Universal player under 1000$ ?
Aug 1, 2008 at 1:46 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

papomaster

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Hey all!

I'm slowly being dragged into SACD, and contemplate a redbook upgrade, so it's time to look for an universal player. Unfortunately, I've never had the opportunity to head ANY universal player in that price bracket. My budget is 500-1000$ including shipping and taxes, and I will preferably buy used. If a player does DVD as well, that'd be great. The contenders :

- Marantz 8001, used. 600-700 on Agon. 1000$+tx new.
- Denon 3910, used. 400-500 on Agon. Does DVD.
- Denon 5900 or 5910, used. 700-1000 on Agon. Does DVD.
- Music Hall Maverick, used. 500-650 on Agon.
- Nad M5, used. 900-1200 on Agon.
- Sony 555 series, used. 450-600 an Agon.

I'd prefer some ''I had the xxxxx and I compared it with yyyyyyy, and my thoughts are...'' to ''From what I read, I assume....''. I've done my duties already, as well as reading the looooong 555es review here on head-fi.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 10:30 AM Post #3 of 16

StanleyB1

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It's a toss up between the Marantz and the Denon. Denon has been using a lot of their studio equipment technology and build quality in many of their consumer audio range. So it might be worth your while doing a search for any sort of reviews on the net about the Denon.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 3:45 PM Post #4 of 16

evanft

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I'm gonna keep my eye on this thread, as I'll be looking for a new universal player sometime in the next year. The Denon 3910 REALLY piques my interest, as it is universal, while the Marantz really isn't.

What about buying something really cheap, like the Oppo 980, and then buying a DAC for like $700? The 980 can spit DSD or raw PCM through HDMI, and I gotta imagine that sounds pretty darn good. Or maybe you could go out and buy a dedicated redbook player, like a Rega, and then supplement that with a cheaper universal player, like the aformentioned Oppo. Although, the standard redbook versions of some CDs may sound better in something like a Rega than the SACD does in the Oppo.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 5:34 PM Post #5 of 16

InSides

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Here is another option:

Marantz DV-7001 @ MusicDirect

I couldn't be happier with mine. Truly a universal player, and with separate power supplies and conversion circuits for audio.

Currently being sold for $799.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 6:47 PM Post #7 of 16

evanft

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Quote:

Originally Posted by InSides /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Here is another option:

Marantz DV-7001 @ MusicDirect

I couldn't be happier with mine. Truly a universal player, and with separate power supplies and conversion circuits for audio.

Currently being sold for $799.



Hey now. How does that compare to the 8001, other than the fact that it has DVD capabilities?

And why no HDCD? Sadness.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 11:59 PM Post #9 of 16

papomaster

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Another option came out from searching : the Pioneer PD-D6-J. And I found out it's available from at least 2 stores close to my house, so that's a big plus.

Concerning the Marantz DV7001 (and subsequently the DV6001), since the shipping costs are going to be really high from musicdirect, and unless it's AS GOOD as the SA8001 (notice the SA, not DV), I won't buy it not to lose too much selling value.
 
Aug 2, 2008 at 12:21 AM Post #10 of 16

InSides

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Hm... the Pioneer is not a universal player in the sense it will not play DVD-Audio, so capability wise it should be closer to the SA-8001. I have auditioned both of these and should say the Pioneer is nowhere as good as the SA-8001. Granted, it got the EISA award, but for what it's worth, I would always select the SA-8001 over it.

Now, to the point of why I chose the DV-7001 over the SA-8001? I needed a universal player that will play DVD-Audio and the occasional disc with lossy compressed files [MP3/WMA]. I had both the DV-7001 and the SA-8001 in my home for audition and to be quite honest, although the SA-8001 was marginally better in the overall presentation, I chose the DV-7001 because features mattered.

To cut a long story short, I would opt for the SA-8001 if the DVD-Audio capability wasn't important. Otherwise, you can't go wrong with the DV-7001.

