AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: within the unlimited boundries of my imagination
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As someone who used to by very active in this forum, and cut my teeth on the XG's. It's hard to say. This particular XG1351 has been on the ceiling for 9 years now, and has gone from 750 tube hours (when I bought it) to 3700 now, in this 9 year span I have touched up grayscale once, and it gets about 5 minutes of convergence work three times a year.
In the last two years I have setup two JVCs, a X95 and X75. While they are both nice projectors, and easy to setup with a decent grayscale out of the box. (IT still needs to be calibrated) I will still take my XG1351 with Moome card, Darbee, and all glass lenses, which brings this units sharpness very close to a stock JVC. The deal breaker for me is no longer Black Level and shadow detail (the top JVC is on par here) it's now the motion. The digitals just don't look natural in many scenes, and it takes me right out of the mood. I can't really put my finger on it, and I haven't done any research (just not impressed enough to seriously consider the change) but with the addition of the Darbee, and the OPPO 105 as a source my XG's picture is still on par with the best digitals. To top it off, I have new parts setting in boxes, but it's been rock solid. (power conditioning has allot to do with that)
The ownly real draw back is not having a set of NOS tubes for it.
Your 9500 is still a great display that'll match any digital, it all comes down to you and your needs and wants. I can see both sides of it, and from my view, one is not necessarily better than the other...except for that motion thing, which one of my friends didn't even notice until I pointed it out.