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Hi, I’m looking for a new pre-amp. I’ve read several positive reviews about the Integra Research RD-7 and I’m hoping for some feedback from a few RD-7 users. The unit appears to be loaded with features and priced reasonably. I haven’t had the opportunity to view one myself. Anyone have any complaints? And, does anyone know why you cannot purchase Integra online? Thanks in advance...
 

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After a lot of research and AVS Forum help, I bought the RDC-7 and am VERY pleased with it. I'd thought the lack of crossover setting ability might be a problem, but it hasn't been with my particular configuration.


I can't think of anything I don't like about it. The sound through my speaker system is wonderful. I love being able to listen to the two FM classical stations, although I also have over 40 digital stations via Time Warner Cable. So far I don't seem to be having a problem with using the RDC-7 to switch hi def signals from my digital cable system to my Panny 50" plasma display. I've hooked up an old phono player, plus have my DVD player and SVHS player running through it as well.


I'm using the balanced XLR outputs for my CAL 2500 amp and really like the results.


In short, I found the RDC-7 to offer a lot of bang for the buck! I auditioned much more expensive preamps, but they didn't offer the many advantages of the RDC-7. Unfortunately, it isn't being offered via the internet. However, I got a good deal at a local vendor.

Lots of luck with whatever you select!

Leslie
 

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If you keep this post up long enough Burke may chime in to share his Integra experience with an earlier unit that required the recent software upgrade. He also moderates the Integra club over @ HTGuide.com and may be you can get to him sooner there. ;)


PF
 

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I bought my RDC-7 about the same time as Leslie and also relied on the wonderful advice and knowledge here at the avs forum.


I am thrilled with my RDC-7. It sounds awesome, has just about every feature available and is a great value.


If I had to nitpick I would say that the blue multi-use button in the middle of the remote is a little imperfect to use and the fact that certain functions on the remote do not remain active when you switch modes is a little annoying. For example, if you are in cd mode in the remote and you want to change inputs, you must go to audio mode before you change the input. Other than those 2 things I like the remote, although I prefer my Pronto.


Does not have 2 sets of multi channel analog passthru. It has one set (DB 25 connector) and several 2 channel sets of analog passthru though. Keep in mind that the only Reciever/Pre that I am aware of that has 2 sets of multichannel analog passthru is the Denon 5800. (IMO overall sound is much better with the RDC-7)


No Logic 7


Cannot select which speakers are active for multichannel analog input. (rear surrounds can't be selected)


Please don't missinterpret the above observations/nitpicks as me being unhappy with my RDC-7. As I said, I am thrilled with

it. I just wanted to point out the few things I noticed. I give it my highest recommendation.


For more information you could do a search and you will find the threads Leslie and I started.


Good luck with your quest ;)
 

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I too love my RDC 7. You can find many comments on this unit using the forum search function.


Warren,


If you make your own RCA to DB15 adaptor, or have one made for you, you can choose to have the back two channels of your DVD player connected to the rear channels of the RDC 7, to the side channels, or both. Its all in how you wire the adaptor. Integra Research should have provided a 8 channel adaptor, so the user could specify how 6 channels in (5.1) becomes 6 or 8 channels (7.1) out of the RDC 7.
 

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As others around here obviously know already, :>) I am the satisfied owner of an Integra Research RDC-7.


After reading up on a lot of pre/pros, including the enticing Tag McLaren (although with no local dealer, I never got to actually see or hear one in person), and auditioning pre/pros from Meridian, Lexicon, Bryston, B&K, Parasound, Theta, Proceed, Sonic Frontiers/Anthem, I concluded that there was nothing else available that had the comprehensive features that I wanted (including direct analog bypass for all analog inputs) and exceptional listening quality at so a reasonable price.


I was initially put off by its strict adherence to THX-standard bass management, with a cutoff at 80hz. But after living with a competing unit in my home system for a week which offered more flexible bass management, but had serious problems in many other areas (including its less-than-satisfactory rendering of two channel music) I decided that my bass management “litmus test†was actually far less important than overall quality of performance, and reliable operating features.


With its plethora of inputs and user-selectable parameters for so many areas of its operation, the dealer warned me that this unit would require a lot of set up. But I didn't see "set up" of the Integra Research piece as a major obstacle. In fact, I had the major stuff connected and configured within about an hour after unpacking it, although the "fine tuning" continued intermittently for an extended period. For instance, I didn't wait to enter radio station call letters into the display before I started listening to music. :>) That proved to be fairly easy to do, though, once I got around to it.


I’ve tried out quite a few DVDs with differing soundtrack configurations to confirm this unit's pedigree as a first-rate surround sound processor. There are a lot of good reasons it got Stereophile Guide To Home Theater's "AAA" rating (a level it shared in its category only with two much pricier Meridian models). In addition to its rock-solid and effective surround processing, they have a direct analog 7.1 passthrough for DVD-Audio, with provision for a firewire digital connection when that standard is finalized. I also appreciate having a remote-selectable "direct" mode for every other input (a feature lacking in many competing models).


And I've replayed quite a few of the musical selections that I have been familiar with for years (in some cases decades) and so I know how they sound on a variety of systems. They all sound absolutely sensational via the RDC-7 -- full dynamics, detail, air and space around the individual instruments, expansive but not exaggerated soundstage -- and I've been listening for several hours a day now for over four months and NO STRAIN, NO FATIGUE -- just pure enjoyment. The RDC-7 qualifies as an extraordinarily competent audio preamplifier, a quality addition to the music reproduction chain in my system that includes Magnepan MG 3.6 main speakers driven by a BEL (Brown Electronics Lab) 1001 Mk V power amplifier. On digital sources, such as the digital outs of my CD transport (a Sony DVP-S7000 used exclusively for CD playback), the RDC-7’s outstanding 24/192 DACs, anti-jitter technology and upsampling breathe new life into Redbook CDs.


