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Took the DVD Audio plunge! First impressions of Denon DVM 4800...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi,
I am currently auditioning the Denon DVM 4800 DVD Audio/Video player (Denon's top of the line changer), and after a very rough start, I now have a BIG smile on my face. I have had this player on order for over a month, and it finally came out yesterday.

I was about to come slam the unit here until I figured out the trick to getting proper DVD Audio playback. That took 5 hours. This unit was an absolute nightmare to set up, and the manual SUCKS worse than any I've come across. It has "quirks" that really piss you off. After I complete my evaluation, I'll write a proper review. This is not a slam dunk done deal due to the numerous glitches. It may yet go back, we'll see.

In any case, this machine should provide one the better glimpses at what DVD Audio can do at this point in time. Couple that with my utterly transparent Sony CD3000s and my ZOTL and you have all the tools a reviewer could ask for to really test the new format.

I currenlty own the previous generation model, Denon DVM 3700 DVD video player which has been lauded for its 2-channel performance. In fact, I liked it better on my CDs than a CAL CL10. The DVM 4800 is the replacement model with upgraded DACs for DVD Audio.

I bought two DVD Audio discs for my maiden voyage.

Fleetwood Mac-- Rumors. Holy cow, this sounds incredible! Big, deep, wide, Technicolor sound! I don't have a regular CD version to compare other than a very old "Greatest Hits" that in no way provides a fair comparison. Modern remastered CDs sound much better than that old disc. Nevertheless, color me blown away by the DVD Audio version in 2-channel full resolution mode.

Steely Dan- Two Against Nature. The CD just came out and won a Grammy for sound. This should be a much better comparison. It's very hard to put in words yet what the DVD Audio version does that the CD does not, but it definitely sounds "better"-- fuller, airier, better instrument separation. As I adjust, I'll be able to do a better comparison.

I am also hoping that the new super DACs on the 4800 will enhance regular CDs as well. The unit performs upsampling on all normal CDs! Oh, and like the 3700, it does HDCD as well!

So, based on a sample size of two discs, I am VERY excited about DVD Audio. More info to come.

markl
post #2 of 9
Very interesting. We've heard lots of good things about SACD, now we have a positive view on the DVD-Audio side. Now all that needs to happen is you and jude need to get together to do a side-by-side comparison w/ his SACD player and your player. I assume there are some discs available on SACD and DVD-A?
post #3 of 9
dhwilkin: I wouldn't put too much hope on that - but even if there were some recordings availabe on both sacd and dvd-a, it would be hard to compare. Because depending from which equipment (dsd for sacd / pcm for dvd-a) the recording was done on, either sacd or dvd-a would have an advantage from the start. Not ideal for a fair comparision... So the best method to compare would probably be using regular audio-cds, I'd assume - most relevant, too, because audio-cds will most probably still the most used format for a long while...

Greetings from SF!

Manfred / Lini
post #4 of 9

Good point Lini...

But can we assume for sure that a good cd reproduction equals a good SACD or DVDA reproduction also? I am no sure about it. But it would be a start anyway.
post #5 of 9
How does it handle bass management? I saw this info at AVS when somebody contacted Denon customer service.

* Done digitally

* Does not remove any bass from the satellites. It extracts bass from the satellites, sums it and adds it to the SW channel, duplicating the bass.

* He was not sure what frequency range was duplicated to the SW. He thought it was around 200 Hz.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
There is a button on the front of the unit you can hit to extract the LFE channel.

I'm 99% certain the unit is going back, sad to say. There are a whole host of issues that I just can't overlook. What a shame because I'm absolutely astonished at the quality of DVD Audio. I'll wait for the next revision of this unit or look to another manufacturer.

I am so disappointed and surprised at Denon.

markl
post #7 of 9
So what exactly were these issues, markl? Must've been fairly significant if you're sending it back despite the sound quality from DVD-A...
post #8 of 9
Onix: Hmhmhm, well, we can't be completely sure, but I'd assume good cd reproduction to be an 80 % safe sign of good sacd/dvd-a reproduction as well.

Greetings from SF!

Manfred / Lini
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Aside from a number of operational quirks, that it would just take too long to go through, there is a glitch in the sound that may only be audible to those of us headphone listeners.

When the disc is playing, some of the sounds of the disc rotating, the mechanism itself, along with some clicking and farting noises can be heard! It gets even worse when you pause or fast forward. For whatever reason, it's actually tranmitting the sounds of the mechanism through the audio outs and into my headphones. Its plainly audible in quiet passages.

Unforgivable. Back it goes.

Mark
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