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RP91 to 5900-is it worth it?

1040 Views 23 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  gtaylor74

I have a Panasonic RP91 that I am very happy with. I am getting the "upgrade" bug...Is it worth the price of admission to upgrade to the new Denon 5900? I don't need DVI...I have a Pioneer Elite 620 (no DVI). And I don't need SACD. The benefits I would like are:

1. Better quality video (the RP-91 is pretty good, though)

2.Better sound quality (from my B&K Ref 50 with Bryston amp)

Can anyone give me some insight that will help me?

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You don't need DVI, and don't need SACD. Save the money and keep the RP91 its a great player, I doubt you'll notice a image change using components to components.
I disagree with stonepran about the difference in video quality. The only thing the Panasonic does better than the Denon is scaling of non-anamorphic material. Progressive component video from the 5900 would be a big step up from the RP-91. The question in your case is, does that alone justify spending $1500-$2000? You're not interested in SACD and have no need for DVI output, so there are two big strengths of the Denon you won't be taking advantage of. What about DVD-A? Redbook CD? The 5900 is an outstanding audio performer as well. But if you're not interested in these features either...

If it were me and I was looking at a new player for video use only, I'd save some money and buy a used XP30/XP50 or RP82, maybe even a Denon 1600. Their component video is pretty close to the 5900 at about 1/5 the price.
I am getting the "upgrade" bug
Upgrade something else besides the DVD player. :)

...that is the same question I'm trying to answer. My RP-91 is in for repair, so I've been checking into other players to see if it's time to move on. (So far I've tried the Denon 3800/Pioneer 59IAVI and a few cheaper players).

Hopefully I'll be able to answer the question soon; when my RP-91 gets back from the shop I'll be borrowing a 5900 to compare.

dpippel wrote:

"Progressive component video from the 5900 would be a big step up from the RP-91. "

On what do you base that assertion? Are you writing from experience?

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Thanks all for your input.

I am into DVD-A and CD. The RP-91 sounds good with both. I shouldn't say that I am not interested in SACD, but that I just don't have any experience with it. Hi-Quality sound is very important to me...that's the hook right now. I have heard that the 5900 is one of the best, but will I hear a difference worth the $1775.00 I can buy one for?
There is no question you'll see a better picture with the 5900. The RP-91 has been surpassed, for several years now, by Panasonic's own cheaper players. As to the sound, if you are using a digital coaxial cable, or optical cable, for your connection to the receiver, you will not hear a change (for DVD sound). Only if you listen to CDs through this player will you hear a change.

I think you should try one of these, the XP50, perhaps? or the newer model with the Faroudja chip.

P.S. I'm in exactly the same boat. I'd like to try the 5900, but I don't have DVI, and I'm not sure it's worth it (I've currently got the RP-82, though I don't know how long it will last).

If you are "into" DVD-A, you want SACD. You won't be disappointed.

The 5900 offers quite a few improvements to the 91.

Better De-interlacing

Better Analog Stage

Better analog audio (CD, DVD-A, SA-CD)

Full bass management for audio (something lacking completely on the RP-91)

DVI for future use

HDCD decoding

1394 support

The RP-91 is a great interlaced player, but doesn't compare with progressive performance. And audio wise, it isn't even a contest.
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On what do you base that assertion? Are you writing from experience?
Yes I am. I've owned both players, although I didn't have an opportunity to do a side-by-side comparison. I *did* do a side-by-side with the RP-91 and RP82 however, and the Faroudja-based player put out a much more detailed, natural, and pleasing progressive image than the 91. I've also directly compared the 5900 and XP50 (same video guts as the RP82), and these experiences are what I'm basing my comments on. The Denon 5900 produces the most outstanding DVD image I've yet seen on my ISF calibrated Hitachi 57SWX20B CRT RPTV, and I've owned or in-home auditioned the following machines:

Denon 3800

Denon 2900

Denon 1600

Panasonic RP-91

Panasonic RP82

Panasonic XP50

Panasonic CP72

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The 82's only advantage over the 91 was de-interlacing, everything else was almost identical. The 91 had a slightly better analog stage though.

The 5900 has a far better analog stage then either of the two, plus far more features and flexibility.

What are the benefits of a much better analog stage? More detail? better colors? etc

A better analog stage gives a flatter response which lends to a sharper image with better depth. You also have a lot less noise around objects.
You've all been a help...I'm going to put in an order for one! Better video, sound, and SACD all sound good to me. Once it's all set-up properly I will know for sure! Hopefully I won't have to kick myself.


Be patient as the Faroudja chip has some quircks in it that Denon is hopefully pressing out. I informed them of an issue with the NR filter in the Faroudja chip, hopefully they'll have a firmware solution soon.
I have a Panasonic RP91 that I am very happy with. I am getting the "upgrade" bug...Is it worth the price of admission to upgrade to the new Denon 5900?
IMO, No.

I have a RP-91 and the picture of the 5900 was not that much better. I run my RP91 interlaced BTW and let my projector do the interlacing.

Also the Denon 5900 had a number of odd quirks that annoyed me.

I believe that even though Denon insisted the 5900 had no quirks on introduction, that there will be tweaking and fiddling and that in a few months it will be a better player than the day it was released.

My advice, sit tight, keep enjoying the RP91 then wait and see what the landscape looks like in the Spring. At that time the 5900 may be "improved".

-- Cain
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I also run the RP91 interlaced and let the Pioneer do the line-doubling. My thought was that the 5900 would be superior to my TV at doing the job...just based current technology. The "quirks" that I have been hearing about do make me wonder...for $2000 there shouldn't be any issues. How would I know what firmware updates have been done? I should probably wait awhile...but for how long?

I will announce on the forum when the updates are available.

I'll keep an eye out for your post!


You're a reviewer for "Secrets"! Cool! I just read your review of the 2900...well done!
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