Denon 3910 in da house!!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, almost. My dealer just called and my player is in. I'll pick it up this afternoon and get it installed in the system after work this evening. I'll post some "first impressions" and as much detail as I can later tonight (probably much later).

I'm using a CRT rear projection TV so I don't know how much help I will be on checking for the macroblocking thing, but if someone will give me a disc and time reference and a brief description of what to look for, I'll see what I can see.

Later....
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post #2 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 11:58 AM
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Is your TV capable of displaying 720p native? If so, I'd really appreciate feedback on the 3910's 720p quality.
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post #3 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 12:08 PM
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Outstanding - Couldn't ask for a better first impression guy.
Very interested in the digital audio compared to the 2900.
Thanks Robert.
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post #4 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 12:19 PM
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>>> Denon 3910 in da house!!! <<<

Teaser.:)
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post #5 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 03:08 PM
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Also eagerly awaiting your impressions regarding menu speed navigating, layer change, macroblocking, and displaying 4:3 material in pillar box format on a 16:9 display.
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post #6 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Still looking for someone to fill me in on the macroblocking bug. What does it look like and where can I look for it?

Also, the player is now in my possession. It is sitting in the back of my Jeep awaiting a short ride home. The box looks really cool. ;)
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post #7 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 03:28 PM
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3910 Review, Part 1a. "The box looks really cool".

Ok. Good start. Hopefully it keeps getting better. :)

Also, IIRC, you'll be comparing it to your 2900?

larry

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post #8 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Still looking for someone to fill me in on the macroblocking bug. What does it look like and where can I look for it?
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=330006

and here are some more to try-

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...49#post4293149

Thanks,
Spero
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post #9 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 03:40 PM
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Someone beat ya to the punch (slightly - I think the writer works in a retail store so isn't an owner per se).

try:

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=209929
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post #10 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 03:45 PM
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From that impressions-

Quote:
You have to choose either HDMI/DVI or DenonDigitalLink.
Which makes no sense as you should be able to use DVI for picture and the Denon Link for Audio?

Hopefully Robert has a Denon amp to verify that this isn't the case.

Spero D.
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post #11 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spizz
From that impressions-



Which makes no sense as you should be able to use DVI for picture and the Denon Link for Audio?

Hopefully Robert has a Denon amp to verify that this isn't the case.

Spero D.
I wonder if he means when using HDMI for video, the audio is locked to the HDMI output also, what a collosal bungle that would be?

Jim
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post #12 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by keenan
I wonder if he means when using HDMI for video, the audio is locked to the HDMI output also, what a collosal bungle that would be?

Jim
He either means that you can't use DVI/HDMI for video output and send the PCM, DD, or DTS digital stream out the DenonLink. Or maybe, he means you can use DVI for video output and HDMI for audio output, including DVD-A and SACD. At least that's my read on it. Sony isn't letting Denon send SACD out the DenonLink.

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post #13 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 05:40 PM
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Any news yet?

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post #14 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 06:33 PM
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keenan,
I tried to call Reggie today, but couldn't get him on the phone. Does the Santa Rosa GG's have the 3910 yet? I want to run a few tests on it.

Dave

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post #15 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Vaughn
keenan,
I tried to call Reggie today, but couldn't get him on the phone. Does the Santa Rosa GG's have the 3910 yet? I want to run a few tests on it.

Dave
Called and talked to Andy, 225 Blacks and 50 Silvers on back-order, no delivery date for the Hayward DC showing yet. He will call me. 400 1910's in the Hayward DC, available now.

Jim

P.S. I thought you had one coming from somewhere else?
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post #16 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by PooperScooper
He either means that you can't use DVI/HDMI for video output and send the PCM, DD, or DTS digital stream out the DenonLink. Or maybe, he means you can use DVI for video output and HDMI for audio output, including DVD-A and SACD. At least that's my read on it. Sony isn't letting Denon send SACD out the DenonLink.

larry
AFAIK, HDMI is only 2ch at this point, MCh in next revision.

Jim
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post #17 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 07:03 PM
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Jim,
I am on the review list, but not sure which number I am at this point. I know that Kris is before me.

Dave

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post #18 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Vaughn
Jim,
I am on the review list, but not sure which number I am at this point. I know that Kris is before me.

Dave
Okay, if I can grab one early I will let you know.

Jim
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post #19 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 08:59 PM
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If you live in the Kansas City metro area. Ultimate Electronics in OP will be getting three in tomorrow into their showroom. This was what they showed in their system as of tonight.

