• 04-12-2008, 08:14 PM
    OzzieAudiophile
    What is the "weakest" component of your system ? (vote on this)
    Hello, this poll was inevitable.

    Now that you have seen and voted for your pride and joy. Now you must vote
    for what component makes your teeth grind ? Perhaps that component that
    you believe when you change it, will make the highest impact improving
    your system. Those may provide two different answers.

    Perhaps the next thing you will upgrade may not be the weakest one,
    but cheapest one, and you upgraded the next bit due to good opportunity,
    or because of budget.

    I won't confuse the issue, there has to be some part of your system that
    you are itching to replace. I wouldn't like to turn this into a negative
    feedback post, as there may be some people looking for that particular
    model to upgrade to. If you are able to explain why that model doesn't
    work well for your system, rather than saying why that model is so
    crap, that would be great :)

    I will give you less options this time, of course who has voted for what
    won't be revealed, just the pure numbers.

    EG.
  • 04-12-2008, 08:59 PM
    aevans
    I'm still looking for the right source, I have never really owned a top of the line source, I'm owned JVC and denon units, The JVC was and is still a good unit, it's just so old that it's quality faded and as I upgraded the rest of my system it really started to show.

    As for the Denon unit, it sounds really harsh and crowded, even with an outboard opamp (in my system). And it broke recently after only 3 years of use.

    I'm looking at the slim devices stuff, the transporter is out of my price range, so I'll probably end up with the duet and see how it does. I've also got my eye on an old KCD-40 that matches the rest of my system.. I may pick that up, but it was made in 1990 so my expectations are pretty low.
  • 04-12-2008, 09:16 PM
    JohnMichael
    The size of my room is the weakest link. I would like my speakers to be further from the rear wall and I further from them. This would then allow me greater seperation of my speakers.
  • 04-12-2008, 09:33 PM
    OzzieAudiophile
    Mr aevans. Well I feel your pain, I have a garbage source, I have to use my
    PC haha. Well it has a 24-bit sound card, so it's better than my DVD player.
    It's the classic phrase, garbage in, garbage out. Fortunately my speakers
    help me through the pain.

    From the brands I have recently audtioned, the following may be worth
    considering to audition yourself, if they are available in your area.

    I'll put a price in Australian dollars next to them, so I'd take a guess,
    that it would be 35% cheaper where you are.

    All of the following have balanced inputs as well as unbalanced.

    1. McIntosh MCD201 (SACD, and CD player). Sound is just totally natural,
    no stupid processors to colour in the music. Detail is supurb.
    retail 6.2 K (Australian), best I have auditioned.

    2. McIntosh MCD205 (6xCD disc player, no cartridge, or carasel, just input
    1 disc at a time in a thin slot). As above, find it hard to see the 201 as much
    better for the extra money. (retail 5K).

    3. Raysonic CD128 (not bad, the sales staff tried to explain the advantages
    of the valve technology, it looks very beautiful, but in grey). Retail 3K

    4. Cambridge Audio 740C (upscaler from 16 bit 44kHz, to 24 bit 384kHz). I
    plugged in my Seinheisser 570 Symphonies into the direct 740C phone
    port, instead of the amp, and was most impressed with the playback.
    It was more than 1 year ago, so I was not sure if it uses processes to
    colour in the highs and lows. Many people swear by it & say it's the best
    player you can get under 5K (before the 840C came out). I just think it's
    a little too good to be true, but definately worth an audition, you tell
    me if it's too good to be true or not. Try to audition the 840C instead.
    (1.7 K), 840C (2.2k). They both have balanced ins.

    5. Plinius CD-101 (silver, great detail, remote is heavy and lobsided,
    no display, has only 2 buttons on the unit, so if you lose the remote,
    you're in trouble). 4.2k to 4.5k

    6. NAD Master Series (one is universal disc player M55, one is not
    M5). They look very nice, however they are all Class-A products. I
    have been told from one of our official suppliers that they have received
    many returns due to overheating. It is hard to blame that 100% of the
    buyers were all muppets and didn't read the instructions to place
    them to give enough space for ventilation. Perhaps a bad batch,
    not sure.

    The universal player can upscale DVD up to 768p and 1080i. It has
    5.1 outs, plus HDMI output. By many reviews, the upscaling is that
    unit's best feature. The SACD is good, the CD not bad, nothing too
    exiting. The detail was pretty good. The non universal player can
    just play CD and SACD. M55 4.5 K, the M5 2.6K.

    The rest, are of the mid to low range, and may not be worth my
    time. SACD is a feature I would want in a player I buy next. I
    have 6 SACD already, and I know the SACD layer is just
    incredible. I have made a list of about at least 10 other SACD
    that I will buy next, so I will end up with quite a collection of
    those.

    Let me know how you go.

    EG.
  • 04-12-2008, 10:22 PM
    aevans
    Thanks for the input and write up, my taste is definately caviar, but I on a hotdog budget. I just don't think I can rationalize anything more than 600-700 bucks on a cd player to the wife or myself.

