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Pretty nice ht system ya got there... as for your question- ... Sutts
Gnsc statement modified wadia 861 se Mejames
I have not done the comparison but it would be interesting t ... Glide3
It is a great paler..especially for the price ( i formerlly ... Drhst20
Well if anybody reading this in the seattle area has a dv-50 ... Mem916
About a year ago i compared the dv-50 to the meitner dac6/mo ... Mikelavigne
It took me over a year, listen to different players every ch ... Sinosin
I have compared the dv-50 directly in my system with the exe ... 711smilin
Hey 711smilin, how do you combine your ss. ht, with 2ch t ... Oldpet
What the heck, i'll chime in again. dv-50 lasted 3 months in ... Reb1208
I have used the dv-50 as a cdp for about 8 months and it has ... Springbok10
Oldpet, i have 1 bellogotti rack with b&k 507 avr/5 klipsch ... 711smilin
If we are comparing esoteric dv50 with much more expensive u ... Guidocorona
My findings on esoteric x-01 are posted at: http://forum.aud ... Guidocorona
First of all, thanks for all the responses that I got. I really appreciate the candor, comparative analysis and information from all who responded. Now, here are my final thoughts (somewhat long winded but I believe necessary) and I invite all who responded before (as well as any newcomers to this thread) to chip in and ad their rebuttals:
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST!
Last night (8 hours) I did an extensive AB comparison between the DV 50 and the Electrocompaniet EMC SE 1 UP (has the full monty of upgrades available)and again the DV 50 wins. The attributes of the Electro are it sounds more analog, has a slightly wider sound stage, has deeper bass and seemed to have a more quieter background (at least initially) than the DV 50. I was quite impressed with my inital listening sessions (and I'm still impressed) with this awesome player.
However, after prolonged listening sessions and comparisions I began to really pinpoint the reasons for those differences. First of all, the DV 50 is extremely transparent...not only to the music but to other componenets in the chain. This is an important distinction to make as they are not the same thing. (More on that in another forum)! But the DV 50 is ever so slightly warm.. the Electro is very warm. One of the "perceived" benefits of warmth is most audiophiles associate it with a "more analog sound". But warmth at the loss of transparency is not a benefit to me and that was definitely the case here.There is a thin layer of "haze" on the Electro that doesn't allow the music to cut through as well as the DV 50. This haze is a lack of absolute transparency.
I've also noticed that many so called "analog sounding players" achieve that affect by pushing the soundstage behind the plane of the speakers which gives a more laid back presentation and the perception of more soundstage depth. In truth, what this does is reduce some of the detail that would normally be in the listeners face and "opens up the soundstage" by the old adage "less is more". The perception is the noise floor and background is quieter...but it only sounds quieter because notes, dynamics, details that would normally be upfront are being heard to a lesser degree. In reality musical detail that was recorded on the disk is being minimized by the player's perspective. Notes and harmonics between notes don't cut through the soundstage as cleanly on the Electro. The DV 50 is also morre truthful in timbre accuracy. I noticed for example the brush used on the ride symbols in jazz music is more distinct and separated than on the Electro. The brush sounds different (as it should) on different cymbals with the DV 50 whereas with the Electro its all homogenized into one sound.
Another drawback is that you lose the sense of immediacy and urgency that can come across with artists who are known for that. Ray Charles and Rod Stewart are two artists who come to mind that consistently sing music that beneifts from a sense of immediacy (Joe Cocker on "You are so beautiful to me" ) is anotherexample. But the point I'm trying to make here is on these types of songs I want a "front row perspective" to be able to feel the raw emotion. That's what the DV 50 does. The Electro gives you a 3rd or 4th row perspective that, while maybe sounding more analog it errs on the side of reducing detail by making it less noticeable..even though the disk may have been recorded otherwise.
Forall you Electro owners, please note I never said your unit was less detailed...it in fact has plenty of detail. I only said that detail is less pronounced and shifted back in the soundstage so it doesn't draw as much atention to itself. As an audio purist I want to hear the music the way it was recoreded..not the way an audio company wants me to hear it. I've heard enough of the DV 50 now (and compared it to enough players) to know that it is a very transparent player.
The bottom line between the two players...the DV 50 is more transparent, has a tigher, more detailed bass (Electro bass goes a touch deeper),is more dynamic and is more detailed. The Electro has a wider soundstage, warmer sound, better bass depth and may be more pleasing to some audiophiles ears because it is less of its less "forward" perspective. I like the DV-50 better and so does Stereophile (Class A+ rating), Soundstage and many other reviewers.
Now, in response to those who added their comments to my original e-mail:
Reb 1208- I respect your opinion but there's no way the DV 50 is over the top in dynamis and bass. There's also no way its not transparent. Earlier I made a point about the DV 50 also being transparent to the rest of the components in your system and it sounds like you may have other links in your chain that may exacerbate or react aggressively with the DV 50. Also, there is nothing "sub-par" about the redbook performance of this player. Its a great cd player.
