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 Inexpensive and light DVD players

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Drewster
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PostSubject: Inexpensive and light DVD players   Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:40 pm

Hello Zonees,

This thread is a continuation of my thread on cheap and light DVD players that I've been auditioning as I find them, originally started on TuneLand here.

My newest find is the Samsung DVD P-190, which I got at Target for $39.99 (I found what appeared to be an identical unit at Wal-Mart, called the P-191, and when I inquired the clerk told me the stores in the area no longer carry the unit).

It's a 3/4 size unit with bare bones display and remote (the display shows only time, not tracks; the remote doesn't have any numbers on it to select tracks by number, only Next, Back, etc.). I am burning it in right now. After a few days I'll open it up, remove the top, crack the screws, and examine the layout. Then listen again to see what changes. If I decide the sound is good enough and it's a keeper (it's returnable for 30 days), then it'll come out of the case for further listening.

Since it's a Samsung, wouldn't it be great if it has similar qualities to the venerable Samsung P-241 (no longer available) that Michael loves so much? Cool It appears to be an even simpler design.







More to come....


jocolor jocolor

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PostSubject: update   Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:44 pm

Well, this Samsung does seem to have the big, tonally and harmonically vibrant character of the old P-241 cheers

This difference between the P-190 and the V-DAC is clear in the tonal richness of the saxophones on Gerry Mulligan & Paul Desmond Quartet: Blues in Time.

More soon.



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PostSubject: Re: Inexpensive and light DVD players   Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:20 pm

Here is the inside view.











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PostSubject: Re: Inexpensive and light DVD players   Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:53 pm

Hi Drewster

I've decided that I'm going to pick up one of these for one of my systems. Something about the circuit and top spring loaded cross piece on these that makes them spectacular compared to other units.

Samsung P-190 in one room
Magnavox DP100MW8B in another
3 rooms to go
What do you think?

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PostSubject: Re: Inexpensive and light DVD players   Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:47 am

Hi Michael,

Well, the P-190 has been burning in, and it has that immediacy of the P-241. I think you'll like it sunny Cool .

This may just be my own perception and my way of describing what I hear, but I think that some players sound like the music is in a way "framed", as if I as the listener am observing the performance in a frame with discernible boundaries on all sides. It can be beautiful, and I can appreciate it, but it is from a point separated from the music. This perspective makes the experience a bit more intellectual, and also provides a certain kind of comfort at that "distance." The frame size can vary among players, but the sense of the music being projected into a delimited space separate and in front of me is part of the experience.

I remember a few years back, listening to the Samsung P-241, that frame or boundary was not there. It actually made me a little uncomfortable listening, because I did not sense those definitive limits, which provided me with an experience of "safety" of being separated from the musical event and the performers. I couldn't articulate this at that time, however. It reminded me of being too close to the stage at a concert, which I didn't like either because I wasn't able to have that "perspective" that gave me safety. Feeling that close to the music was in a way more intimacy than I was comfortable with. Maybe this is just another way of describing a soundstage.

But with the P-241, and now with the P-190, those boundaries and the sense of the performance being projected disappear. While I was overwhelmed by the bigness and immediacy of the P-241 back then, I find I am not now with the P-190. I haven't compared the two players, so I don't know if one has a "bigger" character than the other. What I do find listening to the P-190 is that there are no discernible boundaries. There is just the music. I hear each singer or instrument directly without the separation from me that I experience with most other players. Seems this may be a Samsung trait, perhaps due to the simplicity of the design.

Enjoy! cheers



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Last edited by Drewster on Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Inexpensive and light DVD players   Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:13 am

Drewster

That was a very nice way of putting it. So often when I look at a system I can see these boundaries even before it is turned on. I call this a "Mid-fi high-end" sound. It is nice but lacks that "I can go anywhere" performance.

Frames can be fun and I'm sure are for most but when we let go and let the system go out into the vastness of the performance there is nothing like it.

So nice to have you writing!!

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PostSubject: Re: Inexpensive and light DVD players   Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:55 pm

The next step now that the unit is burned in and I have listened to it for a while, is to do some tuning.

First, I'll simply start with freeing up the wires in the power cord by stripping the outside rubber coating, and replacing the hard rubber plug with a lightweight plastic plug (all the screws remaining in the unit have already been "cracked").

