Best under $2000.00 : Denon,Marantz,Onkyo,Pioneer?

I am extremely interested in purchasing the very best sonically performing universal disc player for $2,000.00 or less, brand new.
To those who have compared them or some of them:
Between the Denon DVD-5900, Denon DVD-3910, Marantz DV9500, Onkyo DV-SP1000, and Pioneer DV-59AVI, which has the very best sonics, especially playing 2 channel stereo, with the following formats:
Red-book CD's?
Which of the above has the very best video performance?
I am especially interested in the very best sonics from DVD-Audio discs playing their Advanced Resolution Stereo mixes.
Which of the above names players do you think would excel best,sonically, with the stereo mixes on DVD-Audio discs?
Thanks for all your help!

I have had a Marantz DV8300 for well over a year now and I really think it's a great overall sounding piece. The redbook cd sounds typically "Marantz", the SACD performance, while okay, is the weaker of the three foremats IMHO while the DVD-audio is awesome. I, like you, listen exclusively to the advanced resolution stereo portions of the discs.

Supposedly the Marantz DV8400 improved upon the redbook and SACD portions and I'd think the DV9500 would be every bit as good.

As a rule, I've been told that if you're into video go with the Denons and if you're into music then the Marantz or Pioneer are the way to go.

Also, keep in mind that the Pioneer and Marantz players previously shared alot of the same internals.

Good luck,

Sound, Marantz. Video, well hi def DVD is not far off so I would not knock yourself out on the video side , because when hi def DVD is a reality, you may want one of those machines. Right now Sound quality is just about maxed out at that pricepoint , but video is still evolving.
The Marantz all the way. the 8400 was very good but the audio on the 9500 is noticably better (tonally more balanced and dynamic).
The rules have changed and the Onkyo sp 1000 is the new best video player made bar none at any price.

If you want better video, you would have to go to an sdi modded player .
As far as audio, the Onkyo is the current best for everyone that has heard one whithout exception at 2.5k or less, and also has the best build quality of any 2.5k or less universal.

If you want a non fatiuging musical player that also has the very best video, look no further.

There are lots of threads at AVS and one at Audio Circle on the SP1000.
German, French reveiws as well as a current home cinema choice U.K. review all rave about it as an audio and video player and all claim it to be the best at anywhere near its price.
I can personally vouch for it being superior whith video or audio over the Denon 5900/3910, and so can many others.
The pro reviews also say its better than the Marantz 5900 and the Pioneer 59avi,as well as the Denons.

Hi def dvd may be here in a year, but there will be a format war and a long wait for any amount of actual hd software to buy.

Figure at least 2-3 more years before hi def dvd is worth venturing into.
Here is a quote from Ears at Audio Circle

The only comparison I have seen was in a German reveiw and the Onkyo won over the Marantz 9500 for video and audio..."although they did mention that the Marantz was slightly more musical so the audio side might be best compared in your systym."

Hey Ears , here at Audiogon we are all "EARS"
Hey Daryl, why don't you just read the reveiw as the Onkyo won in every category over the 9500 and that is the bottom line.

I have been here a bit longer than you I don't get your here at Audiogon thing at all.
Hey Ears , sorry did not mean to come off so harsh. Its just that your comments made me interested in the machine, so when I see at Audio Circle , your quote , that perhaps the Marantz is more musical, and the original poster clearly is interested in sonics as his priority, I felt your thread was essentially saying forget auditioning everything else , get the Onkyo. And the Onkyo certainly looks like a nice machine. If the original poster had asked Whats the best overall universal for 2K , the Onkyo would certainly be on the short list.
Thanks for all of your excellent responses guys!
I am currently leaning towards the Onkyo DV-SP1000, and the Marantz DV-9500. I can get a better price on the Onkyo SP1000, so it is actually at the very top of my list.
PLUS, the build quality looks simply AWESOME!
Has anyone out there personally compared the Onkyo DV-SP1000 head-to-head with the Marantz DV-9500, or heard both units? If so, what were the results?
Thanks again!
Daryl, the original poster in that thread is going to be purchasing a better display so that is why I reccomended the sp 1000 without hesitation.
Because he is primarily interested in music for now, I thought I would add that tid bit about the 9500 being a touch more musical in the German reveiw and still losing out to the sp 1000 for audio.
Reading between the lines, I would say it might be a systym dependent choice for audio between the two.
Keep in mind that all these universals cost about the same as in the U.S. in these reveiws except for one.
The sp 1000 sells for about 5k U.S. in Europe and elsewhere, and can be had for less than 2k in the U.S.

Dalton, I have seen no personal comparisons of the sp 1000 and 9500, but whith the 30 day return policy offered by a few retailers, perhaps you could be the first.

I was considering comparing them myself until I got way too busy with work to do a proper comparison.
I still may compare the two, but it will be after christmas before I have time.
I like that the Onkyo weighs 24 lbs . I must admit I like to grunt a little when lifting a 4 figure purchase !
Yep it weighed around 35 lbs in the box and even the remote is classy with its aluminum top and great functionality.

I also like the stock Onkyo better than a pro modded Philips 963sa for both redbook and 2 channel sa-cd as the Onkyo has that toe tapping musicality going for it.

I would say that the sp 1000 falls short of a Modwright signature 9000 for redbook/sa-cd, but not by much.

