View Full Version : Experienced: which would you rather have?
I am trying to buy some new source for my primary rig but I am having difficulty.
1. very good CD playback
2. good SACD/DVDA capacity and
3. OK DVD video.
So, would you rather have??:
1. Music Hall CD player + a cheaper univ. such as Onkyo 802 or Yam. 750
2. A higher end universal such as Denon 2900 or Pioneer ?????
Which choice do you think is better? Thanks in advance....
03-04-2005, 02:25 PM
I would go with option 1 w/the $129 Pioneer uni. This way you get the best of both worlds--good redbook cd playback, and good universal/dvd video playback.
Steve, I am leaning to #1 too. Obviously, the budget is an issue and thus, the difficulty. I think it would be cheaper to go with a good universal such as 2900 or 2910 or one of hte Elites but I am not convinced I will be happy with regular cd playback....
However I do want good quality SACD/DVDA tho....not so much for the multichannel....but I get the impression that the sound engineers are paying more attention to the recording quality and so the 2 channel mixes sound better. This is so important in classical music as so much recordings out there sound crappy....I remember reading that the Pioneer you mention is not that great but what can you expect for the price eh?
03-04-2005, 02:38 PM
Well keep in mind I lean towards redbook CD reproduction as my faith in SACD/DVD-A is non-existant. You'll see that opinion reflected in my above selection.
If Hi-rez is a big priority, option 2 may be right for you....
03-04-2005, 02:50 PM
Dedicated CD player. Try this one:
03-04-2005, 02:55 PM
Checkout Denon 2200 refurbs.
Steve, that expains your recommendation.
Early, I am also seriously considering the Cambridge Azur 540C but I can get a used Music Hall for slightly more than used 540C. I understand that Music Hall is probably more comparable to the 640C. I don't know anything about the model in your link tho....
PolkThug, don't know much about Denon 2200. How is the CD playback?
03-04-2005, 03:19 PM
I have the Denon universal DVD 2900 player and it kicks ass. Even regular CD's sound fantastic and SACD and DVD-A come alive on this player. The video quality is also quite stunning. I know many in here would recommend a dedicated CD player instead of a universal, but I have been blown away with the Denon. As far as I'm concerned, I'm done looking for a front end now.
Yup, Denon 2900 has gotten much good reviews for all around performance...better than the new 2910. If I choose option 2, that player is high on the short list.....
03-04-2005, 04:26 PM
The Cambridge Azur models are great bang-to-buck choices...
03-04-2005, 04:42 PM
My personal preference would be to get the best standard CD player you can afford.
03-04-2005, 04:50 PM
03-04-2005, 05:37 PM
I have a similiar set up to yours. The Lsi-15s, mine are driven by a Marantz flagship receiver. I also went nuts over which kind of player to choose. My priorities are fine CD, SACD and DVD-A listening. I'm not much of a multi-channel girl, but hey that's me. I also wanted a good DVD player and something to take me to the next level because I knew I would be getting an LCD display, which I did last week. I opted for the Denon 5900 universal player. Granted you don't have to go with this particular model, Denon makes many models at different price points. All I can tell you is that regular CD's, SACD's and DVD's sound awesome from this player. DVD's look amazing on my new LCD display with this player. I don't regret purchasing this unit at all.
Good luck to you.
03-04-2005, 06:20 PM
5900 is a really nice player..last year flagship universal for Denon.
My vote would also be along the line of Denon 2900, Pioneer Elite DV-47i, or a more recent Denon DVD 3910, if budget permits.
The Denon has a very decent ALR-24 processing, that I thought it is superior for a regular redbook playback.
I have a Denon DVD-3800, 3 years old, and still going strong. I use it for audio from time to time, and for DVD-A playback, other than that, it is more of DVD-V machine. I would say Denon ALR-24 players are very detailed, forward, and analytical. It lacks the luster and warmth of my tube players. But, it will compete extremely well with any solid state CDPs. My $0.015
Debussy, yea, your player would be nice but that's a bit out of price range. I dont think I will be a multi-channel person either...just want better recordings.
Polkatese, that Pioneer was recommended by my Rotel dealer who has been pretty good about advice so far...
