Arcam DV79 vs Denon 3910

nicholas_g

Standard Member
Anyone had a chance to compare these two?
I'm interested in CD sound quality and well as picture quality.

Thanks,
Nicholas.
 

Crustyloafer

Well-known Member
CD Quality: No contest, the Arcam outperforms the Denon in every way

Picture quality: Both very good, the Denon is possibly slightly more natural but the Arcam has much more vibrant colours which to me are more exciting to watch. You could argue though that the Arcam is doing it right and the Denon just looks washed out. The Arcam definitely has a sharper picture and better edge definition too.
 

stebbo

Standard Member
Crustyloafer said:
CD Quality: No contest, the Arcam outperforms the Denon in every way

Picture quality: Both very good, the Denon is possibly slightly more natural but the Arcam has much more vibrant colours which to me are more exciting to watch. You could argue though that the Arcam is doing it right and the Denon just looks washed out. The Arcam definitely has a sharper picture and better edge definition too.
The Arcam also does 576i through HDMI, so if you are ever in the market for a video processor this is a better option.
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
I think there are other problems with the Denon re deinterlacing, I would say the Arcam wins on both accounts, and with some ease in the important areas for me. The Arcam picture 'pops' whilst the Denon is much more washed out. Don't like the Arcam remote though...
 

Jack the lad

Active Member
Ive had both going through my Sony HS50. In a word "Arcam" at every level. It really is that impressive IMHO :smashin:
 

paulst10

Distinguished Member
something i noticed with both the 2910 and 3910 was issues with makro-blocking... i think it is something to do the faroudja chipset
 

Henry

Active Member
I tried both over quite an extended period on home demos and I plumped for the Arcam but I didn't think that there was much in it from a picture point of view. I thought the Arcam was better sonically and that swung it for me. Been very happy with it ever since.
 

chambeaj

Well-known Member
In terms of picture quality the Arcam DV79 is superb - irrespective of whether you are using HDMI or RGB SCART.
 

flexiondotorg

Active Member
When I was choosing my kiy I was lucky enough to do a comparision of these two units side by side using the same AMP (AVR300), screen, speakers and interconnects.

I can't really comment on picture quality as both were outputting via compoent directly into an NEC SD panel, they looked equally good.

However, in terms of CD playback the Arcam was hugely superior.
 

gregeas

Active Member
I have a DV79 and DVD3910 in separate systems. Haven't compared them side by side, but I do feel that audio is disappointing with the 3910, even with SACD and DVD-A. I guess I'm spoiled now with Arcam... Anyone want to buy my 3910? I will say that the video leaves nothing to be desired on the Denon...
 

Matt Horne

Well-known Member
Just use a external scaler probably do a much better job than the 3910 :) (though cost would be a issue with regards to scalers!)

Matt
 

rimibar

Active Member
I had both of these in for an in-home demo (thanks Steve/Jeremy - you know who you are!), and finally opted for the DV79.

I agree with the above comments on the 3910 producing a more "vibrant" image, but for accuracy the DV79 clinched it for me.

Audio is absolutely fantastic on the DV79 and wipes the floor (IMHO) with the Denon. Both Audio DVD and CD sound wonderful! The only negative on the audio front is that Arcam do not support SACD. I suppose purists would argue that the latter was weaker than DVDA anyway.

The only gripe I have with the Arcam is that the remote is absolutely terrible (have more than once stopped myself from snapping it in anger!).

Hope this is of some use!
 

Hybe

Standard Member
Matt Horne said:
Just use a external scaler probably do a much better job than the 3910 :) (though cost would be a issue with regards to scalers!)

Matt
yeah, they are way too expensive.
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
Hybe said:
but the DV79 doesn't upscale to 720p or 1080i, isn't that an issue?

edit: grammar
Yes it is an issue, give me the non scaling DVD player every time. Another round to Arcam.
 
M

MiliSim

Guest
The Denon 3910 has some serious quality issues as well. I used to own one. Believe it or not I took it back after a few weeks and bought a DVD player that I felt was just as good as the 3910 but about 1/6 the price. The Panasonic S77/97.

I Cant justify sinking big money into a flagship DVD player when in the next 6 months HD is out. If I was you I would buy a GOOD dvd player and spend your money elsewhere until the war is over. Then sink your thousands into a new Arcam HD!

3 years I think they said.
 

fabfour

Active Member
By asking this question on the Arcam forum, I'm not surprised that you got a lot of thumbs up for Arcam! :)

Perhaps you might like to post the same question on the Denon owners forum and see if you get some contrasting views.
 

