AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious as to which DVD Player is considered best for music by AVS denizens. According to many reports, the Philips 963SA is still the best because of its SACD performance and 192k upsampling. I've read that it outperforms the new Marantz and Yamaha universal players in many (audio) respects.


Keep in mind that I'm only asking about audio -- I've already read about people's issues with the 963SA's syncing to video. I'm an audio tourist; I actually travel with a DAT recorder instead of a camera.


Does anyone have any thoughts or recommendations?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Note:


Both the new Yamaha and Marantz universal players have been auditioned and reviewed relatively unfavorably by Tuberoller on Head-fi.org in the Source Forum (though he liked the Yamaha in certain respects); since the new Denon isn't out yet, no one has reviewed it. The first two players were assessed by T. for their audio (not video) performance.


What do you think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
The best player for CD music is: a CD player!


Honestly, even the $200 CD players I've heard outperform DVD players on CD's. Making a DVD player play every kind of disc seems to compromise its performance for CD audio.


You may need both a dedicated CD player and a multidisc DVD player if top quality is your goal.


Les
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
498 Posts
Hi Scrypt:

It would be helpful to know a few things;

Will you be playing DVD's only or CD's too?

What type of music do you prefer?

Is DVD-A and/or SACD a priority? Universal player?

What price range is comfortable for you?

The easy answer is to go to the top of the food chain and suggest a Krell Standard, Theta Voyager, TAG 192, PMDT (bargain of the month as it is now out of production but will be supported), but most of these are tough to justify price wise.

A notch down in cost are other options such as the Marantz, the new Lexicon and high-end Denon. Some like the Sony es999 for music which is less expensive yet. (PM me if you want to buy a minimally used one).

I've started from the top down. Others might prefer to start from the bottom up.

As Les H noted sometimes a separate CD player is the way to go along with an inexpensive DVD player. All depends on what your goals are.

BP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Les H
The best player for CD music is: a CD player! . . . Honestly, even the $200 CD players I've heard outperform DVD players on CD's.
I know what you're saying, and most audio magazines (like What Hi-fi) reiterate that point each month. But the 963 is supposed to be exceptionally good for audio. I'm also thinking about the needs of certain economically burdened AVS browsers who might not have the cash cache or space for two high-end players, DVD and CD.


Have you been following discussions regarding the 963SA on audiophile sites? It's the audio-obsessed who have been extolling the praises of this particular machine. I've actually read that the 963 trounced the 777ES for CD/SACD playback. Mind you, not everyone agrees.


The only other player I know that does audio upsampling without an external DAC is the Musical Fidelity, which I've heard and adored at Sound by Singer. On the other hand, I'm not spending $800 for a dedicated CD player at this stage in the CD's life-span.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
BP:


Universal players seem to me to be a luxury at this point. I haven't heard that any of them sound[ed] as good as they ought to for the money, though I did see quite a good review of the Yamaha last month. Most people I've spoken to say the Yamaha has a bit more heft in the bass area but that the 963 atomizes it in terms of highs and lower mids. The Marantz is said to be completely disappointing (which I find odd).


Yes, my budgetary constraints are such that I'd rather not spend scads on a CD player.


Yes, SACD is important at this stage. I daresay DVD-Audio will catch on in the long run, though, as it affords more compatability (and less licensing blackmail) to smaller studios and labels in the long run, I suspect -- particularly in Europe.


The 963 goes for $360 currently at J&R, providing one wallet-wrestles one's salesfoont. I'm looking for anything that might be more versatile and better sounding within $200 of that price point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
498 Posts
Scrypt:

Sounds like you are on the right track. I have also heard positive reviews of the 963. Can you buy one from a place offering a reasonable return policy or have the ability to demo it in your system before committing to buy it?

BP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
587 Posts
I have a Denon 1600, and think it does a good job with audio. It plays DVD-A disks and it sounds just wonderful. I didn't have the opportunity to compare it to the Philips 963SA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
BP:


Thanks for the feedback. I do think I'm on the right track but wanted to get any second opinions or suggestions that others might offer before committing to the Philips.


