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post #121 of 4277 Old 10-08-2011, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Zzzzz... View Post

Thanks for this post. I'm curious, have you heard the Denon 4311 (which can be used as a pre/pro)? I've been trying to decide between a 80.2/80.3 and the Denon... I haven't heard any of these units yet though I was expecting the Integras and 4311 to be equally as good... The units are around the same price.

I had the Denon 4311CI for about 2 weeks prior to my purhcase of the 80.3.

What I liked about the 4311CI... Better manual, better on screen graphics and navigation, better remotes. The sound from music from iPod direct, CD direct and AppleTV optical was very good. The performance of DVD/BD films and AppleTV films was very good as I was quite happy and pleased with this performance.

What I disliked was the speaker posts, which were easily moveable upon insertion of bananna plug cables. Also, the Anchor Bay video processor was marginal with SD material as it showed a graininess, a 'kind of' pixelation that I hadn't seen before. BD/DVD material was very good, but I have a lot of recorded tape and disc SD material that I watch occassionally and it was annoying during dark and other transitioning scenes.

Why I returned it was simply... mostly, it was because it couldn't drive my speakers (Paradigm Studio 100's) to my satisfaction. I was concerned about clipping and such when I wanted to be stupid with volume levels. Had I had bookshelf speakers (Studio 20's, etc), I would have kept it. And accepted the SD playback performance as this material probably wouldn't play well on any system.

I was warned about the 4311CI from a musical standpoint, that I should go with the Marantz SR7005 instead. Both were about the same spec wise and both were priced about the same, but I really couldn't fault the musical performance of the 4311CI upon listening to it. The musical aspect met my expectations.

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post #122 of 4277 Old 10-08-2011, 09:31 PM
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Just ordered my DHC 80.3 today How important are "high end" xlr cables
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post #123 of 4277 Old 10-08-2011, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by SonnynNY View Post

Just ordered my DHC 80.3 today How important are "high end" xlr cables

Not really important
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post #124 of 4277 Old 10-08-2011, 09:53 PM
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How important are "high end" xlr cables

High end is not important, properly made is. The only thing high end cables do, is make a lot of profit for the seller. Get some properly made cables from a place like monoprice or bluejeanscable.
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post #125 of 4277 Old 10-08-2011, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by SonnynNY View Post

Just ordered my DHC 80.3 today How important are "high end" xlr cables

As others have stated, don't go by the price, but by the quality of the cable, and I agree with monoprice or bluejean for cables. I personally been using monoprice. Now in reference to the XLR connection itself it is my understanding that it depends how far your amp is from your 80.3.

Long run XLR would by the way to go, short run just use RCA.
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post #126 of 4277 Old 10-09-2011, 08:45 AM
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I found my noise floor was slightly lower with xlr cables. I have some cheap one meter monoprice cables that have worked flawlessly
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post #127 of 4277 Old 10-09-2011, 11:36 AM
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I found my noise floor was slightly lower with xlr cables. I have some cheap one meter monoprice cables that have worked flawlessly

I agree 100%
If you can use XLRs use them. its not that much a cost increase over RCA for short runs.
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post #128 of 4277 Old 10-09-2011, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mjaudio View Post

I have had the Denon 4311 in my system used as a pre-pro and while it is a good product I prefer the Onkyo 5508 which I have now. The Onkyo 5508 is the same as a Integra 80.2.

In my system the Denon had a smooth, laid back sound compared to the Onkyo which was nice for mellow music but not as nice for action movies. The 5508 has a more dynamic and forward feel to it for movies that I really prefer over the 4311. I did compare the Denon 4311 directly with my Onkyo 886 which is about 2 generations before the 5508. In that comparison the Denon was superior in my system for music but the 886 still won out for movies. I personally didn't like the 886 at all for music but the 5508 is a definite upgrade musically and on par with the Denon IMO.

I don't think you could go wrong with either the Onkyo/Integra or Denon, it just depends on your listening preference's.

Thanks very much for this. I would have thought that something that was good for music would also be good for movies.... I suppose you ran Audyssey a number of times with the 5508 and 4311?
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post #129 of 4277 Old 10-09-2011, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Much is not an issue here as, imho, there are not HUGE differences among quality electronics. There are noticeable differences in sound quality which I ascribe (without technical basis) to the D/A and analog output stages and that is why, price aside, I prefer the Meridian and Classe processors within this class.

That you see the differences as on the small side is great to read. Even without having heard the Integras, given everything that I have read about them so far, I suspect I'd be very happy owner if I bought one.

