Woohoo! Was poking around onecall's web site and noticed they had the Pioneer 47Ai in "low stock" status. Called my local authorized dealer, and they had them in stock! In fact, they were still at the warehouse (20 mins away). Scott (Sound City in Denville) was nice enough to take a special drive out to the warehouse for me (hence his mention here, thanks Scott). My rp56 was locking up more and more frequently lately, so it was time for an upgrade, err, replacement. Eyed the Pioneer Elite receivers to go along with it, but couldn't bring myself to upgrade the Onkyo 696 yet. It still works great The price was nice, too, 799. plus tax. Of course I set up the 47Ai as soon as I got home. It's hooked up to the Onkyo via both optical out (for DTS and DD on DVD-V) and analog 5.1 inputs. I have a Norh 4.0 setup all around, with an SVS 20-39. Component cables, of course, to the Pioneer 533. Thinking of upgrading my mains, but that's another story Knowing what some of the issues were with the 45A, I was looking for them on this model. Bought Hotel California on DVD-A, and Alice in Chains on SACD to test out. After comparing both, I have to say the DVD-A performance is stellar. Well, as steller as I can imagine (can it GET any better?). The vocals and guitar work simply have much more range. I'm not able to articulate the nuances of the music that are now audible to me. It's like I've never heard these songs before. AIC was less stellar. I don't know wether it's due to a poor rendition on SACD, or poor SACD performance by the Pioneer. Let me explain. After verifying that the formats worked fine, and the unit was working, I went out to get some more listening material. I couldn't find anything else on SACD that I wanted to hear! Picked up Foreigner 4 and STP Core on DVD-A. Foreigner was as eye-opening as Hotel California. Vocals in particular were stunning, more depth. Almost as if it was a different person singing it than the one I found so enjoyable when the record first came out. Core, I must say, was a bit of a disappointment Which is a shame, because it's one of my all time favorite records. Weiland's vocals are noticeably more dynamic, on some tracks more than others. And there goes my dilemna. With only one SACD title to audition, I don't know if it's a similarly lackluster transfer of the material, or poor performance of the media in general. It's possible I failed to set up something properly, as it only plays AIC in stereo (and shows multi-channel highlighted on the back of the case). I'll poke around and see if there's something I should have done but didn't. Setup seemed relatively straightforward. Got NO bass output from the SVS initially, as I forgot to set the speakers to SMALL on one of the setup pages. Don't know if there's a particular crossover point to choose for the sub, but didn't look so hard, was anxious to PLAY. If there is, it's on an on-screen menu. The back seems pretty straightforward and uncluttered. I think I'll have to audition some more SACD titles (poor me, hehe) for a more balanced view. As for video, I've only watched one. 5th Element Superbit. Outstanding picture, better than the rp56, which surprised me. Maybe there is something to all this "you get what you pay for" stuff. Looked for the chroma bug, and think I've found it. Panic button was a little fuzzy (no real noticeable jaggies), but the blue neon Zorg sign was very noticeable. Only around the inside of the "O", though. Didn't see it along the outside edges of the sign. It's possible I didn't look for it properly. Had to pause and advance at 1/16th playback speed to see the jaggies on the sign, honestly couldn't see them on real-time speed. Was mortified that I don't have Toy Story to assess the chroma bug. Guess I'll have to pick it up and report later. There was a moment's hesitation on the Monsters, Inc. layer change, but no real pause. Just a repeatable hesitation, not a fluke. The player seems to have potential weaknesses, most noticeably in the SACD dept. I will report what I find to confirm or refute it's performance with this format. If you need to notice the chroma bug in real time speed in order for the player to be "cursed" by it, then this is still up in the air, too. Personally, if it can't be seen (by me) on playback, then it's not a problem (for me). Switching between movies and DVD-A/SACD is a minor annoyance, as I must change the input selection on the receiver from multichannel to optical. DTS and DD don't seem to be recognized from the analog outs. Strengths are progressive playback picture quality. Just plain beautiful. This MAY have something to do with the Superbit dvd. I'll watch LOTR or Blade and report if the playback seems less of an improvement. DVD-Audio sounds teriffic! It was a little scary putting the first disc in and wondering if I would be able to hear a noticeable difference. That fear was squashed 10 seconds into play. I haven't played with mp3 support yet. It DOES play SVCD's, a feature lacking on my rp56. Not a terribly big plus, as I have a 5 cd changer that does this neccessary task, considering all the homemade discs I own. Overall, I'm very happy with this unit, as you have likely inferred from my comments. I'm not a total newbie anymore, but if there are specific suggestions or tests that you can think of me to try for you, I'd be more than happy to help (and learn in the process). I'm keeping it!