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The most significant AV products?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by Ed Selley, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    I was having a think about this last night. This is not a collection of the best pieces of equipment or the most famous but ones that reshaped their genre or raised the game to another level by bringing a feature we now take for granted down to a new price point or introducing a feature we now take for granted.
    Examples?
    Pioneer 656 A real breakthrough as it played everything for £400. I appreciate that £400 isn't cheap now but for a player that did everything three years ago it made everybody sit up and take notice.
    Yamaha 620 This wasn't a bad amp- it was pretty good in fact. What makes it important is the price erosion that came with it. At the end of its life you could get one for £200 which meant that a number of people (myself included) took the plunge into AV for the first time by buying one. If you have a look at sigs on this forum to this day, there are more than a few floating about. Considering that the 630 and 640 were evolutions of the same basic design, it is fair to say that Yamaha probably got their money's worth from it.
    Pioneer VSXD2011 Created a template that two years later £700-800 amps still basically follow. It had 7channels, THX Select and it set itself up. Everybody wanted one when it came out and used values still aren't shabby either.

    But my nomination for The Most Important is.............. The Wharfedale DVD750.
    Now don't get me wrong, the Wharfedale wasn't exactly stunning new and certainly won't stand up to a £40 player now but that isn't the point. The point is that before it came out, DVD still might have been a Laserdisc for the 20th Century- it wasn't doing badly and I am sure that the keener amongst us already had one but the moment that Tesco started selling the Wharfedale, I knew that DVD would become a part of the mainstream (although at that point I didn't appreciate how much) because Tesco's doesn't do esoterica. I know at least 7 people that bought one (I even found my Girlfriends lurking in a storage box the other day) and 4 of them now own hefty AV setups. It was ugly, not desperately reliable and when it came out although £180 was cheap for a DVD player it was hardly small change. Still I think it might just be the most important AV product of the last 10 years.

    Unless of course you can think of something better- any thoughts?
    ToF
     
  2. Mylo

    Mylo
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    My vote would be:

    Yamaha DSP-E800
    I wish I'd discovered this gem of a processor years ago.
    Simplicity in a box. Hook it up to your stereo set up, add a couple of speakers and enjoy glorious 5.1 sound. Not cheap when brand new but can be picked up at bargain prices secondhand now. it would have saved me experimenting with a few one box systems before going into the Receiver and then separates market.
     
  3. Ian182

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    Hi Tons !

    I too started my DVD life with a Wharefedale 750 :)
    Loved it to bits until it disappeared in a burglary....... :mad:

    And to add to your list, I too now have a hefty AV setup, soon to be added to with a Plasma :)

    So yep, the Wharfedale gets my vote !

    Ian.
     
  4. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Good Call Mylo :smashin:.
    Ian- I knew there where more 750 owners out there :laugh:.
    A colleague in the office has proffered the Mission Cinema 7 as a candidate which also has some merit I think.
     
  5. MGDisco

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    Can't disagree with the Wharfedale 750 - mine very nearly disappeared in a burglary (still have to chuckle with the PC's quote of "does the owner just leave their DVD player in the hall, then?" when apprehending the 2 thiefs, and their statement as well when asked to come out of our loft "You can't do us for anything - we've got gloves on!" :smashin: ) A bit OT, I know but.....

    Still have my Wharefdale, after 4 1/2 years still going strong, does what I ask of it and will replace it sometime I suppose, but reliability has never been an issue. Mine was an original, problems with the Jaws disc means it had its firware updated, so even handles DTS (which it shouldn't do, as I understand it was only the very last few before it changed to the 750S model).

    Very very happy with mine, so definitely gets my vote!

    MGDisco
     
  6. GrahamC

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    Nad 3020 Amp an astonishing piece of kit at the time. I went to the shop to demo with my brother and 2 mates, 3 of us bought one in the end. :thumbsup:
     
  7. Jules

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    1) Philips Pronto... it turned the remote control market upside down, and now similar non-Philips touch screen remotes are referred to as Prontos. A bit like different branded vacuum cleaners are often referred to as Hoovers.

    2) Panasonic AE100 projector. It started the price crash in the home projector market.
     
  8. General Skanky

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    You missed the Yamaha A590. Surely 'the' amp to get a lot of us on the AV bandwagon?

    It did for me.
     
  9. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    I suspect that stereo items should have their own (long and argumentative :D ) thread but its a fine choice- the only thing I'd bring up to rival it would be the various BBC LS3.5's.

    Frankly Yamaha have a few very worthy contenders to sit on the list (the DSPA5 and the current DSPZ9 could lay a claim as well) but the thing about the '620 for me was that I remember a conversation when I was working at RS, I was talking to a chap from Sevenoaks about the number of '620's we were flogging and it turned out that he was selling just as many! I recall at the height of it, a batch of 500 titanium ones turned up in the warehouse- and went through in a week and a half.

    Good calls though people- keep em coming. I guess there could be a poll in this.
     
  10. psflynn

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    Wharfedale definately. My first dvd player. Horrible gui, but played everything just fine (mine did DTS - wasnt aware it shouldnt). Still lives on in a mates house. £180 was a lot of money wasnt it for a piece of AV from tescos!!!

    I bought without telling my wife - so bought a copy of tigger the movie at the same time to placate her! It worked - just converting garage to home cinema room now!!!

    Wharfedale 750 - live long and prosper
     
  11. Andy Leitch

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    Being pedantic......no it didn't. Like every DVD player, I can't play CDV discs. One of the reasons I still have my Pioneer 1750 LD player.

