Sony 3100ES vs 9100ES

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  • 12-16-2006, 10:21 PM
    Sony 3100ES vs 9100ES
    My wife and I are looking to by a mega cd/dvd changer. I was looking at Sony 777ES 400 disc changer, I have delt with the Sony ES line before and for what I want at this time it is perfect. The problem is I have a Sony SXRD 60" TV with the stand Sony makes for it, but the shelf on the stupid stand is not tall enough to fit the changer in it, the metal bar takes away an inch of clearance. So we are debating if we have room anywhere else to put the disc changer if we buy it (we live in an apartment and space is at a premium). I am trying to talk my wife in just buying a single disc dvd player. While I do that, I am trying to figure out the difference between the Sony 9100ES and the 3100ES dvd players. I have looked on Sony's site and other than outputs I can't seem to find a difference in the actually hardware. Am I missing something?
  • 12-16-2006, 11:44 PM
    As far as I can tell, the 3100ES and 9100ES are identical, except that the 9100ES includes these additional features:

    14bit/216MHz Video DAC with Noise Shaped Video
    Dual i.LINKŪ3 Connections for Enhanced Audio from High Resolution Audio Devices
    Two R-Core Transformers
    Separate Audio and Video Circuit Boards
    Jog/Shuttle Dial
    RS232 Interface and IR In
    High Speed Video Buffer Amplifiers
    Output Capacitor-Less Coupling
    Video Shield Plate

    To be quite honest, you may also want to consider the new Denon DVD-2930CI. Its available for hundreds less than the 9100ES, and provides absolute best-in-class DVD playback (HQV Video Processing, 1080p upconversion, this model is in a league of its own compared to the Sony ES models).

    Denon DVD-2930CI Review:
  • 12-17-2006, 08:02 AM
    The 3100 and 9100ES decks are not identical. The 3100 is a very good player, in every respect. So far as video is concerned, it provides a significant upgrade in picture quality from the typical, competent $300 deck. It's hard to say why; it simply has, for lack of a better word, a smoother look, with less residual noise. Some of this advantage would have to do with its processing, but also with it ability to cut down on digital edginess. It also sounds damn good. As an SACD player, it is more refined than most budget players. It may not knock you over, but it won't make you feel shortchanged either. I had one, and liked it a lot.

    But the 9100ES is in a league all of its own. Sony bashers should look away, because it may well be one of the best DVD players made, at least among those that are "accessible." Under the hood, it shows an incredible level of detail and finesse. The circuit boards are clean as a whistle. Connections are beautifully soldered, cutting down on wiring. It has two internal clocks, one for video and one for audio. Each channel of the 5.1 option is rendered discretely with "audiophile-grade" parts--no cost-cutting shortcuts whatsoever. It has a few other major, hidden audio features that distinguish it from the 3100, in the realm of signal path.

    So far as video is concerned, it has been appointed to handle just about every processing possibility without breaking stride. Tests show it acing 2:3 pulldown-detection tests as well as far more arduous video tests involving motion detection. Sony calls its method pixel by pixel processing. In whatever abstruse manner its algorithms construct frames in the buffer, it works extraordinarily well. This player is one of those cases that proves that we often don't know what we're missing until we've witnessed it firsthand. Those of you who are in this game at a mid-level that is solid and competent, and think that the rest is all hype and sales pitch, may be in for a rude awakening when exposed to products that pull out all of the stops. Your jaw drops, and you don't have words for what you've just seen (you may begin to sound like ad copy). Usually you don't have the cash for it either, but that's another matter. One print review worth checking out is Widescreen Review issue 104, but others are available on the web if memory serves. The 9100 has been subjected to all sorts of modifications by professional labs. I'm not familiar with them, but if they improve on the original, yikes.
  • 12-17-2006, 09:28 AM
    Thanks edtyct, I stand corrected