By the way, Music in the Round is great - very informative (much more so than many other review sites) and a pleasure to read. Please keep up the great work
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post #130 of 4277 Old 10-09-2011, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Sparcs View Post

I had the Denon 4311CI for about 2 weeks prior to my purhcase of the 80.3.

What I liked about the 4311CI... Better manual, better on screen graphics and navigation, better remotes. The sound from music from iPod direct, CD direct and AppleTV optical was very good. The performance of DVD/BD films and AppleTV films was very good as I was quite happy and pleased with this performance.

What I disliked was the speaker posts, which were easily moveable upon insertion of bananna plug cables. Also, the Anchor Bay video processor was marginal with SD material as it showed a graininess, a 'kind of' pixelation that I hadn't seen before. BD/DVD material was very good, but I have a lot of recorded tape and disc SD material that I watch occassionally and it was annoying during dark and other transitioning scenes.

Why I returned it was simply... mostly, it was because it couldn't drive my speakers (Paradigm Studio 100's) to my satisfaction. I was concerned about clipping and such when I wanted to be stupid with volume levels. Had I had bookshelf speakers (Studio 20's, etc), I would have kept it. And accepted the SD playback performance as this material probably wouldn't play well on any system.

I was warned about the 4311CI from a musical standpoint, that I should go with the Marantz SR7005 instead. Both were about the same spec wise and both were priced about the same, but I really couldn't fault the musical performance of the 4311CI upon listening to it. The musical aspect met my expectations.

Sparcs

Thank you for sharing your experiences. The 4311 speaker posts sound rather dissappointing. Regarding video, I plan to bypass the video processing, so, assuming the pass thru is completely transparent, this is not an issue for me. By the way, what made you decide not to keep the 4311 as a pre/pro?
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post #131 of 4277 Old 10-09-2011, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zzzzz... View Post

Thanks very much for this. I would have thought that something that was good for music would also be good for movies.... I suppose you ran Audyssey a number of times with the 5508 and 4311?

I have gone through my fair share of pre-pro's and receivers over the years and something can be great for music and movies it is all dependent on what is important to you. I am an avid action movie guy but my music preference is for jazz and vocals. I like a smooth laid back presentation when it comes to music but for movies prefer a more forward, dynamic presentation. Of course these are just my preferences, everyone has there own set of needs so my favorite pre-pro may not be someone else's and that is perfectly fine in the grand scheme of things.

I do know the proper set-up for Audyssey and have a Audyssey Pro kit as well. The direct comparison of the Denon 4311 and Onkyo 886 was just normal Audyssey, not Pro as I didn't want to spend an extra $150 each for the Pro license. The mic was at the same locations using a boom mic stand and multiple Audyssey calibrations were performed on the 4311 as I expected better results.

You may listen to the 4311 and 5508 in your own system and get different results, the room and associated equipment make a big difference. I still think Denon makes quality products but I just prefer the Onkyo/Integra in my system.

I also had the Marantz AV7005 in my system as well and the results were about the same as the 4311. The Marantz may have been better musically but I no longer had the 4311 around for a direct comparison, only the Onkyo 886.

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post #132 of 4277 Old 10-10-2011, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnla View Post

High end is not important, properly made is. The only thing high end cables do, is make a lot of profit for the seller. Get some properly made cables from a place like monoprice or bluejeanscable.

Agreed. For long runs, I recommend bettercables.com's offerings at reasonable prices. The are very low in capacitance which can be important in long runs.
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post #133 of 4277 Old 10-10-2011, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zzzzz... View Post

Thank you for sharing your experiences. The 4311 speaker posts sound rather dissappointing. Regarding video, I plan to bypass the video processing, so, assuming the pass thru is completely transparent, this is not an issue for me. By the way, what made you decide not to keep the 4311 as a pre/pro?

What made me decide not to keep the 4311CI was the amp section... I have Paradigm Studio 100's speakers and after a suitable break-in period for both the 4311 and the 100's, I cranked up the volume...

I'm relatively new to this HT and "expensive" audio business. I read about how mfg's will rate their amp sections and how its nearly impossible to compare amps on a spec basis due to mfg ratings. And I didn't understand the volume measurement of, say for example, "-40db" and what it meant. I like absolute measurements and when I discovered I could set the volume display in absolute terms ( 0 - 100 %), I did. That's when I discovered the volume levels were running at 85-90%. Yes, it was loud, but not problematic for my ears as I was usually in another room while the music was playing. And I while I was running at these levels, I wasn't hearing aspects of the music that I knew to be there. After conversations with the Paradigm dealer and a nutcase audiophile friend, the Studio 100's were requiring more "current" than the 4311CI could give. Huh? OK, what now? Further, I was told I was in danger of causing damage to the Studio's, from clipping, etc. while running at these volumes levels. My nutcase audiophile friend said, "I told you so..." So, the 4311CI went back, reluctantly.

