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Can you get decent stereo out of a DVD player?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by ajkgordon, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. ajkgordon

    ajkgordon
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    I'm looking to keep my costs down building a stereo and HC system and wondering which bits can double up.

    I don't have a massive budget and I'm not an audiophyle (would like to be!) and have many mouths to feed, houses to renovate, etc!

    To give you an idea of the sort of level I'm looking at I was thinking Wharfedale Diamond 8s and a Denon AVR 2105 receiver. I've heard the speakers and are pleased with them but yet to audition the Denon and a seperate amp might be the preferred option.

    So in the same vein as the AV vs. stereo amp, would a separate CD player make much discernable difference to the sound produced by a mid-range Pioneer DVD player through the same budget system?
     
  2. Pezerinno

    Pezerinno
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    An option you could consider is buying a seperate Dac and use your DVD as a dedicated transport. Any decent budget dvd player plus a decent dac often (IMO) equals sound quality or better than CDP under £1000 mark. Have a look at the sticky in this section (top of the page) to read up on Dac's.

    Its a good idea to have a seperate stereo amp plus the av amp as you've suggested. Do you have a budget for the whole system?
     
  3. ajkgordon

    ajkgordon
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    No real budget yet. The way I do it is:

    1. Initial research
    2. Budget
    3. Further research
    4. Dream purchase
    5. Blow budget
    6. Real-life research
    7. Real-life purchase

    I'm still at 1.

    However, for AV receiver and pair of speakers I had in mind around £600. I would add the other speakers later. I now have enough knowledge to know roughly what to audition but I'm really wondering if it's worth the bother of looking at a separate CDP in addition to a DVDP, i.e. would I really be able to tell the difference on what is essentially a beginner's budget system?

    Thanks for the DAC advice. I'll look at the sticky.
     
  4. Pezerinno

    Pezerinno
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    Do you already have the DVD player?

    As well as the Denon 2105 perhaps check out the Yamaha DSP-750SE. Also what are your thoughts about buying second hand? As this sort of stuff depreciates quickly and you can find bargains if you look around. I seem to remeber people buying from a German website where big savings could be had on AV amplifiers, such as people where getting Yamaha RX-V1500 delivered for the same price as a 750SE in the UK.

    Speaker wise are you after floorstanders or bookshelves? I've always preferred bookshelves myself however bass lovers often opt for floorstanders, also remeber to factor in the cost of speaker stands if you go for bookshelves. You might be able to get away with not getting a sub if you have floorstanders all round. This obviously also depends on your room dimensions.

    As for buying a seperate stereo amp - I think this would be wise as previously said you have to pay a lot more for an av amp to equal a budget stereo amp (in stereo). I've heard the Arcam AV amps are quite musical but you're looking at around the £1000 mark. Some good budget stereo amps to look for are the likes of Cambridge Azur range, NAD 320BEE, Rotel RA-02 etc I would advise going second hand - just buy from people with good feedback and check everything over - generally devices such as amps and the like are a good bet second hand - I would avoid buying an older spinner though as they do wear out.

    Talking of the spinner, as previously said look into a seperate Dac to partner your DVD player with, something like the NOS Dac perhaps? I find that cheaper cdps have similar transports to DVD players and its not until you get into higher end cdps that you notice a difference. If however you would prefer to stick to a seperate cd player then I suggest some of the following budget players: Marantz CD5400, Cambridge Audio Azur 540C/640C, NAD C521BEE etc

    Once you have decided on what sort of system to have and narrowed down some components just demo demo demo as everyones tastes differ.

    For your budget (and any budget IMO) don't go mad on cables, just get any decent budget ones or make your own.

    hope this helps some and hasn't just confused you even more.

    Cheers, Nick.
     
  5. GW43

    GW43
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    I'd like to think that a stand-along CD player is better than a DVD player at playing CDs, but I'm not so sure.

    CDs played through my £120 (three years ago) Toshiba DVD player via a 5m John Lewis interconnnect do not sound a lot different to CDs played through my £350 (6 years ago) Arcam CD player via an Ecosse Composer interconnect.

    There is a difference, in that the sound through the DVD sounds a little slower - musical transients don't seem to have the same "attack", but I reckon in a blind ABX test I would be hard pressed to say which was which.

    Phil E. Stein
     
  6. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Do DVD players do good stereo, here are some users who feel so :

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=231805

    If CD (and thus stereo) is important to you and you have to weight up how much you listen to music V watch DVD, your first port of call should be a stereo amplifier if the answer is stereo. Adding a DVD player to a decent stereo amplifier is like using a “decent” CD player into a AV amp. I happen to like the sound of the DVDs I own these days, and you can buy estoric DVD players for pennies these days between £100 - £500. You always have the option of adding a DAC like Nick suggests if you want to change the sound, but there are decent DVD players out there. Adding a DAC to a £100-200 DVD player is a smart idea to me for the fact the anlg outputs of the DAC are liable to be of a higher quality than a £100 DVD deck. But for example Im using a DVD source as my main disc spinner (purely in stereo for CD/HDCD/DVD-V/A) that usesd to rrp @ £2K and can be had for £300-400. Now this is where I would pay attention to digital processing ability from the decoders & DACs of the DVD player. You will need a DVD player that does a good job of stereo downmixing from 5.1 to stereo. The Toshiba does it brilliantly, and I also have experience of the TAG Nick has above to say that does stereo downmixing brilliantly too. So there are ways to enjoy 5.1 from a stereo rig, I thought adding a subwoofer to my stereo rig brought huge sound benefits from DVD-V for examle.

    So if it were me and I had a budget of below £1000 here is what I would do :

    £100-300 DVD player :

    Toshiba SD-900
    Sony NSV-900
    Phillips 963

    £500 Stereo amp :

    Primare I20/Sugden A21/Unico/Rotel/Sony ES/Denon 1500

    £200 on good solid standmount speakers ala : Castle/Quad etc.

    Power to stereo bro. !!
     
  7. ajkgordon

    ajkgordon
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    Yes, I have a Sony all-in-one HC but I don't think its connectivity is up to it.

    No thoughts but I don't have anything in particular against it.

    No preference at the moment. I live in France where the fashion is very much in favour of floor standers, possibly due to typically larger rooms than in the UK.

    About 8m x 8m.

    Brilliant stuff. Thanks for this.
     
  8. GW43

    GW43
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    Re second-hand:

    For amps and speakers I would say there are few problems - I bought a second-hand amp from a dealer for the same price as similar models were making on E-Bay, and got a three month warranty, and could try it out before I bought.

    With CD/DVD players I would urge caution (more moving bits to go wrong), unless you go down the dealer second hand/ex demo route, rather than E-Bay/Classifieds. However, with more expensive kit, people do tend to look after it better.

    If you can see the item, try it out and get some kind of warranty, then there should be few problems. That probably means ex-demo or second hand from a dealer.
     
  9. ajkgordon

    ajkgordon
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    Thanks, CJ and JW. Really good stuff to think about.

    I need to do all this in the UK as I live out in the sticks in France.
     
  10. Mr Cat

    Mr Cat
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    depending on your budget you would best having a DAC, but even then you'd need a stereo amp to get the best out of it...

    I was at this guys house last night and he had a dvd player running through a dac and stereo and and it sounded good.
     

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