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Comparable prices: DVD2900 or DV88+?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by GavinH, Oct 4, 2003.

  1. GavinH

    GavinH
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    Hey all, quick question, relying on those with first hand experience...

    If you could get the Denon DVD2900 for 650, or the Arcam DV88+ for 700, which one would you get?

    Both are multi-region.

    Any summary of the pros/cons would be appreciated, cheers,

    Gav
     
  2. GavinH

    GavinH
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    Sorry, forgot to mention that both are brand new. Gav
     
  3. bedders

    bedders
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    "Denon DVD2900 for 650, or the Arcam DV88+ for 700"

    Would be very grateful to know where you can get such a great price as i'm in the same situation as you and will be getting a demo of the Arcam DV88+ on Thursday from out local Richer Sounds shop.

    They're quoting me the £999 price but i'm suspecting they have this 1 unit they can't move so I want to get the best price I can.

    I'm researching the Denon DVD2900 this weekend, went to Phase 3 hifi this morning but they didn't have them in stock. Chap said that because I want good CD playback equivelent to my Arcam CD72 that the DV88+ would be better than the Denon.

    Just don't know how I can justify the extra cost!

    Many thanks,

    Nik
     
  4. GavinH

    GavinH
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    Nik, I have sent you a pm. Not sure exactly about the rules for saying where I found the prices, and the arcam price is a "only got one left in the shop"... so I hope you can all understand me not wanting to broadcast that one :)

    Of couse if I stray from the DV88+, I'll gladly let anyone who is interested know.

    Cheers,

    Gav
     
  5. Stevie S

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    I assume you have no interest in dvd-a and sacd. I think I am right in saying the arcam only does dvd-a via an add-on board, while the 2900 is a universal player.

    Stevie
     
  6. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    After reading about all the issues with every Denon highend player that is released I would not go anywhere near them.

    Though you cannot do sacd on the arcam (and never will) and the upgrade for DVD-A will cost u £350 I think from that model.

    (I am btw a happy DV88+ owner anyhow)

    Matt
     
  7. figlio

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    Can you tell me why you don`t go near a denon highend player?
     
  8. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Do a search in the DVD forum. Freezing seems to be a constant problem with quite a few ppl's machines here (going back to the 2800 / mk 2).

    I am not for one instance saying the Arcam is perfect either, but the only issues I have had have been software bugs, which have been solved by a firmware update I could apply by myself on a CDR. But from what I have read on the Denons, machines have had to have hardware changes to get round the problem.. That is just too much hassle.

    Heres some links to various issues :

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=92429&highlight=denon

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=89507&highlight=denon

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=87702&highlight=denon

    HTH

    Matt
     
  9. kumamoto

    kumamoto
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    Hey Gavin H

    Where are you getting the denon for £650 ??
    Is it brand new and from a genuine denon delaer ??

    I want to get one over the weekend for £700
     
  10. thxultra

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    Theres a dv27+ in the classifieds for £700 and only six months old which i think is a bargin.
    Would buy it myself if i didnt already have one
     
  11. GavinH

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    JoeKiragu,

    the lowest price that I got for the denon was 640, MR and delivered. Unfortunately that was from a website/advert that asks yoo to "call for a price"... and I can't say I have ever dealt with them so have no idea what their service is like, or how reliable they are. However, I did get a price of 680 for an online store that has shops around the country - one of which is in newcastle. I have been in the shop a few times, and they can get you any product that is on their website.

    If I were to get the denon, I would probably go there, as things can be a little easier when you deal with actual people in shops...

    Hope this helps... btw, am I allowed to put the url/shop name here in the thread?

    Gav
     
  12. GavinH

    GavinH
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    thxultra,

    can you tell me a little more about the dv27+? How does it compare with the dv88+? Does it have progressive scan? Thanks,

    Gav
     
  13. GavinH

    GavinH
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    Sorry thxultra, I just read the ad you were referring to, I have the info, cheers
     
  14. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Real bargain on that DV27+
     
  15. Karma

    Karma
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    To answer the thread specifically. The Denon is a cracking machine if SACD / DVD A is important to you.

