What would you do? DVD/DVD-A/SACD quandry. Also, possible player shootout....

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by chung_sotheby, Jan 30, 2004.

  1. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

    Apr 8, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Right now, I am in the middle of a multi-channel fiasco. I currently own a Sony 555ES and a Denon 1600, and just picked up a Denon 2900. I have done numerous comparisons, some blind, some semi blind, some deaf, blind, and stupid, and I have come up with a slew of observations. Put in short, I found that the 555ES is superior to the 2900 in SACD, the difference being more noticeable in 2ch than MC, and the 1600 is superior to the 2900 in video, in my opinion. However, I am really into SACD, and I am starting to get into DVD-A, and the cost of a switch box ($30 Rat Shacks, $225 Switch-Box, $600+ Sony TA-P9000ES) and extra cables ($300) is extremely prohibative. So if anyone could chime in on these questions, I would be very greatful.

    1)Has anyone compared the SACD performance of the Denon 5900 to that of the Sony 555ES?
    2)Also, how does the Video performance of the 5900 compare to the 1600?

    I have compared the 2900 to the 555ES in SACD, and the Sony is better without a doubt, but since the 5900 is the flagship model, costing 2x the 2900, shouldn't the SACD, as well as DVD-A, CD, and Video, performance be noticeably better than the 2900? As far as DVD-A is concerned, I am not as critical of the performance differences between the players as I am for Video and SACD. I know that the 5900 has had video problems such as macroblocking and slow responsiveness, but the player's issues that I have heard about do not faze me, as I think that they are not as critical to the overall video performace as chroma, Y/C, etc. As far as cost goes, I can sell the three units I currently own and purchase a 5900 for about the same price, so it would be a straight trade off. In terms of bass management, it is a moot point, since I will be using an ICBM or equivalent unit for bass management. Also, if any of you found yourselves in the same situation as I, what did you do? How did you deduce your decision? What mitigating factors lead to your decision? If anyone has had any comparisons between the 5900 and either the Sony 555ES, Denon 2900, and Denon 1600, or all of them, please let me know of your impressions.

    Side point: This weekend, I might be able to do a comparison between the 5900 and my units, but only if my friend and I have enough time off from work to do an extensive job. If I do, I will have answered my own questions, but the likelyhood of him and I getting off work this weekend for enough time to do the shootout is very unlikely. Also, Sunday night is the Superbowl, so the comparison is never going to get done then. But just in case we are able, I will publish my reports, as I assume that many of you fellow HTF'ers are in somewhat the same boat as I am. Thanks again
  2. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

    Feb 11, 2001
    Likes Received:

    Dan Wright has some mods for the 5900 and is preparing some for the 2900. Even if you're not interested in his mods, he has provided some of his impressions of the audio performance of these units here. If you go to a subsequent post in the referenced thread, he provides an off-the-top-of-his-head guess comparing the 5900 to the "Sony units".

    In any case, don't underestimate the performance of your C555ES on SACD. I have one as well and agree that it outperformed the 2900 that I had in my system for a short time.

    By the way, he does good work on his mods; I have a modded 47Ai from him.

  3. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

    Jun 5, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Knocksville, TN
    Real Name:
    Rachael Bellomy
    Chung, I have both the Sony XA777ES and the 555ES and there is no doubt that they both sound better than the 2900 which I also have. I bought the 2900 for convience and because I wanted to get back into DVD-A again. I'm entirely unwilling to use switchers and buy nebulous numbers of cables. I have multiple systems and I can rotate stuff around when I please. The 2900 is purr-dy good and convient.

    I think you should keep your 555. It's just not replacable and may never be? You have to wonder if Sony will ever make simple-stupid, audio only changers ever again?

    I think that the stock 2900's audio weakness is definitely stereo SA-CD. I concur with your acessment there. Whatever you do keep the 555. Best wishes!

Share This Page