Originally Posted by wingnut4772
I am disappointed in the sound of the Integra but I am mostly disappointed in the super- hyped Audyssey XT32. I feel a bit hoodwinked to be honest and am left wondering if Stereophile doesn't pad their reviews a bit $$$. Although I will agree it's much better than MultiEq XT - especially for subs - it's not as good as I have read it is. At least to my ears. I am sure that via the HMDI the differences are subtle between the Integra and the Anthem but i would imagine it's only a subtle refinement to remove a fatiguing sound. I remember the D2 being smooth. Something I could listen to for hours. I like the theory behind ARC also - the fact that it works with room response and doesn't fight it per se.
Of course it will remain to be seen how I like one over the other.
No, Kal in Stereophile is not on the take, moneywise, to slant his reviews. I have read them all and I see no evidence to support that.
Several years ago, a good friend and fairly prominent classical music reviewer and Mch fan was interested in a possible improvement to his Mch setup. I told him I thought it was lacking in some ways, and that room EQ could probably work wonders for him. I took my Integra 9.8 to his house and did a Pro calibration with his system. It quickly and overwhelmingly vanquished the gear he was using at the time. So, he was sold.
But, we talked about his needs and he still needed to play vinyl for reviewing purposes. I recommended that he go with a D2V, because I thought it would be considerably better on the analog inputs than the Integra.
Once he got the D2V set up, I brought the already calibrated 9.8 back for a comparison. Another friend, also a D2V owner was also there. On classical Mch SACD's via HDMI, none of us could tell the difference vs. the 9.8, even thought the two D2V owners were highly biased in favor of that unit. But, they are also honest about what they hear. The system used for the comparison, by the way, was top notch with Wison Speakers and Pass Labs amps plus the top Martin Logan sub.
Having evolved myself since then to an 80.2 with XT/32, I can tell you that it sounds considerably better than the 9.8 did. We have not repeated the comparison against the Anthem, but I think it is clear that an 80.2/3 would now be preferred by all of us.
Still, years later, my D2V buddies are quite happy with their Anthems, and their systems do sound very good. But, mine sounds better with the 80.2, even in their estimation. That is why I would not want a D2V, without even considering the cost or features differentials.
By the way, both their systems sounded quite a bit better using ARC full range, as opposed to the 5k cutoff recommended and defaulted to by Anthem. I think ARC is a good system that is in many ways like Audyssey. It is superior to stock Audyssey in some ways, but not as good as Pro in my estimation. On thing I do not like about ARC, though, is that it has not built in limit to the amount of the EQ it applies. In some situations, that could overtax amps and speakers, so be careful.
You might have reached different conclusions in the comparison that we did, had you been there. And, it is your money, so you get to choose what you like best. There is certainly nothing wrong with the D2V. It is a good solid unit that will give you years of satisfaction. But, I myself have heard nothing that would justify replacing my Integra. I am delighted with it and especially with XT/32 and Pro.