Input on DVD players

Here is 3 possibles(all single play units I suppose) in no particular order Harmon Kardon DVD 27, Sony DVP NS9100 ES, and Onkyo SP1000 THX. Any input or comments on these units will be appreciated. I did a search here on all and came up with nothing. If I choose one of these units(I'll be using an older Onkyo TX 902 amp) I'll be using it for awhile so I want to be satisfied with or get the most unit I can for the time being.

The Sony and the Onkyo are great players, however you would be paying top dollar for functionality you can't use.

The Sony is know for it's excellent SACD playback when connected with a Sony Digital Receiver via its iLink connection. This creates a signal that stays in the digital domain all the way to the speaker. There is no D to A to D to A conversion as there may be in another type of setup. It is supposed to be very good.

Also, these players are all upsampling units that require a n HDTV w/HDMI or DVI connection to display their upsampled video output. Do you have an HDTV in the listening area?

Any of these players would probably be great, but you are paying a premium for them. You might want to consider the next step down in these lines so you are not paying for features you can't use.

For less than the price of any of those players, you could get somthing like the Sony DVP-NC555ES. It is a very well built player that does CD/SACD?DVD. It is also an excellent platform for modifications. SACDmods does a very affordable mod on this unit and it has gotten great reviews.

Regardless of which model you choose, if you plan to buy Sony or Onkyo, call Oade Brothers ( They typically have THE BEST prices of any authorized dealers. Doug Oade is a great guy. Send him an e-mail with your requirements and he will likely recommend the best fit and it won't necessarily be the most expensive.


Ruebent I don't have HDTV yet. I kinda already had a player in mind from other suggestions. My anniversary just past and my wife asked what would I like and a player came to mind. So she told me to find one and let her know she would like to get me something nice that would last me awhile. That's when I came up with those 3. I'll look into the Sony and check out Oade Brothers. I'll probabably get a player myself and let her buy me a dress suit and that will make her happy.
Making the wife happy sounds like a good idea to me!


Ruebent, your comment:

"when connected with a Sony Digital Receiver via its iLink connection. This creates a signal that stays in the digital domain all the way to the speaker."

just wanted to mention that in order for that to be the case, it would have to be an ACTIVE speaker with a DAC connected to do that. If that is the case, then you are correct.
If using POP (Plain Old Passive) :-) speakers, The signal stays in the digital domain leaving the SACD player and uses the DAC in the receiver, but the receiver outputs an amplified analog signal that drives a PASSIVE speaker.
Good listening!

You are correct (sort of). Even in an active speaker, ultimately the driver is presented an analog signal. However, digital technology is changing the way we traditionally think of the signal path from the digital source, all the way to the input of the speaker (final output of the amp).

If you want to read some interesting information about Sony's implementation of digital signal processing, take a look at the link below. Of course, it is technical data (sales propaganda) from Sony, but it is interesting none the less!

In theory, Sony's implementation of DVD/SACD/CD w/iLink (direct DSD output)->Digital amp (DSD signal amplification) should be the ultimate in digitally sourced music reproduction, however we all know that such theory doesn't always hold up.

BTW, I own the Sony STR-DA5000ES digital receiver and find it to be excellent sonically vs. the 10 or so other HT receivers that I've owned in the past. It is not of the same sonic quality as my dedicated 2-channel system, but it is pretty good. I haven't heard the Sony DVP-NS9100ES (iLink enabled) transport and Sony STR-DA7100ES receiver, but I'm very curious about the combination. In theory, it should very very good when playing a digital source, especially SACD.