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  1. #1

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    Default Tweaking Home Theater Pt. 3: The Pioneer Elite BDP-09FD Blu-ray Player

    Prologue

    "Submitted for your approval: An eclectic videophile, who should have known better, was lured deeper into the rabbit hole by the promise of prettier pictures and more robust, immersive surround sound. With the entrance to the rabbit hole now appearing as a pinprick of starlight against a dark sky, rational thought told him that what he already had was fine. Unfortunately, yielding to rational thought is not a dominant videophile trait and he kept going further...into The Blu-Ray Zone."

    Introduction

    Now that Blu-ray players are, as my grandmother used to say, "cheap as a nickel whistle", I thought about replacing the venerable old Sony DVP-S9000ES DVD player in my home office with one of those cheapies. That thought resided in my head for about a nano-second before I had a more inspired thought: move the Sony BDP-S2000ES BR player from the home theater to the home office and acquire a higher performance BR player.

    I noted with interest that some Sony Blu-ray loyalists, a few of whom owned the BDP-S2000ES ($1,300 MSRP), did not opt for Sony's latest flagship BR player, the BDP-S5000ES ($2,000 MSRP) when they decided to upgrade. They opted for, and subsequently raved about, Pioneer's flagship BR player, the BDP-09FD ($2,200 MSRP). How heretical.


    Figure 1. I was looking forward to a nice evening out...and then this arrived. I almost called in sick, but testosterone always
    trumps gear geekdom.


    BDP-09FD Build Quality: A Return To The Faith Once Delivered


    Figure 2. Upgraded to Elite status: The BDP-09FD's electronics are encased in thick sheets of aluminum and steel.


    Figure 3. Two HDMI inputs. One goes to my plasma TV. The other would have been used for digital audio output if I had an
    HDMI capable preamp/processor (Pioneer brochure photo).


    Ohhhhhhhh OK, now I get it. Long time Sony ES enthusiasts, by that I mean the ones who were around when ES actually stood for "Elevated Standard", are digging this player's substantial build quality which results in an overall weight of 30.5 pounds. The BDP-09FD is ruggedly built with extensive mechanical vibration abatement and electrical noise reduction technologies. Particular attention was paid to the reduction of timing error (jitter).


    Figure 4. BDP-09FD exploded view. The drawer closes with a solid muted "thunk" sound (Pioneer brochure photo).

    The inside of the BDP-09FD, particularly that big, beefy power supply, is more like that of a high end preamp than a Blu-ray disc player. The only things I didn't like about the BDP-09FD's build features were the ceramic power line fuses, one of which was a soldered-in axial lead fuse. Axial lead fuses are used to save time, money, and board space. An axial lead fuse only involves hand placing one component. A regular fuse in a clip type holder requires the placement of three components, plus the proper alignment of the two fuse holder clips. The ceramic fuses were replaced by HiFi Tuning audio grade fuses after 50 hours of play time.


    Figure 5. The BDP-09FD is encased in a handsome brushed aluminum top and polished aluminum side and front plates.


    Figure 6. Under the aluminum top plate is another steel cover.


    Figure 7. The steel under cover wraps around the sides of the unit. Note the mirror finish on the face plate.


    Figure 8. Most Blu-ray player cases have mostly empty space. This one is crammed with multiple levels of circuit boards.


    Figure 9. The power supply consists of a three level assembly. The main power input and toroid levels are shown here.


    Figure 10. The power supply's third level contained an obnoxious soldered-in axial lead fuse (in front of yellow wiring harness
    socket).


    Operational Specifics And Setup

    The boot time (time between turn on and the player becoming responsive to commands) was around 30 seconds, which was half the 1 minute required by the Sony BDP-S2000ES. The disc loading times were the same as the BDP-S2000ES: 10 to 35 seconds depending on the type of disc (CD, DVD or Blu-ray).

