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Arcam DV88 Plus - picture/audio quality?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Klop, Mar 6, 2003.

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  1. Klop

    Klop
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    Hi,

    I'm looking for a really good progressive NTSC/PAL player with great picture and audio quality. And have seen that there is a new Arcam DV88 Plus out. Does anyone know how it is (picture/audio) compared to the old DV88?

    To put it in other words - is this machine worth getting? I've been told that it is totally awesome.

    The Arcam DV88 Plus is my budget limit. Or are there other players out there worth checking out within my budget?

    Brgds,
    \Thomas
     
  2. fraggle

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    Well I just had a loan of the 88Plus for a week.

    Compared to my old Tosh 510, apart from the progressive scan improvements, there wasn't that much difference (viewing on a 7' screen) Actually the 88Plus image had big problems with ringing on the signal which made it worse! Strange, maybe I had a faulty one. (But it was the shops demo machine and it worked fine there. And we're both using the same component interconnect leads as well, even stranger!)

    I took it back and got a Phlilps 963 and there's no way could I say the improvements from the 863 to the 88Plus are worth the extra £700 in my situation.

    Depends if you've got the money really. If I had loads of spare cash I would get the 88Plus, or the DV27+.

    Dunno about the difference between the 88, the 88P and the 88Plus though.
     
  3. Jasonjo

    Jasonjo
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    fancy a second hand DV88 for £550 instead??? ;) ;)

    if so I have one for sale in the classifieds...

    JJ
     
  4. camlogan

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    hi there, I have an arcam dv88+ and here is what I think.

    Interlaced mode is no better than my 120 pound toshiba 210se.

    The progressive mode is excellant - way better than the built in progressive of my sim2.

    The audio for movies is excellant and the cd playback is amazing for a dvd player of this price.

    so, if you already have a great cd player or are only playing it in interlaced mode I wouldn't bother - but if you want a great progressive player, with excellant sound and the ability to upgrade it to better chipsets then the arcam is the one to get.

    CaM
     
  5. evans

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    theres a lot of dvd players that cost 3 times less and alot superior than the expensive ones. why pay 700 more when you can hardly tell the difference? I got the q50 and heard bad things about it but the picture quality is great on interlaced on my crapy 14 inch mitsubishi, cant wait to use the progressive pal and ntsc on a HD tv
     
  6. sharon

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    To my mind it all depends how important listening to CD's is to you, if you priorities are:

    1. Quality of music only playback
    2. Quality of PAL progressive playback
    3. Other formats

    Then I think the Arcam DV88+ is clearly the winner in it's class.. you'd need to spend twice the money to match it. If you priorities are in any way different you could probably find a equally good, cheaper solution
     
  7. gringottsdirect

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    ....or a third as much to better it ....:D
    Philips DVD-963SA £308 @ www.robertsonsonline.co.uk
    If you don't mind spending the extra buy a Denon DVD-3800 £799-ish @ www.discounttv.co.uk
    The main benefit of the 3800 is it's layer change buffer, DVD-A at it's best is possibly superior to SACD at it's best but many new releases I fancy are SACD so....
    I tried the Arcam DiVA 88+ and was advised by my dealer to wait for a 3800, when 3800 went " short supply " they shifted their push to the Arcam instead, I waited anyway and am glad I did.
    The Arcam is an excellent player but I wouldn't say it has better CD replay than my 963 ( 192khz Upsampling off or on ) or my Denon, both have PQ at least as good or in my opinion, better.
    The SACD / DVD-A is simply a bonus of having both machines.
    I wouldn't say Arcam's are less " buggy " but their Customer Support is far superior to Philips and Denon.
    A new 88+ can be bought £900 @ www.creative-audio.co.uk or most Arcam dealers will do same.
     
  8. a_b

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    I was disappointed with DV88+ as a CD player. DVD in progressive mode was fine, but imho comparable with other £800 - 1000 interlaced DVD players. CD playback was only (imho) in-line with £300 CD players, and was not better vs. Philips 963sa in my set-up (Arcam A32 amp + mission 782 front).

    I would recommend to save some cash for DV27, or go for DVD + CD player route if CD is a priority.
     
