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What is the best universal player?

 

New member
Username: Jbecvar

Post Number: 8
Registered: Mar-05
I currently have a pioneer 578, and the sound is so thin and weak, and there is absolutely no bass. I'm going to take it back and am looking to get something different. What is the best player for a budget of around $500? I've heard excellent things about the denon 2900, but never have seen it, not too familiar with the brand. Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1535
Registered: Aug-04
The Denon DVD-2900 (now superceded) is an excellent machine IMHO. We have had ours for 10 mths and it has been well used every day for cd, dvd's, sacd, dvd-a's and hasn't missed a beat. The sound quality is absolutely superb for the hi-res formats and even for cd's the playback is very, very good and better than most universal players. That said, you should examine other players also to be sure you get the 'sound' that suits you.

Review: http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/review.asp?ID=2749
 

New member
Username: Jbecvar

Post Number: 9
Registered: Mar-05
The only difference between the 2900 and the 2910 is that the 2910 has the hdmi connection, right? Sound quality and all that is the same?
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1536
Registered: Aug-04
The replacement for the 2900 is the 3910. The 2910 is the replacement for the 2200. All are good machines from what I have read. I'm not sure about the 2910 but the 3910 has the HDMI and DVI connections. Marantz also has some new universal machines that would be worth a look.

Go to their websites for info

www.denon.com
www.marantz.com
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Having looked recently at the Denon line, the 3910, 2900 and 2910 are rather different machines. The DAC's are different between the three machines and the weight is significantly different between the three players. Rantz is correct that the 3910 is the replacement for the 2900, and those two players are more similar to one another than the 2900 (or 3910) to the 2910. Though not a perfect way to judge a component on paper, I will look at the weight of the unit first. More weight will almost always translate into a better power supply. The better the power supply, the better your chances the unit will sound better. Larger, heavier transformers and larger capacitors are items the average consumer can't see and the average salesperson has a hard time explaining. As such, these items indicate a serious attempt by the manufacturer to make a good quality product. All three players in the Denon line are very good choices, probably the best in mid priced universal players, but each has the advantage of better sound over the next lower priced player. If you can afford the 3910, I would say, from what I've heard from the players, you would more than likely be very happy with your choice. If not the 3910, the 2900 or then the 2910. One last note, having looked through the Denon owner's manuals, these are the easiest universal players I've seen to set up. All total the set up procedure is very intuitive and should be accomplished within a few minutes.




 

New member
Username: Jbecvar

Post Number: 10
Registered: Mar-05
I went with the 2900, didn't have quite enough money to get the 3910 for the money they were asking, it should be coming in on Wednesday, I'll let you guys know how it is.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 414
Registered: Oct-04
From what I've read of the endless posts on the subject at www.avsforum.com, the 2900 is the least problematic player on the market. The responsiveness is the best, layer changes are the most seamless and overall ease of use is excellent. Unfortuneately it retails for close to $2000 still here in Canada, so I went with the 2910.

The 2910/3910/5910 seem to rate lower in responsiveness likely due to the added HDMI/DVI support. The player takes over a second to eject the disc tray and has a slightly slower layer change than the 2900. None of this bothers me and the only problem I've had is the player not reading the disc on loading. A simple re-load corrects the problem. A recent firmware upgrade seemed to speed up the responsiveness as well.

Overall though, the 2900 is a gem, unless you plan on using the HDMI output, you made the right choice. Otherwise the Pioneer Elite 59AVI may well be the best player this year under the Denon DVD-5910.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1538
Registered: Aug-04
Josh

My congratulations. I'm sure you'll be happy with your decision.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jbecvar

Post Number: 13
Registered: Mar-05
AHHH, the people who I ordered from called and said that they couldn't get the 2900 anymore, so I said screw it and got the 3910. At least now I wont have to upgrade my dvd player for a long time. Although I only have a pioneer 1014 right now, so I know that only the really high "flagship" models have the firewire support, but I've read that SACD doesn't support it, cause Sony is so controlling.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 416
Registered: Oct-04
I think your DVD player is larger than your receiver!
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1539
Registered: Aug-04
The other benefit with the 3910 is having the variable crossovers for bass management instead of the fixed 80 hz of the predecessors. Enjoy!
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Player envy!