    I had already downloaded the manual prior to the unit's arrival and had found other good setup tips on various Internet forums. I was up and running in 15 minutes. My unit came with version 2.24 firmware and I downloaded the version 2.46 firmware update after initial setup and a couple of hours of playback. The 2.46 firmware update includes the capability for DTS-HD Master Audio decoding.

    The remote control is attractive, well laid out, and measures 9-3/8" long by 1-3/4" wide by 1" thick. It had a hefty, solid feel in my hand and weighed 1/3 pound. The remote's plastic body is clad in a bushed aluminum faceplate with phosphor-luminescent keys. The jog wheel, and the four keys surrounding it, are silver metal.

    Video Performance (Prior To Fuse Changes)

    I had some concern that the BDP-09FD might be overkill for my modest home theater system with its three year old 720p plasma TV. As soon as the "Casino Royale" Blu-ray started up, those concerns were shown to be unfounded. I was now seeing more overall fine detail, more vibrant color, more detail in dark scenes, a little deeper blacks and more depth (visual perspective) in the picture compared to the Sony BDP-S2000ES. All these improvements were apparent to a lesser degree with upscaled standard DVD's.

    I decided to revisit "better" HDMI cables to see if more visual detail could be squeezed out of the BDP-09FD. I picked up an 8 foot Monster ($130) and an 8 foot Rocketfish ($85) high speed HDMI cable to compare to my "ordinary" $20 two year old Acoustic Research HDMI cable.

    I paused the picture on a closeup of Daniel Craig's face and swapped back and forth among the three cables. I could not see any difference. I also took high resolution pictures of the screen and compared them and still could not see a difference. A portion of a low resolution version of the scene's screen capture is shown in figure 12. The camera was positioned 4 feet from the TV.


    Figure 11. The visual observations and screen captures of this scene from "Casino Royale" were identical among the Acoustic
    Research ($20), Monster Cable ($130), and Rocketfish ($85) HDMI cables.



    Figure 12. Still no love, or need, for expensive HDMI cables. These were returned to the store.

    My plasma TV is only compliant with the HDMI 1.1 specification. I might have seen a difference among the HDMI cables with a newer, larger screen television that was compliant with the current HDM1 1.3 specification and that had higher 1080p resolution. Then again, from what I have gleaned from reading the experiences of others with recently manufactured higher resolution displays...maybe not.

    I appreciated the BDP-09FD's Home Media Gallery feature which allows the playing of Divx and AVI format movie files, MP3 and Windows Media Audio 9 audio files, and JPEG picture files.

    Audio Performance (Prior To Fuse Changes)

    Whereas the BDP-09FD Blu-ray visual performance over the BDP-S2000ES was significant, its audio improvements over the BDP-S2000ES were night and day, particularly with regard to the weight and detail of the center image. This night and day audio difference applied to both standard DVD's and Blu-ray's. The BDP-09FD generated a larger, more focused, and more detailed sound stage for both movies and music. The sound from the surround and front speakers was heavier, more detailed and more seamlessly integrated with the sound from the center speakers and subwoofer. There was also more of a sense of the center image being "locked" in place, even if I moved my head to either side from the sweet spot.

    Two channel music playback (CD, SACD) is the best I have ever heard from my home theater system. It was so surprisingly good that I did not listen to my dedicated two channel system for a few days after acquiring the BDP-09FD. The BDP-09FD's sound quality difference was surprising since the output was being output as a linear pulse code modulated (LPCM) signal to the Sony TA-E9000ES pre/pro, where the Sony's ancient DAC's provided analog output to my power amps. Apparently, the TA-E9000ES (which went to market in 1995 and was discontinued in 2003) is a much better two channel preamplifier than I had given it credit for.
    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 06-18-2009 at 02:34 AM.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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  2. #2

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    Big audio improvements can come from an improved LPCM signal. It is a popular misconception that "bits are bits", but the truth is that better digital circuits output a more precise, lower jitter digital signal. I recall how surprised I was by the sound quality improvement after upgrading the master clocks in two of my CD players (a Sony CDP-XA7ES and a Denon DCD-1650AR) to precision, very low jitter clocks from LC Audio.

