Originally Posted by kennyt
This could be because the dealer is lazy, swapping out a pre/pro is the most labor intensive swaps in a HT, just ask Andrew or I who do it frequently, but this is no reason to not allow you to A-B two items they have. If they won't do it in their room, bring them both home and try it in YOUR room, this is after all the be all end all test for gear.
Just expect to spend some time on each setting them up, coding remotes, calibrating/room correction, then listening.... Fortunately, thanks to HDMI the connections have gotten easier.
This is true, the absolute best place to see how each sounds is indeed in ones own home. For me I didn't have that option, as my dealer carries Denon and other high end brands, but doesn't usually have them in stock. So if somebody wants a certain high end piece he'll order it. I am very very happy that I got a winner with my Denon AVP. It's a great preamp and I am really enjoying it.
The new Levinson 502 is in the ultra high end range, and will most likely be in a class all its own. The Denon AVP is more to compete with the likes of the Classe' SSP-800, Krell S-1000, Anthem D2, Lexicon MC12, and possibly the upcoming Simaudio piece.
But I do agree with some of the other posters that for the price they are charging for the 502, it should have had HDMI 1.3. and on board decoding for TrueHD and DTS-HD MA. These are things that people really want in a high end controller.