One option would be do add a high-quality external DAC to the Denon. I'm using a Rotel 1060 DVD as a transport for CD's with a Benchmark DAC-1 and it's a very nice combination.
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You need to audition all you can, of course. In those auditions be sure you compare your Denon to an Arcam DVD 78 and DVD 79. I personally find them (by far) the best at audio and DVD combined in the price range. They can be had used for around $600 to 1k respectively (new, 1K and 1.7K respectively). The DVD 79 gives you a DVI connection and the ability to play DVD Audio, but otherwise is pretty similar in quality to the DVD 78.
I spoke with a dealer in Milwaukee who said they carried Arcam for about 3 month and dropped them due to issues with quality control. He claimed a very high percentage of their stock came in defective. Has anyone else ever heard of a higher than normal repair/defect history asociated with Arcam? Is this a recent trend? etc... or is this fella smokin something and perhaps not telling me the whole story (e.g. did Arcam maybe drop them instead?).
Nope ..that former dealer is telling the truth. I watched my friend go through hell with his Arcam. It was returned to him three times over several months with the same issue. He finally got the company to replace the entire unit. Of course, this went on at least 6 months before they gave in.I'm not in any hurry to go through that with a $2600 player. Hopefully the problems are fixed now. The player is terrific, minus the garbage customer service.