DVD Benchmark's Denon DVD-5900 Review

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by JeremySt, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2001
    Messages:
    1,771
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Real Name:
    Jeremy
  2. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2002
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Since day 1 I'm saying that it's probably one of the best video AND audio player on the market right now. Finally, we have a ''jack-of-all-trade'' that is a ''master-of-all''.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I own the 5900 since 2 months already, and it still amaze me for PQ and audio quality. [​IMG]
     
  3. Espen Braathen

    Espen Braathen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 1999
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Since it fails completely for responissvness (the slowes menu navigation in DVD player history) it really can'tbe said to be that great. Not to mention the other issues which plagues this player. It does not look like Denon have improved much.

    Weak points include:
    * macroblock decoding error
    * bad remote
    * slow reaction time
    * set up menu is "crappy" designed, mp3/jpg navigation esp
    * no aspect ratio control for DVI output
    * various problems with the disc drive


    Espen
     
  4. Tom Grooms

    Tom Grooms Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2000
    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    and to add to that

    * DSD/PCM conversion for BM
    * no digital input, but listed as a feature on their website
    * IEEE 1394 compatibility issue (proprietary? or just broke)
    * It's freakin HUGE
     
  5. Vladimir

    Vladimir Agent

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sounds like nitpicking on fairly insignificant (IMO) details.

    1. Kris Deering concluded that macroblocking is NOT a result of any errors by the player but a problem with DVD recordings.

    2. Come on; the response time is not that slow. It is slightly slower than on other players but once you started using it, you stop noticing the delayed response very quickly.

    3. Disk drive problems are not that common and indeed appear to be a fault of QC at Denon. My 5900 has NEVER had a single sign of any of the reported drive problems. Never any noises, played EVERY CD, SACD (>30 titles), DVD-AUDIO (>30 titles) or DVD (many) without a problem. Of course Denon should take better care of their QC but once a player is assembled well, it does not seem to have any drive faults.

    4. Remote control problems – well, I take a better player with the worst remote on earth over a crappy player with the best remote.

    5. DSD/PCM conversion for bass management is indeed there but only a few people consistently overemphasize the effects of such conversion on sound quality while I am sure most would not even hear the difference. Anyone who claims that there is a huge difference when DSD is converted to PCM for bass management in 5900 should try to do a double blind test. These people are not likely to do it though because they don’t like to be proven wrong. But I would easily admit being wrong if the results of these tests would show a true difference in sound. To me personally, DSD/PCM conversion in 5900 doesn’t present any concern at all and I am very satisfied with the sound of SACDs.
     
  6. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    1,571
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's huge? Is this supposed to be a bad thing or something? The slow response time is surprising, but I sure as hell wouldn't pass up a great player because of this. Hey, I just think that the 5900 succeeds where it counts and that's delivering outstanding audio/video quality. Everything else can take a back seat as far as I'm concerned.

    Reg
     
  7. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2001
    Messages:
    1,771
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Real Name:
    Jeremy
    It may have a couple issues with the special features, but the bottom line is the picture quality is fantastic.
     
  8. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I hear Denon manuals aren't that great either. [​IMG]

    As far as the macroblocking, I just think it's unusual that I've really never seen negative comments about it regarding other players. Denon did *something* different with the 5900 that it shows up more often on it.

    DSD->PCM for BM. In a $2000 player, shouldn't have to do it that way. Most Pioneers don't and the later Sony's don't. Why does the 5900 have to? I suppose the good thing is that if you go full range, not an issue.
     
  9. Vladimir

    Vladimir Agent

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "DSD->PCM for BM. In a $2000 player, shouldn't have to do it that way. Most Pioneers don't and the later Sony's don't. Why does the 5900 have to? I suppose the good thing is that if you go full range, not an issue."
    -----------------------------------------------------

    If it bothers you so much, buy a Pioneer or a Sony and be happy. I just don't understand all this noise about the conversion. It is one thing when conversion is done poorly but it is a whole different issue when conversion is done so well (like in 5900) that it is nearly impossible to tell the difference. So it is just the knowledge of the conversion that makes some people become so critical. Couldn't you just not to think about the conversion and comment on the performance of the player? In the end, it's the sound that counts, not what's inside the player. If you don't like its performance, just don't buy it and critique the performance. So far, the concensus is that it sounds excellent even with conversion.
     
  10. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 1999
    Messages:
    3,134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  11. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2001
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I love this player and that's that. All the concerns are very minor and people seems to just make an issue out of it. There are a few more costly players with much worse problem(s) than this one. So what if the menu is a little slow, I didn't even noticed it, but I keep reading complaints about it. I don't even use its remote and I doubt many others do, those who has a player with this caliber is more likely to use a HTM or Pronto, etc...

    I agree Jeremy, the picture is more than just fantastic. And the audio is incredible. I bet a lot of people who complains about this player don't even own one or haven't had it long enough to put it thru its paces before they return it. Many are just repeating the negatives they've read here or there.

    However, I am a bit annoyed by the fact that the DVI deactivate itself whenever it doesn't detect an HDCP input from your TV or PJ and it has to be manually set again. Oh well, you'd have to put a DVD in the unit to watch a movie anyway so might as well set it at that point.
     
  12. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    1,571
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well said Daniel. I have a 2900, and had second thoughts before buying it because I kept hearing these issues from people on the boards. Well, I've had it for three months and it has performed flawlessly and has met most of my expectations. Yes, there are SMALL things I don't like here and there, but it's certainly wasn't worth passing up an otherwise great player over. I think any DVD player, regardless of cost, will have an issue somewhere.... you'll just have to decide if it's a deal-breaker or not.