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post #20 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 09:14 PM
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Thanks Jim. I am usually in Santa Rosa at least once a week for business, so if they have one I want to check it out.

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post #21 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I've been fondling the remote for around three hours now and here's what I can say right now....

First, associated equipment and configuration;

TV is a Mitsubishi WS-65411, ISF calibrated on both 480i/480p and 1080i inputs. Current and recent DVD/universal/CD players I have used are a Zenith DVB318 (current), Denon 2900, Denon 2200, Panasonic RP91, and a Rega Planet CD player.

My TV does not have DVI/HDMI so I use analog component for video. Audio is configured for digital, 2-channel analog, and 6-channel analog into an Anthem AVM-20. For instance, playing a CD, I can switch between a pure direct analog path, an analog path using digital bass management in the Anthem, and a digital path.

I will say up front that some of you on pins and needles can relax. Denon has not created the perfect DVD player. In fact, in many respects, I find the new 3910 only incrementally better than my previous 2900 and in at least one respect, worse. But more on that in a minute.

First the good news. As a DVD player, the 3910 produces 480p images that are, in a word, spectacular. I don't believe I have ever seen the absolute depth in a video image from a DVD. The best transfer look very nearly 3-D. With the extreme sharpness and what appears to be some type of digital image enhancement happening, I suspect some people with displays that tend to exaggerate edge enhancement or add ringing themselves will find this player to produce and overly harsh, "digital" looking image. On a calibrated CRT display, it just looks so good one can almost step into the picture.

One thing to watch for is black level. For some reason, this player was way too light out of the box. It was a simple matter to adjust the black level on the TV, but still rather odd that there would be this much variation. Other than that, The picture is just stunning. Colors are the best I have seen, bar none, both for accuracy and saturation. Sharpness is excellent without ringing or other nasty artifacts (on my TV). Deinterlacing appears perfect to my eye (no test gear for me) using the usual test material. No interlaced chroma issues (so far), certainly no chroma upsampling error, and I haven't seen any combing yet, though I have yet to look at any video based material.

EDIT: I just figured out the black level issue. This player give one the choice of black level setup of 0 IRE or 7.5 IRE. This is found in the "pic adjust" menu. The default is 7.5 IRE and switching to 0 IRE brings the black level to something closer to what I have found on previous progressive players.

Macroblocking, as has been described in the Denon 5900, is, as best I can determine, absent from the 3910. Or at the very least, so subtle as to not present a visible artifact in my system configuration. I looked carefully throughout the "Unbreakable" disc, as well as "The Fifth Element" and could not see any occurrences of overt MPEG macroblocking.

Audio? You like the musica? Well, even though I had even less time so far with audio than video, what I heard made an immediate impression for the good. Redbook CD sounds wonderful. I couldn't say how much better than either the Denon 2200 or 2900 as I no longer have those players for direct comparison, but I know neither of those struck me the way this 3910 has. And as much as I enjoyed the sound of a couple of my favorite CDs, I was totally smoked by the sound of SACD from this player. Audio performance alone would ensure a place in my system for this player. To be sure, I have sold a $900 Rega Planet dedicated CD player and won't miss it for a moment.

So, what's not perfect? A couple of things.

First, and most disappointing to me, is how the aspect ratio scaling and zoom features have been implemented, or not as the case may be.

Someone asked about pillarboxing 4:3 material. Good news, it will do that with the "squeeze mode" engaged. Bad news, with the squeeze mode engaged, everything is squeezed into a 4:3 window. This boggles my mind. On the 2900, the squeeze mode is automatic for 4:3 material with 16:9 material being displayed normally. With the 3910, one will have to access the setup menu and turn on the squeeze mode for 4:3 material then turn it off for 16:9 material. Sorry, Denon, but this is just stupid. No other word for it.

Only slightly less stupid for a player of this caliber is the lack of aspect ratio scaling for letterboxed 4:3 material on a 16:9 TV. How hard can this be guys? Panasonic did it over four years ago with the RP91. There is a zoom function on the 3910, but this is just a simple zoom that zooms the entire image. If the squeeze mode is off, the zoom is for the 16:9 frame. If the squeeze mode is on, the zoom is in the 4:3 window. The side bars are not affected. Useless in my opinion.

Build quality is good, not great. Just slightly less than the 2900, a lot less than the 5900. However, the drive unit is very quiet and stable. The drawer mechanism is quieter and smoother than the 2900 and has a more precise feel to it.

Menu navigation is good within a menu but seek time when a menu selection has been made can be a little slow. Layer change time, as you might expect with a 8 meg buffer, is non-existent.

