Sony DVP NS900V vs. RP91

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DuaneN, Feb 10, 2002.

  1. DuaneN

    DuaneN Auditioning

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    First of all I would like to thank everyone for all the information I have been able to learn from this form in the last year and a half! I have finally decided to be more than an observer.

    Here is the dilema that faces me. I currently have a Toshiba 9100 that has served me well but I have the upgrade bug for two reasons. I have upgraded the rest of the system and am enjoying audio more and more. I have purchased 4 or 5 DVD-A's and have been amazed with the sound quality in even the DTS tracks. With that said I probably do 60% movies and 40% music with my system. I have listened to SACD's and have been very impressed also. I have seen the video from the RP91 (had my dad buy one on the stellar reviews from this forum) and the video quality is a definite step-up from the 9100. I have yet to see the video on the 900(sony) but was very impressed with the sound (regular cd's and SACD).

    I guess like everybody I want it all...but have a budget that I should stay with. (roughly $800)

    I can pick up the RP91 from my local dealer for $505 and the Sony was just reduced and I can get it for $590.

    So do I:

    1. Buy the RP91 and I will be happy with it for the video and DVD-A but suffer with the subpar cd playback. (Seems to be the consensus)

    2. Buy the 900 and be very happy with the sound. I don't have any idea on the video quality.

    3. Buy the RP91 and a cheap sony SACD player.

    4. Buy the 900 and a cheap DVD-A player.

    5. Stay with the 9100 and buy a 555ES SACD/CD player for high quality music.

    6. None of the above...give suggestions.

    I would like to hear from both sides!

    Thanks in advance for the help!

    My current system:

    Yamaha RX-V1

    Paradigm Studio 40's (4)

    Paradigm Studio CC's (2)

    Paradigm PW2200

    Dish 6000 with 8vsb module (The Olympics in HDTV rock!)

    Toshiba 9100

    Yamaha 675? CD changer (for the wife and kids)
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Duane, first off, welcome to the Forum! You have a number of options, the best of which in my opinion, you already have listed. My feeling is get both formats if you can spend the money. Although I haven't compared the two DVD players side by side, I would go with the 'RP91. The picture quality is held in high regard, plus you get DVD-Audio. Then, get an audio-only SACD player, which could very well beat the 'NS900V since there is no video circuitry to interfere with the audio. Here's the point. In buying into DVD-Audio, you always get DVD-Video capability. If you buy the 'NS900V and still want DVD-Audio, you will end up buying two DVD players. You could buy the 'RP91 to take care of DVD-Audio and DVD-Video. The 'RP91 does both well. Then, buy the Sony SCD-C222ES five-disc SACD/CD changer for around $525 from Oade Bros. (authorized dealer; 1-229-228-0093 or 1-229-228-4480) to handle SACDs and CDs. The SCD-CE775 at $300-350 is more in keeping with your budget, but if you can swing the 'C222ES, you will get better build quality and sound quality, plus the five-year ES warranty.

    I own the SCD-C555ES, and it is a wonderful component. I would recommend it over the 'C222ES, but seeing as you are interested in DVD-Audio as well and that the 'C222ES already puts you over your budget, I would guess that the 'RP91 plus the 'C555ES as a combo would be out. The 'C222ES is a fine component, however. So, my vote would be for the 'RP91 and the 'C222ES for around $1000. One thing you might try is calling J&R Music World (1-800-221-8180) for a package deal. If you tell them that your local dealer has the 'RP91 for $505 and that Oade Bros. has the 'C222ES for $525, they might be willing to make you a nice deal for both. J&R is usually willing to at least match authorized dealers' prices, and since the salesman would stand to make a nice commission, he or she might even beat the prices for you. J&R is an authorized dealer. I have ordered from them many times with no hassles.