Then I'll put the unit up on springs and Magic Wood squares, and then will apply top tuning.

The tonality, harmonics, and dynamic ease of the P-190 are already very satisfying -- looking forward to hearing what tuning it brings!

More to come....



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PostSubject: Re: Inexpensive and light DVD players   Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:24 am

Hey Zonees,

Haven't had the chance to do any tuning yet -- but I've been listening quite a bit. Listening to either the V-DAC or my hard drive via my Airport Express is not nearly as involving or interesting as listening to this Samsung, and I've begun playing CDs that I haven't heard in a long while -- Joni Mitchell, Tanita Tikaram, Chet Baker. And they all are so there sounding! It's hard going back to "framed" music.

I really recommend to all reading this to go and get one of these and try it out in your system (as I've said before, you can always return it within 30 days, so it'll cost you nothing just to try it out in your system). Especially if you are used to audiophile megabuck source components. Hear for yourself. I'm interested to know what you hear, so post a comment here on this thread.



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PostSubject: Samsung P-190 discontinued   Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:42 am

Hi Zonees,

Michael and I were in Fry's Electronics here in Las Vegas today, and I saw they had the Samsung P-190 on display. But I didn't see any boxes under the display. When I asked the salesman, he said the display unit was the last in stock, and that the model had been discontinued. Sad He thought it still may be available on line, either through Fry's web site (still available as of tonight for a discount) or through other sites (couldn't find it on Amazon).

I did notice on Amazon, though, that there is a brand new Samsung single disc dvd player for $40, the C-350. Maybe that is the replacement for the P-190.

Because I liked the P-190 so much, I will definitely be auditioning the C-350 as soon as I can get one from one of my local big box discount stores....
cheers


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PostSubject: Re: Inexpensive and light DVD players   Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:56 am

It is interesting that since a dvd player is not longer made some feel the need to move on to the next model of the line. I have been purchasing recommend models that are out of date. I picked up a p-241 for less than 30 bucks shipped and I picked up a set of ma-700's for a reasonable price as well. At this point I feel I am able to determine what is good or great but for those who feel intimidated and want to start out with a known quality player the out date units can be had very cheap if you know were to look for them.
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PostSubject: Re: Inexpensive and light DVD players   Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:27 am

Hello Tune Trainee,

Well, I am amazed you could find a P-241 these days. New or used?

Yes, it's great that these lightweight DVD players that sound good are so inexpensive to begin with. And then once they're out of production, they can often be had for even less Cool .

Furthermore, as you say TT, it's really about you being able to tell for yourself what sounds good, and then getting the best out of whatever you choose by tuning it from there.

I am interested in your experiences with different dvd players. Any that I haven't tried yet??

Have you done any tuning of the MA700s? Very Happy



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PostSubject: Re: Inexpensive and light DVD players   Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:24 am

Hi Drewster

I picked up the p-241 dvd player used for less than 30 bucks shipped on ebay. I tried the magnavox unit that sells at walmart but mine had a very loud transport. The sound quality was not comparable to the the p-241 in any way.

I have a thread about my system with some pictures of the ma700's they are great I ordered a canopy to top tune them as well as some speakers (from Michael). I hope that weather allows the speakers to be completed soon since I want to have tunable speakers. I have all tunable stuff hooked up to a set of paradigm studio 100's they are good for conventional speakers and I have removed about half the material inside that is dampening them as Micheal recommended. I am sure a tunable setup from one end to the other will be the best setup for me.

Since the last pictures I posted of my equipment I have replaced the magnavox dvd player with the p-241 and put the speakers and audio equipment on platforms that I got from Michael as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Inexpensive and light DVD players   Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:55 pm

Michael's original reference, the Panasonic CDX-88 is still my reference. I haven't heard anything better in my system.
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PostSubject: Re: Inexpensive and light DVD players   Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:53 pm

TomD wrote:
Michael's original reference, the Panasonic CDX-88 is still my reference. I haven't heard anything better in my system.

I have been looking online for this player but I can't find any info on it. I found a Parasound C DX-88 but nothing for Panasonic. Is that a partial part number or am I just looking in the wrong places?
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PostSubject: Re: Inexpensive and light DVD players   Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:04 pm

Hi Tom,

Cool. What different players have you tried out Question


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PostSubject: Re: Inexpensive and light DVD players   Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:24 am

Sorry I meant the Parasound CDX-88.

