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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I've lived with my DV-5900M for a week now. I'm now going to weigh in on the player, and say this: Never, never, make judgments based on what others say or write. Judge for yourself (including my comments).


I'll start by saying this: It's the best audio dvd player I've owned, it's the best video dvd player I've owned, and it's the best changer I've owned. I've owned about 20 dvd players, and 5 different changers. None of this is without qualification, however, so now I'll chime in.


You first should understand two thing about my use: (1) I only use it from its interlaced outputs (fed into a Faroudja NR at 720p); and (2) I daisy chain a DV-5050M to it. The display device is a NEC XG135LC 8" CRT projector.


AUDIO


1. To my ear, it is completely the opposite of what one person had written about diminished output levels. The output levels are greater than with any previous dvd player in memory. The dynamic range is absolutely superb, with whispers maintaining clarity in the presence of soundtracks that might otherwise drown out such clarity. The center channel is now a bold voice springing from dark silence. The music on soundtracks has never sounded as fluid, dynamic, crisp and full.


In fact, this player has made me question several ingrained assumptions I had formed about transports in general, and dvd transports in particular. The assumption was this: As long as you are using the same cable, and the same electronics, one dvd player will sound substantially identical to the next.


Well, I was wrong. Most did before this one, but this sounds different--not vastly different, but a cut above in all respects. I have not yet listened to cd on it, but that's the next experiment.


VIDEO


1. Very good from its interlaced outputs, but absolutely stellar with the enhanced black level turned on. This was a surprise to me. I had toyed around with 0 IRE black level settings on past players (though with a 7" CRT projector), and while the picture was attractive, the darkness always smothered color and light. Here, the picture is head and shoulders better with the enhanced black level on, at least in my setting.


FUNCTIONALITY


1. I had read that it was an ergonomic disaster and slow; yes, it's slow, but much less than what I'd read. It does not take 42 seconds to switch discs. It takes, tops, 25 seconds (still pretty slow).


2. The menu system is as good as any other changer, better in many respects, and lacking in a few. It suffers because you have to go through about 6 or 7 commands to get to the list of titles which most of us select from, although there may be quicker ways to do it than I've yet discovered. The disc title entry system is better than any other changer (that's even before the netnamer software is ready, let alone the Entre Hub), because of the remote keyboard.


I am very pleased with this changer. It's a pity I can't take full advantage of its progressive outputs, but that's a small price to pay, in my view. The build quality is the best I've seen in a dvd changer, and the opportunity for software upgrades will probably keep me married to it for some time to come.


Nick :cool:
 

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Nicholas,


I am considering this unit, but have been put off by the many, many poor reviews on this and other boards.


I plan on using it primarily for a CD changer/DVD-A changer. I am interested in hearing your assesment on its audio quality as compared to your CD player.


Also, I've read that you cannot use the OSD while a CD is playing, and that you have to hit STOP before you can select your next CD. Is this true? If so, doesn't it bother you?


Any info appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by JonDeutsch
.


Also, I've read that you cannot use the OSD while a CD is playing, and that you have to hit STOP before you can select your next CD. Is this true? If so, doesn't it bother you?

Although I haven't listened to cds yet, this is true with dvds. Yes, it bothers me--a little. But let's face it: if you're searching for another disc to play, while the current one is in use, you're ready to stop listening to the current one anyway. Maybe that just means background music is gone while you select.


A drawback, nonetheless. Not a huge one, though, in my view, particularly when weighed against other issues.


I'll report back tonight on cd playback quality.


Nick :cool:
 

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I wholeheartily disgaree with Nicholas. I have owned over 9 players and have reviewed them all and besides the Denon 2800 the Kenwoods have to be the biggest disappointment. It could be due to the hype, but the picture quality is not above the Philips Q50 or the Panasonic DVD-RP91.


When I first reviewed the Kenwood (as with any new toy) the wow factor was there. The more I played with the unit the less I liked it. The only reason I would purchase the Kenwood is that you need a dvd changer or you are very susceptible to combing and I mean VERY susceptible.


The picture quality is good, but this is not an improvement especially for the extra money. I would rank this player 3rd on picture quality and at the bottom for value and extras (ie:terrible remote, slowest loading times since the 1997 dvd players, etc.)


I am always in the market for a new dvd player. I love upgrading, but in my opinion the Kenwood 5700/5900 are a disappointment overall.


Andy
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Andrew P
I wholeheartily disgaree with Nicholas. I have owned over 9 players and have reviewed them all and besides the Denon 2800 the Kenwoods have to be the biggest disappointment. It could be due to the hype, but the picture quality is not above the Philips Q50 or the Panasonic DVD-RP91.


When I first reviewed the Kenwood (as with any new toy) the wow factor was there. The more I played with the unit the less I liked it. The only reason I would purchase the Kenwood is that you need a dvd changer or you are very susceptible to combing and I mean VERY susceptible.


