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Cost of upgrading Arcam FMJ DV27 to DV27+ or DV27A...?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by NicolasB, Jul 29, 2003.

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  1. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    As Arcam tech support seem to have stopped answering my emails (maybe I bugged them one time too many :blush: ) can anyone else, Mr Dawson perhaps, comment on price and availability of DV27 upgrades?
     
  2. yatesd2404

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    Hi,



    I enquired about basically the same thing from Arcam support a few weeks ago, unfortunately I have deleted the original but the gist was that the upgrade would cost 400 from DV27 to DV27A, which includes the interim step called DV27+.

    The upgrade would take between 7-14 days and they recommended arranging it through your local dealer.

    Personally I am undecided about whether to do it or not. I have heard people saying that there are improvements in Audio and Visual but as at the minute I am not that interested in DVD Audio I would like to see a DV27A next to mine to see and assess the improvements.



    If you do get yours done please leave feedback on your impressions.



    Cheers,


    Dave.,
     
  3. cameronl

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    and they said they don't currently have many staff as most are on hoilidays. If you want something done through them it maybe best to wait a couple of weeks.

    CaM
     
  4. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    £400 is correct Nicholas. Allow 2 weeks from when we receive the unit for turn around time on this upgrade.

    When e-mailing support please put Arcam and (preferably) the product model name etc in the subject line. We get huge quantities of spam on this address and have to filter the mail automatically - it is therefore possible that we might sometimes lose some genuine e-mails.

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     
  5. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Right! I'll do that next time! Thanks!

    Two other questions, Mr Dawson, if I may:

    1) I've heard the figure of £650 floating around - what does that refer to?

    2) Can you tell us which components are actually changed during the upgrade operation(s) and hence can you tell us if an upgraded DV27 really is absolutely identical to a new DV27A (bar natural ageing) or if there are still differences?

    (Or is that classified?)
     
  6. yatesd2404

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    Can I be cheeky and add another question for John

    3) Are there any other upgrades planned in the pipeline for the DV27 range??


    Thanks,


    Dave.
     
  7. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    Nicholas,

    Irrespective of age, the upgrade gets you the same board specs as in a DV27A. We do not change the drive (which has always been an LT type) or the front panels etc.

    Dave - there are no other upgrades currently planned for this player, apart from keeping the firmware up to date. Other things may or may not be possible on this platform in the future but I am sure you will understand that we would not wish to commit to anything that is not proven, especially in hardware.

    HTH.

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     
  8. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Do you feel able to comment on the practical differences between the different drives used in Arcam players, or is that one one of those I-could-tell-you-but-then-I'd-have-to-kill-you questions?
     
  9. Tracey

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    I'm also toying with the idea of getting my DV27 upgraded but again I'm not really that bothered about DVD audio yet but would be interested if there was a noticable improvement in sound quality even though mine sounds fantastic already. I must admit I haven't really done any research into DVD audio but just how many extra cables does one need? I've got so many already I think that in itself would put me off.

    Tracey
     
  10. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    I believe there are some stereo DVD-A recordings, but many are 5-channel. In the case of the DV27A most people would need the player to do some bass management (as at least some of their main speakers won't go down to 20Hz!) so that means you have a 5.1-channel analogue signal fed from player to processor. So: if, at the moment, you have one digital interconnect and two analogue interconnects between player and processor, that increases to one digital and six analogue.

    Of course you'd need to check that your processor/amp/receiver device does actually have the ability to accept a 5.1-channel signal. Some don't. And of the ones that do, not all have a genuine 5.1-channel analogue bypass, which will affect the sound quality.
     
  11. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    A couple of points here. Firstly, Nicolas, I don't have the time to discuss in great detail the variants of DVD drives fitted to our DVD players except to say that there have been three major ones since we supplied the very first DV88s nearly three years ago - LK, LO and LT. The letters refer to the optical pickups used, but of course there are variations in the supporting drive hardware too. They are all ATAPI drives however and basically have the same spec. Very few LKs were used, many thousands of LOs and we have seen several variants of the LT type. All DV27s and DV88Plus/89 players have the LT type, which is IMO the best drive of the three; it doesn't matter much which variant you have.

    Tracey - I would expect you to hear a modest but useful improvement in sound quality overall as the audio jitter levels are even lower now. And whilst DVD-A is touted as a multichannel medium, you can play all the discs in stereo and often (but not always - it obviously depends on the mastering) this can provide a big jump forward over the equivalent CD. Sometimes a dedicated 2 channel section is on the disc, sometimes it is done by downmixing the multichannel mix according to the producer's instructions included in the disc's metadata.

