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Arcam FMJ-DV27 CD sound worth the price ?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by steve36, Jun 27, 2003.

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  1. steve36

    steve36
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    Hi,
    I am currently considering either a DV88P or FMJ-DV27.
    This is because I recently heard an Arcam CD72 and I now am slightly disatisfied with my old cd player. Also I would like progressive scan.
    The CD72 was better than my CD player enough to make me want to upgrade, but not massively better.

    I am now wondering if the DV88P is significantly better, so leaving more money for me to upgrade my amp.

    Thanks in advance,

    Steve.
     
  2. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    We have the DV88+.

    Excellent player.

    We will also be using it for CD. The wife loved the sound from it. I have to admit it's pretty good at CD too. It's the same as a CD72 which we did own for a while. DVD playback is superb.

    I put it to her to buy a DV27, but a plus version. More to get better CD playback with marginal increase in DVD abilities. She agreed as it made sense to get as good a machine as possible since it will also be our CD player.

    However, the problem is that the plus version is difficult to get hold of other than brand new. So you're looking at say £1600 or so. The DV88+ imho makes the original DV27 a much less attractive buy. And I personally don't want to pay the extra for the new DV27 with DVD-A at £2000!! Since I'd only recently paid £650 for my ex dem DV88+, it's a bit of a conumdrum.:)

    Unless you absolutely want DVD-A, the DV88+ is the better bet.

    Hope that helps a bit.
     
  3. steve36

    steve36
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    I absolutely agree with you !
    Have you actually heard the DV27 ?

    I will probably search out and ex-dem DV88+(P ?) due to the quite large price difference at the moment and use the difference on the amplifier so I can actually hear the difference !

    The good thing about both models is you can upgrade to DVD-A when the dust settles over SACD(possibly better) the DVD-A argument.

    Steve.
     
  4. JUS

    JUS
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    I think there is a difference between the + and the P. I read a tread a few days ago talking about upgrades. I'm sure they were talking about upgrading from P to +. Worth doing a search to check.

    Jus.
     
  5. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    I doubt that. More likely to have been the other way round: talking about adding the Silicon Image 503 progressive scan board to a DV88+ to improve its progressive video output.
     
  6. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    P is + is it not? P = plus.
     
  7. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    No.

    The original player was called the DV88. It wasn't capable of progressive scan output. It could be upgraded to the DV88P ("P" for "Progressive") for a couple of hundred quid - this involved adding the same progressive-scan board that is found in the more expensive DV27.

    The DV88+ uses a more recent basic processor and MPEG decoder chipset, the Vaddis 5 (where the old DV88 used the Vaddis 3). This does provide progressive-scan out-of-the-box, but not of quite such a high quality as is found in the DV88P or the DV27. Hence it is still possible to fit the fancy progressive-scan board to a DV88+.
     
  8. jont

    jont
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    IIRC the DV88 with the '+' and the 'P' becomes a DV89 out of the box ??

    rgds

    Jon
     
  9. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    The DV89 is (effectively) an upgrade to the DV88+ that allows it to play back DVD-Audio. It won't/doesn't contain the Sil 503 progressive-scan board, so it has nothing to do with the DV88P.
     
  10. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    Are you saying the P has better picture quality than a +?:confused:

    So following that, the DV27P is better again, by a fair margin?

    So the very best machines in order should read like this?-

    DV27P
    DV27+
    DV88P
    DV88+
    DV88?

    (Not including the DVD-A option.)
     
  11. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    I've re read all this and am now a bit lost myself.

    Basically, it's possible for me to add a better prog scan board to my DV88+?

    Or, I could buy a DV27P which already has it, is not the + version, and is more readiy available ex dem/2nd hand for the price of my + with the cost of the upgrade?

    The only other differences really being is that the 88+ has the newer drive and software, overcoming previous problems in earlier production models of the 88/27?

    I think.:D
     
  12. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    There are the following variables: does it use the vaddis 3 or vaddis 5 processor? Does it have the Sil 503 prog scan board? Can it do DVD Audio?

    The original DV88 was (respectively) vaddis 3, no, no.
    The DV88+ is vaddis 5, no, no.
    The DV89 is vaddis 5, no, yes.

    Any of these 3 can have the Sil 503 board added. With the original DV88 this is the only way you can get progressive scan output. The DV88+ can already do progressive scan without the extra board, but the image quality may be better with it if you want to spend more money and add it. The DV88P is simply a DV88 with the sil 503 board, so that's: vaddis 3, yes, no.

    There isn't really a name for a DV88+ with the sil503 board added.

    You can also upgrade an old DV88 to DV88+ spec (i.e. the vaddis 5 processor). And you can upgrade a DV88+ to a DV89 (adding DVD-Audio playback) but you need the vaddis 5 processor to do that.


    DV27: vaddis 3, yes, no.
    DV27+: vaddis 5, yes, no.
    DV27A: vaddis 5, yes, yes.

    Again, one can upgrade a DV27 to a DV27+, and a DV27+ to a DV27A.

