Correcton $1899.00. [Link: pricescan.com]
@ Best Stop Digital
DVD/CD Player - Optical and coxial digital audio outputs - Dolby DTS compatible - component video output
Submitted by: Daniel , Audio Enthusiast from Mt.View,CA,USA
This product's model year is 1998 and Daniel has used it Less than 1 month
Date Reviewed: 3/31/00 1:55:27 PM
Strengths: Seems bulletproof, awsome DACs
Weaknesses: Cost, relays, no decoder, weak transport
Similar Products Used: Sony 7700
Review Summary: Well, I'm almost not quite sure were to start with this player. How about: I'm glad I had an oportunity to use one of these before I bought one. I've seen a LOT of DVD players -- it's part of my job. For $1900, this DVD player DOES have the best DACs and analog output stage of any player out there. At least until you play a disc with any errors or scrathes on it. All those people downplaying that little relay "click" on this player? Try playing a disc with a scratch on it and listen to that glorious sound as the relays cut in and out like crazy and your soundstage sounds like it was cut apart with a buzzsaw. This is the worst solution to disk errors I've ever seen. The relays are tied to a digital active sense line as well as the error line of the digital input receiver. So whenever there is an error on the disk it kills the relays. Most manufacturers mute this (errors) or mask it somehow. This is the only thing I've ever seen that uses relays (read: SLOW) to actually mute the output during disk errors. Simply dreadful.
As for the video, well, it looks pretty good. For now. You see, Denon bases a lot of there stuff on Panasonic equipment. Have you ever seen the Panasonic A310? Well, that's the same transport that's in the Denon. I've seen quite a few of these Panasonics. The fact is they all suck over time. I haven't seen one that doesn't crap out after a few years, the laser dies, or it starts glitching on perfectly clean DVDs (except their cheapest model -- the A120, which has a totally different transport than any other Panasonic product). I think Denon has some new video DACs in this puppy, so it definitely looks better than the A310, but not for long I asure you.
This unit has great video *for now*, excellent audio *unless you've got a scratched disk*, and decent build characteristics (yeah, that tray's a little weak too, but what do you expect for a Panasonic tansport). But for $1900 this is simply a golden brick. I'd buy a Sony 7700 which has dual lasers -- one for CDs and one for DVDs -- as well as an onboard decoder (absolutely ludicrous that something of this cost wouldn't have one) and use an outboard DAC for my audio.
I give it a 2 based on cost and potential (and real) problems.
Value Rating: Overall Rating:
1 star 1 star