Pioneer 563 universtal DVD player for less $200

Does anyone have any experience with this player? How does it compare with other universal players?

I am looking for a temporary solution. Denon 2900 was original my pick but I don't want to deal with its bass management issue. Plus I want to wait for a DVI output as well.
Well, since there was no response, I went out and bought one to try at home. Best Buy had it for $170+tax. Here is my current setup:
Preamp Anthem AVM-20
Amp Nakamichi PA-5
Speaker: Epos-11
Sub: HSU VTF-3 rosewood
(still selecting home-theater speaker right now)

Overall, Pioneer 563 is easy to setup with Anthem AVM-20. Bass management seems to be working ok for me. I will be doing test signal next weekend. Since I only have stereo+sub right now, I used Norah Jones's stereo SACD and regular CD for comparison.

SACD Direct-pass through sounds clean, details and analog-like. CD version has less air and instrument body.

Switching over to DSP bass management on Anthem AVM-20 shows the bass is very extended and well controlled. The less-digital sound is still on the SACD version.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the ability of the $200 SACD player. Will buy a few DVD-A and try them out in 24/192kHz stereo sound.

Will try out on the Avalon Radian HC/Aragon stereo system next weekend. As well as the Dynaudio Audience 52/Marantz sT-17 bedroom system.
Well, I for one am interested in your test results. If there is an inexpensive way to dabble in hi-rez, I want to hear about it. What other digital source(s) are you comparing with the Pioneer?

I am going to try using the Pioneer as a transport to up-sample CD output to the Anthem AVM-20's internal. It suppose to be able to do something close to 20/88.2. Not really sure, don't have the manual in front of me.

To me, the best test is to compare to analog recording instead. I am going to buy a SACD Miles Davis Kind of Blue to compare to 180g LP recording. I still have a VPI Aries/JMW-12/Benz Micro Ruby analog setup.

To me the test is not to say SACD/DVD-A is better or worse than analog or other CD player. It's just very interesting to see how a $200 DVD player can stack up to a $5k analog rig. Nice to finally see some real progress on the digital front.

Also, there are still too many variables in this high res DVD music format. I don't think it's wise to invest more than $1k. Essentially these player will be worthless in less than 2 years, considering the possibilities of SACD-2, bass management, DVI video output option and etc.
I was looking for a hybrid DVDA/SACD player. Did not want to drop the big bucks since technology changes so rapidly. Best buy is practically giving these away. I paid $149.99 before tax 3/21/04 Nyack, NY, and they were throwing in any SACD or DVDA in stock as a freebie - awesome. My Toshiba SD-5700 just bit the dust and this thing was so inexpensive, I figured even if I had to wait 24 hours to get the Tosh repaired - what the f--k, let's hook this puppy up and get the Tosh repaired when I feel like it - it's still sitting there... I love the Pioneer - great video, SACD and DVDA. Took me like 5 minutes to set up and I was off to the races. My feeling on all things digital is that the improvement one can expect and/or hear as you move up the price pyramid, gives far less return or bang for the buck than almost any other component - speakers, cartridges, headphones, amps, preamps, you name it. Hey, for the price of like 6 DVDA's or SACD's - go pick one of these up at Best Buy. (I have no involvement whatsoever with Best Buy or Pioneer).

Current system (in this room) consists of Meridian 508.20, B & W 801 series III, B & K 307, Krell KSA 100, ARC SP9, Toshiba SD-5700 DVD, Yamaha T-70 tuner, B & W sub, center, surrounds.
Any audiophiles have opinions on this player?

I hear tell that a lot of audiophiles are jumping on this player's bandwagon. Now, I may or may not go see about this player. I could always return it if it isn't the greatest thing since sliced bread, but the thing that holds me back from being interested is that I already have one more CD player than I need.

I have one friend who called me the other night and couldn't stop raving about it. Is it actually a mirage, or does this player represent a real force?
Configure 563 in direct mode only. No bass management and the sound is pretty god.
I have been thinking of replacementing my current DVD player for some time now. When I first built my system two years ago my plan was to spend extra money for a high quality DVD player that can actually play CD's well. I thought the NAD T562 was it with HDCD decoding. I must admit that it does sound good but not as good as the recent used Linn Genki I bought after hearing a friends in my system. I also noticed that the NAD had some problems reading DVD's. I have been told the tolerance of the machine is too tight and is a common problem with expensive players. Since I have a good CD player I decided to look for a universal player. I assumed the Pioneer Elite or Denon players would fit the bill. Then I saw Best Buy had the Pioneer DV563 on sale for 229.00CAN with a 30 day no questions return policy so I picked one up. The cables I used to hook the unit up actually cost more than the unit and I believe is a key factor for this thing so sound good. I also noticed that the unit did lack a little in the low end so I ordered a set of vibrapods that increased the bass response. At the end of 30 day return period I decided to keep this thing and here is what I think of it. SACD stereo is O.K. Typical pioneer sound and doesn’t come close to the Genki in my system playing reguler CD's. SACD multi-channel surround sounds pretty neat. I did notice DVD-A sounds great and it’s cool to have all the extra stuff (pictures, discography, lyrics, etc.), which is common with DVD-A disks. I don't know if it is the format or the player but DVD-A's sound quality is much more fuller and detailed than SACD. DVD video is also O.K. I tried it in progressive and interlaced modes but the NAD looks and sounds quite a bit better (coax to reciever). The DV563 has played everything I've thrown at it with no problems and its JPEG slide show features is great to have. Also the GUI (user interface) software is excellent.
The most important things with this unit are:
Good cables.
Use Vibrapods or another vibration damping products.
Set the unit to fixed output (this bypasses the ridiculously high crossover settings for the subwoofer). You must have an A/V receiver with bass management on the 5.1 input and if you don’t I would forget the DV563 all together.

In the end I decided to keep both the NAD DVD player and the Pioneer DV563. I figured I can’t go wrong with the price and since I have more money invested in SACD and DVD-A disks than the units worth I better keep it. If you looking to introduce 5.1 music to your system I think you would have to spend quite a bit more money to get significant sound quality improvement. With only a handfull of selections available in hi resolution that may not be a good idea at this point.
Equipment used
Nad T761 A/V amp
Nad T562 DVD player
Linn Genki CD player
Pioneer DV563
2 - Linn LK-85’s amps in active mode
Pair of Linn Ninka speakers in active mode with the 2 - LK-85’s for L/R fronts
Mordaunt-short center, subwoofer, & surrounds
Linn black and silver interconnects
Linn k400 speaker wire
Here's an update on my experiences with the Pioneer.

My friend who uses one in his system came to the conclusion that it makes absolutely no deep bass. However, he was able to correct this situation with a couple of mods he did. He DynaMatted the case, and also replaced the caps in the power supply(if I remember correctly). He is quite happy with it, and uses it in his main system despite the fact that he has a bunch of Shanlings(2), Cambridges(3), a Music Hall, and others around.

In his system now, the player seems to be making very good sound to my ears.