DVD for music Denon or Pioneer

emad

Banned for trading fraud
Hi all

I am in the market for a new DVD to go with a Pioneer 504 Plasma and Pioneer AX5i Amp.

I understand the logical choice would be a Pioneer 868i as it will benefit from HDMI connection to PLasma and i-Link to the Amp.

However, If I am to choose based on the players' music performance. Will the Denon 2900 offer an improvement on the Pioneer?

And if it does offer better music sound, is it a much better improvement (ie. enough for me to forgo the HDMI & iLink).

I really do not have the time to audition both players as I need one by the end of next week, so any advise is appreciated (especially from those of you who managed to demo either or both).

Thank you

Emad
 

emad

Banned for trading fraud
Oh and before someone says it, I know that neither of these players offer better music quality than that of a midrange CD players.

Thanks

Emad
 

MR2Harvey

Novice Member
Interesting question I too am looking to buy a DVD player regarding music quality highly. The press say Denon for music both as good as each other for picture. Better still is the Arcam for music. Mind you considering your other gear I'd go for the Pioneer. I'd be surprised if there is that much in it between the Pioneer and Denon, the Arcam really does sound good with CD though!
 

Crustyloafer

Distinguished Member
I'd highly agree with MR2Harvey. The Arcam players are really the best option if cd playbck quality is of a high priority. There is the new "budget" player, the DV78, at £699 which is very good for both DVD-V and CD. Better still is the DV88+ at £950 which separates the audio and video boards and is definitely better for cd playback than the DV78. If you need support for multichannel audio you could buy the DV89 which plays DVD-A also or you could buy the DV88+ and upgrade it to the DV89 at a later date which you cannot do with the DV78. I have used all of these players extensively including the Pioneer 868 and the Denon DVD-2900 and the Arcams still sound the best by a substantial margin. The only reason to go for either the Denon or the Pioneer is if you need SACD compatability and of course the Pioneer has iLink and HDMI but unfortunately suffers from poor build quality.
 

Dak

Standard Member
What are the problems with the Pio 868 build quality?
 

emad

Banned for trading fraud
Crystyloafer

Arcam is another option I can consider, especially the DV88+ which seems to be popular here in the forums. I never considered the Arcam before, but it is expensive £950.

The Pio & Denon are £800 max
I would also be interested in knowing any build quality issues with the Pioneer.

Thank you

Emad
 

sticker

Standard Member
Emad,
Have you considered a Arcam DV88+ s/h? I found that the Denon & Pioneer aren't in the same league as the Arcam. The Denon I thought was a touch better than the Pio in 2 channel, nothing in it for SACD/DVD-A though.

Regards
John
 

Matt F

Active Member
Home Cinema Choice's review of the Denon DVD2900 said:

"The DVD2900 is not a great CD player (DVD players never are) but this one is about as good as it gets - short of the Arcam DV27A at almost twice the price."

Just their opinion of course but interesting nonetheless. It's also worth bearing-in-mind that if you use your amp/processor DAC's for CD's then you will find very little difference between players as they will be acting as a transport only.

It's also worth remembering that the Arcams (great players though they are) don't do SACD which might be a negative.

In your situation I'd definitely go for the 868 and take advantage of the i-link.

Matt.
 

emad

Banned for trading fraud
Matt
Thank you for this, I am drawing close to concluding the Pio with its iLink and HDMI makes the best player for my needs with Ax5 & the 504.

Maybe when the Arcam endorses HDMI I will have another look.

The thing is the 868 is like gold dust at the moment !!! And many dealers are saying it will not be before May/June when Pioneer have enough supplies to meet demand.

I am seriously contemplating buying a Denon 2900 untill May/June then sell it on here in the forums and buy the Pio.

Cheers

Emad
 

Dimmy

Banned
Hi-Fi choice say that the Denon's flaws with CD performance are only exposed when you compare it with specialist CD-Only players costing upward of £500.

The CD Performance of the Denon is surprizingly good, and please ignore What Hi-Fi's claims that it'll be outperformed by a £200 player - it won't.

The Build quality of the pioneer isn't that much of an issue really. Okay, next to the denon it looks like a toy, but it's not as bad as some people insist.

If you need multi-region capabilities I wouldn't buy the Denon, as Denon players are notorious for the problems surrounding their multi-region modded players.
 

Dak

Standard Member
If CD sound is that important then a separate cd is a good idea - I am awaiting an Ikemi to pop up on ebay.

I auditioned the 3803/2900 combination against the Pio 868/AX5 last week and differences were minimal. 2900 had it on sacd, 868 (just) on picture (in component) and dvda; plus I like the i-link and hdmi (which then gave the 868 a noticeable picture edge on the 2900).

My Sim2 Domino 20 with HDMI should arrive this week so I will be using the Pio for that.

Might be a minor point but the Pio has THX Select and the 'MCACC' set up thing (microphone where you sit that sets it all up automatically). Also important for me was the USB on the Pio.

Not a big factor for me at all but the 3803 tuner was sweeter.

Swing factor for me was HDMI really.
Dak
 

emad

Banned for trading fraud
Thank you Dimmy,

I actually have some R1 DVDs so will take your advice and steer away from Denon. I will now have to decide what to do untill I can get my hands on the 868. May be a 668 or 757 will do the honors untill the 868 is here

Dak, my dilemma is not between the 3803 and AX5i!!! It is a DVD issue and not an Amp issue as I already have my AX5i and trying to choose a DVD for it.


Emad
 

Dimmy

Banned
If you already have an AX5i then buy the Pioneer 757Ai, without a doubt. But do it quickly, as stock's disappearing fast.

It's available for silly money now, type the model number into price guide & you'll find it for well under £500.

