Sunfire Theater Grand Processor A/V Preamplifier

4.29/5 (48 Reviews) MSRP : $2995.00


Product Description

Preamp /Processor/Tuner


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Reviews 1 - 5 (48 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by smokehouse a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 14, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I’m not a rich man by any means. I recently got a real deal on a Rotel RMB-1075 5ch amp and decided to take a matching, older Rotel RSP-1066 proc home for demo. I had been using my Marantz SR7400 receiver as a proc before doing this. Don’t get me wrong, the 7400 is no slouch but the 1066 blew it out of the water in almost every way…..except one. The detail was there as was awesome bass management but one thing, one HUGE thing was wrong. It was simply too bright sounding. For the $$ ($1200) I simply could not justify the price. This got my curiosity sparked. With some calls I found a local dealer that had a demo Theater Grand Mk I proc that I could take home on demo. I jumped on the opportunity.

I will say this; this unit’s age really turned me off at first. I mean, a proc that’s almost 7 years old?! How good could it be? The answer is not good but plain amazing. This unit is a die-hard, 5.1 movie and CD machine. Sure, it doesn’t handle HDTV signals through its component outs nor does it decode DTSES or Dolby Digital EX. It does not even have 6ch inputs for DVDA or SACD.

These things do not concern me. All my components are direct line to my set. My Laserdisc player, DVD player and OTA HD tuner are all direct line. Why pay more $$ for doubles of my expensive Tributaries Direct connect cables just so I can rout them through my receiver? My HT is for movies, the occasional CD and HD content only. No VCR, no cable, no satellite and no DVDA or SACD. My Rotel is only 5ch so I do not need the rear center processing anyway, besides, I had 6.1 running off my Marantz and was never impressed.

So far you’re thinking,
“Man, this thing is outdated, why did he buy it?”
Well, what it does do is process 5.1 Dolby Digital, DTS and 2ch CD with amazing clarity and precision. When I say amazing I mean AMAZING. This is hands down the best proc I have heard to date. I liken this thing to a high power 2 seater roadster, not comfortable, loud road noise, rather open to the elements, but an absolute blast to drive. Sure, this thing does not have all the amenities found on the TG Mk III or Mk IV, but it doesn’t cost over $3000 either (at least not anymore). As a matter of fact I got this thing from Avalon for $999 shipped, new in box with 2yr warranty. I feel that for the $$ there’s no better deal to be found. Not to pricey for us normal folk. I plan to add an Outlaw Audio ICBM to further enhance the bass management and I’ll also go with a Home Theater Master MX-500 remote to replace the touch screen Sunfire pack-in, but hey, that’s still only $1350 for all three, not bad.

For you guys out there looking to buy a used one for less $$ than new, I say if the unit is well taken care of, go for it! I love this thing and will only replace it when full-blown HDDVD or Blu-Ray players come out and are affordable (at least 2 more years). I’ll probably take the plunge at that time and buy a new unit capable of processing the 2 new HD sound formants DD and DTS are coming out with. For now, I’m in love with this proc and would not trade it for the world!

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $999.00

Purchased At:   avalon audio



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by dpl35 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 5, 2004

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the Theater Grand 3. Let me start by stating that I have owned a Lexicon DC-1, and briefly owned a Tag McLaren AV32R. The Lexicon was great, but I was looking to upgrade. That was when I bought the Tag. The Tag was very nice and very clear. But it lacked punch. When you really wanted to crank a tune, it just didn't produce.

So after reading many reviews here as well as in magazines, I picked up the TG3. It's an excellent unit, especially for music. The sound is clear and open. And it has plenty of punch for those precious hours when you have the house to yourself.

This unit also allows you to go direct source, if you would like to bypass all processing.

If you really like your music, and still want a processor that does well with movies, you definitely should check out the TG3. I would give this an overall 4.5 rating when you consider the price point.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Avalon Audio



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:1
Submitted by NJPRO a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 22, 2004

Bottom Line:   
This is another review of the Sunfire Ultimate.

I was new to the HT game, and bought into this hype of this product - upgradable, lots of power, good looks, does it all, and Bob Carver's 'mind and soul'.

I can tell you that, despite some good sound, what you have read about the downsides of this product are real.

It's still glitchy after multiple upgrades. I still get the errent pop when switching sources, although that died down from rev. 3.10 to 3.12.

The promised cd upgrade never materialized. While doable, downloading from the web and hooking up a pc was more of a pain than I paid for.

The noise floow is high, but with HT that didn't bother me; what bothered me was that I paid 3k for a high noise floor!

The firewire on the back is there for show; when I called to ask customer support about it they said it is hooked to nothing, and they are unlikely to hook it up.

It hums, too, and when I start my DVD, it mutes. I called customer support on both these issues and they said: 1) yes, it hums, it was built that way and; 2) it does mute with some DVD players, they are aware of that, but there is no fix in the works.

Are you still with me?

I have upgraded by downgrading to a Pioneer with i-link, that works. No more 5 sacd cables, no more glitches, and I can enjoy the movie.

But, sunfire's remote was better!

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   Online



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by tdlevitt a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 21, 2003

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the Ultimate Receiver. Let me start off by saying that I have wanted Sunfire equipment now for about 5 years and after 5 years of saving up enough money (a little here a little there) I was able to make the purchase.

I opened the box, hooked it up and immediately noticed harsh snapping in all surround digital modes..

I thought, no problem, got a bad unit right? Wrong. Hooked up a second unit and after about 3 weeks of use noticed increasingly harsh "static" in all channels and popping when switching from analog to digital source material.

Needless to say that unit is also on it's way back to the factory.

My dealer has been extremely sympathetic and has been a great help but I'm very putout with Sunfire because although they were willing to replace for a third unit I did not want to have the same thing happen again and especially after a period of time where warranty would be an issue. They would not come down that much on seperates - dealer offered to me at his cost.

All in all I'm highly put out with Sunfiree on this. Both receivers were running the latest 3.12 firmware from the factory which was supposed to cure these issues.

I would not recommend the Ultimate Receiver to anyone.

I have a Denon AVR-4802R and DVD-5900 on order. After hearing this combo on my Definitive system, the UR could in no way compare.

Everyone I taked to said the UR sounded the best and was very musical. Much more musical and dynamic than the PE VSX-49TXi and Denon AVR-5803.

Wrong. The UR cannot compare to these other receivers so DO NOT BE FOOLED!!!

Anyway - I hope readers take my advise and steer clear of the UR. In fact, since the UR has the same internals as the TG III I would steer clear of that Pre-Pro as well.

Just honest advise from an honest consumer.

Sunfire - Lets get with the game here and start producing products that are worthy of the price. I hate to bash any products but there is no excuse for this.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $3500.00

Purchased At:   Authorized Dealer



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Alexandre Vieira a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 21, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Simplesmente o melhor processador multicanal de sua categoria!
Possuia anteriormente um Sony TA-E9000ES ligado a um Sunfire Cinema Grand (5x200WRMS).
O desempenho do Theater Grand III faz o TA-E9000ES parecer um Receiver Prologic!!!
O TGIII está ligado a um Cinema Seven (7x200WRMS) que está ligado a caixas B&W (Frontais CM-2, Central CM-C & Surround DM-303) & a um subwoofer Mirage BPS-400. Todos os cabos são van den Hul, sendo os interconects D-102III (XLR & RCA), os de caixas são CS-122 para as frontais & Skyline para as surround.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $549000.00

Purchased At:   Sala Vip - Brazil




Reviews 1 - 5 (48 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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