|Sunfire Ultimate Receiver II|
|Home Theater AV Receivers AV Receivers|
|Written by Ken Taraszka, MD|
|Wednesday, 01 March 2006|
Page 3 of 3
Missing from the Sunfire Ultimate Receiver II are DVI and/or HDMI switching. With an official mandate of February 17, 2009, for a switch to digital video, it is disappointing that the UR2 can not switch the format of the future. Solutions are easy and relatively affordable in the form of an HDMI switcher, which can take today’s and tomorrow’s digital video inputs (HD-DVD, Blu-ray, HD-DVRs, Playstation 3, Xbox) and get them to your HDTV. This adds approximately an additional $400 to the overall cost of your rig and also adds a bit of system clutter that isn’t found on today’s HDMI-switching receivers that cost a fraction of the price of the Sunfire Ultimate Receiver II.
Though the Ultimate Receiver could just be the most powerful receiver on the planet, it is still a receiver. If you plan to drive highly inefficient or particularly difficult to drive speakers, you should really consider separates. I found the bass to be quick and overall pleasing, but it lacked some of the authority of more expensive separates and, in my other set-ups, there was a slight enhancement in the lower-mid bass.
Elegant, flexible, easily configured, smooth and powerful, the Sunfire Ultimate Receiver makes a strong statement as to just how good a receiver can be. It offers ease of set-up, with powerful and flexible amplification, and inputs abound. Throughout my two-channel listening sessions, I was impressed with the Ultimate Receiver’s faithful reproduction of the music. I detected only a slight enhancement of the lower-mid bass in my set-up, but this was subtle and never overpowering as can be common in lesser gear. If you are in the market for a new high-end receiver, you owe it to yourself to consider the Sunfire Ultimate Receiver II.
The sound from this receiver was always pleasant and never fatiguing or harsh; it was a true pleasure to hear. I think you could argue the $4,995 price is high for a receiver, but the performance of this unit is exceptional.