IMHO, if you have an AX5i there's no other choice worth making (unless you have a use for HDMI, then the 868 MIGHT be worth the extra outlay).
 

Dak

Standard Member
As you have the amp, then the 757 or 868 has to be the way to go IMHO. I think the only difference on the 868 is the HDMI but not sure. I did try the 2900 on the AX5; was good but 868 did it for me ....
 
A

ancientgeek

Guest
I'm sorry, but I can see no way that another player can be "better" at CD playback than, for example, one using iLink, unless you use analogue feed from player to amp and for some reason prefer the player's handling of D-to-A. But then I think you're going the wrong way; it's better to use all digital feeds (without jitter) and spend your money on a processor/amp you like. And with upsampling/interpolation of 44khz/16bit CD's I find it hard to argue with the AX5i. So I say 757 or 868 with digital interconnect, as you can see!

Your choice of speakers and room furnishings is far more important than a Denon/Pioneer decision.

Bring on the double blind trials!
 
C

Coaxial

Guest
@ainchientgeek,

noooooooo
never use ur av amp unless it's off the map good for dac's. I used to work for a Hifi shop, and can proomise you even a denon AVC1SR hasn't got better sounding dacs than say a 2900. That is, unless you use a great (>150) coaxial lead, then it might be different. I'd always use the DAC's in the player, then sort out the rest.

@emad
Have you tried the Harman Kardon DVD 30 / (considered waiting for the) 31? That player was mint with CD's, and now it's discontinued, you might be able to pick it up for 300 - 350 quid, less than a 25! If SACD is your thing, it'll be useless, but for picture / cd sound it was one hell of a player...
 

gandley

Novice Member
Ancient greek, This is y you can hear a differece with CD,
Stole this from mr Dawson of Arcam(the argument here was that DD sounds the same from every DVD player. Mr Dawson said this just isnt true and a misconception)


With respect Chippy the master clock signal for DD and DTS in an AV receiver is generated from the SPDIF bitstream in exactly the same way as with CD - and if you have a poor quality signal from the DVD player (with jitter, poor bandwidth etc) then it will affect the recovered clock signal and thus the sound quality

and

it doesn't matter how many times it is reclocked in the receiver if the clock doing the reclocking is derived from the SPDIF stream (as it has to be) with indifferent circuitry so some jitter remains. It's a common misconception though :)

This problem applies to outboard DACs too - the only ways round this I know of are to use very high Q reclocking systems (usually via a crystal controlled phase locked loop - the Arcam AV8 uses this) or by slaving the transport from a master clock sited near the DACs (as used among others by Arcam in the old Black Box 50/500 designs and most recently by TAG).



John Dawson (Arcam)
 

Crustyloafer

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by Dak
What are the problems with the Pio 868 build quality?
My problem is that the casework and the controls on the Pioneer player are very poorly put together. Yes the 868 is heavier but not it just feels like a full biscuit tin instead of an empty one. Both the Denon and Arcam players have build quality that easily surpasses that of any of the Pioneer players. Don't forget though that this is exactly what Pioneer are good at, putting state of the art chipsets, boards and features inside a very shoddy box. This direction obviously has its merits in that they give very good performance for the money, but how for how long though?
 

Stereo Steve

Novice Member
Firstly I would like to agree that Pio players seem flimsy. I have handled a 565, 656 and 757, all of which felt 'cheap'. Having said that I am not aware of any problems with reliability and my 656 has been faultless. So, I wouldn't worry about that side of things.

Secondly, digital connections. Depends on the player but I would have thought that a 2900 or 868 would sound far better using its own DACS than any sub £1000 receiver, probably anything up to a Tag AV32R or similar.

As far as the original question goes. I have a Denon 2800 and Pio 656 and the Denon wins hands down for CD replay, easilly. I know it was maybe twice the price new but I paid £120 for it from Witters and it's been a revelation. Now considering moving ot to the main system and the 656 to the office.

So, I don't think you'd be dissapointed with either player but I would be tempted to go for the Denon if I had to choose blind. The answer is to have a demo and ask your ears.

Certainly, a Denon 2900 has come onto my must demo list since getting the 2800.
 

deckard

Standard Member
Well I've just bought a 757Ai/AX5i combination and I'm enjoying them greatly. Don't overlook the jitter reducing abilities of i-link as a connection.

IMHO build quality can be overplayed, I own a mixture of Linn and Pioneer equipment and whilst the palpable build quality of the Linn amps is excellent the Pioneer stuff is well put together.

As for longevity, well my Pioneer PDS-904 CD player is 8 years old and still going strong with no sign of anything falling off it or of giving up the ghost any time soon.
 

emad

Banned for trading fraud
Thank you guys so much for all your inputs.

I can see the Pio 757 going for sub £450, which is what I call value for money. The Denon 2900 & Pio 868i are twice the price in the £800 range and I really don't think the diferrence in performance is worth £400!!

With the 757i I get iLink connection to the AX5i and component to the Pio plasma.

Not sure if the 757 has PAL Progscan! Can anyone confirm if it does?

Regards

Emad
 

KraGorn

Novice Member
Originally posted by Dak
What are the problems with the Pio 868 build quality?
I'd like to know this too, my 868 seems pretty well built and having taken the cover off I was impressed with the layout.

:confused:
 

gandley

Novice Member
Just needs to be firmware modified to run PAL prog. just make sure u buy one that has been modded for pal prog and MR

So yes it does do PAL Prog
 

deckard

Standard Member
New ones are both PAL and NTSC prog from the box, no need for a firmware upgrade.

Got my multiregion model from Sound and Vision Online for £453 delivered.:smashin:
 

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