Connected to my reference system in a quiet acoustically treated listening room, the KD-AVX77 proved to be sonically splendid as well, with excellent sonic performance on DVD, CD, or MP3 tracks. Bass was strong and smooth, and high frequencies were reproduced with good definition and clarity, if maybe a touch less definition in the stereo image than my reference player. I did miss the ability to quickly adjust the output level of the subwoofer output, which is a commonly adjusted setting in most systems. There is no popping or clicking when making adjustments, and the signal to noise performance was very good with an almost inaudible noise floor, even between tracks with the volume wide open. The tuner likewise performed well and FM radio sounded excellent.
ON THE BENCH
My trusty Audio Precision and I worked out all the technical data from the KD-AVX77, and I’m happy to report it measured as good as it sounded, and either met or exceeded all of the specifications published in the owner’s manual. The power amp produced just over 20 x 4, and the preamp section developed a bit more than the 5 volts it’s rated at. Signal to noise of the power amp section was better than average, and the CD section was likewise very good.
For maximum immunity to both radiated and ground loop noise, I generally look for very low source (output) impedances in truly high performance source units of less than 100 ohms, but the KD-AVX77 fares only average in that regard, with a measurement of 568 ohms. Stereo separation was very good, and the frequency response was basically ruler-flat across the audio bandwidth. The DSP powered EQ and high pass crossover is precise and accurate in its adjustments, and makes things happen at the frequencies specified.
Many times a product will be all about the bling and cool factor, and won’t be able to carry its weight when it comes to audio performance. But with this source unit, you get the whole enchilada: amazing customization, very good audio performance, Bluetooth convenience, compatibility for HD or Satellite radio sources, DVD playback, rear seat audio, and more. If you get a kick out of customizing your toys and amazing your friends with cool technology, there is really nothing else like the JVC KD-AVX77.