Arcam CD93 or DV27A?

Mr. C

Standard Member
Want to upgrade my CD since it's getting a bit old. I was considering Arcam CD93 for £400 (nice price I guess) but since I know I need to upgrade my DVD as soon as I get a plasma or LCD, I found a DV27 for £700 which basically is what I guess I would end up paying for the CD above and one DVD anyway. So question is how good is a DV27 at CD? Guess the picture is as good as it gets not knowing anything about DVDs, havent really looked into this productline yet (thought our 4-5 year old DVD player was well up to it, until I hooked up a 2 year old $150 Sony DVD to a plasma.) Please give me some advise since I can't audiotion any of the above before buying which I know I should, but unfortunately it's not an option. And since they are used I'm sort of short of time as well.... Also found that there's no DVI och HDMI on the DV, how big loss is this in reality (or too dependent on the screen to tell?)
Or do you think the price for the CD93 is good enough to simply grab it and run?
 
M

musicwave

Guest
Here's the advice I sought when going through the same situation:

________________________________________
Subject: RE: dv27

The DV27A still uses the Silicon Image chipset for its de-interlacing (progressive video). The DV29 uses the on-board Vaddis 5 chipset to do the de-interlacing, because the extra electronics required to output HDMI digital video meant space was at a premium.

To be honest, I have compared the performance of the Vaddis 5 against the Silicon Image for progressive video, and found tht the Vaddis was better in some ways, the Silicon image was better in others. As such, I couldn't really say that either one was clearly superior.

The DV27A's CD playback is very good, and is probably comparable to the old DiVA CD82T (a £600 player), and as such will probably outperform the CD73 for CD playback. The DV29 however is even better still, and its CD performance will outperform the top of the DivA range player, the CD192.

I hope this answers your questions.

Regards

Arcam Technical Field Support
A&R Cambridge Ltd, Pembroke Ave, Denny Industrial Ctr, Waterbeach, Cambridge, CB5 9QR, UK
Tel:+ 44 (0) 1223 203 203
Fax:+44 (0) 1223 863 384

Spares: [email protected]
Web: http://www.arcam.co.uk
*Please include this email in your reply, thank you*

Dear John,

The DV27A uses the Vaddis 5 chipset, as opposed to the Vaddis 3 chipset used by the original DV27. The Vaddis 5 will give a more slick and smoother operation, as well as improved picture and sound quality. The DVD-A board fitted to the DV27A also gives you the ability to play back DVD-Audio material.

PAL progressive scan will have no affect on most region 1 discs, because these discs are American and Canadian and so are usually recorded using the NTSC video system. However, the progressive scan board on the DV27 and DV27A can output PAL or NTSC progressive, so you will still be able to view region 1 discs in progressive scan format.

I hope this answers your questions.

Regards

Arcam Technical Field Support

A&R Cambridge Ltd, Pembroke Ave, Denny Industrial Ctr, Waterbeach, Cambridge, CB5 9QR, UK


Tel:+ 44 (0) 1223 203 203

Fax:+44 (0) 1223 863 384



Spares: [email protected]

Web: http://www.arcam.co.uk

*Please include this email in your reply, thank you*
 

simonb68

Novice Member
Hi Mr C, I thought it might be worth pointing out, if you're not already aware, of the various DV27 models, which are significant in terms of DVD playback quality. I think the following is correct

DV27 - Vaddis 3 MPEG decoder, Silicon Images 503 'video processor'
DV27+ - Vaddis 5 MPEG decoder, Silicon Images 503 'video processor'
DV27A - Vaddis 5 MPEG decoder, Silicon Images 504 'video processor'

The DV27+ is an unofficially recognised intermediate model between the original DV27 and the DV27A. From an audio perspective the DV27A upgrades the DV27 and gives you...

"The DVD-A upgrade will give you DVD-Audio playback capability, plus the ability to process 5.1 soundtracks within the player, and use Pro-logic II etc, but will not improve video performance."

If this is not important to you then it might be worth trying to search out a DV27+ if you are interested in squeezing the best video performance out of your upgrade and saving a few pounds at the same time. These models should in theory be of similar price to the DV27 models, a DV27A should in all likelihood be costlier.