    One other option you might consider is the forthcoming Pioneer Elite DV-47A single-disc progressive-scan DVD player. It plays both DVD-Audio discs and SACDs (stereo and multi-channel). It will retail for $1200, but should be available for less at brick-and-mortar stores. It's been said on this site that the '47A will be available at the end of this month. My concern is whether an all-in-one player like the '47A will be a good audio component. You may be better off with the 'RP91 and 'C222ES, but you ought to at least look at the '47A. One other thing to consider is picture quality from the '47A. Recent Pioneer Elite DVD players have shown the chroma bug, but the 'RP91 doesn't show it.

    Best of luck!
     
  3. DuaneN

    DuaneN Auditioning

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    Thanks for your input. I was kinda leaning that way. (Buy the RP91 and wait) While on the subject of the 222,555,777, Did you demo all three pieces before deciding?
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Duane, when you say '777', I assume you mean the SCD-XA777ES. I have the SCD-777ES, which is a first-generation SACD player and does not play multi-channel SACDs (heck of a player though). In any event, I have heard the 'XA777ES, 'C222ES, and 'C555ES at different times. Of course, I have extensive experience with the 'C555ES, but I have heard the 'C222ES a few times in various Tweeter stores, and I have never really liked what I have heard in comparison to listening sessions with the 'C555ES at Tweeter. I will concede that my analysis could be flawed because I have not listened to the players in one listening session in one system. Still, I have always come away impressed with the 'C555ES in stores.

    I went with the 'C555ES based on these in-store demos in addition to some good information I read about these players on Audio Asylum. A person there who is well known for modifying components looked inside the 'C222ES and 'C555ES and stated that the latter was built better on the inside in every way (power supplies, DACs, transport mechanism, capacitors, etc.). In fact, the person said that the 'C222ES was surprisingly similar on the inside to the 'CE775. So, given the better internal build quality and the obvious better external build quality, I felt the 'C555ES was easily worth $200-300 more than the 'C222ES.

    The 'XA777ES is on an entirely differently level, as well it should be given the much higher price. I aspire to own if the price comes down some. In any event, all three ES players are excellent at their respective price points.
     
  5. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Duane,

    Another DVD-A player to look for in the coming months will be the upcoming Denon 1600. It will have the advanced Faroudja chip for progressive play back, which should make the picture quality superior to that of the RP-91's (which uses a Genesis chip). Also, Denon is known for it high audio standards, so the DVD-A playback should be outstanding (It will also incorporate bass management for DVD-A - also something lacking in the RP-91). It won't be available until April-May, and will carry a retail tag of around $599.00, which means that you should be able to get it for under $500.00 street (I plan on purchasing this one to replace my glitchy JVC 721BK DVD-A player). Specs should be posted at the Denon site in a few weeks. Keith is correct in stating that the DV-47A sounds promising, but I would rather have a dedicated audio unit than an all in one single disc do-it-all player. I would take his advice, as both of the ES Sony SACD players improve the sound of your ordinary CD collection, meaning that even if you don't buy a caseload of SACD's, they will still make great CD players.

    Reg
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Reggie, thanks for reminding of the Denon DVD-1600. It looks like a lot of player for $599. I will be very curious to see how the '1600 turns out. Unfortunately, I view the '2800 as a letdown. However, if the '1600 lives up to its potential, it should beat the Panasonic 'RP91. I can't wait to see it.
     
  7. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Thanks Keith.

    The replacement for the Denon 2800 is the 3800 which will carry a MSRP twice that of the 1600. Denon claims that the spec sheets are not final, and it would seem that way, especially since there is nothing I've read thus far on the 3800 which would warrant a MSRP twice that of the 1600. The 3800 will carry the 504 Silicon chip, which replace the 503 Silicon chip which was found in the 2800. The DVD-9000, Denon's new flagship universal player (It will carry SACD as well!) will have this chip as well (It is interesting that the Denon rep at CES preferred the Faroudja chip in the 1600 to the Silicon found in the 3800 or 9000). Of course, Denon wants $3,500 for the 9000, so that's out of consideration for many here. If Denon adds SACD to the 3800 as well (which they should at this price point) it will be strong competition for the Pioneer Dv-47A.

