Best Standard Def DVD Player under $8,000 used?

I am looking for the best possible Standard Def DVD player
that is BLACK. I have a Krell DVD Showcase now and it's
great but I am wondering if there is better to be had for
under $8,000 used.

I would like to hear opinions/comparisons of the video
quality for:

Krell DVD Standard
Linn Unidisk 1.1
Meridian G98
Denon 5910CI

Hmmm, buy any Blu-Ray format player for $300 - $500 new and blow all those those standard def players away.

One of the best measured standard def performance player is the Oppo DV-983: "...and it is the first player to ever score a perfect 100 in the Secrets DVD Benchmark."

Unfortunately, this player only sells for $400 new. On the bright side, it does come in black and there are HDMI cables you can buy for an additional $7K.
At the risk of sounding ignorant, 8 grand for a used dvd player???
Tom, I've rethought my previous answer. Please PM me and I'll give you a good deal on my used std. def DVD player and cable.

Look forward to hearing from you soon,


Pitch the idea of dvd and think on the lines of blu-ray,no machine that does dvd,and I mean, NO machine, can touch blu-ray ,PERIOD...

As for the audio portion, the new hd codecs are what will make the home theater experience with blu-ray the ultimate fun factor. They go together like salt and pepper... ;)

hey I am very glad that I waited to respond. I see their are other's who think that spending $8,000 used for a DVD player is just plain n%$t's.
We are all in AWE! We can't fathom such decisions. We are all here looking to buy $299 Blue Ray players!!! Just kidding.
Actually, I don't understand what you believe you could get on any front with your search, personally? Not to avoid the question. But you won't get the video quality out of it on standard DVD's, nor will you get anything super special on compressed DVD 16/44 sound. You can only hope to get some superior audiophile grade quality on standard 16 bit, er maybe 20 bit CD playback, with a superior transport and dac combo in a DVD player. So why not look for a good standalone CD player and descent quality DVD player with superb pic and better than average sound?
Well, anyway, I thought the Krell and Meridian's were the the best DVD's. Does Ayre make one? That should be good. I also k now Theta made a good one in the David? Might look into it, reviews, mods, etc.
Um, I'm at a loss really, besides those obvious, for standard DVD anyway
lol!!! At the present time you couldn't give me a new DVD matter who made it. ;-)
Seriously....they still make those?
To the original question:

I have the Denon 5910 and find the video output of my Levinson 51 to be superior. The Levinson may have been the finest DVD player ever made. It is about $8K used (it is also a fabulou CD player). The color quality of the Levinson is superior to the Denon.
Tom, The DVD Standard measured better than any DVD player ever put on the bench. I purchased mine with the HDMI option. ($9500) These never, EVER, come up, but look around, and standard Standards are going for less than 2k. KILLER CD playback. See if Krell will still upgrade one. Mine isn't going anywhere but as you can see, the people want to know, 'why you are looking for an older technology'?

I have owned or still own all your choices but the DVD standard.

Which one is best for you will depend on what you want.

Do you want just DVD? CD? Need SACD and/or DVD-A?

If you have a Meridian pre/pro, get the G98DH, it's a really good DVD-A and CD transport and a solid scaler, but it doesn't play SACD.

The 5910 is the player I'd recommend least, it scales well, but is sort of soft and doesn't image well at all.

The Linn 1.1 is really nice and musical, but I prefer my Esoteric DV-50s as it has better bass control and definition.
check out Reference Audio Mods for their selection of "NEW" DVD players (many models also play SACDs & DVD-As) which the owner will modify with top-of-the-line components (wiring, IECs, RCA outs, power supply, transformer, super clock, caps, resistors, opamps, etc.) for a lot less than $8,000.00, but will easily compete sonically with $8,000.00+ units. I have a Denon DVD-5910CI unit (awesome audio with music DVDs, CDs, SACDs, DVD-As + upconverts STD DEF DVDs to 1080P) that was modded by Reference Audio Mods and audio quality is absolute quality is also incredible!!!

If you don't have SACDs & DVD-As, then ask Reference Audio to help you select a new Blu-ray for mod (you can play your DVDs on a Blu-ray player) and sonics will be 5x better versus an out-of-the-box player...

with money you save buying an "audiophile" quality new DVD (if you also listen to SACDs or DVD-As) or Blu-ray from Reference Audio you would have plenty of money leftover to buy a new 1080P Panasonic Plasma model TH-50PZ800U (THX certified).
I'd like to help, but really now, everyone knows you can't get a decent player for less than 8 grand.

