$1K quality DVD player with the works?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Colin Dunn, Aug 8, 2002.

  1. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    I'm just about ready to upgrade my DVD player from the first-generation Pioneer combi-player (DVL-700) I have been using.

    Here are my criteria for a new player. I would prefer a single-disc player with the best possible audio/video quality in this price range.

    Price: $1,000 or under (may go slightly higher if I must to get everything I want, but definitely won't be shopping in the $3K+ range...)

    Sound formats: SACD (2- and multi-channel), DVD-A, plus the customary Dolby Digital/dts/PCM

    Video features: progressive scan (preferably through deinterlacing, not flags), no chroma bug

    Associated equipment: Classé SSP-50 pre/pro and Sony VPL-W10HT projector

    What players should I put on my short list??? I've read some stuff about Denon and Pioneer, but the Denon lacks SACD, and the Pioneer has an uncorrected chroma bug. Other ideas???
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Colin, the Pioneer DV-47A is the only DVD-Audio/SACD player available in your stated price range. Marantz will be releasing the DV-8300 for around $2000 shortly, and it will do both DVD-Audio and SACD. However, it is said to be based on the '47A, so it is not clear whether it too will show the chroma bug. Otherwise, Pioneer soon will be releasing the '45A for around $500 and the '47Ai for around $1200 retail. The '47Ai will replace the '47A. As with the Marantz unit, it is too early to tell if the new Pioneer players will show the chroma bug.
     
  3. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    I've been doing some reading on this forum and others, and several people are criticizing the video performance and build quality of the Pioneer. Maybe I would be better off getting a Denon 3800, foregoing SACD, and then adding it later with a separate CD/SACD player...

    Or are the problems with the Pioneer more theoretical than real???
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Colin, I have not used the Pioneer '47A extensively. I can tell you that in my opinion, the build quality is seriously lacking for $1000-1200 ($1200 is retail, $1000 is Tweeter's price). The '47A doesn't have the feel of an Elite component. It weighs around 11 lbs. As for the video quality, it has been said that it shows the chroma bug.
    You might consider going with the Denon '3800. Denon recently release a software-based firmware upgrade to remove or possibly mask the chroma bug. I imagine that Denon will begin shipping the '3800 with the upgraded firmware, but I don't know when that might happen or how you might know if your player has the upgraded firmware installed.
    If you do get the '3800, you could get a Sony SCD-C555ES SACD/CD changer for around $600 by mail. It originally retailed for $1700, and it is a steal at $600. Check it out on www.crutchfield.com .
    You might also consider going with the forthcoming Sony DVP-NS999ES progressive-scan DVD/SACD player that will retail for $1200. The problem in going with the 'NS999ES is that if you do want to go with DVD-Audio at some point, you will end up with two DVD players. I like the '3800/'C555ES route better myself.
     
  5. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    2 great players at around your budget($1200 MSRP actually, but with discounts/deals you might get it closer or even under) are the Denon DVD-3800 and the newly announced Sony DVD-NS999ES. The Denon does everything except SACD, while the Sony does everything except DVD-A.

    Other than that, if you want universal players, Pioneer and Marantz makes some great ones as well, but I'm not sure of the price.
     
  6. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Colin,

    My recommendation is to get the Denon 3800 for around 900.00 authorized - which I've finally heard, and it is the best DVD-A unit I've ever listened to to date. Spend another 325.00 and get the Sony 222es SACD changer from Oade Brothers if they still have them in stock. The total for these two will be about 1,250.00 shipped - right in your price range. I currently couldn't think of a better combo for the money, and the 222es should be able to easily match the SACD performance of any of SONY's SACD/DVD player combos, especially since the 222es is strictly an audio only unit. Keith is corrrect that the 555es is a little better, but you'll spend a few hundred more for it. I have a 222es and couldn't be happier - Great sound and very good build quality.

    Reg
     
  7. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    Just went and looked at the 222ES on a Web site, and contrary to my original assumption, that's actually a multi-channel SACD unit. Also saw that someone's offering a modification to improve the sound quality (a possible upgrade path).

    So it looks like the Denon 3800 + Sony 222ES is a possible option, though at about $1,400 for both it is significantly more expensive than a DV-47A. (Not to mention then I need two 6-channel inputs...)

    If only Pioneer had put a good video section in the DV-47A ... they could have sold at a higher price point (say up to $1,500) and this whole thing would be a no-brainer...
     
  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I've auditioned the Pioneer and I think it's a great sounding unit. At least for CDs.
     
  9. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Colin,

    If you call 6th ave, I am sure you can get the Denon 3800 and Sony 222es together for around 1,250.00 shipped - considering they still have the 222es. They are an authorized Sony and Denon dealer, and I have heard a few people mention here that they got such a great deal on the 3800, that they couldn't list the price here on the forum. Their website only lists full msrp for products, so you'll have to call and tell them you're from the HTF. BTW, the deinterlacing on the Denon is said to be the BEST that's out there, and this coming from some HTF members comparing it directly to their outstanding RP-91's.

