)
$1600 new TGR-3 with free shipping and warranty from online retailer
"Watch those meters dance...."

User avatar
TNRabbit
R.I.P. Friend
R.I.P. Friend
Posts: 13360
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:53 am
Location: TN Native Languishing in VA
Contact:

Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by TNRabbit » Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:53 am

I don't know what to tell you. I DO know that the TGR-III is only rated at 150 wpc versus 200 wpc for the older two models.

I don't see what advantage you'd have to the HDMI without audio; what's the point? However, you DO get a warrany with that one, so.....
TNRabbit
Image

From FrankieD's lips to your ears: Sunfire - a quiet box of endless power.

Sunfire TG-IV/400~7 Amp
Carver SD/A-360 CDP
Benchmark DAC-1
Sony SACD/DVD-A
Active bi-amp: Ashly XR-1001 & 2 Rane PEQ-15s
Main: HotRodded AL-IIIs
Sub: Klipsch RT-12d
Center: Sunfire CRS-3c
Surround: Sunfire CRS-3 (x 2)

OconeeOrange wrote:"Gary likes to play it 'loud' as do I. His system begs you turn it up until you die"

RIP WIlliam B. Dibble, 1948-2012. I'll miss you my friend.

mikekohut
TFM-45
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:33 am
Location: Savoy, Illinois

Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by mikekohut » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:29 am

I don't know what to tell you. I DO know that the TGR-III is only rated at 150 wpc versus 200 wpc for the older two models.
---
Actually, the TGR-III is 200 x 7; it is the latest, post Elan-merger TGR-401 that is only 150 x 7.

Is not HDMI a video benefit for High-definition video?
"Watch those meters dance...."

User avatar
BillD
R.I.P. Friend
R.I.P. Friend
Posts: 7126
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:29 pm
Location: The west's most mid-western town, Scottsdale, Arizona

Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by BillD » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:36 am

I've gotta run, but unless you need HDMI switching (i.e., your TV only has one HDMI input) it's best to go direct to the TV rather than through another component.
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
_________________
Carver: C-4000 & C-1 preamps, PSC-60 preamp/tuner, TX-11a tuner, M-400 (2), C-500, M-500, M-500t, M-500t Mk.II, A-500x, AL-III loudspeakers (2 pr.)
Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer

mikekohut
TFM-45
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:33 am
Location: Savoy, Illinois

Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by mikekohut » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:16 pm

BillD wrote:I've gotta run, but unless you need HDMI switching (i.e., your TV only has one HDMI input) it's best to go direct to the TV rather than through another component.
Yes, thanks for making me think that out.

This is a real issue for upgrade, as my current TV does has only one HDMI input.

My TV is the last HD Tube TV that Sony ever made. It is a great TV, and I believe better than most other HD televisons I've ever seen, but it is a 190-pound beast. The tube, and the modest 34" screen make it as good as it is. Being tube, it doesn't matter how close you are to it, it still has an amazing HD picture....

Given the TV suits my needs and may be in my system longer than any other piece, it seems like the HDMI switching would be a good thing. I guess, though, the debate is whether or not HDMI video is preferred over component video.

I realize the new digital formats mean HDMI is preferred for the future, but for now is regular HDMI better than component video?

Also, aren't there HDMI adaptors that allow for multiple ports that you can just plug into your TV - like an electrical outlet power strip?
"Watch those meters dance...."

Post Reply

Return to “Sunfire Home (Theater)”