    To complicate matters slightly, Arcam have never actually produced anything they call a DV27+, they simply quietly switched from the DV27 to DV27+ specification without making much of an announcement of the fact. Arcam uses "DV27" to refer to either model.

    The picture quality of a DV27+ and a DV88+ will be much the same in interlaced mode. The DV27+ will be better if you use the progressive scan output. The video quality of a DV27 (any variant) and a DV88P should be virtually identical. But the DV27 has superior audio circuitry, so it plays CDs better than a DV88+, and one would expect the DV27A to play back DVD-Audio better than the DV89.

    There you are, clear as day. ;)
     
  13. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    :suicide:

    Sooooooooo, the 'only' way to be sure of the 'best' possible picture/sound, is to bite the bullet and buy a brand spanking new DV27 with DVD-A.

    Goodbye £2000.:laugh:
     
  14. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Well, yes and no. :)

    Let's consider some possiblities:

    1) You own a DV88 (old model) and you want progressive scan output. You could add the Sil 503 board and turn it into a DV88P. Or you could have the processor upgraded to the vaddis 5, and turn it into a DV88+. Or you could buy a DV27. If progressive scan video quality is your sole criterion, then the first option is probably the best. Buying a DV27 won't get you a better picture than upgrading to a DV88P.

    2) You own a DV88+ and you want better quality progressive scan output. You could have the sil 503 board fitted. Or you could buy a DV27. Again, picture quality will be much the same.

    3) You own a DV88+ and want to get better quality CD-playback. You buy a DV27.

    4) You own a DV88+ and want to get DVD-Audio capability. You upgrade it to a DV89.

    5) You own a DV89 and want better DVD-Audio sound quality. You buy a DV27A.

    6) You own a DV27 (or DV27+) and you want DVD-Audio. You upgrade it to a DV27A.


    As far as CD playback is concerned, it's worth noting that much of the difference in audio quality between the DV88+ and DV27+ comes from choice of Audio DACs. So if you all you want to do is improve CD sound, you might want to experiment with an external DAC, or a better home cinema processor, and just use the player as a transport. Or you could just buy a stand-alone CD player, of course.

    The DV27A won't play back CDs any better than the DV27+, and the DV89 won't play them back any better than the DV88+.
     
  15. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    Hmmmm.

    I own the DV88+ and would want to have better CD and picture quality via prog scan.

    The best thing to do is buy a DV27+. Correct?

    I'm not bothered about DVD-A , yet. As long as it could be fitted at a later date, fine.

    A DV27+ will have the Sil 503 prog scan board, Wolfson DACs, and all the benfits from its initial construction, making it the best option for me.

    Also, a DV27+ won't have any of the initial problems reported by people with the drive and software. It's the improved design.

    It's all really quite obvious now, don't you know.:)
     
  16. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Great replies NicolasB.

    I own a DV27+ and think it was the best of the Arcam bunch; I did test original DV27 and DV27+ and thought PQ was better (inc less chroma bug too).

    Haven't Arcam stopped making it now though, and one can only buy DV27A (i.e. DV27+ with DVD-A daughterboard fitted)?

    If you want to cheaper DV27+ you may have to snap it up whilst stocks last.

    Useful Arcam link here

    StooMonster
     
  17. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    That's exactly what I'm looking into right now. All comes down to price though.
     
  18. a_b

    a_b
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    I am repeating myself (I said it in few posts already), but I could here a big difference in sound quality between DV-27 and 88+.

    I think it goes down to the quality of stereo amp / speakers. I also have always had a separate (Arcam) CD player and I do listen to a lot of music, so personally I would not buy 88+ to replace any decent CD player (imho it was worse than my old Alpha 8).

    This is of course just one opinion - as far as music is concerned, I guess the best judge is your ears.

    Good luck!
     
  19. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Quick tip: if you are in shop and see one, or checking it out over the phone, you can tell DV27+ over DV27 because it has a "P" in the serial number, also the box will have pink sticker with "software v1.81" or above. Although, if you get to see it in action when you turn the player on it tells you the version (anything v1.79 or before is DV27).

    Some retailers still have DV27s, so be careful.

    StooMonster
     
  20. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    Funny how opinion goes too.

    I've heard an Alpha 8 and didn't think it was any good, yet think the DV88+ trounces it.:rolleyes:
     
  21. a_b

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    Well pointed, General S.

    Confirms to me that you have to believe your ears. Some "objective" factors also matter, i.e. amplifier and speakers makes, as well as the kind of music you normally listen to.

    I guess one point everyone agrees on is that both Arcams are very solid machines, and one would not regret owning either. I also doubt that I would feel that money is waisted if I decided to go for DV27+, at least from psicological point of view - you always find improvements when you convince yourself to spend more money on something. Take cars, for example...
     
