5-disc changer: Panasonic DVD-F87? Toshiba SD-6915? Neither?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Richard_R, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. Richard_R

    Richard_R Auditioning

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    Okay, I have a number of questions, so bear with me...

    Well, my old Panasonic player died on me Saturday, and I've decided that I'd rather prefer it if my replacement was a 5-disc changer. The two models that have caught my attention most are the Panasonic DVD-F87 for $129 and the Toshiba SD-6915 for $179. They both can play some form of high-resolution audio (the Panasonic covers DVD-A plus HDCD, though the Toshiba can handle both DVD-A and SACD), but my setup can't really take advantage of that right now anyway, so it would be a future investment sort of thing. I also don't have a huge amount of money right now, so it's pretty much gotta be less than $200. I would go with the Toshiba as it has a bit more media covered, but I've been hearing some extremely iffy things about it. Should I go with the Panasonic then? Or is there another model worth looking into?

    Or...should I just buy a little Cyberhome unit for now and hold off on a true replacement until the holidays? (And is it just worth picking up one of those anyway for the multi-region ability?) OR...should I use this as an excuse to invest in a PS2? I don't have an HDTV and don't expect to get one anytime soon, but I do have a fairly nice 27" Phillips with component inputs (and a very modest Onkyo DD/DTS/PLII system). What do you think? I want to pick up something within the next couple of days, as I'm getting pretty antsy without a player!

    I'd really appreciate any advice on this. Thanks for your time!
     
  2. David Massey

    David Massey Agent

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    From what I've read Toshiba has some serious problems with their spindle motors, the older Panasonics did too but they have supposedly gone to an improved motor recently. I've found Panasonic's reliability to be better than Toshiba's myself.
     
  3. Rob Kramer

    Rob Kramer Second Unit

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    The Onkyo 701 is selling for a good price.




    Unless your willing to spend $1000, dont even consider it. The "proper" technology involved in high-resolution audio has yet to trickle down to inexpensive players. At your price range, your "future investment" will be outdated by next week.
     
  4. Richard_R

    Richard_R Auditioning

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    Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it. The 701 actually is a rather nice player, I've used it a few times. I hadn't even thought of that though. Definitely am now, however. And as for the whole "future investment" thing, by my standards, I think I'm going to be investing in already-outdated technology for a while yet. The trials and tribulations of being a poor college student. So I'm not too worried about that.

    After Blu-Ray/HD-DVD start making a splash, though, I might consider going to great lengths to get up to speed. But that'll require not making too many $1000 purchases in the meantime! But I think either the Onkyo or maybe the Panasonic would be the way to go for now. Thanks again!
     
  5. Rob Kramer

    Rob Kramer Second Unit

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    Also check the Onkyo 702. For some reason I see this being sold for less ($199 @ crutchfield) than the 701.
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Rob said:


    I fully realize a sub-$200 player won't have the very best components, but the above statement is quite bold & rather confusing. Care to expand on it?
     
  7. Nathan Hamstra

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    "Proper" technology would mean, at the very least, proper bass management, which don't get until the Denon 2200. I haven't followed the whole hi-def audio thing much, so I don't know anything besides that.
     
  8. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Bass management is either for people with too-small speakers or those that excessively worry about potentially audible bass frequency interference problems (unless you have a mega-dollar room correction system, there is no getting away from all bass problems, even with a 2.0 channel/no-subwoofer system--it is all just a matter of degrees).

    I am sure Toshiba's and Panasonic's integrated circuit divisions are fully capable of designing/manufacturing an affordable bass management chip for their players but knowing how easily these can be incorrectly configured by unknowing customers ("Yea, customer complaints? Your player fried my speakers!! Huh? Did I read the manual first? Er, uh, well, not exactly but it's still your fault!"), my theory is they are simply following surround music mixer's advice & allowing a full-range signal for each channel. And also avoiding possible electrical phase problems induced by cramming five channel's worth of bass into one channel already handling a bass signal itself. I don't mind if a movie's audio signal gets affected a little bit & a race between pods gets slightly distorted (how could we tell anyway?). But when we're talking about drums, keyboards, guitars and human voices? Uh huh, no thank you.

    I am sure a simple preset (80Hz xover/small sats/sub "on") analog-based circuit is within the marketing department's budget for these mid-fi players but I have not even seen that appear, again reinforcing my pet theory.

    I have seen how well (AHEM) certain other companies have handled b.m. duties for both hi-res formats and I have to say, it's a scary thing to behold.

    And since I am a believer in "large" speakers for audio reproduction, something with at least an 6.5" woofer (an 8" would be better though), and I'm not into esoteric/hi-end equipment, I have no qualms about saving a little more $$$ to buy five properly sized speakers for my music surround system.

    So while I think hi-res surround itself is doing fine, the b.m. systems need work.
     
  9. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    The Toshiba has major issues. I had mine eat a disc after 5 hrs and multiple audio dropouts.

    The bass management is awful in it.

    The Onkyo looks OK but their previous players don't do well on the secrets tests. It's really hard to get a changer nowadays because most of them are pretty poor at the $200 level.

    I think Yamaha has a nice DCDI changer at $399ish with SACD in it. I would suspect that is a solid piece. They have others as well but I don't think you'll be getting them near $200.
     
  10. Patrick.C

    Patrick.C Second Unit

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    eCost currently has refurb Onkyo 701's for $104.99.
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I have the F87. PQ is decent, sound is pretty good, DVD-A is not bad, but not spectacular (not as good as my 2200). Overall, what I expected for $120. My only complaints are that layer changes are terrible (but then I may just be spoiled by the 2200 in this regard), and some other very minor things like when I press a disc number it switches to the disc but does not start playing. Haven't played with the bass management yet.
     
  12. Richard_R

    Richard_R Auditioning

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    Thanks everybody for the input! Last night I managed to pick up the F87 for about $100, so I feel fairly comfortable sticking with that for the time being. While I would love to go with Denon (or the Onkyo 802, for that matter), this player seems like it'll suit me well enough for now. I'm certainly pleased with it so far. Thank you again!
     

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