Ok, so I got my hands on the p-99 today. Met up with this guy who's running and active network with this unit, the PPI 365cs mids in doors and tweets in A-pillars off a Soundstream 4.920 and and a 12" Shiva @ 4 ohms off a clarion putting out 600watts at 4ohms.
The 4 ch is a great amp. Lots of power and tons of dsp. But no way to turn it all off, when running a unit like the p-99. So you have to start of by setting things closest to what you want and then match the same from the p-99. Mids HP at 50hz and BP at 4khz, tweets HP at 4khz, everything on a 12db slope. All bass boost options set to 0. Gains set at about 3V, for a 5 volt rated 'pre' output.
Since the p-99 is from the same family as my p-880 the comparisons are fairly direct. The first thing that struck me was the p-99 looks smaller than my p-880. It has the typical prs looks, white 'oled', two knobs (much smaller than that on the 880) the unit sits much more flush with the dash than mine. The buttons and menus are very similar as are the screens on the 880. Xover is identical, eq and TA screens are a bit different.
The pio's give you the option of TA in inches and cm, depending on what your brain is used to. I TA in inches and thought the 0.05" steps were great. Well, welcome to the world of 0.03". You bet you hear the difference at 0.03". Already started loving it.
The p-99 gives you 15 more bands L/R and I was mentally prepared that this would make a huge difference. I also knew that i wouldn't figure out L/R balance on some of these on the first go. What I wasn't prepared for was the fact that on the p-99 the EQ works in 0.5db steps. Yes, you hear a difference of 0.5db and while my ears will pick that difference, they are not used to working at that level of accuracy. There is a huge difference in eq at 1db steps and 0.5db steps. Humbling indeed. Given some time with this unit.........
Xover selections is identical to the 880 except that on the 880 max slope on mids and tweets is 24db, on the p-99 this is 30db.
I managed to get the basic dimensions of the stage right, average stage height, decent tonality.........I'll need more time with this unit.
At the end of the session the guy wanted to know if I would sell him my SR's and if not where he could buy them from.....lol. I'd love to run the p-99 on the SR's.
So, is the p-99 better than the p-880/800? Yes by a very long mile. Much better eq and TA, marginally better crossovers. Lot's more tunability . Would I upgrade my p-880 to the p-99? No, for less money I'd get a h-701 and control each driver separately. Independent control on a driver, with a 31 band eq for each driver, trumps finner tunning on summed settings.
The P-880/800 sold for $450. The p-99 would make for a great hu at $6-700. At $1,200? Well its the best 1 din unit I've ever heard, but its not worth the $ 1,200. If you understand the basics of tuning you'll appreciate the unit but won't buy it. Eventually a processor will get you further.