New guy question - What makes a Denon 2900 better than a Pioneer Elite 45A?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Rodon, Jun 10, 2003.

  1. Rodon

    Rodon Second Unit

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    I am very new to HT technologies. Both of these players play DVD Audio and SACD correct? Why would I pay more money for a 2900 over the 45a?

    Just so you know I have:
    Denon 3802
    7-ch Infinity Interlude setup
    36" Wega TV

    Not sure what I am looking for in the price differences.
    I would like to move up to a DVD-A and SACD player.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Rodon, my sister and her hubbie bought a 45A and I played around with it a bit when visiting recently. I've played with the 2900 extensively (only for audio) at two different dealers. There's no doubt in my mind that the 2900 sounds better but it also reasonably good bass management for M/C. The Pioneer does not. I like the Denon faceplate controls better. I'm lukewarm on it's remote. I'm tough on remotes! I would of liked the Pioneer's alot if it was lighted but neither is the 47A/i's. Elite don't give no lite like the old LD one's did.[​IMG] I say an Elite player should have a lite, no matter what format!

    The 2900 is hardly the ultimate uni player possible but it certainly has alot fewer compromises than the 45a. I'm considering a 2900 myself. It may come down to if I like it's video quality? I really need a DVD player more than an audio player, but I'd like to have both. I'm waffling a bit. Best wishes!
     
  3. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    The Denon also costs about $400 more than the Pioneer... So it ought to perform better. [​IMG]
     
  4. Guy Robinson

    Guy Robinson Agent

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    There are so many variables when comparing one piece of equipment to another that the only way of actually doing a fair comparison would be to unplug one player and plug the other one in and leave all other things (speakers, wiring, room acoustics etc) consistent. The Denon should be better for the extra $400 but I have long since learned that more money doesn't necessarily mean higher quality. I was playing the new Steely Dan DVD-A and the E Power Biggs - Bach Organ Surround SACD on my 45a last night and it is difficult to imagine these 2 titles sounding any better.
     
  5. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    To me the bottom line is that the Denon 2900 and Yamaha S2300 dont have nearly as many comprimises as the Pioneer does, they both have better bass management, and better video performance.

    I have also heard some people complain about the build quality of the Pioneer, and while i cant speak for the denon the Yamaha s2300 is built like a freaking tank, colour me one impressed mechanical engineer..... i wish icould get a car built with the same quality.
     
  6. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    I think you could buy a 45A AND an ICBM for less than the cost of a 2900. And you would probably have better, more flexible BM to boot.

    I agree with Guy's last post....the 45A sounds pretty damn good with good software (Yes-Fragile or Becks Sea Change are current stand-outs). Note however that I do run an ICBM to sort out various BM issues.

    I may be wrong but I thought I read that the 2900 has the chroma bug; so does the 45A. That debate will go on forever on that, but I would invite anyone that KNOWS what the CUE looks like to come on over to my house, cue up Toy Story or Monsters on my 45A, and SHOW IT TO ME.

    In my rig it just is not there, and I took Don Munsil's advice on how to look for it and why I might NOT be seeing it. FTR, I do have a player that shows it EXACTLY like what the samples on Secrets say it should look like, so I do know what it should like like in my rig.

    In the deficit column, the 45A has grief with movies that are not flagged correctly as film or video. If you want to see what combing looks like, cue up 101 Dalmatians II on the 45A (make sure Pure Cinema is turned On). First time I saw this I thought WTF is that????? Turn off Pure Cinema, and it goes away.

    As for the 2900, there is a long thread at the AVS forum that centers around the fact that the 2900 has low LFE/Sub channel. The 45A has that problem too. You may or may not be able to solve that in your rig.

    I guess in the end its your ears and your eyes that need to make the call.

    BGL
     
  7. WadeB

    WadeB Stunt Coordinator

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  8. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    I could give a damn about bass management. What drives me is the sound.

    The Pioneer 45s and 47s sound great on DVD Audio but really stink on Super Audio due to compromised signal paths. Denon was careful to keep the DSD path clean and as a result, the 2900 sounds great on Super Audio CDs.

    You get better video performance as well like Wade mentioned. Silicon Image rocks! [​IMG]
     
  9. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  10. Rodon

    Rodon Second Unit

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    Denon even lists that the 2900 does not have the C Bug in the comparison charts for all their DVD players.
     
  11. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    The 47a had questionable Cirrus 24/192 DACs. The 47ai, however, has Burr Browns, same as the 2900. The 47a was reviewed by about 10 publications/web sites. There was exactly one that questioned its SACD performance: The Perfect Vision. So if you believe the other 9, or just the 1, that's up to you. [​IMG] BTW, the 47ai just got Product of the Year in Home Theater Magazine. And the 656, which is essentially the 45a without SACD, just got Product of the Year by What Hi Fi, a British HT publication.
     
  12. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  13. Jon_Welker

    Jon_Welker Second Unit

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    Man, if this didn't turn into a pi$$ing contest real quick. I own the DV45A and have been happy as hell with it, and I use it for CD's, DVD's, Multi Ch. music, MP3's, and soon enough DVD-R/RW's. That's all I'm gonna say, that I think it's a great player at a great price, which equals extraordinary VALUE.
     
  14. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  15. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Pissing contest? Naw, this isn't a pissing contest. This is just owners of certain players fighting for their children.

    If you want a REAL pissing contest, go over to the music forum and post something about new SACD or DVD-A releases. Now THAT would start a pissing contest!

    Note to Lee: KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF THE KEYBOARD![​IMG]

    Here's the deal here. I own a 45A. I will comment on what I see and hear with my player, in my rig. I don't own a 2900 and have never seen or heard one. I can't say the 2900 is better or worse than the 45A. I can however relate comments from reliable sources that are posted elsewhere. I consider the authors of the Secrets Shoot Out to be THE most reliable source on DVD player video performance. Even if they DID trash my beloved 45A.

    The 45A has the CUE bug. I know this because Sercrets tests for this, and they say its so. Have I ever seen the CUE with this player? No. Do some titles look better than others? Yes. Monsters looks great, Nemesis looks great. Star Wars AOTC looks soft. Is that my player or the transfer? I don't know. I also know that the 45A has big problems with titles that have flagging problems. 101 Dalmatians II combs, and combs badly. ANYONE would notice this.

    As for the 2900, here is a link to a thread that mentions the 2900 at AVS:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0&pagenumber=1

    Read the 5th post from Don Munsil. Anyone here think they know more about this than Don, Stacey, et al, please raise your hand and start your own shoot-out.

    You can't say a player doesn't have a partcular fault if controlled lab tests say otherwise. You can say "The player is reported to have XYZ problems, but I have not seen it". Nothing wrong with that at all. Most owners of 45A's would fit in that category.

    Personally, I am wanting a Denon 1600. That bad boy tied the mythical RP82.

    BGL
     
  16. Steve_AS

    Steve_AS Second Unit

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  17. Steve_AS

    Steve_AS Second Unit

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  18. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Heck you can always simplify your life and get the Philips 963 like I did. A wonderful piece, and plays all the DVD-A's that I own just fine....[​IMG]
     
  19. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Dennis,

    How can you play the hi-res track on the Philips 963 when it isn't a Universal player? You can access the DD/DTS tracks which are NOT hi-res and SOMETIMES the 24/96 stereo track (I think EMI and 5.1 Entertainment allows this), but for the most part, you need a DVD-A player to get 24/96 stereo and multichannel.

    Reg
     

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