Pioneer DV-656A DVD/SCAD/DVA owners input wanted~

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Geoff L, May 18, 2003.

  1. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Those that have this player how do you like it over all and is there anything about it you dislike and care to share?

    Seems to have been given very good reviews over all (HI FI-Choice, etc) and it's prgressive picture is supposed to be very good. Allot of adjustment also with this player, do you find them useful?

    Build is less than impressive compared to it solid built slightly older brother, but given it's extremley affordable price point something has to give!

    How is it's interlaced performance for use with larger 4.3 RPT's 42" and above?

    Do you find it Zoom fuction useful also?

    Anything you might provide would be very helpfull....

    Regards
    Geoff
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Geoff, there is something you should know. The '656A sold in the UK is a universal player, meaning it handles both DVD-Audio and SACD. As I recall, it does not offer progressive-scan output. Other than that, it is the UK equivalent of the Pioneer Elite DV-45A sold in the US (the '45A is a progressive-scan player). The '656A sold in the US is a progressive-scan player with DVD-Audio. It does not handle SACD.

    See www.crutchfield.com for more on the US '656A. I have seen little talk about it.
     
  3. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Thanks Keith

    Boy this is confusing!
    How might I tell just what player I have when it arrives later this week if I follow threw????

    I "just" bought a Pioneer Refurbed DV-656A with warranty and (it states clearly progressive scan along with DVD-A and SCAD).....
    Pioneer USA Lot#121 if that means anything.

    Will email Pioneer USA about this and try and see if I can get a straight answer out of them. Easier said than done, I know!

    So did I get hood winked, or is it possible for the player to have what is stated?

    Crimmy I need to do some looking and reading to find just what this thing actually dose. Thought I had made a good purchase.
    Paid-110.00 delivered, it's not here yet just bought today!!!

    May stop payment if it is not what is advertized.....

    Geoff
     
  4. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I own the DV-656A!

    I bought it only for its dvd-audio capability, so can't help you much with the video portion--but on my buddy's new 27" Sanyo through its S-video input the picture looks very nice, though slightly softer than my Panasonic R31 player's image.

    Sound......

    Dvd-audio? I don't own any other dvd-audio player so can't really give a proper opinion other than this really lame one: dvd-audio tracks sound very good compared to the CD versions. How's that for a conclusive review?:b[​IMG]

    CD sound: Compared to my Technics SL-PG4 single disc CD player the Pioneer has slightly softer (again!) high frequencies. They are present, just not as pronounced. Cymbals for example lack the Technics' more "live" quality. This is consistent with my experience with the other Pioneers I own (receiver & a CD changer).

    * A "video off" button is provided.

    * CD track access is very quick (one of my pet peeves about any player is slow access; my R31 is a perfect example of this. Actually, what bothers me about the R31 is that the track number is way behind the actual track itself when pushing the "next" or "previous" button. Speed is O.K.--I just went & rechecked this since I haven't used it anymore for CDs for 1+ years.

    * Display numbers are large and bright (light blue), though the DTS and Dolby Digital icons are miniscule blips of red light from just 10 feet away. When whatever disc is stopped the words "CD" or "DVD-AUDIO" is displayed--a nice little touch.

    * There IS a screensaver--thank you Pioneer!

    * Front panel buttons have a good, solid feel to them.

    * Disc drive mechanism makes a soft whirring noise (almost like a car's turbocharger) when changing dvd-audio tracks; or when moving to different parts of a dvd movie disc. But it is not loud or obtrusive in any way.

    * Loading tray mechanism is kind of loud though--sounds like it uses large teeth on its gears(?).

    * Nice silver color. Paint has lots of metallic particles so it has a nice sheen to it. I.e., it is not that nasty grey color other brands exhibit. Player is quite thin & looks subtly elegant in my rack.

    * Remote is well designed--no problems here.

    * In addition to the normal 5.1 output jacks, there is a pair of stereo jacks (I've seen this on other brands too--why??).

    * On-screen menus are very logically laid out & quite artisitically done, with soothing soft orangie yellows and clear readable fonts in black--looks like "Arial" (some cheapo players use what looks like lettering from a 70's Pong game).

    I bought mine two months ago for $200 from Crutchfield. Right now it's going for $159 (Pioneer's MSRP is $329!).

    LJ
     
  5. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Thanks Guys

    After freaking out and a quickly sent email, to my suprise I got the answer to my question.

