Integra 8.3-first observations

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark LP, Nov 20, 2002.

  1. Mark LP

    Mark LP Agent

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    Hello all,
    I wanted to pass on a few comments regarding this new DVD player. First, be forewarned, I'm not an expert by any means. I'm a slighlty more informed consumer.
    Current system:
    tv-Mitsu WT-42311
    recevier-Integra 8.2
    spkrs front biwired- Kef Reference 2~2
    spkrs rear- Kef RDM Two
    center- Kef Reference model 100
    sub- Velodyne FSR12
    connects-mid level monster cable except:
    dvd-rec 7.1 multichannel connects- Taralabs 3300
    dvd-rec componet- Taralabs 303v
    I was looking for a new dvd player that would play dvd-audio. The bonus is that this one also plays sacds. I had narrowed it down to the Kenwood Sovereign 5700m, Pioneer Elite, some form of Yamaha, or Integra. I had ruled out the denons due to recent technical/mechanical problems. I wasn't overly thrilled with the tonal quality, apparent build quality or look of the Kenwood. I ruled out the pioneer because it was so comprable to the Integra and the Integra would be a better match to my current system. I was able to demo a roughly comprable DCDI Yamaha side-by-side to the Integra. The video quality was virtually identical. Tested Fifth Element superbit...same cable, same tv. I decided the chroma bug was not going to ruin my life if I saw it from time to time. I also decided that the audio was truly 7/10ths of a movie and the video the balance. Therefore, the Integra 8.3 separated me from my cash. (sorry all you sony fans...Im just not a believer. I'm replacing a DVP-S650D.)
    video quality after quick Avia run-thru- A-
    I'm sure there are better dvd players out of there...not as this price though. Even poor quality dvds look great. great dvds look spectacular. The amount of expert level tweaking controls on this player is more than a dozen, not counting the two basic video setup screens. Every button on this remote is backlit. [​IMG] [​IMG] Gladiator and Lord of the Rings dvds came to life. It was like watching these movies for the first time in color. Never once have I noticed any layer changes or stutters in the processing. This machine will even remember preferred settings per dvd using a function called conditional memory. I would consider disc loading to be very quick but que-up was in the 2-3 second range. This could be because it is verifying the format. video, dvd-audio, sacd, mp3 cdr, cd-rw etc... I also think that all players in this price range(retail-$1200.00 can be had for less) will perform within 95% of each other. Features are what I think make or break the players.
    audio quality- A
    My speakers are very open. Hence, I did not want to alter the music coming from the source. A previous post mentioned that this player sounded flat. I think it depends on your speakers as well. I picked my receiver because it was the most neutral sound. I was counting on this player to give me the same unaltered source. This player did not disappoint me. Using my previous sony, I had but all given up on my U2, Guns N Roses, and similar sounding music because the sony made it all sound harsh and overly bright. when I dropped U2 in, I new I had made the right choice. I've listened to Carole King and Mariah Carey in sacd. Tchaikovsky in Dvd-audio. The treble is clear. The mid-range is wide and rounded. The bass is strong and controlled. This player will give me many years of musical enjoyment. Re bass management, this unit will allow you to set distances, gain(12db spread), and large/small settings for each speaker in a 7.1 system for the analog outs. This means I can listen to THX EX movies either over my optical cable or multichannel cables. the optical out allows my receiver to handle the settings for the speakers. I am going to rely on the receiver's ability to tweak my sub channel up or down however many dbs I need it for music. I can set this up using my "chad"(read "pronto") remote as a single touch button.
    Overall, I think this player will be a fine addition to my system. If I come across any more quirks, good or bad about this player, I'll be sure to post.
    Hope this helps some,
    Mark LP
    email- [email protected]
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Mark, thanks for posting the review. The '8.3 sounds like a very competent performer. Of course, it represents a huge step up from the Sony 'S560D.

    You said:

     
  3. Mark LP

    Mark LP Agent

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    Keith,

    I agree the comparison was not exactly a fair one. And yes I was using the sony for cd playback as well. I think the 8.3 will prove its mettle in the cd arena as more of these units are distributed. The bigger brother to this player is the Integra Research RDV-1(I believe thats the model number) Many stereophile magazines consider this to be great even on a cd transport basis alone. From a comparison between Integra and I.Research, it seems that alot of the technology is developed and then passed down from the Research line to the standard line. Because of this, I think the player sits near the top as far as dvd-audio and sacd playback as well. With Sacd and Kefs I could hear every nuance of the recording clearly. I think the player gets the music off the cd into the cables to the speakers with the least amount of interference. Love that video off feature. DVD-audio was equally impressive.

    In general, I think the Integra line builds some of the most forward-compatable components. They dont jump on the band wagon quite as quickly as some companies do but what they do, they do very well. i.e. this dvd player had BNC componet outs..as well as I mentioned 7.1 channel analog outs to my last years model receiver of 7.1 analog in...things like that just make your day when you go to add new pieces or want to play the latest formats like THX EX or DTS:ES
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Mark, a local dealer has or had the Integra Research RDV-1, and it is one sweet machine. They also have or had the Integra DPS-9.1, and it too is a sweet machine. I agree that Onkyo/Integra does a good job bringing some elements of "flagship" technology down the product line. In fact, I have found some Onkyo and Integra components to be very similar. The Onkyo DV-S939 and Integra DSP-9.1 are an example.
     
  5. sonny_b

    sonny_b Agent

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    What mpeg decoder is in this bad boy? Is it just a souped up Pio 47A?

    -sonny
     
  6. Mark LP

    Mark LP Agent

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    I believe the video is being handled by a Genesis chip. The specs are a 108mhz/12-bit Dac. Thats according to the manufacturer. I havent opened the unit to confirm. I dont think they put the genesis chipset in to be cheap. Genesis owns Sage which is Faroudja. They could have put any chip in they wanted to. Just as a side note...Integra makes the Faroudja Native Rate unit. That has DCDi...go figure.

    Mark
     

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