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  1. #76
    Forum Regular hermanv's Avatar
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    Jeremy

    Clearly not everyone agrees but, I still believe that there is a continuum in performance from the lowest price to the top price. Yes I realize that it's not automatically guaranteed that a $600 piece will always sound better than a $500 piece, but in my experience the $1,000 piece can safely be expected to outperform the $500 item and so on.

    So the question becomes where does the decreasing return on expensive equipment cross your person financial reality.

    Although I have tried some better regarded lower cost brands (in my case Denon and NAD) I found that they didn't live up to my expectations. In short I haven't found equipment that meets the CD sound quality standard, I find to be my minimum, at prices that are less than around $1,000.

    So if I were in your position the question would come down to; do I want an expensive CD only player (there are several at or near the $1,000 price point that get consistently good reviews, brands such as Rega or Arcam) or would it be better to buy an all around player? This player used as is for DVD and as a transport for CD. And then also purchase an external decoder. Since mechanical devices tend to wear out they seem less desirable used, but a used D to A converter can be expected to provide many years of service.

    So my personal recommendation would be an inexpensive device jointly used for home theater and as a transport only for CD stereo music. This does beg the question of multi channel DVD-A (Sony has announced the end of SACD so I think it's out of the picture). There seem few DVD-A titles that really get the audiophile community excited and an audiophile quality external multi channel decoder is both expensive and un-likely to be found in the used market. This dilemma is made worse by now needing 5 channels of amplification and 5 good speakers.

    In summary my choice would be to buy an inexpensive DVD and CD player a step or two up form the cheapest so you have a chance at the more reliable mechanisms. And then, buy a used D to A. Focus on a high class stereo system and allocate less money for the home theater part.

    I did this, and I am happy with my choices and the end result.

    Others clearly have a different view of how to arrange the priorities and at what price point further improvements become too small for the increased cost.

    Herman.
    Last edited by hermanv; 05-09-2005 at 11:11 AM.

  2. #77
    nightflier
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    I stand corrected

    Quote Originally Posted by musicoverall
    The X10-D isn't a DAC as it does no digital-to-analog conversion. It's to be inserted between a CD transport and a DAC and is used as a tube buffer, presumably to "smooth" out the sound. Never used one so I have no idea what it does or doesn't do. I've lost count but I already have 30-some tubes in my system and no need for another.
    Sorry about that. It isn't a DAC. I suppose I was more looking at the price point. If I remember right those sold for about $600 new.

  3. #78
    Forum Regular hermanv's Avatar
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    Musical Fidelity

    Wasn't it called an X-DAC?

    Talk about a strange success story. Market a tube buffer thing that has suspicious claims, and propel yourself in to a high end powerhouse (maybe a little strong) that makes a broad range of well reviewed equipment.

    The suspicious X-10 claims comes from the fact that their advertising promoted coverting harsh transistor sound into smooth tube like sound without the use of any filtering. 'Course I never heard one so it's speculation on my part that they couldn't in all likelyhood do what was claimed. It also added one more cable pair to the mix.

    Sold a zillion of them apparently.

  4. #79
    nightflier
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    Actually...

    Quote Originally Posted by 46minaudio
    Is this a fact,or somthing you have been told and never bothered to check for yourself.Try playing these players side by side level matched to within .5 DBs.To the OP Please think long and hard about buying a used cd only player without warranty..
    I have listened to about 30+ DVD players and perhaps a couple dozen or so CD players in my home. I have a group of friends (some of them work in the industry) who regularly get together to try out equipment. Some of it we own, but most of it we are just auditioning. I should also say that what we looked at in these units was more than just the sound (which is always subjective). We also look at noise, ergonomics, construction, weight, size/type of the internal components (two of the guys are engineers), power supply, wiring, etc.

    Now we're not an official group. We just have a hobby and get together to talk about it. We regularly try new products (and old ones, too), particularly when someone bought something new that they want everyone to check out. I'm not in the audio industry myself (I'm more of a computer guy), but I've been told I have a very good ear. We do blind tests using identical gear on both sides, as well as less scientific tests, especially when we really like a component. Sometimes we borrow each other's gear for a few weeks to "work it out," but it's still very un-scientific. While we usually disagree about what sounds ideal (especially with speakers), we do tend to agree on the more basic stuff like built quality, overall sound, and ergonomics. Some of us have tons of $ to spend on gear (that would definitely not be me) and others are always looking for the most bang-for-the-buck.

    Some people get together to play golf, others to drive sports cars, and we, well, we get together to test audio gear. So the gist of it is that yes, I have tried some of these CD and DVD players in my home with my own equipment and my own speakers. Some where really expensive (at least for me), and others where your disposable K-mart variety.

    Regarding used players, I do think long and hard about it (I think I learned that in college). That said, I also have several people I can depend on to repair the equipment, so I suppose, my position is a bit unique. While I agree there are risks, if you have a reliable repair shop nearby, you should give used equipment a try. Theoretically if you consider that just about everything I own has been passed around to friends' houses, some of it has been upgraded and a few items repaired, I don't really own anything new. But I can also tell you that there is a difference between a $300 universal player and a $1K player.

  5. #80
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    If your only hooking up the digital connection,there wont be any audio difference. If your running your analog on the player,then a 1K will probably sound better then a $300 player. 700 bucks worth? Thats what ya have to decide. You can get a nice,new universal player,Yamaha C750 that plays everthing for $300 bucks. I will do ewverything you need and do it very nicly.
    Look & Listen

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermanv
    Wasn't it called an X-DAC?

    Talk about a strange success story. Market a tube buffer thing that has suspicious claims, and propel yourself in to a high end powerhouse (maybe a little strong) that makes a broad range of well reviewed equipment.

    The suspicious X-10 claims comes from the fact that their advertising promoted coverting harsh transistor sound into smooth tube like sound without the use of any filtering. 'Course I never heard one so it's speculation on my part that they couldn't in all likelyhood do what was claimed. It also added one more cable pair to the mix.

    Sold a zillion of them apparently.
    Yeah, the X-DAC sold for around $600 and I think the X-10D was less than half that. Seems to me I read a review in S'phile about the X-10D (one NOT written by Sam Tellig!) and the listener felt his system sounded better without the additional buffer, possibly because of the additional cables. The X-DAC got a glowing review from the same mag, as I recall. Was the X-10D MF's first piece, prior to their little preamp and so on that can housed in the same cannister? I don't remember. If so, yes... it's an odd success story.

  7. #82
    Forum Regular hermanv's Avatar
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    Musical Fidelity and Audio Advisor

    Seems to me that in the X-10, X-DAC and X-CAN (headphone amp) days they were carried and strongly promoted by Audio Advisor, the HiFi by mail catalog people. Eventually they had all kinds of stuff in the stackable extruded round housings including an outboard power supply, power amps etc. all of them in that same package. I get the impression they wouldn't be caught dead producing those kinds of products today (ones that sell for a few hundred).

    I have purchased from Audio Advisor and they always treated me right.

    The relationship between Audio Advisor and Musical Fidelity floundered about the time Musical Fidelity hit the big time. I occasionally wonder who got the short end of that stick.

  8. #83
    nightflier
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    Audio Advisor

    Ditto on Audio Advisor. Good, knowledgeable folks. And always with a 30-day return policy and clearance prices that are competitive. If you're gona buy used, that is one "safer" way to start. They have a CA Azur 640C for $400 and a Marantz DV4500 for $237.

    Speaking of their clearance & the discussion about DAC's, they are selling a Whest DAP.10R Active Analog Processor. I wonder what that will do for the sound? But it's also selling for $1300 on clearance so that's a hefty chunk of change.

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