DVD-A player with best redbook cd playback

I am shopping for an upgrade and need to hear opinions on DVD-A players that excel in redbook CD playback. I can go demo or pre-owned. Video quality is important (I want progressive scan), but the highest criteria is audio playback. The Integra Research RDV-1 has been recommended to me. I've been looking at the Muse players, but the Model 10 is out of my range (under $2,500). I haven't had the opportunity to audition any DVD-A's yet.

My HT system so far:
Aragon 8008x5 amp
Anthem AVM2 preamp
Bohlender Graebener hybid planar speakers (520 DX fronts & rears, 220 DX center)
Hsu VTF2 powered subwoofer
Panasonic RP-65 DVD (to be replaced)
Tice Solo Power Conditioner & Enhancer
JPS superconductor bi-wire speaker cable(fronts)
Audioquest Slate (rears)
Interconnects are: Stealth CWS, Elko G1999, Siltech G48
TV : old Sony to be replaced within 1 year with plasma screen- model TBD
Room: 14’ x 20’ x 8’, carpeted, 6’ x 16’ window on long wall
No tweaks yet
Power: dedicated 20 A circuit

I am also planning to upgrade my front speakers to probably a demo set of Montana SPX, and then will buy the 42" plasma screen & tuner last.

Please educate this poor boy...DVD-A players, speakers, plasma screens...I welcome all input.
You ought to hold out for COMBINED DVD-A/SACD/CD/DVD-V,etc capability. For $500 or less you can get a Pioneer DV-45A that does all this. Decent build quality, and it sounds good to me. I think the sound improvement just due to the new media will keep you happy for a while. Check out the Pioneer website for details on the 45-A.
I personally use a Pioneer Elite DV-38A and I am very happy with it, both sonically and visually. However, in all honesty I can't tell you how it compares with similarly priced DVD-A players from other manufacturers.
The Arcams and the Sony 9000ES seem to garner much praise for the reasons you outline.
Stereophile has the Toshiba SD-9200 listed as a class "A"
DVD-A that does well with redbook also. It just seems wierd
to me that anything Toshiba would be class A for audio.
Who would thought that? They have the list price @ 1499.00.

I would lean toward the universal players as Eldartford
mentioned. I went the DVD-A only route based on advice from
someone and there has been plenty of times i wish i had
SACD capability. It makes more sense to have a universal
player. Maybe a Pioneer universal like the DV-45A with a good outboard DAC for redbook play would be a solution.. And it would easily fit into your budget.. You could always
have the DV-45A modded later on also.
Voodoochile...Am I correct that a "Redbook CD" is just a particular brand of CD having superior audio mastering? No different digital coding scheme?
I believe that the Pioneer, and for that matter, all other DVD players, have 24 bit 96Kc D/As, (six of them which is why prices are plumeting). CD playback inevitably benefits from DVD playback requirements. I bet that an inexpensive new-technology DVD player performs as well as an expensive outboard D/A from just a few years ago. I'm sure that the analog output circuits of inexpensive DVD players could be improved, (although today's OP amps are much better than the old days) but I bet that deep down inside the digital guts, inexpensive and high end players use the same chip sets.
Also, when playing multichannel DVD-A or any SACD there is no digital output...you MUST use the player's analog outputs.
When I play a CD I can use the digital (optical)output into my decent Rotel D/A, but to tell the truth, the analog signals sound just the same. If there is a difference it is small, whereas the difference between a CD and a SACD is marked. So my advice, based on experience, is make the big jump to the new media quickly and inexpensively, and tweek things up, at great expense, later.

Redbook is the actual spec/standard for all disks
and players to play CD's including DVD's that are
to play CD's. It isnt a special type of re-mastered
disk its the standard for anything with the CD stamp
on it. Now that doesnt mean that someone cant re-master
the data from a previous release and still fall under
the redbook standard.
The redbook standard is for 16bit/44.1khz just
because your DVD-A or DVD has 24/94 or even 24/192
doesnt mean that you benefit from that. Because when
decoding the redbook its using 16/44.1. Unless your
CD or DVD has upsampling built in you are only getting

The D TO A converters have come light years and continue
getting better all the time as do the crystals. That is why i use an ouboard DAC thats "upgradeable" for redbook playback. It is more cost effective to just upgrade the area's that matter most the DAC's, output stage ect...
Im not saying someone cant get the same results or "possibly" better by using a really good $$$ one box
solution. Im saying i think its a more flexible and cost effective approach to use a "upgradable" outboard DAC.
And people have a good argument when they say
they dont want the additional cable added to the CD
chain but i can only say that i have gotten great results
from the outboard solution.

One thing to keep in mind is the fewer the conversions
the better so it would be a waste to run digital out of
CD Into an outboard then into a reciver or PRE/PRO that
does not have analog pass thru. Or run the analog out
of a really nice CD player into a reciver or PRE/PRO
that is just going to muck things up by doing a A to D
and back D TO A.

Now as far as DVD-A or SACD goes yes you do have to use
the analog outputs that is why a lot of people are having
the output stages modded.. It makes alot of sense to me
from a $$$ standpoint to buy a decent player and upgrade the most important areas.

Voodoo...Thanks for the scoop about "Redbook".
Agreed that D/A..A/D..D/A would be stupid.
When CD's began I had a Mission player that was just what you describe: a decent player (Phillips) with upgraded analog output circuits. The analog circuits were in a completely potted module that was just stuffed into the box and free to flop around! Looked like a home brew job, but it worked well for many years.
I believe that many DVD players, even the cheap ones, when playing CDs do take advantage of the 24 bit D/A and higher sampling rate. A Panasonic unit that I used for a while had a "REMASTER" switch that cut this feature in or out for the digital output. The switch was necessary, so said the owner's manual, because not all outboard D/A could handle the high rate. The manual suggested that using the analog outputs would always assure the best audio quality because the internal D/As were up to the job.
Do you know of a really good book explaining all this new technology? As it is we have to "reverse engineer" the equipment from sales brochures and owner's manuals, the latter often being a translation, sort of, from Japanese.

Sure no problem...
I just threw the whole D/A-D/-A-D thing in for Lorenc1
he sounds very intrested to learn about this stuff and
i think its important for people to understand whats
goin on with all this cool stuff we have.

As far as a book goes... Thats a tough one...This stuff (digital)is changing so quick that as soon as a book is released unless it is very general in scope it will be outdated before it hits the stores.
I am in the electronics design buss so its a little easier
for me to keep up because i implement this stuff and use the
specification sheets ect... I would recommend when your intrested in a piece of gear to take note of what their using "under the hood" and download the "component/part" specs and have a look. And of course read the white papers on the product also. For general info on upsampling and why these things are important ect...
Right here @ Audiogon and other recources on the net can be very good for general info.

Hope that helps.