Home Theater Integra DTR-9.9 A/V Receiver ,If you sometimes get nostalgic for the days of two-channel audio, youâ€™re not alone. Life was simple then. You plugged in your CD player here, your turntable over there, hooked up the preamp to the power amp (unless you were a hair-shirt audiophile with an all-in-one, integrated amp),and you were done. Then you would select the source, adjust the volume, sit back, and listen. Home theater setup systems is a whole new game, as anyone who has owned one of todayâ€™s multifunctional A/V receiver knows. If a new feature is developed, itâ€™s in there.Now that so many features are implemented in soft ware, it adds little to the basic build cost to pile on the flexibility in a limited number of models.
The Vital Stats
the ownerâ€™s manual for the THX Ultra2 Plus certified Integra DTR-9.9 covers 160 densely packed,single-language pages.Fortunately, like most newÂ integra home theater receivers today, you can easily ignore the capabilities you donâ€™t need, at least at c rst, and concentrate on what you do. D e onscreen menus are easy to follow. You can do a manual setup in less than half an hour with minimum (or no) reference to the instructions.
The Integra will handle all of the new high-resolution audio formats, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio in either bit stream form or if decoded by a Bluray player multichannel PCM.You can play back two-channel material in Stereo mode (full digital processing, including the subwoofer crossovers), or Direct mode (which drives the left and right speakers full range, with no sub). Apart from digital-to analog conversion, if needed,the Direct mode bypasses all digital processing and keeps the analog inputs in analog form all the way to the speaker outputs.the 7.1-channel analog input is always a direct bypass with no processing.
Integraâ€™s AVR also includes the usual bewildering assortment of modes to play back two-channel stereo in 5.1 or 7.1 in simulated surround. For all of the listening comments in this report, Iavoided this pseudo-surround hocus-pocus. I auditioned two-channel sources in two channels with subwoofer,surround sources in their native habitat, and bitstream inputs to the receiver in order to test this AVRâ€™s full decoding capabilities.The Integra will also play back multichannel DSD, which is the digital format that SACD uses. It converts an incoming DSD data stream to PCM for processing.But it must receive the DSD in HDMI bitstream form, and most universal players cannot provide a DSD bitstream. Players that do provide this include Integraâ€™s DPS-6.9, the Pioneer Elite DV-58AV and the OPPO DV-980H. Alternately, of course, you can play back multichannel sources,including SACD and DVD Audio,through the receiverâ€™s multichannel analog audio inputs.
You can use the Integraâ€™s amp channels in several diS erent ways.
You can use them in a 7.1 channel system or a 5.1-channel setup with the extra two channels used to biamp the left and right front speakers or in a 5.1 channel system with the extra two channels bridged to produce more power to the leU and right fronts.But be careful of that last option.Bridging an amp generally doubles the load impedance that it can safely drive. Designs of distress if you ignore this limitation are overheating and/or shutdown. In extreme cases, this could even damage the receiver.For my listening,I used a fourth option. I simply Home Theater set up a conventional 5.1-channel system and le9 the extra two amplifier channels unused.
On the video side, the Integra provides full video switching,along with deinterlacing and/or scaling by way of an HQV Reon-VX video Integra processor.The Integraâ€™s video section includes what, as far as we know,is a first in a receiver: calibration controls. It ok ers high and low controls for red, green, and blue,plus conventional video controls,aspect-ratio settings, and a Gamma control. There are two separate sets of these controls.the set located under Monitor Out (in the Input/Output Assign menu) adjusts all the inputs together.the set under Picture Adjust (in the Source Setup menu) is more detailed and can tweak each input separately. this is useful if you have a single connection from the receiver to the display.there are three adjustable ISF modes for each input in the Picture Adjust menu:Custom,Day, and Night. the Custom mode is always accessible to the user. the Day and Night modes are locked out and designed to be set up Home Theater by a calibration specialist with the proper test equipment.Any adjustments made to these two sets of controls will combine,something that you and your calibrator need to be aware of.Conversely, the resolution setting in the Monitor Out menu will override the resolution setting in the Source Setup menu unless the Resolution in the Monitor Outmenu is set to â€œSource.â€ the Integraâ€™s analog video outputs are always enabled. But you can only use one of the two HDMI outputs at a time. If the Monitor Out control is set to one of the HDMI outputs (HDMI Out Main or HDMI Out Sub), the onscreen menus will be visible only from an HDMI output. If the Monitor Out control in the setup
menu is set to Analog, however,you will see the menus from the analog video outputs, but the HDMI outputs will be disabled.
(thesetup menus can always be seen and adjusted from the front-panel display screen, but only one line at a time.)
As a THX Ultra2 Plusâ€“certified receiver,the Integra also offers all the available THX modes. thereâ€™s also a new THX tex feature called THX Loudness Plus, which may be defeated by the user if desired. THX Loudness Plus is designed to compensate for tonal and spatial changes that occur at reduced volume,â€œenabling the user to experience the true impact of soundtracks regardless of the volume setting.â€ While you can set up the Integra manually, as I mentioned earlier, it is also equipped with the latest Audyssey room compensation features. When you use the Integraâ€™s furnished microphone, MultEQ XT takes readings from as many as eight different listening positions. It then averages them and automatically adjusts the level, distance,and appropriate crossover settings for each speaker in the system. It also calculates the appropriate equalization for each channel,including the subwoofer, in both the time and frequency domains.the whole process takes little more than half an hour G e AVR also provides manual multiband graphic equalization,although itâ€™s much less sophisticated than the Audyssey system.