It is definitly the first universal player that I tried were I felt I definitly got my moneys worth in every area.
Hello All,
I just received my Onkyo DV-SP1000 yesterday.
Wow, what a well built player! This thing is SOLID!
Even though this unit is fresh out of the box, I am extremely pleased with its sonics, and build quality.
This player has the best Redbook CD performance I have ever heard in my home, and this includes my SCD-XA777ES and my former EVS modified Pioneer DV-47Ai universal player.
The DVD-Audio performance is outstanding as well.A little better than the modded Pioneer, and much better than the stock Pioneer.
The SACD performance is at least as good as my Sony, in my opinion.
The picture is outstanding, probably the best I have saw in my home.
I cannot wait until it is fully broken in!
This is an outstanding player, worth every penny, and I cannot recommend it highly enough!
About the sound of the Onkyo DV-SP1000:
It is extremely detailed, transparent, airy, open, and smooth sounding.
The bass is exceptional. Mids are top-notch. The imaging is outstanding. The highs are all there, smooth, and very extended. What I like most is the way the 1000 gets you involved in the music and makes you seem to forget that you are listening to a digital music reproduction device.
The 1000 has to be one of the overall smoothest and most balanced sounding digital players I have ever heard! It is smooth, yet it does not loose fine detail, air, or openness in the process.
The picture is sharp, clear, and extremely focused.
EARS: Thanks for steering me in the right direction!
You are welcome...

I rarely like anyhing at this price point enough to reccomend it, but I feel exactly like you do about the sp 1000 and think it is about time it got some due recognition on an audio board.

This is the first dvd based player that I am not in a hurry to modify for redbook/sa-cd.
I can't find one negative thing about this player, which is amazing because I am quite picky.

Enjoy your sp 1000 because you made a very wise choice.

Hey Greg,
How long did it take your Onkyo DV-SP1000 to break-in?
What changes were there to the sonics before and after break in?
Thanks again, Ears, for everything!
I would say about a 3-4 weeks to break in using all formats whith usually a cd/sa-cd running 24/7 when not actually listening to the player, or using it to watch a flick.
The soundstage grows wider and deeper whith 150-200 hours and the overall sonics remain much like stock whith everything improving somewhat.

The thing whith the sp 1000 is once you start listening to music, you don't want to stop, so I had very little time for it to break in whithout actual use.
Normally, I will listen to a digital source and then let it run 24/7 for 4 days, listen again ect,but the sp 1000 got my toes tapping like they had a mind of there own, right from the get go.
If I had to guess, I would say there is a 10% improvement in sonics across the board after 3-4 weeks.

This is the first digital source I have owned that sounded musical right out of the box besides my Modwright signature 9000 es which was already broken in when I bought it used.
In other words, I did not pay much attention to break in like I normally would as I was enjoying the music too much.

Did anyone look into the integra dps-10.5 Isn't this unit a beefier onkyo sv1000? DPS10.5 also has built-in hd scaler,is this worth $500.00 more than the onkyo unit?

They are the same player other than external source upconversion of s video and composite video, bnc component out and the Integra has a 3 year warranty instead of 1year.

It will likely cost a lot more than 500.00 for these added features though as the sp 1000 is selling for 1650.00 from authorized online dealers and there seem to be no online Integra dealers.

The Integra has the same exact build and the European sp 1000 also has the external upconversion for 5k U.S.

The only difference seen in the internals are the toridial transformer has Onkyo on theres, and the dps 10.5 has Integra on there toridial.

Both use the same deinterlacer, same Wolfson 7819 dacs for audio ect.

Integra does have a more expensive 4k or so universal coming out that would most likely be an upgrade for audio though.
How important is having a built-in HD scaler that the Integra DPS10.5 has.Also how would you compare this to the Marantz 9500 in the audio section and in the video section.
Just as information the Integra unit list for $2500.00. You can find Integra on Videogon and on Audiogon under the catagory Video.selling around $1700.00.

Yes, I know the dps 10.5 is 2.5k...thus 500.00 more list, but a lot more than that in reality for a new one as compared to a new sp 1000.
That one listing is for a used player and I am reffering to new players from factory authorized dealers.
To me, the external upscaler is useless as I haven't watched a vhs tape in years, have hd tv, and my kids x box already does 720p/1080i on over half the games he owns when I let him use the projector.
Basically , I have no external sources I want upconverted.

Some people may have a vhs,laser disc or sd cable they want to upscale
If you have a use for extenal upconversion, it may be worth it to you.

I have not heard the 9500, and have only read one German reveiw were the sp 1000 was the winner over the Denon 5900/Marantz 9500 and Pioneer 59avi for both video and audio.
The reveiw said the 9500 was slightly more musical I beleive, but that the sp 1000 was the best of the three for audio.

The only actual owner comparisons for audio I have seen besides the Denon,Pioneer ect universals are two people preffering the sp 1000 over the Sony 777,one person preffering it to his Marantz sa 14, and one person saying it was close to an Estoric dv-50.

Remember, this is a fairly new player and most audiophools, including myself don't usually think of least I never have.

As far as the upcoming universal for 4k, it is an Integra Research and not the Integra that I had mentioned.

I agree that the sp 1000 is so well balanced for all formats that it is definitly worth shouting about as compared to other universals at anywhere near its price.

Who would have thought that Onkyo would make such a great universal....certainly not I.

Have a great Thanksgiving.

Onkyo ? I can't believe it!
Is'nt it sold in Department Stores?

No seriously, resale value must be a consideration.
The Onkyo name does not impress.

But, being the true Audiophile I am , I am interested.

Could anyone comment how this unit compares to the Sony SCD-XA-9000ES , or the Denon Exemplar, or the Krell units.
Primarily in Redbook and SACD sound quality .
Does anyone know how the sp1000 compares to the McCormack UDP-1 for redbook?