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  1. #1
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    I need a CD player!

    Well my 10+ yr old cd player is dead, and I need a replacement. I know that sacd & dvd audio are the new thing, but I need to get a quality CD player for the hundreds of CD's I already have. I just bought a new dvd plaver that has sacd capability, but haven't bought any sacd's yet. I haved played some of my CD's in it, but I would like a dedicated 5 disc player. Now what I need your advice on is... which one? I checked the reviews section, but most reviews are for older discontinued models. I don't need sacd playback since the new dvd player has it. So, what is a good sounding 5 disc carousel that is reliable, and doesn't have all the extra bells & whistles that I'll never use. As always sound quality is a major concern, but I don't want to break the bank either. Any input will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    I dont belive a cd player will play DVD-A and SACD as the need a set of 6 analog outs for multi-channel. I havent used a cd player in years as i use my DVD player. I just got a Yamaha C750, one of the few{that i could find} multi-disc,DVD-A and SACD player that also plays just about any other dics. One less player that needs to be hooked up.

  3. #3
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Second that emotion on the Yammie...

    I've two old school Yammie CD changers and loved em both. Got em both used and 5 years later they're still doing yoeman service. That's my recomendation to you as well..

    Da Worfster

  4. #4
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    A few possiblities in current models would be Onkyo DC-X390 or 380 (not sure of current #) or Denon DCM 280 and 380. Onkyo is said to have good reliabilty and is available at Circuit City. The Denon changers have had some reliability problems over the years but they sound good. I have owned the DCM 380 for about 2 years and mine works ok and sounds very good (so far!). Yamaha still markets some decent changers. If you're interested in used you might consider the NAD 523, Rotel 855 and 955. Adcom also made a very good changer but I am not sure of the number. Incidentally the Onkyo model is a 6 disc carousel. Hope this helps.

  5. #5
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    Well some who post here believe there's no difference in the sound of cd players at all. I for one, strongly disagree with that. A larger number believe there's at least no difference between entry level cd players. I now disagree with that as well. Here's why. I put a system together for my little girl who is a music lover. My wife wanted me to get a 5 disc changer so she didn't have to change the music for her so much. So far I had a great sounding vintage Sansui integrated amp and a pair of Dynaudio 40's, so I wasn't going to skimp on the cd player. Especially since I preach here the source is your most important link in your system. I found that most 5 disc changers are entry level priced. So i went to a store and luckily found a sales person who was accomodating enough to play these entry level pieces for me. There was an Onkyo ($189.00), a Denon ($199.00) and a Yamaha ($149.00). All three were played through the same system at the same volume. Before I heard the players I was thinking to myself the Denon is going to come out ahead here. Not so, to my surprise out of the three I bought the Yamaha. The Yamaha has less bass control or less definition in the low end. The Denon had nice bass detail and sounded smoother than the Onkyo. The music used was either Staind or 3 Doors Down, one of those songs with an acoustic guitar and then the slight string accompaniment in the background comes in. On the Onkyo and Denon the background strings were more in the back and hard to hear. The Yamaha, much to my surprise, brought those strings out more and gave them a more realistic sound. When listening to a cd player I typically listen for detail and what I feel is accurate but when I heard how this inexpensive Yamaha floated those strings that won out over the better bass detail. Only you would be able to tell which you prefer but let no one tell you there isn't a difference. Actually, I am still reeling over the whole experience. First that there was that noticeable of a difference at this price level, then that a $150. cd player could sound this good, and from Yamaha. I have not been a Yamaha fan by no means but I have to give props where deserved.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Well some who post here believe there's no difference in the sound of cd players at all. I for one, strongly disagree with that. A larger number believe there's at least no difference between entry level cd players. I now disagree with that as well. Here's why. I put a system together for my little girl who is a music lover. My wife wanted me to get a 5 disc changer so she didn't have to change the music for her so much. So far I had a great sounding vintage Sansui integrated amp and a pair of Dynaudio 40's, so I wasn't going to skimp on the cd player. Especially since I preach here the source is your most important link in your system. I found that most 5 disc changers are entry level priced. So i went to a store and luckily found a sales person who was accomodating enough to play these entry level pieces for me. There was an Onkyo ($189.00), a Denon ($199.00) and a Yamaha ($149.00). All three were played through the same system at the same volume. Before I heard the players I was thinking to myself the Denon is going to come out ahead here. Not so, to my surprise out of the three I bought the Yamaha. The Yamaha has less bass control or less definition in the low end. The Denon had nice bass detail and sounded smoother than the Onkyo. The music used was either Staind or 3 Doors Down, one of those songs with an acoustic guitar and then the slight string accompaniment in the background comes in. On the Onkyo and Denon the background strings were more in the back and hard to hear. The Yamaha, much to my surprise, brought those strings out more and gave them a more realistic sound. When listening to a cd player I typically listen for detail and what I feel is accurate but when I heard how this inexpensive Yamaha floated those strings that won out over the better bass detail. Only you would be able to tell which you prefer but let no one tell you there isn't a difference. Actually, I am still reeling over the whole experience. First that there was that noticeable of a difference at this price level, then that a $150. cd player could sound this good, and from Yamaha. I have not been a Yamaha fan by no means but I have to give props where deserved.
    Nice story, Peabody ... but pretty much irrelevant! for all intents and purposes. The differences that you heard between the three players was due to their DACs and the surrounding circuitry in each player being in the signal path that you ended up hearing. Most CD players today feed digital signals into A/V receivers and pre-pros that have audio DACs built in to handle the job converting the digital bitstream into analog. When hooked up in this manner, there will be no meaningful difference in the "sound" of most any CD players - regardless of price.

