New CD Player

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  • 04-17-2008, 01:21 PM
    aevans
    New CD Player
    New CD player came in today, Kinergetics Research KCD-40. Built like a tank, it weighs 22 pounds. The technical specs of the unit are pretty impressive as well, it has 2 dacs per channel one running in reverse polarity and amplifys the difference with the opamps.

    It had some static when it was cold, so I let it warm up for about 5 hours and now it's playing great. As I'm writing this it keeps sounding better. Really great condition with no marks on it and very little dust in the case. There is no on/off switch, so I guess it will just stay on. One nice feaure it a built in volume pot, so I've got it hooked direct to the amps. Not to bad a deal for a 13 year old cd player.

    In terms of having a quality source if you are a cheap/poor audiophile like myself I can recomend getting an old high end cd player. It's worlds above the hollow harsh sound I had from my denon universal player, which actually cost just as much as this did. It also sounds better than the denon or computer with the burson buffer. I'll end up using the buffer again, but that will be for a squeezebox. For right now both the buffer and the preamp are getting to take a break as I enjoy some quality circa 1995.

    Original asking price: $2300
    13 years later: $440
    if you take into account inflation I paid about 200 1995 dollars for it, so time is definately on my side.
  • 04-18-2008, 05:43 AM
    OzzieAudiophile
    Nice one on the player.

    You're one of the lucky ones who's found a good player to fit your circumstances,
    and budget.

    I'm in process of looking for a new source myself, but looking for a replacement amp first.

    From the various "experts/consultants" who I've spoken to, some say the source is
    the most important component. Most of them say the greatest improvement will
    come from getting an amp that can provide sufficient current to my speakers.

    If you see my speakers choice, I couldn't be happier, but I will need to spend some
    serious dollars to get the very best out of them. Music is most important to me, there
    are so many songs that just put me on a higher plane of existance.

    I trully hope your player gets you to that level also.

    I believe a trade in a a good cost-effective option. I may even be able to obtain a
    15K amp for half price, as proper class-A amps are extremely expensive in Australia.

    It is my intention to be in the same boat as yourself. Be happy with my purchase, and
    use components for many years ahead. I've had my receiver for 6 to 7 years now,
    it's not bad, but the upgrade is well overdue.

    EG.
  • 04-18-2008, 08:29 AM
    Feanor
    Confused
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by aevans
    New CD player came in today, Kinergetics Research KCD-40. Built like a tank, it weighs 22 pounds. The technical specs of the unit are pretty impressive as well, it has 2 dacs per channel one running in reverse polarity and amplifys the difference with the opamps.
    ....

    Original asking price: $2300
    13 years later: $440
    if you take into account inflation I paid about 200 1995 dollars for it, so time is definately on my side.

    Congradualtions ... I guess :confused5:

    I like vintage equipment but I'll admit that a this player would be about the last thing I'd spend 400 bucks on -- but maybe I'm missing something.

    It seems to me that a majority of people seem to feel that advances I DAC technology has been great in the last decade. I know some disagree: in particular they are people who dislike up/over-sampling. I gather some, (or maybe the same ones), like 20-bit DACs of the mid and late 90's. Some others prefer non-over-sampling DACs, (e.g. Audio Note and lots of others especially from China). Do you have a specfic opinion on these matters? I really wish I had a better technical understanding.

    Regarding the Kinergetics, I wasn't sure from the picture, but it didn't look like it has a digital output. Is this correct?
  • 04-18-2008, 10:23 AM
    blackraven
    I tend to agree with Feanor on this one. For $440 you could have picked up a newer used CD player with all the latest technology that would probably sound better. Or for $100 more you could have had a Music Hall CD25.2. My other concern is that 13 years is real close to the end of a CD players life before the laser or something else gives out if the CDP's had a lot of use.
  • 04-18-2008, 10:26 AM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by aevans
    In terms of having a quality source if you are a cheap/poor audiophile like myself I can recomend getting an old high end cd player.

    I took a similar path a couple of years back when I wanted to upgrade a '93 Pioneer PD-54. While that unit has the same inverted stable platter of the better known PD-65, it has a single power supply and lower quality analog output. I purchased a used '98 Manley Sigma Delta DAC for $500. The build quality is excellent. It is based on an 18 bit Crystal chip set (my later GamuT CD-1 is based on the 20 bit flavor), has a dual mono tube line output stage, and contains analog gain controls.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by aevans
    One nice feaure it a built in volume pot, so I've got it hooked direct to the amps.

    I think this is an important and most often ignored feature. We don't need an additional gain stage to drive the power amp.

    rw
  • 04-18-2008, 10:43 AM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feanor
    It seems to me that a majority of people seem to feel that advances I DAC technology has been great in the last decade.

    I find that the analog stage is every bit as important as the digital one. Not to mention the ability to obviate an additional line stage. I've got a couple of low end "bang for your buck" 24 bit players in the Toshiba SD-3960 and an Oppo 971. While their DACs may be more sophisticated than a mid-90s 18 bit Crystal chip set found in the Manley Sigma Delta, the analog stages of both are not distinguished. The first thing the modders do with those is dump the crappy op amps and upgrade the passive components in the signal path.

    I now share Frank Van Alstine's view that one should invest in an exceptional DAC / analgo line stage and couple that with your choice of either generic transport or computer HD based. At first, a recently purchased Blue Jeans Cable Belden digital cable was intolerably bright. I decided to burn it in on the Manley DAC but decided to wear out the cheapest of my players, a Tosh 2900. I cycled it 24 hours a day for about two weeks. The combo sounded pretty good. I put the Pioneer back in so I could return the Tosh to the in house wired system, but am not conviced the fancier transport sounds any better. The DAC / line stage was most certainly an improvement. One of these days, I need to perform a shootout of all my various CD players:

    Toshiba SD-2900
    Toshiba SD-3960
    Oppo DV-971HD
    Pioneer PD-54
    GamuT CD-1
    Manley DAC w/any other as transport

    rw
  • 04-18-2008, 12:59 PM
    aevans
    Quote:

    I like vintage equipment but I'll admit that a this player would be about the last thing I'd spend 400 bucks on -- but maybe I'm missing something.
    This is very possible, first it matches all of my equipment, is a rare peice and was top of the line when produced. I was just hoping it would sound right, which it does.. that's all I was looking for.

    Quote:

    It seems to me that a majority of people seem to feel that advances I DAC technology has been great in the last decade.
    I have heard these "improvements" and I don't much like them.. From Modern CD players/universal players I've listened to you get a very steral sound, and need to add tubes/external output buffers to make them sound even remotely musical. I just knew based on the tone and sound that I get from the other equipment from this brand that I would like the sound of the CD Player, so I picked it up.. based on specs it's outdated, but based on my ears it sounds pretty damn good.

    Quote:

    Regarding the Kinergetics, I wasn't sure from the picture, but it didn't look like it has a digital output. Is this correct?
    Correct, this was a $400 option that most people did not pay for as the output stage is what you really want from this player, so why bypass it?

    Quote:

    For $440 you could have picked up a newer used CD player with all the latest technology that would probably sound better. Or for $100 more you could have had a Music Hall CD25.2.
    I had that $500 denon unit, a high dollar JVC dvd audio player, both of which sounded bad, and failed durring operation. I just want to have something that would work and sound good.

    I think differance in dac's way overrated, and transports are just platers that spin, the only thing left that really determins the quality of the sound is the analog output stage.

    The only upgrade I may do to the unit is a anti jitter clock.