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Magzy
10-08-2013, 12:43 PM
Hello Everyone,

I am new to this forum as of this very moment. I have sound system consisting of a Yamaha a S700 amp, A Marantz 6003 cd player and B&W 685 speakers. Will replacing the Marantz cd with a Yamaha cd S700 to match the amp (with its direct connection to this cd player) make a worthwhile difference? Currently they are selling online at 110 off (yes I live in the UK!), and I do know someone who could do with a better cd player than the one they have got, though this is not essential for them. (the only problem with it is that it does not recognise 3 or 4 cds and the cd drawer sometimes goes back in a few times before you can put a cd in or get one out, before it stays put and lets you!

All feedback and advice would be most welcome.

Thanks

blackraven
10-08-2013, 03:40 PM
I think that moving to the Yamaha would be a step backward, especially after reading these brief reviews and looking at their respective price points-

Marantz CD6003 review from the experts at whathifi.com (http://www.whathifi.com/review/marantz-cd6003)

Yamaha CD-S700 review from the experts at whathifi.com (http://www.whathifi.com/review/yamaha-cd-s700)

I have always been a fan of Marantz gear. They have their own unique sound that leans on the warmer side which would be a good match for your B&W's. But that is a subjective matter and up to each individuals preference. Every Yamaha CD and DVD player that I have heard has sounded a little bright to me.

If you really want to jump up in sound quality get a DAC or if you want to stick with a CD player, consider the Marantz SA8003 which is also plays SACD's. Others to consider are Cambridge Audio 650c, Rega Apollo if it is still around.

Magzy
10-08-2013, 06:23 PM
Thank you very much for your advice and suggestions, blackraven. I followed your What hifi links and felt quite enlightened. The NAD cd 545 BEE was mentioned and so I looked into this. I see they are selling online for UK 250 now, as against the original 350. Now, I like listening to both pop and classical music, but particularly the latter these days, and this is where I have had the most problems in the past as well as now when it comes to finding a pleasing hifi sound - too sharp a trebliness is the main problem. Do you - or anyone else - think this NAD cd player might help? And what do you think of my Yamaha A S700 amp in this context?

blackraven
10-09-2013, 07:39 AM
Your amp certainly could be the problem in combination with your B&W speakers. But I would consider finding a used Marantz SA8001, 8002 or 8003 SACD player. They are very smooth and warmer sounding with no harsh treble. Also look for a PS Audio Digilink III DAC. It has a warmer sound. As far as the NAD is concerned, I can't help you there. You should consider taking your Yammy amp to the stereo shop and have them connect it to the CD player you are looking at, especially if they have B&W speakers. Also, give a listen to Arcam CD players.

Here is a nice review of the Marantz CD6004, the newer version of yours-

Marantz CD6004 review from the experts at whathifi.com (http://www.whathifi.com/review/marantz-cd6004)

Another consideration is this Grant Fidelity DAC-11. It uses a tube buffer. I own one in my secondary system. If you swap in a vintage 1960 amperex or telefunken (made in Holland) tube you will be rewarded with a nice non harsh or sharp, musical, warm and smooth sound with nice transparency and a wide sound stage. It can also be used as a preamp if needed. It performs well above its price point and will sound better than any of the CD players you are looking at. As long as your current CD player has a digital coax or optical out, you can connect it to the DAC. The Grant also has a USB in so you can connect a computer to it. I have a few friends that own one and love it.

If you decide to give the GF a whirl, let me know and we can talk more about tubes. The stock tube is ok but this thing really comes alive with a better tube. I think that the GF would be the way to go. Note that you can hook the GF or just about any DAC to a DVD player and use the DVD player as a digital transport device.



Grant Fidelity TubeDAC-11 D/A Converter (http://shop.grantfidelity.com/Grant-Fidelity-TubeDAC-11-D-A-Converter.html)

3db
10-09-2013, 08:19 AM
Implying that an amp is bright would mean either a roll-off in bass and mids compared to the highs or the highs are emphasized over bass and mids. If the frequency response is flat well past the audio bandwidth, then I have a hard time describing components as sounding bright, warm, etc. That's subjective speak and will vary greatly from person to person and room to room.

I would not get the Yamaha player to match the Yamaha amp. You will gain nothing from it except for maybe aesthetics where components all look similar. Sonic improvement? Nope. Sonic improvemnet with the Marantz? Also not happening.

blackraven
10-09-2013, 08:42 AM
I beg to differ about an amp or any component being bright. It depends upon what you consider brightness. You certainly can call a piece of gear less bright as being rolled off. My A21 has more high end sparkle than my Pass amp but I don't consider the Pass as rolled off. My digital Class D audio CDA amp is definitely not rolled off but it sounds brighter. My GF Pre/DAC warms up the sound and takes the edge off the treble without sacrificing HF detail. Maybe it is rolling off the highs a bit but in any case it sounds better. In his case he is complaining about a sharpness in the treble.