Home theater installation The new Audyssey features in the Integra are Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume. Dynamic EQ â€œselects the correct frequency response and surround levels moment by moment at any user-selected volume setting,â€which compensates for the earâ€™s progressive loss of sensitivity at lower sound levels. Dynamic Volume (available in both Light and Heavy settings) is designed to normalize the volume levels between television programs, commercials, etc. In other words,itâ€™s sophisticated volume compression. Because these technologies are all interdependent to a certain degree, you can only select MultiEQ alone, MultiEQ plus Dynamic EQ, or all three features together.
Since both THX Loudness Plus and Audyssey Dynamic EQ perform
similar functions but do so quite differently, the AVRâ€™s menus donâ€™t let you engage both at once.the AV Receiver DTR-9.9 will cross-convert one type of video input to another (within limits). the most practical application is for the conversion of composite, S-video, or component inputs into component or HDMI outputs.the Integra oK ers highly flexible multizone operation. It will provide, with some limitations, a wide variety of options for three zones, including the main system.the receiver is iPod and XM or Sirius satellite radio ready with optional accessories. In addition it supports audio playback from its USB port and can handle streaming audio from PC and Network Attached Storage drives over the Ethernet port. I did not evaluate these features for this review.the illuminated remote is a jumble of small buttons. I found it easy enough to use over time, but that may be because Iâ€™ve been shouldnâ€™t be surprising when I say that the Integra receiver sounded just a bit less consistently transparent and sometimes very slightly less tolerant of bright program material or at ease with the most aggressive soundtracks.But what might surprise you is how close it came,for less than half the price. It definitely held its own.
Well-recorded two channel music sounded very sweet on the Integra. A trace of low-treble excess sometimes joined the party, but it was never enough to spoil the fun.Its low bass and midbass were tight and detailed,and its midrange was clean and open. the receiver produced a superb sound stage as well, both in width and depth.
I briefly listened to multichannel music from SACD, played back on a
Pioneer Elite DV-58AV universal player connected to the Integra
over HDMI. It sounded superb.On one stretch, the receiver refused to lock on to DSD for unknown reasons (the lock-on is automatic, and you canâ€™t select DSD mode manually). But this could just as easily have been a player or HDMI issue. Most of the time, the player and receiver linked up perfectly for DSD playback.On to the movies. I obviously have a high tolerance for really bad popcorn ticks, which definitely includes Eagle Eye (Blu-ray, Dolby TrueHD).
Its plot is one long, incredibly paranoid,privacy-intrusion delusion. Itâ€™s so ridiculously over the top that it just might be (unintentionally) one of the best comedies of the year.No matter.the audio on this soundtrack is explosive,with gunfire,shorting and sparking high-tension power lines, shattering glass,jets taking off , car chases, and powerful bass. In short,it has stuf blowing up,shorting out, taking off,running amok, breaking up, and in general doing it all real good.
As Stereophile magazineâ€™s founder,J. Gordon Holt, often said (sort of), the worse the movie,the better the soundtrack.C rough the Integra receiver, Eagle Eye was a two-star film, but the audio was a four-star guilty pleasure.
Transformers (Blu-ray, Dolby TrueHD) offers more than its fair share of mayhem, but my favorite demo sequence in this movie is much quieter. It starts from the beginning of chapter 11 and extends through the flashback showing the discovery of Megatron in the ice cave. the soundtrack here is full of both overt and subtle sonic details, deep bass,and, most impressively, a superbly cinematic score. the Integra didnâ€™t disappoint me on any of it.It also didnâ€™t fail to make the most of the title sequence from breaks the peaceful scene. the Integra retains the clean integrity of the music and the combined dynamism of the music and engines. there is similarly superb sounding music from chapter 19 to the end credits, which the Integra captures beautifully.
For a music recording on Bluray,itâ€™s hard to beat the soundtrack to One Man Band on the Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 1.this selection ranges through a wide variety of instrumental sounds, both individually and in combination.Transferred to disc in uncompressed 24-bit/ 48-kilohertz PCM, it tells a lot about a systemâ€™s ability to do a great job on surround music.the Integra handled it beautifully.
I made all of the above observations with the Audyssey and THX speaker test enhancements turned off . But I did try them both separately as well. Audyssey MultEQ XT tightened up the bass still further, and Dynamic EQ subtly but noticeably enhanced the sound without adding artificial-sounding coloration. Of course, below a certain sound level, Dynamic EQâ€™s preservation of fully balanced audio canâ€™t completely compensate for the sheer visceral thrill of higher SPLs. But you can back oV on the volume somewhat and retain the same impression of loudness as before which might make a worthwhile contribution to domestic tranquility. For me, however, THX decreased the soundâ€™s transparency, even with Re-EQ defeated,to the point where it sounded a little bland and homogenized.Your preferences for any or all of the Integraâ€™s features and which to use will depend on the program material, your room, system, and personal preferences.
Like most of the receivers we test,the capabilities of the Integra DTR-9.9 can be intimidating. But itâ€™s worth getting to know them better.And even without all of its gee-whiz features,theÂ Home Theater Integra DTR-9.9 A/V Receiver sounds exceptional on great soundtracks and equally stunning on music, either multi- or two-channel. that may be all you really need to know.Highly recommended.