Improved audio Quality? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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08-22-2004, 04:21 PM
I have a two channel system in my bedroom consisting of:
Rotel RA-01 - 40 WPC integrated amp
Def Tech BP-8's
Panasonic DVD RP-56 DVD player

I will eventually upgrade the speakers, possibly to Paradigm Studio 60's. My current question deals with whether replacing my DVD player with a NAD C 521BEE or some other more expensive dedicated CD player with a "better" processor will improve the quality of sound with music. I have conflicting reports of "night and day difference" -vs- "the difference would be negligible".
Your input would be greatly appreciated.

N. Abstentia
08-22-2004, 04:57 PM
If you're using the digital connection, there will be no difference at all.

If you're using the analog connection, the difference will be minor. You'll notice a bigger difference when you get the Paradigms. I'd also suggest looking into the Studio 40's on good stands. To me, this setup ran circles around the 60's.

Personally, I'd keep the Panny and spend that money elsewhere.

08-23-2004, 03:37 AM
I'll second N's post..I have 2 cd players, a 5 year old Yamaha 5-disc jobber and a used Arcam that would have cost about 5 or 6 times the price brand new, that gets really good praise here and on other websites.
I cannot honestly say that I can tell a significant difference in audio quality with the Arcam. I give it the benefit of the doubt and have it hooked up to my 2-channel system instead of the HT in the living room.
Your DVD player should be fairly competent.
Upgrading your speakers would yield more significant results in my opinion.

For what it's worth: I tried out the entire Paradigm Studio line when I built my home theater. I too prefer the 40's to the 60's and 100's. My experience with the larger speakers was that they sacrificed detail and mid-range performance for extended bass. A good sub cutoff at a low frequency like 60 or 40Hz would out perform them anyway. The Studio 20's might actually be the best for you if your room is fairly small. They have incredible imaging and soundstage. I have the version 2 Studio 20's and 40's, the v.3's are a step up on these. Definitely put them on your audition list.

08-24-2004, 01:50 AM
Not having heard either unit, I would still expect the NAD to sound better, and for it's better sound to be fairly obvious given the other equipment you'll be using it with. If you're able to get a demo unit from a local dealer and try it out in your system, that would be best, because that's the only way you're going to know for sure.

08-24-2004, 04:58 AM
:rolleyes: uh oh...I can see it now :eek:

Personally, I owned two NAD players and I don't think I'd ever buy or recommend them to anyone. While I still think their int. amps are a great value, the CDplayers offered me sub-par performance. The NAD had a muted, veiled sound that was rolled off.

When compared to an old Magnavox 5 disk changer, a Sony dvd and a Rega Planet...the NAD lagged behind all of these miserably. I had actually upgraded to a higher model NAD because I thought I'd get better performance from a higher model. Boy am I glad I got off that train!

I'm not of the thinking that all CD players sound the same...but I'm also not of the thinking that if you spend more money, you'll get a better product. What I've found so far is that a higher price is not indicative of higher performance.

But, I've found, that performance of CD players can vary. While it may be true that many can sound indistinguishable from one another, I've found that CD players can perform different from one another...with possible better performance to be had depending on the player you choose for you and your system.

Do I think the differences in sound between some CD players makes a huge difference? depends.

Hmmm...dang it! That answer kinda stunk :mad: But it really does I've said, I have found that there are difference in sound that's outputted from analog outs from varying CD players. While two players may sound a bit difference...I wouldn't say that the differences are HUGE! In fact, they sound very similar...but the subtle differences may be the giant leap you've been looking for.

Can differences in well made CD players be distinguishable?

I can only answer that if you tell me what a well made CD player is...otherwise I'm just assuming that all unbroken CD players are well made. If this is the case...then yes. The sound of well made CD players can be different and distinguishable from one another. However, many may not be...and it's best to try before you buy and find out one...if there's any difference that you can hear (if any difference at all). Two...if there is a difference...if you like it in your system.

But then again...I consider picking a CD player as "fine-tuning". My thinking that the speakers, the room, preamps and amplifiers would all be good candidates to to upgrade first...before fine tuning.

I suppose I'd just make a few trips to varying audio stores and start auditioning speakers. This is the best way to find out whatcha like. Just be weary of some of those salesmen! ;)

have fun!


Resident Loser
08-24-2004, 05:31 AM
...why would you think your anecdotal observations would be any less credible than anyone elses?

You seem to have based your comments on a certain amount of experience; others have relied on expectation, based on name value alone...

Funny thing though, that "expectation" is basically a paper issue(sorta' like relying on specs) whereas yours is one of experience...however, that modus operandi doesn't quite cut it in other areas of this site...hmmm...

jimHJJ(...catch anything lately?...)

08-24-2004, 05:55 AM
...why would you think your anecdotal observations would be any less credible than anyone elses?

I suppose my
uh oh...I can see it now statement was made not because of any one response I would have respond to my post...but because of the multitude of responses that may respond to my post. Moving the direct of attention away from the original question, asked by JJohnson.

As sometimes (when I agree with you), your absolutely right again! My observations are anecdotal...and they shouldn't be taken for anything more (or less) than that. I sure wish I had the knowledge to explore the virtues of cd player design. But I don't :mad: Damn limitations. I hope my limitations are more than just noticeable differences ;) and not mistaken for scientific fact.

...Funny thing though, that "expectation" is basically a paper issue(sorta' like relying on specs) whereas yours is one of experience...however, that modus operandi doesn't quite cut it in other areas of this site...hmmm...

hmmm...never quite looked at "expectation" like that. Neat.

jimHJJ(...catch anything lately?...)

really not much time for fishing lately. Only thing I've been catching this year is a smile on my little girls face. catch and release only :)

thanks for asking

take care (and good to still see you here)


Resident Loser
08-24-2004, 06:36 AM
...attempting to be a royal pain in the @$$...point out discrepancies in certain applications...any deviation from even-handedness...that sorta' thing...

jimHJJ(...somebody has to...)

08-24-2004, 03:22 PM
Thanks for all the help. I guess I'm just going to have to listen to as much equipment as I can to make the best possible choice but then that's half of the fun.