Integra RDC-7 A/V Preamplifier

5/5 (17 Reviews)


Product Description

A/V preamp


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Reviews 1 - 5 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dimilino a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 25, 2009

Bottom Line:   
Integra Research RDC-7.1 sounds amazing!! . it extracts every little subtle detail from every soundtrack, and by the same token exposes bad material. It performs the same way in stereo, I listen to CD even more than watching DVD's, so the quality of stereo performance is very important to me, and the Cinema Reference delivers the best 2 channel performance I've heard,,,,yes it's that GOOD! Whether I'm watching a DVD in Dolby Digital, DTS or listening to 2 channel music, I notice with the Cinema Reference natural presence, precise imaging and 3 dimensional staging,,,all this equals one word....AWESOME!! I love everything about it, all the way to it's state of the art audio features. my setup will take my listening pleasure to an elite level enjoyed by few.
The Cinema Reference is easy to rate. 5 Stars.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by langchen a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 9, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I got this processor 10 months ago. With frequent (if not intensive) listening to this unit, I would conclude that it does perform as well as what the previous reviewers claimed. I am not quite up to the audiophile level due to lack of listening to high-end equipments priced above $5000. However, I do have long experience (I owned my first Technics Receiver 20 years ago.) on listening (closely) to the audio components from the ground up. Each time I upgrade my component was based on careful evaluations and listening. Some upgrades actually down-graded the sound (like from Yamahas Integrated Amp to Denon’s AV810 Receiver). But at least, the trend of the upgrades does have a convincing upper slope in sound reproduction. In order to verify that the current component is at desired higher sounding quality. I do keep a Denon AVR-1800 for comparison purpose. My wife, my sons and even my parents (at their 70’s now) can tell the difference between AVR-1800 and this RDC-7 with Classe’s Ten amp. So when I speak on the sound quality of this RDC-7, I am comparing its sound to that of all Technics, Yamaha, Denon, Marantz, Adcom and Lexicon preamp/receivers. The improvement on this RDC-7 is not just subtle or maybe. Instead, it is significant. The Lexicon DC-1 I just replaced sounded almost as well as this RDC-7. They are both transparent and warm. The RDC-7 takes the edge of more details and the deeper depth. You get a feel of precision with the RDC-7. For two-channel analog audio listening, DC-1 and RDC-7 are not far apart. I guess this could be one of the not-so-outstanding parts for RDC-7. However, for DD or DTS decoding, the RDC-7 has significant improvement over DC-1 (I think this is due to DC-1’s old HT decoder). I simply hear more details from RDC-7 that I did not notice from DC-1.

One thing I want to talk about is its CD-decoding quality. When I compare the CD decoding of RDC-7 with my Denon DVD 5900’s decoding, I noticed some difference. But this time, it is difficult to tell which one is better! DVD 5900’s CD decoding is also superb. My impression is that, the RDC-7 sounds even warmer than Denon’s famous warm sound. The upper octave from RDC-7 is “enhanced”, so the RDC-7 sounds more “lush”. But somehow, the RDC-7 sounds more on the “hard” side, with more “Authority” feel. The Denon sounds more “home-made” like taste. I tried to address their difference to the detail, dynamics, image size and focus. But I cannot tell which one is a clear winner on any of those “parameters” even though I listened for extensive time and each time I only concentrated on just one “parameter”.

The major reason I upgrade from Lexicon DC-1 to this RDC-7 was for the wealth in features. The RDC-7 gives me enough inputs for my DVD, SAT TV, LCD (yes, I still have one of those), Cassette (I am lazy to use MP3 recordings), HiFi VCR (my son borrows 20 VCRs from Library every week), with spares for my digital camcorder, Canon digital SLR and Roland Midi sound module and PC sound input with SoundBlaster’s USB module. I need its HDTV switcher for my SAT TV and DVD.

It is not a Video processor, so don’t expect features like up-scaling or down-scaling from HDTV to Video composite. But at least it does not downgrade the component video signals. I almost forgot about the tuner section for this unit. For stations with strong FM signals, I felt its built-in tuner sounds fuller in frequency range with deeper depth than my ex-lover Denon TU-800. I did not keep the TU-800 since it is not really better. See you get a free hi-end tuner with this RDC-7.

