Initial impressions of the Denon 5900 universal

Category: Digital

I have only had this player for 6 days for in home demo.
I have around 90 hours run in on SACD, listened to a couple cd's and dvd-a's and watched a dozen movies.
I will only comment on the video and SACD sections as redbook and dvd-a have very little hours on them.

The video, to keep it short and sweet is as close to hi def as I have seen whith quality dvd transfers in the progressive mode, played through my 7ft dlp projected screen.
I have only seen about 6 dvd players in my set up and none are in the same area code as the resolution the 5900 offers.

The sacd sonics were decent out of the box, but after around 50 hours, they started to open up, and at around 90 hours,I can say that the sacd sonics are better than first gen players such as the Sony 777 and Phillips sacd 1000, and much better than the Sony 9000es, Phillips 963sa or Denon's 2900.

All listening so far has been done in two channel and the 5900 shines whith dynamics,bass and imaging.
I have heard all mentioned players in my systym and the only player that was slightly better than the 5900 was a Modwright 9000 es Signature which had slightly better inner detail than the 5900.
This could change after the 5900 gets 200
+ hours in SACD though.

I can only comment that redbook sounds very good whith only a couple hours use and will hold further comment until there is some burn in in that format.

As far as DVD-A goes, the 5900 sounds better than my back up dvd player, which is a Denon 1600, but again, there are only a couple hours whith this format and I have never heard a hi end dvd-a player if one exsists.
To me dvd-a sounds better than redbook and Sacd sounds much better than redbook when playing the two formats on equal priced players like the 963sa and the 1600.

I will follow up whith a more in depth review when i get some hours on the other formats, but already believe this player has no competition near its price range for a universal player and believe it is a bargain for just its SACD and video playback alone so far.


I can't wait for your evaluation of redbook. I currently have the Toshiba sd9200. DVD sound better in my system. Redbook, however, is not as good to my ears. I am trying to research for another universal player - Denon 5900 looks good - but don't know if it will perform better than my current sd9200 on redbook. Maybe I should buy the dedicated player just for redbook.

Thanks - I will check back.

I have over 120 hours run in whith redbook and find the 5900 to only sound decent, not only does it not sound much better than the 963sa and up universals,but its sonics never seemed to improve after around 50 hours.

I also wanted to mention that the video on most material is fantastic, but I have seen macro blocking in dark scenes of a few movies and find it unacceptable.
Someone else can do a more in depth [more hours]of this players sonics as I am bringing the 5900 back.
Thanks for your time and evaluation!

I have both the sony dvp s9000es and the denon A11 same as the US. 5900.I have found the sony to be tempremental in playing sacd discs some it likes others it rejects,but as a player I think it is very good in both cd and sacd,and I can compare the cd standard to my reference player the mark levinson 37.I have used my levinson 360s dac on both units and on an a and b listening there is not much in it.
As to the denon its early days to make any malor comments,but one point I would make on the video is that even with its dvi and scan feature it still is not much better than my proceed md transport and that is 4 years old.So much for progress
ears,what movies did you have a problem with??
was it with only a few or with all.and how many movies did you try out?i'm only asking cause i'm looking to buy a new player within the week
You should try Indestructible when Bruse Wills is opening the door to find the bound girls.
Its real dark...and you can see a dark green blob towards the middle bottom of the screen.

There are also lists of other movies that show MB at AVS.
I tried a 3910...and it had less MB...but several QC issues and it was lacking for audio also....and has a cheaper build.
I have since seen MB on all players that use the 2310 dcdi chip...and have moved on to an Onkyo SP1000.
Not only does the Onkyo not have any MB also offers a superior build..smoothest dvd based transport I have ever seen..and it also has superior video and audio.
I have owned the 5900 for a couple of years now. I have never seen anything like ears has descibed in the video.
I believe the 5.1 Audio is also excellent for a Universal Player.
I also own the latest APL 3910 Denon which I use strickly for 2 channel.
Ozzy....this is a known fact...the 3910 also has MB because of its 2310 dcdi chip.
Denon admited this....yet used the same exact chip for thje 3910.
As far as audio...the 5910 does not even match the Onkyo SP 1000 in all available professional and personal comparisons.

I am sure your modded 3910 sounds nice though.
I have never actually heard the Onkyo. I have read that it is a fine Universal player. I considered buying it but I was thinking of having the audio modded and no one seems to do any modding with the Onkyo.
Instead, I kept the Denon 5900 as a dedicated DVD player and bought the APL Denon 3910 for serious 2 channel listening.
I just dont think the Denon has the Video problem as you descibed. At least if there is a problem it is so minor that I have never paid attention to it.The audio seems to be fine for Movies and the occasional SACD/DVDA

For what its worth I am using the Denon DVI out and it is plugged into a Shunyata Hydra 8 on a dedicated circuit along with my Sony LCD TV.

Sounds like you are happy with the change, enjoy your player.
I may pick one up to try sometime. may not have the MB problem with your particular you can go to a search on MB.....and Denon 5900/3910 and you will find 100's(and I am being generous here) of people who do have the problem.....most do have it on there display...and its not limited to Denon players as its also a problem with any other 2310 chipped player from all brands including the very latest Panasonic,Oppo,Samsung.Zenith or any other brand that uses the 2310 chip.

I had a Modwright 9000 with all options including upgrade and very expensive Jensen capacitors in the power well as Blackgates and bybees ect....and the 1000 was just as good stock.

There is a reason that nobody offers mods...the 1000 doesn't need them stock.

Evs and Reference were both interested in modding the 1000 when it was first out.....except nobody would send them one.

Having owned two 3910's and two 5900's...I can agree that they DO need mods as stock they sound sterile and way too digital like all the other Denon dvd based players I have owned.
When I can get it to read a disc, My Parts connection modded 5900 has super SACD sound and the best video I have seen as of yet. These machines have reliability problems and the controls and settings are not user friendly.