    The excellent audio and video playback results I achieved with an older non-1080p HDTV (manufactured in Feb. of 2006) and an older non-HDMI 5.1 pre/pro (manufactured in 2001) are a testament to the very high audio and video quality of the BDP-09FD.

    Video and Audio Performance After Fuse Changes

    I saw no difference in video playback after the fuse changes.

    The sound stage for both CD playback and movies grew in quality and quantity. The sound stage is bounded by the fireplace wall on the right side, so no lateral extension was heard there. However, sounds that were formerly placed on that wall came forward 3 feet, as did images in the center and left side of the sound stage. Also, the sound stage was extended an additional two feet out on the left side. Some sounds in the left and right front speakers were repositioned 1 foot higher, so that they appeared to be coming from a space in front of the top edge of the speakers.

    There was more clarity, more bass definition, more bass texture and growl, more image weight, more three dimensionality, and more depth in the sound stage. The sound level was also apparently louder. I also began noticing new sounds from the front and surround speakers, particularly sounds which were "echoes" from sounds originating in the center. For example, the MGM "roaring lion" tag at the beginning of the "Casino Royale" Blu-ray had some enhanced snarling sounds that I had not noticed before and which were clearly echoed from the front and rear speakers. This was in addition to the enhanced multi-textured rumbling of the roaring.

    The 1 amp power line fuse in the upper circuit board was a standard drop in replacement. The 4 amp power line fuse on the lower circuit board was desoldered and replaced with a Philmore FH501 fuse holder and 4 amp HiFi Tuning audio grade fuse. The leads of the fuse holder were wide and flat and required trimming with a Dremel "cutoff" attachment before they would fit in the board holes.


    Figure 13. The soldered-in axial lead ceramic fuse (figure 10) was replaced with a
    proper fuse holder and audio grade fuse.



    Figure 14. That's better. HiFi tuning fuse installed in lower power supply board (in front of yellow wiring harness socket).

    Implementing High Definition Sound

    Since my TA-E9000ES pre/pro had neither 5.1 channel inputs nor an HDMI input, I couldn't take advantage of the new lossless (uncompressed) audio formats available on some Blu-ray discs (DTS HD Master Audio, Dolby TrueHD). I was frustrated and disappointed in my search for a new pre/pro because the current crop of high performance pre/pros are expensive ($2K and up) devices that have some unappealing qualities. I evaluated the following pre/pros and rejected them due to one or more of build quality, cost, feature set, or appearance:

    Marantz AV $2600 (price, build quality),
    Sunfire Theater Grand IV $3500 (price, features)
    Denon DVP-602CI $2500 (build quality, features),
    Denon AVP-A1HDCI $7500 (price),
    Onkyo DHC 9.9 $2000 (bad customer support reputation, aesthetics),
    B&K Reference 70 $3798 (price, build quality),
    Cary 11a $4000 (price, still working out playback bugs),
    Anthem D2V $7500 (price).
    Parasound Halo C1 $6000 (price, aesthetics)
    Parasound Halo C2 $4000 (price, aesthetics)

    The winner was a used Sony TA-P9000ES that was purchased for a few hundred bucks (MSRP in 1999 was $700). The TA-P9000ES preamplifier is the multichannel companion piece for the TA-E9000ES preamp/processor. I had numerous opportunities to acquire a TA-P9000ES over the years, but I always passed because I didn't have a need for one, nor did I have the dedication to home theater that I have now. Plus, I always assumed that if I needed a multichannel preamp in the future, the TA-P9000ES, or something comparable to it, would be available. To my dismay, nothing currently available is comparable to the TA-P9000ES in features, quality and price.:( It was serendipitous that, on the very day that I completed my shopping evaluation of home theater pre/pros, a TA-P9000ES showed up on Audiogon and I purchased it immediately.:) This one was in excellent functional and cosmetic condition and also had the Sony power supply modification that remedied the possibility of oscillation noise with some power amplifiers.


