Onkyo DV-SP1000 Universal Player

High hype, reviews seem to be gushing. Has anyone auditioned this player or it's sister model from Integra? What do you think?
There have been a few on the board here who have gushed about this player

Best under $2000.00 : Denon,Marantz,Onkyo,Pioneer?
Marantz DV-9500: Anyone Listened to it or Bought?
For inside pix of Onkyo DV-SP1000 universal.....
I used to own an Onkyo DV-SP1000.
First, it has by far the best build quality and remote control of any universal player under $2,500.00! It weighs about 27lbs out of the box! The player is also gorgeous and operates very smoothly and quickly.
The picture is also outstanding in my opinion. Some people complained of a lip-sync issue with the audio and video on certain movies. I never noticed this problem with my unit at all.
Audio wise, it sounded excellent. Great detail, openness, smoothness, and natural warmth in spades! Especially on SACD, and on Red-book.
It was just a tad too sweet and laid-back for my own personal tastes, especially on DVD-Audio. To anyone who's musical tastes are more on the slightly sweet and laid-back side of neutral, I would recommend this player without hesitation!
But, if you prefer a slightly brighter, livelier, and more forward sound, I would have to recommend something else.
I hope this helps.
Lanny (and anyone else who may be able to help), the thing that gets me about the SP1000 and the Marantz DV9500 is the almost non-existant user feedback comparing the two for audio use (Redbook and HiRes). I've looked both here and on AVSForum, and most often the comparison between these two comes as pointers to the French and German web reviews. But there are very few (if any!) detailed comparisons by real users in this regard. There are tons of comments about how great the SP1000 is, but without any kind of detailed reporting against any of the other contenders it makes it hard for anyone else to guage what that really means.

I'm frankly not too keen on taking the European (or any) published reviews as money in the bank. I find I get a better sense of what people think when it's in an environment like this, where questions and further study can be addressed.

Note that I'm not suggesting either of these machines can surpass a dedicated high end 2 channel machine, but for those who want to find out how these two (they both seem to be the current top contenders for music in this price range, IMO) compare for musical reproduction the info is very scarce.
Very good point TonyPTony. I hope to see more. (why this rig has me so curious, I'm not sure...)

Lanny: What are you using instead of your SP1000 now? Curious. Looking at your thread(s) back in November you seemed smitten. Thanks for the feedback!
Right now I am using an older Pioneer DV-47A.
I am ordering a Toshiba SD-4960 universal player modified by Reference Audio Mods, with all the mods, and should have it in a few weeks.
Lanny, I looked at RAM's website. They seem to have it all covered, but one thing I did not see (and didn't expect to) was any mention of DAC replacement. I'm of the feeling that along with all these great analog and PS mods, the digital section has its own issues that may need to be addressed. If the DACs are not of the very highest quality then is it worth doing all this other stuff? I don't know what the 4960 uses, but at about $120 retail it's probably not using the high end line of BBs, Wolfsons, or AKMs. I'd be curious to hear RAM's view on whether their full blown out mods on different machines have significantly different results relative to the DACs that are used.
Interesting point.
E-mail Douglas Jesse at referenceaudiomods.com and ask him these questions.
Let me know what he tells you.
I would like to know this myself.
I shot him a note.

I don't mean to suggest a RAM'ed 4960 will not sound good (or even great). Additional searching shows me they have quite a fine reputation for this kind of work, as do many of the modders often mentioned here on AgoN. But I go back to my own experience of years ago, when I had my EAD DSP-7000 upgraded to a Mk.II. That mod replaced the original DACs with BB PCM63 'K' series DACs (among the best at the time). The original DACs were good, but the replacement made a huge improvement in the quality of reproduction. It leads me to suspect that making extensive mods on a player or DA converter will ultimately be limited by the quality of the digital section.
I still have my sp 1000 and still think its a bargain even at list price for all format playback as well as build quality.
IMO...the sp 1000 is exactly neutral and the Denon and Pioneer players are the ones that are on the brighter side of neutral.
You won't find a more musical and balanced sounding universal for anywhere near the sp 1000's price.
Besides a 3910 and 5900, I also compared the sp 1000 to a RAM modded Philips 963sa and a Modwright signature 9000.
The RAM modded 963sa was no competition for the 1000, and the Sig 9000 had maybe 10% better redbook playback whith the sa-cd playback being closer yet.
Of course on picture quality, none of the above are equal to the sp 1000.