Review: Insignia NS-DVD1-A DVD player / Insignia Is Da Bomb

Budget Esoterica Review Magazine
February 2017 Issue

Insignia Is Da Bomb

Insignia made a nice compact DVD player back in 2009 that i would like to review. This is not your everyday wimpy 
two pound player. The Insignia NS-DVD1-A DVD player weighs in at a solid 3.09 pounds. That doesn't sound like much, but it comes in a tiny silver box that measures approximately 9 x 2 x 10 inches. It feels very well built and would not look out of place among high-end stereo components. There are two reasons why i like this particular player. Reason number one is that it comes with a detachable power cord, allowing you to use your favorite aftermarket audiophile power cord. Reason number two, and very applicable to this particular review system, is that it has a volume control controllable by the remote, which allows you to plug it directly into your favorite power amp without the use of a preamp. In my case i used a B & K power amp. I got good results both in the video department as well as the audio department. 

Reference Discs:

1. The Party DVD with Peter Sellers. Chapter 10.
2. Melody Gardot, My One And Only Thrill, track 3, "Who Will Comfort Me".
3. Johnny Lytle Trios, Got That Feeling / Moon Child, track 5, "The Breeze And I".

Regarding video quality, the colors seemed to be very natural. While watching the movie, "The Party", in the beginning of chapter 10, the bartenders jacket was a well saturated and vivid red color. The plants in the background had multi-shades of green. When the singer with the guitar, played by actress Claudine Longet starts singing i noticed excellent, natural flesh color. Her complexion looked very clean and smooth. The guitar that she was using also had a very natural "woody" look to it. Overall, i think the picture quality was very good. Regarding sound quality, and going back to the beginning of chapter 10, the saxophone had a slightly warm and mellow sound. At the same time you can hear party goers mumbling in the background. In the scene in the kitchen you can clearly hear the dishes clinking and the sound of water going through the nozzle hose in the sink. You can also hear a radio baseball game broadcast from 55 minutes and 24 seconds through to about 56 minutes and 41 seconds. When Claudine Longet is singing and playing the guitar, the vocals were clear, but they were a little thin sounding. The guitar seemed like it was "all there" , with good sounding string resonance and tone. At the end of the song , the clapping sounded natural and solid.

Before i review the selection from Melody Gardot, i would like to comment on the speakers i was using. The Paradigm Titan version 2 has a very high quality bass driver. I opened up the speaker backs and examined the bass drivers. They are very heavy, high quality cast iron drivers that look like they belong in a much more expensive speaker. Pair them with a good quality power amp, and you will get very, very nice bass response. The song, "Who Will Comfort Me", by Melody Gardot, will give you a good idea of what the Paradigm speakers are capable of. On track # 3, the bass was thumping with variable pitch tones. The vocals were up-front, pure sounding with good clarity. Rhythm and timing was superb. I really like the way the horns give an added "flair" to this song. 

While listening to Johnny Lytle , track # 5, the bass was really rumbling out of the speakers. Vibes were natural sounding , but a little one dimensional. The highs were crisp with good tone, maybe just slightly harsh. 

If you tweak the Insignia DVD player and use it with strong sounding cables, with a vibration control base, you can coax some pretty good sights and sounds from this cute little silver dvd player. Not audiophile quality, but surprising for the price , with good build quality and respectable video output. Remote controlled volume and a detachable power cord also round out this dvd player to make it a good buy in the used market. 

Reference Gear:

B & K power amp
Audiomagic XStream power cord
Burtman power cord used with dvd player
Ixos stereo interconnect
Qed speaker cable
Target FS50 speaker stands
Jefferson Memorial T-amp stand
Paradigm Titan V.2