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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: upstate NY
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Mechanical noises are going to vary from unit to unit with commodity players like these, unlike players costing closer to $1K which should have much better mechanical design and QC. I suspect they're buying drive mechanisms from whoever is selling them cheapest that month.
I don't think you've said which edition of Bridge to Tarabithia you're comparing. BD or DVD? Disney (2007) or PBS (1985)? If it's either of the DVD editions, upscaling could be the difference. That could differ depending on which device (player, avr, display) is or was doing it, as well as depending on differences that device's settings. Also, an inadvertent reset might have changed any optimizations to the settings that you might have made.
Marantz SR7009 avr + MM9000 amp --> Atmos 7.1.4
Fronts=NHT 2.9+AC2, FH+TM=DefTech PM1000, LCR+TM amped