Best DVD player for video and CD audio... (no DVD-A/SACD)

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Kevin C Brown, Apr 15, 2004.

  1. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I was thinking about this the other day. I have had a universal player in my system for almost 18 months. Yet I only have 4 SACDs and 1 DVD-A.

    I still have hope for the high res formats, but let's just say I want to step back in time for a progressive player that has killer video, and killer audio for DVD and CD. Used or new. What would recommendations be? I'd cap the denaro at $1000. No chroma bug, and a good layer change.

    Randomly, I always remembered the Cal Audio Labs players getting rave reviews in WSR for example.

    Maybe an older Sony ES machine? Denon 9000, 3800? (I'm admittedly not so familiar with their older stuff.) Marantz?

    I know Rotel has a really good rep for CD players.

    Secrets is a start, but must have really good CD quality too.

    Just curious! [​IMG]
     
  2. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Meridian 596 or an Arcam might be worth considering as an addition to your list.

    Cheers,
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The older interlaced Sonys had great audio, but compared to today's video, they don't stack up. I think it's a tall order. I'd consider Arcam too, but for their better DVD player, you are going to end up with DVD-A.

    I actually was not all that impressed with either of the last two top Marantz DVD players the 8400? and I forget the other model (and I'm a Marantz fan [​IMG] ). I compared them both back to back and preferred the sound of the less expensive player, and video didn't look any better than my 2200.
     
  4. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Kevin: I have also read many reviews saying how good Arcam's dvd players are at playing CDs (& no, I'm not contributing this advice here just because Arcam is involved with dvd-audio. Because even if all the surround formats survive, I still believe the huge majority of music will only be available in Compact Disc form & which is why I bought my own CD-only player a couple of years ago).

    And I also used to read good things about the CAL players but I think they went out of business a couple years ago, so if they need service, or especially parts, well.........

    But what about just buying two separate players? Then you wouldn't have to worry about (potential) problems with the video cicuitry introducing nasty EMI into the audio circuits......or any other possible compromises a manufacturer might have to make with a dvd + CD player.

    And I've found many dvd players are quite frustrating to use as far as CD playback is concerned: slow loading times, slow track-skip/track-scanning times, no programability/random/delete track/time mode functions (and if it does, many times to use it you have to pull up an on-screen menu--bleh). And most times the front panel display shows very little information for CD playback and almost never do they have some sort of track calendar, something I personally find very useful (since I'm more of a visually-oriented person).

    But if you just put the CD in the tray, push play and that's it, please ignore the above paragraph. [​IMG]

    LJ
     
  5. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Kevin, are you still ruuning the Lexicon pre/pro? Surely those DACs are not too shabby. Would a sub $1000 player have better DACs?

    As for video, I absolutely love the Denon 1600, but the layer change is piss poor. Although on many discs, they seem to have the change in a place that just does not call attention to itself. Then again, with Monster's Inc, the change is not a pretty thing.

    BGL
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I have a separate player for CDs and DVDs. I don't mind how my Denon 2200 sounds for CDs (fast player, track-track access is great), because my Marantz' DACs are better, but my CD's DACs also sounds better with redbook. For what you are asking, I'm guesing the price tag is not going to be very low, so I'd say it would likely be worth your while to just look at something like the Denon 2900, whether you use SACD/DVD-A or not.

    I agree with Lance, I like having the track listing on the front panel.

    I really liked the Arcam CD-73 I was auditioning speakers and integrateds with. Great sound, well built, but the remote left a bit to be desired. The guy at the shop sort of said something similar to what my thoughts already were, and what Lance is saying as well: Get a great CD player for redbook, and look for a DVD with the level of video you are looking for, that is acceptable for hi-res audio as well.
     
  7. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Arcam, will have to get educated on them. Cool.

    Brian: yes. [​IMG] So it'd mostly be for the transport.

    I'm probably still going to wait for one of the 5900/5910/3910, but I was amazed that if I *didn't* want to keep DVD-A/SACD in my system, I didn't really know what to fall back to.
     
  8. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Kevin,

    I know someone selling a Sony XA777es SACD player for about 1200...this would be a great music playback machine. There are plenty of good, very thin/rack-space friendly DVD video players under 200 (Panasonic XP30, Liteon DVD-2001, more models always coming as video/scaling technology changes).