03-04-2005, 08:16 PM
There's a very big difference between a the Pioneer 538 and the DV-47a.
03-05-2005, 12:00 AM
I'm assuming you're considering the Music Hall CD-25 which you can get for around $400 used. There's one on Audiogon now with the opamp upgrade for $425. Although highly upgradable I wonder how much better this is than something like a NAD C541i, which can be found for around $250-$275, if you don't plan on pursuing the upgrades. In the Music Hall CD-25 price range you might also want to look at a used Musical Fidelity A3.
Thanks folks :) It's clear.....as mud!:D I'll sleep on it and we'll see what happens.....
03-05-2005, 03:06 AM
I definitely vote for the 2900.
03-05-2005, 03:22 AM
I bought a 2900 on audiogon this morning, so I'll see how it goes and let ya know ;)
03-05-2005, 02:44 PM
Congrats on your new purchase of the 2900. I honestly don't think you will be disappointed!! Let us know how it goes.
03-05-2005, 03:18 PM
The metro area has a helluva lot of real hifi shops. Get out there and demo your arse off. For 2 channel hi-rez classical get SACD, tons of software. As for DVD-A, ain't much software available, so I wouldn't be so concerned about it.
F1Nut...yea, I've been to couple of those places where you shop....unfortunately, they are not for me....
It may sound strange but when I decided to finally get a system, I decided to TRY to straddle the line between true HI-fi and MID-fi. This is where I figure the laws of diminishing returns take into effect. I have other financial obligations and priorities so I do not want to spend that amount of $$$ in hi-fi. I love great sound and music but not at the cost required for true hi-fi.....may be someday when the economic situation changes..........
Looks like I will get the Music Hall and delay getting SACD for a bit. I do have DVD-A already but as you mentioned, selections are not that good. With all the talk about still other formats coming out, I may as well wait a bit longer.....maybe I will keep my eyes open for a great deal on SACD player of one sort or another.
03-05-2005, 10:04 PM
I didn't suggest you buy from them, just demo. :)
Gotcha F1Nut....but even used, those toys that you and some others on this board play are $$$.
Thing that complicated the matter is that I am working to get the 1.5 year old Music Hall 25 for $300 which I think is a good deal that I should not pass up....this frees up some funds to also get a universal down the road...It would be very cool if I can also get the 2900 shortly...:D
Entering this thread a bit late.....
If you purchase a decent universal source and enjoy what you hear - you're in luck. Dont change a thing. If you find you desire a bit more from your redbook playback, consider purchasing an outboard DAC.
If you ar interested in Music Hall - check out:
This IS the Music Hall, with a few very minor upgrades.
03-06-2005, 02:37 PM
Interesting. That little integrated looks nice too.
03-07-2005, 11:25 AM
Lots of choices out there, I own the Denon 2900 and the Pioneer 47ai players, there close, very close in sound and features and I listen equally to hi-rez on each on them, if I was forced to give one up I suppose I would keep the 2900 but this is for some features it has. I have never watched a DVD on the 2900 but hear it does well on video, the Pioneer is excellent for video as this is my DVD player.
They both upsample redbook and do an excellent job with these discs, but I use the Tosh 3960 as my redbook player, its so inexpensive and would be a great option for you.
Thanks all. I closed the deal on the Music Hall and brought it home last night...Haven't had much time to listen yet. Per advise here, I am going to keep my eyes open for a good deal on SACD but with Hybrid CDs and Blue Ray coming out soon, I may just wait it out until the dust settles.
As to the 3960, I had one for about 3 wks. Unfortunately, to me, my Panny sounded better and I couldnt handle the lightness so I returned it.
Thanks all. If I dont end up like the Music Hall, I will sell it and get a 2900 or 2200.
03-07-2005, 08:49 PM
Just read a review either in Sound and Vision, or The Perfect Vision (not sure which) that stated the Denon 2900 had excellent sound for CD/SACD/DVDA and superb picture quality, especially using the HDMI/DVI outputs. The reviewer even thought the pq on the 2900 was better than the 5900.
Why not accomplish everything with one unit and have good quality w/ everything? Just thought I'd chime in.
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