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Join Date: Mar 2008
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I stopped at the CEDIA AudioControl booth this AM, and was able to get most of our questions answered by either their sales rep or their engineer, Brandon.
First, the version of Dirac in the AVR-7/9 is the full version, supporting user defined target curves, frequency range curtains, and user-specified speaker groups. All 11 channels in a 7.1.4 system can be EQ'd. There's only one preset, so the user will need to save/load EQ files through the PC/Mac interface, which like other Dirac implementations of late, will communicate with a remote server as part of the calibration process.
As to the differences in the AVRs, AVR-7 is Class AB, and rated at both 100 W/channel for both 4 and 8 ohm, directly from the engineer. AVR-9 is Class H high current and will do 200 W @ 4 ohms and closer to 220 in 8 (they claim all channels driven). IOW the website is essentially right from their POV, if confusing. Which may be strange, unless they are steering 4 ohm speaker owners to the 9 by design IMO.
Re assignable amps-they confirmed that only two of the seven amp/speaker connectors can be changed, specifically between Zone 2, surround back, and Height 1. L/R mains are fixed and can't be reassigned, meaning that if you use a two channel external amp for L/R mains, those amp channels are 'empty'. In practice, they expect most CI customers to buy a four channel amp for heights, be running 7.1, or using one or more separate external amps for mains from their line, with the available amp channels more as a convenience feature.
I still need to find out whether they have (or are even aware) of the cross pollenation issues with upmixers when I cycle back, as well as how they handle EQ for Dolby speakers (or just assume customers will do ceiling speakers). But ampage aside, unless you specifically want full Dirac for up to 7.1.4, as AVRs go, I don't think this product is competitive except for the novelty of Class H amps in the AVR-9, if that's your thing. For the Dirac crowd, possibly if you already have amps and/or are fussy about needing two 88As vs. an AIO solution.
|Arcam , avr 550 , AVR-850 , b&w 600 series , bi-amo , bi-wiring|