Looking for killer DVD/CD player for 2 channel

It's time to bite the bullet and buy a multi-format cd/dvd video/audio player for my 2 channel theater.

What should I be looking at.

Current audio setup:
Talon Khorus X.

Next equipment Maybe Von Schweikert VR4SR
Maybe higher watt amp/pre-amp

Open to ideas. Not interested in flashy, bright sound.
Criteria is natural, real, fast and lively.

Me too,also 2 channel setup for music and movies ...looking for balanced outputs also.Are there any SACD/CD/DVD players with balanced outputs ? Sorry,for jumping in on your question.
The Esoteric DV 50 is a pretty good choice. There are others, but this is a good match with a BAT front end. Also hits your sound criteria...
Dear Lakefrontroad:
I own an Arcam 27A which I bought used on the 'Gon.
It's a cd, dvd video AND dvd audio.
It's awesome.
Check out the reviews posted on the internet.
Theta Compli, phenomenal as a CD transport.
I read a lot about the Marantz dv9500 dvd-sacd player before I bought itEverything was true what was said about it.The quality of it's Cd sound is amasing and it's easy woth $1500-$2000 alone.I'm use it with Classe ssp 30mk2 and JM Lab Elektra speakers.The quality of the sound is perfect in every way.If it would be ML or Krell or BAT,it would sell for $5000.I think is worth to try it,before you go any further money wise!Sorry about my English,I'm still working on it.The Marantz need a little break time,but it sounded excellent right out of the box.
Good luck,Tibor
Bluebull, the Esoteric has fully balanced outs for 2 channel. The 2 channel output board is much much better the the 5.1 outputs and the xlr outs do sound better than the rca's.
I'm using the Meridian G91. A very good machine.
I am using an Onkyo SP1000, it is built like a tank & plays all formats. I am using it only as a transport because I am using my Bemchmark as a stand alone pre-amp. It sounds very smooth & natural.
I asked this question to a friend of mine. I was surprised by his answer.

He said, "wait for the next generation of players and buy a $150 unit. It will be obsolete in six months."

Is he right?
Check out the threads about the modified Denon units. Having salivated at your two systems, I think this would be an interesting direction for you to explore for that type of player. Good luck.

Maineiac is right. In particular, check out the APL Denon 3910. There are a couple threads on Audiogon and several threads on the APL HiFi website Forum that review it. Alex Paychev uses the chasiss, transport and DSP from the Denon 3910; all other parts are according to his own design. It plays SACD/CD/DVD-A/DVD. You can order it with RCA and/or balanced outputs. Multi-channel is also an option. I own the APL Denon 3910 with the new AKM DACs. It is very natural sounding; its realism is jaw-dropping; it is detailed without being analytic; it has extended highs without any digital glare; unlike most digital it's soundstage has great depth; it's macro and micro transients and dynamics are excellent. You can read the reviews for additional detail. It is great on both CD and SACD. I do not have any DVD-A discs to try. Obsolescence hasn't been an issue with APL. When there is an improvement, you only pay for the upgrade.

Best Regards,
I agree with Jfrech, the DV-50 is sort of the Porsche of Universal Players. It may not be the best, but it is a solid and reliable benchmark of all around high performance. I have gone through a lot of players and ended up back with the DV-50. It is a bargain at $3K.

Three things to keep in mind though; 1) Not all multi-channel players have adjustable levels on their multi-channel outputs. Unless you are running all the same speakers equidistant from the listening spot and all the same amps, you'll likely need to adjust the level of some of the channels to get the sound correct. Many multi-channel pre/pros just have a straight pass-through with no adjustability. I don't think the Compli has this because I think Theta expects you to use their other gear along with it, which does. To the best of my recollection, same goes for the Primare DVD30, the Simaudio Orbiter, and the Bel-Canto PLayer.

2) Also there are bass management adjustments. Not all players have it and those that do, some work for SACD and not for DVD-A…or is it the other way around?

3) Then finally there is time alignment, which compensates for having speakers that are not all equidistant from your listening spot. Some players have it and others don’t, and again, sometimes it works for DVD-A and not for SACD…or is it the other way around?

All this before you even hear one! And they do sound different, even as transports. It is a confusing adventure that I am glad is over for me for now. It is so hard to keep track of that I ended up making a spreadsheet with each player’s attributes because I thought my head was going to explode.

I wrote a long thread (longer than this!) at the link below that describes part of my painful journey:


Good luck…and I really mean it.
From my experience I would also recommend the modified Denon players, particularly the Exemplar and APL. There is some disagreement about which is better in an absolute sense (naturally!), and I think both are wonderful. VERY natural and analog sounding.