I to was looking for something similar but decided to buy a amazing cd player and a good dvd but If I were to want an all in one unit I was going to but the arcam fmj dv 27. maybe you might want to check it out.
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Stan Warren has been mocifying Pioneer 24/96 DVD players (for CD 2 channel playback) for his customers. After his modifications, they end up sounding as good as many $2000+ high end offerings. The fact that these players also play DVDs is icing on the cake! I think the total cost is under $700 for mods and all. I have a personal friend who is a reviewer for Stereophile Home Theater Review. He has 4 different $4000+ state of the art DVD players in his review studio, and none of them (unmodified) will hold a candle sonically (in two channel) to the above aformaentioned Stan Warren modified Pioneer.
My vote is for a modified Pioneer, but via John Hillig at Musical Concepts, who modded my DV-4l4 a year ago and it's been running like a champ ever since. However, I can't attest to its DVD performance since it's used ONLY as a CD player (plays 24-96 discs too) in a system where it's by far the least expensive component. That's how good it is.
Grandpad, maybe you left something out, but CAL & Theta are two different companies. Kind of confusing.
As to modifying DVD players, one of my buddies just sent a Pioneer off to Stan Warren. Stan flat out told him that h should not expect the bass capabilities that his more expensive CD player offers. I guess that my previous findings that DVD players have always sounded leaner than a good cd player has been verified. Sean
Jeff i am sure that Stan Warren's mods are very good. But well within your budget is the Toshiba SD 9200. It weighs 33 lbs, has an iec to upgrade the powercord if you so desire, has a copper lined chassis and even does DVD A - - no software to talk about yet. This DVD player has an absolutely magnificent picture and sonically it can stand up to most players. It is not thin nor strident sounding. Retail was $2000 but Toshiba has lowered the price to $1500 which is a steal for a player of this quality and you can purchase them for less. In the store at this time I have alot of very good one box players such as the EMC 1 with 24/192 upgrade $5000, the Audio Meca Mephisto 2 $7500, the Alchemist Product 8 24/192 upsampling player $2400, we have also had the Sim Eclipse and Audio Aero and though the Toshiba is not as good as any of these players it is close enough that I have no problem listening to music on it after being spoiled by all these great cd players.
The Panasonic DVD H 1000 is being upgraded to the 2000 with DVD Audio added - it retails for 2495 but the 1000 is being sold out for 799 via J and R Music World and Sound City. It gives you a great picture and is really solid at amost 40 pounds. As a transport or regular Cd player check the reviews on it and all others at audioreview.com. The new 2000 is available on line for 1599 at PC Mall if you want the upgrade DVD Audio.
If you do find Arcam to suit your needs check out this web site for great deals on the fmjdv27 and the dv88
I owned a sony 7700 and a friend has a 9000es would take either Arcam over the sonys in a second. better sound quality and superior picture quality on the fmjdv 27. good luck