Here's what I wrote to Integra regarding the 9.8:
I recently ordered a DTC-9.8 and have learned of something regarding the unit that has very much surprised and disappointed me. And that is that there are currently no adjustments for the included Reon processor.
As I understand it, there are other units, such as the 8.8 and the Onkyo 905 (which I thought would carry a smaller feature set due to it's being a comparatively priced unit although in a lower product line) that do include adjustments for what appears to be the same or very similar Reon processor.
I have also learned that there are currently no plans to have a firmware update to add the seemingly missing functionality.
As a fan of Integra products, I'm confused as to why the 9.8, which appears to be fantastic in just about any other regard, has been crippled by the lack of inclusion of a feature set that appears in a lower product line (905).
As I'm sure you've heard, this issue has become a heated source of frustration and disillusionment on the message boards at AVS, one of the most important and influential message boards for quality audio products.
Being an Integra fan, I'm really trying to find a good reason why these features have been omitted when it seems obvious, by their inclusion in other products, that they should be fairly simple to implement. Do you have an answer that might be able to help me?
I fear that when the professional reviews start rolling in and knowledge of this issue becomes even more widespread, that Integra may suffer a backlash of customer disappointment and ultimately, brand abandonment.
Please consider providing a firmware upgrade to address this issue. You have very passionate customers (read the AVS forums) who love your product, but appear to be fairly upset with this problem. It may sound a tad bit dramatic for a piece of audio gear, but there are several who appear to be ready to attack with an online salvo of Integra bashing-- and that can't be good.
I look forward to your response and hope you decide to add the missing functionality to the DTC-9.8.
And I received the following goofy reply which includes a fantastic promo for their "New 2007 Onkyo Audio Products Coming Soon" (whatever that is...maybe it's a 9.9 that includes the stuff we want!):
At this time there is no firmware update available for this receiver. If and when there is one available it will be posted on the Integra website.
Again, thank you for contacting Onkyo USA Product Support, if you need further assistance feel free to call us at 800-229-1687 or visit our website ONKYOUSA.COM for product, catalogues, hookup diagrams, authorized dealer/service center locations, sales of new/refurbished products and
"New 2007 Onkyo Audio Products Coming Soon"
Product Support Team Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday 9AM to 8PM EST
Saturday & Sunday 10AM to 4PM EST
Gee, thanks Bob. You've been really helpful. Sigh. At least the 9.8 sounds good, right?