Published On: January 11, 2009

Nakamichi DVD-10 DVD Player Reviewed

Published On: January 11, 2009

Nakamichi DVD-10 DVD Player Reviewed

Made to withstand even day-in-day-out broadcast use, the Nakamichi DVD-10 player delivers pro-level build quality at a consumer-grade price. If you find one, chances are it will be working perfectly. The DVD-10 was built to last.

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After a flood of sub-£180 DVD players, it's getting harder to deal with the Law of Diminishing Returns. Now here's a Nakamichi DVD player selling for more than three times that of the current entry-level players at £599. Does it stand a chance?

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You don't have to be a tweak, an engineer or a reviewer to recognise some immediate benefits, however much the DVD-10S looks like most other DVD players from £160-£1600. The generic styling inherited from CD has affected every player below the Theta / Proceed level, where a high retail price allows the manufacturer to indulge in styling fillips. For the rest, a black or champagne box with a slot for the tray, a window for the display and the basic keys are as much a part of the form as saying a car has a wheel at each corner. But Nakamichi does have a house style, one of refinement and subtlety, and their black boxes nearly always look classier than anyone else's. And even an old fart such as I can detect a hint of the Nak of yore.

Naturally, the DVD-10S is loaded with features, adding to the basics found on the cheapo machines such niceties as DTS decoding, two levels of zoom, display dimming, a rotary jog control on the machine itself, a headphone socket with separate volume control and the clearest, most comprehensive on-screen menus I've ever seen. The remote is loaded, and you'll have hours of fun with the variable speed playback. SCART (RGB via this output), S-video and two coaxials deal with video, while audio outputs include analogue, digital coax and TOSLink, and six direct outputs (L-front/R-front/Centre/L-rear/R-Rear/Sub) for 5.1 surround processors which require it. And sound is a serious part of this player, as it's a dual-laser device with CD playback optimised for the format.

It's worth considering this aspect if, in your move to DVD, you're planning on replacing a CD player with a DVD player for all silver-disc needs. While the budget DVD decks sound good enough with CD, players like the Nakamichi are more in keeping with what audiophiles expect of CD, and this has been - since the dawn of DVD - a key issue for owners who use their DVD players as much for music as for visuals. The DVD-10S just happens to be a sweet-sounding CD player, with an extended, clean, sibilance-free top end, transparency almost on a par with the £800 Musical Fidelity X-RAY and the sort of openness and detail which seem to be missing with single-laser devices.

Read more about the performance of the DVD-10 on Page 2.
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For visuals, this machine takes some beating. I used S-Video most of
the time because of the way my system is set up via the Lexicon MC-1,
but you must experiment. With one monitor, the S-video was preferred,
but with another the SCART was the way to go for both detail and
blacker blacks. It's here (along with superior CD playback) that those
who care enough will find out why there's a place for DVD players
costing more than 199. Particularly impressive are the pink and red
hues, especially in skin tones, overall contrast and - if, as I do, you
watch a lot of black & white films, like the recent and sublime
special edition of - grey scales. Oh, and the DVD-10S is especially good at resolving fast movement, e.g. the flights in .

But I still don't know who killed Nice Guy Eddie.

BBG, Unit 3 Barratt Way, Tudor Road, Harrow, Middlesex HA3 5QS. Tel 020 8863 9117

SIDEBAR: CRACKED CODE OF THE MONTH
As this is 2000, and discontent with Regional Coding is spreading
beyond seasoned travellers, hard-core cinephiles and journalists such
as myself who live to moan, the DVD-10S is able to play discs from
other regions...for servicing purposes only. Naturally, the arcane code
you need to tap in via the remote is one you'd never in a million years
discover by accident, so here it is:

With no disc in the player and the player switched off, hold down
the dimmer key and reverse skip and switch on. The display will then
show "- - - -". Wait five seconds, and tap in "1999". It will then show
the region as "01", "02" etc. Tap in the region you want, press enter,
and switch off. When you switch back on, it will be set up for the
region you entered. By the way, the code for the Wharfedale is to tap
in "0123" with the drawer open.

Any readers with codes to share, please send 'em in.

Additional Resources
• Read more source component reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Find a receiver to pair with this source.
• See more about the audiophile world at AudiophileReview.com.
• Discuss all kinds of gear at hometheaterequipment.com.

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