Thinking of upgrading DVD Player from Pioneer DV717 - Opinions Sought

Dave02

Active Member
I've just upgraded my amp from a 1 box to 2 box solution and now have the following system:

Pioneer DV717
Parasound HCA1205
Parasound AVC1800
Cabasse Xo
Pioneer PDP434HDE

I bought the DV717 not long after it was released and it continues to serve me well. I remember at the time it was known for a great sound as well as picture. However, I have no idea how it compares to more recent players.

For example, if I went down the high street and bought a mid range Pioneer DVD player for less than £200, would it be better than my 6 year old player? This isn't quite the path that I'm thinking of, but it illustrates my dilemma.

As funds are currently more limited with a baby due in a few months, I'd like to see what I could get for up to £300. The Arcam DV88+ has been recommended to me and I would welcome some opinions on this and any other players.

The DV717 only has a SCART connection, whilst the DV88+ has Component and PAL progressive Scan. However, my plasma has a HDMI input which I wonder if I should really be using if I upgrade, but expect I'd then have to think of something like a Pioneer DV868i for at least £500.

I'd really appreciate your comments and opinions ... over to you!

Thanks.


Dave

P.S. Main use is movies, but I still consider CDs important.
 

Nic Rhodes

Distinguished Member
868 is a good match but to be honest, many people like to upgrade when they don't really need to. The 717 was / is an able player, I would be tempted to say stick with it for now. £300 won't make a big difference, £500 might but I would keep the money for the baby, you might need it!!
 

jakeman

Standard Member
In light of your budget and requirements I would highly recomend the panasonic s-97 if you can still find it or secondly the s-77 the current version. I use the s-97 with my sim2 ht300e upconverted to 720p with hdmi set to 4:2:2 and am very pleased with the results. It is better than the denon 2910 IMO but a notch below the more expensive denon 3910.
 

dmjohnson123

Active Member
I'd consider the Denon 1920 - with HDMI, component and scart.

I haven't got one but it seems to be getting good reviews on the forums and can be had for £199 from on-line retailers.

Hope this helps,
David
 

jakeman

Standard Member
If the 1910 is the Euro version of the 1920 then you would be better off with the panny or spend more and go one model up on the Denon line .
 

Dave02

Active Member
Nic - Won't the using a better connection like component or HDMI automatically be an improvement?

Have also seen threads mentioning the Toshiba 9500 and Denon 2900. Any Opinions? I will do some research on the others mentioned.
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Dave02 said:
Nic - Won't the using a better connection like component or HDMI automatically be an improvement?

Have also seen threads mentioning the Toshiba 9500 and Denon 2900. Any Opinions? I will do some research on the others mentioned.

Hi Dave, I went from a 717 (stil using it in a second system) to the SD-9500 above, I would say it depends on which type of connection you plan to use (big proviso), I bought a 36” CRT Toshiba with PAL/PS to go with the SD-9500 and in component mode its simply sublime. As you note the 717 has a RGB scart ( a very good picture to my eyes – still even after all the years Ive had it – 6-7 years – Ive kept mine for Region 1 – RCA playback) but for example the SD-9500s S-Video outputs is the same quality as that. Then when you step up to PAL PS/Interlaced on the component outputs it’s a better picture still. I was not bothered with HDMI/DVI as component via CRT is my “apex” connection. Not been too impressed with LCD/Plasmas when watching RGB SKY/Freeview Digital transmissions, so CRT for me, with Component fed from say a SD-9500 or SD-900e its as good as my eyes get dude.

One area that a player like the SD-9500 is an upgrade though is the audio side, as it has its own decoders for DD & DTS onboard plus, outputs & inputs galore, I currently use the balnaced XLR outputs to send audio to my amp 6m away. It’s a superlative device, very nice audio & visually if you don’t need digital. And can be had pennies second hand. But I still have a bit of a soft spot for the 717. A player that still looks great visually today IMHO.
 

Dave02

Active Member
CJROSS - Thank you for your comments. I too still love the 717, but would love to improve the sound and picture further if possible, especially the sound. Out of interest, did you consider the Denon or the Arcam machines?

The Arcams seem to be easier to find, but it sounds like I should definitely be taking a closer look at these others as well.