Over all, I am very satisfied with this component and will not down-grade the current rating at all for this RDC-7.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $1250.00

Purchased At:   Ebay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Steve Audioholics a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 22, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I am now completing my 6-month evaluation of the Integra Research RDC-7 and published a fairly lenghty article. I have to say, I am extremely impressed with this unit. From the build quality, to the sound quality, it is one of the better processors on the market in and somewhat above its price range.

There are a few interesting things I've learned about the unit, which are not well publicized, especially in their literature. The unit actually does have speaker level trim settings for multi-channel analog inputs. They are accessible via the "On-The-Fly" settings, and are stored and unique when in Multi-Channel mode. This allows for compensation of the subwoofer level volumes since they vary from DVD-A/SACD to normal DVD's.

The unit also integrates dual differential Burr Brown DAC's for the front channels. During my review, I asked Integra Research to provide information on their Apogee Low Jitter Clock and their Vector Linear Converter, and the response included a fairly lenghty technical paper, which I published in my article. Based on the tech paper, both the Low Jitter Clock and the VLC seem to improve the performance of the DAC's and also decrease the noise. It may help explain why the unit has such an above average Signal-to-Noise ratio as stated: Analog 106dB @1V and 100dB @ 0.5V.

But not everything is perfect. The unit does lack a few basic essentials. For one, it does not provide video up-conversion nor does it have On Screen Display via component video. These features are becoming more readily available and do help reduce the number of connections to the TV, and make it easier to operate video. The remote is also a bit weak in that it does not have any pre-program codes for other manufacturers.

But all-in-all, we were extremely pleased with this unit, and I'm going certainly miss it.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $4000.00

Purchased At:   Dealer



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Minge a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 2, 2003

Bottom Line:   
While I have been a B&K fan for the last number of years, I recently found myself in the market for a new preamp. I have had a B&K referance 20 for the last couple of years and it was time to upgrade to a the new refererance 50. Very long story short, my Pioneer Elite Pro 97 had some bizaar interface problem with the video switching on the B&K which rendered the piece unusable. I have always found value in the pieces I purchased and had always thought B&K was the ticket at that price point. After researching my options, I stumbled on to the RDC-7. My first impression was nothing made by Onkyo could be a serious contender to make it into my system! Do not be fooled, this unit is the real deal! I was amased at the performance of this piece. Sonically it outperforms the B&K and does a wonderfull job of two channel and really excels on multichannel material. Set-up is a bit combersome after being spoiled by the B&K plug and play and the remote leaves alot to be desired but after that nothing but high praise for this unit. I am thrilled with my choice and given it is fuure proof I am sure it will be the cornerstone of my system for years to come.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $4500.00

Purchased At:   Sound Video



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by pzouboul a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 8, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Unfortunattly I was never able to truly appreciate this marvelous unit. I was working on completing my home theater system and bought this piece way to early but when I finally got around to listening to it I have to say I was amazed at what this unit can do for $4000. the sound was immediate but laid back for regular cd's. Crisp, articulate and very smooth. although It sounded VERY good with cd's in two channel mode (I never got the chance to listen to it in Multi channel SACD) is not this units strong point (Though it does do an outstanding job with it) Home theater is what this baby is all about and I have to say it does home theater just has good as the biggest boys out there. Although I had way more time to listen to cd's than watch movies with it when I did watch movies I have to say it was the best experience I ever had with home theater until I bought the Theta CBII. It brought movies to life. Voices were perfect, never fatiguing, sounds seemed like they were dripping off the walls. Every movie I saw gave me goose bumps. there were a few times when I paused the dvd player thinking that someone was at the door or the cat was up to no good but it was just the liquid real sound that poured out of the speakers.

One thing I have to say is that to get this unit sounding the way it should you need to surround it with high end components just like every other high end processor out there.

The upgrade options are outstanding and the ease of use stands next to knowone. it took no time at all before I was able to setup this unit without even looking at the buttons which I can't say about my current unit.

This is an outstanding job for a company who put out there first revision of product and no matter what anyone says (god knows there are many questionable opinions out there) This unit is worth every penny. In fact I think it was a big mistake to sell a unit of this caliber for the price they did. If they sold it for the price of a lexicon or a proceed it would have gotten a way different perception (although I am sure there people out there that would still rip on it becuase it was built over seas)

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $4000.00




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