    Figure 15. Back to the future. The Sony TA-P9000ES has stood the tests of time and utility. It's a tragedy this fine multichannel
    preamplifier is no longer commercially available.



    Figure 16. TA-P9000ES modifications: The captive power cord was replaced with an IEC socket. The stock power line fuse was
    replaced with an audio grade HiFi Tuning fuse. I decided against treating the non-vented case top with Dynamat out of concern for reducing its heat dissipation capacity.


    After I verified that all the TA-P9000ES's functions were working properly, I replaced the captive power cord and stock power line fuse. I did not do a pre and post modification listening comparison. I didn't feel like doing all that tedious disconnecting and reconnecting. Past experience doing the same mods on other gear lead me to believe that it was a worthwhile investment. I decided to just trust my feelings in this case.:)

    The BDP-09FD decodes all the current high definition audio formats used by Blu-ray sound tracks, performs speaker setup, and outputs up to eight channels of uncompressed audio from the analog outputs. The TA-P9000ES is a low noise, high quality preamp built of discrete electronics which facilitates switching between the uncompressed analog outputs of the BDP-09FD and the output of the TA-E9000ES pre/pro (to which my other source components are connected). The TA-E9000ES pre/pro is connected to the "bypass 5.1" input of the TA-P9000ES, where no processing of the signal, not even volume control, is performed. I do not need to turn on the TA-P9000ES if I just want to listen to a source connected to the TA-E9000ES.

    The BDP-09FD allows the switching of a Blu-ray or DVD disc's soundtrack options while the disc is playing. The high definition soundtracks of the following Blu-ray discs were compared to their accompanying non-HD soundtracks:

    "Quantum of Solace" - 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio compared to 5.1 Dolby Digital
    "Casino Royale" - 5.1 Uncompressed PCM compared to 5.1 Dolby Digital
    "Spiderman 3" - 5.1 Dolby TrueHD compared to 5.1 Dolby Digital

    I always wondered if DTS-HD Master Audio was all it was hyped up to be. It is. Comparing the HD and non-HD sound of the car chase scene at the beginning of "Quantum of Solace" was like the difference between listening to the scene through home theater speakers and hearing and feeling the sounds from the passenger seat of the car Bond was driving.

    "Spiderman 3's" Dolby TrueHD was a few notches down in realism from DTS-HD Master Audio, but had much more detail and impact than the non-HD soundtrack.

    "Casino Royale's" Uncompressed PCM was a couple notches down in realism from Dolby TrueHD, but had much more detail and impact than the non-HD soundtrack.

    BDP-09FD Peeves

    1. No back-light on remote.
    2. No index at the end of the 73 page owner's manual.
    3. That pesky soldered-in axial lead power line fuse.
    4. There is no repeat mode button on the remote. Therefore, to access repeat play, I have to go through the menus, which requires that the TV be on. Not a problem when accessing repeat modes for video discs. For repeat play of CD's, this is a nuisance!
    5. The locations of the power button and drawer open/close button on the remote are switched from those of the Sony BDP-S2000ES. During the first few days, I was constantly turning the unit off when I meant to open or close the drawer.
    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 06-18-2009 at 02:40 AM.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    Conclusion

    The BDP-09FD has provided lots of eye and ear candy so far and I am looking forward to upgrading to a 1080p plasma TV. The holdup is that I really want a TV that, like my current Hitachi 55HDT52, has a cable card slot. I just don't like the appearance of cable boxes, and besides, there is no room for another component in my equipment cabinet. Regrettably, most plasma TV manufacturers have abandoned cable card support. ATI makes a small stand alone cablecard based digital tuner called the "ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner", but this device is only sold with PC's running a special version of Windows Vista. If I had one of these, I could just sit it on the floor behind my equipment cabinet.


    Figure 17. The ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner is not available as a stand alone
    device for use with televisions. Oh no...that would cut into the enormous profits
    generated by set top box and DVR rentals.



