Advice : CD Players. [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums

PDA

View Full Version : Advice : CD Players.



croak
06-26-2004, 08:00 AM
Hi,

Looking for a little advice.

I am currently looking for a CD player for my living room and i am having great trouble finding anything that i like. I had a real old Technics one which i managed to toast recently and now i need something to replace it. I have a whole unit dedicated to it, so i am looking for something that looks good as well as giving good performance. Having had a look around, the only system that i have seen that i have even a vague interest in was the 47 Laboratory Shigaraki Transport system. Unfortunatly my bank manager has certain issues with me buying this system.

If anyone can suggest a reasonably quality system which also looks the part (i have Blue Room speakers, so something in keeping with the design aspect of these speakers would be ideal) then i would be very grateful.

Cheers.

StratandSurf
06-27-2004, 05:34 AM
It varies by ear of course...but if you want a CD player that makes CD's sound like Vinyl (which is what I want) I would suggest Rega (either mode) which can hide just about any system "digital" flaws. If you have a great system you can get away with Rotel (even old rotel) or top of the line Denon.
Have fun!

robin_v
06-28-2004, 06:51 AM
Why don't you borrow some, one at a time, from your local hifi shop and listen to them? There's nothing quite like listening to a new component in your normal listening environment. Any serious hifi shop knows this and are usually more than happy to oblige.
You already know your price bracket. Choose something within that?
There are a couple of reasonably priced CD players which I can suggest - NAD and Cambridge Audio. To get better specs than these (which you probably can't hear) you'll need to have a real set to with your bank manager ;)

topspeed
06-28-2004, 01:28 PM
Hi,

Looking for a little advice.

I am currently looking for a CD player for my living room and i am having great trouble finding anything that i like. I had a real old Technics one which i managed to toast recently and now i need something to replace it. I have a whole unit dedicated to it, so i am looking for something that looks good as well as giving good performance. Having had a look around, the only system that i have seen that i have even a vague interest in was the 47 Laboratory Shigaraki Transport system. Unfortunatly my bank manager has certain issues with me buying this system.

If anyone can suggest a reasonably quality system which also looks the part (i have Blue Room speakers, so something in keeping with the design aspect of these speakers would be ideal) then i would be very grateful.

Cheers.
What's your price point?

Unfortunately, I've found very few cd players to be much more than rectangluar slabs of aluminum, usually in black or silver. The Shanlings are drool-worthy but you pay for that level of lust. Even tube output models from Ah! and Jolida aren't particularly avant garde.

From a sound standpoint, I think Denon, Rega, Cambridge Audio, Arcam, and Music Hall all make very good sounding units. Still, if you've got the coin this is a helluva nice looking player. Can you imagine surrounding this thing with some Hovland or VAC tubes? Now we're talkin'!

Mr Peabody
06-28-2004, 06:16 PM
Yes, your budget range would be helpful. I have found Arcam to be an extremely good value, you get a big helping of performance for your money. I think they begin about $699. If that's out of your range I saw www.amusicdirect.com bought all of Phillips stock of a SACD/CD player that did retail for $500. and they have a special price of $349. I never heard one but they have some good magazine reviews to point you to.

You mention system, I assume you are just needing a cdp? If you want a system the Linn Klassik is an all in one unit that runs about $1,500. that is nice and very compact. They even have a version now with HT capability for another $1k.

I agree the best way is to bring a couple home to listen to.

46minaudio
06-29-2004, 07:00 AM
Yes, your budget range would be helpful. I have found Arcam to be an extremely good value, you get a big helping of performance for your money. I think they begin about $699. If that's out of your range I saw www.amusicdirect.com bought all of Phillips stock of a SACD/CD player that did retail for $500. and they have a special price of $349. I never heard one but they have some good magazine reviews to point you to.

You mention system, I assume you are just needing a cdp? If you want a system the Linn Klassik is an all in one unit that runs about $1,500. that is nice and very compact. They even have a version now with HT capability for another $1k.

I agree the best way is to bring a couple home to listen to.
IMO there is no reason to spend this amount of money.Look for a good PS DVD/CD player.This way you will have the option of playing DVDs ALso..Heck for about $150 you can get a Pioneer player that plays DVDv,CD, DVDA,and SACD..

Monstrous Mike
06-29-2004, 07:46 AM
IMO there is no reason to spend this amount of money.Look for a good PS DVD/CD player.This way you will have the option of playing DVDs ALso..Heck for about $150 you can get a Pioneer player that plays DVDv,CD, DVDA,and SACD..
I agree with this advice. If you use the digital output of the DVD/CD player, then all the player is doing is reading data and transmitting it.

Some people claim the more expensive players sound better. If that is the case then somehow they an altering or affecting the digital signal.

This is in the category of "science and engineering cannot explain how this could be" which usually means there is nothing happening.

Do a blind comparison and see if you can hear differences.