  9. sharon

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    Good points gringottsdirect, I was only referring to standard CD music replay, must admit I have no experience of SACD or DVD-A mainly because I have nothing but normal music CD in my collection. When it comes to standard CD music replay, I can see that technically the Denon DVD-3800 should be better but I blind tested it against the Arcam and it simply wasn't. Sure there all sort of other factors in play including personal preference, but maybe its the quality of other more rudimentary components..... but hey the basic advice is listen and watch them both and make your own decision
     
  10. Spligsey

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    Those 3800's..........Just how hot do they get:eek: :eek:

    Saved me a few quid on central heating bills though...........(whilst i had it on loan)

    Bit worrying really.



    Adzman
     
  11. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    Quite agree ! :smashin:
     
  12. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    Varies it seems, I had May build date loaner and bought a different player with May build date , neither warmer than other players :)
     
  13. Klop

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    Ok thx a lot for all your advice.

    I think I'll have the Denon and the Arcam home and test run them and then make my decision.

    Cuz at my dealer I can get a good discount on the Arcam - actually I can get for the same price as the Denon! :)

    But we'll see what I like the most.

    Just one last question: is the Denon and Arcam the progressive quality a like? Or is the just Arcam a little better in your opinion?

    \Thomas
     
  14. sharon

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    Pretty much nothing in it with the Progressive Quality, maybe, just maybe it seemed to me that the Arcam did better progressive PAL and the Denon better progressive NTSC. But nothing so discernable to make a difference - it was music only playback that did it for me!
     
  15. Jasonjo

    Jasonjo
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    you should be able to get the 3800 from your dealer for about £800 ish. if you haggle a bit (online for this sort of price)

    Personally I prefered the PQ on the 3800 (just seemed more 3D and less harsh).

    I found CD sound between the two (to me) very similar in quality (running with my AVC-A10Se anyhow)...having DVD-A incorporated is also a good bonus - have you heard a good DVD-A disc - WOW!!!

    I also preferred the build quality of the denon, not saying the Arcam was bad, but just got a better feeling from the 3800. I also wanted 2 x Scart to be able to daisy chain devices to get RGB for everything. Also (bit of a sad point :blush:) but I much prefer the look of the 3800 vs the arcams

    Like all have said, take both home and see which one you fall in love with...!!!:devil:

    Have fun choosing!!!! :p

    JJ

    P.S. I moved to the 3800 from a DV88
     
  16. Klop

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    Ok so if I buy a Denon 3800 how do I make it play PAL progressive and make et regionfree?

    Is there a firmware upgrade somewhere to DL or can it be done via the RC (enter some codes...)?

    \Thomas
     
  17. Bish

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    Klop - this is the beauty of this forum, it allows everybody to express their OWN opinions...most of which are solid accounts from passionate av enthsiasts simply wishing to extend the blood line of their favoutire manufacturer....presenting the reader with the benefit of their own facts and findings and giving them a choice on which way to go.....ala the Matrix....You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe (Denon) you take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes (Arcam)...

    In my humble opinion.... The DV88Plus is an outstanding piece of kit and has probably made the single biggest impact of all the boxes if have ever bought.

    There is little benefit in me repeating whats already been said about this player on this board, and you only have to pop into WHSmiths and flick through this months selection of AV/HiFi publications to see what they are currently saying but what i would say is this....

    Use forum opinions and magazine reviews to make your shortlist, go see your shortlist in action, buy the stuff that gives you the biggest smile, go home, keep smiling and tell us all when you've found that rabbit!!

    Good luck
     
  18. siluro

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    bish, really couldnt have put it any better myself. Not dissin denon in any way as it a absoluty pukka machine but my preferance was arcam and it truly can show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

    Good luck with choosing klop, its a close call.

    cheers
    lee
     
  19. Klop

    Klop
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    Bish where exactly can I find that? Could you plz insert a link! :)

    Yeah I know I maybe have to try both pills in order to properly decide which one I want...
     
