Digital output differences between the Arcam DV79 and the DV139

michels

Standard Member
Hi there!
Is there anyone here who could say something about how digital output differs between the Arcam DV-79 and the DV-139? (assuming there are some differences of course!). It would be also interesting to know if there is any digital output difference between DV137 and DV139.
Thanks in advance!
 
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Dankeech

Well-known Member
Hi Michel,
Not from experience but from understanding, I wouldn't expect a great deal of difference over digital outouts. Over analogue, the DV139 should wipe the floor with the DV79.

Dan.
 

michels

Standard Member
Hi Dankeech

Thanks for your reply. So, given your point of view, you would say that on the output digital, there is not a great difference between a real good DVD player (like the DV139) and a less good one (like the DV79 or mine, that is a Rotel 1040). This is also the impression I have (theoretically), and that's why I am less and less tempted to change my DVD player (Rotel 1040) for the dv139. Of course, I agree that on the analog side, it is an other question. But I have already a good cd player (Arcam 9 alpha). Let's see if anyone else would have a different jugdgment here...
All the best!
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
I think Dan is discussing audio quality, rather than video quality. DVD players are not merely transports when it comes to video, and I'd therefore expect the 139 to outperform the 79 in this.
 

Dankeech

Well-known Member
I think Dan is discussing audio quality, rather than video quality. DVD players are not merely transports when it comes to video, and I'd therefore expect the 139 to outperform the 79 in this.
Correct, sorry - some reason brain got stuck in Audio mode. Please consider my posts so far to be only about audio. DV139 should provide considerably better picture than DV79.

Dan.
 

michels

Standard Member
I think Dan is discussing audio quality, rather than video quality. DVD players are not merely transports when it comes to video, and I'd therefore expect the 139 to outperform the 79 in this.
Hi Mark!
Does that mean that DVD players are merely transports when it comes to digital audio and therefore there is no difference (at leat not appreciable) between the dv139 and my Rotel 1040 (or any other dvd player)? I thought so...but havn't had the chance to compare...
Thanks.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
When using the A/V amp to do the audio decoding (i.e. coax / optical connection), then basically yes. Not that that implies that all transports are equal functionally or qualitatively. For example, the DV139 has no layer change pause.
 

robfitzp

Novice Member
All transports are not equal even if just streaming out over coax. Going back a bit but I compared a DV27a to a DV89 and Pioneer DV737, both outputting over coax to an AV8 and even my wife could hear the difference, particularly in bass performance.

Same story when playing CDs using the DAC in the AV8, though even more obvious. And neither were as good as a MF Xray, again just used as a transport coax out.

To say they are all much of a muchness is misleading.

Cheers
Rob
 

michels

Standard Member
All transports are not equal even if just streaming out over coax. Going back a bit but I compared a DV27a to a DV89 and Pioneer DV737, both outputting over coax to an AV8 and even my wife could hear the difference, particularly in bass performance.

Same story when playing CDs using the DAC in the AV8, though even more obvious. And neither were as good as a MF Xray, again just used as a transport coax out.

To say they are all much of a muchness is misleading.

Cheers
Rob
How would you explain the differences? I really don't understand why it is the case... I have read a review of the AV8 + DV27a (
HTML:
http://www.iar-80.com/page81.html
) and the author is saying exactly what you say: even on the coax out, the source (in this case DVD player) will make a difference... I am amazed by this... and willing to have arguments that will lead me to buy a DV139 to replace my DVD 1040 Rotel, if this move makes a significative difference on the audio side for DVD.
All the best.
 

robfitzp

Novice Member
The difference is most obvious on music. The Pioneer 737 in particular was completely flat and lifeless. The X Ray pulled much, much more detail off the disc, bass was deeper, high frequencies cleaner - it was just better all round. The 27a was better than the 737 (which was crap) but still not great and my wife could tell the difference to the extent that she did not want me to sell the X Ray and use the 27a as a transport as intended when I bought the 27a (which is rare in this house).

For DVD I thought the difference was in the weight of the sound. At the time I always used the opening 5 minutes of Austin Powers Goldmember as a test track for different equipment as it was a really good DTS-ES track and the difference between the DV27a and the 737 was akin to turning the sub off. DV89 was alright but not as good as the 27a, which is a lovely player.

I don't really see why this should be surprising any more so than the impact different amps etc can have. The whole "it is digital, ones and zeros, all the same if built to spec" stuff is nonsense (IMHO).

I appreciate this is not addressing your DV79 to DV139 question but there was a clear difference between an 89 and a 27a. Why not try and borrow one or both players from a dealer and see if you can tell the difference to your current one before spending any money?

Cheers
Rob
 
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Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
The most common source of quality differences between (digital) transports is jitter - "variations" on the time-base of the implicit / recovered clock. The consequence of jitter is distortion (think of it as the x-axis on the curve, with the bit-value being the y-axis). The other typical cause is tracking problems leading to increased interpolation - in such a case, a repair is in order.

One interesting observation is that the usual audio terminology (for example "flat and lifeless", "more detail", "bass was deeper, high frequencies cleaner") is inapplicable - jitter-induced distortion is clearly audible, and the greater the jitter the worse the sound, but this isn't how it sounds in any way whatsoever.

To be fair to Rob, and assuming he really is talking transports and not DACs, his problem is probably that of his not having the right vocabulary to describe the problems. OTOH, Rob's comment "even my wife could hear the difference" can very well be constituted as an insult - his wife quite probably has significantly better hearing than he does (that's biology!) and the qualitative difference will increase as they both age (unfair isn't it?). The "even" should probably apply more to him.
 

robfitzp

Novice Member
I will bow to Mark's superior technical knowledge.

I am clearly talking about transports - the dac in the AV8 and coax interconnect remained consistent throughout.

My point is that different transports *do* sound different whatever the technical/measureable reasons for it and the description given below is *how* they sounded different. Talking about jitter does not describe the difference in sound that you hear.

The "even my wife comment" was more a reference to her utter disinterest in audio equipment rather than her hearing or anything more sexist. The point was that the differences are obvious and not something you need to strain to hear or imagine etc

Cheers
Rob
 

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