Drhst20 & Springbok- Thanks for your feedback. You both have had the benefit of listening to other cd players that costs multiples of what the DV 50 costs. That's where I'm headed as I beleive the only way to really know how good a component is to to judge it against the very, very best and then see whatconcessions/trade-offs have been made in regards to price vs. performance. I hope to get my hand on some $10,000 plus cd players in the near future.
Sinsosin- I agree with you that there are a number of different players that may outperform the DV 50 in one or two areas but overall the 50 is still superior. I haven't even begun to experiment with power cords or isolation/vibration control units.
711 Smilin- There's a saying in in the computer world "garbage in garbage out". Denon is known to use very cheap parts in their players and the 2900 (or 2910) is no exception. These are decidely mid-fi players and its hard for me to believe that they can be modded to come anywhere near the performance of the DV 50.
Even if you change the dac, op amps, capacitors, resistors, power supply, etc there's still the issue of cheap PCB boards, poor circuit paths and most importantly a cheap transport to begin with. I know mods are all the rage right now but it reminds me of friends of mine in high school who would go to the gym and workout but instead of taking a shower afterwards they would dry the sweat off and put on cologne to hide the stink. You can only hide it for so long! The denon's are cheaply built to begin with. And I was struck by the fact that in cd playback the 2200 sounded better than the 2900. I ab'ed both of them extensively about a year ago. The 2200 is a $600 retail player and it sounded better (in cd playback) than a $1,000 player.
I live in the Chicago area and it seems so do you. I'd love to bring my DV 50 to your place (or vice versa) for a face off. Are you upt to it?
By the way, all of my listening tests on the DV 50 were done with the filter in the middle (FIR) position. Not only do I find this setting to sound more natural, it does the least upsampling which tends to keep the bass tighter and not over exaggerate certain frequencies. Vocals sound more focused and natural. I've noticed with some upsampling players that decay and attack of notes can sound exaggerated and the same holds true for treble detail (like symbols, bells, etc). This is less so on the DV 50 but can still be heard depending upon the music.
Again, thank you everyone and please add your comments. Let's keep this thread going!
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Avguru and 711smilin, i, for one, hope you two get together ... Tvad
Avguru - seems that you'd already decided your player is the ... Rex
Avguru, just fyi, here's a link to the 6moons exemplar deno ... Tvad
Avguru, you may want to add the krell sacd standard to your ... Guidocorona
Avguru, email me, i live in wilmette, i would love for you t ... 711smilin
Avguru, i like the flexibility of different filter this play ... Sinosin
I don't think I said the DV 50 was the "best" anywhere in my thread. I just pointed out the players that I've compared it to and IMHO I think it sounds better than those. You ask why I even bothered to ask for opinions? I did because I wanted to know if anyone else had compared their DV 50 to the players I listed (or players in the same price range as the DV 50 or those I listed) and if so what conclusions did they come to. Its very possible that my ears are prejudiced after owning one for 6 months. Or maybe I'm hearing things that others don't.
I find it very interesting that everyone whose responded to my thread keeps pointing to players that are twice the price of the DV 50...or they mention dac/transport combo's that are really expensive. I explicitly put a disclaimer in my original thread that I HAD NOT LISTENED NOR COMPARED THE DV 50 TO DAC/TRANSPORT COMBO'S as its not a fair comparision. Of course, a Levinson, Goldmund or DCS Verdi Stack combo will handily beat the DV 50. We all know that. I was looking for another player (not necessarily a universal) in the same price range of the DV 50 which is signficantly better.
So far, from the responses that I've received it doesn't seem that anyone has any suggestions. I have yet to hear anyone come to the defense of any of the players I've mentioned. And keep in mind these players are not chopped liver...these are great players, especially the Ayre CX 7, the Arcam CD 33T and the Electrocompaniet. It just so happens that everyone participating in this thread seems to be fortunate enough to either have the funds or the means to realistically set their sights on the best of the best in terms redbook playback. For the average audiophile (such as myself) even purchasing the DV 50 at $5,500 is a stretch.
So right now, based on the limited responses I've received, it seems that there are no other players (either stand alone or universal)in the $5,550 price range or less that equal the DV 50 in redbook performance. If that's not the case, I'm open to suggestions. I don't know about you guys, but I'm finding regular redbook cd playback to be exciting and there are a bunch of cd's that are really well recorded out there that sound absolutely gorgeous when played on some of the top digital front ends. It goes to show that cd's came out before their time (recording lables were more interested in lowering their costs and fattening the bottom line) than improving the sound of music. Its only been in the past 6-8 years that digital playback technology has been able to develop to a level that it can now really exploit and showcase the virtues of cd's.