The picture quality is good, but this is not an improvement especially for the extra money. I would rank this player 3rd on picture quality and at the bottom for value and extras (ie:terrible remote, slowest loading times since the 1997 dvd players, etc.)


I am always in the market for a new dvd player. I love upgrading, but in my opinion the Kenwood 5700/5900 are a disappointment overall.


Andy
I can't comment on the picture quality from the progressive outputs, because I don't use them. From the interlaced outputs to the Faroudja NR, the picture quality is very good with normal black level, and outstanding with enhanced black level.


I do need a changer, because of the amount of discs I own. I have owned the Pioneer DV-F727, and all 3 Sony Changers. From a changer perspective, the Kenwood has options that the others don't. The daisy chaining, in particular, permits connections for all players in the chain with digital audio and component video. No other changer yet made can do this.

If you get beyond 300 discs, this is a high priority issue.


The remote is a non-issue for me, and, I suspect, for a great many people with HT setups, because of universal remote contols. The ProntoPro was there before I got the Kenwoods, and makes remote control of the Kenwoods as good as any other piece. Yes, the Kenwood is slow, but not so slow as to irritate.


As for "bottom for value and extras," this is something that is subjective. I will purchase the Entre Hub, and this will offer control and extras that no other player can even approach. Sure, it's an add-on piece, but you can't add it on to anything but the Kenwood.


My prior players that I've compared to make the statement I have include players from Sony, Meridian, Pioneer Elite, Panasonic, Toshiba, JVC, and several different models within those brands. Obviously, someone can disagree, but that's the conclusion based on my experience.


Nick :cool:
 

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Nick,


Glad to hear you're happy with your players. I guess maybe I'll hold out a little longer before canceling my order. I just have one question: what kind of rack to you have? It must be huge. I'm in the market for one and haven't made a decision yet.


Ken
 

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I have to agree with Nicholas that this is the best player I have seen. I do use the progressive output and thinks it works perfect.


While I haven't seen it next to the Philips(nor will I try to find a Philips) I just recently put it side by side with the Panny and think the picture is better(no by much, but definitely better).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by K_Thompson
Nick,


Glad to hear you're happy with your players. I guess maybe I'll hold out a little longer before canceling my order. I just have one question: what kind of rack to you have? It must be huge. I'm in the market for one and haven't made a decision yet.


Ken
Trust me, you don't want my rack. It's not a rack at all, just a huge cabinet with spaces 2 feet deep.


I can't help you on that one.


Nick :cool:
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Nicholas



FUNCTIONALITY


1. I had read that it was an ergonomic disaster and slow; yes, it's slow, but much less than what I'd read. It does not take 42 seconds to switch discs. It takes, tops, 25 seconds (still pretty slow).


Well, you must have somehow got the turbo version. Timing mine with CD's from disc 1 stopped to disc 2 playing it consistently takes 35 seconds. It consistently takes 42 seconds to change between discs when doing random play.


I'm glad yours is faster. Other than this and the fact that the NetNamer software isn't available yet, I'm very happy with this player.
 

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Nicholas,


Thanks for the comments on the 5900M. I just ordered one myself (should have it on Monday), so I'll belong to the club soon enough. The progressive outputs looked great when I saw them at my dealer's. Definitely better PQ than my current Sony 9000ES. I've never owned a mega changer before, but with over 300 DVDs and 800 CDs, the ability to have 400 on demand at the touch of a button is very appealing. If I really like this setup I may get a 5050M to daisy chain to the 5900M, like you did, to increase my storage capacity. I also plan to get the Entre hub.


Ken,


I use Salamander Synergy racks, and love them. The internal shelves are about 17 inches deep and can accommodate the 5900M if you don't install the rear panel (so it can hang out the back). The wood top and bottom pieces are about 21 inches deep and would have no problem handling the 5900M. The 5900M is really deep, however, so you're right that it likely won't be compatible with some racks out there.


Tom
 

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Tom,


Thanks for the suggestion. There happens to be a local dealer for Salamander here so I think I'll go and check them out. Thanks again!


Nick,


Sorry to hear you're not too happy with your rack. At least your equipment makes up for it.:)


Ken
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Nicholas
It's a pity I can't take full advantage of its progressive outputs, but that's a small price to pay, in my view

Nick :cool:
Faroudja recommends running 480 i over 480p anyway. You may be better off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by crbaldwin




Well, you must have somehow got the turbo version. Timing mine with CD's from disc 1 stopped to disc 2 playing it consistently takes 35 seconds. It consistently takes 42 seconds to change between discs when doing random play.


I'm glad yours is faster. Other than this and the fact that the NetNamer software isn't available yet, I'm very happy with this player.
We may be starting our stopwatches at different times (joke). I'm talking about from the stopped position, then pressing the library entry for the next disc. It could well be a little longer if you start the clock from the time a disc is running/to stop/to change/to next disc. I don't doubt you, and maybe there will be situations where it takes somewhat longer.