    Reg
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Reggie, I agree that the Denon DVD-3800 should offer SACD and DVD-Audio to compete with the Pioneer Elite DV-47A, but I've heard nothing to give me cause to expect it. I hope Denon gets it right with these three models in terms of features and performance. Denon's DVD players have disappointed me over the past year or so. For example, Denon released the progressive-scan '2800 for $800, then they released the interlaced DVD-Audio '3300 for around $1200. Give me a break! Now, I realize the '3300 was a first-generation DVD-Audio player, but by the time the '3300 was in the stores for $1200, the Technics DVD-A10, which originally retailed for $1200, was down to $600 if not less. I always thought that the '3300 should have retailed for a lot less than $1200 or that Denon should have combined the '2800 and '3300 into one model. It was clear that Denon based the '3300 on the Technics 'A10. Hopefully Denon will get it right this time. Just my $1.28. [​IMG]
     
  9. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    I think you're right Keith. The 3800 will probably be a a stripped down version of the DVD-9000 minus SACD (but for $1,200.00?). It appears that if you are in the market that it will either be a DVD-1600 or DVD-9000. The 3800 appears to be sadly squeezed in the middle with not much incentive to purchase it.

    Reg
     
  10. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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    Duane;
    Welcome to the Forum!
    First off, when faced with a choice between two DVD players, I would consider video quality above all else. As an owner of the RP-91, I can tell you its image quality is stellar on my Toshiba 56H80. The lack of the chroma bug is definitely a plus in my books (I'm ultra sensitive to it) and in other respects the image is just damned good! [​IMG] It uses the Genesis chipset, which gets a lot of flak from people, but the fact of the matter is Panasonic has done a good job of tweaking it and it performs quite well.
    I have not seen the Sony for myself, but I have heard second-hand from someone who did. Apparently the chroma bug is there and the overall image was simply not that impressive. You did not mention whether you have a widescreen or 4:3 set in your system - that could make a difference as well. If 4:3, you'll have to suffer at the hands of your player's downconversion for anamorphic DVDs - and in my opinion the Sony's downconversion is pretty bad. No jagged edges, but WAY too much softening of the picture - masking all that wonderful detail which is why we bought DVDs in the first place! [​IMG]
    Incidentally, another nice feature of the RP-91, if you have a widescreen set, is its ability to scale non-anamorphic DVDs. While this won't make a non-anamorphic DVD look as good as an anamorphic one, it will certainly be better than using the standard 'zoom' mode on most widescreen sets.
    So, based on video quality and features, the RP-91 is the way to go.
    In terms of CD playback - I have always advocated getting a seperate CD player if CD quality sound is important to you. Some higher-end DVD players can sound good, but rarely as good as a proper CD player.
    So, my main recommendation would be to look at a seperate CD player - and one of the Sony models would round out your system nicely, giving you all the formats at your disposal.
    If you want to use your DVD player as a CD player, you could run the digital signal to your receiver and let it do the D/A conversion - this would probably be much better than the D/A stage in the DVD player.
    Anyway, those are my suggestions. Good luck! [​IMG]
    /Jeff
     
  11. DuaneN

    DuaneN Auditioning

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    I really appreciate all the input thus far. Yesterday I was talking to my neighbor (which has a RP91) and he let me borrow the RP91 for the evening and mess around with it a bit. I came to a couple of conclusions.

    1. The video quality is about 15% (my opinion, nothing else) sharper and more vivid that my Toshiba 9100. Also no chroma bug. On minor nit-pick was on my Tosh I can switch chapters really fast. The RP91 was really slow. Not a deal-breaker but definately a nuisance.

