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Denon 2910 vs. 3910 - my take

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have been happily listening to CD/SACD/DVD-A through my Denon 2910 for about 2 years. Recently I posted here looking for advice on an upgraded universal player so I could put the 2910 into duty in the bedroom.

After much thought and research I bought a stock 3910 off of Audiogon.

Before I go on, I want to say that I have been very happy with the 2910's audio performance. Originally it was used to provide source material to outlaw amps and polk speakers, but I've since upgraded to an Onix SP3 and Strata Mini speakers and was yearning for a bit more. I have not been happy with the 2910's video performance - lots of macro blocking, but I have a Samsung BDP1000 blu ray player that I have been using for video, so the 2910 is always in video shutdown mode and used for music only.

The moment I fired up the very first track on the 3910 there was an obvious improvement within the first 5 seconds. My reference track is "Getz/Gibralto - Girl from Ipanema in SACD". It is always stunning and very revealing. I already enjoyed it through the 2910 but it took on new life with the 3910. The soundstage in my system took on front to back depth that it just didn't have before. Instrument clarity was improved, and overall soundstage size increased significantly. I even heard music behind me and for a second wondered if I somehow had a multichannel mix going.

I continue to get this same sort of enjoyment out of the 3910 with everything that is played.

I also decided, after reading a review, to give its video output a shot. No macroblocking and the upscaled picture is superior to that of my blu ray's upscaler for standard DVDs. I think this might become my standard DVD player of choice, too.

Thanks for all of your help with this purchase. Now I'm wondering how much better one of those modded 3910s could be....
post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwingding View Post

The moment I fired up the very first track on the 3910 there was an obvious improvement within the first 5 seconds. My reference track is "Getz/Gibralto - Girl from Ipanema in SACD". It is always stunning and very revealing.

I even heard music behind me and for a second wondered if I somehow had a multichannel mix going.


Glad to hear the 3910 is a winner ! One question though...... why would you hear music behind you on this disc ??? Would not the proper soundstage have the musicians in FRONT of you ?? What you have descibed is a fault I have seen in alot of improperly recorded multi channel SACD's. Nothing sounds LESS real than sitting in the 'middle' of the musicians, especially the "Getz/Gilberto" which has only five members believe.
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by twitch54 View Post

Glad to hear the 3910 is a winner ! One question though...... why would you hear music behind you on this disc ??? Would not the proper soundstage have the musicians in FRONT of you ?? What you have descibed is a fault I have seen in alot of improperly recorded multi channel SACD's. Nothing sounds LESS real than sitting in the 'middle' of the musicians, especially the "Getz/Gilberto" which has only five members believe.

I'm afraid I disagree with respect to "LESS real". It isn't necessarily "less real" (particularly to those who have played in bands). I consider it more a question of flavour. I actually prefer the "in the band" mixes, particularly of studio recordings that have no real "front" of which to speak. Of course, it is a personal matter of taste, so I'm not going to call you "wrong".

Is that Getz/Gilberto disc a MCH one? From the OP, it appears he expected a two channel and wondered if he had a MCH mix by mistake. If so, then it could be a room acoustics issue or something in the 2 channel mix (the 2 channel mix of Peter Gabriel's UP, for example, does a very credible illusory "rear channel" imitation on some tracks--though it seems unlike a Getz/Gilberto album would be mixed that way).
post #4 of 9
The "Getz/Gilberto Girl from Ipanema" SACD is stereo only.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovation View Post

I'm afraid I disagree with respect to "LESS real". It isn't necessarily "less real" (particularly to those who have played in bands).


Exactly !!!! as you said...........You were IN the band, not the audience !

Regardless, whatever floats your boat !!
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
The SACD of Getz/Gilberto is 2 channel only. It had such a larger and more pronounced soundstage with the 3910 that I heard sounds behind me that I had not heard with the 2910. Room accoustics of course play a role, but with the same recording on two different CDPs, the room accoustics are a constant, but one machine plays "larger" than the other.

I continue to notice improved sonics and depth of stage with this 3910. I'm really very impressed that I could score a CD player of this quality for $500 shipped on Audiogon.
post #7 of 9
You can score a new one shipped from Crutchfield for $649. (silver). That's where I bought mine, and I have not been disappointed. Nothing like "rediscovering" your music collection!
post #8 of 9
thanks for sharing. I actually had the 2910 but I returned it because I didn't like its 2ch performance. I favored a much older Arcam Alpha7 cd instead. Haven't tried the 3910. Now I have a Pioneer DV79Avi which I prefer over the Rega Apollo and Musical Fidelity 3.5cd. (it was a in-home demo too). It's nice to know that higher end universal players are so capable.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bing View Post

thanks for sharing. I actually had the 2910 but I returned it because I didn't like its 2ch performance. I favored a much older Arcam Alpha7 cd instead. Haven't tried the 3910. Now I have a Pioneer DV79Avi which I prefer over the Rega Apollo and Musical Fidelity 3.5cd. (it was a in-home demo too). It's nice to know that higher end universal players are so capable.

Similar story for me. I ebayed my Denon 2910 and got a Arcam CD73 after having both side by side for a while. While I did want the 3910, those were about 1400 at the time, and I got the CD73 and and Xbox 360 for much less then that Granted Video quality wasn't as good as the 2910 but I cared mostly about redbook performance.
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