Sony 9000ES vs. Sony 999ES vs. Denon DVD-2900....


I need an opinion from someone who has already used at least one of these players. Over the last month, I have decided to withdraw about $1,000.00 from one of my money market accounts with anticipation of receiving my tax refund when if finally arrives at any time. What I plan to do with all of that money is buy me a very good DVD Player that is better in audio than it is in video (I am planning to use this player in my audio system only..... so video quality will not be much of an issue this time around. But I may buy me a Philips DVDQ50AT in order to upgrade both my Pioneer Elite DV-37 and my Toshiba SD-2700 later on this year.... and during that time.... then and only then will video quality will become a big issue), and then either spend what is left over on either a phono stage or a subwoofer. But the phono stage and/or the subwoofer will be another issue altogether when I get around to purchasing those items. And then more than likely, the phono stage may be the next item on the shopping list, as at least, I already know which one I will be buying when the digital player issue is finally resolved. On the other hand, I have to listen to some subwoofers and hear them in conjunction with my current speaker system before making a final selection to buy one. But those are different issues entirely, and they will be addressed after the digital player issue is resolved.

Anyway...... I am already familiar with the Sony DVP-S9000ES as far as audio, video and build quality is concerned, and as such, that player is still in the running. I am also SOMEWHAT familiar with the DVP-S9000ES' replacement, the Sony DVP-NS999ES, but not to the extent like I am with the preceeding DVP-S9000ES. But now, I find that a new player has recently appeared on the market, and it is drawing some interest from me as well. And that player is Denon's new universal digital player..... the DVD-2900. The differences between the Sony DVP-S9000ES, the Sony DVP-NS999ES and the Denon DVD-2900 is that the Sony DVP-S9000ES and Sony DVP-NS999ES are DVD/CD/SACD Players (with the older 9000ES being a two channel player and the more current 999ES being a multi-channel one) and the Denon DVD-2900 is a true universal digital player (in that unlike the Sonys that are also under consideration, the Denon plays ALL kinds of discs.... including DVD-A, DVD-R [DVD-Video and Audio (?)], DVD-RW [DVD-Video], and Video CD as well as regular CDs, CD-R and CD-RW, SACD and MP3). I may also have to realize that the Denon DVD-2900 may be just an updated version of the preceeding DVD-2800 and DVD-2800Mk2 machines that doesn't have SACD playback capability.

Now........ what I want to know is that in the past, did any of you have any experiences with the preceeding DVD-2800 and DVD-2800Mk2 machines??? If so, how was your experience with these machines with references made to audio quality???? The fit and finish of the machine itself???? The fluidity and smoothness of the operation???? The performance and quietness of the machine??? And the reliability of these machines???? Primarily..... I am interested in the audio quality of these machines only. I have heard some comments made about these machines hear at "Audiogon" before that although, the machine(s) may be of steller quality (given its price class of course) when it comes to the sound quality, but the video quality isn't quite up to snuff. And if that turns out to be the case, then that is alright with me since the DVD-2900 I may eventually buy will be used as an audio player only, so its video performance will not play any significance or influence my buying decision one bit. Instead, I am going to take what any of you may say about the Denon DVD-2800 or DVD-2800Mk2 and apply them to the DVD-2900. I have recently found out about this player in the current issue of Stereophile Guide to Home Theater, and I have went to Denon's website and downloaded the product literature. From what I see and read in the product literature, I am pretty impressed with the apparant build quality of this machine, and the fact that it will also be priced at about $800.00 makes it an attractive (if not entirely enticing) option.

I have also read reviews on other "universal" machines that has came out over the last two years (namely..... the Pioneer Elite DV-47A [but have yet to find/read one on its replacement...... the Pioneer Elite DV-47i], the Pioneer Elite DV-45, the Integra DPS-8.3, and more recently..... the Marantz DV8300), and so far, I have been pretty disappointed by what I have read. And being that the Denon DVD-2900 is also such a player, based on what I have read on and about universal players so far, that may cause me to put up a red flag and wait and see as to whether someone will eventually do a review on the DVD-2900, and then I will preceed with caution then before investing almost $1,000.00 into this player. And then, when I am spending this kind of money, I don't intend to be disappointed. So.... with that said then, that may be the "ONE" reason as to why I may be pretty hesitant to buy one at this time. And if I should come to the point that I will decide against getting one, then I may go ahead and see if I could hunt down and locate me a used Sony DVP-S9000ES in almost mint condition, or I may go ahead, bite the bullet and spend the extra cash (which will be MUCH more than $800.00..... more like $1,000.00-to-$1,100.00) and get the newer Sony DVP-NS999ES.

