With all the new formats of late, it is tough to find anyone who has them all, outside of a few hardcore fans and of course, us reviewers. The cost of adding a new player for each format is unheard of, and the space required to house all this gear impractical. While many manufacturers make multi-format players, few if any make one that does them all well. Fortunately, Teac's Esoteric division has been doing this for years. The Esoteric DV-60 is itself a replacement for the legendary DV-50 and adds some welcome improvements, like 1080p video scaling, an HDMI output for DVDs and the addition of Teac's VOSP transport. This player will spin every silver disc made, except Blu-ray and HD DVD, and do them to a superb level, all for a pretty lofty price of $5,600.
Built like a tank and weighing almost as much, the DV-60 physically earns its respect. The massive weight of this player rests atop three custom feet that have a spike and cup design, giving you isolation built right into the player and saving you from those add-on cones of other manufacturers. The stout rear connectors include balanced and single-ended stereo outputs, a set of 5.1 single-ended outputs, both a coaxial and an optical digital output and composite, S-Video, component and HDMI video outputs, RS 232 and mini-plug IR controls, as well as a 12-volt trigger. The addition of a 12-volt trigger is a big plus from the DV-50, which requires the use of a hard button to power on and off. The HDMI connector allows for 1080p video. The updated transport, while not Esoteric's top of the line unit, the VDRS-NEO
(you'd have to pony up over twice the cash to get a player from them with that beauty in it), offers exceptional stability and reliability.
The DV-60 is not the cheapest player on the market, not even close, but it's performance is truly one of the finest you will find, and it plays exceptionally well on all audio formats. Tight bass control and detailed but not sharp or edgy highs make for an exciting presentation without being fatiguing. The video performance, while not as good as Blu-ray or HD DVD's native 1080p, is a huge step up for all your DVDs, thanks to the 14-bit video processing, with Faroudjda's I/P processor chip with DCDi technology. Not only will this player upscale your video, it will also allow you to up-sample audio with Esoteric's FIR and RDOT filters to improve clarity and smoothness, adding a more natural sound to your audio discs. I prefer both to be on, as I find most Esoteric owners do, but you have the choice to use either solo or both together to suit your taste.
Read about the high points and the low points of the DV-60 on Page 2.
• The Esoteric
DV-60 offers world-class audio and video performance with exceptional
build quality at a realistic price, making it a player that can make
even true audiophiles happy with a single-box player.
convenience of being able to put any audio disc or DVD into one player
can't be appreciated until you've owned such a player, you no longer
think about whether that jazz trio is SACD or DVD-Audio; you just put
it in, hit play and enjoy. With the Esoteric, you know you're getting
great performance from all formats.
video scaling of the DV-60 ensures you'll get even more enjoyment from
your old DVD-Video discs, making this a true one-box solution for the
audiophile lacking unlimited funds for source components.
three-point isolation feet design Esoteric uses is a great idea. Three
points define a plane, so the DV-60 will always rest stably on even
irregular surfaces, but you must be careful when lifting or moving this
player, as it can tilt, causing some nervous excitement.
HDMI connector is HDMI 1.1. Some people are totally hung up on being
current and want HDMI 1.3a, but for DVDs, HDMI 1.1 should be all you
ever need for the discs spinning in this player.
• The DV-60 is not a small player, nor is it light, so it will require some space and a sturdy shelf to rest upon.
While the $5,600 price tag isn't
cheap, the performance of Esoteric's DV-60 far exceeds players costing
much more. The amazing detail, bass control, clean and clear midrange
and highs and incredible attack make this one of the best players out
there. Add in the build quality and flexible up-sampling and true
multi-format capability, and this is a player you could live with for a
long time. While I think everyone truly needs a Blu-ray player, I
would also encourage them to try one of the Esoteric DV-60. Should
Blu-ray go the way of Beta and downloads take over the world of video,
you'll still want your DV-60.