N. Abstentia
06-29-2004, 08:52 AM
I agree with this advice. If you use the digital output of the DVD/CD player, then all the player is doing is reading data and transmitting it.

Some people claim the more expensive players sound better. If that is the case then somehow they an altering or affecting the digital signal.

This is in the category of "science and engineering cannot explain how this could be" which usually means there is nothing happening.

Do a blind comparison and see if you can hear differences.

The reason more expensive players sound better is simply because of better DAC's. Cheap players have cheap DAC's which sound bad.

Currently I have a Sony 300 DVD Changer, a Panasonic 5 disc changer, and a Marantz 6400 DVD/DVD-A/SACD player connected to the same system. The Marantz player simply blows the others away. The sound is cleaner, warmer, has more air and better dynamics. All of these comparisons are of course done with the analog hookups with music. But luckily the Marantz has analog multi out, so I don't have to use the digital connection. I use the Sony 300 mainly to store DVD's and have quicker access to DVD's and CD's. But if I really want to listen to something, it goes in the Marantz. It sounds THAT much better simply because it has better DAC's. I wonder what something even better than that would sound like...that's kind of scary! I thought the Sony's analog outs sounded really good (better than the digital by far) until I heard the Marantz.

N. Abstentia
06-29-2004, 08:54 AM
Just to clarify, I'm agreeing with Mike...all digital connections will sound the same. Luckily I'm not stuck with that :)

Mr Peabody
06-29-2004, 04:29 PM
There will always be exceptions, but generally, more expensive cdp sound better due to better analog stages as well as DAC's. Better components will yield better sound and in turn yield larger price tags.

46minaudio
06-30-2004, 05:21 AM
The reason more expensive players sound better is simply because of better DAC's. Cheap players have cheap DAC's which sound bad.

.
Im not up on DACs so please forgive me if these questions dumb..What makes a DAC cheap?What is the cost difference in a cheap DAC compared to a HQ DAC.What DAC does your Panasonic and Sonys have in them?What DACs does your Marantz have..I ask these questions only because you are asking this poster to spend alot of money on a player limited to CD only..Im sure because of the post above you can easily answer these questions and give Croak good reason to spend the extra cash..

robin_v
06-30-2004, 06:55 AM
I just took a quick look at the "Classifieds" section and there's quite a few bargains listed there under the CD/SACD section. Maybe something to whet your appetite, croak?

croak
07-03-2004, 02:50 PM
Cheers Guys. Pretty overwhelmed with all that info. I have to say that the Shanlings do looks pretty special, but unfortunately way out my price range.

I have about a thousand (Euros in this case) to spend (at least I was hoping to spend under this) and Iím looking for just a CD player. To be honest, all I need is something that looks good and will play any format of CD, original or otherwise. I already have a very good DVD player which I can, and do, use to play all my original CD's that I want to 'listen' to (the wife won't let me go down the road of analogue sound just yet....need to do some more sweet talking on that front), but I need something that I can use to play all the other stuff that's nice to have on in the background, but doesn't require any 'listening' as such. Basically it's not a necessity, it's a luxury. I could get by with what I have, but I would like to have a separate CD player. Must be getting paid too much........or too sad to find anything else to spend the cash on.

Will have to do some searching based on all this info and i will let you know how i get on.

hifitommy
07-05-2004, 12:48 PM
only thing that affected the resultant sound of cd. other factors such as the analog audio circuitry and the implementation of the function of the chip.

i snagged a sony ns500v dvd/sacd/rbcd player for cheeeeep and its rbcd sound is WONDERFUL. coupled with sacd capability which is again, wonderful, the sony is a bargain . the newest sonys are listed out at $250. i cant see why they would sound much different.

the following article suggests why the rbcd sound is better than ususal.

http://www.audio-ideas.com/reviews/digital-sources/sony-scd-xa777-sacd.html

all that said, if you still want a regular rbcdp, try the rotels. i had an 855 that gave superior sound.

mtrycraft
07-05-2004, 04:07 PM
There will always be exceptions, but generally, more expensive cdp sound better due to better analog stages as well as DAC's. Better components will yield better sound and in turn yield larger price tags.


Or, all this is really just a marketing tool as been aptly demonstrated from time to time.

mtrycraft
07-05-2004, 04:13 PM
Cheers Guys. Pretty overwhelmed with all that info. I have to say that the Shanlings do looks pretty special, but unfortunately way out my price range.

I have about a thousand (Euros in this case) to spend (at least I was hoping to spend under this) and Iím looking for just a CD player. To be honest, all I need is something that looks good and will play any format of CD, original or otherwise. I already have a very good DVD player which I can, and do, use to play all my original CD's that I want to 'listen' to (the wife won't let me go down the road of analogue sound just yet....need to do some more sweet talking on that front), but I need something that I can use to play all the other stuff that's nice to have on in the background, but doesn't require any 'listening' as such. Basically it's not a necessity, it's a luxury. I could get by with what I have, but I would like to have a separate CD player. Must be getting paid too much........or too sad to find anything else to spend the cash on.

