Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Charleston, SC
Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?
The Integra DHC-9.9 at MSRP $2,000 has a 3 year warranty. I was able to buy one new for $1450. You could buy 3 to 5 DHC-9.9's for evry Bryston SP2's (MSRP $6300) and Classe SSP-800's (MSRP $8000).
If anything should go wrong after 3 years with the Integra and you don't have additional warranty (most electronics go bad very soon if they are a lemon), then you have more than enough extra money to buy a new one. Plus the Integra has far more features and the latest audio codecs, which most of the audio jewelry brands don't. It even has an amazing set of ISF ccc certified video controls that are likely far more advanced than anything in your HDTV, although I would recommend hiring an ISF technician (who has the very expensive measuring electronics) to get the best performance on each of your video inputs.
That isn't to say that if someone wanted to trade me a Classe SSP-800 for the Integra DHC-9.9 I wouldn't be very tempted to get that gorgeous piece of audio jewelry, but I would be somewhat shocked if it sounded any betterand I wouldn't be at all suprised if I couldn't perform numerous functions that the Integra can. Every speaker and room has far more distortion related problems then any well-built and designed receiver, audio surround processor, or amplifier.
Just a skance at the Integra's capabilities is stunning:
The DHC-9.9 adds the powerful new audio processing capabilities of THX Loudness Plus and Audyssey Dynamic EQ which both improve the home theater experience when listening at moderate sound levels. It also adds Audyssey's Dynamic Volume, which maintains consistent overall volume levels regardless of changes in the source. For broadcast fans, the DHC-9.9, has an HD Radio tuner, is Sirius and XM Satellite radio ready, and offers XMHD Surround and THX Neural Surround.
An ISF Certified calibration technician with unrestricted access to the DHC-9.9's ISFccc menus can achieve optimal image quality for each of the video inputs. Previously, video calibration was usually limited to one source, or required complex cabling and intricate remote control macro programming to achieve a reasonably user friendly system. The use of these calibration functions, especially with HDMI, will result in simpler system configurations, reduced set-up time, and end-user systems offering optimal video performance while retaining the ease-of-use of HDMI switching. Up to three calibration settings -- day, night, or custom -- can be stored for each source.
The heart of the video circuitry is Silicon Optix' premium HQV Reon-VX processing for studio-quality upscaling of all sources to 1080p over HDMI, and also provides analog component video upscaling to 1080i. The DHC-9.9 has four HDMI, three component video, and six S-Video/composite inputs. There are two HDMI outputs to facilitate applications such as a second monitor in the same room with a projector.
With its THX Ultra2 Plus certification the DHC-9.9 is designed for use with powerful external amplifiers in large rooms, and provides 7.1-channel professional-grade balanced XLR outputs for connection to compatible multichannel amplifiers. The new THX Loudness Plus feature improves the experience of movies at lower volume levels. Because ambient sounds and bass can be lost or perceived differently when the volume is lowered, THX Loudness Plus automatically adjusts the front-to-back speaker level and frequency balance to ensure that you experience all of the rich details of movies when listening below reference level.
Like its predecessor, DHC-9.9 includes Audyssey's acclaimed MultEQ XT room acoustics correction, the most powerful built-in solution available for countering room distortion in dedicated home theaters. The system is Audyssey MultEQ Pro compatible, allowing certified installers to take this process to even higher levels of refinement. New for the DHC-9.9 is Audyssey Dynamic EQ, which provides real-time adjustment of surround levels and equalization when listening at moderate sound levels. Also new is Audyssey's Dynamic Volume, which detects and corrects for undesired dramatic changes in volume level during program changes and commercials, maintaining a consistent output level.
The DHC-9.9 has three advanced Texas Instument's (TI Aureus™ 32-bit DSP chips) to provide onboard decoding for every major format in use today, including the latest high definition and lossless audio formats specified for the Blu-Ray disc formats. The unit features an oversized Toroidal transformer for the main power supply as well as separate transformers for the audio and video circuitry. Each channel also employs premium quality Burr Brown audio DAC's and Integra's VLSC (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry) for dynamic, low-distortion reproduction at all output levels. The HDMI and AV inputs are assignable, as are three optical/coaxial digital inputs, two-channel balanced XLR inputs, phono and line-level analog inputs, and mutichannel inputs and pre-outs.
The DHC-9.9 boasts exceptional multizone capabilities, including fixed and variable line level outs with subwoofer for two additional zones. Zone 2 also includes both composite and HD-quality component video outputs, as well as independent tone controls. Zone 2 and Zone 3 both include balance controls as well as maximum and power-on volume settings.
The Integra DHC-9.9 includes a comprehensive package of features specifically tailored to the needs of custom installers, including an Ethernet port for integration with network-based control systems. It also includes bi-directional RS-232, RIHD (Remote Interactive over HDMI) system control integration over HDMI, three programmable 12-volt triggers, dual IR inputs, and three unique assignable IR code sets. Lockable customized dealer settings can be independently stored for easy recall, making it simple for installers to maintain complex installations.
The DHC-9.9 includes a high quality AM/FM radio tuner and built-in HD Radio reception capability. It is also compatible with Satellite radio programming with connections for both XM and Sirius antennas. It includes onboard Neural THX processing for multichannel surround programming on XM HD and other Neural THX sources. Finally, there are 40 presets for AM, FM, HD Radio, XM, or Sirius stations.