Using Pioneer's DV-868 Dolby decoder

SL Boy

Standard Member
I am about to venture into the world of home cinema and buy a Pioneer DV-868 dvd player. Am contemplating using its inbuilt Dolby/DTS 5.1 channel decoder to go straight into a Copeland hifi pre/power amp. The question is how good are the onboard decoders in this dvd player? Am I likely to compromise sound quality in doing it this way?
 
D

dantheman

Guest
Most DVD players internal decoders are not as good as an equivalent AV receivers. The pioneer (although no experience of this player) is a good quality DVD player. I would be tempted to add a good quality processor to your existing hifi. as I feel this would produce a much better sound.
 

KraGorn

Novice Member
Hard question, really depends on the quality of your amp and whether it provides the necessary control over the surround-sound setup and calibration .. I've no knowledge of the Copeland. The DACs in the 868 are pretty good, I personally don't hear a difference between the 868 feeding the discrete inputs on my 3803 or the 3803 doing the decoding/preamping .. but then at my age one's high-end hearing is lowered and there's where the main difference would expect to be I think.
 

Ultra2man

Well-known Member
I am actually in the process of doing some checks on this.
I have the 868 and am running through a Denon AVC A1 SE (with the k upgrade ) amp.
Its due to me doing a dem for a friend. whilst testing we played the Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells 3 live dvd. I had previously been demoing some dvd audio material.
I had left the amp on the external 6ch input. As I wanted to show the Psuedo ex effect when using all 7 speakers I switched the input to my digital coax in connection ( chord company codac cable) to our surprise there was a distinct drop in thequality of the sound. Much duller and less clarity.
Switching back to the external input led to a more revealing brighter sound.
As I said I am in the process of trying some more material through both outputs, but bear in mind that if you have an ex/es amp that the rear speakers will not operate when using the analogue 6ch input.
If anyone else out there has done some tests like this I would be intersted to hear what results they had.
 

SL Boy

Standard Member
Originally posted by Ultra2man

As I said I am in the process of trying some more material through both outputs, but bear in mind that if you have an ex/es amp that the rear speakers will not operate when using the analogue 6ch input.
If anyone else out there has done some tests like this I would be intersted to hear what results they had.

This is very intereting Ultra2man. Thanks for your post. I look forward to hearing more when you have done further tests.
 

Matt F

Active Member
I've compared the internal DD/DTS decoding of my Pioneer 757i with my Tag AV32R (BP-192) and, as you would expect, the Tag is leagues ahead. The Pioneer isn't bad though and I guess would compare with some budget AV amps perhaps.

The Copland (and I assume you're talking about the CVA306 6 channel valve pre amp) is a lovely bit of gear. Although you have to rely on the DVD player for DD/DTS decoding and cannot of course apply an processing to analogue sources (DPLII to TV etc) the flip side is an outstanding 6 channel pre amp that should be superb for DVD-A/SACD.

It might be worth trying out the Pioneer if this is possible and also comparing it to the likes of Denon's 2900 and maybe Sony's 999ES (the Sony doesn't do DVD-A mind).

Finally, I presume you won't be using the Pioneer for CD replay as again, it's not bad, but a dedicated CD player would be a lot better, especially with a quality pre/power amp like the Copland.

Matt.
 

SL Boy

Standard Member
Thanks for your response Matt. I am new to home cinema although I do have a good hifi system (Quad CDP, 44/405 pre/power and ESL63 electrostatics with Audio Pro sub) and want to try and use the Quad ESLs as a front pair and adding Quad 11L rears. Also keeping the sub for home cinema.

I want to keep the warm sound and have been advised a possible route might be to change the Quad pre/power combo to a valve set up such as the Copland CVA306 pre and CVA535 power. I am nervous about the capability of the Pioneer 868s inbuilt decoder. I am only thinking about the 868 as I want to partner it with the Pioneer 504 50 inch plasma to use the HDMI capability.

I am really being too ambitious?

An alternative would be to keep the Quad pre/power and add a Pioneer VSA AX10 processor feeding the Quad electrostatic front pairs via the Quad power. But my retailer thinks a better sonic solution would be to have the Copland feeding all the speakers.
 

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