H/K receiver- What about the DVD player?


Terri Cooper
Does anyone have any input on the HK DVD 25 player? I just bought the H/K 525 receiver and will be hoping to get a new DVD player to go with it. I searched and read 3-4 good/great reviews by various magazines, but I would like to hear if anyone knows anything from personal use. We will be playing some DVDs, but mostly it will be used for music I believe. On a related note, should you try to stay with the same manufacturer when you pair the Receiver to the DVD player? Many thanks to anyone who has any experience with this model.

Going over
H/K isn't known for their DVD players. You have an amazing receiver though. I would look into a Denon model if you have the money. They are some of the best DVD players out there. What is your budget?

Terri Cooper
I had planned to spend $250-300 tops. I read good things about the Denon 1600, but I think it is out of my price range. Their other models are well-received, but are even pricier. What about the matching of receiver to DVD? Is it an issue? I have read about the Pioneer 563 as being a good DVD player, but I really want one that plays audio CDs well and I just assumed that with the H/K name, their DVD player would fit the bill in that area.

Going over
Nope, there is no need to match the DVD player to the receiver. Not at all. Don't get sucked into the "brand loyal" kind of thing. One company is good at making receivers, while others are better at DVD players.

The Denon 1600 is a great choice. If your budget is $300 then it's not out of your budget. It can be had for right around $300. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a better DVD player for that price. Get it while you can though, it's a discontinued model so the only ones left are the ones that stores have in stock.

I don't know anything about the Pioneer though, sorry.

Going over
BTW, I would actually recommend that you NOT get a H/K DVD player. Their CD/DVD players are known to have some problems.


You want a player that does double duty--it will play both your CDs and DVDs. I agree with the other posts that H/K players are not the best choice. For your budget, and knowing that you want something that will be a good CD player as well as DVD player, I would recommend three units;

1. Pioneer DV-563 for $179.00 from Audio Advisor. See it at this link:


2. NAD T531 for $229.00 from DMC Electronics. last year's model so it saves you a bunch of money. Has a great audio section, uses separate power regulators for the digital and audio sections, and has been very favorably reviewed by a number of publications.

3. Sony DVP755. Has a MSRP of $399 (has gone up from the original price of $259 in the past year, but I saw it for $219 from Legacy Audio Video. I have this unit and it is a fine player and I highly recommend it. Check it out at Legacy here:


I hope this helps.

Terri Cooper
Thanks everyone so far. I'll steer away from considering the H/K. Hi Hawk! What do you think about the Denon 1600? I checked into the NAD T531 and saw some favorable reviews , but a number of unfavorable ones (I checked through this site and cnet's). The Pioneer was highly reviewed in video, but did not come out as well for CD audio as some others. I will look into the Sony. Will having sacd and DVD-A on a unit be the way to go for the future? Or will one or the other be sufficient in order to be able to take advantage of the new technology in audio? Thanks for your help!


I would not look into buying an expensive player now becasuse the DVD-Audio and SACD thing is just starting. Denon just came out with the DVD-2900 that plays everything (and plays everything well, too), but it costs $1K. That price will go down and I mean really down, but it will take a couple to three years before that happens. In the meantime, get yourself a good double duty disk player. If you can get one that also does something like SACD, as well, like the Sony I suggested, that is a bonus. Problem is, in the meantime none of us know where this DVD-Audio and SACD thing is going. It is beginning to look like the Beta v. VHS format war all over again as the different studios are lining up with one format or the other. I prefer to sit it out and wait for the market to decide.

As for the Denon DVD 1600, I have a real problem with the sound coming from most Denon decks. I have two (one CD and one DVD) and was out today auditioning a third (a CD carousel, the 380). On music playback, the Denon's sound is very flat and two-dimensional (from all of them). There is no depth to the soundstage, at all. It really isn't much fun to listen to and I am not getting the 380 as a result. Based upon my experience, while the Denon DVD-1600 is a fine DVD player, I can't recommend it for CDs.

As for the NAD 531, the complaint I usually saw in the reviews was that it lacked certain features, such as progressive scan, or support for VCDs--all true. NAD does not like to lead the way in features, but will only include them when the market accepts them. I suggested this older model because you indicated that progessive scan wasn't important as you don't have HDTV. So this was recommended to allow you to save some money and get great sound along with a good picture, which it does.