I think a lot has to do with system matching.

Magzy
10-09-2013, 06:59 PM
Thank you both for your very informative replies. I am not very technically minded so I struggled a bit with some of what you said. I am not sure where to go from here now - maybe just stick with what I've got for the moment. One thing though, I dodn't think I'm going to get a NAD 545 BEE cd player - since last night I have come across so many reports and reviews, etc, elsewhere of them breaking down (including four today!), and having some kind of a design fault that gave them this vulnerability, something which NAD say they corrected later on. But whatever the case they don't seem to be very robust cd players, and they might well not have the right sound effect for me. The Marantz cd 8000 seies are outside my price range and I can't get my head around DAC's and the other - what seem to me - high tech options suggested!- Much as I appreciate the time and trouble that went into making these suggestions. I just want a smoother, not sharp,harsh, trebly, natural sound at a 'budget price'. Any further suggestions would be most welcome. And I don't think my B&W 685 speakers are the main problem at all. When I listen to my music through my Sennheiser HD 595 headphones or my Sony MDR XD 200 ones, the sound I hear is worse in the respects I don't like, and the same applies when I plug these headphones direct into the Marantz cd 6003, presumably by-passing the Yamaha A S700 amp - so maybe it's not the amp that's the main 'culprit' either! Is it something to do with modern hifi equipment, I wonder vaguely. I don't remember having these kind of sound problems, ie, the sharp trebliness, the harshness, etc, 30 or amybe even 20 years ago. Is modern hifi equipment, ie, outside either the very expensive - or the cheap all in one music centres, where there is less going on and therefore maybe less to go wrong? - just not designed any more with classical or acoustic music in mind? On this note on Monday, as well as over three years ago, just for the hell of it as I wa testing out different hifi combinations of separates in shops and not finding the sound I really liked the asistants tested me out on some much more expensive set-up's and every time I found these worse!! (In one way or another) I do know from Amazon reviewers and for a lot elsewhere that there has been a significant public decline in recent times in interest in classical music, and just maybe I wonder, the hifi market might have been reflecting this. Surprising thoughts to some of you perhaps, but thoughts nonetheless.....But to reiterate I really do appreciate the replies I have received to my two posts so far.

Magzy
10-09-2013, 07:06 PM
Postscript: I've only just noticed Blackraven's latest posting. I found that useful too, and I certainly would use terms like brightness myself. And thanks for the reminder to the thread that basically I am complaining about too much sharpness in the treble. The question of needing to find proper system matching I can accept too, and I have often heard or read this point being made. But it can sometimes be difficult to try out in a shop if they don't have the items you already have - and like me you don't drive!

blackraven
10-09-2013, 07:30 PM
Magzy, don't discount a DAC. Every Cd player has a built in Digital to analog converter (DAC) that converts the digital signal to an analog signal which your amp puts out as music. DAC's and their op amps have different tonal qualities. When you buy a stand alone DAC you can get more for your money, a more accurate digital analog conversion and usually better sound. Many CD and DVD players have a digital out, either optical, coaxial or both. This connects to the digital in on a DAC. So the Cd player is basically being used as a transport device if you will. It is reading the digital signal of the CD and sending it to your external DAC instead of the on board DAC to be converted to an analog signal and then to your receiver, integrated amp or preamp. The Grant Fidelity and PS Audio units should smooth out the treble harshness that you hear. They will be a big step up in sound quality for you.

Magzy
10-09-2013, 07:53 PM
Thanks Blackraven for reminding about this DAC and its possibilities. I shall need to think about this, but I will give it some thought and further research, etc. So, to bed now, and very late too!

3db
10-10-2013, 04:42 AM
I beg to differ about an amp or any component being bright. It depends upon what you consider brightness. You certainly can call a piece of gear less bright as being rolled off. My A21 has more high end sparkle than my Pass amp but I don't consider the Pass as rolled off. My digital Class D audio CDA amp is definitely not rolled off but it sounds brighter. My GF Pre/DAC warms up the sound and takes the edge off the treble without sacrificing HF detail. Maybe it is rolling off the highs a bit but in any case it sounds better. In his case he is complaining about a sharpness in the treble.

I think a lot has to do with system matching.

I used the word bright because it was mentioned in this thread long before I ever showed. :) My definition of brightness when it comes to electronics still stands. What you perceive as brighter in your equipment list is still your subjective opinion.. I could be listening to your gear and have a totally different experience than you. One's mood can also very much affect what one perceives to hear as well. That's why I don't put much credance in subjective opinion/reviews.

