The two units you mention are the same thing. The full, correct model name is the DVD-3910, and it is a universal player.
The 3910 has not been on the market for terribly long, so it's a bit early in the model life to judge its reliability. I have been using my 3910 for about 9 months and it's worked fine.
Before you decide to send your 3910 off for a "mod", spend a month or two listening to it first. It's got excellent sound quality, and you may find that you'd prefer to spend your money on more SACD's, or to upgrade some other item in your system.
Although you didn't ask for an opinion on the subject of "mod's", I am of the school that believes that mods are not a particularly good investment. For the cost of an expensive mod plus the price of the equipment, I think you are usually better off to simply buy a much better piece of gear. For the cost of the basic 3910, plus one of the $1500-2000 mod's, you can instead buy the Denon 5910, or a comparable unit by Marantz, Sony, etc.
Chuckie, Technically, the APL 3910 is not a mod of the Denon but Alex's redesign. It uses only the Denon's chassis and transport, everything else is replaced: DACs, clocks, transformers, power supplies, RCA connectors, etc. Alex uses a tube output stage and adds a hybrid attenuator that allows you to go straight into the amp for improved sonics. So, if you don't need the preamp for anything else, you can sell it to help finance the APL. The end result is one of the best CD players on the market, in a league that is way beyond the Denon 5910 or comparable units.
I on the other hand believe going with a "mod" is the best way to go. First and foremost is finding a reliable modder with a known rep. I'm waiting on delievery of my Emexexmplar 3910. Surely, superior to the 3910. Once you listen to the Exemplar you realize that you have moved way up to another level. Now, the good part is that should your modder develop some new upgrade? You can get them done for a very cost effective price. It will be much easier to stay in front of the digital eight ball. I had to sell my Prima. Audio Aero wouldn't talk it back to put in their latest and greatest transport, nor their new electronics. Had to sell on the 'gon and purchase something new. Hence, the Exemplar. Sure you could buy three 3910s for the same price. Just something to think about. I'd save your money and do some homework on the APL, Exmemplar, and Dan Wright. All these guys do 3910 mods, that leave the origninal in the dust.
My thoughts on getting a "mod" player is simply because the specialist audio manufacturers usually "upgrade" their players every so often anyhow to keep abreast of new technology.Wouldn't it be wise (my reason)not to invest in a "new" player every couple of years and buy a player that can be upgraded by a "mod house" to surpass what Denon,Sony,Marantz,Specialist audio manufacturers,etc. produce for even greater enhanced performance.I am looking for a happy medium for myself between price and sound.
Sdcampbell,thanks, for the tip on not sending it off right away.I can buy the unit for cheap and save my dollars for the upgrade.Your thoughts are well taken but I don't share the same opinion on audio being a investment.For me it's pleasure and relaxation.....a stress reliever.
I have also looked into the Cary 306SACD.This might be the ticket because I own over 2,000 discs and 99% are Redbook.So,I am considering a unit that will playback Redbook on another level and staying within my budjet.That's what I hear about the talk of "modded" players...improvements beyond some of what the specialist audio manufacturer produce! Read about a product called the NWO(modified Esoteric UX-1) or the AKM Dacs used by APL for example.I don't want to get into what mod house is better because I don't know.I respect all of them for what they are trying to accomplish for us.
Warrenh,I've given the "mod" player lots of thought.You are correct about "should your mod house develop some new upgrade you might get it at a more cost effective price" instead of purchasing a "new" player.I am still trying to get off this merry-go-round.Warrenh,let me know about your Exemplar what your impressions are. I would be mightly interested.
I appreciate your thoughts guys and Best wishes to all!
Chuckie, if this thread goes by the way side drop me an email in a few weeks and I'll let you know the scoop....peace, warren :)
Chuckie, do your homework on all the mods you're thinking about, as well as talk to audiophools who own them. You can always call 711smilin. Steve has owned all of them and can give you the scooop on each. Bottom line: he'll tell you that they are all wonderful, but for his money the APL reins. I can give you the name of others who have experience with all of these and found the Exemplar reined. There go I, because of that homework. While John, obiously, loves the APL, there are ooldles who love Dan Wright's and John Tucker's mods. At this level you're talking: preference, not "better." Selecting one? A real high class problem you got there. Others should be so lucky. peace, warren :)
Warrenh, yeah, your are mostly right on, and FYI I did just buy another Exemplar 3910. I bought it for my HT, and my APL for 2 channel. If you are ever in the area, you can compare side by side, and hear the difference. It is always lots more for the final 10%.
Warrenh,I greatly appreciate you inviting me to contact you in a few weeks.I look forward to your opinions regarding your Exemplar unit.How long was the "waiting" list to have the modification done and how long did it take to receive the unit?The length of time to have this accomplished might be a contributing factor in who I seek out also.I understand APL has had some issues and hopefully it's in the past because the man himself...Alex....does most if not all the work and has a backlog of units to finish.Also,I understand he's has implemented a "new" strategy to deal with the demand.Maybe by the time I am ready all the problems will have been resolved.The person you mentioned called "711Smilin" you are correct it seems he has had them all and I remember reading some of what he has said but I think he's in the process of selling one of the units that he owns.I have been pouring over the classifieds trying to get a fix on what's out there also.
Puremusic,I am glad you chimed in with knowledge and information about which of the parts are replaced and affected.I am in the process of purchasing a preamp.I have been preampless for about a year using the "direct to amp approach" while trying to decide (and save some dollars)for what I will purchase next.For my money,it boils down to the Modwright SWL 9.0 SE!!!!!! It is on another level from my previous preamps mostly Audio Research....Ref.1,Ls series,and even Sp series.Air Tight ATC-2 and a few other I don't need to mention but you understand.I rather have a preamp in my system.I found much lacking in terms of musically,low level detail retrievability and dynamics which were missing without a preamp in my system.BTW,I have Soundlab Ultimate 2's and they have become a fixture just like the wife and kids.
So, thanks again guys, I have to go to work to save some more dollars. Rock On!!!!!!!!!!
John Tucker, the Exemplar man himself, is recovering from a bad car accident. He won't be back at his bench, I'm told for about 6 weeks. I believe he has people doing the work? Not really sure of much. peace, warren :)
Chuckie, The level of success of "going direct to amp" depends in part on the output stage of the CD player. I've had no problems with the APL 3910's output stage driving my interconnects. I will now either sell my Jadis JP80 preamp or demote it to my second system. A number of other APL owners have reported on the APL forum that they are also going direct to amp successfully. If you decide to get the APL 3910, you could try going direct to amp. If that won't work for your set-up, you can then buy a preamp.
A number of other APL owners have reported on the APL forum that they are also going direct to amp successfully. If you decide to get the APL 3910, you could try going direct to amp. If that won't work for your set-up, you can then buy a preamp.
Puremusic (Threads | Answers)
As an APL Denon 3910 owner who uses a preamp, it's my opinion that this issue has more to do with preference than whether it will work or not. I believe the odds are excellent that the APL Denon 3910 will work directly with just about any amplifier, and Alex can make this so. For me, I simply prefer the body and musicality a tube preamp adds to the sound in my system.