Over MCACC, Advanced MCACC offers automatic adjustments for room resonance, application of "X-Curve", more bands of equalization (9) and the ability to graphically output your room curve to a PC for "tweaking".
Over a 1014, a 56TXi will offer better amplification, beefier power supply, more headroom, and i-link.
Advanced MCACC was originally the sole province of the 59 TXi (which I own). Pioneer just brought it out for the 56TXi. To my knowledge, those are the only two that have it.
I used an H/K 630 for a brief period. I found their EZSET to be woeful. Not accurate in the least and very unreliable at setting both distance and channel levels.
That said, doing it manually with a Radio Shack meter really dialed it in. Now, the 630 had some other issues (audio drop outs), but I couldn't fault its sound quality.
I understand they are coming out with another EZSET for their new series of AVRs that includes Auto EQ. Don't know much about them, but if they didn't correct the previous autoset-up routine and just added EQ, it still wouldn't be very good.
I think you can find a 56 TXi somewhere in the $1,000 range if you push the B&M stores. Or, if you want to take a chance with the internet, I know for a fact you can find one in the $1,000 range.
"And for the best sound possible, Advanced MCACC offers studio-quality set-up and calibration of your system, even capable of measuring and compensating for indirect sound reflections from your walls and ceiling. You can even control and visually monitor the process on your laptop via an RS232C PC interface."
The big difference between the 54tx and 56txi is the I-link feature.
As with all things, the further you move up the price ladder, the richer the features. I-link offers a distinct and significant jump in SQ over analog connections for SACD and DVD-A. As a side bennefit , it reduces the need for 6 analog connections (plus one digital connection for DVD movies...either toslink or coax) down to one i-link connection. This provides a totally "jitterless" digital connection for all CDs, DVDs, SACDs and DVD-A disks.
As cburbs pointed out, you must have an i-link enabled universal DVD player to utilize the i-link. These aren't typically the low to mid range units either.
Elite has the 47 Ai and 59 AVi DVD players that include i-link. Yamaha is coming out with one very soon and Denon has a couple of them out there, too. I think Onkyo may have one, but I'm not a big fan of their gear.
dpm....at the $400-$500 price point, you'd be hard pressed (I believe impossible) to find anything better than the 1014.
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