• 10-26-2006, 09:50 PM
    tphoneman
    Awakened "2 channel" old guy
    My past is a bit of a fog...but I do recall many hours in front of Klipsch Cornwalls and my Marantz, playing vinyl. The years were 1969 to 1974.
    Last week something bit me, I rescued some:confused5: old equipment listed at the end of this post and started listening again (I had to buy the speakers last week-end, I wish I had those Cornwalls!).
    So.........I need help with the CD thing. Are all CD players equal as to quality of sound. The Pioneer I have is 1990 vintage and I am not sure of its quality.
    I haven't touched my small vinyl collection in years, so once I replace the stylus and cartridge on the Technics, then I can listen to see if there is a difference (not sure about these speakers).
    Long story short...CD players, Is there a difference in sound?
    Thanks,
    Tphoneman
  • 10-26-2006, 10:17 PM
    PeruvianSkies
    Short answer: Yes.

    Long answer: Where to begin. Well, I can most likely think that a player from 1990 is not going to sound as good as something similar in 2006. Technology has improved greatly in the past years and so you are going to want to check out some of the newer players. I would recommend some of the more moderate priced players like these:

    NAD C521BEE
    Cambridge Audio 340C
    Music Hall MMF-CD-25.2
    Marantz CD5001

    and probably many many others. You will certainly get more out of these players than you would the Pioneer. Although I do have a question... how are you powering your speakers? You can go a few different paths. You can use an amp from your CD player, in which case you might want to get a DAC to go from digital to analog and then into an amplifier/ pre-amplifier. You could also get a receiver to do all the processing as well, but it's a matter of what you are looking at budget wise. You could use the receiver for your Technics as well.

    I am sure that others on here will give you plenty of other recommendations and can even describe all the details of the difference in CD players over time.
  • 10-26-2006, 10:44 PM
    tphoneman
    Thank you, and
    Your question as to power is: Citiation 12 with a Soundcraftsmen 2217 in front. The speakers I now have are DCM TF600.
    Tomorrow I am shopping for new CD player and buying new cables for everything.
    Thank you again for your reply
    tphoneman.

    DCM TF600.
    Harmon Kardon Citiation 12 amp.
    Soundcraftsmen 2217 Pre-amp.
    Yamaha CT-410II Tuner.
    Technics SL-1700 turntable.
    Pioneer PD-M501 CD player.
  • 10-26-2006, 10:57 PM
    PeruvianSkies
    What kind of cables are you in need of? If you read my post on here under the CABLE section you will see I am getting rid of a bunch and you can't get a better offer than what I am selling these off for. Check it out and let me know.
  • 10-27-2006, 07:58 AM
    Mike Anderson
    You should also realize that these days you don't really need a CD player to play CDs.
  • 10-27-2006, 11:40 AM
    musiclover60
    One other thing to keep in mind, if your planning on listening to older albums, the record companies have changed the line up on many of the albums. I had a friend that listens to music ffrom the 60's and 70's about 90% of the time and got so sick of the changes they made to the tracks on the albums that he ditched the cds and cd player altogether, bought a high quality turntable and cartridge, and now only buys vinyl.
    I myself have both cds and vinyl, and buy the majority of work recorded before 1980 on vinyl to get the original line up
    An example of what they do; On the Beatle's Rubber Soul Album they dropped the original opening song (I've Just Seen A Face) and added "Drive My Car" and "Nowhere Man". If you listened to that album back in the day, you know how out of place those songs are.
    Enjoy the music!
  • 10-27-2006, 07:53 PM
    tphoneman
    Thanks for the help, and......
    Made it out of the house and into Portland. Came home with a new shure cartridge for the Technics, a new Music Hall CD25.2, some new cabling, and a used set of Klipsch Heresy H700s. The Heresy's had to be a God Shot (original owner and I paid 200 bucks).
    Tonight the music is great and I am hearing new music on my old CDs. The vinyl sounds better with the Heresys.
    Again, thanks.
    tphoneman
  • 11-22-2006, 08:02 AM
    Bingo
    Hey Tphoneman... I'm old too. 83 as a matter of fact. I have lots of vinyl and still play them from time to time...but I find that my CARY CD 308 CD player does a grand job of presenting CD music without the hard sound of a cheaper CD player. But all of this kind of stuff is subjective...what sounds good to me might not to somebody else...as long as YOU are happy, then everything is fine. I believe from what you say that you are enjoying your music...and when all is said and done that is the only thing that matters!!

