Is a Denon A1 DVD player worth it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jared W V, Dec 17, 2002.

  1. Jared W V

    Jared W V Auditioning

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    Is a Denon A1 DVD player worth it? I mean it's $2000.00US and it only plays one CD at a time. Will I really notice a difference in DVD movies and sound quality?
    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Jared, the US version of the DVD-A1 is the DVD-9000, and the '9000 sells for $3000-3500 USD here. So, if you can get a new 'A1 in a sealed box for $2000 USD, you should consider yourself fortunate. Is it worth $2000 USD? Only you can decide. I can say that the 'A1 got a good review in What Hi*Fi? (UK) a few months back. Their only criticism was CD playback, as they found the 'A1 to be lacking relative to comparably priced CD-only players. That doesn't surprise me. CD-only players usually beat comparably priced DVD players playing CDs.

    The US '9000 has garnered some positive reviews here, so do a search. The main complaint people have had is that early units displayed the chroma bug. Denon has since released a disc-based firmware upgrade that supposedly fixes the problem. I believe newer units are shipping with this upgraded firmware. Finally, I would imagine that the chroma bug affected early 'A1 units too.

    I wouldn't knock the 'A1 for being a single-disc unit. First of all, at $2000 USD and up, there are no changers. Secondly, at a given price point, a single-disc player is usually a better audio component than a changer.

    Overall, the '9000, which I have demoed a few times, is an excellent component. Picture quality and DVD-Audio sound are first-rate from what I have seen. Build quality is outstanding as well. I would expect the 'A1 to perform as well. My main issue with the '9000/'A1, assuming the chroma bug has been removed with the firmware upgrade, is that you are paying a lot of money and not getting SACD. By now, I feel the high price of the '9000/'A1 warrants both SACD and DVD-Audio playback. Just my opinion.

    If you feel the 'A1 is too expensive, you could step down to the Denon '3800. It sells for $1200 USD and offers many of the same features as the 'A1. The '3800 isn't built as well and is not as good a component, but it is a highly capable machine nonetheless.
     

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