Advantages Plays DVD Audio, & everything else, even multiregion !
Disadvantages Not quite as hot on audio CDs.
The new high, is of course : DVD Audio.This was the over riding factor when I was looking to upgrade from my older Marantz CD player and Sony DVD player. I wanted a unit capable of playing standard audio CDs, plus the gamut of DVD media, and this puppy has played everything I've ever thrown at it.
My old Sony couldn't even play multi region, let alone SACD or DVD Audio, so when I visited a friends and had a multi region DVD, DTS, DD5.1, SACD and DVD Audio demo, my musicians ears told me pretty sharpish that DVD Audio was *probably* the nearest thing to live sound I had ever heard. I worked in the Pro Audio industry for several years, and I know good sound when I hear it ! I also ran my own recording studio, and had a feel for that "live" ambience you can only hear when there is nothing "in the way" - This is what DVD Audio offers, and the Pioneer offers it very well indeed.This was the first item I bought when I ran through my last major AV upgrade, followed by the Denon amp, and the surround speaker system.
SETUP :It was not as simple to install as I thought. For a start, one can only decode DVD Audio in the DVD players itself, not (at the time) in any AV amps. So, this meant getting hold of a 6 way phono to phono cable assembly - a VERY chunky piece of cable ! I could have made one myself, but couldnt be bothered, so good old Salop HiFi came up with the goodies once more. I found a very nice, not too pricey, QED 6 way phono/phono cable, with gold plated phono plugs. I didn't want a very long cable, as the DVD was only 18" away from the amp, but 1m was the shortest I could get, so there is a bit of length left over for expansion if I ever upgrade the HiFi cabinet.
The other cables were a mix of coax, phono/phono, and optical, all good quality. 6 channel audio output phonos are needed for SACD and DVD Audio. In some instances the DVD players' own decoder *may* do a better job than your amplifier, so it is useful to be able to switch to external input occasionally. I sometimes do this, and am often surprised that the DVD's DD5.1 or DTS decoder *is* better sounding than my Denon AV1803 ..... But I have not yet figured out any common denominator ......It was a hands and knees setup, and it took quite a while to get all of the video and audio cables sorted, routed, tidied and cable tied. Eventually, after an hour or two, I had a fairly neat cable bunch.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS :Video :
|Ease of Use|
|Ease of Installation|
|Range of Features|
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