Tying this back to the OP and CD player, unless there is a significant mismatch of output impedance of teh two players, you will not be able to tell sonically in a blind listening test, which player you are listening too.

blackraven
10-10-2013, 07:30 AM
I used the word bright because it was mentioned in this thread long before I ever showed. :) My definition of brightness when it comes to electronics still stands. What you perceive as brighter in your equipment list is still your subjective opinion.. I could be listening to your gear and have a totally different experience than you. One's mood can also very much affect what one perceives to hear as well. That's why I don't put much credance in subjective opinion/reviews.

Tying this back to the OP and CD player, unless there is a significant mismatch of output impedance of teh two players, you will not be able to tell sonically in a blind listening test, which player you are listening too.


So you are saying that there is no difference in sound between Cd players or DAC's?

I can definitely tell the difference in tonal qualities of all my DAC's and CD players. I can tell the difference between certain op amps as well.

3db
10-10-2013, 08:16 AM
So you are saying that there is no difference in sound between Cd players or DAC's?

I can definitely tell the difference in tonal qualities of all my DAC's and CD players. I can tell the difference between certain op amps as well.

I wonder if you could tell if you were doing this in a blind test?

blackraven
10-10-2013, 08:41 AM
In my system I can definitely tell the difference between the 4 DAC's that I have. You forget that there is more than just a difference in tonal qualities. There is a difference in resolution, bass response, sound stage, detail, transparency, musicality. 3 of my DAC's have tubes and I can tell when you swap tubes. I would have no problem telling the difference in dbt between my $2K Van Alstine DAC and my $350 Grant Fidelity, $220 Maverick tube Magic, $30 Fio DAC's and my modded Music Hall CD player.

3db
10-10-2013, 09:05 AM
In my system I can definitely tell the difference between the 4 DAC's that I have. You forget that there is more than just a difference in tonal qualities. There is a difference in resolution, bass response, sound stage, detail, transparency, musicality. 3 of my DAC's have tubes and I can tell when you swap tubes. I would have no problem telling the difference in dbt between my $2K Van Alstine DAC and my $350 Grant Fidelity, $220 Maverick tube Magic, $30 Fio DAC's and my modded Music Hall CD player.

I believe that sighted audio tests brings to the table a number of biases that the listener is not even aware of. It determines what that person hears that goes beyond straight audio. I do believe you can tell the diffrences in a sighted test. I'm not convinced that you would hear the differences when you did not know which component is being used. I will leave it alone at that.

blackraven
10-10-2013, 10:49 AM
Just one last reply as I don't want this to get out of hand and want to keep this friendly. Then why not use a $99 CD player or a $30 DAC if you could not tell the difference?

Magzy
10-10-2013, 11:15 AM
I have read the above debate with interest (and mounting confusion!). But would you say then, 3db, that granted that for cost reasons I am in no hurry to change amps from my present Yamaha A S700, then I can forget about DAC's altogether from a sound quality point of view and stick with my Marantz cd 6003 and forget all about any other cd players, including a matching Yamaha cd S700? If so, from what I can gather from reviews and opinions elswhere on the internet at least the Marantz seems to be pretty robust, and in all electrical goods durability or lack of it has to be a factor.

blackraven
10-10-2013, 07:25 PM
Magzy, you will hear differences in CD players and DAC's. Yes, some gear sounds similar and you would be hard pressed to hear a difference, especially in lower priced gear. I had a marantz SA8001 SACD player and a Cambridge Audio 840c at the same time, they were different as night and day. I also had a CAmbridge Audio 740c at the time of the 840c and they were similar, I would have had a hard time telling them apart in a DBT but the 840c was superior in sound.

3db
10-11-2013, 04:34 AM
Just one last reply as I don't want this to get out of hand and want to keep this friendly. Then why not use a $99 CD player or a $30 DAC if you could not tell the difference?

One word only and lets see if I can spell this correctly... "Features" :biggrin5:

3db
10-11-2013, 04:39 AM
I have read the above debate with interest (and mounting confusion!). But would you say then, 3db, that granted that for cost reasons I am in no hurry to change amps from my present Yamaha A S700, then I can forget about DAC's altogether from a sound quality point of view and stick with my Marantz cd 6003 and forget all about any other cd players, including a matching Yamaha cd S700? If so, from what I can gather from reviews and opinions elswhere on the internet at least the Marantz seems to be pretty robust, and in all electrical goods durability or lack of it has to be a factor.

Durability is a whole other reason to go for a product. That makes total sense. As an example, I will never buy an AVR from Onkyo because of their higher than average failure rates compared to that Yamaha, Marantz, Denon, and even Sony. If durability is a concern, go with that.