Originally Posted by VTGOLFER
Any news or opinions on sound, operations and quirks?
Ok, some thoughts, opinions, etc....
The unit has 2 knobs which feel like they are made from a light weight metal, you can feel the detents as the knobs are turned, which makes them feel nicer. They do however feel cheap.... no weight to them, and they feel a little loose, probably because they can be pushed in as well as turned.
A big surprise was that there is *0* turn off/on noise!! I have no other device that has perfect muting like this unit does (I also did not hear any noises when changing surround modes, changing EQ settings, etc). So, what does that mean? That means I can turn it off, without mutting my amp (my amp has no power button, just a mute switch). My multi-thousand dollar PS Audio DAC has a loud pop when you turn it off/on (which might be fixed by the rev.2 update, which I have yet to install).
Another surprise, when I turn off my TV the AVP-18 turns off also! Nice feature!
The menus are just white text/boxes overlaid on your screen, this makes it easy to continue to watch whatever you are watching while you make adjustments. Also, the transparency can be adjusted, so I have it set to it's minimum level.
It also does HDMI passthrough, so if you want to see your video input without the AVP-18 turned on, you can. I have not tested if the audio passes through to a TV, or if the SPDIF out works like this (I never use my TV speakers, and I just now thought about testing the SPDIF out).
It has SPDIF out! What good is that you ask? When I get my MSB DAC I ordered, I will (theoretically) be able to use the SDPIF out to the MSB, and also use the front outs from the AVP-18 to the analog ins on the MSB there by providing an excellent combo of surround sound processor and audiophile pre-amp combined!
I have not tried the surround sound functions yet, as I have not had time to re-connect my rear amp, and a pair of speakers I have laying around (I have not had surround sound setup here since I purchased the PS Audio DAC).
How does it sound? Hard to give a good opinion, until I compare it with my, now 13 year old Classe SSP-25, and the Acurus Act 4 I have coming.... but I suppose I can compare the sound to my PS Audio DAC, but that might unfair... and it would definitely be unfair to compare it to the MSB DAC coming!
Also it does have some EQ presets, auto, which I usually have on, and some other ones. I have not noticed a difference with the different presets.... more listened is needed (I have pretty much just listend to a couple of movies, and a little TV, and some pod casts so far).
Also, there is no CEC over HDMI, at least with the devices I have tried so far, and this could be a limit of going through an HDMI switch, then to the AVP-18, I have yet to try devices connected to it directly. And I have not tried the audio return channel feature, and why would you anyways? Who has the TV it's self as the source any more?
If you want a smaller SSP with the connections you ACTUALLY WILL USE (go figure!) this might be the unit for you, and it's also reasonably priced.
Anyone else try one out yet?