And I bought the DHC-80.3 and Parasound Halo amps to replace the 4311CI. The dealer is happy I won't be doing warranty repairs (he wasn't involved with the Integra and Parasound purchases) and my nutcase audiophile friend won't admit it, but he now likes the sound coming out the speakers. Me? I'm very impressed and I cannot go past 70 - 75% volume levels without having to "turn it down" quickly.

My original plan was to buy the Studio 20 Bookshelf speakers and had I done so, I think the 4311CI would have been a great match. Instead, I went off the deep end...
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post #134 of 4277 Old 10-10-2011, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
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I was told I was in danger of causing damage to the Studio's, from clipping, etc. while running at these volumes levels.

Speakers are much more easily toasted with too little power than too much. "Small" amps run out of oomph and clip the waveform. A clipped, i.e. flat, waveform is essentially direct current (DC), and that is typically what damages speakers. Speaker coils specifically. Windings heat and lift causing a rubbing sound, or they heat and melt.
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post #135 of 4277 Old 10-11-2011, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zzzzz... View Post

Thank you for sharing your experiences. The 4311 speaker posts sound rather dissappointing. Regarding video, I plan to bypass the video processing, so, assuming the pass thru is completely transparent, this is not an issue for me. By the way, what made you decide not to keep the 4311 as a pre/pro?

I missed the last three words of your sentence. My original reply went off tangent...

Why not keep the 4311 as a pre/pro? Mostly, it was the idea that if I was going to run external amps, then why not go with a pure pre/pro plus external amp setup, with either the Marantz AVR7005 or the Integra DHC-80.3 as the pre/pro options. The cost differential wasn't that great in swapping out the 4311 for the 7005 or the 80.3. The real additive cost factor was the external amps.

Also, I really didn't like the idea of having bought "amps" in the 4311 and not use them. Although I didn't try, I don't think one could use the internal amps in the 4311 for some channels and then have external amp driving other channels. The manual states something to this effect, but it wasn't really clear to me. The 4311CI thread elsewhere on this forum, it was "decided" that one either used the internal amps or the external amps, but not both concurrently. This was sort of a "iffy" position as the 4311CI is a 11.2 AVR and has only 9 amp sections.

Regardless, I liked the 4311CI a lot.

I like my 80.3 + Halo setup alot more. I can hear the clanking again when I walk. Alas, going off in the deep end... in for a penny, in for a pound. Well, 3/4 of a pound.

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post #136 of 4277 Old 10-11-2011, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
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Also, I really didn't like the idea of having bought "amps" in the 4311 and not use them. Although I didn't try, I don't think one could use the internal amps in the 4311 for some channels and then have external amp driving other channels. The manual states something to this effect, but it wasn't really clear to me. The 4311CI thread elsewhere on this forum, it was "decided" that one either used the internal amps or the external amps, but not both concurrently. This was sort of a "iffy" position as the 4311CI is a 11.2 AVR and has only 9 amp sections.

You can run the Denon 4311's internal amps with external amps, just don't put it into pre-amp mode and the pre-outs are still active. Many people do this with receivers to add more power to the front 3 channels while using the remaining channels in the receiver to power the surrounds.

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post #137 of 4277 Old 10-11-2011, 09:27 PM
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Thanks everyone for the replies regarding the 80.2/80.3 versus the 4311 - much appreciated.
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post #138 of 4277 Old 10-12-2011, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warpdrv View Post

I'm going to hold off until I've had the unit in my main rig for some time so I can get a better feel for how this unit stands up a bit more over time...




I agree - although the Android app for this unit is pretty cool, and works flawlessly for me - aside from just controlling various needed items such as volume, sub control, setup - it also sees all the music on my phone and I can stream it right from there - even FLAC... Its certainly not something I would generally choose as a source - I have over 1tb of music on my server, and XBMC is a far superior an interface for streaming music or movies - plus its all controllable via Android as well....


I too would be interseted in your comparison of the D2v and DHC-80.3 as I am in a similar boat. I currently have a D1 which I use with the SMS-1 (for the two subs) and a DVDO VP50 for the video side of things and have looked for a couple of years at replacing it with a D2v but always balk at the price which is tough to justify in this economy and with a 20 year old daughter. It is also pushing it into some serious competition with the Classe & McIntosch at the price and loosing it's niche position of "value" for money that it used to have. The price of the DHC-80.3 is much more palatable, but I worry about the audio side of things as I listen to a lot of music and the sound with my D1/P5 set up feeding my B&W 803Ds sound excellent imho. I could live with what I have but I am running out of HDMI inputs on the DVDO and every time I look at the cable and plug clutter behind my cabinet I sigh in frustration.