    Your MC8 should have decent dacs, but whether it will maximize your 2 channel performance (with a highend player) is another story.

    I kind of like this 2 channel path: Proceed transport > Proceed AVP2 > Proceed Amp5 (L&R channels) > Main Speakers
     
  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Yeah... I've thought about some of the older Sony ES CD players... Do the dual player thing with one of the Panasonic DVD players....
     
  10. Elliott Willschick

    Elliott Willschick Second Unit

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    I was wondering, does it matter about the quality of the player you use if you hook it up to the DACs in your receiver? I am in the same boat as Kevin as I'm looking into getting a CD player because I've been using my DVD player for double duty.

    Thanks
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Elliot, it matters a lot less, but it really depends on the receiver in question. Even as a transport, it is still to your beneft to get a reasonably good quality player in the long run.
     
  12. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Kevin: this might be under your price limit but I saw this Sherwood single-disc CD player on Sherwood's site a few months ago and finally have a reason to post a link to it:

    Sherwood CD-7080R MSRP is $339.95

    Back in the mid 90s (I know, that's way back but just for reference purposes.....) we sold Sherwood components & never had any complaints or major reliability problems--IMO they were built as well as Pioneer's equipment. Unless 1-bit DAC technology has changed, the multibit convertors this Sherwood player uses is significant because multibit DACs are usually considered the better choice for conversion purposes. But they are more expensive since their manufacturing tolerances are much tighter so we don't see them much in mid-fi equipment anymore.

    It's kind of cool to see Sherwood still using the Analog Devices brand of chips--IIRC in the HT receivers we sold they used an analog-based Dolby Pro-Logic decoder that was considered by quite a few industry people to be superior to most of the digital-based DPL decoders being used at the time.

    LJ
     
  13. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Cool.
     
  14. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    Anywho, right now the best option below $1k seems to be either the more specialized units (Arcam, Rotel, Etc) or the Denon 2900, and maybe even the Denon 3800 if you have the chroma bug fixed. Good Luck



    Ricky, I am interested. Please IM or email me if this is still available. Thanks
     
  15. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Kevin, I've kind of settled on the following setup. I use the Onkyo DV SP800 mainly for audio (SACD, DVD-A and CD) transport and just recently got a Yamaha C920 for video (it does DVD-A as well but I only use that in 2 channel going to the Soundstage).

    From what you said though, getting 2 players may make the most sense. You could get an ebay xp30 (they go for closer to $300 I think) and then a dedicated CD player like a Cambridge Audio or a Music Hall.....

    http://www.audioadvisor.com/store/ca...Cat=CD+Players

    I actually sold a Cambridge Audio 300se cd player after getting the SP800 because the SP800 was just as good for me. CA also sells a DVD player that should be very good CD player. I don't know how good the video is though.

    If interested in a C920 for $275 (with full Yamaha warranty) pm me.
     
  16. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Funny, talking to Ricky got me thinking about the two-player combo too. One for DVD video (cheap Panny or something), and one for CD audio. (I've always liked Pioneer's audio quality, just not a big fan of the chroma bug, layer change, or poor deinterlacing.)

    But I just looked at the Secret's ratings for layer changes, and the highest rated player that completely passes, is the Denon 2900... So maybe I'm back to a "fixed" 5900/5910/3910/successors to the 2900 or Yamaha 2300...
     
  17. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    The XP30/Denon1600 go for 200-300. The players that upconvert to 1080i also cost less than 300. IMO, short of the 1400+ Denon 5900, these are the best players for DVD video quality.....and I want the best picture quality for all my DVDs all the time...whether the layer change takes 0.4 seconds, 0.2 seconds, or even zero seconds would stop that from happening [​IMG]
     
  18. JamesGL

    JamesGL Stunt Coordinator

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    Demo a NAD T513
     
  19. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Ricky, the Yamaha C920 is basically a Panasonic cp72 platform with a Yamaha build quality, so it should be right in the same ballpark for video as the xp30/1600. I thought about getting an xp30 or 1600 but I stumbled on this machine and I liked the 1 year warranty. It is clearly a better video player than the Onkyo SP800.
     
  20. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    JT mentioned that there's a Zenith that can do 1080i from the component video outputs. I thought this wasn't allowed? Any other players do that? That would be something to be interested in.
     

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