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DVD Mega Changer Shootout!

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Brandon:W, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. Brandon:W

    Brandon:W Well-Known Member

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    Bottom line: What's the best DVD Mega changer?

    I'm talking about the ones with 400+ DVD and CD capability.

    There are already some great threads here on Mega changers:

    Why don't more people own 400 DVD changers?
    and
    Mega Changers....Which one to buy?


    The criteria that I'll give for this thread's comparison is:

    1) Video quality: Must have progressive scan - how's it look?
    2) Audio quality: how does it (if it does) play SACD, HDCD, DVD-A, CD, mp3?
    3) Manufactured quality: Disk jams? how long do they last?
    4) Price: Under $1000 street please
    5) Features: Menus are not important (A hard copy of DVD Profiler like database works for me), but other features are welcome.



    So far the tops that I know of are:

    Sony ES DVP-CX777ES

    Kenwood Sovereign DV-5900M




    I'm leaning toward the Kenwood because:
    1) Good reviews of the video quality
    2) DVD-A capable (but not SACD)
    3) Has good reviews for it's quality
    4) ~$700 (for a refurb)
    5) RS-232 port, 3 "Rental" disk slots



    So - what's your opinion?


    Brandon
     
  2. Grant B

    Grant B Well-Known Member

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    The sony ES has SACD capability....so it evens out with the Kenwood in that aspect
     
  3. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Well-Known Member

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    Id like to know if they scratch DVDs even the slightest bit..if not Id try one out.
     
  4. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member

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    I just got the Sony 985V 400 disc changer which is the same as the ES one you mentioned above. I've only had this one a week but so far I'm very impressed and that's coming from someone with a projection screen and used to use the Denon 1600. I haven't tried SACD's yet but from what I've seen so far the image quality on the Sony is pretty good and its got the typical menu options to darken or sharpen the image if you wish.

    The disc explorer system on the Sony's isn't very quick but like you its not an issue for me since I just loaded the titles into my Pronto and use SNL to give me direct access to any movie I want.

    As for the disc scratching I can't really speak for the DVD changer but I've had my Sony CD changer for years and have never had a single issue with scratching or really any issues at all and it gets used daily to pipe music into our second zone.
     
  5. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Well-Known Member

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    What are the specs of the video section on your 985V Andrew?
     
  6. Drew_W

    Drew_W Well-Known Member

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    I sold my 300CD changer a few weeks ago. I now have heaps of CDs in front of my rack again. I wonder about the sound quality of the Sony...or well, the quality of it as a transport at least. I parted ways with my old Sony megachanger too early to be able to test it with my current equipment.
     
  7. Brandon:W

    Brandon:W Well-Known Member

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    Andrew-

    I Was thinking about the Sony 985, actually.
    The major differences between the 985 and the ES 777 that I know of are:
    1) It does not have an RS-232 port, but as we've said, I don't NEED to label all of the disks, although it would be nice. Does this mean you can't cascade it with another mega changer?
    2) It's not an ES. I've just heard that this model has some quality issues (e.g. breaking down, stuck disks, etc) with some people.
    3) It's about $400 cheaper! Which is a very good thing. A street price of about $400 is hard to beat.


    Is it progressive scan?

    Can it play dual sided DVDs?

    How long does it take to play a disk if you just start the machine and enter in a disk number?

    One more question: can it play your CDs in shuffle mode? I was thinking that it would be kinda cool to have a video shuffle mode for background at parties. But that would not be used much.


    Brandon
     
  8. Brandon:W

    Brandon:W Well-Known Member

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    There is also a more "entry" version of the Kenwood Sovereign changer: the DV-5050M.

    Does anyone know what the difference is between the DV-5050 and the DV-5900?

    All I can tell is the 5900 has bass management, the 5050 does not. Oh... the 5050 does not have DVD-A playback.

    Any other differences I'm missing?

    Brandon
     
  9. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Well-Known Member

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    Excellent questions Brandon. I am with you here..I have my eye on the 985 as well now.
     
  10. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Well-Known Member

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    BTW as you may already know , Best Buy has it on sale for $359 and this weekend is a Customer appreciation weekend so that means another 10% off if you have the coupon.

    It probably would not be a bad idea to buy and an extra warranty thru BB for this item.

    A 4 yr ESP is $50 , for me I figure right at $400 OTD.

    Hmm, I wonder what the Good Guys is selling the 777 for? I sure wish the ES model came in black though.

    Lastly, I wonder if Sony warrantys the units available on Ecost right now for $550 shipped?

    I could basically put every disc I own in this player and have room to expand, that would be very cool!
     
  11. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Well-Known Member

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    Brandon, what is the 5900 going for and do you have any reviews on it? Also what is the warranty?
     
  12. Brandon:W

    Brandon:W Well-Known Member

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    James,

    That's a great idea - using Best Buy and getting the extended warranty. At least for the 985 (what with all the "poor" reviews: Amazon.com's 985 Reviews )

    I don't think the 985 plays dual sided disks, though. The Kenwoods do. But how many dual sided DVDs are there?

    I also just noticed that Kenwood makes no claims that these units will play any writeable DVD disk formats. Hmmm.