You mentioned shipping from MusicDirect being a bit too much. Here is an alternative:

Marantz DV-7001 @ Audioholics with Free Shipping

Over there, $799 includes free shipping anywhere in the US. Additionally, they had a coupon for an additional 30% discount [SAVE30] but I can't tell whether that offer is still around.
 
Aug 2, 2008 at 12:36 AM Post #11 of 16

Sovkiller

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Sony does not play DVD-A, also to make it a region free DVD player is almost imposible...About Marantz, I had a couple of bad experiences with them, very good in amps, but for players I would go in other direction, the only real universal player that till now have played all what I throw on it, are the OPPO's, unofrtunatelly thye are not expensive and usually underrated by the audiophile gurus, that need to see a non-attractive tag to really consider any device. The last flagship the 983, a $400.00 player that will easily compete with players three times that price, has a few firmware problems in the aspect ratio on the analog playback section of the DVD, the main reason I returned mine, but if you can live with a few clicks of the remote, or have a good digital HD monitor, you are good to go...other than that, is an excellent machine, and was rated as the best player ever tested by them here...It is easy converted to a fully region free DVD player by a few steps on the menu using the remote...a really need for me as I have a lot of music DVDs that have not been released, and I'm assuming that will never be in US, due to some stupid copyright restrictions and regulations...SACD and CD playback is also very good...
 
Aug 3, 2008 at 12:07 AM Post #12 of 16

papomaster

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The DVD-a capability is something I don't need, either now or in the future, so the marantz players, even if they're playing sacd and cd only, do 95% of the job. I can still have a cheapo dvd player for movie duties. My speaker system uses a toshiba sd-3990 and a pioneer a-35R, and it's quite decent (for an untreated, and untreatable room), however it's not good enough for my headphone system. So I'd be listening to movies only on my speaker setup...

Any hint on the older sony models, 555es or 777es? They come up quite often on Agon. Especially against the 8001 or DV7001 players.
 
Aug 9, 2008 at 2:11 AM Post #13 of 16

DocHamm

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sovkiller /img/forum/go_quote.gif
... the only real universal player that till now have played all what I throw on it, are the OPPO's, unofrtunatelly thye are not expensive and usually underrated by the audiophile gurus, that need to see a non-attractive tag to really consider any device. The last flagship the 983, a $400.00 player that will easily compete with players three times that price, has a few firmware problems in the aspect ratio on the analog playback section of the DVD, the main reason I returned mine, but if you can live with a few clicks of the remote, or have a good digital HD monitor, you are good to go...other than that, is an excellent machine, and was rated as the best player ever tested by them here... It is easy converted to a fully region free DVD player by a few steps on the menu using the remote...a really need for me as I have a lot of music DVDs that have not been released, and I'm assuming that will never be in US, due to some stupid copyright restrictions and regulations...SACD and CD playback is also very good...


Here! Here! My biggest peeve is the use of the term "universal". IMHO if you term something 'universal' it means UNIVERSAL. In this instance, it better play CD, CD-R, CD-RW, SACD, DVD-A, HDCD, etc., with the only exceptions being HD-DVD and Blue-Ray as they are still the new kids on the block. I've been searching for a new player with HDCD and SACD and it's extrememly hard to find a new one that does both and that makes no logical sense to me in our present high-tech world. Right now I'm standing pat on my current gear, while still researching, hoping Oppo is going to follow through with a new player incorporating Blue-Ray because for the price, it will cover all my needs and I'll be able to spend the rest on a significantly better DAC/Headphone amp to suit my personal audio tastes.
 
Aug 9, 2008 at 4:34 AM Post #15 of 16

DocHamm

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Quote:

Originally Posted by papomaster /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Finally, I won't need an universal yet, as I've bought a new redbook player whose brand will remain secret until the Montreal meet.


Now I am curious! Will you tell us after the meet? Since I won't be there?
smily_headphones1.gif
 

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