Thanks.


Dave
 

Nic Rhodes

Distinguished Member
Dave I think Colin sums it nicely for you, yes there are better things, yes they cost lots more money and whilst the 717 is still working fine it is a very decent performer, not the best available but no duffer as you know. I would look out for when a 'bargain' comes buy like the 9500 rather than buying 'off the shelf'.

I am using an ARCAM DV29 here, with very good results.
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Dave02 said:
Out of interest, did you consider the Denon or the Arcam machines?

The DV27A seems like the bargain Arcam deck you can buy second hand Dave, the 4 DVD players I was considering were DV27 mentioned earlier (to be used with my old DAC), Sony 999ES SACD/good CD but visually not the best Ive read, Primare DV26 PAL/PS (DAC use), Primare DV30 Same again but with XLR outputs to suit my stereo Primare amp, but I happened upon a thread here about the SD-9500 :

http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56705
http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=239946

And was alerted to this stunning device (one look at the back panel and I was ringing Toshiba to buy one), Nics been in the know about it longer than I, as I have happily steamed on with my trusty old 717 & a TAG DAC for audio. The arrival of the SD-9500 saw the TAG DAC being sold, not sure how much the sound issue should concern you as you have some nice surround processors there at present, but I can say that the Toshiba in stereo mode is pretty special (Im not into 5.1 at all), ie for CD, HDCD, DVD-V (and I mean 5.1 downmixed to stereo out the XLRs) and for stereo mixes from DVD-V & Audio. This points to some very nice onboard processing and anlg output IMHO when I compare what I heard from the TAG DAC I used to own – a nice piece of kit in its own right.

Nic Rhodes said:
I would look out for when a 'bargain' comes buy like the 9500 rather than buying 'off the shelf'.

Excellent advice as usual Dave from Nic, there are plenty of nice new players arriving but there are also plenty of “formerly” estoric DVD players that maybe don’t have all the bells & whistles (HDMI/DVI) if you can forgo those, then you can pick a TOTR machine for pennies. I look at it this way I have upgrade the Pioneer that was used with another digital convertor box (TAG) to a better connection visually (PAL PS/Interlaced BNCs) and sonically via its own DACs & XLR outputs, these are specific reasons I use it over the 717 (still in use elsewhere) your reasons may vary. All I know is that visually via the component outputs towards your display well there is nothing “better” out there with similar connections ie component.

Dave you mention you would love to “improve” the sound from the 717, now considering your current kit :

Parasound HCA1205
Parasound AVC1800

I assume you mean running digitally from the DVD player or from say anlg outputs of a DVD player like the Toshiba, this is where my stereo leaning check out of threads like this, can you be more concise what you mean and maybe a knowledgable 5.1 hack like Nic can fill in the gaps, ie as say using the DACs of a player like the 9500 towards the alng inputs of a AV pre. The reason I ask is that Parasound is not too shabby as audio kit, so are you looking to improve the digital signal sent to it ? I would say that digital audio from say the 717 is roughly similar to the SD-9500, different scenario when using say the onboard DACs/Processors and the anlg outputs.
 

Dave02

Active Member
The Parasound amp and processor are brand new additions to my home, after falling in love with their sound about 4 years ago at a demo in a local dealer. Now that I have these, I see the DVD player and speakers as the slightly weaker (although definitely not bad) components of my system.

Ideally I'd love to upgrade the speakers as well, but I see this as a more expensive project that would have to wait until a later date. I'd love to get a set of Cabasse Io speakers, which I've also heard, or some M&Ks (not sure which ones) which seem to be highly regarded on this site. However, based on the fact that an improvement to the source would flow through the system, and being the cheaper option, I think the DVD player makes sense for now.

After my positive experience with the Parasounds, I've already made the decision not to buy a new player (i.e off the shelf), as a much better bargain can be found in the secondhand market. However, I was curious to know how the new (cheaper) players should compare to an old player like the 717, apart from the obvious additions of new features (which I don't need). Of course the only problem with buying secondhand is that you generally can't see/ hear a product before you buy, but I guess you can always sell it again without much of a loss.