Ok.. Nice work all you $300 BluRay payer lovers..
If only you had highend systems to appreciate the
gear I am wanting to discuss.

BluRay is slow to load disks, Disks are expensive and
I have a 500+ standard Def DVD library. I personally
think in most cases my KRELL standard def player will
look better than $300 bluray. Everytime I see one
at the store I think to myself that my Krell looks
better.. So I am sticking with Standard DVD, Redbox
rentals, and movies that cost 1/3 to own. And yes if
you guys who don't get it had decent equipment you would
see just how spectacular DVDs look of Meridians, Krells,
and Linns.

I owned the OPPO so I know the Krell far outperforms it.
I swear the OPPO company has paid shills out on every
board telling people how good OPPO is. I have a Denon
2930CI in the bedroom that smokes the 983H on component
video. Audio too..

Is so sad whenever someone wants to discuss 3 or 4 highend
pieces of gear, all the hackers come out and bash you
saying their Circuit City gear is better.. The enthusiasts
on here who have actually used the highend gear I am
referring to know what I am talking about... The performance level of a Krell or Meridian or Linn is truly

I wish there was a way to ban trolls from threads when they
have nothing useful to contribute..
I often wonder about the Oppo deal too, I mean come on they are the biggest thing since sliced bread???
Sure I have seen one and its good and many love them but it at times is a grows a bit old when every single thread has some drive by Oppo suggestion with nothing more to add.
I have even said check them out myself so I am not knocking the reference but its time to really REALLY show us just why its better, and not based off some net test or review thats out of date, I want to see detailed up to date info to be a bit more at ease. JMHO
BluRay Disks are expensive ($30.00 each), but you want to spend $8k on a standard DVD player? Am I missing something? This is a joke right?
Tom take a chill pill guy..get a sense of humor. Most of us thought couldn't actually be

Relax..and buy that $8000 standard DVD player if it makes you feel better. Now if you think standard 480P DVD (4.3Gbs of info at the most) from any of these so called High end players looks better than a Blu ray(30 to 50 GBs of info). Then you are one special guy...Enjoy!

Good luck with the hunt.
"I personally think in most cases my KRELL standard def player will look better than $300 bluray. Everytime I see one at the store I think to myself that my Krell looks

Tom, I was jesting a bit about the $300 Blue Ray. Nonetheless, I've sold that Krell DVD standard, Meridian Reference, and others. Let me assure you that while absolute color balance, minute amounts of video noise, quality of scaling for standard DVD (ya know, your video collection) etc, might be better on the mega buck DVD players for your needs, your fooling yourself thinking your best DVD setup will best the overall quality of ANY Blue Ray HD offering! Sorry, but it's like old die-hard fans of Laser Disc thinking their old analog disc blew away standard DVD's! It's just not happening, sorry.
But, you keep believing my friend. After all, someone has to buy up those old extremely high priced players floatin around out there. Might as well be you brother.
Oh, and many of us have had some otherwise rediculously expensive gear over the years. I once owned the $27k Faroudja Scaler. Oh and yeah, that piece sacaling any non hi-def source to 1080p isn't anywhere as good as a high def source, on a budget player either, regardless of display system used! So please don't have any of us budget seekers over to try and convince us that your 480 source disc scaled up for the big screen is going to be a revelation, because it isn't. Hate to break it to you.
Good luck to you on your project though.
Completely disagree Tom: there is a ton of useful information on this page. If you're to pompous and sure of your outdated notions to see them then don't blame anyone but yourself.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to Walmart to stock up my connoisseur wine cellar.

Danmyers you don't get it do you?

I asked about 4 very specific players and you (as
well as many others who ridicule me) have nothing
useful to say about these 4 players. You guys just
can't read can you? If you have no experience with
these 4 players than you have no business changing
the discussion topic to something else.

How much clearer could I be about the discussion topic?

Either you can't read or your just being a jerk.
Maybe even both... Yes I think both..
To all: If you have no experience with these 4 players
do us both a favor and post elsewhere. If you have a/b'd
these I'd love to hear of your experiences.
Tom, no need to quit acting like a lady lol!
I never ridiculed you, unless you are counting that lady, this is supposed to be fun!

If it means anything I didnt think too much of the Krell, its not really what that company is about anyway...the Esoteric DV-60 was better, even the Lexicon RT10 was but you have a need for black.

While I have had long term experience with three of these players as I posted in my initial post, I totally agree with what everyone is saying, buy a Sony BDP-S350, they street for sub $200, and it is a profile 2.0 capable player that functions so quickly you won't notice any slow load times.