Hybe

Standard Member
yeah, the lack of a integrated scaler in the DV79 kinda worries me, now when i've allready preordered one! :)
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
My answer would the same what ever forum you put it in.

The lack of a second rate scaler is a big plus in my book, I have always achieved good results this way, and only get good results with scaler equiped players under 'certain' circumstances which rarely are the norm. I will take quality over quantity anytime.
 

Jack the lad

Active Member
Hybe said:
yeah, the lack of a integrated scaler in the DV79 kinda worries me, now when i've allready preordered one! :)
Trust me, dont worry. When you see the picture on the DV79 you will be blown away :smashin:
 

per-Sony-fied

Active Member
rimibar said:
I agree with the above comments on the 3910 producing a more "vibrant" image, but for accuracy the DV79 clinched it for me.
I thought Crusty said the opposite and comparing the Arcam models to other DVD players I'd say the same as Crusty.

rimibar said:
Hope this is of some use
Maybe conflicting use.
 

Nuno Santos

Active Member
Nic Rhodes said:
I think there are other problems with the Denon re deinterlacing, I would say the Arcam wins on both accounts, and with some ease in the important areas for me. The Arcam picture 'pops' whilst the Denon is much more washed out. Don't like the Arcam remote though...
Hi Nic,

Can you elaborate on this, please? Secrets found some issues with the DV79 deinterlacing whereas the 3910 had none (or almost). I have no experience with either of these players so I cannot give pro or against arguments about them, but still, I'm curious about your findings.

Cheers,

NS
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
The secrets web site, though technically very interesting makes little or no link with the picture you actually see.

The Faroudja chip set can do very good deinterlacing, if the supporing software is good. I remain to be convinced by the 3910 but other players are much better in this regard (inc the cheaper ones!!). However it does have 'issues'. The issues are however deal breakers for many like macro blocking which effects most of the players using this chip set. Some filtering is possible and the electronic in the display device also makes it's effect known as well. The player isn't too hot a picking either whether film / video, just give it a disc like Insurrectin and watch it not make it's mind up!!

The Panny 97 on the other hand also MB But has a nicer picture so I don't think it is just the deinterlacing. The Panny uses a far better MPEG decoder.

I just don't like the audio which is the biggest issue for me and the reason my brother now has the SDI 3910. Even SDI'ed it looked washed out!!

The Arcam on the other hand 'just' uses the Vadis 5 MPEG decoding and deinterlacing, technically perhaps not the best but it's 'issues' are not deal breakers unlike the 3910. The end result is you get a picture and sound that (just about) everyone prefers.

This is not about who has the most or least faults, it is about the importance of those faults and how you live with each player. The Arcam 'covers it butt' much better but so do many players, like Pioneers, Philips, Marantz.....Denon make some great players but I am not convinced the 3910 which be used as the crowning glory of Denon in years to come.
 

Nuno Santos

Active Member
Thanks for the info.

Macroblocking is indeed a strange phenomena. It should be apparent on all displays and in form of digital or analogue connection (sourced by the Faroudja chipset deinterlacing) , but it seems that some displays do not show this bug (don't no if by hiding or whatever...) and others make it an impossible marriage. It is a deinterlacing issue from some sort of bad combination with other video sections (there are some implementations of the FLI2310 that do not show this problem).

This 'deinterlacing' thing is quite interesting, actually. Using the Insurrection opening scene I can see almost no problems with a Denon 2910 connected to a Sim2 PJ, but using the Sim2 for deinterlacing (which I believe uses the same chipset - FLI2310) there are all kinds of deinterlacing problems. Howcome? Aren't the same algorithms being used?

You refer to the 3910 as having problems switching between film and video modes. Where do you see this? I only found an issue with a 2910 (never tested the 3910) but it locks the correct mode in half a second.

I do agree with you that an issue like MB is indeed a deal breaker. It is unacceptable. But if it doesn't manifest itself on a certain display device then and assuming better deinterlacing as suggested by the secrets site, the 3910 would be a better solution, IMHO - Video wise.

Audio wise, I tested an Arcam DV27A against a 2910 and there was a considerable difference towards the Arcam. Much better sound, but we were comparing a £2K unit against a £600 at the time. We never tested the 3910, though. I tested an A1XV a while ago against a TAG DV32R in 2 ch PCM. The TAG was much better. I was kind of disapointed as I expected the Denon to be much closer to TAG. I think that Denon have some room for improvement over here (if they can).