  20. evans

    evans
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    Bish

    your probably right about the arcam being better than the denon, but your forgetting about one thing, is it better enough for someone to fork out all that money? I suppose you have to look at everything before you buy (features and performance vs the money). personally I think blowing all that money on one player is ridiculous as technology is moving so fast!

    just an opinion

    cheers
     
  21. Bish

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    Evans,

    A good point and a very valid opinion it too.

    What am i trying to achieve?, what do i have to spend to achieve this? are two fundamental questions that all buyers have to ask themselves when purchasing AV equipment.

    Technology is moving at such a rate that its virtually impossible to predict the right time to make a new purchase and a piece of technology is only worth the money if YOU the buyer believes it to be.

    Your point about technology moving so fast was a key factor also in my Arcam purchase, they really do try to protect the investment their customers make in their equipment by future-proofing as much of their gear as possible. They offer the buyer the choice of purchasing additional RELEVENT upgrades when needed therefore avoiding paying for some of the built-in obsolescence bits that are not currently being used in other machines.

    Cheers
     
  22. gringottsdirect

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    Whilst abusing chemicals in a Wonderland rabbit-hole you may like to reflect your £900 Arcam has...
    Neither a Faroudja FLI2300 DCDi or Silicon Image SiL-504 but a humble Zoran Vaddis 5 instead. Arcam utilise a Sil-504 within their superb £1600 FMJ-DV27+.
    Philips DVD-963 has the DCDi whilst Denon DVD-3800 the Sil-504, you can find the Zoran Vaddis 5 in a Limit DVD-9900SE complete with DVD-A enabled @ £149, Arcam charge £300 to " upgrade " a DiVA 88+ to DVD-A.
    Arcam has no 4mb layer change buffer whilst Denon DVD-3800 has.
    Philips DVD-963 and Denon DVD-3800 both have 192khz Upsampling for " red-book " CD replay, Arcam utilise this in their new FMJ-CD33 player.
    3800 has DVD-A, 963 has SACD, take your pick.
    The Denon has the most efficient navigation of DVD menus I have seen, whilst the Arcam is clunky and is supplied with an awful remote. ( Use a Pronto ! ).
    Arcam have superb customer support to fix their ( mostly firmware ) bugs, Denon have the full weight of Hayden Labs (
    :zonked: ).
     
  23. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    Having a favourite manufacturer can bite you !
    Personally, investigating various products from several makers is a better idea. :)
     
  24. Spligsey

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    Gringotts.

    I think my Meridian System Remote holds the title for the worst remote in history!!....:mad:

    It's pants of the highest order!!!!!....thank god their DVD player is slightly better:blush:


    Also i agree with you..The 963SA is fabulous value for money..so much good innards for little ££'s.

    Adzman.
     
  25. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    Thanks Adz :cool:
     
  26. evans

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    Bish

    If thats the case with the arcam (being able to upgrade it must be worth the money)

    I have a satellite receiver were you can upgrade via the internet and I this has been really good. If I was stuck with the same software I would be st>>>:)
     
  27. gilesm

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    Bish/Klop

    I'm still in a quandry too about the same systems, waiting till I finally see/hear a DV89 next to the 3800. Then I guess it'll be down to quality versus cost :confused: .

    Good boint about the upgrade and future proofing, following the Arcam story it's always been about prog scan and DVD-A, well we're almost there, will the DV88+/89 still be upgradeable in the future - to well who knows what?

    Giles
     
  28. fraggle

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    Problem with Arcams "upgrade ability" is that it costs huge amounts.

    Take a DV88, upgrade it to 88Plus, then upgrade that to an 89 and you've spend waayyy more than a DV27 would have cost you.

    I suppose DVD (V,A and SACD), progressive scan technology, high end D-A chips, etc will settle down eventually to a point where there's very little difference between them (like your bog standard DD and DTS chip sets have) and at that point its worth buying an expensive DVD player, but at the moment, for me, it isn't.

    The rest of Arcams stuff doesn't really suffer from this. CD players, tuners, audio amps, power amps, etc all use stable technology/design. I suppose even AV amps can just have their firmware updated so long as there's enough processing power in there it can cope with any new sound formats. (and sufficient pre amp, volume and pre-out channels!).
     
  29. gringottsdirect

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    My neighbour has just bought an FMJ-27+, she is delighted with it.
     

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