But what I really want to know is has anyone have any kind of previous experience(s) with the previous Denon DVD-2800 or DVD-2800Mk2 in terms of sound quality??? And if so, what were those experiences like???? Did you feel positively or negatively about this those players??? And were you impressed with them as well???

I won't bother to list my system here this time around. If you want to know what my system contains, you can just click under the word "systems" under my name, and then click on "High Resolution/Small Room System (Updated)" to see the components that are already in my system.

Thanks in advance for any responses or answers I may get!!!!!

Happy Listening........

you can get a new 999es for cheaper than your estimate.
I own a 9000es, and I like it.
Sorry, no info on the Denon.
IF you're in the market for 999es, check out
I've bought stuff from them for years, good people.
good luck- there's stuff on DVD-A that I'd love to be able to hear, but I bought a 9000es to tide me over until the dust settles.

I have owned the Denon 2800 mkI and the Sony DVP-S9000ES. If your goal is to have a universal player for high def. digital audio AND redbook CD playback, you may want to look elsewhere IMHO. Of course, it depends on you system and how "resolving" it is. In my system, both of these players were far inferior to the dedicated CD players that I had at the time (Balanced Theta Miles/Cary CD-308). Both of these players produced a narrow soundstage and there was no "life" to the music (redbook CD playback).

That said, if excellent redbook playback is not the goal, I would choose the Sony out of those two. It just "felt" better to me. I liked the Sony's ergonomics and it has that cool drawer! Video was great to me, but my TV is not High Def.

You need to decide your priorities before buying. Any of the players you listed will get you some version of high def. digital audio playback. Which is more important to you, DVD-A, SACD or both? How important is redbook CD playback? What is your current reference for CD playback? If it is a high end modern dedicated CD player, you may be disappointed in the redbook playback from any affordable DVD based player.

If I were to revisit this today, I would buy a quality dedicated CD player and an inexpensive DVD-A/SACD/Universal player like the Philips 563 or cheap Sony SACD. Just MHO.



Thanks for the insight. I really haven't thought about the two player method. But now that you have brought it up. If I am going to going to do the two player method, then what I may end up doing is start looking for a dedicated CD Player like a used Meridian 506.24 (which I may get for around $1,000.00 or less) or a new player like an Arcam CD72T (for $900.00), and then I may look at an inexpensive DVD/CD/SACD Player like the Philips model you just mentioned (actually..... the one I may have in mind is the DVD963SA), one of the Sonys (the DVP-NS755V). If given a choice between DVD-A and SACD, I think I would be joining the SACD camp.

By the way, I have a solid-state based separates system that is fairly resolving (KEF/Adcom/Magnum Dynalab/MIT). Hope this helps some.

Thanks for the insight.


I have not heard the Denon but own the Sony 999es. The SACD is multi-channel as opposed to the 9000es which is 2-channel which you already pointed out. If you're a Pink Floyd fan, you have to go multi-channel IMO, thus the 999es would be the way to go. I find the player to make an excellent transport for redbook and use the coax digital out to link to my DAC. The Sony really shines on SACD and the video is top notch. I bought mine new for $900 so is competitive with the Denon. I have always been a little leary of universal players in that I tend to feel they do all things but not all things well (if you know what I mean). The redbook on the Sony is good (96/192) but not as good as the sound I get through my DAC (IMO). If you are leaning toward SACD, I would go with the Sony and upgrade the redbook sound with a good DAC at a later date (although you may find the stock redbook is fine). The 999es got great reviews in the Stereophile Guide to Home Theater and they felt the SACD playback to be better than the 9000es and definately better than the Pioneer DV-47i. Do try it out.

Okay..... where did you get your Sony DVP-NS999ES for $900.00???? Is this the place called "Oades Brothers"???

Or was it somewhere else???

And if I get this player, it will be used as an audio player only, and in the context of a two channel audio system, which is why I am still so high up on the Sony DVP-S9000ES.

But then again, what I could do is get me a nice DAC to go with a Sony DVP-NS999ES and just use the front two channels only???

Do you think that would be a viable option????

I got mine from a seller on eBay. It was advertised as "new in box" and it was. The seller is located in FL and had extremely good (and plentiful) feedback. The same article I reference above, the reviewer felt the redbook performance to be slightly better with the 999es over the 9000es. Like I said, the 999es is good but my DAC is better. Then again, my DAC cost 2X what the Sony cost so... It does make a nice transport though if you do get a DAC so should be good for a future upgrade.