Integra Research RDC-7, how good??

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Seth V, Apr 17, 2003.

  1. Seth V

    Seth V Stunt Coordinator

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    I know that this pre-pro isn't new, but I have read some very positive reviews about it. I am seriously considering purchasing this unit, but need some input from you fellow AVS forum members. First off, what do you all think of this pre-pro? Is it as good as it seems to be?

    Some of the things I really like about this unit are the DAC's used(Burr Brown PCM 1704s and Analog Devices 1853s DAC's). The front left and right channels each use a pair of Burr Brown PCM 1704s in a dual differential configuration, with the Analog devices AD 1853s operating on the rest of the RDC-7 channels. The dynamic range and S/N ratio of the AD1853 is 120db. The Burr Brown PCM 1704 also boast a S/N of 120db. The DAC's for all channels offer 24 bit/192 khz resolution. The RDC-7 utilizes an Apogee master clock system for clocking digital signals and eliminating jitter built into the DAC's.

    Another very welcome addition(at least for me) is the inclusion of an AC-3 RF input, for use with laserdisc players. Overall build quality seems quite solid. I'm not saying that I'm definitely going for this pre-pro, but I'm really thinking about it. Any feedback will be most helpful, as I need to make a decision very soon.

    SV[​IMG]
     
  2. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    I just looked at Integra's website, and this prepro isn't even on it anymore. If I'm not wrong its being replaced by the newer DTC-9.4, and the RDA-7 is being replaced by the newer DTA-9.4.

    Also, IIRC the RDC-7 had some problems with bass management. The low pass filter was set at 80Hz(a THX standard) and couldn't be changed. I don't know if future updates changed that.

    Anyway, I was originally considering this prepro, but in the end I went with the TagMcLaren AV32R. This is one prepro that has lived up to its claim of being "future proof". It has so many software/hardware updates available to it that you can just about custom make one for your specific needs. The latest version is the AV32R bp192 with dual SHARC DSPs. It uses 24/192 AKM DACs, I can't remember the exact model though.
     
  3. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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  4. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    Oh ok...

    And it turns out Integra is actually a lower end brand, with Integra Research being the higher end, with the Integra Research RDC/RDA series still in production. Then there's the super low end Onkyo. Geez, my head is spinning...
     
  5. Seth V

    Seth V Stunt Coordinator

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    Sihan Goi,


    The bass management issue has indeed been addressed, as the new (upgrade 2) units now being shipped have new hardware and software, and inlcude crossover adjustments of 40/60/80/100/120 hz. Other bass management options also include separate adjustments for Dolby Digital, DTS, and MPEG, with memory setings for each.

    Other (UPG-2) additions include:

    THX Ultra 2 certification
    DTS-ES Discrete/Matrix decoding
    Dolby Pro Logic II
    IEEE 1394 (Firewire) port
    Higher Bandwidth component inputs/outputs
     
  6. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    Cool...should be a competent prepro then, even though its 2 years old.
     
  7. Seth V

    Seth V Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I went ahead and had my dealer order me an RDC-7, it should arrive today(I hope). Once I get it all connected, I'll share my thoughts as to how it sounds with both music and movies.

    SV
     
  8. Les Holt

    Les Holt Agent

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    Seth,

    I own the RDC-7, upgraded to latest status, and I think it's a wonderful pre-pro. Sounds great, has a broad range of capabilities, and is easy to use.

    I'm very demanding of equipment, and don't hesitate to dump it if I don't like it, so this is high praise.

    Les
     
  9. Seth V

    Seth V Stunt Coordinator

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    As I was looking through the online owners manual I noticed that the RDC-7 has an A/V sync delay adjustment. This feature is very useful at times when the audio and video signals are out of sync(the result is where the sound and picture do not match and the sound is heard too early), and is a very useful feature to have when needed. And this feature can be used for any input as needed(except for sources using the multi-channel port,like DVD-A/SACD).

    I can't wait to start using this controller, as it has so many features that I want to try out. I hope it comes in Monday.[​IMG]
     
  10. Seth V

    Seth V Stunt Coordinator

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    I just got my RDC-7 a couple of days ago, and I must say this is one fine piece of equipment. The first thing I noticed when I unpacked it is how elegant it is(pictures just don't do it justice), with a fit and finish that's first rate, every attention to detail is there.

    The sound that this controller produces is simply amazing. Listening to CD's was a real treat, with detail and a sense of air to the music that I just haven't experienced before. I started diging out my favorite CD's and when I listened to them I got totally lost in the music. The sound was very detailed and dynamic, and never fatiguing. I've only been using it for two days and it's sounds awesome, so I can only imagine what it's going to sound like once it's had a chance to break in.

    Movie sound was equally as impressive, all the formats were decoded perfectly. I really liked the THX Ultra 2 mode for movies, it made everthing sound very natural(not overly soft). This controller offers some of the best DD and DTS sound I have heard. I heard directional effects that I haven't heard before with movies I was very familiar with. As you can tell I'm very impressed with the RDC-7 controller.

    About the only thing that I have yet to try is DVD-Audio/SACD. I'm going to give those discs a spin over the weekend, and I'll let you all know what I think.

    SV
     
  11. Ted Pugh

    Ted Pugh Stunt Coordinator

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    Seth, I the RDC 7 on a short list. What other pre/pros did you listen to or contemplate purchasing? If you could e-mail me and let me know around the dollar amt. you spent on this unit that would be great. Enjoy your weekend.

    Ted
    wtpugh@earthlink.net
     
  12. Seth V

    Seth V Stunt Coordinator

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    Ted Pugh

    I sent you e-mail regading the pricing of the RDC-7.
     
  13. Seth V

    Seth V Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been giving this controller quite the workout here lately, I have been leaving it on during the day with music playing at a moderate vol level to help it burn in, and watching movies at night. I must say the sound quality just keeps getting better and better.

    I gave some DVD-A/SACD's a spin(or two or three [​IMG]), and WOW! did they sound amazing! This controller kicks a@#. My Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature II amp is working pretty good with the RDC-7, although I'm curious what it would sound like with a true balanced amp(the RDC-7 offers true balanced outs). Do you all think there would be a sonic advantage to this? And if so, which amps would you recommend? The speakers I am using are all Martin Logans. What do you think of the Integra Research/BAT RDA-7 amp?

    SV
     
  14. StephenL

    StephenL Second Unit

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    The Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature II has true balanced inputs. According to the owner's manual, the amp has a balanced input stage. The input impedance of the XLR inputs is 24K Ohm, each leg balanced to ground.
     
  15. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Seth

    Let us know if you use the balanced inputs on the Sunfire as mentioned by Stephen. From what I have read, balanced only makes a difference if you have very long runs of interconnect cables (like 25 feet or more).

    Artie
     
  16. Seth V

    Seth V Stunt Coordinator

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    I sure am using the balanced connection option with the Sunfire amp. And yes, to my ears I definitely notice an audible improvement. The dynamics are better, detail is more defined, and the imaging is rock solid, definitely the preferred connection method.

    SV
     

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