    Reg
     
  13. Douglas_H

    Douglas_H Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2000
    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    67
    Trophy Points:
    110
    That which is not perfect is:
    EVIL[​IMG]
    For me, the 5900 is the sh*t.
    One unit that plays all formats and does them very well.
    Yeah, it's a plague.
    For $2k it's a bone fide steal.
    This thing has build quality that rivals receivers.
    I know some have had issues but gear like this has as much in common with PCs
    as with audiovideo reproduction.
    The complexity of tasks that the 5900 performs was unheard of 18 months ago.
    I've scratched my head a time or 2 during configuration and yes, the nav is tardier
    than it should but bottom line,
    when I load a CD or SACD or DVD-A or DVD-V and sit back,
    I'm all smiles.
     
  14. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2001
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Reggie,

    The 2900 is an excellent unit and it was the best universal player I had 'til the 5900 came along. Before that I had the Yamaha S2300 in my system for 5 months.

    When I first brought the 5900 home to compare against the 2900, I thought the improvement was marginal. I had it tough that night justifying the cost (of course I did not pay retail-haven't for awhile), but I was looking too hard. I patiently put it thru its paces for a week, then the improvement was quite noticeable in both video and audio over the 2900. Understand though that 2900 is no slouch either and it performed admirably. Furthermore, the DVI output was very important to me and the 2900 did not have that. If it did, I still may have the 2900 in my rack and it would remain there 'til HD-DVD comes along.

    Vladimir is also right about the DSD/PCM conversion, I too didn't notice any degradation. Sometimes specs doens't mean anything.

    I usually don't post much since I type slow and also most here seems very knowledgeable so I'm somewhat intimidated by that. But I feel that many are too quick to unfairly pass judgement on a piece of equipment before they really had a chance to examine or have an opportunity to enjoy it. In fact, they are doing a disservice to themselves.

    Douglas, I agree a 110%.

    Denon has given us outstanding players for the money or in its price range. Just look at the shootout, most top ranked players are Denon.
     
  15. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2002
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Usually, around 99% of the "nitpicker" are just plain "internet parrots" that only REPEAT what they read somewhere else on the net, and have never seen or heard the piece of equipment for real.

    I own the 5900 since 2 months. I have a 3800 at home to compare. I had a 2900 for a couple of days in hone.

    The 5900 plays EVERYTHING I'm trowing at him. Over 75 DVD-A and SACD, and well over 50 films till now. The menu navigation is slower then my 3800. So what? When I press play and listen, do I really care because it took 1/2 second more to get there? Macroblocking? I have 2 different TV that have been ISF'd at home and NEVER seen any macroblocking. Not once.

    And the macroblocking "issue" is not an issue anymore, and we all know it. it's an encoding problem, not a decoding problem. And this is confirmed by Kris Deering from Secrets that made a really detailed evaluation of the 5900. The 5900 came out with the HIGHEST rating at Secret since they did the first shout-out!

    Those guys at Secret knows pretty well what they are doing, and they gave to the 5900 the highest rating ever. Bar none. They are not "internet parrots", they are well-known and well-respect reviewers.

    And if you go read at AudioAsylum, alot of 5900 owners are comparing it, for real, IN-HOUSE, with some Sony and Consonance SACD players and the 5900 is keeping-up with them at 1/2 the price. So do we really care about the DSD/PCM conversion for BM "issue"?

    Stop nitpicking and repeating what you read. Pick one up at your dealer, them come back posting your impressions.
     
  16. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2001
    Messages:
    13,063
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well let me ask the 5900 owners out there about the one thing I really care about after picture quality. I'd gladly pay $2000 for a dvd player, but it has to have Aspect Ratio control, something that can't be that hard to do, since every now and then a cheap import has it, but I want good picture quality + aspect ratio control. Is that so much to ask?

    So, regarding the 5900:

    - does it allow you to play 1.33 material correctly if you have a tv that locks in full?

    - does it allow you to manually adjust the aspect ratio?(similar to what the old apexes did I believe) - I believe this is called pixel scaling.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  17. Douglas_H

    Douglas_H Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2000
    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    67
    Trophy Points:
    110
    George,
    I can't address the 1.33:1 issue as I have a projector, but as of now there is no scaling native on the 5900 when using DVI.
    Secrets has forwarded this and some other issues to Denon.
    Hopefully, we'll hear back after the holidays.
    As far as pq and sound quality, I don't know what components you have in your system but in order to step up you'd have to go the Teac DV-50.
    I heard 2-channel SACD and CD on the DV-50 and it was marvelous, but then again so was the rest of the system.
    The DV-50 does not have DVI out or BM/time delay for DVD-A or SACD. It's primary design is oriented to 2 channel.
    To me BM and time delay are critical and if DSD is converted to PCM or PCP or whatever to do this, I don't care. Maybe some can hear the conversion but I really think they're kidding themselves.
    I'm not so sure that at least some DSD recordings aren't subjected to some form of PCM processing somewhere in the recording-to-mastering process, but that's just my take.
    Another thing to consider, since the 5900 performs the audio config/processing in the digital realm, my options for a new pre/pro have been widened and simplified considerably as I no longer have to care about the audio DAC/ADC section in the pre/pro.
    HTH.
     

Share This Page