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Denon 2900/2910/3910 decision

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Dr Cheese, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. Dr Cheese

    Dr Cheese
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    Ok, just to (re)introduce myself - I’ve been using these forums as a resource for a number of years and have always been very happy with the overwhelming responses to "help me!" threads, so I once again turn to you guys :)

    Sitting at home I have a lovely Denon 3802, six Kef Q1's and a Velodyne sub. All fed by a very nice Toshiba SD510e DVD player. All plugged into a Panasonic PD30c (the little 32", rather than it's even bigger sibling). I should add that most of this kit has been purchased based on the sound advice of this forum and its members so all is happy in cinema land.

    Until about 6 weeks ago when the Toshiba started making funny "beep" noises every time a DVD was playing. The controls cease to respond and skipping has become more and more frequent. It's now so frustrating that I watch fewer and fewer movies every day :mad:

    So I’m resigned to buying a new player. It happens to be my birthday today and I’m looking around in a determined mood :)

    I wanted a Denon 2910 - until I started reading about the macro blocking. I don't particularly need HDMI in the near future (I want to use the Panasonic until it dies, I love that CRT monster) so the 2900 is also a possibility, with the main downside being that I can only get hold of second hand ones from eBay.

    The 3910 is pushing the boat out a *LOT*, but I may be able to stretch (if I lie to the lady of the house...). But again, I’m left with ambivalence due to the spectre of macro blocking.

    So I want to know - Which player?

    The 2900 for its fault-free previous-generation faroudja chip?
    The 2910 for it's future proofing (not that I’ll need it) and the fact I can get it new rather than second hand?
    The 3910 for it's lower-likelihood of having MB problems?

    Or some other alternative (bearing in mind that I fell in love with Denon DVD players a looooong time ago :D )?

    Thanks in advance,

    Simon
     
  2. Seth Gecko

    Seth Gecko
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    Demo, Demo and Demo.

    I've got the 3910 and am happier with it then any other player I've owner. The problems are always financial and the looming threat of BluRay/HD.

    Along with the Denons, consider the Pioneer 868, Arcam players and Marantz. These seem to be consistently well received.

    However at the end of the day, it's down to you and what you're happiest with - and the only way TRULY to do that is to get demonstrations.
     
  3. Dr Cheese

    Dr Cheese
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    Thanks for the rapid reply SM :)

    I know, i know... this is actually the reason the 3910 is even in the running. I went with my friend to help him choose a "lifestyle" solution (he wanted little speakers) and we demoed everything on a Denon 3910, in all its lovely lustrous beauty....

    I doubt i'll be able to demo the old 2900 though, but any real differences between that and it's replacement? Other than potentially negative ones?

    (incidentally, my friend went for the Kef 5005's - they beat the eggs, the genies and knocked the stuffing out of the M-Cubes :D )
     
  4. Seth Gecko

    Seth Gecko
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    Having not owned the 2900, I think the only significant difference is the HDMI/DVI output and the scaling (according to the PDF).

    The one thing I noticed quickly that people have mentioned was the 2900 vibrated quite a bit - which I've not noticed on my 3910.

    FYI here's the PDF spec of the 2900 - http://www.usa.denon.com/catalog/pdfs/DVD2900 Lit Sheet.pdf

    Which will help you compare features, I hope!
     
  5. Parklife

    Parklife
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  6. shortround

    shortround
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    personally, i would recommend the 2900. i own both the 2900 and the A11 (which is the equivalent of the 3910 as far as video is concerned), and i use them on a 36 inch toshiba picture frame 2. the A11 shows macroblocking pretty badly on my tv and when comparing the overall video quality between the two there is not much of a difference, if any. the only minor quibble with the 2900 is the chroma errors when playing dvd's that have the 3-2 alternating flag error (see here ). however this is only noticeable when sitting right close up to the screen and is not really an issue when seated a normal distance back. certainly not as annoying as the horrible macroblocking on the A11 which seems to occur on pretty much every dvd i own at one point or other.

    the other major advantage of the 2900 is the seamless layer change on all discs. the A11/3910/2910 does not have a seamless layer change on ALL discs (although to be fair, it does for most of them).

    hope this info is of use to you. if you've got any specific questions about the 2900 i'll be happy to answer them.
     