    My nomination is the Pioneer CLD-1450 LaserDisc player.

    For people tired of poor quality VHS tapes at that time....this relatively low-cost player opened the door to high-quality releases of your favourite films, and was the introduction into serious AV for many.

    It also had one vital feature which set it apart from the rest........NTSC playback!! \0/
     
  12. CooperUK

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    Nice to know that I bought some ground-breaking stuff.

    My first setup included the Wharfedale 750 and the Yamaha DSP-A5.

    I sold the Wharfedale on some time ago (4 years ago - is it really that long?) but only recently, within th elast year, parted with the Yammy. A mate has it now and still loves it to bits.

    Another submission for consideration, Eltax speakers - affordable 5.1 from Richer sounds. It's what I have and I'm very happy with them. Not exactly audiophile quality I know, but I couldn't have afforded 5.1 (now 6.1) in any other way.
     
  13. SILVERBACK

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    the samsung 809 :D

    after i read the review (in what hifi i think) and seen it could be remote hacked to open up the world of region 1 i needed one :thumbsup: the lure of watching films before they even got a cinema release over here was just to much to pass up on and then there was the picture :eek: no more awfull pirated video tapes with people bobbing up and down getting popcorn etc.and the price want to bad either.unfortunately the player was pants and skipped and jumped within 2 months of use and i got a refund an bought a pioneer 626 :D

    yep i can honestly say the samsung 809 got me hooked to the next level.
     
  14. Garrett

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    If you want to go a bit more retro, what about the Marantz SP 50 Pro Logic surround amp to add to a audio system. Although not great by todays standards was a huge leap forwards at the time.
     
  15. Mr Cat

    Mr Cat
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    yeah, tell me about it.... :D
     
  16. Bristol Pete

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    Can I throw my previous Mission M72c set up into the ring. A highly affordable, award winning set of Mission speakers including the stand mounted 72's, the M7c1 and the M77ds rears that improved my stereo and surround listening a great deal.

    Quality speakers at a quality price. Never forget the first time I listed to The Beach Boys 'cuddle up' on these. It blew me away and was like a whole new song. Wish I had never sold them....

    Great thread by the way Tons :)

    Pete.
     
  17. common

    common
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    Pioneer CLD925 Laserdisc player - gave me my first home experience of Dolby Digital :smashin:

    Velodyne DD18 - A bit like a F1 car passing down technology it's in built EQ / Mic function will hopefully become a budget sub standard feature for a few years

    Russ Andrews Yello power cable - got us all thinking about power leads


    Kef Eggs - allowed quite a few of us to get some important WAF


    REL Q100 - stood the test of time well


    Panasonic PW6 plasma - Flexibility and cost meant it was the 1st plasma for a generation of HC entusiasts
     
  18. GJC

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    Yep the Mission Cinema 7 - they were my first 'av set', very good.

    >If memory serves me correct the Yamaha DSP-A590.

    >Richer Sounds.
     
  19. Beobloke

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    Surely the most significant Yamaha item was the DSP-1? The original surround sound processor from the people who have always done it best (IMVHO of course!).

    And my vote for the most significant disc player is the Pioneer DVL-919 - Laderdiscs, CD's, CD-videos and CD's. It does the lot. In fact i think they missed a trick by not sticking in a linear tracking arm so it could play LP's as well - that would have been a TRUE universal disc player! :smashin:

    Amazed that no-one's mentioned Bose yet..................... :rotfl: :rotfl:
     
  20. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    The more I consider this one, the more important I think it is. Most large (and indeed not so large) speaker companies now produce "lifestyle" Sub/Sats in the £700-1500 catagory which the 2005 broadly created. Massively significant.

    Obviously without the influx of DVD750's to get the ball rolling though, they wouldn't have done it in the first place :D.
     
  21. common

    common
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    I feel a poll coming on........or would people just vote for the products they have owned ?
     
  22. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Hmm- perhaps people could not vote for a product they owned (no DV656 or DSPAX620 for me then) or individuals could put a proper case forward for one item and the poll be constructed around it.

    We could then select a winning argument who could win a Wharfedale DVD750 sprayed in Halfords gold touchup paint :clown:.
     
  23. JonMace

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    Tivo - way ahead of its time
     
  24. common

    common
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    PHP:
    Tivo way ahead of its time
    Good shout :smashin:
     
  25. eviljohn2

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    Digital audio connections?

    More technology driven but none of it would work sensibly without them.

    Mission 77C1 - the first truly great centre speaker at an affordable price and still a cut above the rest at several times it's RRP IMO. :)
     
  26. shodan

    shodan
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    Ahh, mail order brides! You managed to sneak them past Immigration and Customs then... :rotfl:
     
  27. common

    common
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    Rotel RB985 MKII
     
  28. Steve.EX

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    Sherwood 6090 or something

    Dolby Digital for £250!!!!!! Nearly ten years ago, when this came out there really was nothing else that decoded DD for under £1000, infact most others were still producing PL amps for a higher price.
    A real break-through for those with RS budgets.
     
  29. common

    common
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    PHP:
    Sherwood 6090 or something
    I remember that, I think it was the RDS925 - Dolby Digital for about £200 :thumbsup:
     
  30. Steve.EX

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    Yup that's the one, never owned it but it certainly seemed very "cheap" at the time by comparison to the 3090 et' all.
     

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