Buy the high end players for audio performance, as I said, I still have two on your list in my systems, but don't fool yourself that your getting better than Blu-ray, and BTW for a dollar a month Netflix will mail you any Blu-ray you want, or by shopping around you can easily buy them for sub $20.

I can see owning the players you listed, and as I said, I do, I also have several Blu-ray players, and I DO NOT use my DV-50s or Denon 5910CI for SD DVD's anymore. I use a Sony Blu-ray player in the bedroom for this (and the Denon 5910 for audio there) and I use one of the three b;lu-ray players in my main rig or the Toshiba HD XA2 as they are amazing scalers! The XA2 outperforms the Meridian G98 and Denon 5910 in video, I never had it to directly AB to the Linn, but I suspect it would beat it as well.

So, my point is that all the people you feel are attacking you for not just answering your question are actually helping you by steering you to a new and far superior technology. I will go one step further to say if you do not own a blu-ray player now and you spend that much on a SD DVD player YOU are the fool!
-11-09: Tom92602

Ok.. Nice work all you $300 BluRay payer lovers..
If only you had high end systems to appreciate the
gear I am wanting to discuss.


I do believe that you are confusing what high end is all about. High end is most certainly NOT about high cost,but it is about high performance.

But truth be told bro,I'll take my so called low end ps3 and enjoy true high end picture and sound quality. Quite frankly dvd sucks compared with high end blu-ray.
...a note to Kennyt........I agree with you on the XA2... I owned the Panasonic XA2 player. The first time I fired it up on a standard def disc, my jaw dropped...just a gorgeous picture. The Reon chip in there is really something special when it comes to upconverting stadard def discs. When the supposedly more advance Realta chip came out, I had to see what the fuss was all about. So I purchased the Marantz BD 8002 Blu Ray player. The standard def upconversion is even better than the XA2, and of course the Blu Ray picture is stunning. So, for about $250., you can get a killer standard def picture by finding a used Panasonic XA2 player.

I paid $2k for the Marantz.....but $8k seems outlandish for a standard def unit when the two aforementioned units are readily available.
If you are really looking for absolute highest quality audio & video, then I would buy a Pioneer Elite Blu-ray player model BDP-09FD est. $1,900.00 (or less) and ship it to Reference Audio Mods for overhaul..I did this with my Denon DVD-5910CI and it came back with both "killer" audio and video. I had RAM perform the audio mods on the front 3 channels (L/C/R) of my Denon in lieu of only L & R. Audiophile quality at very reasonable prices...

with your budget you could also add a new Faroudja DVP-1080 video processor (or equivalent..see High-End Palace website)...This world class processor upscales up to 1080p reference progressive format though DVI/HDMI with HDCP and analog component though five high quality BNC connectors with Horizontal and Vertical alignment. The DVP-1080 converts DVD's, HD programming, HD DVD's and Blu-Ray to reference caliber progressive format.

The Faroudja DVP-1080 HD provides a realism, vividness, contrast, brightness, sharpness and detail, improves color saturation and overall picture quality by 15 to 25%. It also provides accurate pixel count to all high-end projectors, plasmas and LCD displays, All DVD's, HD programming, HD DVD's and Blu-Ray Disc benefits drastically from a DVP-1080. This high-end processor is what we call a world class processor, an out of this world improvement for all high-end DLP's, LCOS's, SXRD's, D-ILA's, CRT projectors, Plasmas and LCD displays, the processor for perfectionist. Get a true film like experience in your theater today.

I am now looking for a fair deal on a Pioneer Elite Blu-ray player model BDP-09FD....the best (both audio & video) Blu-ray unit to none...NEXT purchase after that will be above video processor or equivalent....
Yes, we are all avoiding your question Tom. We are simply stunned by your purchasing proposition. You'll have to forgive us. But it's no fun to delve into your question. We'd rather ridicule and chastise your for your viewpoints - lol.
Yep, as Skippy said, we are all contemplating the merits of $300 Blue Ray players now-a-days!
Actually I didn't even know you could still pay more than $300 for a standard DVD player at this point! Maybe $8k is a typo from Tom...he probably meant $8. Yes I'm sure it was a typo
Tom, they aren't trying to bash you but save you big cash! Just because it's more doesn't make it better. I have two rolex watches and a Patek any my digital casio keeps better time when left without wearing. Bluray not only is BETTER in sound and video but is the future. You aren't the only guy with high end audio gear and a big dvd collection. Why continue on a dead end path when you could start buying the future and improve as better machines become available. BTW, complaining that BR disks are expensive while asking about an $8000 USED SDVD player is nearly the worst comment ever on the forums. MHO of course.
Tom, my apologies. You are right and the Denon 5910CI is an awesome universal DVD player. I own it and it's is simply the best there is. Absolutely incredible in my HT. Blu-Ray Shmu-Ray - it's slow and the discs are not cheap. Remember when everyone went from LPs to CD, tubes to SS, mono to stereo to multi-channel. Now they are all back to the tried and true technologies/topologies.