 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1541
Registered: Aug-04
Player lust!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jbecvar

Post Number: 14
Registered: Mar-05
yeah, and more expensive!!!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jbecvar

Post Number: 15
Registered: Mar-05
yeah, and more expensive!!!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Bigfan

Post Number: 90
Registered: Jan-04
Josh - what did you dislike about the Pioneer 578? I'm considering it vs. the Denon 2910, as a lower cost alternative to bridge the gap to blu-ray/hd-dvd and to try out hi-rez audio. Some reviews I read said it sounded nearly as good as the 2910 for roughly 1/4 the cost. I've heard about the low bass issue but some say that can be mitigated by tweaking settings. What did you think?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jbecvar

Post Number: 19
Registered: Mar-05
I think a lot of people overlooked the bass issue because of it's low cost. I had it for roughly 3 weeks, and it didn't even sound as good as my sony carousel changer I have for dvd/sacd. The sound was really weak and there was absolutely NO bass at all. I played with all the settings for a good while, but nothing really seemed to change it at all. Not to say you shouldn't get it, but at least try it out and compare it first, or get it from circuit city, because of their return policy.
 

Anonymous
 
My sony turntable is making humming whenever i play my vinyl.The hume sound is very irrietating and i can't enjoy my music in peace.I wallmouted the turntable thinking that it will slove my problem but it can't. i turn down my sub also it won't help.Plesas help!
 

Anonymous
 
My sony turntable is making humming whenever i play my vinyl.The hume sound is very irrietating and i can't enjoy my music in peace.I wallmouted the turntable thinking that it will slove my problem but it can't. i turn down my sub also it won't help.Plesas help!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Froggy

Post Number: 26
Registered: Dec-04
I have the 3910 and love it, Hi res discs sound awsome, I definently know I made the right choice.
 

lupodwdm
Unregistered guest
What changes were made in the firmware upgrade for the 2910? I seem to notice a change in the sound quality.
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 127
Registered: Feb-05
I have a Marantz DV6400 which sounds good and looks good. DVD performance is excellent. However it won't run the Avia calibration disc. In fact I have 3 Marantz DVD players and none of them will run that disc yet my cheap Sony will. Interesting huh. Anyone have a similar experience.
 

Gurka
Unregistered guest
I have a NAD522 cd player and I'd like to know if the Pioneer 578a-s could be a good replace for the NAD522, besides all that bass problems that so many people is talking about; I did't listen to this player yet.
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 447
Registered: Feb-05
Linn Unidisk is the best universal player that I have heard followed by the Denon line. The Marantz sounds good but not as good IMO.
 

New member
Username: Kanman17

Baltimore, Maryland

Post Number: 2
Registered: May-05
I've been quite happy with my Pioneer Elite DV45-
A. Hasn't not played a disc yet. Multichannel sounds great. and you can get those now for about 300-400 bucks.
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 479
Registered: Feb-05
I now have the Denon DVD2910 and it is unbelievable. Using an Audioquest HDMI cable the picture is fantastic. The sound excellent as well. I still prefer the sound of my NAD C542 for redbook cd playback but for all else this Denon is off the charts.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Bigfan

Post Number: 95
Registered: Jan-04
Art - I am also considering the DVD2910. How do you like it for video, and for hi res. audio? In general, and also specfically: any macroblocking problems? W/hi res. audio, any problems w/bass? Also, what units did you choose it over? thanks.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 1204
Registered: Feb-05
I have found the Denon DVD 2910 to be superior to anything I've used for video. The picture using the HDMI is stunning. Hi res audio is fantastic as well. I still prefer the redbook cd playback of my NAD C542 cd player over the Denon. So far no problems. I just received a firmware upgrade which I am going to install. It's supposed to improve the HDMI picture. I'm not sure how that will happen, if it's any better I will swear that the actors are in the room with me.
 