    Figure 18. I had just enough cabinet space for the BDP-09FD to fit in.


    Figure 19. Denzel wants to know when the 1080p plasma is coming.


    Epilogue

    "Now that the departure terminal out of the rabbit hole is just a fleeting memory, all the future holds is deeper and deeper descent...into The Blue-Ray Zone."


    "Upgraded well you have, my old padawan. A new plasma HDTV in your
    future I see. Complete your home theater it will."


    Associated Equipment

    ■Hitachi 55HDT52 Plasma HDTV (720p)
    ■Sony TA-E9000ES Digital Preamp/Processor Ver. 2.1 Firmware
    ■Sony TA-P9000ES Multichannel (5.1) Discrete Analog Preamp
    ■Three Adcom GFA-5500 Power Amps (350 wpc into 4 ohms) for Front, Center, and Surround Speakers
    ■Dual Polk Audio LSi9 Center Channel Speakers
    ■Polk Audio LSi15 Surround Speakers
    ■Polk Audio SDA SRS Front Speakers (Hot Rodded)
    ■SVS PB12 Ultra/2 Subwoofer with 1000 Watt Bash Amplifier
    ■Acoustic Research Coax Cable (CD)
    ■Monster Z2 Reference Speaker Cables
    ■Monster Z100i Interconnects
    ■Signal Cable MagicPower Cords
    ■Monster UL/CL3 In-Wall 12 Gauge Speaker Cable for Subwoofer
    ■Salamander Synergy Quad 30 Audio Credenza
    ■Monoprice High Speed HDMI cable
    ■Two PS Audio Power Plant Premier Power Regenerators
    ■PS Audio Power Port Premier 20 Amp AC Receptacles for Power Plant Premiers
    ■Two Dedicated 20 Amp AC Circuits For Amps, TV, and Source Components
    ■Separate Dedicated 20 Amp AC Circuit for Subwoofer
    ■PS Audio Soloist Premier SE Power Conditioner For Subwoofer
    ■Isoclean and HiFi Tuning Audio Grade Fuses For Amps, Blu-ray Player, and Subwoofer
    ■Sony SLV778HF VCR


    Part 1 is here.

    Part 2 is here.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    __________________
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK

  4. #4

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    I usually don't post unless I have something to contribute .... but WOW.
    what a great review.
    Current HT setup
    Mains: B&W 804s
    Center: Polk CSi5
    Surround: Polk FXi3
    Sub: Velodyne DLS-3750R
    Receiver: Pioneer SC-07
    Amplifier: Sunfire TGA5200
    TV: Sony KDS60A2020
    DBP: Sony DBP-S350
    CDP: Pioneer DV-48AV
    Interconnect cables: SignalCable analog II
    speaker cables: SignalCable Ultra Speaker Cables Bi-wire

  5. #5

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    Awesome review DK, I read great things about the 09,freaking thing looks good man and probably does even better with your mods( not sure). But man, nice rack you have there with some nice gear to boot. Enjoy.

    Now the magic question, how would this baby measure up to the Oppo BDP-83? Regardless, very nice review and again I like your setup bro.
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!! !

    Home Theater Pics in the Showcase

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...p?userid=73580

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    Hats off to you DK, anyone willing to dump $2200 on a player to disassemble it then mod it is serious about there equipment. I'd be scared crapless to even take the cover off after spending that kind of coin.

    Rob
    Money Talks, Mine says Goodbye Rob!!!!
    "My Theater Room"

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    That was fantastic. You got to go with an Elite Pioneer 60" Plasma to top it all off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherardp View Post
    Now the magic question, how would this baby measure up to the Oppo BDP-83?
    I have not done or run across a direct comparison of the Oppo BDP-83 and the Pioneer BDP-09FD. There have been some comparisons of the Oppo BDP-83 to the Pioneer BDP-51FD and comparisons of the Pioneer BDP-51FD to the Pioneer BDP-09FD, so between those reviews, you might gain some insight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Conradicles View Post
    That was fantastic. You got to go with an Elite Pioneer 60" Plasma to top it all off.
    Yeah, I've got my eyes on the (soon to be extinct) Pioneer Elite PRO-151FD 60" plasma. The preceding model PRO-150FD does have cable card capability and can still be found in new and used condition.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    Can't get more detailed than that.Nice write up and thanks for spending the time to share it all.Nice looking set up btw too.