    I think you ought to ask yourself how important region 1 playback is to you. See my comments below.

    I bought the Denon specifically to dip my toe in the multi channel audio format waters and wanted a machine that could play both (i didn't want to get caught out as the loser in a format war). It was also to upgrade my old Pioneer DVD which was getting long in the tooth picture wise.

    BUT I'm lucky in that I use a Meridian CD player for replay so the ultimate quality compromises inherent in CD replay on both the Denon and Arcam are not an issue.

    I have to defend the Denon 2900.

    I have owned one for several weeks now. I have yet to find a flaw in it's performance. In fact, i am so stunned by it's replay of pictures / Dolby Digital that I have spent many evenings re visiting much loved films, amazed by the extra detail I can see.

    I have spent a fortune on new discs, just wanting to watch them. In fact I don't think I've watched TV much at all.

    Surely this "watchability" is the measure of a good player, In the same way good CD "listenability" makes you want to play disc after disc and investigate music you wouldn't normally consider.

    I will not re copy my earlier comments, but I used a good dealer. who let me loan two 2900's side by side. One muliti region, one UK machine unmodified.

    The multi region player was inferior to the un modded one. So I have left well alone. I use the Pioneer to playback the few region One discs I own.

    I have also seen a dem of a modded Region 4 (i think, certainly not UK / European) Denon which a friend bought on the internet at a cheap price, this shows even further degradation of the picture and has artifacts.

    It appears that as soon as you muck about with the firmware, there is the chance of introducing flaws.

    My dealer also showed me that there are currently four different multi region dvd rom upgrades doing the rounds. If you assume that one of them is sourced from Denon (which, of course, they deny) then three of them have to be, at best helpful interested third parties, at worst an uninformed, money grabbing opportunist who certianly doesn't care about the money you've already spent on the machine.

    Not sure that I'd want some unknown hacker playing with the inside of my machine.

    You can get cheap players, you pays your money etc. but I for one am glad that there are still dealers that will give you extensive advice, including loan machines (I also had the Pioneer universal on loan, but was disappointed with it) and provide a free three year guarantee.

    Karma
     
  16. robbster

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    Hi Karma

    I have a multi region denon 2900 and am quite happy with the picture. What was the difference like between unmodified and modified player in your oppinion, just that I have never had the chance to see an unmodified one.

    Regards

    Rob
     
  17. Karma

    Karma
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    Hi Rob.

    First.......Don't panic!!!!

    The differences (to my eyes) were very subtle, but once spotted (and it took some time and only when pointed out) were important enough to me to stay un modded.

    I ought to point out that I am an audio fanatic, and have built an absolute no compromise hi fi system and I am trying to follow the same route with video, so even the tiniest "flaw" becomes an issue.

    So anorak on...here we go......

    It seemed to be largely on difficult textures when they appeared in shade. The most obvious example was the material under Gandalfs hat at the opening of the Fellowship of the Ring (region 2 disc). The modified player showed that while it actually looked like felt, on the unmodded player you could even see the variances in the nap of the cloth. On the THX set up disc (region free), there is a clip of a man, wearing a black jacket, running in darkness, on the unmodded player it was easier to see the folds of the cloth, albeit they were there on the modded player.

    On certain discs (and only where there is a special film process used) notably Three Kings and Enemy Of The State (region one discs compared against region 2 discs) the region one player pushed the whites into peakiness (i think it's called ringing) so the contrast was over obvious and I felt I needed to adjust the TV picture settings and looked in balance on the unmodded player BUT this could also be a process (or limitation) of NTSC, as I've noticed it before with NTSC discs on laserdisc.

    As I said, very subtle differences, but enough of a veil for me to worry whether I would always be asking myself "am I missing something?"

    But as with all these things, it only becomes important if you notice them (or in my case have it pointed out to me). I'm a firm believer in fit and forget. If I have to fiddle with the settings all the time I feel I've made a bad choice.

    There have been many comments on here about chroma bug etc. I haven't seen it on my Denon.

    Does that mean it doesn't exist on unmodified players? is my machine, at latest spec not susceptable? have I yet to see it? would I be able to see it? or can't I see it because I don't know what I'm looking for?

