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Review: Pioneer PDP-436 Plasma with Pioneer DV-989 AVI-s (Elite)

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by s8n, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. s8n

    s8n Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    2,730
    Location:
    Sydney
    Hi Guys

    Recently recieved my new plasma and universal transport. Having just finished basic settings and run through some test discs Ill go through a bit of a review

    Equipment:

    Rotel RSP-1066 AV PrePro
    Rotel RMB-1075 5x120 Power amp
    Pioneer 989-AVIs Universal Transport
    Pioneer PDP-436HD Plasma TV
    B&W 603 S3 Floorstanding Speakers
    B&W 601 S2 Rear Surround Speakers
    B&W LCR 600S3 Center Speaker
    AudioQuest Indigo+ BireWire speaker cables
    Cable Talk Interconnects (Pioneer 989 using a $1 RCA cable for 2CH Audio)
    QED HDMI-P HDMI Cable


    Connections:

    Pioneer 989 connected to RSP1066 via 2CH Analog ($1 cable)
    Also connected to RSP1066 via Optical (Digital Audio)
    Also conneted to Pioneer 436HD Plasma via QED HDMI directly (bypass Media Box)

    2CH Audio Performance:

    Firstly, the 989 is just a tank. About 10kg of HEAVY ass metal, it looks brillant and weights more than my prepro! The 2CH outputs are stunning, so chunky and all connections are gold plated. At the moment Im using a dodgy cable whilst I order some Kordz Vortex Interconnects.

    Hows it sound? STUNNING. This thing blows my old Denon DV-1600 OUT of the water without any doubt. I've engaged Pioneers 'PURE AUDIO' mode which switches off all the video circuirts, LED display and just about everything else to provide the purest Audio signal. There difference between using the Optical link and letting the RSP1066s DACs is amazing. IMO, the Pioneer is far better. The biggest thing I noticied was imaging, vastly improved. The sound is very transparent. I cant wait to replace the $1 Interconnect with some good gear and test it out further.

    DVD Performance:

    The 989 is connected directly to the Plasma via HDMI. My resolution is set to 1280x720 in progressive mode, Pure Cinema Progressive scan is set to AUTO 2 and I've tweaked the motion slider a tad. Color is set to Component 12bit.
    Using Finding Nemo as my test desk both my girlfriend and I had our jaws on the floor. The biggest thing I noticied was MOTION, Nemo almost pops outta the screen, fully 3D and his motion throughout the film is so so slicky smooth. The colors are simply stunning and this is on a NON ISF calibrated plasma (this is in the pipeline). I've not had a chance to test other discs yet but the difference between my old player and this one is just amazing. Cant wait to test out some more discs :)

    Things to come:

    I'm in the process of selling my B&W 603 S3's in the For Sale section as I'm upgrading to Focals Electra BE line, specifically the 1007 be. Also replacing my Rotel RMB 1075 with a Bryston 9B SST THX Amplifier and Bryston B-16 preamp to further improve my 2CH whilst still utilising my RSP1066 for HT duties.

    One thing Ive noticied with the new Transport is just how much more I'm liking my B&W 603 S3's. They are simplying shining now :)


    Back to the listening!

    cheers
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2006
  2. JEL

    JEL Member

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    Location:
    Adelaide, 5041
    Have you checked out the AVSforums regarding the 989 (79avi) ?
    They have some massive threads on your machine.


    I used some of the settings in the 59avi thread for for my 969 and they worked well.

    Edit : Almost forgot :thumbup: congrats, nice machine :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2006
  3. OP
    OP
    s8n

    s8n Member

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    yeah I did use some settings, its more the Pioneer 436HD settings im confused about..

    Thanks!
     
