I've just had a brief look at my shiny new receiver. First impressions upon lifting it out of the packaging are that this thing is enormous (almost twice the depth of my previous Yamaha) and very heavy.
The learning remote is also very large and looks a little cumbersome but it does have a backlit LCD display (and backlit buttons) and should prove very useful.
Also packaged with the receiver are the usual antennae and a microphone (on a thankfully long lead) for use with the automatic calibration system.
I'll be wiring it up tonight so I'll try to provide further feedback then.
On a final note, leafing through the manual I happened upon a comment regarding the automatic calibration which, to paraphrase, warned that infants and easily frightened persons should be removed from the room before activating the automatic calibration procedure and that you may wish to use earplugs!
I've managed to wire this monster up and sonicaly first impressions are very good indeed.
As a bit of background, the supporting cast of AV equipment consists of a Pioneer 757Ai DVD, Eltax Symphony 8 Floorstanders & Centre, a pair of Eltax HT-2 Bi-polar Surrounds and a somewhat ageing (and wimpish) Yamaha Active Sub. All of this further supported by a Toshiba 42WT29 Rear Projection TV.
OK - So back to those first impressions...
First of all, the build quality of this receiver is superb - it's as heavy as a couple of paving stones and was a bit of a struggle to get into my custom built AV storage unit (into which it doesn't quite fit). More postively though, it smacks of quality - from the brushed silver finish to the gliding front panel and a dizzying array of connects at the rear.
Switching it on, to be greeted by a bold, confidence inducing LCD display I immediately connected the supplied microphone and launched into the MCACC (Auto Setup) with only a brief glance at the manual. That was fun! Not quite as loud as the manual's warnings seemed to suggest although it did an excellent job of balancing out the various elements of my surround setup in a less than ideal environment. Not to mention the barrage of fireworks erupting outside! I was extremely impressed by the minutae of adjustments automatically made to timing, timbre. balance, etc, etc. All in all - hours of painful tweaking saved. Great - unless you are the audiophile masochist type who likes that sort of thing.
So far, I've tried the Monsters Inc. DVD in THX Theatre mode and several CD's in Prologic II Music mode and I am very pleased with the results.
I'll keep you posted over the next few days as the rose tinted glow wears off and I get a chance to put the machine through it's paces.
I picked it up from AV Land (www.avland.co.uk) which certainly was not the cheapest although they were the only dealer who assured me that they were actually able to ship one to me in the near future.
I also purchased my 757 from the same people.
I'm sure we've all had the experience of pre-ordering some hotly anticipated gizmo which fails to materialise. A few years ago I had a terrible time trying to source a 717 DVD from a number of (high street) retailers all of whom were happy to take my money and none of which were able to actually give me any idea when they might get around to delivering the goods. Ultimately, Richer Sounds flew one in from Amsterdam - which was very nice of them!
Does this happen all the time - or is it just Pioneer?
I am perfectly happy with the service from AV Land as they actually did what they promised, i.e. Deliver the goods when they said they would!
I am very pleased with the 757. It's an excellent upgrade from my previous model, the 717. Colour and detail (via component video) is massively improved - although poor source material (like my Unforgiven DVD) looks absolutely awful due to the level of detail this player reveals. Good discs, like Gladiator, Monsters Inc. and Lord of the Rings are simply stunning.
As for the receiver:
In my opinion, THX processings brings a certain smoothness to a surround track that makes vanilla 5.1 sound quite raw in comparison. I would suppose that it is a matter of preference though I was very impressed with the difference made to viewings of Gladiator and Moulin Rouge - two very different films.
For me, MCACC (along with THX) is a major reason for purchasing this receiver. I would spend hours constantly tweaking my old Yamaha in a less than ideal environment to find that I was never completely satisfied with the result. This machine does it in ten minutes! Accounting for room acoustics, speaker distances, listening position, timbre and level. It sounds perfect to me.
I know that there is a VSX-D1011 which features THX Select certification but no MCACC. To be honest, MCACC is worth every penny and I wouldn't hesitate to spend the extra cash on the D2011.
Excellent info on this many thanks - have you tried the Pioneer with music yet and if you have what are your impressions. Can the 2011 be described as a musical amp or are it's srengths mainly in the HT environment.
As the D2011 is so new, I took a risk and just went for it, without a demo...
Previously, I had a Yamaha 595 and then more recently a cheap and nasty Sony entry level receiver peforming stand in duties until the Pioneer arrived.
The 757 IS multi-region, as for RCE - I'm not so sure...
I would say that the D2011's strengths are certainly in a HT environment. However, music reproduction form CD is excellent in direct stereo (for the purists) and suprisingly pleasing in Pro-Logic II. To what degree this reflects the amplifier or the new 757 I have hooked up to it will be a matter of further investigation. Esoteric options like Hi-Bit Sampling and Legato Pro are featured in both units and will probably require a good few hours play on my part to identify exactly what effect this has on audio peformance.
I have also yet to try any DVD-Audio or SACD source material.
Any other questions? I'll continue to post further updates as long as there are interested parties, so if there is anything specific you would like me to try on your behalf please let me know.
I did briefly notice a section of the manual which detailed driving a second set of speakers - I believe that you can assign unused channels to extra speaker groups for multi room audio (such as the extra surround back channel if you're not going 7.1), but don't quote me on that. I'll find out for certain and let you know. It will probably be tomorrow as I'm off to see a Hugh Cornwell gig tonight...
As for a demo, Liverpool is probably a little far for you!
Progressive scan on the 757Ai is just in the NTSC flavour - I'm not sure if there is going to be a firmware upgrade for PAL. Probably not. Multi-region is a doddle though, I've played a mix of R1 and R2 discs which have been handled automatically.
PS - It is very nice in Silver and the MCACC really is worth it!
If you are referring to the postings at www.avsforums.com then the original poster has actually tracked what seemed to be a fault with the receiver to an actual fault with one of his surround speakers. We are also talking about a 7.1 setup of reasonably high-end speakers (300W+) being pushed to VERY high volumes. The poster was pushing his receiver to -0dB and above.
The receiver (Elite 45TX in the States) was shutting down to protect his kit!
I followed this one myself.
I'm sure the Denon is great though - it looks like a fantastic piece of kit.