Even so, it's slow either way, but not so slow that the speed is a big deal to me. It's a mistake to evaluate a changer (as some have suggested) on the basis that they can sprint to their single disc player and change it as quickly as a Kenwood. Perhaps, but they're the ones that have to get up and do it. Besides, the speed of changing isn't the main attraction to a changer--disc management is the key factor.


The Keyboard remote is very cool. By the time the netnamer comes out, mine will all be named. But I'll try it anyway.


By the way, someone asked about the menu on the daisy chain OSD. It's actually a lot better than I thought. First, only the amount of discs that are entered in the "main" unit are displayed, but you then click to "sub1" on the OSD, and the menu of discs from the daisy chained unit is displayed. Plus, when daisy chained, you can use the keyboard remote for the second unit (which doesn't even come with a keyboard remote--i.e., the 5050 unit).


Nick :cool:
 

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hello,


I’ve had the 5900 and the panasonic rp91k trying to a - b audition the two but the 5900 was late. one player was to be returned.

just giving my point of view which is opposite from a post I read a while ago.

I was instantly disappointed in the rp91s pq and could not understand the hype and returned it to the dealer. I was used to using the sony 7700 and actually thought it was better.

When the 5900 finally arrived I was instantly impressed with pq and also sounds great.

this player is not user friendly but Im going to stick with because of the a/v performance and tired of waiting for perfection.


frnz
 

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I've been one to criticize the 5900 for its UI design before. I've thought about it some more over the last week and I'll chime in here point out where I agree with Nicholas. I'm also compiling a set of annoyances which I will publish here at another time.

Things I like:


Picture is great. Really, really nice.


The Keyboard is great. I find it pretty easy to title the DVD's with the wireless(!) keyboard. My CD's all have CD-Text so I'm set there.


I find that entering the titles with the door open is the most natural way for me. It's easy to move the dial to the next disc and the changer stays in the "title enter" mode. You press "enter" to move to the next step and type in the title, "enter" to end then "enter" to confirm then type in artist "enter" and "enter" again and then turn the dial to the next slot. I've found that the number keys don't work right (they show up as the letters that share the key on the remote) until you press the shift key. After that, everything works as you would expect.


Did I mention the picture is nice?


The speed of the carousel is not so bad. It consistently takes about 42 seconds to go from one disc loaded to another disc playing. I'm totally fine with that.


The dial knob on the front is well made. It spins through the slot numbers at a good clip but not so fast or touchy that you have trouble stopping on the one you want. I won't be using it much once it goes into the rack though.


I think I'll be able to make it more useable by doing a lot of work on my Pronto to create macros to jump to each disc. Using the OSD gives me hives.


Weldon
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Now that there's a group of owners on this thread, I'd be interested in hearing if you'd tried the enhanced black level setting, as opposed to the factory default of 7.5 IRE. While this may be something which strikes my fancy in my setup (720p, CRT projector, very large screen), I'm not sure the experience will be universal. I'd like to hear how it looks on other displays.


In the setup menu, there's a "main" setup, an audio setup, and a visual setup--the black level is in the visual setup.


By the way, and this is the smallest of small points, the Kenwood has the most attractive background and colors for standby and osd menus. Pioneer's was downright ugly, and Sony's was just hokey.


I'd be very interested in what people think in switching from normal to enhanced black level.


Nick :cool:
 

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Just got the 5900 and generally agree with the positive comments here. The sound is very good...especially on DVD-A. However, on DVD video I am getting a lot of noise in the picture that looks like the pixels have St. Vitus' Dance. It is set up for progressive out to a Panasonic 50" plasma. Any ideas? Thanks - John
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by JonDeutsch
Nicholas,


I am considering this unit, but have been put off by the many, many poor reviews on this and other boards.


I plan on using it primarily for a CD changer/DVD-A changer. I am interested in hearing your assesment on its audio quality as compared to your CD player.


Also, I've read that you cannot use the OSD while a CD is playing, and that you have to hit STOP before you can select your next CD. Is this true? If so, doesn't it bother you?


Any info appreciated.
I've listened to a little cd on the player. Audio quality is very good on the discs I listened to. It is bright, but not overly so--aggressive, but controlled. The bass sounded very clean.


I am seriously considering getting another 5050M for a third daisy chainer, to replace my Sony ES changers. The Kenwood sounds easily as good as those, but I won't yet say better. The Sony changers are excellent pieces of equipment. However, if I do opt for the Entre Hub (and I'm sure I will), what it has to offer cds is every bit as fascinating as the dvd library.


If I go that route, I'll be the first one to fill three units. Can't daisy chain past that, though.


Nick :cool:
 

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Nicholas,


You can link two entre hubs together by USB. Each entre can control 3 changers. I dont know how many entre hubs can be linked though. Maybe you can be the first to try this.


I think that if Kenwood was smart they would let the entre control their cd changers too. This could save us all alot of money.


Craig
 
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