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    I have the S5000ES myself and it is a wonderful peice of kit. Not quite 9000ES grade build but not far off at all, it has great attention to detail, even the small regualtion heatsinks are sony's S-fin type. I've not seen that kind of detailing since the E9000ES pre amp.

    The P9000ES pre amp is something I have wanted for a long time, however I'm aware it's rare as hens teeth. Would you be able to have a look the inside again to check out the volume control. I can't believe it's a 6 channel analogue pot, that be expensive, although much better sounding. I think they will have used, as every AV amp manufacturer does now, a cheap IC. Easy to implement, very very cheap, though a climb down in sound quality, especially for analogue signals.

    I've been aware for a few years now that it has no competition whatsoever, and no successor for an 8 channel version with a few 2 ch inputs too. We're now making prototype 6 channel units at work that should beat the P9000ES at it's own game and if it's found to be successful then we may make an 8 channel version with much improved potentiometers and regulation. I'm wanting it to be the ultimate analogue pre amp partner for high end Blu ray decks, like the Pioneer and Sony.

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    I'm just curious whether you bought or built your entertainment cabinet. I like the look and design. If you bought it where did you get it and what are the dimensions.



    Thanks
    Tim
    "They're always talking about my drinking, but never mention my thirst" Oscar Wilde


    Pre-Amp: Anthem AVM 20
    Amp: Carver TFM-35
    Amp: Rotel RB-870BX
    Fronts : SDA 1B w/ RDO-194s
    T.V.:Plasma TC-P54G25
    Bluray: Oppo BDP-93
    Speaker Cables: MIT Terminater
    Interconnect Cables:DH Labs Silver Sonic BL-1isonic

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Can't get more detailed than that.Nice write up and thanks for spending the time to share it all.Nice looking set up btw too.
    Agreed,AWESOME!
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
    Linn AV5140 Rears
    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

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    Default Kudos

    DK,
    As usual a well written, illustrated and informative read. I agree with your impression of the step up from standard DVD to BLU-Ray or even HD DVD. I distinctly remember the day I slid my first disc in and sat down. I was transfixed by the picture on my 1080 plasma and began buying every BD I could find.
    I also agree with some of the above. I would have broke out in hives removing the cover, let alone touching anything in there. I tried it once and learned my lesson.
    Good luck with your search for your monitor/television.
    Thanks for the write up.
    Nathan

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    Quote Originally Posted by morksbeanbag View Post
    Would you be able to have a look the inside again to check out the volume control. I can't believe it's a 6 channel analogue pot, that be expensive, although much better sounding. I think they will have used, as every AV amp manufacturer does now, a cheap IC. Easy to implement, very very cheap, though a climb down in sound quality, especially for analogue signals.
    The master volume control (lower right in figure 16 above) is a 6 channel (6 gang) analog potentiometer. The TA-P9000ES only uses discrete analog components (no op amps or other integrated circuits) in the signal path. There are seven IC's outside the signal path that are used for voltage regulation, remote control reception, volume control motor drive, LED drive, and input-output relay control functions.

    Quote Originally Posted by morksbeanbag View Post
    I've been aware for a few years now that it has no competition whatsoever, and no successor for an 8 channel version with a few 2 ch inputs too. We're now making prototype 6 channel units at work that should beat the P9000ES at it's own game and if it's found to be successful then we may make an 8 channel version with much improved potentiometers and regulation. I'm wanting it to be the ultimate analogue pre amp partner for high end Blu ray decks, like the Pioneer and Sony.
    Very interesting. Keep us updated on how this turns out.