    It is the Progressive, DVD-A, US version with NO SCAD. bummer on the SCAD [​IMG]

    Wanted it for the DVD-A and SCAD but obviously did not do enough home work on my part.
    At the price, I am not going to complain and Lances great info "assures me somewhat" [​IMG] that it will serve it's purpose in the bedroom fine. If it dose not break that is, I see a few of these refurbed going threw Ebay now and then.
    Even from the same Lot# mine came out of, very interesting, could be meaningless but in this day and age who knows...

    Bad sign maybe, [​IMG] or [​IMG] we'll see!

    Again thank much guys as I had no idea there were different north south units and they are very different inside!
    What are they thinking when doing this, besides trying to confuse people.....

    Regards
    Geoff
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Geoff,

    Perhaps even Pioneer is confused. [​IMG] The US and UK versions of the '656A came out around the same time, and for the life of me, I can't figure out why Pioneer had to use the same model numbers for them. Anyway, my bet is that Pioneer's web site is incorrect. I seriously doubt they are taking UK units, configuring them for 110V, and then selling them in the US.

    Given that the player you ordered is a refurb, I hope you didn't pay too much for it. Crutchfield.com has new units in sealed boxes for $160. They dropped the price from $200 recently.


    Lance,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the '656A. At least one person in the US owns one! Seriously though, I have to say that I have not given the '656A serious consideration as a DVD-Audio player for my second stereo system simply because I hadn't read much about it. Have you tried playing DVD-Audio discs without a TV? If so, how easy is it?

    Lance said:

     
  7. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Brian, good point. That never occurred to me, as I never worry about Pro-Logic. [​IMG] That could explain it.
     
  9. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Keith: I use the Pioneer's "audio" button to switch bewteen the 5.1 and stereo tracks: two quick pushes is all it takes (the first push pulls up a small on-screen display explaining what's presently being played). However, keep in mind all I have is Warner dvd-audios now.

    DPL? I guess they figure 90% of receivers made the past decade include this so........

    Brian: can't you tell your receiver to just access its FL + FR inputs? On my Technics SA-DA8 I can, so I can use its DPL or DSP modes.

    LJ
     
  10. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Keith

    I did state what is cost but you may have missed it.

    110.00-Deliverd full Pioneer warranty parts/labor

    Prefered a refurb as many times refurbs are less likely to break.

    Also appears that it will show Kodak picture discs according to other US users. (Found at a site that someone linked in my Kodak picture disc thread)

    We have a use for this if it dose work. If it dose not, no harm done....

    Geoff
     
  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Lance, thanks for the information. It sounds like the '656A could work easily without a TV...at least with Warner DVD-Audio discs. I know some DVD-Audio discs from other labels can be trickly to navigate without a TV.
     
  12. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    I've got the Asian 655, which is supposed to be the equivalent.

    seems fine, although recently I've been watching DS9 (R2 PAL) and have found the picture rather soft and "jagged" on my 29" Wega, but this probably more to do with source than player -- movies seem fine.

    SACD sounds nice, can't say anything about DVD-A since I haven't got my mitts on any such discs yet... [​IMG]

    my only pet peeve is that compared to my older DV233, I can't "search" by time, i.e. input the time-code of the scene you want and the machine jumps there. strange that this was available on the older machine but not the newer one -- it's useful if you've watched something with limited chapter stops part-way, change disc to watch/listen to something else, and continue later on. oh well, small gripe.
     
  13. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  14. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Stereo outputs: if I'm not in the mood to fire up my whole system, I use the analog stereo outs from the player. Downmixes from 5.1 if there isn't a separate 2.0 track. Just listen in stereo. If you used the L & R of the 5.1 analog outs, you'd only get the L & R channels. No downmixing.
     
  15. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  16. Sam Owens

    Sam Owens Stunt Coordinator

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  17. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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  18. Stephen Dodds

    Stephen Dodds Second Unit

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    I have the 656A Australian version, which is in effect a cross between the DV45A and the 47i.

    It is progressive, and the picture is excellent on both NTSC and PAL DVDs. I've never been hugely hung up by the chroma bug.

    DVD-Audio also sounds good and the SACD was at the same level as my Sony SACD player (since sold).

    When visiting the States I also accidently bought a US 656 which was advertised as being DVD-A and SACD on a website.

    It went back rather quickly.

    Steve
     
  19. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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