Originally Posted by batpig
how much of an improvement do you find the 989 to be? do they sound pretty much identical (as they should) when you crank the volume? how much improvement do you find from the Dynamic Audyssey features? You are in a somewhat unique position as someone who has owned both 988 and then just replaced with 989...the comparisons would be useful to those who are considering the new models vs. saving some money on the x08 models...
Thought you'd never ask....LOL....I have just replaced a Denon 988 (Audyssey XT) with a 2809ci (Audyssey XT with DynEQ). I was getting exc SQ from the 988. The power and clarity of the 988 made my 7 yr old Polks come alive, especially the surrounds, which were almost never heard from with my old Sony receiver. I have an acoustically challenged 16' X 22' room (cathedral ceiling & lots of bare windows thanks to wife's Feng Shui) but Audyssey fixed me right up- I wouldn't buy another AVR without it!!
To digress slightly, I then got caught up in the whole "1909vs 988" issue. So, many nights were spent on tweaking and comparing over the next few weeks. I could not get the 789 to sound nearly as good at full listening levels-no surprise. Not bad SQ, mind you, but I'm one for clarity and detail. I wasn't so impressed with the DynEQ (and really didn't care for DV) to offset the better SQ of the 988 at my "listenin and lovin it" levels so I took the 789 back.
But I kept hearing how much people love the new Audyssey features. When I found a deal on the 2809 I couldn't pass it up (thanks again to batpig and others). So here's a report on my experience so far:
1. I hear no acoustic difference at the loudest levels from the 988, as expected. The 2809 sounds fabulous!
2. With DV off, as I turn the volume down the DynEQ kicks in pretty rapidly (by -8 to -12 it is already quite noticable) and the sound has more fullness and presence-it's livelier, denser with no loss of detail at all. It's more balanced overall (maybe "warmer"?) and the bass is much deeper. My room is "bright" acoustically so I think the effect on the highs may be less obvious in my case. To my ear (and this occurs with all sources, CD's, HDDVD and HDDVR) the DynEQ seems a tad aggressive about filling in the bass (and I'm a bass player!), but it's still tight and punchy with good localization from the fronts. I have just turned the sub down 1 dB on the Denon and am likin' it a lot. I have to say the fuller sound at moderate levels is very nice but at really low levels seems a little weird sometimes, almost a little too rich or too EQ'd. Allowing that I, as most people, have been listening for umpteen years to the "normal" loss of fidelity as the sound level decreases, it may just take a little getting used to what it's supposed to sound like even when listening quietly! I am much more favorably impressed with DynEQ now that I'm not comparing apples and oranges (988 vs 789). It is a very nice option.
3. I need more time to get used to DV. It is very good for situations like holiday party music and when I invite the folks over to watch a movie. I think it will be good for commercial TV, but I need to get used to listening to TV at a much lower volume overall. I'm one of those guys who up till now liked my program levels pretty loud (for better SQ and to hear those quiet passages) and I'd just keep that remote in my hand to kill those commercials! Now with DynEQ the soundtracks sound much better at lower levels. So I've started experimenting with listening at lower volumes. I started with DV "day" which doesn't do much. Evening and especially MN compress the sound field dynamics increasingly, damping the loud and boosting the quiet parts. Quiet dialogue is more audible but so are all the commercials! So if I listen at my "usual" levels, everything's equally sorta close and "in your face", all the time. I can't expect it to nail the commercials as well as my thumb on the remote, it just won't do that.
I hope this is useful, and would like to hear from others about their experience. So far this seems well worth the $125 it cost me to swap out.
My advice to 3808 owners: IMHO, BUY THE DynEQ UPGRADE! (New 3808's come with free upgrade)
My speakers and the Audyssey values:
Fronts (RT800i towers)=-6, CTR (CS400)=-6.5, SW (PSW 350)=-7.5, Surrounds (Fx300i)=-2.5.
Apologies for the long post-too much time on my hands.