That's about it for now. I look forward to other owner's comments as more players make their way out, and particularly Kris Deering's write up for Secrets.
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post #22 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 10:49 PM
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Thanks for the detailed write up, Robert.

One question: Can you check the speaker distance settings for DVD/SACD/DVD-A and see if you can adjust in .1m increments? I may use this player to decoded all formats including DD/DTS and that precision would be very much appreciated.
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post #23 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Speaker distance settings for multi-channel audio is in 1 foot increments.

EDIT: Distance units are selectable in feet or meters. When meters are selected, increments are .1 meters.
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post #24 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Robert George
Someone asked about pillarboxing 4:3 material. Good news, it will do that with the "squeeze mode" engaged. Bad news, with the squeeze mode engaged, everything is squeezed into a 4:3 window. This boggles my mind. On the 2900, the squeeze mode is automatic for 4:3 material with 16:9 material being displayed normally. With the 3910, one will have to access the setup menu and turn on the squeeze mode for 4:3 material then turn it off for 16:9 material. Sorry, Denon, but this is just stupid. No other word for it.
As I posted in the LONG thread long ago. The "squeeze" in the Setup menu is screwed! Keep it at OFF and use the remote to switch to Squeeze mode. When you done with the 4:3 disc, eject it and the 3910 will default back to 16x9 mode.

regards,

Li On
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post #25 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 11:38 PM
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Why, oh why, did I have to pre-order my 3910 in silver? In my area (Seattle), Magnolia Hi-Fi already has the black ones, but they're saying "maybe sometime next week" on the silver ones. Dang it, dang it, dang it!
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post #26 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 11:58 PM
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Robert,

My findings echo yours pretty closely, however I was most curious with audio and have spent the last 3 hours souly on the sound.

Relevant equipment...Denon 3910 and 2900. Upgraded 5800 with two Krell 250A/3s biamping B&W N802s/HTM1 in front. N805s in rear.

The only bummer is I am using some el-cheapo interconnects on the 3910 as I didn't get a chance to pick up some decent ones before I came home.

Regardless.....

The Redbook performance is phenomenal. I have several duplicate discs and was able to do an A/B directly with the 2900 using the two external inputs on the 5800. I was never a fan of the 2900's RB performance and was looking at an outboard DAC. I figured I would give the 3910 a try first and it will stay in the rack.

I have always used the internal DACs in the 5800 for redbook because of the lack of detail and sound stage with the 2900 alone. The 3910 is very much a better performer in both departments.

SACD is very good as well, although I wouldn't say there was such a big difference in the two decks. I do have two copies of "Dark Side of the Moon" and was able to compare the two on the fly. The rest of my listening; Beck, James Taylor, and Norah were done by switching out the disc on each player and not a fair comparison. However, the 3910 does sound VERY good and I found myself enjoying whole albums and not doing much switching and A/Bing....instead, relaxing.

DVD Audio is excellent on the 3910. I have a couple of 24/192 mixes from Steely Dan and the Eagles and they are stunning. I didn't even listen to the 2900 in DVD-A. I was getting a bit tired.

The 2900 is still in the rack, but has a nice set of StraightWire Cables for both analog(6ch) and the Digital interconnect. The 3910 in the short review is sporting the gratis cables that come with most components. I look forward to switching out the cables and doing some DVD watching tomorrow.

I don't really understand the issue with zooming, etc....but I've never had any problems with the 2900 on 4:3 material, mostly concert videos I have.

Peace,

Jer

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post #27 of 799 Old 09-03-2004, 11:58 PM
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Thanks for the time Robert!
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post #28 of 799 Old 09-04-2004, 12:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Li On:

How do you switch the squeeze mode with the remote? Maybe something different between the Asian and US models?
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post #29 of 799 Old 09-04-2004, 01:38 AM
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Are you doing the redbook CD tests using the analog out connection or the digital connection? Is it true that if you use the digital connection, your receiver does all the D to A work? In that case, I would assume that you're judging audio quality using either the 2 channel analog outs or the 6 channel analog outs?

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post #30 of 799 Old 09-04-2004, 04:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Are you doing the redbook CD tests using the analog out connection or the digital connection?
If that is directed at me, the answer is both, or actually three ways. As I said above, I have the audio output of the 3910 connected to actually four inputs of the Anthem. 6-channel analog, separate 2-channel analog, digital into the CD input, and digital into the DVD input. I can switch a playing CD to listen to the digital output using all D-A conversion in the Anthem, 2-channel using the DACs in the Denon but applying digital bass management in the Anthem, and finally using the 6-channel analog passing through the Anthem with no digitization applied.
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