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questions regarding denon 2900 and 2200


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 OFFLINE   KennethF

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Posted January 09 2004 - 03:12 PM

i'm trying to decide between these two players, and i need a little assistance.

i plan to connect whichever one i purchase through a rotel 1066 processor via digital connection and let the 1066 decode the cd signal as well as the dvd surroung formats (dts, dolby digital, etc.). i'll also connect the player with analog connectors for dvd-audio and sacd.

the question(s) is: will it make a significant sound difference between the players regarding cd sound? i love the processing and resulting cd sound that my rotel 1066 puts out with my old sony dvp-s560d player (that will be replaced by one of these two) that is connected with a digital coax. if these two players have the same video processing, are the higher-end dac's in the 2900 worth the extra cost in my system? do the dac's actually do anything if the digital signal is sent to the 1066 for analog conversion?

and finally, which part of the players are responsible for dvd-audio processing? the aforementioned dac's that i am asking about, or a different dac? apparently, at least according to denon's site, the same second-generation sony sacd processor is used in both players.

if a significant enough difference will exist for cd, sacd, and dvd-audio, then i will get the 2900. if not, i'll get the 2200, and have less to explain to the wife.

sorry for the length, but i just couldn't describe the question any better!

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   BrianWoerndle

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Posted January 09 2004 - 05:06 PM

For CDs you will not hear any difference. But for SACD and DVD-A the 2900 is slightly better. Even though the SACD chip is the same, the 2900 might have slightly better that assists in the transfer to analog.

The 2200 and 2900 are very similar. It is probably not worth the extra cash for the 2900 unless you plan on doing a lot of critical listening for the hi res formats.
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#3 of 16 OFFLINE   KennethF

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Posted January 10 2004 - 04:19 AM

thanks for the response...

can you, or anyone else, tell me which part of the players are responsible for dvd-audio decoding?

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   dan-0

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Posted January 10 2004 - 04:59 AM

I was under the impression that for video the 2200 and 2900 were very close, if not identical. However, for CD the 2900 would be slightly better as it has better DAC's.

I don't have or have not devloped a very critical ear, so for me, differences have to be significant before I can tell any difference.

#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Greg>B

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Posted January 10 2004 - 07:25 AM

I believe the DAC decodes DVD-audio.

The 2900 uses the BurrBrown 1790 which is superior to that in the 2200 and is the same chip found in their flagship player the 5900. All DVDA and SACD must output through the DAC but I believe SACD is processed through another chip as well.

I use the analog outs from the 2900 for all my music playback because it sounds superior to my receiver. Yamaha DSP-A1.

The 2900 also has superior build quality and is a better candidate if you are interested in getting the player modded. Video quality is the same.

IMHO if music is your priority get the 2900, if you are more into DVD's get the 2200.

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted January 10 2004 - 08:44 AM

Quote:
However, for CD the 2900 would be slightly better as it has better DAC's.

If you play CDs via digital, which he says he will, the DACs are not used, so the sound will be essentially the same.

Quote:
All DVDA and SACD must output through the DAC but I believe SACD is processed through another chip as well.

There is a separate DAC for SACD.

I actually went from a 560 to a 2200 and DVDs do not sound much different, and I don't use either for CDs. There is a pretty significant improvement in video though. Well recorded DVD-A and SACD sound very good on this unit. SACD is not quite as clean with the 2200 as my 222ES, but it's performance is still very good. Since I already have the 222ES, I didn't feel the 2900 was necessary.

Quote:
if a significant enough difference will exist for cd, sacd, and dvd-audio, then i will get the 2900.

This is a tough one, because that depends on how critical of a listener you are. If you expect exceptional audio, I'd opt for the 2900. If you are just a casual listener, and will not really be buying lots of SCADs and DVD-As, the 2200 is probably a better choice.

What speakers are you using?
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#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Paul_Ptaaty

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Posted January 10 2004 - 06:44 PM

They both use the Sony CXD-2753 Second Generation DSD Decoder (used in numerous sacd players) which is then fed through the DAC. The Denon 2900 has a custom designed BurrBrown 1790 DAC, which was the top DAC made by texas instruments at the time. It is supposed to be very similar to the 1792 and should still be one of the best DACs made. The 2200 uses the 1791 DAC which is supposed to be much lower quality (used in the Pioneer 563 I think).

The differences will all be in the ear of the beholder. If the 2200 sounds anything like the pioneer 563 (awesome for sub $200 don't get me wrong!), the 2900 will sound hands down better on a quality system. However, to me there is no way to quantitively say if it is "worth it". But John Garcia's comments are right on. Get the 2900 if you are a critical DVD-A and SACD listener (also if you don't have a good standalone CD player the 2900 is great for redbook CD through analog out...you'll be hard pressed to find a reciever with a better audio section). However, if you will be mostly using the digital out, and are not a such a critical listener, the money saved will buy a bunch of media!


tirade:
Just to note, both keep dsd streams as such through processing unless bass management is engaged, then it is converted to PCM. Due to the 1-bit nature of the DSD stream, signal processing (including bass management, sound fields, time delay) will be difficult without converting to PCM first. Most sacds will have been "tainted" by being converted to PCM during some part of the cycle, but some do not. PCM is a great match for computers and processing....it was designed that way.