    In any case, our sales reps have found that demonstrating in stereo is a more effective way of convincing often-cynical dealers of the benefits of DVD-A than trying to set up multichannel demos, where the obvious changes in presentation can get in the way of showing improvements in the underlying fidelity of the format over CD. So not wanting multichannel DVD-A now is not a reason to put off the upgrade as you can usually hear worthwhile benefits in stereo. And many DVD-As can sound pretty spectacular in multichannel, given good speakers and amplification all round!

    Finally the Arcam DVD-A players do have a pretty powerful bass manager on board - this handles DVD-A as well as DD and DTS and includes user selectable crossover frequencies from 50 - 150 Hz in 10 Hz steps.

    HTH.

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     
  12. rafaelp

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    Hi John,

    This is a quote from the Arcam site describing the new DV27A:

    "In addition to CD audio, the DV27A will replay CDR, CDRW, DVD, DVDA, DVDR, DVDRW, VCD, SVCD, HDCD as well as many WMA or MP3 encoded discs."

    Will the LT drive on my DV27 that presently runs the LT23 software be able to run all the formats above when upgraded? I am particularly concerned about DVD-RW as my wife authors DVD's and would love to test burn on a DVD-RW before "printing". If the newest LT drive can support more formats than the original LT drive, I would not consider the difference minor. BTW, if I should be able to read DVD-RW's with my present configuration then I guess I have a problem. We have no problems reading the DVD-R's we make.

    You guys are lucky over there. We can't get upgrades, yet.

    :)
     
  13. rafaelp

    rafaelp
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    BTW, isn't embarrasing to be considered a new member even though I joined in July, 2002!

    Quantity over quality!!! (lol)

    (just 4 to go!) hehe
     
  14. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    Rafael,

    Nice to hear from you.

    You raise an interesting point with DVR-Rw readability, so I have been and checked with my technical guys, which of course I should have done earlier, just to make sure I knew what I was talking about.

    So, on rechecking the drive specs, I see the first two LT series drives do not formally claim to support DVD-Rw (though we have made some discs here which play - I guess YMMV). The LT7 does have a different OPU (I was mistaken there) and does claim to support rewritables.

    So whilst authoring issues can always get in the way, it looks as if you should request an LT7 to be fitted if/when you do the DVD-A upgrade. It's not part of the normal programme, as most users in my experience aren't overly concerned about playing rewritables, so I suggest you discuss with Audiophile Systems as to cost etc. If you want to mail me a disc you have recorded to try here, that's fine - a reality check if you like.

    HTH,

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     
  15. rafaelp

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    John,

    Thanks for the reply. I'll have my International producer (wife) create a DVD-RW for testing. Hope you enjoy high school band camp, etc...

    I assume I should send it to your attention at the address in your web site.

    Just another reason I bought Arcam :)

    Rafael

    P.S. One more posting closer to no longer being a newbie :smashin:
     
  16. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    Apologies for summarising in the quotes above, but I'd be happy to pay £400 for the upgrade to my DV27. When I contacted Arcam last Thursday I was told that because my unit had the Vaddis 3 (I think that was it) chipset I'd have to pay over £600 for the upgrade, I can't recall the exact figure, may well have been £650 but I have it written down at work.

    I was really disappointed, not to mention annoyed as I upgraded earlier that I would have done from my DV-88 in the knowledge that DVD-A would be out soon.

    Please could John confirm that the upgrade will infact cost me £400?

    As I'd ruled out the upgrade on price/value for money I have looked into SDI modding my FMJ27. I have the technical info I need and can source the SDI mod kit.
    Would getting the upgrade prior to SDI modding be of any major benefit? My FMJ is still under warrantee so I'll most likely not mod until that runs out at the end of September.

    I'd be grateful for any clarification you can give, at £650 it's just not a viable option.

    Many thanks,

    Mark Ward,
     
  17. rafaelp

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    To complete the difference between the DV27 and DV27A...

    For the progressive scan board, the DV27 uses the Sil503 chip whereas the DV27A uses the new Sil504 chip. I've been told that the difference between the two for use with the Arcam is inconsequential.

    I do not think that John Dawson meant to include the progressive scan board as part of what would be identical to the DV27A. Love to be proved wrong :)
     
  18. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    John Dawson RE: Upgrading a DV-27
    "Irrespective of age, the upgrade gets you the same board specs as in a DV27A."

    Sounds pretty clear to me, particularly as Nichols asked about a rumoured £650 price. I'd really like clarification from Mr. Dawson though.

