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  1. #1
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    Can your CD Player make a difference?

    I have owned a Yamaha RXV 2095 HT Receiver for four years and have never been happy with it, especially when playing CDs. I always found the sound, although very clear and accurate, too bland, with no presence or liveness to it. So I've been thinking about replacing it with either a Rotel 1075, or a Denon AVR 3805 (which I have not listened to as it has yet to hit the market but I have listened to the 3803, which, I was informed will sound like the 3803), maybe the 5803, but that is really beyond my budget, or a Yamaha RXV 2400 (Also have not listened to the RXV 2400).

    But, recently I got a Cassette Tape Deck for my system, so that I could play the 500 or so cassettes that I had put in storage. The deck, by the way, is a TEAC 860R. As soon as I played my first tape, I noticed a huge improvement in the sound. It sounded warmer, clearer, more like the music was being played in my living room.

    So here is my question: Is my problem, my receiver, or my CD Player? I have a Yamaha CDC 775 (was top of line 4 years ago). And would it make sense to replace my CD Player instead of my Receiver and save a ton of money? Or is the problem in my head?

    Thanks for your responses.


    Jeffrey N, Toronto.

  2. #2
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey N
    I have owned a Yamaha RXV 2095 HT Receiver for four years and have never been happy with it, especially when playing CDs. I always found the sound, although very clear and accurate, too bland, with no presence or liveness to it. So I've been thinking about replacing it with either a Rotel 1075, or a Denon AVR 3805 (which I have not listened to as it has yet to hit the market but I have listened to the 3803, which, I was informed will sound like the 3803), maybe the 5803, but that is really beyond my budget, or a Yamaha RXV 2400 (Also have not listened to the RXV 2400).

    But, recently I got a Cassette Tape Deck for my system, so that I could play the 500 or so cassettes that I had put in storage. The deck, by the way, is a TEAC 860R. As soon as I played my first tape, I noticed a huge improvement in the sound. It sounded warmer, clearer, more like the music was being played in my living room.

    So here is my question: Is my problem, my receiver, or my CD Player? I have a Yamaha CDC 775 (was top of line 4 years ago). And would it make sense to replace my CD Player instead of my Receiver and save a ton of money? Or is the problem in my head?

    Thanks for your responses.


    Jeffrey N, Toronto.
    going out on a limb, my first and best guess would be that you have a problem with your CDs. Maybe CDs in general would be a more accurate response. Not much you can do there except stay int the analog realm. Perhaps a tubed CD player would address some of those concerns but of course now we're taling about big bucks.


    It never hurts to experiment buy arranging an in home demo of better (different) gear. Best trust your own opinion over mine. Of course for a more meaningful comparison you should first calibrate your present system with an SPL meter and set up the borrowed gear (or gear bought at a store with a decent return policy) in the same manner. Having someone help as an assitant so you could do it blind would probably help as well. Really that's the only way to be sure.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  3. #3
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    I think you've asked this question before a while ago. First off, are you connecting the CD player through the digital input or the analog input? If you're using the digital input, then it won't make much of a difference what CD player you go with since the signal gets routed to the receiver's DAC. Also, is there any kind of DSP processing going on? With the effect off and an analog input, the Yamahas are analog direct UNLESS you're using bass management, in which case all analog signals get converted to digital first, crossed over digitally, and then converted back to analog before getting sent to the amp section.

    What you regard as "liveness" or "presence" some people would regard as distortion, because that's what a cassette deck adds to a recording. The cassette format is simply incapable of transparently reproducing an original signal without audibly altering its characteristics.

    Before you go overboard on swapping out components, you should first check the speakers and the room acoustics because those influence the sound a lot more than any differences between receivers or CD players can. How the speakers are situated and how live or dead your room is play a huge role in the overall sound. Simple things like acoustic panels, area rugs, and wall hangings helped greatly improved the sound in my room. Both the Yamaha 2400 and Denon 3805 feature (or will feature) parametric room equalization, which can make a huge difference in the overall sound by dialing down problematic frequency peaks. Aside from that type of addition, going a receiver that lacks that kind of calibration will be nothing more than a lateral change. Lots of money for minimal difference.

    You also need to consider the original recording. A lot of pop recordings are purposely EQd in certain ways in accordance with how they are likely to get played back (i.e. through car audio systems, mini systems, or anything other than a high res audiophile system). For example, dance remixes are typically very dry mixes because they're mixed for playback in reverberant night clubs.

    Really, the only way you can check the causal effects for yourself is to borrow a different receiver or CD player and check for yourself. As Jim already pointed out, use a SPL meter to make sure that the levels are similar, and if possible, have a friend do the swap outs to limit the sighted biases.

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