H/K AVR-8000 vs. Integra DTC-9.4

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Aaron E. Smith, Jun 6, 2003.

  1. Aaron E. Smith

    Aaron E. Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, here is my quandary. I've just recently setup my home theater after a big move and I got the Harman/Kardon AVR-8000 as my processor for its Logic 7 capability (purchased some months ago). However, reading through some more recent discussion on the AVR-8000, it seems to me that its 7-channel capabilities are compromised and, while I think it is a very good overall processor, I really prefer a dedicated processor over a receiver.

    Enter the Integra DTC-9.4. This processor seems to have alot of bang for the buck. A local dealer has offered me a good price and I'm very inclined to take it, but before I go ahead and spend some more on my HT, I'd like to get some feedback from some others on how much of an upgrade this would be? Is this simply a lateral move or a true upgrade? The Integra has Ultra-2 processing modes, an OSD thru its component video outputs, I think more processing power, and stastistically should sound cleaner. Does that sound right?

    To give you a better idea of the system, this is what I'm running nowadays:
    Magnepan MGCC2 (center)
    Magnepan MG1.6s (fronts)
    Magnepan MG12s (sides and rears)
    SVS 16-46CS+ (two)
    Citation 7.1 amps (two)
    Citation 5.1 amp
    Pioneer DV-47Ai
    and some other misc. electronics....

    Thanks in advance for any advice!!
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I'd be curious as to your price for the 9.4 as the list is only $2k.

    I think the jury is still out on the 9.4 since it is so new. For example, my questions include: says 32 bit microprocessors, Sharcs? Any bass management on the 5.1 analog inputs? What are the choices for digital crossovers, and is it global, or something like Sony or Outlaw ("sets" of speakers)? Does it have DSP modes to "expand" 2.0 through 5.1 sources for a 7.1 speaker setup (Outlaw/Cirrus CES modes, Rotel's xS modes, Logic 7)? Who made the DACs? 24/192's? What are the ADCs? Etc. [​IMG]
     
  3. Aaron E. Smith

    Aaron E. Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    At the moment I'd rather keep that under wraps just in case I'm not supposed to divulge that info. (I'm not sure, but I don't want to tick anyone off or get anyone in trouble). However, I'd be more than happy to share that info. later on.

    Also, your questions are really good and I'd also like some answers to them.

    I think, but I'd like to verify this, that the 9.4 has the Ultra 2 modes as well as the Ultra 2 certification (to me the certification is valueless, but the modes seem like an excellent option to Logic 7 for 5.1 sources). I think it also has Neo:6 and DPLII.

    In taking a look, albeit briefly, at the manual, I came away with the impression that the crossover is global. This is a disappointment for me, but not a deal breaker. After all, I could always purchase an ICBM if need be, although I'd rather not.

    Anyone else have some info. or opinions to share?
     
  4. Aaron E. Smith

    Aaron E. Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm sort of surprised by the limited response so far. I know that this Integra is still new, but aren't there any owners out there willing to share? [​IMG]
     
  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Aaron- I have good news, and bad news. [​IMG] ... [​IMG]

    I stopped by the Integra room at HE2003, because frankly, I'm curious too. They had a 9.4 there. That's the good news. The bad news, is that I stopped 3 different times, and no freaking Integra person was there. I did talk to a very nice guy from the dealer who setup the room, but he didn't have any details.

    I will put this here just because it jived with what I thought: the dude I talked too did also suspect that it has Sharcs for the DSP, and Burr Browns for the DACs. The 1st wouldn't surprise me, but the 2nd might, in that too many companies seem to be using the Cirrus 24/192 DACs these days.

    I got an info sheet with the names of 2 people on it who may be Integra people. I'll let ya know if I get any response...

    It does *look* nice! [​IMG]

    Yes, the info sheet says Ultra2, so that means it will do 7.1 with the decorrelation thing for the rears...
     
  6. Aaron E. Smith

    Aaron E. Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Kevin,

    Thanks for the info! This really sounds like a great processor--especially for the money--and the component/OSD issue has me sold (just my own little pet peeve about that issue).

    Also, that sounds like very good news on this processor's processing power! It seems to me that Integra really did a nice job so I'm going to bite on the unit. I just hope that there doesn't turn out be some sort of 'unforseen' hangup on this one. When I bought the AVR-8000 I was hoping it could really apply L7 to 5.1 sources, but it sounds like that was fudged all along.... [​IMG]


    Please let me know if you find anything else out. I'm planning to make the purchase this week if I can, so I'll let everyone know how this processor holds up.
     
  7. John A. Casler

    John A. Casler Second Unit

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    As both a Harman and an Onkyo Dealer I would say that if you want the best sound, and music NOTHING can beat the 8000.

    And it will do Logic 7 with 5.1 sources, but it processes it differently than the Lexicons.

    Even so it is incredible on the right speakers. I have both the 7200 and 8000 and the 8000 is better on music than the 7200 even.

    The Onkyo isn't even in the ball game (on my system)

    Your listening may find differently, but Logic 7 is the real deal and it actually works better if you select the 2 channel DVD track. Then is sounds better than the 5.1/6.1 version.

    Who knows why, it just does.
     
  8. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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  9. John A. Casler

    John A. Casler Second Unit

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  10. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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  11. John A. Casler

    John A. Casler Second Unit

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    Hi Kev,

    I was talking about 2 channel Music in analog, like the AVR7200. (not analog multichannel music)

    On the 7200 when you go to 2 channel stereo it is straight through analog (at least according to HK)no digital processing

    So you can use the Processor as an analog two channel preamp without going digtal.

    It didn't appear that the Onkyo had it and the digital sound was somewhat lifeless in comparison. I would love to hear that we somehow missed that and and it is there, since I think the unit has other great capabilities (Like video upconversion)and the price is attractive.

    I have a "vintage" Integra P303 Preamp which is one of the best I have heard. I had high hopes[​IMG]

    Since we only had it in the system for about 2-3 hours (without a manual) we could have missed it, but using the CDP analog outputs into the Integra, and listening in 2 channel stereo was not as good as I like to hear in the soundstage.
     
  12. Donnie Eldridge

    Donnie Eldridge Supporting Actor

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  13. Aaron E. Smith

    Aaron E. Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    Donnie,


    Very good question. To answer you, I honestly don't know. I only just recently unpacked and hooked up the AVR-8000, so I already knew about the Logic 7 issues before using the processing (but, of course, after buying it). Overall I do think it sounds very nice to my ears, but so did the Integra--albeit not in a direct comparison. I'm thinking of taking the AVR-8000 into the dealer to do a little listening comparison. That should really seal the deal one way or the other.


    John,

    Not to be derogatory or anything, but when you keep referring to the 'Integra' as an 'Onkyo' you make me think we aren't talking about the same thing. To use someone else's analogy, it is like talking about a 'Honda' when you really mean an 'Acura.' There are similarities, but the differences are important methinks. Also, I suppose I'm really pulling for the Integra here since it seems like a better processor on paper and its features are better for my needs. However, youir experiences do push me to examine the two more closely. Can you tell me/us more about the comparison between the DTC-9.4 and the AVR-8000?


    Kevin,

    Thanks for pressing on the issue. I'll be very interested in whatever you find. You know, my wife works in the television news business, maybe we could..... nah, that would be bad. [​IMG]

    Take care all!
     
  14. John A. Casler

    John A. Casler Second Unit

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  15. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Aaron- Here's what I got:

     

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