    And If he could also confirm the upgrade cost on a 2 year old DV88 a pal would like that "from the horses mouth" so to speak also :)

    Many thanks,

    Mark Ward.
     
  19. dealmaker

    dealmaker
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    I'm also interested in upgrading my 27. Do I understand correctly that the £400 ish upgrade will take me to full dv27a specification INCLUDING all the upgrades in the DV27 + (plus) specification??

    Does this include chipsets etc??

    And also IMPORTANTLY - is the "a" added to the front panel of the machine??

    Many thanks.

    Darren
     
  20. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    Of course this is the highest priority for all of us :devil: :) Perhaps a badge only upgrade should be available cheaper?

    Give a Slap to myself:- :lesson: Sorry, but this bit just tickled me :laugh:

    Mark.
     
  21. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    Darren - it's £400 including new boards as needed. The SiI504 comment is a red herring; it makes no material difference whether you have a 503 or 504. We do not change the front panel (but no doubt could sell you a new one for about £150 or so). IIRC you do get a nice sticky label that goes underneath the player to say what's been done.

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     
  22. dealmaker

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    Yeah the "a" is REALLY important - help me sleep much better with that on the front!

    Serioulsy though one needs to consider this from a resale perspective - DV27"A" on the front means what it says on the tin - your dealer will value it as such - any upgrade (and I have painful experience of this) will NOT be considered by your dealer when valuing your kit - he listen to what you have to say nodding intently BUT he'll still just value it as a plain Jane DV27 as this is what his next customer will be buying.

    On a separate note what benefits in picture qaulity can I expect from the upgraded player ??? or are all of the benefits simply sonic related????

    Many thanks

    Darren
     
  23. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    At the risk of flogging a not merely dead but actively decaying horse, is the ability to read DVD-Audio discs in any way dependent on the drive being used?


    An original DV27 will see some improvement in video output, especially interlaced video output, because of the upgrade from Vaddis 3 to Vaddis 5 processor. There is also rumoured to be a small improvement in CD playback (due to lower jitter...?)

    If you have a DV27+ which already has the Vaddis 5 board, then the only change you'll get will be the abilility to play DVD-Audio, and the ability to decode DD and DTS onboard rather than using an external decoder (if you wish). There will be no quality improvement to anything else.
     
  24. dealmaker

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    Thanks for that Nicholas.

    I have a plain Jane DV27 - one of the first ones - so I guess the upgrade would give me a significant benefit - both in the fact that I'll get a superior chipset/processor for the picture quality AND the ability to play DVD audio.

    On that basis £400 seems very reasonable.

    Anyone know:

    Will it still be able to output progressive scan in PAL ?? or will I need a different hack to achieve this?

    And whats the turnaround for the upgrade - is it best to do this directly or through my dealer?

    Many thanks
     
  25. Mark Ward

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    You'd need official confirmation of this but since Pal progressive is now permitted I don't see why they should tuck it away in an obscure place.

    John Dawson previously wrote:-
    I understand that you sort it out through your dealer.

    Hope this helps,

    Mark.
     
  26. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    You can do this through your dealer, although if that is inconvenient you can deal directly with our support team - support@arcam.co.uk Be sure to put DV27 in the subject line as we get lots of spam these days ....

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     
  27. steve36

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    John,
    Thanks for all the information regarding your products, it was one of the reasons I purchased a DV27 with progressive scan.
    One question I am wondering though, I believe that my DV27 (not +) has one of the early progressive boards.
    This board has the SI503 chipset, is it possible (and what cost?), to upgrade to SI504.
    I am asking this as many people have said that the SI504 has removed the chroma bug effects that are visible on larger screens.

    Thanks,
    Steve.
     
  28. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    They're all wrong.
     
  29. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    Steve - please read the post from me about 6 above yours!

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     
  30. dealmaker

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    John,

    So just to make this really clear, and for the avoidance of doubt:

    My £400 upgrade to my plain Jane early model DV27 gets me:

    1) The same DVD drive - or an upgraded version - not clear?

    2) A video processor of equivalent specification to a DV27+ - i.e. a Vaddis 3 to Vaddis 5 processor?

    3) DVD-A capability in line with the new DV27a - so a new board somewhere?

    4) Latest software/firmware updates including PAL progressive scan.

    5) No changes to the progressive scan board? - still a 503 instead of a 504.

    6) No new "a" added to the front panel unless I pay £150 for a new one!

    Please confirm / deny or expand where neccessary.

    Many thanks

    Darren
     

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