For the 950 to do this though, it 'must' convert the analog signal back into digital right? And then it's able to downmix a phantom center and do all the other stuff like level balance and full bass managment (meaning 'not' the analog 80 Hz setting).
Actually, I was talking about the Analog Bypass function on the 950, not the digital path. After all, we're trying to figure out how you can listen to DVD-A with a phantom centre; and this involves analog bypass specifically. Right?

BTW, I don't see why the 950 would need to convert the DVD-A signal to digital in order to do a phantom centre mixdown. It just has to re-route the analog signal of any speakers that aren't being used to the front Left & Right. Once that is done, it can then apply the analog 80Hz filter.

So there were two things I wanted to check: first, when the centre is set to none, will the 950 actually turn off that output. (Already answered.) And second, to find out what happens to the signal that was supposed to come out of the centre output. If it turns out that the 950 does indeed re-route the centre channel signal (even when using the Analog Bypass connection) then that allows you to use any player you want and still get a phantom centre.