At present I connect the 717 to the processor using a Coaxial cable (I think it's a QED P75), processor to amp with Chord Cobra 2s (bought with the amp) and have just bought some Liberty speaker cable (a cheaper option than some alternatives I considered, but I need about 8 metre lengths to my rear speakers). Please can you clarify what the XLR outputs are?

I haven't had a chance in the last few days to look up reviews of the players being mentioned here, but will take a look tonight. Can you give me an idea of the current price for a SD-9500 and how easy they are to find?

Part of my reason for mentioning the Arcam DV88+ is that there's an ex-dem version for sale at a local dealer for £300. However, I'm happy to wait a few months for the right player (as mentioned, I waited 4 years for the Parasounds!).

Thanks again for all the advice.
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Dave02 said:
The Parasound amp and processor are brand new additions to my home, after falling in love with their sound about 4 years ago at a demo in a local dealer. Now that I have these, I see the DVD player and speakers as the slightly weaker (although definitely not bad) components of my system.

Ideally I'd love to upgrade the speakers as well, but I see this as a more expensive project that would have to wait until a later date. I'd love to get a set of Cabasse Io speakers, which I've also heard, or some M&Ks (not sure which ones) which seem to be highly regarded on this site. However, based on the fact that an improvement to the source would flow through the system, and being the cheaper option, I think the DVD player makes sense for now.

Dave actually as far as sound upgrades go, I’d be very very surprised if a new DVd player gave you an “upgrade hit” compared to new speakers, especially if running digitally to the Parasound kit from the 717 (a nice DVD player in this mode ie 24/96 capable etc etc, different setting Linear PCM / Bitsream output types) as you correctly note the speakers may well be a hassle to upgrade, but you will get just that - an upgrade. Questionable for example if you used the A88 digitally for audio, that it would make a big difference to the 717.

Dave02 said:
However, I was curious to know how the new (cheaper) players should compare to an old player like the 717, apart from the obvious additions of new features (which I don't need). Of course the only problem with buying secondhand is that you generally can't see/ hear a product before you buy, but I guess you can always sell it again without much of a loss.

Dave02 said:
Please can you clarify what the XLR outputs are?

XLR inputs/outputs are commonly referred to as balanced connections, developed from studio ise where long run applications where required with good shielding to hinder interference. Both as analogue output (generally 4.0V comapred to RCAs 2.0V) & the AES/EBU 110ohm digital output standard, here are both sets on the back of a Primare DV-30, stereo anlg output (like the SD-9500) & digital XLR AES/EBU. Good connection to use if you amp / processors has them, espeically over long lengths :

http://www.primare.net/files/Download/DVD30_Sv_Back.jpg

Dave02 said:
I haven't had a chance in the last few days to look up reviews of the players being mentioned here, but will take a look tonight. Can you give me an idea of the current price for a SD-9500 and how easy they are to find?

they come up time to time £300-350 that’s in region 2 guise, LEConcepts sell the MR version brnad new @ £699 :

http://www.leconcepts.com/dvd_home.htm

Dave02 said:
Part of my reason for mentioning the Arcam DV88+ is that there's an ex-dem version for sale at a local dealer for £300. However, I'm happy to wait a few months for the right player (as mentioned, I waited 4 years for the Parasounds!).

That’s a nice price for the A88, but Ive seen the FMJ DV27 for sale @ £350-400 before, even then I would opt for the Toshiba. Be that as it may, I still you should retain the 717 and looks at speakers for audio improvement, you will get a visual improvement from component PAL PS via your screen, so its just a case opf choosing what you want to upgrade first.
 

Nic Rhodes

Distinguished Member
Speakers will always give you the biggest gain in quality. Actives im particular, why not active fronts?
 

Droogie 2001

Active Member
This response may shock some people. :eek:
My beloved 717 finally gave up 2 weeks ago.
As my budget was not quite it was earlier in the year I wanted a player that fairly cheap but offer similar or better performance.
I heard alot about the Toshiba 350e as it is a new model.
I had reservations as I did not want the 'embarrassment' of buying such a cheap buyer (£80 from play.com) Still I wanted a player quickly and took the risk.
When I got the player I was stunned by the improvement. The picture is better than the Pioneer although not by a huge amount but enough to notice (running in an RGB SCART mode)
The sound was a different story. A huge improvement. However the difference was so great that I wonder whether my actual 717 sound had something wrong with it as I never was entirely happy with the sound. Dialogue could sometimes be difficult to make out.
Anyway the player has component, HDMI outputs these alone would have increased the cost of the player by at least of few hundred a year or so ago.
At least give it a demo!
 