  22. steve36

    steve36
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    Well I leave a thread alone for 2 days and get answers to every question I had including what the differences are between the DV88/27's.
    I have spent the last week assessing the priority of the DVD player upgrade over an amplifier upgrade.
    If the DV27+ is actually disappearing being replaced by DV27A then I'd better pick one up quickly.
    I would prefer to save a little money a buy ex-demo (run in !) player, but I am concerned that there may not actually be any and they all are the non progressive DV27's.

    a_b - interesting analogy with cars, there are several quite good second hand cars you can also spend £2,000 on. That's the one small thing holding me back, £400 pioneer or £1500+ arcam.

    Thanks again for very good information. now to hunt the ex-demo DV27+ and to actually hear one for the first time.

    Steve.
     
  23. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    I am of the firm opinion that no DVD player is worth £1500 when a HTPC can give far superior results for a damn sight less money and do a hell of a lot that a DVD player can't do. I've been there and done that with expensive DVD players, had a Tosh SD900E, an Arcam DV88 and I wish I knew then what I know now! £1500 for a DVD player which at the end of the day is a DVD rom drive and some DACs , how on earth can they justify charging that sort of money?! I'll take my HTPC at half that price that can play music CDs that sound fantastic , give me a music jukebox with ripped CDs that again sound fantastic (using Monkeys Audio not MP3), and as for DVDs there is just no comparison between the results I'm getting now I've got my HTPC set up properly and the PQ of a high end DVD player, and with a HTPC at least you have the option of watching hidef stuff which once you've seen no DVD can compare with anyway. I know I'm going to sound like a HTPC troll but I'd think again before forking out the frankly ludicrous prices some companies charge for electronics in this country, if you want a DVD player why not go for something like the Bravo D1 from the US, ok I appreciate it depends on what your display device is that will have a big influence on what you can use DVD player output wise but for the money ($200) you could have one of them and a good CD player and change for CDs (lots of CDs!).

    Just my opinion, no doubt that'll bring some responses!

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  24. nathan_silly

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    Does a HTPC have Component video outputs? That's the best video connection I can use.
     
  25. jont

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    AFAIK all DV27's were progressive scan capable (required a hack to enable) ... it wasn't until the ratification of PAL progressive scan that the new players were actively marketed as such ... so don't worry steve36 about not getting a prog scan one ...

    rgds

    Jon
     
  26. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    HTPC is great. But at the end of the day, I turn on my player, put in disc and press play.

    A pc is a different beast altogether.

    I don't want to turn the thread into the pros and cons of players vrs htpc, but it's not that clear cut.
     
  27. steve36

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    jont
    Thanks for the info.
    So basically the DV27 will give me progressive to go with the plasma that I am definitely buying this year, but not quite as good an interlaced picture as the DV27+ with the vaddis 5 chipset possibly.
    Seems good enough to me as long as the same DACs are in both I should be happy.

    Regarding HTPC many 'partners' in the country I am sure would not be happy if I said can I just expand my 6.1 speaker ; CD player;DVD;SKY+;DVD recorder; VCR;switching box;video sender; with another box ie PC for DVD playback.
    But maybe I'm wrong !
    Or maybe some people have very good cabinet making skills.
    I do agree regarding the HD DVD aspect, this should be good, when we are allowed the region coding to use them.

    Steve.
     
  28. DEO

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    Do you plan to use separate scalar or de-interlacer with the DV27 before getting the signal to the plasma?

    I too plan to get a DV27 and a Plamsa (Pioneer MXE) and am wondering about your comments that a DV27+ will have better interlaced picture than a DV27. Does that mean scalar or no scalar the DV27+ gives you the best picture?


    Dave
     
  29. cameronl

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    well the experts around here have already told you everything you need to know, but just to add some weight...

    I think it goes something like this

    dv88+ if you are interested in excellant pal progressive and good sounding cd replay

    or

    dv27+ if you are interested in marginally better pal progressive and excellant sounding cd replay.

    I ended up getting the dv88+ though I wish I could have affored the dv27+. In the end it was - £900 vs £1600 ...and I couldn't seem to justify to myself the extra cost......

    btw; the dv88+ is brillant by for all those looking to buy one, but make sure it is a batch from at least march as the eariler ones need extra shielding around there power supply to get the best picture results.

    CaM
     
  30. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    All versions of the DV27 have the Sil 503 progressive scan board. (Indeed the DV27 was one of the first players to offer PAL progressive scan as well as NTSC).

    And yes: if you are using an external de-interlacer, then the presence of the Sil 503 board becomes irrelevant. I don't think there is any reason to suppose that the DV27+ has a better interlaced picture than the DV88+. It may be slightly improved over the original DV27.

    DV27s definitely do a significantly better job of CD playback than equivalent DV88 models. (But again, if you use an external DAC or have your processor/AV amp do the conversion, or even just use a whole separate CD player, then this might not matter). I would anticipate that the DV27A does a rather better job of DVD-Audio playback than the DV89, for similar reasons, and in that case you probably couldn't use your processor for conversion.

    It may be worth stating explicitly that no Arcam player can or will be able to decode SACDs, if this is important to you.
     

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