I am quickly losing my interest in SACD and DVD-A and I could easily live with a top-notch redbook player and just buy a cheap universal like a Pioneer or Denon when i'm in that rare mood to hear an SACD or DVD-A disc. I really feel that when cd is done right (both in the recording and playback) it gives up very little to SACD if anything at all. SACD is too hit or miss..some discs are very good and others are just average. I have both Norah Jones and Diana Krall's latest cd's in both redbook and SACD and I hands down prefer the redbook version on both. I even listened to the SACD versions of both on the Krell SACD Standard and Classe Omega and still prefered the redbook version. Both of those listening sessions were done at a dealer, not my home.
Any redbook cd player suggestions please let me know.
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Um...i'm going to humbly point again to the exemplar denon 2 ... Tvad
I've already sent 711 Smilin and e-mail and I'm hoping we can do a face-off this upcomming weekend. As I said before, I will gladly eat humble pie and give proper respect to the Denon if in fact it is better than the DV 50. At the lower price you mention I can finance the purchase of the 2900 100% from the proceeds of selling my DV 50.
My only request is that 711 have a pre/pro with balanced inputs. That's how the DV 50 sounds best. If not, I will galdly bring my Anthem D1 Statement.
Tvad, thanks for your responses and I will definitely keep you posted of the results. I know you are sitting back smugly waiting for me to eat crow (which i will galdy do since I can save $2,000 in the process) but I doubt very seriously the 2900 is on the level of the DV 50. One thing I've noticed about 6 Moons reviews is that they beat around the bush alot in terms of performance issues. (Too much editoralizing and not enough getting to the point). Also, I like technical measurements and detailed analysis (similar to what Atkinson of Stereophile does) or plain talk like Michelson of Soundsstage. 6 Moons provides neither.
Avguru (Threads | Answers | This Thread)
Avguru, you jump to conclusions when you state: this couldn ... Tvad
When I wrote that line I was actually laughing! Don't take me so seriously. I get a kick out of these type of discussions and it would be unfortunate if you pulled out of our thread! I value your feedback tremendously...so much so that after your second e-mail prodding me to consider the Denon I contacted 711, we have correponded and and we will be getting together soon.
It's always diffcult when you're communicating by word to convey your true feelings or give someone an accurate impression of who you are. But trust me I look at this as a way to have fun and hopfelly get educated at the same time. I guess I come accross as to some as very pro-Esoteric but that's only because I HAVE AB'ED the DV 50 to an impressive list of gear. It's not like I'm going out on a limb blindly without doing any of my homework. However, I'll gladly concede that I've certainly haven't heard everything out there (nobody can).
Yes, I'm a little opinionated but not hard headed. Stick with me, TVAD. I'd like to e-mail you when I finish our comparision test. To any others out there reading this who think I'm "brainwashed" by Esoteric I apologize!
Avguru (Threads | Answers | This Thread)
Avguru, what the heck are you pissing in the wind about? i ... 711smilin
I already tried to clue him in on that "fact". he ... Reb1208
Avguru, you seem to have heard krell sacd standard in a sto ... Guidocorona
Another machine (redbook only) worth looking at is the audio ... Guidocorona
Avguru, that's quite a list of units you've ab'd to your dv- ... Ggil
Given hp's review of the lector 7t and some posts that seem ... Maineiac
Maineiac: i was wondering when someone was going to suggest ... Russellrcncom
Audition the audiomeca mephisto iix cd player. for me it is ... stefan@
I've heard the dv 50 in two systems. i think it does a fine ... Larryi
Russellcncom, i don't think that the lector can play sacd. ... Maineiac
Thanks for keeping this thread alive! People are starting to bring up a lot of good points and mentioning a lot of good cd players. Before I address individual comments I'd
like to give out some valuable information that everyone will find helpful:
www.amusicdirect.com is an audiophile store that carrys a wide selection of audiophile cd's. However, many people don't know they are authorized dealers for Marantz, McCormack and Esoteric to name a few. They have a 30 day return policy on anything you buy. So those of you interested in the DV 50, McCormack UDP-1 or the very new Marantz SA 11 (replacing the 14) can order one, do a home demo and if not satisfied return it and get a full refund. You're only responsible for shipping charges. Marantz just came out with the DV 9500 (replacing their universal DV 8400) and the audio quality is supposed to be vastly superior to the 8400. It retails for $2,000. I have not heard it.
There's also www.usedcables.com. You can check out any interconnect or speaker cable for a small deposit. They also carry Esoteric and you can get a free home demo.
Now, to answer your questions:
Guidocorona, the Krell SACD player is decidely different from the rest of Krell's cd players..which normally exhibit strong bass, agressive and forward presentation with gobs of detail. The SACD standard is smooth, analog sounding and very even handed across the total frequency range. Some will find its presentation more to their liking than teh DV 50. I felt it was boring and mechanical. All the elements were there but it didn't excite me. But that's my peronsal opinion.
