First the good bit (for me anyway..) After many years of reading and occasional participation on these forums (including an exchange with John Dawson) and having read too many magazines, having had some unconvincing demos, and having tried to convince myself I could not justify spending more than a couple of grand on a hi-fi / home cinema system, I was completely confused and forever waiting for the next product launch. Combined with this, I also knew (although it took my wife to convince me) that whatever I bought, I wouldnt be completely satisfied if I could have afforded something that sounded better. So I bought nothing What changed? Well I noticed the DVD player that had always been at the top of my list, was about to become extinct and for the first time the newer one wasnt going to be better for what I needed (progressive out to my series 5 panasonic plasma). So out I went to buy a cheap DV27A as a first step to upgrading my system and back I came with a very cheap DV27A, plus an AV8 and a P7!! Good news for John Dawson and the boys at Arcam, not so good for my bank manager! Anyway, WOW! thats what my CDs and movies are meant to sound like. Actually, while they are better than Ive ever heard them and Im staggered how good CDs can sound, it has also reminded me just how much better they used to sound when I had a separate hi-fi. Years ago, after similar deliberation, I bought an Arcam Alpha 6 CD and Delta 290 along with some Kef reference speakers and spent many happy years listening to music. Then I got into surround sound and started another pile of equipment and speakers at the other end of the room. Eventually even I got fed up having two sets of equipment and speakers in the one room and made the dreadful error of combining the two. Then the laser on the CD failed (understandable given the amount of use) and I started playing CDs on the DVD player. And then gradually I just stopped sitting down and listening to music. I thought it was my tastes/interests had changed, but I realise now it was just the life and excitement had slowly disappeared from the music without me really noticing. So now everything is almost perfect, I still have just one system, but now I have music thats better than my old hi-fi and I have movie sound thats better than the local cinema. And Im settled in my mind that I could not have afforded anything that might be better. So why only almost perfect? Well my first AV8 went bang after 10 minutes (actually the AV8 didnt go bang, my speakers did, the AV8 just went blank). This was replaced with a new unit the very next working day along with many apologies. So well done Arcam and Sevenoaks. I understand these things do happen and I cant ask for any more. My questions relate to the second AV8 and the DV27A. When I adjust the volume on the AV8, either with the remote or from the front panel I get a popping sound in my speakers. Its not loud, but you cant miss it either. It also does a similar thing when the surround mode is changed. Is this normal, is it the result of my less than optimum wiring layout (until I can get a new cabinet with wheels or runners I have to lean over the back to connect everything so cannot keep the cables neat), or do I have another faulty AV8? Also, although not actually a fault, I notice when in standby that the AV8 is sending something to my screen as it is light grey rather than black as you would expect, is this also normal? The other problem I have is with the DVD audio outputs from the DV27A, or rather the lack of them! I can get left and right analogue channels from both sets of outputs on the 27A and Ive swapped the outputs around into the AV8s multi-channel input to prove that the AV8 is working okay. But, when I try to calibrate the other channels on the 27A using its setup pages I get no sound from any of the other channels. Same also applies when I try to play back a DVD audio disk, no sound from anything other than left and right channels. And its not a downmixed stereo either as it really sounds like something is missing from the sound. Ive checked and I do have the audio output set to bitstream + 6 ch. as instructed (I even tried the others settings just in case). Do I also have a faulty DVD27A or have I missed something in the manuals? Any thoughts or suggestions would be very much appreciated before I have to unplug the whole lot again and drag it back to the dealers. Im sure this time they will be less willing to accept they are faulty, especially if its both the AV8 and the DV27A, and in general Im so pleased with the sound and picture, I dont want this to end up being a bad experience. Thanks, Mike.