Best DVD DACs for < $1000 ?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Cooper_B, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. Cooper_B

    Cooper_B Agent

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    Hello,

    After upgrading the speakers in my 2.1 channel system to Axiom M22's, I have realized how weak the DACs are in my Panasonic RP82 DVD player. When I popped in a Dream Theater concert DVD, I was so bothered by the sound quality that I actually thought something was wrong! I am very critical in music listening, especially when I've heard their recordings on CD as well. I was so annoyed that I ended up putting the CD version of the concert into my CD changer, then painstakingly synchronizing the video content to the audio. It was an astonishing boost in clarity, resolution, and bass quality.

    I'm sure that part of the sound quality difference stems from the compressed dolby digital vs. the CD, but I think the DACs play a larger role. The reason I've stayed stereo so far is that it's prohibitively expensive to do otherwise. My Yamaha CDC-775 cd changer cost me ~$275, yet it's DAC's are probably superior to those found in receivers under $1000. Imagine trying to match the 2-channel DAC quality of a CD player when you have to have 6 channels for DVD-V/A, plus maybe another 6 channels in DSD mode, plus video circuitry, plus de-interlacing, plus decoding for dolby digital, DTS, DTS ES, DD EX, etc.

    SO, all I want to do is match the DAC quality of my Yamaha, but with a DVD player that supports progressive scan, DVD-audio, and maybe SACD. Anyone have experience with this? From what I gather, the Denon 2900 would probably be the best bet, and maybe the 2200 when it comes out. But are there any other contenders, and is something like the 2200 still likely to disappoint?

    I understand that these forums are mostly feature-driven, but right now I think the great "features" of my RP82 don't make up for its sonic lacking. At this point, I'd give up a little video quality to have it sound better.

    thanks in advance,
    Cooper

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    my system:

    Axiom M22 mains
    Velodyne CT-120 sub
    Harman Kardon HK 3470 stereo receiver
    Yamaha CDC-775 CD changer
    Panasonic RP-82 DVD player
    Samsung 27" 4:3 HDTV
     
  2. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    I think you're underestimating the issue of Dolby Digital vs. uncompressed PCM. You should see if you can get a home loan of a high end DVD-Audio player and try out that same disc. Maybe even A/B between the hi-end player and the CD on your Yammie.
     
  3. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    Cooper

    you didn't mention if the DD soundtracks were downmixed to 2 channels? you might be missing some audio if they weren't
     
  4. Cooper_B

    Cooper_B Agent

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    I really don't think it's the dolby digital. The music I mentioned was 2.0 dolby digital.

    I have done some brief listening to the RP82 with CD's, and it was a very big difference from my Yamaha. Again I will emphasize that the Yamaha 775 only retails around $350, which is around $75 more than the lower model. The only difference between the 775 and the cheaper 685 was the DAC. This is why I'm not shocked that a $220 DVD player is such a drop in quality.

    Can any one with experience with the Denon 2900 comment here?

    -Cooper
     

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