Unregistered guest
I've been using the denon 2900 for a little
while. Found picture to be vary good.
Now for the sound thats a different story.
I was told the sound was vary good, smooth.
They were right, the sound on cd is so smooth
it is dull & lifeless. I also own an old pioneer CD player PDS904. It is a leap in front on CD.
Dont give up you CD player
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 2162
Registered: Aug-04
PeterT

Are you using the analogue connections for cd playback? There is a big difference imho.

 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 1229
Registered: Feb-05
Even with the analog connections don't give up the CD player. My dedicated CD player just flat outperforms my DVD2910 on redbook cd's. MR is right though make sure you are hooked up via the analog connect.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 2167
Registered: Aug-04
Art,

Whether true or not (and I haven't been able to compare both players) many reviews state that the 2900 clearly outperforms the 2200 on cd playback - it may be because of the different dac's or other reasons etc. Not having heard too many other players of late I cannot offer anything more than that I think the 2900 handles redbook cd's very well. And the hi-re formats brilliantly!

That's why I was surpised at PeterT's cd review of the 2900.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 1233
Registered: Feb-05
Although the 2910 replaced the 2200 it's performance is comparable to the 2900 and in some respects (HDMI) better. With the 10 series Denon took a considerable leap forward from their previous offerings. The store where I bought the 2910 still had a demo 2900 left and I felt that the 2910 was better. Still for redbook performance my NAD blows it away. In fact with XRCD's and some HDCD's it's nearly equal to the hi res performance of the Denon. I know that sounds amazing but it seems to be true.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 2174
Registered: Aug-04
Well Art - our opinions certainly differ here, but that's life.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 1237
Registered: Feb-05
MR - It's inevitable, where you have people you have differences. I hope you don't think that I don't like my Denon because I most certainly do. It performs brilliantly for the purpose that I bought it. It's a great DVD player especially with HDMI connection. And it performs well in the hi res formats (SACD I should say as still haven't heard a DVD-A).

I do have a good frame of reference having listened to a whole lotta universals, from the Linn Unidisk to the Marantz DV6400 which I own for my second system. The Denon manhandles the Marantz in a head to head. Anyone considering getting the Marantz....reconsider. The Marantz has a great warranty (which I've had to use on several Marantz disc players).

It's certainly good to hear that you feel better. I am beginning to feel a little relief as well.
 

leofl
Unregistered guest
You can find a wide compilation of DVD Audio/SuperAudio CD universal players in:

http://dvda-sacd.webcindario.com

I have compiled a wide range of DVD universal players from a lot of manufacturers.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3532
Registered: Dec-03
There is a report on another thread of an NAD universal player, to be announced. The M55. WIth HDMI. NAD T533 DVD/CD player user's review, and DVD-Audio. That has all the information I have, right now.
 

Ozone
Unregistered guest
When comparing the Pioneer Elite DVD 59AVI to Denon's 2910 is there a clear winner.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 1461
Registered: Feb-05
Very clear. The Denon.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 690
Registered: Dec-03
If one has a Pioneer Elite receiver with i-link the PE59AVi performs excellently. I also have a Denon 3910 hooked up with my Denon 3805 receiver in my second media room. Hooking the 59avi to my 59xi receiver via i-link and then hooking up the 59avi via Auto 2 to my Pioneer Plasma via HDMI (for video)makes a great pic, with the firewire providing the surround sound--great sound, great pic.

My Denon hook-up is similar. I would give a miniscule edge to the 3910 in certain animation pics, but they are lose to a wash. Using both dvd players digital connections (i-link or denon-link)one can pass the DVD-A in complete surround with a single connection.

When both dvd players upgrade the HDMI to 1.2 (next generation), they will both be able to pass all the surround sound formats plus the video on one cable. For those that spend a lot of money on cable--that is a heck of a savings. Plus almost all testing reveals that good HDMI dvd players perform better than component. One just has to check out the Secrets of High Fidelity review charts, as they perform more extensive video testing than others and are almost as good on their audio testing.

I have switched the Pioneer 59avi and the Denon 3910---they both work great using each others firewire and HDMI. Because of the remote and a slight chroma edge I give the nod to Denon. But I can't imagine anyone not being happy with either machine.
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