    I've been moving all my music to flac files on the computer in preparation for the slim devices stuff, but I'd still like to have a nice cd player.

    I'm think that my best best may be a moded mid priced unit.
  • 04-12-2008, 10:48 PM
    filecat13
    My DVD player was one of the highest ranked in a number of comparative reviews (including "Secrets of Home..."), but that was a few years ago. I've been holding out until there's a compelling universal product and also waiting to see how the BR/HDDVD thing played out.

    Now I'm not so sure I want to invest in another format on top of the stuff I already have, so a top flight CD/DVD/DVD-A/SACD/upconverting player might be the ticket.

    The XP50 still does a great job, but it's getting long in the tooth, and that shiny, mirrored silver case looks completely out of place. Also, there's no HDMI or DVI.
  • 04-13-2008, 01:26 AM
    OzzieAudiophile
    Hi aevans. Well I don't want to be salesman on ya, but well at least
    try out the Cambridge Audio 740C, if the 840C is way too much.
    It upsamples, and it should be much cheaper where you are.

    What is wrong with layby, or trade in to get a more favourable deal ?
    E-bay ? , other shops to increase your bargaining power.

    As for za filecat13, I'd at least audition the list I made below 2 posts ago.
    It is good to see what these babies can do, the detail, the hi's, lo's,
    it may sound very nice. Some of them can play SACD. Only good if you
    have or intend to get a SACD collection.

    In your situation Universal disc player is the better option, some of the
    ones I have listed below upscales the DVD from 576p to 768p and/or
    1080i. Will be future-proof in terms of if you don't have a full 1080p
    lcd, when you do ? you have the upscaler already. I'd definately test
    that feature at the store before you buy it. See if it does a good job.

    No such thing as a SACD upscaler, it's already a 24 bit 96 kHz format.
    For a 5.1 channel system, you'll need a player which has the 5.1 outs,
    plus HDMI out. Not many SACD players have both. The McIntosh 201's
    do not, but the SACD and CD playback is far better than the rest I have
    auditioned. Yeah it's sort of a catch-22. On a good system of amp and
    speakers, the source should still sound good.

    Choosing a player with balanced out, will make a difference. All options
    listed below have that. Only McIntosh and Cambridge Audio have
    FULLY balanced models.

    It would only be fair to audition other players that I have not mentioned,
    whatever is available in your area, at least try those. Your ears must
    be the deciding factor. The features I have mentioned must not be
    ignored. You sound like you would like to future proof your next
    purchase per-sei.

    Some blu-ray players can play DVD and CD anyway. Plus you'll get the
    1080P HDMI 1.3 taken care of. I will wait till something really good like
    a blu-ray burner comes out with 1 TB HDD, so I can record in HD
    straight to blu ray.

    If you consider Blu Ray player, I'd set some time aside to find which
    ones actually have full HD, Dolby True HD, DTS-HD Master audtio
    processors etc, if those are missing, then you cannot achieve proper
    HD sound and image. Every link from player to processor, cabling,
    all the way to your full 1080p screen. There is not many blu ray
    players which have the features. There's a samsung model which
    has all the features, but a bit pricey. I'll keep researching in case
    there is one out there that is more like a universal disc player.

    EG.
  • 04-13-2008, 08:09 AM
    Feanor
    I had to answer my video device
    Given I'm soldiering on with my Samsung 27" CRT, you might understand why. I'm hoping to upgrade to, say, a 42" 1080p plazma later this year; (with all due respect to Pixelthis).

    In terms of audio only, I have to go with the current leader, digital source. Since I listen mostly to music from computer, it's essential that I have a DAC. Amongst available new equipment, Id consider:
    • Benchmark DAC1 USB
    • PS Audio Digital Link III
    • Monarchy NM24
    • Cambridge 740C or 840C
    Since I consider my M-Audio Audiophile USB external sound card is adequate using the M-Audio ASIO driver, USB input to the DAC isn't absolutely essential.
  • 04-13-2008, 08:39 AM
    oaqm
    The owner is the weakest link in my system. He's old, notoriously cranky, and he can't hear a damned thing over 10KHz. I would trade him in, but I'm fundamentally worthless.... I mean, the owner is fundamentally worthless.
  • 04-13-2008, 08:56 AM
    filecat13
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by OzzieAudiophile

    As for za filecat13, I'd at least audition the list I made below 2 posts ago.
    It is good to see what these babies can do, the detail, the hi's, lo's,
    it may sound very nice. Some of them can play SACD. Only good if you
    have or intend to get a SACD collection.

    In your situation Universal disc player is the better option, some of the
    ones I have listed below upscales the DVD from 576p to 768p and/or
    1080i. Will be future-proof in terms of if you don't have a full 1080p
    lcd, when you do ? you have the upscaler already. I'd definately test
    that feature at the store before you buy it. See if it does a good job.