So yeah, like I said earlier. I will sell you my used Denon 5910CI for only $7000 - a $1000 savings for you! It is black and will be in the original box. I will throw in a good cable with it at no extra charge, too.

Don't listen to these guys, they are all leaping without looking where they will land. They will be sorry in 20 or 30 years. DVD we know and love: it works and works great with the right system and my Denon is the best, really, THE BEST.

Please PM me ASAP and let's get this deal wrapped up. When were done, come on over to my place and we'll watch home movies on my Super8 setup. If only DVDs could look this good!


Tom if you buy from Dan I have this bridge you may want to look at!
"Remember when everyone went from LPs to CD, tubes to SS, mono to stereo to multi-channel. Now they are all back to the tried and true technologies/topologies."

Yeah, that's not exactly the same situation here. Analogy is bad here, I think. You're talking apples n oranges. The progression from Analog movie sources - namely Beta/VHS (ok, Beta stomped VHS) and Laser to DVD, then from DVD to HD/Blue-ray has been nothing but a progressive improvement in every area, video-wise. It's also been a steady improvement, for the most, in the video sound quality as well.
Your point is better made with a down swing in sound quality from old analog source to poorly processed digital for some time, until the advent of SACD. Now, we're back to MP3's and poor sound from the masses, on the ipod front.
I don't think you can say anything accept we've been making better and better video strides since the beginning.
That's all I'm tryin to say...
Hey playingnude, Chadnliz was stabbing at sarcasm.
Tom, Danmyers is taking advantage of your naivety. I own Denons 3930ci and 5900. I will sell you both for $5000. They are the perfect complement to each other -- the 3930ci which basically is the same as the 5910ci, has problems outputting video, but the sacd and dvd audio sound is luscious, and the 5900 has a sdi output and the picture is to die for, but has problems outputting sacd and dvd audio. Please use paypal and I won't charge the 3% tariff.

Otherwise, I have several non-Circuit City dvd players that I can mark up to $7500 and they are used. Such a deal!
Oh, I forgot about the standard def dvd player I bought from a guy right out of his white truck parked with the motor running in a Big Lots parking lot. There's no name on the unit, as the original was partially scraped off. However, I can make out the letters C*lby. Whatever brand that is. I will take a loss at $3999, but that's your gain. Have a Nice Day!
I recently swapped a Classe DVT-300 transport out of my system (off for some repair work), and in it's place, bought a Sony BDP S5000ES BluRay machine (thought I'd try out the format). What a disappointment! The Classe blows the Sony out of the water. Its upsampling to 1080p is easily as good as the BluRay player. And the picture is more sharp, more vibrant. The Classe is beautifully built, the Sony looks like it came from Best Buy. The audio is no slouch, either - coax out to EMM Labs DAC2. There's nothing wrong with DVD playback on a good machine.
COLBY.....its a really budget company.
Dude! Hush up, I'm trying to hustle up some change to buy new stands and cables.
lol, I got some cable from a nice guy in a white van for sale......they say they go great with Theater Research speakers!
Theater Research speakers . . . do they handle 500 watts per channel, have 8 drivers, and the best vinyl cladding this side of a Payless shoe? I bet their greater than my Martin Logans. About the cable, sorry, I only buy cable from Best Buy.
"I personally think in most cases my KRELL standard def player will look better than $300 bluray. Everytime I see one at the store I think to myself that my Krell looks

Tom, that's the first clue that you're wasting your money. You compare what you have to what's in the store? I don't care how high-end the shop(pe) is, you can't tell until you get it home and tweak it for your system.

Do this: buy one of the less expensive blu-ray machines and use it exclusively in your system for a little while. Tweak the set-up properly. Watch both DVD and Blu-ray.