I havent tried any new players for quite some time. I will have to go into my storge to see what I have in there. I know a treid the Marantz CD 63 and 67. I also tried the Phillips CD 963. I think that was the model. I also tried Njoe Tjoeb ( Marantz with a tube output) and some of the lightweight Magnavox players. But I alway ended back with the CDX-88
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PostSubject: New Samsung C-350   Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:31 pm

Here is a photo of the Samsung C-350. It looks basically the same as the P-190, except for the button and display layout on the front panel. It's also the exact same size. As for the insides ... that will have to wait til I get one and open it up Very Happy Very Happy







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PostSubject: C350   Mon May 17, 2010 2:46 am

Hello Zonees,

Well, Target now has the Samsung C350. I picked one up and got it going to burn in. I took the cover off, too. It actually looks like an even simpler design than the P190. Unfortunately, with the cover off the transport had a constant ticking sound as it played, so I decided to return it to Target and try another one. If I kept the cover on, the noise wouldn't be distracting ... but that never would happen Exclamation .

I've found that to be the one issue that can come up with the light, inexpensive players -- annoying transport noises that would otherwise be blocked by the unit's case. It may just be batch issues, and the better brand names seem to do better than the low-end brands (e.g. Magnavox, Sony vs. Radio Shack, Memorex).

I'll pick up a new one and post some pics soon.


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PostSubject: Pics   Mon May 24, 2010 2:00 pm

Hi Tunees,


Here are some pics of the Samsung C350 with cover off.



















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PostSubject: A Disturbing Future   Sat May 29, 2010 4:13 am

Hi Drewster

Transports vibrating in cheap CD/DVD players is something that spell longer term bad news for us Tunees. As manufacturers cut costs further to meet the sub-$100 price point, we are going to get progressively poorer tolerances and more of these problems in the transports not to mention bugs in the chipsets.

I noticed that earlier transports of some brands had the laser sled running on two highly polished metal rails. More recently, I see only one metal rail, the other plastic.

Sonic also notices that manufacturers are using the casing to be vibration sinks and I remember one cheap Philips player that I tried to tune vibrated so bad when separated from its case that it started crawling about the table top!

This vibration will cause errors in the digital stream and loss of data. The processor’s error correction will kick in an interpolate data which will cause the sound to go artificial and coloured. The Tune will never be able to recover the data and musick that was lost.

Sonic still thinks that cheap players are viable for a while but the days of our taking cheap players apart, tuning them and getting glorious sound that will blow away Wadias and Krells is coming to a close.

Comments on this view from Michael and Drewster?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Blu-Rays   Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:34 pm

Hi Drewster,

Are you going to review any blu-ray players for the audio portion? I have a blu-ray player in the living room but I can't try it in the home theater until I get a longer HDMI cable or find out why the projector can't play the RBG input. Mad

Which DVD player do you recommend to replace my P-241?
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PostSubject: Blu-ray sounds better?   Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:37 am

Hi Chip

Sonic was recently at my usual audio store hangout and one of the other regulars said he bought a relatively inexpensive Blu-ray multi-format player. He plugged it into this hifi system -- a good tube amp set up driving mid-sized BBC-type monitors -- and found the Blu-ray player sounded much better even when playing Red Book CDs.

He compared his Blu-ray player with a hi-end audiophile grade CD player and the Blue-ray sounded more natural and dynamic, beating the more expensive player hands down.

Is there any scientific reason this, you or Tunees heard this effect or is this his imagination getting away from him?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Blu-ray   Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:31 pm

Hi Sonic,

Maybe his "hi-end" Cd player just can't compete with a cheap Blu-ray or otherwise. A tuned $19 Samsung P-241 beat the Denon 2900 I used before!

I have a blu-ray in the living room for the LCD tv and it was cheap $120 but looks great...but no sound system...just the Tv speakers Sad
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PostSubject: Blu-ray   Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:33 pm

Sonic,

Oh yeah...which Blu-ray is he using?
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PostSubject: Re: Inexpensive and light DVD players   Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:47 pm

I wonder if we can find transports that are from nicer units that will work with out less expensive cd player circuits? It seem as though they use a ribbon style connector on most of the models I have taken apart and tuned but some ribbon types have more conductors that others. Does anyone have enough units kicking around to see of the transports can be swapped out between them?
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