    Quote Originally Posted by renowilliams View Post
    I'm just curious whether you bought or built your entertainment cabinet. I like the look and design. If you bought it where did you get it and what are the dimensions.
    The cabinet is a Salamander Designs "Synergy" Quad 30 (www.salamanderdesigns.com). It measures 87" wide x 31" high x 19.75" deep. I ordered it from Audio Advisor (www.audioadvisor.com).
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    :DThank you so much for the Review and pictures. It has been a truely enjoyable review.
    ( P.S. Great pictures:D)

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    Ok, I have a question, What do you mean when you say they use cheap ic's vs 6 channel analogue pot. can you explain to an impressionable mind.:)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedler View Post
    Ok, I have a question, What do you mean when you say they use cheap ic's vs 6 channel analogue pot. can you explain to an impressionable mind.:)
    Quote Originally Posted by morksbeanbag View Post
    Would you be able to have a look the inside again to check out the volume control. I can't believe it's a 6 channel analogue pot, that be expensive, although much better sounding. I think they will have used, as every AV amp manufacturer does now, a cheap IC. Easy to implement, very very cheap, though a climb down in sound quality, especially for analogue signals.
    The TA-P9000ES's volume control could have been implemented with an integrated circuit (IC) or a variable resistor (potentiometer or "pot"). It would have been easier, and much less expensive, to implement the TA-P9000ES's 6 channel volume control with common quality IC's rather than a high quality 6 channel analog potentiometer. IC's are not bad, it is just that audio grade IC's with low noise characteristics are expensive. Precision, high quality, low noise multi-channel potentiometers are also expensive. However, a high quality IC that matched the low noise characteristics of the high quality analog potentiometer used in the TA-P9000ES would have probably been much more expensive. It would have also violated the TA-P9000ES's design philosophy of using no IC's in the signal path.

    Using discrete components, rather than integrated circuits, also gives the designer more control and options in tweaking a design's performance. When everything is crammed on a chip, it's "take it or leave it".
    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 06-30-2009 at 11:35 AM.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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  18. #18

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    Fantastic review! Truly a pleasure to read.
    _____________________________________________
    Home Theater: polkaudio Modded SDA SRS 2.3TL's, LSiM706c, 4 X TC265i Rears, SVS PB12 Plus/2
    Pioneer Elite SC-67, Sunfire Signature Cinema Grande 400, Oppo BDP-83

  19. #19

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    Default Probably the BEST post/review that I have read!!!

    :)

    DarqueKnight,

    Hi,

    This has to be one of the best posts/reviews, if not the best, that I have ever read.

    A TRULY AWESOME & INFORMATIVE ARTICLE.

    IN AWE OF YOUR SKILLS & OBVIOUS LOVE OF ALL THINGS HIFI.

    willie

    :)

  20. #20

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    DarqueKnight,

    Well......That Was Impressive To Say The Least.

    My Only Question Is, Are You Sure This Pioneer Elite Will Play SACD's ? I Didn't Think That It Could ?

    I Want To Thank You For Taking The Time To Write And Report All Of This To Us Here On The Forum DarqueKnight. You've Simply Confirmed In My Mind, That This Pioneer Elite Is THE BluRay Player To Own.

    Thank You, Bill(BB3)
    Sony 52in.XBR6
    Sony 32in.XBR6
    Anthem AVM50V
    Anthem PRE-2L
    Sonic Frontiers SFCD-1
    Carver C-9
    Carver C-19 PreAmp
    Carver C-16 PreAmp
    2-Carver Silver 7-T's
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    1-Carver TFM25
    Carver 490T
    Denon DCD1560
    Sony BDP-S350
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    PolkAudio SDA-SRS
    PolkAudio SDA-SRS 1.2TL
    PolkAudio SDA-CRS+(Compliments Of Mr. Jim Thomas"jtgranby")
    PolkAudio RTA-15TL
    PolkAudio M3
    3-Velodyne F-1500's

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