    Reg
     
  10. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    I visited a dealer today and tried out a Denon 3800. Now I wonder if there will be any advantage of its (supposedly) superior de-interlacing on my projector (a Sony 10HT).

    The 3800 I saw had not been updated to correct the chroma bug. Now I know why people gripe about this bug; it creates very visible distortions in color images, and effectively lowers the resolution of color images significantly. If I eventually do get a 3800, the firmware update will be a MUST...

    At the dealer, they had it connected via progressive-component inputs to a Sharp 9000 projector. The Sharp appeared to be similar to my Sony, a hi-def capable LCD unit.

    The combination of scaling and progressive scanning done by the player and projector resulted in blocky-looking curves and edges. A particular torture test: the distant shot of the American flag in the Video Essentials montage. On a good scaler, when that image is paused, the edges will be smooth. But on the Denon 3800 / Sharp 9000 combination, the edges were very blocky.

    Any idea how much of this blockiness is attributable to the Sharp projector's built-in scaler? The effect was visible using interlaced S-video or progressive component inputs.

    I also wonder if I will have the same problem on the Sony 10HT. The Sony's LCD panels are 1365x768 resolution, so a 480p source would be scaled again in the projector. If the projector's scaler is the limiting factor, then I'm not sure I'd benefit much from the upgrade (except for the additional sound formats).

    Any thoughts on this???
     
  11. stephen_z

    stephen_z Stunt Coordinator

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    Isn't the Marantz 8300 "do-it-all" player coming out with an MSRP of $1500?
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Stephen, that's the word.
     
  13. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    According to what I've read, the new Marantz is actually a Pioneer DV-47A that has been tweaked/enhanced for better audio performance (but no changes on the video side). But given that the video performance of the DV-47A has faced criticism (improper deinterlacing, chroma bug), I had knocked the Marantz off my list... [​IMG]
     
  14. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    Did a little more research and read a little bit about the Kenwood Sovereign 5700. It uses the Faroudja/Sage chipset, which should be free of the chroma bug and offer excellent scaling/deinterlacing support.

    Any word on the DVD-A sound quality of this unit? And what are the ergonomic annoyances that people so often mention with this player (other than the usual bad remote - an affliction even the Denon 3800 suffers)...
     
  15. Dzung Pham

    Dzung Pham Second Unit

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    Colin, you may want to also consider the Denon DVD-1600. It probably has similar audio/video quality to the Kenwood without the carousel. You could then afford to pick up a Sony SCD-C555ES SACD player for right around your price range. There's a review of the 1600 here.
     
  16. Jeffrey Chin

    Jeffrey Chin Second Unit

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  17. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    What about the Panasonic DVD-H2000 at 37 plus pounds with aluminum diecast construction? It even comes with a seperate remote that adjusts each color individually (RGB), but no SACD audio.
     
  18. ManojM

    ManojM Stunt Coordinator

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    Colin,
    The Kenwood has pretty good DVD-A, is only so-so for CDs, excellent as a transport. The video quality is excellent. The Denon 1600 is not quite the match for the Kenwood in either picture or DVD-A quality. The Marantz has excellent audio quality for all the formats, a very enjoyable player, and is distinctly mediocre for video quality. My ideal choice would be the Marantz 8300 for audio, and a separate player for video, for which I would pick the Philips 962 (excellent picture quality) or the Kenwood 5700 if you wanted a carousel. Unfortunately, you will be in the $2K range, but you will not need switch boxes or extra cables. Good luck...
     
  19. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Bill, the Panasonic 'H2000 never got a lot of bandwidth here for some reason. I don't think it has anything to do with price because pricey players like the Denon DVD-3800 and '9000 have attracted a lot of attention here. I remember reading comments either here or on another forum about a year ago stating that the 'RP91 provided a better picture than the 'H2000. That's hard to believe, but if true, I guess that could explain why the 'H2000 hasn't been talked about much.
     
  20. Gary Thomas

    Gary Thomas Second Unit

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    I hope manufacturers are listening! Obviously nobody yet makes a high end dvd player w/o chroma bug, DVD-A + SACD + Bass Management, Progressive scaling / zoom, etc.

    I just got the Denon 1600 & it is absolutely the best dvd player I've had yet. I'm comparing to the following previously owned players: Panny 91, Tosh 4700, Pioneer, Sony, etc. I have not tried the Kenwood, but I'd have a tough time believing it's much better.

    The picture is superb, surpassing the processing of my Pioneer Elite 610 tv. I had previously used the interlaced outputs of dvd players...until the Denon.

    DVD-A is also superb & very easy to use vs. my previous players.

    As far as adding a second component for SACD...how would you handle the second set of inputs??? I've only read of a few very expensive receivers that have two sets of external inputs.
     

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