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   KennethF

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Posted January 11 2004 - 09:16 AM

thanks for all the replies. the 2900 is the machine i want, but i just wanted to make sure that the 2200 wasn't a 2900 with just a few less pounds of aluminum in the faceplate. when i get it, ill try both the analog and digital outs for cd, and then decide. im sure the rotel 1066 and 2900 will probably be pretty close.

by the way, im running definitive technology bp2000s, clr3000, and bpvx/ps with a rotel rsp-1066 and rmb-1095. currently im feeding them a signal from a sony dvp-s560d dvd player (hence the desire to upgrade!).

thanks again for the responses.

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Nick B

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Posted January 14 2004 - 09:24 AM

Like Kenneth, I am also trying to compare these two players. Unlike Kenneth, I will not be connecting whichever one I purchase through a rotel 1066 processor via digital connection and let the 1066 decode the cd signal as well as the dvd surround formats (dts, dolby digital, etc.)

Does the advice and opinions dispensed so far change if these units will stand alone and not be connected to any type of processor? BTW, I have a Denon 3803 receiver that I will be running things through. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Nick

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Brian_Dunstan

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Posted January 25 2004 - 03:46 PM

I'm in the same boat as Nick B....I have a 3803 and am considering both the 2200 and 2900 (primarily for movies). I would also be very interested in finding out if the above opinions change with the absence of a processor.

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   Luis M

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Posted January 26 2004 - 08:51 AM

"If you play CDs via digital, which he says he will, the DACs are not used, so the sound will be essentially the same".

I've heard so many people claiming this over the years now that I am bound to step in and deny it because It's simply not true. I have a dedicated Yamaha cd player and a toshiba dvd player (SD-2109) besides my reference player(the panasonic RP-91) All three players are connected via digital Coaxial to my Marantz 8200 and the difference in sound quality between the Toshiba and the Yamaha (in favor of the Yamaha) is short of incredible which clearly tells me that more than just the DACs have to do with sound quality, I am not talking about a small diference, I am saying rich, open, crystal sound with the Yamaha against Dull, lifeless and no sparkle sound with the Toshiba, both with the same brand digital Monster cables.

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Nick B

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Posted January 26 2004 - 09:14 AM

Luis:

I long suspected this to be true, but I am glad someone with access to such a variety of players has been able to confirm. Sure, DACs are a large part of the equation, but there are not the whole equation. I am sure that there are many factors at play. My original question still stands: How does the 2200 stack up against the 2900 IF WE WILL BE USING THE INTERNAL DACS, and outputting analog instead of digital?

Nick B

#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Luis M

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Posted January 26 2004 - 12:55 PM

Nick, I am getting the Denon 2900 this weekend and I can't wait. I wouldn't know the difference sound wise between the two players but everybody seems to suggest that the 2900 has better sound for critical listeners, How do you define a critical listener?, Who knows? but I guess I am one of them. From what I've read though, the 2200 and 2900 seem to be equals on video quality but if you listen to a lot of music, Most people suggest the 2900 for its better DACs.

I would suggest you get the 2900 if you have the money and you are really into music, based on many, many reviews (ecoustics.com) the 2900 is an exellent player on every respect with the exeption of regular cd but even there, they say the player is above avarage for a dvd player, unless you want to compare it like some reviewers to a $2,000 cd only player.

I am sure the 2200 is a great player and for its price is a steal but the 2900 is a better audio player all around or so they say.

#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Nick B

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Posted January 26 2004 - 11:18 PM

Thank you, Luis. Congratulations on your purchase. I am sure you will love it. Please let us know your impressions once you get things hooked up. A good narrative might be what pushes me over the edgePosted Image ! Take care and good luck.

Nick B

#15 of 16 OFFLINE   dan-0

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Posted January 27 2004 - 04:20 AM

Nick,

I just picked up the 2900 last week used, for $700, shipped. Seems to be the going rate lately. That might be an option for you, as that puts the 2900 at only $100 more then a 2200 new.

My previous DVD/CD player was a entry level, 5 year old, Sony player. My current receiver is the Denon AVR 2803. My speakers are NHT sub and satalites.

The CD difference is like night and day. Everything just sounds so much more open, each instrament seems to stand on its own. Background noise is virtually eliminated. I have the un-remastered CD, Hendrix live at the Fillmore. The static from the original recording seems to have dissapeared when played through the 2900, and Jimmies guatiar puts you in a trance with it's clarity. Right now I have the 2900 connected via digital coax. I'm awaiting shipment of my analog cables for CD playback. It will be curious to see if there is a noticable diffence when letting the 2900's DACs do their thing as opposed to using my AVR 2803.

DVD audio playback, likewise has taken a giant step forward for me. I used to have to run my center and surrounds a couple DB hot to get the effect I liked. With the 2900 everything sounds clearer, espicially the dialoug. I no longer have to strain to hear the dialoug, and the surounds have taken a much more active role, without being gimmicky sounding.

DVD video has likewise been improved, but not like the quantive leap I've experienced on the audio side.

In the last six months I've upgraded my receiver, speakers, sub, and cables. There was a very nice audiable difference when compared to my old system (now in the workout room). But the introduction of the 2900 surpasses those changes in it's ability to enhance my listening pleasure.

Suffice it to say, I'm very happy with my 2900.

#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Luis M

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Posted January 27 2004 - 07:37 AM

Dan, Congatulations on your new Denon, I am getting it this weekend and I hope I feel the same way you do.

"It will be curious to see if there is a noticable diffence when letting the 2900's DACs do their thing as opposed to using my AVR 2803."

I have never heard the AVR 2803 with music, or movies for that matter but I get the impression that once you hook up the 2900 through its analog outpus using the dvd's DACs, your music will open up even further. Can't wait for mine.





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