Also are you using the Audessy-pro as form Kal's follow up review it does appear to offer an improvement.

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post #139 of 4277 Old 10-12-2011, 07:38 AM
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Anthem May have a slightly warmer presentation to music....

I am not using pro....
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post #140 of 4277 Old 10-12-2011, 08:09 AM
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I too would be interseted in your comparison of the D2v and DHC-80.3 as I am in a similar boat. I currently have a D1 which I use with the SMS-1 (for the two subs) and a DVDO VP50 for the video side of things and have looked for a couple of years at replacing it with a D2v but always balk at the price which is tough to justify in this economy and with a 20 year old daughter. It is also pushing it into some serious competition with the Classe & McIntosch at the price and loosing it's niche position of "value" for money that it used to have. The price of the DHC-80.3 is much more palatable, but I worry about the audio side of things as I listen to a lot of music and the sound with my D1/P5 set up feeding my B&W 803Ds sound excellent imho. I could live with what I have but I am running out of HDMI inputs on the DVDO and every time I look at the cable and plug clutter behind my cabinet I sigh in frustration.

Also are you using the Audessy-pro as form Kal's follow up review it does appear to offer an improvement.

I have owned a 9.8, 80.1 and 80.2, hearing improvements with each upgrade, especially with the 80.2. I have no plans for an 80.3, because I doubt it will sound significantly different. It's mainly about features.

After I got my 80.1, I took my 9.8 to the home of a noted recording critic to demo and compare to his setup. At the time, it was an Audio Research analog controller fed by an Esoteric Mch SACD/CD player. I wanted to demonstrate to him the potential improvement a digital controller plus DSP-EQ could bring to his system. Fed by an Oppo BDP-83 via HDMI and using an Audyssey Pro calibration, the 9.8 simply blew his setup away. It did not take him 5 minutes of listening for him to decide to upgrade. At my suggestion, he got an Anthem D2V plus an Oppo. The reason was I thought the analog inputs on the 9.8 would not satisfy him, and he still listened to a fair bit of vinyl. So, I recommended a D2V, which was superior on analog. The rest of the system was very high quality with Wilson Watt/Puppies and Duettas, all with Pass Labs amplification.

After he got the D2V set up, he, another D2V owner and I came back to help him tweek his calibration and setup. I brought the previously calibrated 9.8 back with me. We listened to the tweeked D2V against the 9.8 and none of us could hear a significant difference on hi rez Mch SACD. They were essentially indistinguishable, somewhat to the chagrin of both D2V owners. But, that was their honest opinion.

I have not repeated the comparison to the the D2V with my newer units, but It is quite clear that my current 80.2 sounds significantly better than the 9.8 did on hi rez Mch music. I will leave you to extrapolate what that might mean vs. the D2V. I was able to A-B compare the 9.8, 80.1 and 80.2 in my own system.

I think Kal's review of the 80.2 makes it clear that it now sounds much better than its predecessors on the analog inputs. I, myself, do not know or care because I no longer listen via the analog inputs, or to stereo, for that matter. Hi rez, discrete Mch is all I listen to.

As to Audyssey vs. ARC, I think Audyssey has the edge in many ways, expecially XT/32. Pro enhances that difference, though it it is not day/night better than stock. It's more of a refinement over stock. But, I think for critical music listening, Pro is highly recommended, especially the ability to eliminate the 2K "midrange compensation" dip in the stock target curve. It sounds more true to life to me without the dip.

I have not recently heard a Classe, McIntosh, Meridian or Krell. We know Kal prefers the Meridian above the others based on extensive listening. But, he nontheless, puts the 80.2 on his Class A recommended list along with those much pricier units. It's the real bargain among high end processors. To a heavy classical music listener and active concert goer like me, I am as happy as I could ever have imagined with my sound right now after decades of searching for a satisfying approximation of live concert hall sound.
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post #141 of 4277 Old 10-12-2011, 01:20 PM
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In ISF mode can you change the luminance and saturation for each color independently, or just brightness and contrast?

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post #142 of 4277 Old 10-12-2011, 02:06 PM
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Interestingly, a German magazine stated in its review of the TX-NR5009 a few days ago, that the5009 is a major step up in SQ compared to its predecessors.
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post #143 of 4277 Old 10-13-2011, 02:25 PM
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Picked up a DHC-80.3 from my dealer yesterday and will be setting it up in the next day or so. I am selling the 80.1 and I'm thinking of letting go of my Audyssey Pro Kit as well as I think XT32 will do the job.

