Receivers

Integra DTR-8.9 7.1 A/V Receiver

ARTICLE INDEX

Design

The DTR-8.9 is the penultimate receiver in the Integra line (topped only by the DTR 9.9). The DTR-8.9 is a dual push-pull design, rated by Integra at 140 watts of continuous power across the entire spectrum (20 Hz-20 kHz) into two channels, at 8 ohm loads, with THD at 0.05% (FTC). The DTR-8.9, like most Integra and Onkyo products, uses WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology), which provides bandwidth from 5 Hz to100 kHz (although built-in limiters prevent significant output at those extreme frequencies to avoid speaker damage).

Although a 7.1 channel receiver, the Integra allows the user to configure the sixth and seventh amp channels for bi-amping the main left and right channels, or providing two channels of power to a second zone. Like Integra's prior models, the DTR-8.9 uses Burr-Brown 192k/24 Bit DAC's for all seven channels. Processing codecs are driven by three TI (Aureus) 32-Bit DSP chips. The Integra internally decodes Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, assuming that your Blu-ray player passes them in native format rather than converting to bitstream

The DTR-8.9 has four HDMI inputs, and two HDMI (ver. 1.3a) outputs. The two HDMI outputs are not simultaneously active, but can be switched via the Integra's remote control. I found this feature particularly handy, as it allowed me to switch between a regular display and front projector without need of an external switching box. The Integra uses HQV's highly regarded Reon-VX video processing solution, which internally upscales all video sources up to 1080p via HDMI.

The DTR-8.9 (and 9.9) are the first products configured with ISFccc (Imaging Science Foundation certified calibration controls) giving an ISF calibrator an efficient way to ensure that the video signals passing through the various inputs and outputs produce accurate images to your display. There is also a third custom calibration memory for each input, so that you can independently adjust video input from each source to match your display.

Besides the four HDMI inputs, the Integra has six digital audio inputs (three each coax and optical), six S-Video inputs (two outputs), and three component video inputs (two outputs). However, I suspect anyone buying this receiver is likely using gear with HDMI inputs and outputs. Does anyone want to guess what year receivers will only have digital inputs and outputs?

The Integra uses the updated Audyssey MultEQ XT calibration/correction system, which includes functions such as Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume, designed to compensate for reproducing accurate surround sound imaging at various volumes (more on that below). It has all of the legacy Dolby/DTS/THX codecs, although audiophiles will be happiest with the Integra's ability to decode high-resolution audio sent through Blu-ray, SACD, and DVD-Audio discs.

New to the DTR-8.9 is THX Loudness Plus, which automatically adjusts front-to-back speaker level and frequency balance when listening at low volumes (similar to the Audyssey Dynamic EQ).

The DTR-8.9 is XM and Sirius satellite radio-ready, and has built-in HD radio, capable of receiving HD radio signals (in North America only). Like its predecessors, it is three-zone capable (two of them powered if the main system is configured for 5.1 driven channels); and has a bi-directional RS232 port for interface control with outside systems.

The back panel of the DTR-8.9 will be familiar to recent Integra/Onkyo users, with heavy duty speaker binding posts spaciously arrayed across the back of the unit, and the digital inputs clustered in the upper left-corner. You can bridge the front left/right channels with the surround back channels, resulting in 300 watts RMS output capability into 8 ohms for the front channels.

The DTR-8.9 uses the same standard remote control found on recent Integra products, so if you like those, you'll like the one supplied with the DTR-8.9. I found the layout and functionality quite intuitive and convenient, the only nit being that, with its rectangular shape, I would occasionally point the rear end towards the receiver (especially in a darkened room).