    I figure that if you or I have bought a player, and are happy with it, then that is the only criteria that the player should be measured against. I'm not going to worry about things that I can't see.

    I come from an audio background, and a similar scenario can be found there.

    Different people are sensitive to different things in the audio spectrum (and i'm guessing video too)

    If I demo'd a cable, say worth £600, there would be some that couldn't tell the difference, there would be some that thought they could but were unsure and wouldn't be convinced it was worth the outlay, and there would be some that could easily tell the diference even under blind conditions.

    The latter would invarible have to go the whole hog. The rest wouldn't worry about it.

    Whatever, you have bought a fine player. Enjoy it.

    Karma
     
  18. robbster

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    Cheers for the informative reply Karma.

    I have noticed the chroma bug on my player and it sticks out like a sore thumb once you know what your looking for. It only effects PAL DVD's and is a problem showing bright reds. I've noticed it on legally blonde (not mine but my girlfriends film, honest :rolleyes: ). this film shows lots of bright reds and if you look at them they appear unnatural and seem to have horizontal lines running through them. Hopefully your machine wont be effected, what display are you running your player through as it has to be a fairly large screen to notice?
    Do you run your DVD player through progressive scan? If you do I just wondered if you have noticed the F V G icons changing through movies? Region 1 films tend to stay on F (film) which is normal but I've noticed PAL films changing from G (graphic) to V (video) through films. I havent noticed it effecting the picture but i know PAL films should be set on G.

    Thanks again

    Rob
     
  19. GavinH

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    Thanks for all the info guys. Karma, I was not aware that multi region DVD players worked like that... does that mean that if you buy any MR dvd player, it is possible that someone other than the manufacturer has made it MR?

    If this is the case, can their "work" effect other areas of the DVD player, or does it just mean that the multi region capability wont be up to scratch with the rest of the machine?

    The reasons that I was interested in multi region capability were that (a) there is a larger choice of discs to buy, and you can get some sooner on r1 than you can on r2, and (b) I thought that I might benefit from the NTSC progressive scan...

    I suppose this brings me onto another question... I understand that the benefit of NTSC ps is much greater than PAL pg, and some people don't even bother with PAL pg. So, how does an NTSC ps image compare with a normal PAL interlaced image?

    If the normal interlaced PAL is as good as NTSC ps, then I suppose the need for multi region is lessened...

    Please correct me if I am way off the mark, but why do DVD manufacturers support both PAL and NTSC pg, if they do not make their own machines multi region? Is it just that they need to suport both formats in pg so they can cater for those in all regions?

    Karma... maybe I can draw on some of your audio knowledge. I am planning on purchasing 3 M&K K17s, and a pair of K4s. How do you think the Sony STR-v555es will cope with powering the M&Ks? Also, I have opted for the K17s instead of the K15s as the home cinema system needs to provide the stereo music in the living room as well... do you have any experience with how the K17s compare with the K15s for stereo?

    Also, I have heard that the M&K subs are not as good as their satellites... You got any suggestions for a good sub around the 600 pound mark?

    Finally, if stereo performance is important, would you choose the DV88+ over the Denon?

    Thanks, Gav
     
  20. Karma

    Karma
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    Hi Rob.

    I do use progressive scan, but not though an excessively large screen (Philips 36" pixel plus...I have no idea of model number). I haven't noticed anything like you describe. Although not having Legally Blonde, I can't comment on that specific.

    The THX disc mentioned though, does have some "difficult" images. Noticeably an extreme close up and pan around the US flag. That has some stong reds against strong white bars. and it looks ok to me.

    With regard to the FVG flicking. I put a film on tonight, and didn't notice anything, maybe it takes a number of films to hit on the ones that do it.

    BUT........I've always been a believer in switching the displays off. It promotes better sound, and is less distracting when watching a film, which is possibly why I haven't noticed it before.

    Gav

    It is more than possible that some of the "mods" doing the rounds are third party items. In the good old days when the regional mod was a chip rather than a software upgrade, there were a number of firms that could "upgrade" your player. Some were more successful than others. And you only have to read these pages to see that different DVD roms react differently while purporting to do the same thing.

