Onkyo DV-SP1000 or Pioneer DV-59AVi?

Hi Guys,
I am putting together a relatively budget system for my Den, and I am looking at purchasing a great sounding universal player.
I have narrowed down my choices to either the Pioneer DV-59AVi or the Onkyo DV-SP1000.
I have briefly listened to the Onkyo, but not the Pioneer.
I like the idea of the Pioneer because of its solid reputation for reliability, Burr-Brown DAC's, and its reputation for good sonics and supposedly great video.
Being able to purchase it online in the $750.00 to $850.00 range delivered also helps!
I like the Onkyo because of its SOLID construction, great video, and according to the European press...great sonics.
On the other hand, I have read that some of the Onkyo's have a lip-sync issue, maybe some slight video noise, and the price is slightly high compared to the Pioneer.
I also don't know how good the Wolfson DAC's are in the Onkyo?
Has anyone out there owned both of these units, or compared them?
If so, could you tell me how they compare both sonically, and on video?
Please don't bring up the Denons or the Marantz DV-9500, as I have already ruled them out.
Thanks for your help guys!

I'm sure those are both good players and I have a friend that owns and loves the Pioneer. However, I'm looking for a player now too and I'm leaning toward the Sony DVP-NS999ES. Of course, it is not truely universal as it does not play DVD-A, but there is a major resurgence of interest in this player for both its sonic qualities and picture quality.

There was a recent thread here discussing the preference of the Sony over a ML 390S and other very expensive players for sonic qualities. Also, there are several recent threads on AVSforum speaking about the preference of the Sony over many/all of the new high end upscaling/HDMI players for video quality.

If you are at all interested in the Sony, I know an excellent Sony ES dealer that is selling it at a considerable discount and less than the lowest price I've ever seen for the Pioneer you mentioned.

Not trying to hijack the thread, but this renewed interest in this older player has got me thinkin'........

BTW, the dealer mentioned sells the Onkyo too and he is a tweak geek. He could likely give you the skinny on both players.


I'm sorry for bringing it up by why have you ruled out the denon's? I think you could get a modded denon for that price, that might be better than both.
From what I have heard and read from various sources, the Denons seem to have some quality control issues, some of them refuse to play CD's, and some seem to suffer from some slight macroblocking issues on certain video material.
These things are what made me rule out the Denons.
Audiogirl, have you read the review of the Denon 3910 on the Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity website? They do a very comprehensive review of all their players including technical measurements and comparisons. I have not provided the link to the tech comparisons here, but I'm sure you can easily find it.

Bottom line, they call the Denon 3910 "the current king of the hill at anywhere near this price range."
Even if it is "the current king of the hill at anywhere near this price range", I would not want to deal with the possible issues, I have read about, that I named above.
I have two local friends who also had numerous QC problems with the Denons. One wound up buying a used Esoteric DV-50 and the other wound up buying a used Arcam FMJ DV-27A.
Video via HDMI/DVI the SP-1000, 3910, and 59avi are very close and any one would do just fine - except the 3910 which uses the Faroudja 2310 that has "macroblocking" issues with some digital displays. Secrets of Home Theater explains this in their review. The SP-1000 also has had some lip synch issues reported. For audio, most people prefer the SP-1000 (from reading comments at AVS from those who listened to all three). Best bang for $$$ of the three is the 59avi. For audio you can get more for more $$$. For video, in most cases, more $$$ will get you the same or worse.
I also read on the AVS Forum that Kris Deering of Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity bought an Onkyo DV-SP1000 to mainly test its video, and found CUE [Chroma Upsampling Error] issues with the component video output on the 1000.
Which kinds of displays are most sensitive to macroblocking?
Which kinds of displays are most sensitive to CUE issues?
I have decided that I think I will purchase BOTH the Onkyo DV-SP1000 AND the Pioneer DV-59AVi and compare them head-to-head on video and on all the different formats, and then sell the one I like the least.
Thanks for all of your responses!

I've seen great "blowout" prices on the Pioneer here on A-goN. Have you found any great prices on the Onkyo? Just curious to see if it is priced in the realm of possibility for me.


The best price that I could find on the Onkyo 1000 was $1,499.00 + shipping at Onecall.com.
Has anyone out there found a lower price than that?

I would check with the folks at Oade Brothers. They had the best price I've ever seen on the Sony DVP-NS999ES and they are an Authorized dealer. Heck, they were even cheaper than e-Bay or the non-authorized "boiler room" dealers found via the various internet "price scraping" sites.

Oade is an Authorized dealer for Onkyo too. Last time I bought something from OneCall, it came shipped to me from......Oade Brothers! They must be cheaper if OneCall can buy from them and still provide a good price!

Also, Oade is a real brick and mortar store and Doug Oade is an Audiophile and mods many of the products he sells. He is a pretty straight shooter too. You might want to e-mail Doug and ask about the Onkyo or visit the forum on Oade's wed site. There has been some talk of the DV-SP1000 on the Oade forum.....



Been in your shoes, and ended up with the 3910!! NOTHING COMES CLOSE in its price range... I had an old sony, and started auditioning several players, and ended up with a shootout between the 59avi and 3910. In the store we tried it against a Pioneer Elite plasma, and a Sony XBR lcd RPTV...the clear winner in Picture Quality was the 3910! Much more details, less noise, very film-like. The 59avi did have more vibrant colors. Audiowise, we hooked it up to some Monitor Audios, and it wasnt even close...the 3910 was in a different league! This is my first Denon, and I must say I am impressed. Another thing to consider is obvioulsy the build quality...the 59avi looks like a little flemsy toy compared to the 3910.

Macroblocking occurs in certain displays I know, but not it mine, and I rather have a little MB than obvious Jaggies and some CUE problems as in the 59avi (see Hometheaterhifi.com for details).

I had heard a lot of good reviews on the SP1000, so I got one from my dealer and broght it home...to make a long story short, the PQ was not quite as good as the 3910, but the audio was slightly, VERY slightly, better. But, in my opinion, not worht the extra $$, so that sealed it for me.....the 3910 it is.

If you end up with the 59avi or SP1000, I think you will be very happy as well....both are EXCELLENT players, but you should definitely try out the 3910!! I will bet you a soda it will beat them both overall when you try it. Oh, and believe me, ALL players have problems people have reported...just that more people have denons, and thus, it seems as if it has more problems.

if you want more info, let me know....enjoy which ever player you end up with