Opinions: Marantz DV-12S1 vs Pioneer Elite 45a

Well, I've pretty much narrowed down my search to these two.

I know it may seem like an odd comparison, but from what I've read the performance of the Pioneer DV-47a and 45a are pretty similar in both the audio and video arena, such that I can't justify the price differential(unless I had an Elite 47i Receiver with that cool new digital interlink =P)

Anyway, I've got a predominantly Marantz system now, and the prices on used DV-12S1's are coming way down, sometimes under $1k if you are lucky. Although the Marantz suffers from a lack of SACD playback in comparison with the Pioneer, the ultra-high build quality, etc of the Marantz and the bargains to be had... make up the difference to me in many ways, especially since I don't even own any SACDs or DVD-As right now. And I'm primarily looking for a really good DVD progressive video deck anyway, so that's a primary concern.

So... that being said. Any opinions between the two, especially in regard to video quality and audio CD playback? For example, does the Marantz have the chroma-bug, or any other gotchas I'm unaware of? Is it worth the extra $400 or so for the Marantz over the 45a?

Thanks in advance!

Oh... and any thoughts on how the Marantz will compare with newer mid/high-end players like the new Philips 963 are appreciated.

I don't mind buying into ~2 year old "reference" gear like the DV-12S1 as long as the new stuff like the Philips 963 doesn't perform well beyond the ~$400 premium in price the Marantz represents.

So any thoughts or experience on how well the DV-12S1 compares with some of the upcoming combo/universal players, especially in video performance is appreciated.

I'm hoping that since this was Marantz's "reference" line, and it's a DVD player primarily, it's video performance should even be on par with the newest players... is that a safe assumption?

I am using the DV-12S1 player for both DVD and CD playback. I can only say it is outstanding both for video and sound. I am using a Purist component video cable directly into my 30" Aquos LCD tv and the clarity and color saturation are jaw-dropping. The sound quality is fantastic - clean, controlled.

For CD output it plays every format except for SACD. For the money you can't beat this.
the dv47a has twice the sample rate and uses 12 bit words , as compared to the 45a .
The DV45A and the DV47A use the same AUDIO D/As...192KHz/24 bit...three of them. The 47A VIDEO D/A is 108MHz/12 bit...whereas the 45A is 54MHz/10 bit. If your main interest is audio, the 45A is obviously the sensible choice. The 47A would theoretically perform better in the Video area, but you might need a High Definition monitor to see the difference.

Also, for audio, you need SACD capability which the Marantz reportedly lacks. Audio quality wise, I don't think there is much to choose between DVD-A and SACD, but you need both if you want to find a decent selection of discs to buy.
The DV45A and the DV47Ai use the same AUDIO D/As, etc. So if your main interest is audio, the 45A is a sensible choice. However, having heard both (stock version) side by side in a hi-res set up in a dealer's shop, the 47Ai was better overall to my ears - significantly IMO in transparency and weight across CD, DVD-A, SACD. Even if you don't really care for the video section, The 47Ai has better audio. The tough question is whether you would pay almost double for the 47Ai. The 45A is great value universal player. The 47Ai is less so.

I would look at the Philips 963 if I were you. I thought it is better for SACD. I was distinctly underwhelmed by the Pioneer's SACD section, although the DVD-A section seems to show some potential.