    Only when a CD player is mated with a "vintage" amplifier like the one you have for your little girl's system - or, mated with a straight 2-channel stereo receiver so that the player's own DACs need to be put to work, do differences in sound quality such as what you describe become apparent. Since CD players have denigrated to the level of what's called "commodity product" (with the ridiculously cheap pricetags that come with that distinction), the mfgs. cut a lot of corners with the circuitry that will probably not be used by anybody.

    In closing, I must strongly disagree with your statement:

    " ... especially since I preach here the source is your most important link in your system."

    I not only disagree with that statement, I'd go so far as to say that the signal source component(s) are likely to be the LEAST important link in a sound reproduction system, IMO. Excluding the cables and wires, of course. At least when that signal source is a digital storage medium, such as a CD player, DVD player, DVR, MD player, DAT deck, etc.
    woodman

    I plan to live forever ..... so far, so good!
    Steven Wright

  7. #7
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    And with DVD players becoming even more multi-players with DVD-A and SACD and any other disc which must be around 10 or more types,cd players imo are going to die or have a lot fewer to choose from. I think getting a cd player now is stepping backwards in away.

  8. #8
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    Woodman

    He mentioned he just bought a new DVD player, my assumption would be if he was using an inboard DAC why get another player at all. If you are using a built in DAC for everything then in deed that would make your digital sources all on an even playing field. It would be pointless to have more than one transport device. However, when listening to 2 channel through analog outs your source then becomes the most important thing because no matter what comes after it will not put into your signal what wasn't there in the first place. It may color it up but it will not improve it. A good cd player will sound better than a receiver when listening to cd playback because the cd player will have much improved analog circuits. At what level this takes place, who knows. It may even be at a price to where who cares except a person like myself who is a very critical listener and wants to get the best sound I can afford. If the source wasn't important why make SACD or DVD-A? If source wasn't important there would be no progression or improvement on sound sources. We would all have 8-tracks and just buy better speakers.

  9. #9
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    oh woodie

    ((
    Quote Originally Posted by woodman
    Nice story, Peabody ... but pretty much irrelevant! for all intents and purposes. The differences that you heard between the three players was due to their DACs and the surrounding circuitry in each player being in the signal path that you ended up hearing. Most CD players today feed digital signals into A/V receivers and pre-pros that have audio DACs built in to handle the job converting the digital bitstream into analog. When hooked up in this manner, there will be no meaningful difference in the "sound" of most any CD players - regardless of price.

    Only when a CD player is mated with a "vintage" amplifier like the one you have for your little girl's system - or, mated with a straight 2-channel stereo receiver so that the player's own DACs need to be put to work, do differences in sound quality such as what you describe become apparent. Since CD players have denigrated to the level of what's called "commodity product" (with the ridiculously cheap pricetags that come with that distinction), the mfgs. cut a lot of corners with the circuitry that will probably not be used by anybody.

    In closing, I must strongly disagree with your statement:

    " ... especially since I preach here the source is your most important link in your system."

    I not only disagree with that statement, I'd go so far as to say that the signal source component(s) are likely to be the LEAST important link in a sound reproduction system, IMO. Excluding the cables and wires, of course. At least when that signal source is a digital storage medium, such as a CD player, DVD player, DVR, MD player, DAT deck, etc.
    woodie, you are so correct about the built in dacs and circuits in the players. thats part of what youre buying. it is silliness to hook up digitally to your receiver if youre trying to IMPROVE the sound with a better player. and why would someone want a receiver unless they wanted pedestrian sound? there ARE exceptions like rotel or B&K but mass market receivers are under built for excellent sound.

    i have separates, even my a/v portion of my system is a separate component (b+k) but my sacd player is hooked up in stereo through the regular rca jacks. i enjoy better sound form rbcd from my player and i avoid the internal d/a and always will.

    the original poster wants BETTER SOUND. for that i suggest a california audio labs (CAL) changer (if he must have a changer but it will have to be used) or an ah tjoebe (i really recommend against changers, more mechanicals to fail) from upscale audio ferinstance.

    http://www.upscaleaudio.com/view_category.asp?cat=50

    not cheeeep, not ridiculous either but really good.
    ...regards...tr

  10. #10
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    I appreciate all of your input guys.The reason I want a changer is because I tend to have long listening sessions just vegging out on the couch & my lazy butt ain't getting up to change discs. I think I'm more in the price range of the store bought major name brand players than that Ah Tjoebo. I'm sure there is a major difference in sound quality, but like hifitommy said it would probably only be appreciated if I had separates. I am using a Sony ES v555es. I've had this receiver for several years now, & am happy with it. I had thought about hooking the new player up digitally, & using the receiver's on board DAC. But I figured I would get better sound using the DAC built into the player itself. Am I wrong? If so, I guess the player will just be serving as a transport & nothing else. If this is the case, I will base my decision on the reliability factor alone. Keep the advice comming & thanks.

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