Although this unit has its own AC-3 RF demod input for LaserDisc, it also accepts the output from my Lexicon external demod unit, so I can hook up both my LD players without having to use a Y-adapter on the AC-3 input. (The competing model I had tried never accepted the output from the Lexicon, and lacked its own AC-3 RF input, which in addition to its harsh sound on music, was a deal killer.)


The RDC-7's FM tuner is excellent, far surpassing the built-in tuners in my previous receivers, and even besting the stand-alone tuners I've owned or auditioned. I do have to give some credit to the amazing Fanfare FM-2G antenna, which does a fine job of pulling in a clean signal in my suburban fringe reception area. But what the RDC-7 does with the signal is a step beyond what other tuners were capable of.


And the RDC-7 has a decent phono section which would probably be more than fine for casual listening and at least adequate for critical listening, and will certainly be OK for my 78 rpm turntable -- but even though the phono input sounds pretty good, I still prefer the sound I get via the Lehmann Black Cube as the phono stage. (With plenty of inputs, using that, too, is no problem either.)


On CD and LP I am hearing special details not heard before on some favorite recordings that do not distract, but rather add to the richness of the presentation and the fun of listening. I find that the RDC-7 has the right balance between "accurate and detailed" vs. "warm and musical". The RDC-7 delivers sound that is "warm" and "lush" when the material calls for it, but without sacrificing detail. However, when horns, for example, are brash and have bite, that sound is delivered accurately -- not mellowed over into a "psuedo-musical" mush. And movie soundtracks are better than ever -- a more cohesive surround sound field than I have had in my HT before.


I did the user-installable software upgrade shortly after it became available. (It comes on a CD-ROM, which also contains the addendum to the User Guide, and an RS-232 cable for connection of the RDC-7 to your computer was included in the kit.) The upgrade is “required†for “older†units (produced before July 2001) to get the benefits of Dolby Prologic II, (implemented here with the full set of adjustments in music mode), and a number of other goodies, including discrete DTS-ES.


The upgrade was reasonably priced, and went smoothly. Unlike some companies who never deliver, or only produce “bug fixes†as "upgrades", this upgrade’s timely release demonstrates the real commitment Integra Research has to fulfilling their promise of meaningful user-installable upgrades – and shows the wisdom of their designers in providing an architecture that allows updates without waiting for Motorola. :>)


Overall, I couldn't be more pleased. This one seems to have it all and do it all right. (With the singular exception of flexible x-over in its bass management. But there is still the possibility they might change the bass management options in a future software update.) And while I have been a bit concerned about the long term health and longevity of Integra Research as a brand, given their somewhat inept marketing, (have you ever seen a product-specific ad for any of their products, or tried to locate an authorized dealer?), "what the hey", this unit is SOOO GOOD I’m willing to enjoy it even if no one else hears about it. :>) And they are backed by Onkyo, so it isn't like a mom & pop boutique operation trying to hold on... and did I mention, I got a really good deal on it? :>)



In case you hadn’t deduced this already, I give it my highest recommendation. Any questions? ;>)


Burke
 

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Quote:
... and did I mention, I got a really good deal on it? :>)


Burke [/b]



OK, you have me sold and I am ready to buy. What exactly is a good deal? My closest dealer is a bit of a drive, what can I expect before making the trip? If a few of you wouldn't mind posting your purchase price, I'd really appreciate it. If its more appropriate, you may e-mail me at [email protected]


Thanks for your help.
 

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Very good reviews indeed. I have narrowed my choice down to the RDC-7 or the Anthem AVM-20. Now, I just have to wait for some comparative reviews from you guys since I am not able to find a dealer that has both in house to audition.
 

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In my search for a Pre/Pro the RDC-7 is way better for 2 ch. music than the AVM-2. If 2 ch. stereo is important to you, and if Sonic Frontiers did not drastically change the performance in 2 ch. stereo from the AVM-2 to the AVM-20, the RDC-7 is the choice.
 

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I am a very happy owner of both the RDC-7 and the RDA-7 from Integra. The sound quality is amazing, and I am particularly impressed by the easy upgradability of the unit. I upgraded to Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS-ES Discrete as soon as the upgrade came out and it could not have been easier - all you need is a laptop with a CD-ROM drive :)


I honestly cannot think of a feature that is lacking on the RDC-7 - HIGHLY recommended!!
 

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Originally posted by ggolamco
I am a very happy owner of both the RDC-7 and the RDA-7 from Integra. The sound quality is amazing, and I am particularly impressed by the easy upgradability of the unit. I upgraded to Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS-ES Discrete as soon as the upgrade came out and it could not have been easier - all you need is a laptop with a CD-ROM drive :)


I honestly cannot think of a feature that is lacking on the RDC-7 - HIGHLY recommended!!


Could you comment some more on the sound of the RDA-7 Amplifier? How does it compare to other amplifers you have heard before? Specifically, I was wondering on how it compares to a Theta Dreadnaught or a Simaudio Moon Titan, but any comparisons would be useful.
 

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We had the RDC-7 on demo for just 2 hours, so we compared it's stereo performance from the sp/dif output of a regular cd player with the performance of a Tag av32r. Read the article :

Integra RDC-7 vs Tag av32r
 
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