Replace Panasonic RP91 w/ Denon 4800?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Stephen Hopkins, Aug 23, 2003.

  1. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I got my Panasonic RP91 about 5 months ago primarily for the scaling features, but also based on very good luck with a Panasonic RP56. I paid $290 for it and the champaign color was only available at that price at the time. I like the champaign but it kinda clashes with my other black components and my black/silver component rack and TV. I told my self I would strongly consider upgrading when I found another great deal on something better that still had the scaling functions I need. My search was fruitless until today...

    Ecost (where I purchased my refurb 43TX receiver) has the Denon DVM-4800 dvd player factory refurbished for $319 and free shipping. It has all the features I want (black, scaling, dvd-a, no chroma bug, etc) and a few I like but don't care about too much (5-disc). It also has burr-brown DACs for all channels and Bass Management, which my RP91 lacked. I downloaded a pdf of the owners manual from the Denon website and it looks to me based on the player's menus that it is manufactured by Panasonic or whoever does the OEM work for Panasonic. ALL of the GUI menus seem to be exactly the same as my RP91, including the scaling functions that I need. This is another big plus for this player.

    Does anyone have any experience with this player (positive or negative) they could share or any reasons i should or shouldn't upgrade to this model?

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Stephen, the Denon '4800, like the '1600, has gotten high marks on the video side, as it doesn't show the chroma bug. Still, I can't say how it would compare to the 'RP91 in terms of picture quality. Of course, the 'RP91 is very strong in that department. However, the '4800 will beat the 'RP91 on the audio side. Denon continues to make good audio products, and I have found the 'RP91 to be underwhelming in that area (no offense!).

    I realize that you had a good experience with Ecost in buying your receiver, but I am always leery of buying refurbished components, especially from online retailers. You may never know what was wrong with the component, who fixed it, and if it was actually fixed properly. Is Ecost an authorized dealer? Note that Denon is particularly fussy in servicing components purchased from unauthorized retailers. Furthermore, I don't know how Denon handles refurbs. It could be Denon would have nothing to do with the '4800 purchased from Ecost. I'm not sure, but you owe it to yourself to look into it before buying.

    On a final note, my main beef with the '4800 in the little experience I have with it is that the carousel drawer is a bit flimsy. Maybe it's just me, but for a component that retailed for $1200, I think the drawer should be more robust.
     
  3. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Are you certain that the 4800 has true scaling like the rp91, and not just zoom functions?
     
  4. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I checked out the 4800 at HiFiBuys today and not only is the scaling EXACTLY the same as the RP91, so are ALL the menus and how you access them. The menu setup was EXACTLY the same as my RP91. I'm hoping the IR codes will be the same too so I don't have to reprogram my Pronto.

    I agree that the carousel did seem a bit flimsy, but I'm yet to encounter a changer that doesn't have this problem.

    As for the whole refurb issue, it has a 90day return policy, so assuming i don't get a bad unit out of the gate I should be ok. If I have any problems down the road, my father works at an electronics repair shop so i would only be out the cost of parts if anything goes wrong, and if that is to expensive i can just take the next logical step up.

    Thanks for the input [​IMG]
     
  5. Michael_V

    Michael_V Second Unit

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  6. Nathan_R

    Nathan_R Supporting Actor

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    I checked out the owner's manual on denon's website. Stephen is right-- it is a 5 disc version on the RP91. This is great news for me, as I'm not a big fan of single disc players, but I love the aspect ratio control of the RP91.

    Thanks for pointing this out, Stephen!

    Best regards,
    ~~Nathan
     
  7. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    It seems to be more than just a 5-disc RP91... it has Burr-Brown DACs and the kicker for me is bass management for the analog 5.1 outputs. I'm curious to know if the 3800 does as well. I would rather have a single disc player since carousels seem to be the first thing to go on 5 disc players, but the 4800 is cheaper than the 3800 at ecost, so i'm pretty sure i'll go w/ it anyway.
     
  8. Nick V

    Nick V Second Unit

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    This is Great. I've been looking (kind of aimlessly) for a replacement for my RP91 for a few months now. I have no problems with it's video performance, but it's audio is very underwhelming IMO.

    It looks like the 4800 is essentially a 5-disc RP 91 with the addition of the fantastic TI PCM1704 DAC's, DVD-A bass management and HDCD decoding. I'm definitely going to look into this one!
     
  9. Michael_V

    Michael_V Second Unit

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  10. Michael_V

    Michael_V Second Unit

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    By the way, does it bother anyone else here that ecost currently has FIFTY-FOUR refurbished 4800s? The price is right but I wonder what in the world went wrong with so many of these? [​IMG]
     
  11. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Michael_V,

    My basis of the 4800 seeming to be a 5-disc RP91 is mainly the fact that is has the EXACT same menu system as the RP91 including the EXACT same scaling features. Other threads on this forum have stated that it is chroma bug free, so i'm basing my chroma-faith on that. It shares the genesis de-interlacer with the 1600, which has been proven to be chroma-bug free (I beleive this was confirmed by the DVD-Shootout article).

    Ecost had over 100 refurbished 45TXs and they were gone within a week. 54 units represents a TINY fraction of the entire production run and ecost is one of the only denon authorized resellers of denon factory-refurbished goods... So no it doesn't bother me a great deal.
     
  12. Michael_V

    Michael_V Second Unit

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    Good points.

    So, are there any known issues with this player?
     
  13. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Michael, thanks for the info. on Ecost.
     
  14. Michael_V

    Michael_V Second Unit

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    No problem, Keith! I bought my RP91 from them two years ago and just today ordered a 3800 from them (despite the YC delay). My experience with ecost has been positive so far.
     
  15. Nathan_R

    Nathan_R Supporting Actor

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    I read the reviews on audioreview. It looks like there may be a "blinking" problem with the 4800 when switching aspect ratios. What that said, I couldn't really tell what the blinking problem means from the short reviews, but it appears to be an incompability between the Panasonic architecture and the Denon modifications. I did read that one guy sent his unit back to Denon and Denon said future units (review date of Dec 2002) would have the blinking problem corrected. Perhaps the units eCost has are the fixed blinkers. Could make sense, eh?

    Still, I'm going to try to get my hands on one. If you need any HT items, please check my for sale thread and help my cause. [​IMG]

    Best regards,
    ~~Nathan
     
  16. Michael Lee

    Michael Lee Supporting Actor

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    I posted a problem with my 4800 around two years ago. You can read the original thread here.
     
  17. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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  18. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    The whole point of the thread is that alot of us DO need scaling.
     
  19. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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  20. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Ofcourse not... when they ask.
     

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