I keep hearing such great things about the Audio Rsearch CD III and the AudioMeca Research Mephisto II and I would LOVE TO HEAR THESE TWO. Both of these players have been around for a while and have a strong and loyal customer base. I believe these two players are at the very top of the list of the best players out there and they probably outperform the DV-50. But I haven't heard them to confirm.
Ggil, The McCormack UDP-1 lives up to the hype in terms of its redbook performance. Very nice, transparent, good soundstage, fine detail..probably on the level of the Arcam CD 33T or the Ayre Cx-7..both of which I feel are excellent cd players. However, the DVD-A, SACD and especially the DVD-Video is not on the same level as the redbook cd playback..which is a shame since SACD has the potential to consistently outperform redbook. My feeling is if you're going to pay for a universal player you should get one that stives to be great for all forms of playback.
Bye the way, I should add no one ever talks about the video on the DV-50 but it is also outstanding. The new version (DV-50S) is suppose to be even better on video due to an improved video dac and DVI output.
Manineiac & Russell, I've heard very, very good things about the Lector and the Naim cd players but have yet to hear them. However, I'm starting to see a trend where players that utilize seperate power supplies (seperate from the transport chasis) seem to have outstanding performance. Naim, Lector, Resolution Audio, Shiguraki Flatfish, etc all fall in this category. I'm thinking all of these players probably are at least equal to the DV 50...the Lector more musical and the Resolution Audio better detail, soundstage..just better. But to what degree I'm not sure.
Remember, when I started this thread I was looking for a player that significantly beats the pants off the DV 50 in terms of redbook performance. Two members feel the modded Denon 2900 from Exemplar does. I will find out shortly. But if all the players above only beat the DV 50 by a 5-10% margin it 's not worth losing DVD-A, SACD and DVD-Video playback for a small increase in redbook performance. SACD playback on the DV-50 is even better than redbook.
I'm thinking the Resolution Audio, Lector, Audio Rsearch and Memphisto maybe the players that siginificantly improve upon my DV 50 in redbook. Next week I hope to get a chance to listen to the daddy of all cd players...the Reimyo CDP 777 that retails for $14,000. many people believe this is the best cd player period in the market...However those who own Meitner gear and DCS Verdi gear may beg to differ. I'd also love to demo a high end Levinson cd player as I'm sure it will DEFINITELY give me a significant improvement over the DV-50...but the price of all these units is very steep.
Sim Audio just introduced a new universal called the Orbiter that retails new for $6,500. I have a lot of respect for Sim Audio and the pictures of it are stunning. Anyone heard a demo of this player?
Finally, many of the people that I've corresponded or talked that were not overly impressed with the DV 50 DID NOT DEMO IT THROUGH THE BALANCED OUTPUTS. I (as did Stereophile and Soundstage) found the balanced performance to be vastly superior to the RCA analog out performance. So, if you do not own a pre/pro with balanced inputs you will not have heard the DV 50 at its full potential. Esoteric makes it clear in their brochure that the DV 50 is a fully balanced design and needs to be operated balanced.
It's amazing to me how many people can spend $5,500 on a cd player but match it up with receivers or cheaper pre/pro's that don't have balanced inputs. Good components need to be matched with other components of like quality to realize their full potential! I personally would not buy a Lector Cd player if I did not have a pre/pro with balanced inputs...nor would I use it with a reciever...even a very high end one. It doesn't make sense to me.
Again, comments/suggestions wanted and appreciated..as well as thoughts on the new Sim Audio Orbiter!
Avguru (Threads | Answers | This Thread)
Since your d1 seems to have a quality dac and can take a dig ... Kana813
Hi, peter here guido's friend. i have yet to hear a dv50. ... Pscialli
Can anyone else chime in on their experience with the dv50 a ... Jose21
Jose21 - i auditioned a dv-50 in my system to see if it woul ... Rex
Avguru baby, got the 3910 in, wow can't wait for you to hear ... 711smilin
Avguru have you compared linn unidisk to the esoteric dv50s ... Pedersen
Yep. if anyone has been able to compare the dv-50 to the lin ... Drobbins
On the subject of the dv-50 as a transport, it's pretty good ... Mgottlieb
Mgottlieb, are you using teac esoteric x-01 as a transport ... Guidocorona
Guidocorona: i use the x-01 as a transport with the dcs unit ... Mgottlieb
Fair comment mgottlieb. next question that comes to mind is ... Guidocorona
Guidocorona: hard question. i found the verdi amazingly cle ... Mgottlieb
Mgottlieb - have you demo' the goldmund 18d? i haven't been ... Jmpwme