Terri Cooper
OK, I think I am set in trying to decide between the two NAD versions- either the 531 or 532. I keep going back to the music- which is what I really want to sound good. Now, after reading what you said above, should I go ahead and get the 532 to obtain the SACD format for the future? I saw a reconditioned one at dmc for 329, vs. the 229 for the 531. I don't own any SACD music- only my good old CD's. WHat I don't want to happen is for me to buy the 531 and then the whole audio market begin to disband the regular CD format, then I would be stuck with a DVD/CD player that can't play any new music! What do you think and thanks again for your thoughts!

I still think the Pioneer 563 is the best choice. It plays all formats including SACD and DVD-Audio. Your HK 525 has bass managment for the analog inputs which SACD and DVD-A both use. For $179, where you can also find it at Best Buy it is future proof until these formats seperate themselves and one becomes the audio standard. I've heard a few discs of each format and both are very good. Why not give yourself the best of both worlds?

The CD format isn't going away. Don't belive the hype.

If SCAD and DVD-A is so promising why are sales down? The players that play these formats have been out in numbers and still neither of these two new formats are gaining market share.

Don't believe the hype.

Terri Cooper
Have you heard how the Pioneer plays regular CD's? I read a couple of reviews on it that said that it wasn't a good choice for those wanting it to be used for music- good reviews for the SACD's it played, though. I don't have any SACD's- in fact I hadn't even heard of them until I became so informed from you all :) How much are they as compared to a regular CD? The price of the Pioneer can't be beat, and I would opt for it if I felt that the CD audio play would be equal to the NAD or Sony that Hawk referred to. Keep muddying the waters for me guys! :)

Just realized an error that I spoke of above. I had thought that the 532 had SACD capabilities- it doesn't, correct? It does have the progressive scan feature- which I can't use now (we don't have a digital or HDTV ready TV). Would the NAD 531 be able to use the 2 FRX-3 speakers and the FRX-C speaker that I just bought with all DVD's? SOrry to be so naive here- I am learning but still don't understand it all :(

First, I never said standard CD's were going away. I don't think they are either. Maybe I should have said "multichannel standard". But there is a good chance that SACD or DVD-A will become the multichannel format leader, so why not have both?

I used to have a Beta VCR and it was way better than VHS, but Beta lost the battle. So I have no idea what the future holds. I'm still waiting for the minidisc to take a bigger chunk of the market and they've been around for a while.

Terri, how do you plan to use a CD player? If you're using the digital output on the CD unit, the HK will do all the digital to analog conversting. If that is the case, it really doesn't matter how good the DACs are in the Pioneer. Now if you plan to use analog outputs for 2 channel stereo, then you want good DAC's in the CD unit. I would think if the unit can play SACD's well, it should the same for regular CD's because SACD uses analog outputs.

I found a huge thread on the Pioneer 563A. On page 11, one guy does a thorough test of audio and video quality of this unit. Here is the link.

Now these people have picked apart this unit pretty well. There's 15 pages of post on a $179 component, I've never seen anything like that.

SACD disc cost around $12.99 to $20 roughly. Best Buy carries many titles.

If you're not too keen on the Pioneer, just get the Sony Hawk recommended or maybe the Sony DVP-NC685V which is a 5 disc carousel deck which also plays SACD. I see a lot of benefit in multi disc changers especially for music. And even many movies have multiple disc..one for the movie and 2nd disc for special features.

You're gonna be jacked up now with all these recommendations.

Oh yeah, the NAD 531 or 532 player will pass the Dolby Digital or DTS sound to your HK 525. You will be able to utilize all speakers in your system.

SACD is for music only. You don't NEED it, its a high resolution audio format. It would be nice to have down the road. Did you buy 1pr or 2pr of the FRX-3 speakers? If you only bought one pair, you won't be using SACD quite yet. SACD takes advantage of 5 speakers and a sub.

You're buying some pretty nice equipment. You'll be totally impressed by the sound when you get everything connected.