  7. Seth Gecko

    Seth Gecko
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    I have to say I've never had a noticable layer change on my 3910, nor do I personally suffer from Macroblocking (nor does my 3910 ;))

    Again - everyone has opinions and while everyone can give you theirs, the best one for you is your own. Demo the units and see what you think!
     
  8. shortround

    shortround
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    sadmuppet,
    do you own the indiana jones trilogy R1 set? if so, bung in raiders of the lost ark and go to about the 51 minute mark. when indy throws the staff down into the well of souls there will be a layer change just as the shot switches back to the external shot of indy and sallah. it is very brief but it IS noticeable. the 2900 is completely seamless on this layer change, and being that the indy trilogy is one of my favourite set of films that i like to watch often, then choosing the 2900 over the A11 is a no-brainer for me. i'm pretty certain that the 3910/2910 have the exact same layer change issues as the A11, as detailed by the secrets benchmark tests.
     
  9. Seth Gecko

    Seth Gecko
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    Having only the Indy trilogy on R3 I popped it in and agree that for about .25 of a second the sound drops out indicating the layer change, but visually nothing gives it away. As you said you watch this movie often, I myself have only just popped the disk in now since its purchase!
    I still don't believe that in itself would be enough to sway me as it stands.
     
  10. shortround

    shortround
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    you're right, it's all personal preference at the end of the day. layer changes are one of my personal peeves with dvd, but by the same token there will be plenty of people who are not bothered by it at all. just trying to give as much info as possible to help Dr Cheese make an informed decision. enjoy indy if you ever get round to watching it! the transfers are truly awesome, they look like the films were made yesterday!
     
  11. Seth Gecko

    Seth Gecko
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    I agree about layer changes - they are annoying, hence my getting shot of my Pioneer 668!!

    It is a really minor change, but at least due to the buffers, the Denons handle them well!
     
  12. Ymegod

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    I consider myself very fortunate to have bought a new 2900 recently. It is absolutely excellent, in my opinion anyway.
    No problems whatsoever once I learnt how to work it.
    If the 2900, not a current model, can master layer changes I have to wonder why the newer players cannot.
     
  13. Miniholic

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    I've got a 3910 and can't recommend it enough, layer changes are seamless - I have even put a couple of discs in my old pioneer to work out where the layer changes were. If anyone can recommend some problem discs - my indy set is R2 - I'll gladly give them a try on mine.

    I did come close to buying the 2900, but was offered a great deal on the 3910 instead, both are great players, as are the equivilent models from Pioneer and Arcam - not seen the Marantz.

    If you won't be using the HDMI/DVI/D Link connections then it really is a close call between the 2900 and the 3910. Personally I think the 3910 has the edge, and it does have a few extra features that you may use in the future, but only you can decide if that is worth the extra.

    The best advice is to go and demo the players you are interested in


    Oh, and if you think DVD layer changes are annoying, try using laserdisc. :D
     
  14. Dr Cheese

    Dr Cheese
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    Thanks so much for the responses - after reading a lot of negativity about Denon players it's good to see some happy customers :)

    Current thoughts are - leave the 3910 (tooooo much money - no matter how much i would like it) and focus on the 2900. I'll try and get an audition of the 2910 this weekend and see how it compares to last weeks 3910 experience.

    Decision then is £300-£400 second hand 2900 from ebay or £540 from digitaldirect (cheers for that link btw Parklife)... hmmm
     
  15. Seth Gecko

    Seth Gecko
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    Buy New!!!!!

    Sorry - but I'm a bit of a "snob" and really hate second hand (as you never know how well it's been looked after!)

    The main thing with new - depending on where - you get a 12/24 month warranty, which for something expensive can certainly be useful to keep in mind.
     
  16. Ymegod

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    Dr Cheese, I bought my 2900 brand new from Hifi-plus for less than £400.00. I suspect they have sold out now but it may be worth enquiring.
    Aka Moorgate Acoustics in Sheffield.
     

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