TopMeTom

Banned
I went from a 717 to a panasonic(se sig)I personally was shocked at how much better the pic was.I was going component output though.
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Its pretty obvious going from a 717 in RGB output to a decent Component player these days doing PAL PS is going to be better, especially on displays above 32”. Its sort of stating the obvious I think – and if you have component inputs on a display I would use them over RGB, but with the guys digital audio connection into those parasound pre/pa Im not sure the 2 players you guys mention (Toshiba 350 Panny s97) would be an improvement audio wise over the 717 sending DD/DTS over its digital outputs. Yes maybe via the players anlg outputs but digitally the chap is OK.
 

ssuellid

Active Member
I went from a 717 to a Denon 2910 and the difference was amazing. I had a demo on quite a few quality £150ish players as well and they all out performed the 717.

Upgrading also meant losing the slow layer 2 switching and audio sync problems with my 717 that I had put up with for years.
 

Dave02

Active Member
SSUELLID - You noticed an improvement in both picture and sound, or just picture?

I'm beginning to feel really torn. It sounds like I should possibly be considering a speaker upgrade and some mixed feelings over the benefits (or not) about upgrading the DVD player.

Because of the extra money I would budget (£1000+ for a secondhand speaker system), the speakers will have to wait for a while. Two further questions:

1) If I were to sell the 717, any ideas on price?
2) How much would if cost to make a SD9500 multiregion (my collection is very mixed, so would definitely be required)?

Thanks again to all of you for your help on this.


Dave
 

ssuellid

Active Member
Dave02 said:
SSUELLID - You noticed an improvement in both picture and sound, or just picture?

I did not really notice much difference in sound from DVDs. From music CDs the 2910 was quite a bit better. I did not try the £200 DVD players with CDs.

But I would use neither as a CD player - ended up getting a £200 NAD for CD playback.

I use my 717 as a spare player as it not worth much secondhand.
 

Dave02

Active Member
I have an opportuniuty to buy a new Toshiba SD9500e for £390 from a local seller on eBay (classified as Toshiba A1 reboxed stock with 6 month warranty), which is close enough to pick up in person. They've agreed that I can reject the transaction if the software version is lower than v2.7 (i.e. no PAL progressive scan).

For those that think of looking on eBay to buy it themselves, it's a 2nd chance offer I received from a sale that ended last night. Whilst I've seen fake 2nd chance offers in the past, this definitely seems genuine and I have the added advantage that I can see it before I buy.

Based on the information I was given earlier I can see that the "normal price" is £300-£350, but have not seen any for sale in the last month. I also checked earlier today and multi-region.co.uk still offer the modification for £60 if I want it.

Will I be paying too much for being impatient, or is this still a good buy?

FYI, I've also finally bought the Cabasse Io speakers that I've wanted for a long time (due to arrive next week) as I got a promotion at work in the last few weeks and also found a brand new set at less than half price from the old UK distributor who had 1 set left!


Dave
 

ahaydock

Active Member
Hi - I replaced my 717 with a Denon 1920 this week and am very pleased with it. I am using an HDMI lead through my Panasonic 42PV500. The difference isnt huge - but is better.

I am glad I made the move. Hope that helps.
 

Ekko Star

Distinguished Member
Dave02 said:
I have an opportuniuty to buy a new Toshiba SD9500e for £390 from a local seller on eBay (classified as Toshiba A1 reboxed stock with 6 month warranty), which is close enough to pick up in person. They've agreed that I can reject the transaction if the software version is lower than v2.7 (i.e. no PAL progressive scan).
Dave

Excellent player, but they were going for a song from Toshiba last year. If you decide to get it and it isn't v2.7 it isn't the end of the world.

In fact you can get him to knock the price down substantially in that case and a solution to get you progressive can be found ;)
 

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