  4. proffesso

    proffesso Member

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    Melbourne
    I used to have the last Elite

    the 737, was a tank, easiley the best built player ive owned, not to mention all the setup options :thumbup:

    speaking of the B&W's, how do you like em? im gonna get a pair of the 704's (maybe 703's if I can get a good deal) rounded out with some small HT rears / center...I havent had a chance to audition any B&W gear yet, just going off word of mouth and reviews
     
  5. OP
    OP
    s8n

    s8n Member

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    I love the B&W's but I'm upgrading to the Focal 1007 BE.

    I'm selling a set of B&W 603's in the Forum, I also have a center or rears if you are looknig for a complete setup. Very cheap - and will sound AWESOME if you pair it with the correct source/amplification.

    Regards
    Kris
     
  6. gizmo_melb

    gizmo_melb (Banned or Deleted)

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    I just bought a Pioneer DV-969AV-S from JB on Saturday for only $150 ($100 off their already good price of $250) as I'd been considering an SA-CD and DVD-Audio capable DVD player to replace my aging Pioneer DV-717 (the champagne coloured tank) - but in my excitement at seeing it so cheap I completely forgot the obvious:

    The Pioneer DV-969AV-S has component video output and will only play SA-CD audio through the 5.1 analogue outputs on it's back (no SA-CD or DVD-A through COAX or optical).

    My TV only has a SCART video input and my (crappy) AV receiver doesn't have 5.1 analogue inputs.

    So I cannnot get the best video output from the DVD player and I cannot listen to the (couple) of SA-CD music CDs I currently own. (sigh).

    So currently the DV-969AV-S is in the bedroom connected to our second 52CM TV using composite video. At least it plays DIVX so we don't have to shift the XBOX any more to watch shows I've archived.

    For the price I still think it's a great bargain as a new/better amp and a widescreen are on the cards for early next year anyways. So it'll give a little longer to save for something with a nice native 1080i display and a HDMI connection as well as a compatible amp.


    JEL: which settings please? I've read through the two main 969 threads I could find on AVSforums and saw no mention of settings.. just endless whining about the 490's wrap around video problem (ha! the 490 was at JB for $189!!! A pity they didn't have the 969 in black though, black looks better than silver in my opinion) and did the 969 suffer from the same.
     
  7. zeggie

    zeggie Member

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    Fantastic setup there. The 989 is a beast :)

    Only one question, the new PDP-427 is only 1 week away, did you consider waiting just to compare before your decision?
     
  8. alistair_osborn

    alistair_osborn Member

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    Ive heard more like 3 weeks to a month...
     
  9. OP
    OP
    s8n

    s8n Member

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    No, because the resolution is still the same and I dont require 2 HDMI ports (i dont do video switching, so 2 HDMI's is moot)

    That and the new model is alot more expensive
     
  10. JEL

    JEL Member

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    WOW - $150 sounds incredibly cheap, though I'm suspicious.
    Are you sure you have a 969 and not a 696?

    I ask because a 696 would a) be more in that price range b) 969 never came out in silver, only gold.

    Regarding SACD & DVD-A playback, no player on earth can or will ever be able to playback those formats over either optical or coax, the bandwidth required is too high.
    You have to use either 5.1 analogue connections or i-link.
    HDMI 1.2 can also transport these formats.
     
  11. Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    It's not a question of bandwidth. Sony specifies that the high-res DSD stream needs to be converted to analog within the player. Unless you hack the SACD player and intercept the DSD stream before the DAC, you won't get DSD digital out.

    Another thing to note - cheap universal players convert DSD to PCM prior to the DAC, because this is cheaper to implement than having to install a seperate DSD DAC.
     
  12. gizmo_melb

    gizmo_melb (Banned or Deleted)

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    Hi JEL,

    yup.. my bad.. it's a Pioneer DV-696AV-S, normal RRP is $299, JB normally sell for $250, so $150 is still good price for a SACD/DVD-A capable player with HD upscaling through component and HDMI interface (plus DIVX playback as well).
     
  13. alistair_osborn

    alistair_osborn Member

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    Pretty sure it will only upscale through HDMI, the DVD content protection system doesn't allow it through component IIRC.
     

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