Without going into technicalities (partly because I don't totally understand the differences, and, no offence, it sounds like you wouldn't either), the Vaddis 5 MPEG decoder is significantly better than the Vaddis 3 version.

Ignore the difference in the Silicon Images chipset since...

"We did move from the SiL503 to the 504 at some point, but the chipset is identical in terms of performance, it is just in a different package."

However both Vaddis chipsets *I believe* suffer from the chroma bug, so worth considering if this is important to you.

However I don't know an easy way to distinguish between a DV27 and a DV27+. Two possible ways are

1. get the serial number of the unit and ask Arcam..

"If your Serial number is D27VP0..... then you have the plus version with the vaddis 5 version."

2. check the firmware version (see http://www.envytech.co.uk/arcamdvd/ for details, plus other useful information). The DV27 firmware stopped at version 1.81, the + and A versions are at 5.x

A potential seller should be able to provide you with one or both.

As to the lack of HDMI, I can't comment from experience, only from what I have read and heard. The component out of the DV27/+/A is very, very good and is as good if not better than the HDMI out of *some* players. You would need to ensure that any screen you buy offers a component input, and note that component vs HDMI quality can be as much dependent on their implementation in the display as the player. There are potential issues with component vs HDMI when considering HD signals, however since this is an SD player these should not concern you. I would hope someone better qualified can comment further about the component vs HDMI quality question.


PS: All quotes are from Arcam Technical Support who were very helpful in clearing up a number of questions I had on the various DV27 models. If in doubt contact them ([email protected] or [email protected]) and I would hope they can answer your queries.

PPS: see here for some additional comment about the DV27. A forum search should also throw up plenty of historical comment about CD and DVD performance of the Arcam models.

Hope thats of some help
Simon
 

crobo

Well-known Member
Sinonb68, that is seriously useful for DV27 owners such as myself; I was aware of some of these points but not all. With such a major difference in video processor, I am really surprised that Arcam didn't change the model name (eg DV27+ of course).

Do you know if CD playback differed between the DV27 and the 'DV27+'?
 

simonb68

Novice Member
crobo said:
Sinonb68, that is seriously useful for DV27 owners such as myself; I was aware of some of these points but not all. With such a major difference in video processor, I am really surprised that Arcam didn't change the model name (eg DV27+ of course).
It was thanks to this forum that I found out about the DV27+. When I bought mine I was sure I wouldn't want DVD-A so didn't see any point paying extra for the same video performance. These days I don't think the price difference is great and it's perhaps worth getting a 27A for all the features.

I seem to recall that the reason for the 27+ was due to a delay, perhaps in ratifying the DVD-A spec, so Arcam started shipping an intermediate version, but I have no idea if there's any truth to that.

crobo said:
Do you know if CD playback differed between the DV27 and the 'DV27+'?
I don't, but I don't believe there is any difference on the 2 channel audio side.
 

Mr. C

Standard Member
That was a lot of information! Really appreciated. Been thinking all night, and more or less settled on the CD93. My personal feeling is that the comp. output from the Arcam probably is much better than any converter at the input of a "normal" LCD/plasma (around £1200-mark) thus a digital connection should be used to avoid degrading the signal.
I also think the arcam FMJ CD33 was better then the CD73 when I auditioned them about 2 years ago (only thing I remember is that the singer seemed to take a step forward when they changed from the CD73/72 (?) to the FMJ33) . From what I've read the CD93 is close to the FMJ CD33, or at least much closer then the 73-model? And the 27 is on par with the 82 from CD-quality which I haven't listened to, but probably that player is not as good as the 93?
 

hrotti

Standard Member
I have a dv27a and it's performance in cd playing is great, very close to CD93 but no match for FMJ CD33

I've had countless hours compairing these as my best friend is the local arcam dealer :)
 

Mr. C

Standard Member
As I understod it the only difference between the CD93 and the CD33 is the chassi and dual supply in the 33, all components are the same? Is the difference between these two models that big then, or is it more subtile? Would be happy if someone can try and put words to the difference. I know the CD33 should be better, but pricetag is a bit steeper as well.
 
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