Just added a media room:
Panasonic 50" plasma TV
Samsung TS 160 HDTV Receiver
Monitor Audio S10 mains, SLR center, FXi sides, S1 rears
Velodyne HSG 18 subwoofer
HK TU 930 tuner
Adcom GFA 555 amp
Yamaha DSP A1 A/V unit
Had a Yamaha DVD 900 which died. Repalced it with the Pioneer 563 and did it from reading the above referenced thread. I had planned to replace it with the Denon DVD 5900, but it was not released yet when the yamaha DVD 900 died.
So far I have been pleased with the Pioneer. I have watched Lord of the Rings, Reign of Fire, and listened to SACD's by Pink Floyd- Dark Side Of the Moon- wow, what you don't know won't hurt you- Deep Purple with the Philadelphia Symphony and DVD A by the Eagles. The unit handles my Blues CD-r by Buddy Guy, and did a nice job on playing my Photos on disk from my recent trip to the Scottish Highlands. It also does CD-RW, DVD+/-R/RW which I have not as yet had the opportunity to try.
I paid $160 for my unit- so look around.
I still plan to get the Denon DVD- 5900...but not because of disappointment with the Pioneer.

GT says, Your HK 525 has bass managment for the analog inputs which SACD and DVD-A both use. For $179, where you can also find it at Best Buy it is future proof until these formats seperate themselves and one becomes the (((audio standard))).

Then says he never he never said CD's were going away.

Well, which is it? Saying that SACD or DVD-A will become the audio standard is rediculous.


I think CD's will continue to be standard for 2 channel audio, and SACD or DVD-A will be the standard for "multichannel" audio.

Can both things be possible?

I did correct myself later and say I should have specified "multichannel" instead of "audio standard". Or did you miss that part?

Hi everyone,

Is being informed = being confused? :) Thanks for all of your help. GT I for now am planning on just using the two FRX-3 speakers for music. Maybe somewhere down the line I can add another speaker (a sub?) but don't see it happening any time soon. That being said, I guess I don't want to rule out having the "potential" for adding on. Does that make sense? If the Pioneer 563 is going to give me good two speaker sound and has the "extras" of SACD, etc. I guess I can't go wrong for 180.00 I just don't want to compromise the audio, even for less money since that is what I originally set out to buy all of this for. That is why I keep pondering the NAD units. BTW, I my speaker wire that you told me about came in! My Saturday plans are to TRY to hook this baby up.....You all may be asked to help me more this weekend- hope you don't mind! :) THanks again.


Check this DVD player out:


Hey Hawk,
I hadn't heard of Cambridge before- that one looks wonderful in features; I just wish it was in black. I know it sounds silly to be picky about the color (since I am picky about the price and features!), but I just san't see that silver in with my other beautiful black pieces. They do have a Cambridge DVD300 (last year's model and a demo) for $300 dollars, though. That is my top limit on price, so I am considering it. I researched it and it has as great of reviews as does the 55. Which is better in your (or others') opinions, the NADs or the Cambridge? Thanks again!


For your needs, I would lean toward the Cambridge. Cambridge is a smaller brand that has copied the NAD road map on success. They are designed in England and built in China in an ISO 9001 Certified facility. They use Sony transports, but they custom design everything else. Like NAD, Cambridge tries to bring top-drawer sound to a more modest price level (i.e., champaigne on a beer budget). Personally, I think they are on a hot streak with some of their new products and I am thinking about one of their integrated amps for my study (after all, christmas is coming!). I actually thought you might like the silver 55 as your H/K has silver trim, but hey, so I was wrong. It was a thought. But the audio quality will be very good and so will your picture quality on your current set.

The only thing you lose by getting the black one is no progressive scan for your future HDTV, but I am beginning to believe that is not a problem. I recently saw a demo where the store used a standard 480i DVD output (i.e., no progressive scan) and the HDTV set itself converted it to 480p (progressive scan). In fact, when they used a typical DVD deck with progressive scan, the picture was better when the HDTV did the conversion rather than the DVD deck! So it appears that even if you get a deck without progressive scan, the TV of the future will do it for you--not getting progressive scan should not be a reason for not getting a particular deck.

I hope this helps.
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