    2. DVD-A is absolutely awesome!!! I listened to the DTS track using the RP91's digital out first then listened to the DVD-A (Analog outputs). I compared it to the 9100 DTS and what a difference. (Big Phat Band, Eagles, Classic Rock) Very immersive!!

    3.CD playback was very flat in comparison to the 9100. Big edge to the 9100.

    Having only reviewed the RP91's DVD-A, has anyone else compared it to the Toshiba 9200 or another as far as the DVD-A quality ? I am really in love with multi channel sound!!

    On the lean-o-meter I think that I am going towards the RP91 and grab a better CD player (555?) down the road. The only issue with that is I will be moving the 9100 in the bedroom and I will have to suffer through the CD playback on the RP91 in the interim. The new DENON's definately look tempting though.

    On a seperate note: Has anyone tried out the Yamaha DVD1200?

    My current system:

    Yamaha RX-V1

    Paradigm Studio 40's (4)

    Paradigm Studio CC's (2)

    Paradigm PW2200

    Toshiba 9100

    Yamaha 675? CD changer (for the wife and kids)

    Dish 6000 with 8vsb module (The Olympics in HDTV rock!)

    Hitachi 43" HDTV (4:3) (Hopefully a projector for the basement that is being finished soon!)
     
  12. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    If you are concerned about CD playback with the RP-91 and you don't want to wait for the new generation of players, why don't you run a digital out to your Yamaha?

    But speaking of CD performance from DVD players in general, I've had a chance to compare the Technics DVD-A10(measures to the theoritical limits of Redbook performance), the RP-91(measures just slightly behind the DVD-A10), the Sony 9000ES, Denons now discontinued tank of a CD player, the Sony 333ES SACD player, and the latest Sony ES CD player.

    Equipment used was Sunfire Theater Grand pre/pro, Cinema Grand Signature amp, and Martin Logan Prodigys. Monster Reference was used for interconnects, and Z3 wire was used for speaker cable. Music ranged from classical to rock.

    The players did have different sonic signatures in some cases, but the suprising thing to me was that there was no clear winner in overall performance. I would describe the differences as noticeable to the discerning ear with some of the comparisons, but subtle, and in some cases downright impossible to pick out differences in others. I honestly didn't think the RP-91 would perform that well compared to the CD players and the SACD player. It would be difficult to rank them, but all of the DVD-V players held their own, IMO.

    I have read on many forums, the bias against DVD players as good CD performers. We have known that they can measure as well as seperate CD players, but to me the proof is in listening and comparing, not specs.

    Needless to say I was a bit suprised, and although I would want to listen to higher end CD & SACD players before I formed any concrete opinions, I think most people would be hard pressed to find major differences between CD players, SACD players, and good quality DVD players(like the ones mentioned)for Redbook performance under $1000.

    DJ
     
  13. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    David said:

     
  14. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    I figured you would chime in, Keith.[​IMG]
    The interesting thing about the DVD-A10 is that when it was first released and retailing for $1200 many raved about its Redbook performance--on the internet Forums and in reviews.
    After the unit was around awhile and retailing for around half its original price(sometimes lower), some of those who purchased it as a DVD-A player(because it was still one of the few players available at that time)began posting on the Forums that it was only marginal as a CD player.
    Of course, the audiophiles said all along it couldn't be a good Redbook player, because it had a video section in it(big suprise[​IMG].
    I don't consider my comparisons the final say in the matter, but I do find it curious that the DVD-A10's CD ratings started to slide as the price went down and I still find it curious that current DVD players, in general, are much maligned in audio circles.
    Perhaps I have been listening to too much DVD-A and SACD lately, but IMO, the limitations of Redbook CD level the playing field for players around $1000.
    DJ
     
  15. Scott Holt

    Scott Holt Agent

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    I bet the new denon,pioneer, and sony still have the chroma bug as they are known to have. How much better of a picture can you get than what you get on the panny. Perfection is hard to beat.
     

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