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  #1  
Old 04-11-2011, 12:00 PM
JohnVF JohnVF is offline
 
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Nice surprise: Denon DVD-5000 as a DAC.

I just wanted to put a word out for this old universal player. I bought it because it weighs a TON (seems to be about 35-40lbs?), I could see a copper lined chassis inside, and it has a heat sink--what kind of DVD player has a heat sink? And I was just going to use it as a transport. Well, its a bit too-finnicky of any marks on CDs for me to love it in that regard, so I was going to take it back but before I did I remembered that it could be used as a stand-alone DAC, with its digital inputs. So I plugged my Cambridge Audio 640 into it, as a transport, using Coax and wow- it really sounds fantastic. Bass is better- MUCH better- than the 640p, and spatial cues/soundstaging is extremely well done. Detail is there in abundance without calling attention to how much detail its playing (I really dislike players that emphasize detail to the point it stands out above the flow of music). This was a $2500 player about 10 years ago so I'm not surprised that its decent. But its a DVD/CD player, and it IS 10 years old. I was not prepared for how nice it sounds. It has become the main source (with the 640) for my second system.

I should take it out of that system and play it in the main one to do a fair comparison with something more modern in its then-price-range. But it sounds so good that I think I'll just leave it be.

http://usa.denon.com/US/Product/Page...4-d3b354851be8

Makes me want to get a decent transport for it--the irony being, that is what I bought it to be.
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  #2  
Old 04-11-2011, 12:26 PM
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trhee trhee is offline
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I took a peek at some nudies of the DVD-5000 and it looks very well built.

Knowing that it uses Burr-Brown PCM-1704 DAC's which were and still used even in flagship designs by companies like Wadia and many others including Naim's $21,000+ CD555 CD player, it's not very surprising you liked it so much.

The part that surprised me was the fact that it had digital inputs which you don't find very often.
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  #3  
Old 04-11-2011, 12:42 PM
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Thanks for sharing your positive impressions on it.
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  #4  
Old 04-11-2011, 02:46 PM
JohnVF JohnVF is offline
 
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Anybody have any opinion of the Teac VRDS-10 as a transport for it? There's one local and it looks promising and heavy.
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  #5  
Old 04-11-2011, 03:05 PM
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i always wondered about the DVD-5000. here is my thread on the DVD-9000, and i posted some pictures. sounds like they have some things in common. the 9000 also uses PCM-1704's (4 of them). i have to say, the 9000 is probably the smoothest and warmest digital player i've ever heard, but not so much that you lose a lot of detail. the Cambridge 840C is more detailed and transparent, sure, but for sheer musicality (to speak in audiophile terms) the 9000 might be even better. my 9000 is also having some transport issues, and it's getting looked at by a local tech. i don't know what the result will be, but i will have the option of sending it back to the seller for a full refund if i'm not happy. but as you say, even with transport issues these are formidable pieces of machinery.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:38 PM
JohnVF JohnVF is offline
 
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I didn't pay a whole lot for this thing so I'm not too sad if it only gets used as a DAC, but I wish it had a transport less picky about disc condition. I didn't take very good care of my CDs in my youth. When it encounters an error/damage, some sort of relay clicks, the sound shuts off completely, and then comes back...it is VERY jarring, and not good for relaxing to music. So external transport here I come. I may put it into the main system tonight using the big Marantz as a transport just to compare, as the Marantz has about the best transport I could ever hope to afford.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:08 PM
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If your CD's aren't in the best of shape, I'd probably avoid the Teac you mentioned above as it is somewhat finicky with less than perfect CD's. Also of note is that it won't play CD-R/CD-RW's if that's of any importance to you.

Not sure how much you want to spend but if I was looking for a used older unit to use as a transport, I'd be looking at various pieces from:

- Theta
- Wadia
- Krell
- Naim
- Musical Fidelity
- Sony

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnVF View Post
I didn't pay a whole lot for this thing so I'm not too sad if it only gets used as a DAC, but I wish it had a transport less picky about disc condition. I didn't take very good care of my CDs in my youth. When it encounters an error/damage, some sort of relay clicks, the sound shuts off completely, and then comes back...it is VERY jarring, and not good for relaxing to music. So external transport here I come. I may put it into the main system tonight using the big Marantz as a transport just to compare, as the Marantz has about the best transport I could ever hope to afford.
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  #8  
Old 04-11-2011, 04:14 PM
JohnVF JohnVF is offline
 
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Thank you, Trhee. Those are some of the names I've been landing on and I had also been worried about the same thing from the Teac (though it looks really cool and big and I'm a sucker for that). It even has a window in top so you can see the disc spinning. A window! Ok, that adds nothing to the sound but who doesn't like a window?