Yes, J&R offers an exchange policy, and yes, I'll be able to listen first (through the auspices of the Sony room salesperson, Michael Ruski). I intend to bring the DGG SACD of Das Lied von der Erde and a pair of Grado RS-1 to plug into the player, since I'm not certain they've plugged it into an audio system. I might even bring my tiny META42 headphone amp as a precaution.



Jw_Wood:


Yes, I've heard that the 1600 sounds good with DVD-A. Doesn't do upsampling (or oversampling) for CDs, though, does it -- which means I'll wait until DVD-A becomes more widespread, and audiophile players begin incorporating it, or universal players with superb DACS come down in price. Wouldn't you love to see a dedicated Arcam DVD-A/SACD/CD player?


I can't wait to see what happens to audiophile amps, integrated and otherwise, when multichannel is finally perceived as a means toward greater instrument separation. As a musician who likes to read scores while listening, I would love to hear a string quartet in which each instrument was centered in a different speaker.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
BP:


One last thing:


I've been doing web searches for the various players you mentioned in your first post. Thanks for those suggestions, if only to give me a better sense of range and perspective. If you'd like to point me toward one of the PMDT deals you alluded to before, please do.


And might I suggest that you offer your 999ES to members of Head-fi.org in the Gear for Sale forum, which is free and would take no cut from your profits? You might also like the people on Head-fi, who tend to be rather helpful and loyal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Depending on price, you should also consider the Arcam DV88 or FMJDV27. Both have amazing picture, excellent sound on cd and are upgradable to DVD-Audio. I have a DV88 at home and chose it after extensive listening and viewing comparisons. This is designed and built in the UK and costs more than the Philips, or any of the far-east universal players, but beats them in performance on dvd and cd and soon, I would bet, on DVD-Audio.

Beware of the PMDT, look at the history of problems. Now that it is dead the chances of service, updates, etc are very small.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
The denon 2900, I believe (have not heard or seen yet) will be the first true audio/video wonderkind. I am going to check it out tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
RoberttheBruce: Yes, Arcam is one of the main brands I'll be watching regarding future audiophile versions of the universal or CD/DVD-A/V player. I expect prosumer technology to improve dramatically a few years hence, when I buy my next player and will be spending a wee tad more money (probably for my studio room). I want certain issues (with HDTV format and so forth) to settle before I make that choice. But I have been salivating over the DV88 whenever I've seen it in the shiny metal flesh.


Woodsea: Yes, I know about the new Denon and am waiting for reviews of it as well. My crony at Head-fi will be getting his hands on one soon and I'm anxious to read his opinions on its sound. If you or anyone else gets to hear one, Ws, I hope you'll post your impressions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
So can anyone recommend a good $200 CD PLAYER?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
To innit:


Go to Head-fi.org, find the Source Forum and either do a search or ask that question yourself. There are people on that site who spend most of their waking moments pondering your question. A used NAD541 might well be what you're looking for. You should be able to find one at audiogon.com.


One common solution is to buy a decent PCDP (or something to use as a transport, such as the NS500v, which is dirt cheap), with optical S/PDIF out and a dedicated DAC. Many people like the ART D/IO as a budget DAC (which only has S/PDIF, BTW), which you can buy at Fullcompass.com for around $90. You can also use the D/IO or or another ADC with your computer's DVD-ROM drive, providing you have a sound card with S/PDIF (such as the Audiophle 2496).


To everyone else:


I've officially stopped looking and bought the Philips 963SA for $360 from J&R. Currently listening to the DGG SACD recording of Boulez conducting Das Lied Von Der Erde with the 963 in direct audio mode. Before that, I listened to Autechre's newest CD with 192k upsampling enabled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Scrypt,

How about a review? I have the 962SA i just got at Tweeter. I still have 27days to decide whether to keep it. I think i might want to exchange it in favor of the 963 if the bass management works well. Let us know your impressions of the 963 as an audio player.




Dalton
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top