Best 5-6 disc DVD changer for around $300?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Thomas_Berg, Sep 14, 2001.

  1. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    can someone please recommend a good 5-6 disc DVD changer (not progressive scan)? i bought a Marantz CC-4000 and like it, but i'm wondering if i should've gotten a dvd changer instead so i can play dvds. i now use the dvd player in my computer and an Onkyo 595. when i move to getting a decent tv, i'm gonna need an external dvd player and i figure i can just have the cd changer also play dvds.
    ...and i'd like to keep it around $300 if possible. thanks!
    (one more question: how long before we see dvd-audio changers in this price range?)
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  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I would expect a dedicated CD changer such as the Marantz CC4000 to be a better CD player than a DVD changer when using the analog outputs. With a DVD player, however, you would probably use either the optical or coaxial digital output, so it might not matter so much. Of course, a changer with a good DAC and analog output stage gives you the flexibility to choose between the analog and digital outputs for music. At the price point of $300, however, I doubt you will get a DVD changer that will be great for music when using the analog outputs. Still, a DVD changer provides nice flexibility when watching movies, so I'll make some suggestions.
    For DVD changers at $300 or less, check out the Pioneer DV-C503 and the Sony DVP-C670D. Both have been discontinued, but are still available and are excellent players. You should be able to find the 'C503 for $250 or less. My girlfriend has it, and it is a very good player. It's pretty basic as far as the remote and features are concerned, but it's a good performer. The build quality is very good for the price, as is the picture quality. The 'C670D sells for around $280 these days (the original retail price was $450). I bought one over a year ago and have been very pleased with it. It has many more features than the Pioneer and has a better remote. Also, the 'C670D is smaller. The picture quality is very good. I would go with the 'C670D over the 'C503, but the latter is good for the price.
    As for a newer model, check out Sony's DVP-NC600B. It came out only a few months ago, but the price has already been reduced from $300 to $250 at Crutchfield and brick and mortar stores. My guess is that Sony is making way for DVD/SACD players (more below). I haven't used the 'NC600B, but it looks to be loaded with features like my 'C670D and other past Sony DVD changers. From what I have seen in stores, the build quality of the 'NC600B is good for the price.
    If you can spend a bit more money, you might want to wait for the Sony DVP-NC650V SACD/DVD carousel changer. Crutchfield is taking pre-orders for it for $400. Mail-order dealers such as Oade Bros. or J&R Music World, both of which are authorized Sony dealers, should have it for less. Here is a link to the 'NC650V at Crutchfield:
    http://www.crutchfield.com/cgi-bin/S...VC650V&o=M&a=0
    As for lesser expensive DVD-Audio changers, Panasonic canceled it's budget model. However, JVC recently released the XV-FA90BK/XV-FA95GD seven-disc model that Crutchfield and brick and mortar stores are selling for $380. I would expect OneCall and J&R Music World to sell it for less. These models, which only differ by chassis color (black or gold), use a proprietary carousel that holds seven discs instead of five. I've seen the gold model at Best Buy, and the build quality is average. The chassis is thin, and the carousel mechanism appears flimsy. Of course, this is my opinion. Also, the chassis is rather deep, so one would need a deep shelf for it. Hopefully other budget DVD-Audio changers will be coming down the pike to compete with Sony's SACD/DVD models. For example, I would like to see a DVD-Audio changer from Pioneer. I would expect Pioneer to make a better player than JVC. Just my $0.02.
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  3. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    thanks for the reply.
    i am using the digital out on the CC-4000, and would do the same for dvds on a changer. question still remains, "is DVD-A better than SACD?" or which to choose?
    i have only heard DVD-A and love 5.1 channel music. is SACD the same way, and what varieties of titles are available on each format? opinions? i do want one (or both!) of these formats and would like to get a player that plays DVD-Video plus DVD-A and/or SACD. (btw- i dont want to buy from JVC again--bad past experiences and sub-decent build quality)
    thanks again
    [Edited last by Thomas_Berg on September 15, 2001 at 01:02 AM]
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    In case you aren't aware, you have to use the analog outputs for DVD-Audio and SACD. In the case of multi-channel playback, that means using the 5.1-channel outputs on the back panel of such players. So, make sure you have 5.1-channel inputs on your pre-amp or receiver before jumping into either format.
    As an owner of both DVD-Audio and SACD players, I would suggest you go with SACD if you are going to choose between the two formats. DVD-Audio represents an improvement over CD, but the lack of DVD-Audio titles and the overall better fidelity of SACD makes the latter the one to choose in my opinion. The long-time disclaimer that bears reminding is that there are no recordings common to both formats and different components are usually being compared. So, making a truly meaningful comparison between the two formats is impossible. In the end, you have to go with what you hear, and from what I have heard, SACD is the way to go. I have a Sony SCD-777ES SACD player (no multi-channel SACD playback) and a Technics DVD-A10 DVD-Audio player in my home theater room. In comparing stereo SACD to stereo DVD-Audio, I prefer SACD. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I feel SACD is the better choice. There are far more SACDs available, and in your price range, I would much rather have the Sony DVP-NC650V five-disc DVD/SACD changer than the JVC seven-disc DVD-Audio changer.
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  5. Fletcher

    Fletcher Extra

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    I have the Sony DVP-NC600B and I think it is great. I considered the Pioneer mentioned above and the Sony. The Pioneer is a little cheaper but it is also older. I figure the fact that the Sony model just came out might mean a little more refinement and the newest technology. If the new Sony didn't read CD-Rs, then I definitely would have bought the Pioneer. Fortunately Sony finally caught up and the ability to read CD-Rs is tricking into their players. I actually bought the Sony when it first came out for $300 but like mentioned above, I think you can get it for $250 now a days. It sounds like there are some nice players coming out in the near future if you are willing to wait.
    Fletcher
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Fletcher, yeah, it is about time that Sony included CD-R compatibility in all of its DVD players. As for 'NC600B, Best Buy, Circuit City, Crutchfield, and the like sell it for $250. It looks to be a nice changer. Build quality is better than I expected when I first saw it at Circuit City.
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  7. DaleB

    DaleB Stunt Coordinator

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    Look for deals on the Pioneer DV-C36 Elite. I would not recommend it for progressive video, because it does not have 3:2 pull down. Don't confuse it with the non-Elite Pioneer models, (503, etc.) as this one does share many circuits with the higher priced Elite models.
    But for standard video and CD & DVD audio quality it is hard to beat for the price. In audio mode it turns off the video circuitry.
    Will play CD-Rs, CDV, etc.
    Only downside I found is the tray does not fully extend for loading but its a very a smooth, fast, and quiet mechanism.
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Dale, good point about the Pioneer Elite DV-C36. I've seen it in stores, and it looks like a nice player. Too bad it doesn't do 3:2 pulldown, however. For less money, one can get the non-Elite Pioneer DV-C603, which is a semi-progressive-scan version of the DV-C503. The 'C603 too lacks 3:2 pulldown, and I would expect the Elite 'C36 to be the better audio component. Just depends on how much you want to spend.
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