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OPPO DV-980H Universal DVD/SACD Player - Price/Performance PLUS!

Oppo 980 HD“I should point out off the top that this is an audio review, though I may add a sidebar later about its video performance with one of our projectors. But it’s so hard to even countenance its removal from my audio system that I can’t even predict when it might happen, though when that time comes I’ll probably also compare it with the 970HD predecessor model…”

Meridian F80 Portable A/V System - Hy Sarick Looks at what Happens when High End Audio Meets High End Auto

Meridian F80

“A combined CD and DVD player, AM/FM receiver and sound system in a single convenient unit.” So says the introduction to this remarkable little AV system. Remember the aptly named “Boombox”, which was to be seen perching on the shoulders of urban youth? These moulded plastic monstrosities were often played at levels which caused grief to nearby unwilling listeners, as well as causing permanent hearing damage to the carrier…”

NAD Masters Series M55 Digital Disc Player and M3 Dual Mono Integrated Amplfier

NAD M3 Integrated Amplifier

“There is no question that they do look quite classic (more so than the previous Classic series they replace), and somewhat permanent, in a rather bank-like manner. Here’s how the elaborate brochure goes on to describe their build quality: “Mechanical construction is to a very high standard to assure a lifetime of trouble free use. With 2mm thick steel panels, combined with extruded aluminum and die cast zinc parts, the chassis forms an incredibly solid foundation to reduce air and structure born [sic] vibration from reaching any sensitive electronic components within. Specialized vibration damping feet employ silicon rubber to further isolate the chassis from vibration…”

Pioneer Elite System: PRO-1140 HD Plasma, VSX-84TX Receiver, DV-46AV Universal DVD Player

Pioneer Pro 1140 HD Plasma

“A company that still beats the drum for plasma while others cut and run, as our temporary prime minster would say, Pioneer has certainly made its statement in the quality of picture offered, and the progressive improvement since the introduction of these big screen flat panels. Price points have dropped at retail, though not quite so quickly as those of the competing technologies, for example, LCD, which has made a big charge in its various iterations by the different manufacturers, most recently Sharp, with its Aquos series. The Pioneer Elite PRO-1140HD TV/monitor is therefore a statement product in quality, if not in price, from Pioneer Elite…”

OPPO DV-970 Universal DVD/SACD Player

Oppo 970 HD

“A better mousetrap catches more mice, and the designers at OPPO seem to have started with that premise in this product’s development. The DV-970HD catches more design goals in its brief than most of its competitors, ranging from high quality multichannel audio to upsampled video from DVDs, with a surprising number of added features in between, both audio and video.”

Pioneer Elite DV-47A Multichannel DVD-A/SACD Player

Pioneer Elite DV-47A

“I’ve argued that unless all DVD and SACD players are like this one, both formats will fail, or at best limp along for a few years like SQ surround sound did. The DV-47A combines both DVD-A and SACD multichannel capability, going a step beyond our reference DV-AX10, which offers only stereo SACD reproduction…”

Panasonic DVD-RP91 DVD-Audio/Video Player

Panasonic DVD-RP-91 DVD-A/V player

“I first encountered this DVD-A player at an all-day Audio Engineering Society Toronto chapter seminar on the new digital audio formats near the end of May. It was used for DVD Audio playback in demonstrations of the new format, as was a Pioneer DV-38A review sample that I provided…”

Marantz DV-12S1 DVD-A/V Player and SR 8200 Receiver

Marantz DV-12S1 DVD-A/V Player

“Marantz is unique, as far as I know, in offering both SACD and DVD-A players, the DV-12S1 and the SA-12S1. Both play video DVDs, but unlike Pioneer’s Elite DV-47a neither will play both digital audio formats. Instead of a universal player, here we have not-quite-identical twins..”

Pioneer Elite DV-AX10 DVD-Audio/Video Player

Pioneer DVD-AX10

“I reviewed this DVD-A player in the Winter of 2000 (Vol. 19 #3), and had some high praise for the sound quality of the DV-AX10 heard through its companion C-AX10 digital preamplifier. However, that early sample had no analog output, and recognized but did not output sound from SACDs. Well, now we have the production model of the AX10, and it’s impressive not only as an audio player, but as a video one…”


  Outside the Speakers

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