    Bingo
  • 11-26-2006, 06:05 PM
    spasticteapot
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PeruvianSkies
    What kind of cables are you in need of? If you read my post on here under the CABLE section you will see I am getting rid of a bunch and you can't get a better offer than what I am selling these off for. Check it out and let me know.

    Three words:
    Canare Star Quad.

    Kickass cable - it's shielded, twisted-pair, and four leads in one!

    And it's $0.75 a foot for both left and right channels.

    Audio pros love this stuff.

    Now, on to the topic of CDs:

    Quick answer: CD players are not created equal - anyone who says otherwise (and who says that sound is determined by cables) needs to start listening to his music and stop listening to his wallet.

    Long answer:
    CD players spit out a stream of numbers that is turned into music. However, the optical pickup is not perfect - often, bits will get skipped. This is unavoidable, but a good "transport" (the lens/motor/drive assembly) can greatly reduce this.

    Alternately, a PC can be used. Although PCs generate massive amounts of noise (I repair them - trust me on this), they have a big advantage over CD players: They can read the data from the CD, check to see if it's all there, and re-read it until it gets it all (a CD-ROM drive is often fifty times as fast as a normal CD player), and then record it to a hard disk, which means that the error rate is nearly nil. Just be sure to use a no-loss FLAC or lossless AAC (iTunes) format, so that you don't lose any of your music to compression.

    Then, the signal is in a digital format - in other words, nasty fuzz. You need to turn it into something that we can recognize, using a DAC - a Digital to Analog Converter.

    DACs come in a billion varieties, and many different levels of quality. Cheap "oversampling" DACs often just run twice as fast to simulate a second "bit" of resolution - however, this does not work very well in practice, as an 8x oversampling DAC is really just a 13-bit DAC, and will have 1/8th the possible output levels of a proper 16-bit DAC.

    A good bet is the Scott Nixon DAC kits - they're not the cheapest or the best, but they're small, easier to put together than Chinese kits (unless you know Mandarin - if so, I need your help), and sound quite good.

    If you want to use a PC (highly reccomended), go for the USB dackit - it's external, and manages to avoid nearly all the noise associated with PC soundcards. Or, get the S/PDIF (standard) DACkit if you want to use a normal CD player.

    Also, if you like high-efficiency horn-loaded speakers, your best bet for an amp is the Sonic Impact Super-T amp. It's only about six watts per channel, but at $130, it's a true audio bargain - the quality is amazing. (Or, check out 41hz.com for similar amplifiers in kit form, except even better. - 41hz kits are availible with outputs of up to 1,100 watts!)

    EDIT:

    Miss your Cornwalls?

    Don't feel like blowing the bank on new speakers?

    Want to be able to use a T-amp without having to use your speakers as headphones?

    Check out the "Bigger is Better" - horn-loaded bass to 30hz from a cheap do-it-yourself speaker!
    http://melhuish.org/audio/DIYTQ8.html
    http://www.zillaspeak.com/bib.asp

    With the right drivers (FE166s or Audio Nirvanas), you can get disco-level volume on five watts per channel
  • 12-10-2006, 07:25 PM
    Century L100
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by spasticteapot

    Alternately, a PC can be used. Although PCs generate massive amounts of noise (I repair them - trust me on this), they have a big advantage over CD players: They can read the data from the CD, check to see if it's all there, and re-read it until it gets it all (a CD-ROM drive is often fifty times as fast as a normal CD player), and then record it to a hard disk, which means that the error rate is nearly nil. Just be sure to use a no-loss FLAC or lossless AAC (iTunes) format, so that you don't lose any of your music to compression.

    Wow, this is a pretty complete explanation. I learned a lot from this post. But one thing I'm not clear on: I've always ripped CD tracks to my hard drive as WAV files, being under the impression that this was the file format that would suffer the least in terms of compression. Are AAC and similar formats better than WAV?