Review: Toshiba SD-3109 Video

Category: Home Theater

This is a 2 disc player with a Dolby Digital decoder, 96kHz 24 bit DACs, and lots of connectors. I list no comparative players, because those I've seen are too much more money to be a fair comparison. Compared to these, the video is somewhat runny and grainy, the sound thin, and overall its an inferior player. As a stand-alone device, though, I'm fairly happy with this player. The decoder is fairly effective, though not as good as the internal decoder in the Pioneer receiver. The DACs are decent sounding with dolby digital, but with cds they are a bit harsh and grainy. I've not heard 96 kHz 24 bit recordings through this, but I wouldn't want to- this player, as with many reasonably priced units, uses multiple DACs rather than a true 96 khz 24 bit type to create this, and as such, would be prone to IM distortion.
These comments are regarding the stock unit. This can be greatly improved though. I installed a silver-plated IEC jack and put a Poth Audio power cord on it, and the player improved greatly. I replaced the power supply diodes with soft-recovery types, and it improved further. A little extra PS filtering also helped. These tweaks brought it to a very similar level to the more expensive players I've seen/heard, though it still has some problems with disc glitching (only occasionally).
Bottom line, this is an outdated player, and unless you want to tweak it, there are better players for less money, particularly from Pioneer, who has always been excellent in DVD players in my experience.

Associated gear
Pioneer Elite vsx-24tx receiver
Paradigm Monitor 9/cc-350
Optimus LX-5
I think Badman's review is accurate and honest and I agree with it. However, I scored a Toshiba SD-3109 at an estate sale for $25.00! It had no remote, but I found (and bought) an original SD-3109 remote online for $11.00. So, for $36.00, I have a complete, perfectly working SD-3109. It's a very good player for $36.00. Keep in mind, it's all relative to price.