I don't have any DVD-A's. I will be comparing the two players for SACD and redbook CD performance vs each other, and I will compare their video performance. I will also compare the redbook CD performance of the DVD2910 vs my NAD C542.
1st impressions. Whoever's post I read on this site comparing favorably the Denon DVD 2910's redbook cd performance to the NAD C542 had one too many before listening. At least upon first impressions It ain't even close. Listen to acoustic bass if you want the difference stuck right in your face. I read somewhere on this site that someone actually sold their C542 in favor of the DVD 2910! Wow! Either they are missing that NAD by now or they forgot what it sounded like. The Denon has fine redbook performance if you compare it to say the Marantz CC4300 or a Sony of any kind. It is very close with the Marantz and obviously trumps any Sony until you get near the top of their line.
Denon DVD 2910 vs Marantz DV6400 - SACD, DVD perfromance. The 2910's video performance out of the box was a bit disappointing as the picture appeared blurry and not as colorful as I've had grown accustomed to with the Marantz. I did however see the potential for better performance as the picture seemed less exaggerated. I then began to fuss with the many (and I do mean many)adjustments in the video menu's. Before long I had a stunning picture both more realistic and dynamic than the Marantz with incredible blacks and whites. The sound was a something altogether out of this world. The Denon killed the DV6400. Dialogue clear as you could get. This is the best sounding DVD player that I have ever heard by a wide margin. Try the scene early in the movie "House of the Flying Daggers" where The fella (forget his name) was throwing the beans against the drums and Mei was dancing and hitting the drums with her garment. When he threw the entire plate of beans at the drums I could not believe the sound coming from my system. The sound of the DVD 2910 for video is in a word "stunning"! Most amazing is that I don't have a DVI or HDMI cable yet, my observations were with the component video and coax digital hookups. SACD performace is far more relaxed with the Denon than the Marantz. The Marantz always gave the impression that the sound was compressed or forced. I have not listened to redbooks CD's again since the first night with it, but the NAD C542 was so much better that I may not try it again fo awhile. The competition is "no competition", the Denon is far superior to the Marantz in everyway. Reservation; I have not used the Denon or the Marantz for DVD-A.
Don't forget you need a good 2 weeks to properly warm up the player. lol
I have the 2910 and agree about "House of Flying Daggers," Mei's voice was so rich and clear and the drum scene was spectacular. Funny thing I noticed, using the audio button to switch between the Chinese and English (dubbed) soundtracks produced a sound such as a blanket being thrown over all the speakers in the English version, very noticable since the player switches between the two soundtracks without a hick-up.
I find your comparison for red book CD performance interesting. Makes me really want to hear the NAD player. Did you use the 6 channel analog connection, the digital connection, or the HDMI connection? I find the CD playback spectacular, yet the low end is hardly noticable in the analog connection. Makes me want to buy one of these -
For me the digital connections for audio don't sound as good as the analog. I will be getting the DVI to HDMI interconnect for upconverting the video. The real difference was the midrange detail and realism of the. Everything was better balanced on the NAD. It wasn't even close. It really was night and day. I will give more chances and ofcourse these are just my preliminary thoughts on the player. But, wow what a DVD and SACD player, totally amazing. It beat the Marantz in every way.
I had a DV6400 for a little while and was not happy with the picture quality. The pictures seemed very 2-D and flat with low color saturation. (This was after calibration). The sound however was awesome, SACD, DVD-A, even regular CD's came alive. If your looking for good universal player the Marantz does fine. If you are looking for great picture and sound, look elsewhere.
I am a Marantz man so it is hard to be objective. Yet I have to note that attempting to obtain quality sound from a CD audio format using a DVD player simply will not work. Only dedicated CD players can produce a high quality of sound from a CD. Do not take my word for it. Do the research. In comparing the mentioned DVD players, there should be little to no difference noticed when playing CDs. But if you are looking to get a quality sound from your CDs, buy a dedicated CD player.