I have spent the better half of the last four months searching for a replacement CD transport. We previously had a Japanese market Technics SL-P999 which was wonderful but was in need of replacement. I searched high and low for something which not only would be an improvement but would be a BIG improvement. Not only did I find it but I have to let everyone else know about it.
Pardon my laziness but I'm going to add some bits of reviews I've written on this player from other sites. The Pioneer DVD-V7400 is not a consumer-grade toy but rather an overbuilt and solid piece of equipment designed for heavy duty usage and flawless reliability. To give you an idea how beefy it is the transport is rated for 37,000 hours of usage before failure. The machine has no onboard display to muddy up the sound so you must use an external display for setup and configuration. You can easiy do this with any modern TV. Once set up you can forget about it and let it blend into the background.
This is a no-nonsense professional machine which is not only at home in a million dollar facility but in any hi-fi setup as well. For those of you who like to impress and one-up your friends you'll have a DVD/CD player which has features which simply NO consumer grade one has or possibly ever will have. I am focusing on the sound quality of this unit but the video features are so impressive that they are worthy of their own review. A full list of the DVD-V7400s features can be found on the Pioneer site.
How does it sound? Absolutely breathtaking. The soundstage is massive. With my previous CD player it was as if all the musicians were crammed into each other's space. Now I can hear all the music as well as know where everyone is standing and how far away from everyone else. I am hearing details in well known albums that simply were hidden under a veil before. Nuances which were lost in a sea of haze are now in razor sharp focus.
This transport brings the vocals, instruments, and emotion of the music to life. I am hearing music better than ever before and forgetting that there is even a CD playing. The DVD-V7400 does vocals, strings, and percussion all while relaying a sense of emotion into the music. I feel confident saying that I would have to search far and wide to find another transport this nice.
If you're not seriously looking at adding one of these to your hi fi rig then that's fine. Just know that the next time you go out searching for a digital transport there's an absolute giant killer which you could have bought instead. After all not everyone needs the utmost detail and musicality in their stereo. Leave the Pioneer DVD-V7400 for those who do.