    Crutchfield is selling the 5900 for $900 (refurb) and the 5050 for $600 (refurb). I can't seem to find a non-refurb anywhere, though. And the warranty is 1 year. You could probably find them cheaper than Crutchfield, though.
     
  13. Grant B

    Grant B Well-Known Member

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    I have had my Sony for 5 years now without a problem.
    I plan on using it for Full framed discs (Between MPFC, the prisoner, the simpsons and old Marx Brothers and Buster Keaton...it's almost filled!) and the new ES for SACDs and Movies....now how to tell the wife my plans without divorce preceedings [​IMG]
     
  14. Brandon:W

    Brandon:W Well-Known Member

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    Grant,

    It sure looks like a good player.

    Do you know the main differences in the 985 and the ES?

    How do you like the picture quality?

    Brandon
     
  15. Jimi C

    Jimi C Well-Known Member

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    my kenwood soverign dv5900 has no problems playing dvd-r disks.. i would imagine that the mega changers would have no problems with them either.. but that being said, roumer is Kenwood is going to be completly revamping the soverign line soon, so i would wait. The current Kenwood mega changers have a history of being unreliable, but they are supposed to have great video quality, i beleive they use the forudja chip.
     
  16. Brandon:W

    Brandon:W Well-Known Member

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    Hey Jimi

    I've heard that rumor too. And it sure seems like that is true based on how you can't even find any to buy new these days.

    But you wait weeks (or months) for it to come out - and then they are closer to retail price - which is about $600 more than the street price now.


    Maybe I should just buy the Sony 985 now (for about $350) and then upgrade to a new Sovereign when it comes out.

    Brandon
     
  17. Mike Keith

    Mike Keith Well-Known Member

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    I did a lot of research on these and if you want the ability to have any kind of real automated control the Sony CX777ES is the only choice.

    The Kenwood’s have very limited RS232 capability compared to the Sony and the mechanical mechanism IMO is better then any other mega-changer on the market. Never bother with the stock interface software on any changer, they are all terrible and unfriendly. Third party software interfaces are the only way to make these changers really do what they attempt to promise, and the Sony 777ES is by it’s self in this arena.

    With DVD Lobby up to 10 CX-777ES disc changers can be controlled, and for most discs it skips the intro menus and goes right to the beginning of the movie, this is the best feature I’ve ever experienced on a DVD player.

    The picture and sound quality is top notch, especially SACD's but the layer change is the worst I've ever seen (2 sec). Disc change time is up to 26 sec, just timed it with a clock, no scratches on discs ever.
     
  18. Brandon:W

    Brandon:W Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info, Mike.

    You can't use the Kenwood with Disk Lobby? I'd really like to use something like Disk Lobby, it looks really sharp, but I have a Macintosh computer, not a PC. Not as many choices (probably none with this type of application). Do you use Disk Lobby?

    Layer change is 2 sec? What do you mean by layer change?

    And 26 seconds sounds like a long time between disks. If you use it for changing CDs (which I realize it isn't optimized for) you would have quite a lag between shuffled disks/songs.

    Brandon
     
  19. Mike Keith

    Mike Keith Well-Known Member

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    I'm not familiar with Disc Lobby, I use Cinemar DVD Lobby and Main Lobby suite ($109 for both). The layer change I'm talking about is the interval time it takes to switch layers on any dual layer disc, witch is nearly all DVD's these days. It will pause for 2-sec when changing layers, most players do this very fast and you usually don’t notice, but you will notice with the Sony changers, mild annoyance to me, but some cant stand this.

    26sec is the worst case disc change when one disc is in slot #1 and the other is in slot #200 which is on the opposite side of the carousel.

    Cinemar DVD Lobby
    http://www.cinemaronline.com/mlserver.cx777es.html
     
  20. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Well-Known Member

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    Well my conclusion after reading up here and and AVS is that Sony is the way to go for reliability, I think one could not go wrong with either the 777 or 985.

    One guy at AVS stated that he got his 777s for $450 a piece...I am going to try and find a 777 locally ..if I can do it for under $500 I am buying one...the 985 sounds nice as well and the only scary review was that last one posted at Amazon so I think its pretty safe to say that is problem was unique.

    I bet the slow changing on the 777 is because its being gentle with the discs, I had the $200 Sony changer (forget the model # but its current) for a short peroid of time and I liked it quite abit. I am just now able to admit that I miss it.
    I sold my Denon 2200 and picked up an RP-62 with the Fli2200 chip for $30 on Ebay (its my second rp62) and am currently auditioning a Sony SCD-C595 SACD player ..I like the Sony better than the Denon already for multiple reasons.
    The only thing I really liked about the Denon was the looks , build quality, interface and picture quality..everything else sucked to some degree.

    I am definately staying away from Denon for awhile, I dont see myself getting a Kenwood after all the bad stuff I read about them over at AVS.

    The 985 is nice but id rather have an ES piece just because ..I know the Good Guys near me stocks it and will at some point knock down the price to one that I dont mind paying.

    I remember seeing the Kenwood 5900s at my local Good Guys , they had a few open boxed units for something like $500 marked down from around $1200 or so. I suppose if there is some chance that they have one of these left Id gamble on one for $200 or so. [​IMG] Maybe I'll stop by there today after work.
     

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