Which deinterlacing solution is used by the latest Marantz and Pioneer?

NS
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
NS

I think you sum it quite well, The like of the Tag are still ahead of anything Denon are producing and given the 5 years that have passed this should no longer be the case.

Re differences with the same chipset, this is the route of my problem. It is the firmware that allows this and Denon appear un willing to modify it for the 3910. Others have or didn't have the issues in the beginning.

I prefer the 2910 to the 3910.

Re film / video modes a few bad flagged discs cause the front light to flicker it is so bad!! With good discs it is less of a problem but life.....

Pioneer uses it's own deinterlacing, though not a SIL504 is pretty decent.

People forget to et a good piccy you need to do the following well.
MPEG decoding
Deinterlacing
Analogue and Digital output engineering for picture (and sound)

If any one isn't good.....I think Denon tries to do too much with the £1k players, they should do less but better like Arcam.
 

RumNYC

Active Member
nicholas_g said:
Anyone had a chance to compare these two?
I'm interested in CD sound quality and well as picture quality.

Thanks,
Nicholas.
Do what I did--Get the Denon 2910 and The Arcam CD73!
 

Nuno Santos

Active Member
To be honest, I can't figure out why the same chipset shows different results with the same scene (and I'm not referring to MB or other bugs). If some DVD player or PJ uses the FLI2310 I'd expect that if the roof tiles on Insurrection are solid with the player, then they should also be solid with the PJ (it is the same algorithm). But, that is not the case.

I have never taken to lenght what most TAG users used to say on its red book performance. After trying the 2910 and the A1XV at home, I now understand. It is hard to do a good job on red book for a DVD player and I believe that, on this matter, Arcam has nailed it. It might be not as good as the TAG but its very, very good. Problem is that on the video side of things, the results are not as good as it's audio performance. You may be right: Arcam probably want's to do a good job on every side instead of doing a great job at one end, and an average at the other.

When Arcam used to have the SI chipset for deinterlacing, results were better but it seems that this solution is no longer valid and they went the Vaddis route which, I believe, is inferior, video wise. Maybe the next generation (probably the last before entering the HD arena) this can be bettered. Or, should they even bother?

An Arcam DVD player with video deinterlacing up there with the best would be, IMHO, the definate player. I wouldn't even bother the non availability of SACD...

NS
 

Nuno Santos

Active Member
RumNYC said:
Do what I did--Get the Denon 2910 and The Arcam CD73!
My solution exactly: TAG for 5.1 audio and red book and the 2910 through HDMI for movies and SACD. But, from what I tested, there is a difference in performance (for 5.1 movies) between the 2910 and, for example, the Arcam DV27A, audio wise. Therefore, I'd very much like to have a DV29 MkII or DV79 MkII with better deinterlacing. That would be, IMHO, perfect in every sense.

NS
 

Gordon @ Convergent AV

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Nuno: I think that you'll find that there are several different parameters that can be tweaked in the F chipsets and these parameters will affect the ability of a device to correctly detect which algorithm to use,(how fast to switch and which one). Once the type of video source is detected the results (for de-iterlacinig) will probably be the same but if one device is slow or has a setting which confuses it to drop to video quickly rather than locking with film mode you'll get half res images more often.

On the Arcam v Denon front....one of my friends in this industry had a 3910. He had all sorts of issues with it....indeed I even spent an afternoon trying to work out what was wrong with it before discovering a nice bug.....in the end he did the decent thing and got a DV79....Called me the following week to tell me how he couldn't believe how much better it was! I wouldn't disagree.

G
 

Nuno Santos

Active Member
Thanks Gordon for your input.

As stated before, I haven't tested the Denon x910 vs Arcam DV79 yet (but am beggining to feel I really should). The test score at secrets was so bad for the DV79 I assumed that, in terms of deinterlacing, the 2910 would be much better (and I could improve the performance a bit on Audio and Video by going for the 3910). And that's why I have the 2910: a good deinterlacer, universal machine with HDMI output just for movies. The picture is sharper and cleaner comparing the interlaced output of the TAG. Colors are a bit washed out (the TAG here is much punchier and colors are a bit more 3D), but resolution wise there's more detail with an HDMI equiped DVD player like the 2910.

I can get a DV79 for about £600 but I would loose SACD reading (and am considering that the DV79 vs 2910 shootout would be favorable to the Arcam).

NS
 

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