    No such thing as a SACD upscaler, it's already a 24 bit 96 kHz format.
    For a 5.1 channel system, you'll need a player which has the 5.1 outs,
    plus HDMI out. Not many SACD players have both. The McIntosh 201's
    do not, but the SACD and CD playback is far better than the rest I have
    auditioned. Yeah it's sort of a catch-22. On a good system of amp and
    speakers, the source should still sound good.

    EG.

    Hey mate, I think you missed my point. The upconverting (upscaling) is for the video signal not the audio. Something like this:

    http://www.oppodigital.com/dv980h/default.asp

    It does play SACD, but there's no video to upscale. However, on DVD formatted discs, any video material can be upscaled.

    :)
  • 04-13-2008, 09:46 AM
    Jack in Wilmington
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feanor
    Given I'm soldiering on with my Samsung 27" CRT, you might understand why. I'm hoping to upgrade to, say, a 42" 1080p plazma later this year; (with all due respect to Pixelthis).

    In terms of audio only, I have to go with the current leader, digital source. Since I listen mostly to music from computer, it's essential that I have a DAC. Amongst available new equipment, Id consider:
    • Benchmark DAC1 USB
    • PS Audio Digital Link III
    • Monarchy NM24
    • Cambridge 740C or 840C
    Since I consider my M-Audio Audiophile USB external sound card is adequate using the M-Audio ASIO driver, USB input to the DAC isn't absolutely essential.



    Any specific one in mind? I went to look at the Panny TH-42PZ85U yesterday. Awesome looking picture. Tweeter had it on sale for something like $1547.
  • 04-13-2008, 11:21 AM
    Feanor
    Nope
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington
    Any specific one in mind? I went to look at the Panny TH-42PZ85U yesterday. Awesome looking picture. Tweeter had it on sale for something like $1547.

    It'll probably be November before I buy. I'll see what's available nearer that time. Right now the price is $1500+ for a 1080p plazma as you note.
  • 04-13-2008, 04:33 PM
    aevans
  • 04-15-2008, 12:29 PM
    Brett A
    I had to vote "other" because it's definitely (in order) my phono stage, my TT, then my cartridge.
  • 04-15-2008, 03:49 PM
    OzzieAudiophile
    Results so far...
    Well it appears that the source component is the weakest link of systems than not.

    That wouldn't be unbelievable since it's more likely one would have more than 1 source
    than amps.

    In terms of CD/DVD/SACD player, there are a lot of options to suit each budget.

    It would be interesting to hear from you guys what makes it the weakest link.

    filecat13 : There is a blu-ray burner that you can get for the PC. About a year ago
    it was selling for 2K, Australian dollars. So I'm sure by now there'd be a wider range
    of BR burners plus they'd be cheaper. In terms of software required, and blank media, I
    don't know what they cost. If you were not willing to wait another year or two, the PC
    burner is an option.

    If you get a HD tuner card, then you're laughing.
  • 04-15-2008, 06:48 PM
    O'Shag
    Perhaps a new CD transport would improve the system. Also want to try an active electronic crossover.
  • 04-16-2008, 07:23 PM
    jrhymeammo
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    The size of my room is the weakest link. I would like my speakers to be further from the rear wall and I further from them. This would then allow me greater seperation of my speakers.

    I hear you JM.
    Will we ever have audio friendly apartments? I believe it's time we start a revolution.
  • 04-16-2008, 07:30 PM
    JohnMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    I hear you JM.
    Will we ever have audio friendly apartments? I believe it's time we start a revolution.




    Or win the lottery and build our respective dream homes.
  • 05-15-2008, 11:31 AM
    Gab
    imo the creek destiny realy rocks but you can achieve a good source with building your own dac / cd transport , there is kits and parts and it works very well...

    if you have a very detailled sound system you might want a rega saturn....

    After than you reached the limits of digital sound, i am not kidding, now your looking for LP, old recording mostly :( to beat the rega sound. With the pro-ject 10 rpm your going to experience time travel.
  • 05-15-2008, 03:42 PM
    thekid
    In my system it is the noob of an owner....but my gear puts up with me anyway cause i pay the electric bill........ :)
  • 05-15-2008, 05:51 PM
    Rich-n-Texas
    Took the words right out of my mouth thekid. :yesnod:

    But I'll say that at this point in time my DVD changer is definately my weakest link, from an A/V component standpoint.
  • 05-16-2008, 06:42 AM
    Groundbeef
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    The size of my room is the weakest link. I would like my speakers to be further from the rear wall and I further from them. This would then allow me greater seperation of my speakers.

    Still going for the optimal 12' eh?
  • 05-16-2008, 08:55 AM
    bobsticks
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Groundbeef
    Still going for the optimal 12' eh?

    You're like a pitbull on that one, aren't you? Just keeping the legend of Melvin alive...
  • 05-16-2008, 09:16 AM
    Groundbeef
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bobsticks
    You're like a pitbull on that one, aren't you? Just keeping the legend of Melvin alive...

    Well, it seems you cornered the market on creepy avatars. What's a guy to do?
  • 05-16-2008, 09:20 AM
    bobsticks
    Nice.

    One I.O.U. for Green Chicklet Lovin'.