The Good Elegant design; satisfying sound quality; THX Select certified; 7.1 Surround compatible; A/B speaker switching; versatile EQ and surround modes.
The Bad Surround EX requires an additional stereo amp; no analog bypass on 5.1 inputs; lackluster remote; large footprint.
The Bottom Line The RX-DP9VBK's build and sound quality might be enough to clinch the deal, but a few quirks keep it from being a lock.
Palm GameFace handheld accessory kit
With a bevy of surround-processing modes and features, upmarket A/V receivers typically take on a cluttered appearance. In contrast to that trend, JVC's sleek, THX Select-certified RX-DP9VBK is a receiver of elegant design. Yes, it's loaded with goodies, but its rows of buttons and controls are hidden behind an oh-so-cool motorized faceplate. That sort of refinement is also reflected in its intuitive ergonomics and satisfying sound quality.With a bevy of surround-processing modes and features, upmarket A/V receivers typically take on a cluttered appearance. In contrast to that trend, JVC's sleek, THX Select-certified RX-DP9VBK is a receiver of elegant design. Yes, it's loaded with goodies, but its rows of buttons and controls are hidden behind an oh-so-cool motorized faceplate. That sort of refinement is also reflected in its intuitive ergonomics and satisfying sound quality.
The DP9VBK's feature roster is impressive: THX Surround EX processing; flexible Dolby Digital/DTS surround modes; a three-band, parametric (adjustable center frequency) EQ for the seven channels; A/B front speaker switching; 15 AM and 30 FM presets; and a two-year parts and labor warranty. Build quality is remarkable--this receiver weighs 49 pounds, a good 15 pounds more than most of its competition.
This JVC is also unusually large, and its 18.75-inch depth might be a tight fit in your cabinet or home-entertainment center. Connectivity options are extensive, with two component-video inputs, one component-video output, and generous S-Video and composite-video connections. The audio connections are equally comprehensive; digital-audio input jacks are plentiful, but there's just one optical-digital output. Analog choices run the gamut from a turntable input to two tape loops to DVD/Super Audio CD (SACD)-ready 5.1 inputs to 7.1 outputs. Yes, the DP9VBK is a 5-by-100-watt receiver, but if you want to take advantage of its 7.1 Surround EX-processing capabilities, you'll need to hook up an external stereo power amp--or maybe your old receiver--to run the extra surround speakers.
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