    Hard to answer your other comment. I THINK (can any tech-y people help out here?) that the improvement on NTSC is greater over that of PAL, as the NTSC signal is worse to start off with (525 lines opposed to 625 lines) so the improvement to bring them close has to be greater. So in terms of qulity the improvement is greater, then end results are similar.

    It always was with laserdisc. The PAL variant was always better than the NTSC variant because of the greater number of lines. I hasten to add i'm no expert when it comes to video.

    On more solid ground. As for the audio question. The M&K speakers have a very good reputation. But as with any speaker it is important to listen to them first, as no two peoples perception of what is "good" is the same.

    But starting with an admired speaker with numerous good reviews is a good place to start. There are differences between the K15 & K17. Not least in physical size. Here there is only one rule. A good big' un will always sound better than a good little 'un.

    If you are using the K17 for main stereo duties than they sound more authoratative of large scale music than the K15.

    Look for weight from cellos, double bass and brass if you are into classical. Or can you here the crisp difference between bass drum and bass guitar if you are into Rock / pop / jazz. They should be two distinct instruments, not just a general bass line to underpin the music. Lots of systems can't resolve the bass drum thud behind the tune of the bass strings.

    The Sony at 5 x 100 watts will easily power the M & K's.

    You are right, the M&K sub doesn't have as many fans as the main speakers. They have a slow quality that distracts from timing and makes them sound a little leaden and heavy.

    As an alternative, try the industry favorite. REL. I think the Q100e would fit the budget.

    And finally..........hard question, being a 2900 owner myself......but in terms of CD replay the DV88+ definitely has it.

    As I said originally. I'm lucky in having a good dedicated CD player. The Denon was bought to give me SACD and DVD A.

    The big Meridian doesn't do SACD and I can't justify that kind of outlay............yet.

    Hope it all helps. Happy listening / watching to you both.

    Steve.
     
  21. Zor

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    Gavin H

    A little off the original topic but you did ask. The K17's are a 4 ohm speaker and as a consequence any amp will work quite hard. The 100 watts mentioned is with an 8 ohm load. Saying that my AVR-3803 works just fine.

    As for the DVD-2900 MR firmware. My understanding is at least one of the 3 versions going around Europe were unofficially released by Denon. The firmware was available the same week the player hit the streets. Personally next time I think I would buy a player with a remote hack
     
  22. GavinH

    GavinH
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    Zor, karma, thanks for the help. Excuse my ignorance but what should I be able to work out from knowing that the K17s are a 4 ohm speaker and the 100 watts of the sony amp is with an 8 ohm load?

    Also, about the multi region firmware, from your comments it seems that the upgrade to mr used to be done with a chip, whereas now it is commonly done using firmware. Does this mean that if I were to buy a mr DVD player from some online firm, they will have performed the upgrade using some version? If I were to buy a MR player from somewhere reputable like SevenOaks, will they have gone to the trouble of getting the "non-official" manufacturers version?

    Why don't the manufacturers release official versions?

    Karma, your comments about listening for certain qualities in music systems are interesting. When I was hunting for my stereo system wasn't really sure what I was looking for... I mainly tried to listen for clarity, and an overall "good" sound. Particularly I listened out for my "favourite" bits in songs to see if the system was like "hmm, that's nice!" :)

    I suppose if the M&Ks are going to cater for the music in the living room as well, I need to get a decent sub... is it true that the small M&Ks won't have a range as big as my B&Ws... and therefore a sub will need to cover a decent range?

    Another question about stero music... I have two upgrades in mind for my stereo system: one is to partner the A85 with the P85, and bi-amp my speakers, the other is to upgrade the CD player. I believe that with an arcam CD player, you can upgrade the internal bits...

    You got any advice on which upgrade will have the most impact? When I bought the system, I demo'd the same set up with the P85. The difference was clearly noticable. I can't say clearly what the difference was, but the music just sounded brighter, like there was more there.

    Again, thanks for any help,

    Gav
     

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