Then go back to the Krell and be happy.
One word, Seditious3- Delusion!
It's the equivelant of thinking your Krell reference CD player sounds better than a cheap SACD player/disc, basically. Sure you're Krell might do things like dynamic contrast, noise floor, etc, better. However in terms of resolution, body, detail, etc, it's no contest. The SACD stomps the standard 16bit/44khz CD playback in the dust,for the most.
Digital processing has improved much over the years for sure. I used to own a $700 DVD player from 1998 that was reviewed as "Better than Levinson separates" from Absolute Sound, and that was indeed the case overall! Old Digital, no matter how well executed, was never perfect.
Yeah I would be simply using one of these old CD players or expensive DVD's if that's all that was needed to get the job done, but it doesn't. Those old formats leave too much on the table compared to newer, more improved technology.
"However in terms of resolution, body, detail, etc, it's no contest. The SACD stomps the standard 16bit/44khz CD playback in the dust,for the most." Skippybo.

Me thinks you have not heard what GNSC is capable of with Wadia product in redbook.
Any upsampling of standard 16/44 is equivalent of upscaling 480p dvd's to 1080p...not the same.
But that's OK! You all keep thinking that old cd and dvd is capable of transending higher rez and better digital. Again, after all, someone's gotta buy up all that old gear. Might as well be ya'll...
Seriously, if I didn't need to consider better audio/video through SACD, DVDA, HD-DVD and Blue Ray's, I wouldn't! I'd be using upsampling players and high quality CD players and transports instead
01-11-09: Tom92602
To all: If you have no experience with these 4 players
do us both a favor and post elsewhere. If you have a/b'd
these I'd love to hear of your experiences.
We're not alone in our assessments. Check out for their rankings of video disc players.

Their Ultimate Choice category is entirely populated by HD disc players, from $1500 Pioneer Blu-ray all the way down to an entry-level Toshiba HD DVD player.

The next level down, "Premier Choice," is populated by expensive battleship-build-quality boutique std-def DVD players ranging from a thousand to $11K:

Ayre DX-7e $5,999
Lexicon RT-20 $4,495
Linn Unidisk $11k
Marantz DV-9600 $2,099
Meridian G98DH $6,000
Pioneer Elite DV-79AVi $999
Simaudio Moon Orbiter $6,500
Sony DVP-NS9100ES $1,300

Most of us have moved on and consider the purchase of high zoot std-def DVD players as throwing good money after bad. Read the reviews for the better Blu-ray playes, such as the $2K Marantz.

Most of the better Blu-ray players do great upconversion of std def DVD, so they'll take good care of your 500 std-def DVD collection. If your TV doesn't accept HDMI, you'd get better picture for the money by getting a modern 1080p display and feeding it a 1080p upconverted or native mode Blu-ray signal--even if it's from a (gasp!) $500 player.

Your assessment of the Oppo DV 983H based on component video output is missing the point. Even my 720p display looks significantly better when it's fed an upsampled signal via HDMI. I have compared component vs. upconverted HDMI video from four different DVD players in my house and the HDMI trumps component every time.

Not that long ago, state of the art home theater was anchored by a 480p Pioneer Laserdisc with AP3 1st-gen Dolby Digital 5.1 with the video signal fed to an outboard $20,000 Faroudja video processor. These were superseded by the disc players of which you speak--high end std-def DVD players with the Faroudja circuit built in. These have since been superseded by the Blu-ray players of which *we* speak.

Quit shooting the messenger.
No Johnnyb53, Tom and the other hi-end DVD/CD player Devotees are right! I've come to my senses. Dunno what I was thinking.
Yep, they're correct. I've missed it. The players you've mentioned Johnnyb53 are all superior. We've just been deluding ourselves, really - just to save money. Let's be honest here.
Tom? Others? Please do all us delusional budget shoppers the supreme favor of buying up all those old hi-end pieces we shun so much, so we don't have to sort through them on the list of "last two days" of listed classified items on audiogon!
I just hate sorting through all that extraneous product I have no need for, really...
Anyone know where I can get a used mini van for around 75K?
Krelldog, you're in luck my brother has a 1996 Caravan I'm sure he'd let it go for $75k. ;)

BTW if anyone has a top of the line 8-track they'd be willing to let me pry from their hands let me know. There's $20k in it for you.

What a ridiculous thread...
Musicman, I'm just going to ignore your ridiculous lowball offer for my 8-track player.
Wow, lots of jerks on here responding insultingly to the good man question. This forum is "audio"gon, and there is no Blu-Ray out there that can match the audio section of a Meridian G98. Get one of these used on here Tom for around $1200 to $1500, and you will have picture rivaling Blu-Ray, and audio that kills it!