Fitzcaraldo215's comments above are interesting but are there any other comments? Any word or Pro Kit support of the 80.3?

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post #144 of 4277 Old 10-13-2011, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMK! View Post

Picked up a DHC-80.3 from my dealer yesterday and will be setting it up in the next day or so. I am selling the 80.1 and I'm thinking of letting go of my Audyssey Pro Kit as well as I think XT32 will the job.

Any comments?

In my experience with the 5508 and the Pro kit I noticed the biggest improvement in music, not so much movies were I think XT32 is enough. If music is a priority for you then keep the Pro kit, if not then sell it.

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post #145 of 4277 Old 10-14-2011, 07:57 AM
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In my experience with the 5508 and the Pro kit I noticed the biggest improvement in music, not so much movies were I think XT32 is enough. If music is a priority for you then keep the Pro kit, if not then sell it.

I am 90% a classical music listener on SACD and Blu-ray. I would not part with my Pro kit. It makes a difference. Agreed, that may not be as noticeable on movies, by their nature, but it truly is with music.
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post #146 of 4277 Old 10-14-2011, 08:35 AM
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Is the DHC-80.3 vulnerable to the DTS-HDMA 6.1 Star Wars bitstream bug that some of the older Onkyo/Integra users are reporting?

Vote with your wallet. Don't buy Cinavia-infected Blu-ray Discs! Why pay a premium for pseudo-lossless audio damaged by an intrusive watermark in the audible spectrum?
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post #147 of 4277 Old 10-14-2011, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjaudio View Post

In my experience with the 5508 and the Pro kit I noticed the biggest improvement in music, not so much movies were I think XT32 is enough. If music is a priority for you then keep the Pro kit, if not then sell it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fitzcaraldo215 View Post

I am 90% a classical music listener on SACD and Blu-ray. I would not part with my Pro kit. It makes a difference. Agreed, that may not be as noticeable on movies, by their nature, but it truly is with music.

Thanks for the input. It is common for me to listen to high rez MC music on the system but honestly, in my treated room Audyssey itself does not have a big (or perhaps I should say positive) impact. I installed the 80.3 last night and listened to familiar material for an hour or so. After a single 8 position calibration I really like what XT32 has done with the LFE. The HT bass is much more controlled but still moves a lot of air when appropriate. Music sounds good with Audyssey on and off with a bit more life to it minus Audyssey. That has been my impression all of the Audyssey versions I have owned. Overall, I give the 80.3 a thumbs up.

Thanks again for the feedback gents ...

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post #148 of 4277 Old 10-15-2011, 06:15 AM
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I know a fair amount about high end audio from a 1980's viewpoint.

That being said, I am a bit confused about a few issues with todays AV receivers and what they can and can't do. Promotional materials abound with all the promises, I am sure they ring true if you know what you are doing.

My first big conundrum is:
The LAN port on the rear of the 80.3.
I have PC in basement w router modem wireless etc.

The router has 3 open LAN outputs.

If I connect a LAN cable up to the second floor and into the 80.3 - is that it?
Does the 80.3 just "find" internet radio stations, perform firmware upgrades, allow me to create pandora stations - etc etc etc - or am I in for a headscratching nightmare?

Thanks,

Bill
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post #149 of 4277 Old 10-15-2011, 06:56 AM
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Yes Bill, Thats all there is to it...

Computers and network devices have come a long way - no configuring anything on this unit - plug and play.... After you plug in a Cat5 cable basically the 80.3 will pull an IP address from the router, and will also have instant access to the internet, which the music/media sites are preloaded to automatically find. Its that easy...


Whats even cooler - if you have an Ipod/Iphone or Android device - this unit comes with an app that will automatically find your 80.3 and you can control a few various functions with it via WiFi... Wifi Remote - sweet
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post #150 of 4277 Old 10-15-2011, 11:19 AM
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I just received my 80.3 a few days ago and have been playing around with it. I sold my 80.2 a month ago to get this unit, overall I am still impressed. There seem to be less pops and clicks with this unit. I got them with my old unit when my wife and I would watch DVR'd shows, and I haven't really noticed anything over the past few nights.

I have watch 1.5 movies so far, and surround effects seem to be even better. I am only running a 5.1 system but my surrounds and fronts seem more in sync than before. If this unit could give you a visual readout of the XT32 results, it would make it my favorite. Heck, I would pay an extra $400 or $500 if they would just include it in the preamp.

I am a dealer for both the Integra and the Marantz AV7005 and this unit is clearly superior, but it isn't an apples to apples comparison because of price.

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