Test Bench for Shootout: Three Mid-Price A/V Receivers Page 2

Integra DTR-7.6

DOLBY DIGITAL PERFORMANCE All data were obtained from various test DVDs using 16-bit dithered test signals, which set limits on measured distortion and noise performance. Reference input level is -20 dBFS, and reference output is 1 watt into 8 ohms. Volume setting for reference level was -7. All level trims were at zero, except for subwoofer-related tests; all speakers were set to "large," subwoofer on. All are worst-case figures where applicable.

Output at clipping (1 kHz into 8/4 ohms) 1 channel driven: 148/239* W (21.7/23.8* dBW) 5 channels driven (8 ohms): 58 W (17.6** dBW) 6 channels driven (8 ohms): 44 W (16.4** dBW) Distortion at 1 watt (THD+N, 1 kHz) 8/4 ohms: 0.03/0.04% Noise level (A-wtd): -75.0 dB Excess noise (with sine tone) 16-bit (EN16): +1.1 dB Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz +0.7, -0.1 dB

* Speaker-impedance setup switch set to 6-ohm (higher) position; unit thermal-protected at lower powers with switch in 4-ohm position.

** Thermal protection (shutdown) occurred after a few seconds output at these levels; the receiver restarted without problem after the drive level was reduced.

MULTICHANNEL PERFORMANCE, ANALOG INPUT Reference input and output level is 200 mV; volume setting for reference output level was -18. Distortion (THD+N, 1 kHz, 8 ohms): 0.03% Noise level (A-wtd): -85.3 dB Frequency response: <10 Hz to 24 kHz +0, -3 dB

STEREO PERFORMANCE, DIGITAL INPUT Reference level is -20 dBFS; all level trims at zero. Volume setting for reference level was -3. Output at clipping (1 kHz, 8/4 ohms, both channels driven): 144/203 W (21.6/23.1 dBW) Distortion at reference level: 0.03% Linearity error (at -90 dBFS): 0.1 dB Noise level (A-wtd): -71.4 dB with 96-kHz/24-bit signals: -83.8 dB Excess noise (with/without sine tone) 16-bit (EN16): 0.35/0.35 dB quasi-20-bit (EN20): 8.9/8.9 dB Noise modulation: 0.8 dB Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz +0.1, -0.2 dB with 96-kHz/24-bit signals: 20 Hz to 46 kHz +0, -0.7 dB

BASS-MANAGEMENT PERFORMANCE Measured results obtained with Dolby Digital test signals. Subwoofer-output frequency response (crossover set to 80 Hz): approx. 18 dB/octave above -6-dB rolloff point of 80 Hz High-pass-filter frequency response (crossover set to 80 Hz): 12 dB/octave below -3-dB rolloff point of 80 Hz Maximum unclipped subwoofer output (trim at 0): 7.1 volts Subwoofer distortion (from 6-channel, 30-Hz, 0-dBFS signal; subwoofer trim set to 0): 0.08% Crossover consistency: bass crossover frequency and slope same for all signal formats that receive bass management, but low-pass (sub) filter appeared to be less than 24 dB/octave, which is the THX standard Signal-format consistency: consistent for all applicable formats; bass management is applied to multichannel analog inputs as directed by speaker setup (despite owner's manual to the contrary) Speaker size selection: all channels can be set to "small." Speaker-distance compensation: available for all main channels.

The Integra DTR-7.6 performed excellently on our technical test, although prolonged all-channels power tests provoked temporary shutdown at roughly half-power; since this test poorly reflects real-world use I would anticipate no problems with actual program. Low-pass subwoofer outputs were slightly less steeply rolled off than the 24 dB/octave usual among receivers today.

I uncovered two oddities in the behavior of the Integra's multichannel analog input. First, despite a clear owner's manual statement to the contrary, the receiver does perform bass management on incoming multichannel analog signals, high- and low-pass filtering speaker and sub outputs as directed by "large/small" and crossover-frequency setup choices (which is a good thing). Second, multichannel signals are rolled off at about 12 dB/octave above 22 kHz regardless of speaker-setup settings, suggesting that the DSP employed for that processing remains in the loop even when full-band response is desired, which defeats the flat-to-44 kHz capabilities of SACD/DVD-Audio (not that I think this is very important).