Will have to do some searching based on all this info and i will let you know how i get on.


Your DVD player will not play all the CD formats you are interested in?
Maybe you need a universal player?

Mr Peabody
07-05-2004, 04:21 PM
My ears must go! They are causing me to spend too much money! They foolishly told me my Krell cdp sounded better than the others I heard. My Krell costed 20 times as much as I could have bought a Sony for. It's all marketing! damn! they must go!!!!!

Jurgenvanes
07-06-2004, 09:10 AM
Hi Croak,

At this very moment I am looking into a replacement form my NAD C541. Sonically this I like this player a lot, but I think the built is poor. After 3 years it doesnít seem to like most of cdís in my collection. Iíve been looking around for quite a while now, with about the same budget as you do (Ä1000,-). Recently I auditioned the new musical fidelity X-Ray v3 cdp at Ä1100,-. I really liked it, sonically itĎs the same as the NAD, only way better. I also liked the looks of it. Its small appearance may go well with youíre Blue Room speakers. As far as built quality goes, I can only tell that it looked pretty solid with its Philips disc mechanism.

Good luck with youíre search!

Cheers.

croak
07-10-2004, 01:52 AM
Hi Jurgenvanes,

This is actually something that i am seriously thinking about. I have read mixed reports on it though.....some people raving and some not so impressed. I am hopefully going to get the chance to listen (and see in the flesh) one soon so i can make up my own mind. At the moment though a Rega Planet looks like it's top of the shopping list. A bit 'boring' compared to the X-Ray, but very good reports and seems to be a solid, high performance machine.

Thanks for the info on the X-Ray though.

Croak.

Pededrengen
07-11-2004, 12:56 AM
I have about a thousand (Euros in this case) to spend (at least I was hoping to spend under this) and Iím looking for just a CD player. To be honest, all I need is something that looks good and will play any format of CD, original or otherwise. I already have a very good DVD player which I can, and do, use to play all my
Will have to do some searching based on all this info and i will let you know how i get on.

Hello.

For the best in sound: Get a naim cd5 2nd hand. no other cd player (in the price range)comes close if you want MUSIC! Personally I like the looks too. It really is the most involving CD palyer at this price level (and some players that costs many times its price dont even come close).
Having said that, the NAim will not give you so much "hi fi". But it will deliver music and emotion like nothing else in the price range. ("hi fi" (like mark levinson) is the boring frigid supermodel, whereas "music and emotion" (Naim) is the smoking hot and openminded miss average looks with a strong desire to please)

For cheaper suggestions, try Exposure, Arcam, Cambridge og NAD.

if you want looks and ease of use, do go for a Bang og Olufsen.
Dont know much about them now, but earlier on they where much better than their rep. (based a still beautifull turntable on the td 160, in other words they used good componets in their own designs, with good ergonomics and looks.

regards

Monstrous Mike
07-12-2004, 09:34 AM
There will always be exceptions, but generally, more expensive cdp sound better due to better analog stages as well as DAC's. Better components will yield better sound and in turn yield larger price tags.
What if you use the digital output? Then you are bypassing the player's DAC and analog circuitry.

Mr Peabody
07-12-2004, 07:26 PM
What if you use the digital output? Then you are bypassing the player's DAC and analog circuitry.

You have to have somebody's, DAC and analog output, so one with better parts and design will yield better sound and in turn cost more money. Obviously, if you are not going to use the enternal DAC, for some reason, it wouldn't make much sense to spend big dollars on it. Although, there has been some debate on differences between transports. The jury is still out on that debate for me. On one hand, I think there is still only a few manufacture's that make transports, although you can specify your own requirements, I guess. Then on the other hand, if transports are all the same, then I think some of the tweaks must definitely be snake oil. Digital is still very confusing to me as to how it all works. Then you had all the manufacture's hype and buzz words like oversampling, upsampling and 1 bit vs 20 bit etc. However, I have heard numerous cd players from the Krell 25S ($22,000) & the Linn $20k model down to your budget models, so I feel I have a handle on what sounds good to me, what cd players are capable of doing and I can tell you there is definitely a difference in sound quality of various brands and price points. I hope this isn't going into one of those all cdp sound the same argument because i refuse to go there anymore. If that's what people want to foolishly believe, so be it.

Mr Peabody
07-12-2004, 07:34 PM
I have yet to find a sales rep who recommends running your cd digital output into your receiver or processor. They all say to use the analog out. I'm not quite sure why. It would seem if your processor is 24/96 it should decode and good as the DAC in the cdp. Is there a difference in the processing of cd players verses HT processors or is the industry afraid everyone will just buy transports and quit buying cdp?