I think the Cambridge might be staying around for a bit as it works fine and I have some feelers out for a transport. There's a Sony player local that has been modified for transport duty. I'm not looking for anything extensive- if I ever need a transport for the main system I'll just use the Marantz SA-11 that's in there.
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  #9  
Old 04-11-2011, 04:25 PM
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trhee trhee is offline
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I'm with you on the looks of the Teac. It's beastly and cool looking at the same time.

If you're into windows, check out some of the older top loading Krell's. Physically smaller in size than the Teac although still hefty and built like a tank, I love the industrial/modern look of the older top load Krell players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnVF View Post
Thank you, Trhee. Those are some of the names I've been landing on and I had also been worried about the same thing from the Teac (though it looks really cool and big and I'm a sucker for that). It even has a window in top so you can see the disc spinning. A window! Ok, that adds nothing to the sound but who doesn't like a window?

I think the Cambridge might be staying around for a bit as it works fine and I have some feelers out for a transport. There's a Sony player local that has been modified for transport duty. I'm not looking for anything extensive- if I ever need a transport for the main system I'll just use the Marantz SA-11 that's in there.
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  #10  
Old 04-11-2011, 06:45 PM
JohnVF JohnVF is offline
 
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I've put it in the main system using the Marantz SA-11s2 as a transport (which uses the same transport as their $6k player the SA-7). There's a difference in the sound but it holds up well to the newer, more expensive Marantz. The Marantz,as an integrated transport/DAC, sounds more natural and throws a bigger soundstage. The Denon, as a DAC, has a different staging. Everything is bit farther back/2 dimensional but its not to the point of things sounding flat. The Marantz has a smoother top-end- the Denon can get a tad strident but again, its a matter of degree. The Marantz convinced me to take away a lot of listening time from my turntable- this probably wouldn't do that to the same degree. But its a very nice DAC for what I paid. Excellent, really, for the price. It certainly has passed the "switching confusion" test- as in, I'm switching inputs via the remote, and I've forgotten once or twice with DAC section was being used, as the Marantz is hooked up both ways right now.

I should note that the Marantz is connected to the preamp via AQ Cheetah silver balanced cables, and the Denon through some cheaper AQ unbalanced copper cables. The silver balanced cable had a positive impact on the Marantz' sound. Nothing drastic but it did make a difference.

Last edited by JohnVF; 04-11-2011 at 06:48 PM.
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  #11  
Old 04-11-2011, 07:16 PM
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trhee trhee is offline
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Just out of curiosity, what other CD players did you compare the Marantz to before purchasing it?
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  #12  
Old 04-11-2011, 07:32 PM
JohnVF JohnVF is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trhee View Post
Just out of curiosity, what other CD players did you compare the Marantz to before purchasing it?
A few, but mostly I bought it because it was a demo and I got it for relatively cheap (relative being the key word). I hadn't been looking very hard but some of the players I had heard that I was interested in were the Musical Fidelity (a few, including the A5), Cary CDP-1, a Naim player, NAD M55 (I briefly toyed with getting this universal player as back then I rarely listened to CD), whatever model that McIntosh has out now, and a few others that I'm sure I'm missing. I found it really hard to audition CD players as I found that I liked a lot of them and couldn't tell if what I liked was the system they were in, or the players themselves. I liked this Marantz at a store, it was their store-demo unit and I'd heard it a few times. When I auditioned it at the store it sounded good but I couldn't really tell much about it. When I borrowed it and got it home, I fell in love with its sound in my system so I never took it back. I actually listen to CD more than vinyl now, after buying it.
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  #13  
Old 04-13-2011, 02:39 AM
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Mr. Lin Mr. Lin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trhee View Post
- Theta
- Wadia
- Krell
- Naim
- Musical Fidelity
- Sony
I'm not sure about the much older Naim units, but fyi their current versions of CD players (going back about 10 years I think) do not have digital outputs, since they claim to believe it's better to have a DAC and transport in one box, and ideally a separate power supply.

Yet they now have a standalone DAC in their lineup?!

If not for that, a Naim would make a great transport-only component IMO.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:12 AM
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One other thought that just occurred to me: You might want to consider trying one of the commercial CD cleaner/enhancer solutions. I use the Mapleshade Optrix for this, it's not too expensive, and at the very least it cleans the CDs perfectly and makes them easier to "read." They claim the Optrix can repair any scratched CD and make it readable again, but I've found a couple so far that it wasn't able to save.

Still, take a look into that - there's also a myriad of other brands and types of this stuff, I consider it rather essential now that I'm so into CDs. I know you're open-minded about this sort of thing too.
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:03 AM
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trhee trhee is offline
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Actually, this isn't entirely true. The CDX2 and CD5 XS both have digital out while the CD5i, CDS3 and CD555 don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Lin View Post
I'm not sure about the much older Naim units, but fyi their current versions of CD players (going back about 10 years I think) do not have digital outputs, since they claim to believe it's better to have a DAC and transport in one box, and ideally a separate power supply.

Yet they now have a standalone DAC in their lineup?!

If not for that, a Naim would make a great transport-only component IMO.
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