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  1. #1
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    Pioneer PD-59 CD Player A Winner & Keeper Selling the Adcom GDA-700 D/A Don't Need It

    This will probably infuriate some more people but I calls them as I hear them. I just got the Pioneer PD-59 CD player in & too my total shock, the sound to me was as close to perfect as I'm ever going to get. It actually, I know no one wants to hear this, sounded the best when connected by optical cable straight to my Denon 3801 receiver as opposed to connecting a pair of $50 or so analog cables & hooked up to the Adcom GDA-700 Digital to Analog converter, for my ears. The difference in sound quality between the PD-59 CD player & my Harmon Kardon 31 DVD player's best sounding connection, was almost night & day. The overall sound on the 2 channel CD's that I played was fuller, more vibrant, more detailed, richer & more natural then the Harmon Kardon. As I said, I preferred the sound once again of the optic cable connection as opposed to analog cables as well as the Adcom GDA-700. Perhaps with better more expensive analog cables maybe I'd have a different opinion but I'm just basing them with what I have. Looks like I already have a buyer for the GDA-700 but if that falls through & anyone else is interested in it, let me know. It's in perfect condition. Pioneer apparently made better, albeit more expensive models then the PD-59, such as the PD-65 which went for $450 used on Ebay.

  2. #2
    I love beans orgasmdonor's Avatar
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    Congrats Ed. LOUD AND CLEAR FINALLY !! Good for you. I noticed a better sound quality also when I bought my Denon dvd 1920. My 1920 has dual burr brown 24 bit audio DACs. When I hooked up via digital coax it sounded much better than via analog to my HK av635. I prefer the digital modes over the analog. The dolby 2x mode and the HK logic 7 on my receiver sound beautiful with the Denon. I get a full robust sound. I recently purchased new a pair of Paradigm Phantom v3's for my rears to replace my AR m1's for 349 bucks from a local authorized paradigm dealer. (very cheap could not pass it up). The Paradigms are a "tower speaker". These babies sound awesome. My systems sound clarity is as pure as I'm going to get it for my money. LOUD AND CLEAR FINALLY. ED if you ever get the time you need to go listen to some Paradigm speakers at your nearest dealer. You will absolutely love them. Athenas are also very good.

  3. #3
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    I definately will at minimum try to hook up coaxal cables as I'm curious as to the sound.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    So there is a night and day difference between the two players with both of them hooked up with a fiber optic cable?

    Please say that's not what you just said.

  5. #5
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    I'm now going to call you "Ostrich Man" because your head is in the ground & you just dismiss out of hand people with actual listening experiences on the products they're talking about without you not having done so. Hey, why bother having sports teams actually play
    games because you can determine the output without them having to play. George Mason can't beat Connecticut, North Carolina & Michigam State because by your rules it doesn't fit the reconceived formula. Unfortunately the formula isn't engraved in stone despite what you believe.Anyway, hopefully this weekend another forum member will come over & hear this as well. If he doesn't agree with me, that's his opinion based on an actual listening experience & believe me I'm not bothered by that. The bottom line is I don't buy & keep products if I don't think they will improve my existing system. The Adcom did improve the CD sound with my Harmon Kardon 31 DVD player but it really didn't improve anything with the Pioneer PD-59 CD player, if anything I liked the sound better without the Adcom & so I'll be reselling that & keeping the 59.
    Last edited by EdwardGein; 04-06-2006 at 09:41 PM.

  6. #6
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    I was thinking about getting an Elite PD 65 at one time, until used prices went through the roof. The transport was supposed to be rock solid with the copper chassis. I also thought the wood side panels looked classy with the shiny black finished face plate. I haven't looked at them in a while but I would think that the PD-59 would be in the same ballpark if not very close. My impression of the dac from user comments was that it was either loved or hated - no middle ground, but all seemed to agree that it was an excellent transport. Congrats! Got any pics? I'd like to see it, especially if the PD-59 has the wood side panels.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    I'm now going to call you "Ostrich Man" because your head is in the ground & you just dismiss out of hand people with actual listening experiences on the products they're talking about without you not having done so. .
    This isn't about the PRODUCTS you're using, it's about the ignorance you display while using them.

    So you spent all this money on another CD player, and it sounds best when hooked up with an optical cable. Guess what...you haven't changed a thing. You're still using the DAC in your receiver.

    If you want to test that Pioneer player, HOOK IT UP WITH ANALOG CABLES.

  8. #8
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dean_martin
    I haven't looked at them in a while but I would think that the PD-59 would be in the same ballpark if not very close.
    I have a PD-54 which is very similar to the PD-59. My understanding that the difference between these and the PD-65 lies solely with the DAC. All of them use the same "stable platter" mechanism where the CD is placed upside down on a little padded turntable.

    Recently, I bought a used Manley DAC and found it bettered the original in the Pioneer. As for comparing transports, I haven't tried that yet with say one of my cheapo Toshibas.

    rw

  9. #9
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    This will probably infuriate some more people but I calls them as I hear them. I just got the Pioneer PD-59 CD player in & too my total shock, the sound to me was as close to perfect as I'm ever going to get.
    So I take it from the finality of this statement that you're no longer going to pursue anymore of these digital front end and cable upgrades that you keep writing about? And that you'll never pursue the speaker and/or room acoustics upgrades that actually produce verifiable and clearly defined (i.e. "night and day") sound quality improvements?
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  10. #10
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    Huh?

    I have no idea what you're saying. All I posted was that the pioner PD-59 by itself improves the sound quality of my (regular 2 Channel) CD's almost night & day over listening to them on my Harmon Kardon 31 DVD player connected to my Denon 3801 Receiver. I listen to mainly remastered 60/70's rock & blues recordings. The audio sound on the PD-59 sounded best to me when I connected it by optic cable. The person who sold it to me in fact said on this model there was no real difference between it being connected by optic cable or analog cable.
    The best way I can describe the difference in sound quality is it seemed to balance out the sound better, making it more smoother & even, made the bass sound tighter & just was richer & more vibrant. The sound from my Harmon Kardon 31 DVD player sounded almost tinnier, rougher & sterile (if that's not a contradiction in terms). When I tried to listen to this connected by the Adcom GDA-700 I didn't notice any improvement at all, in fact it didn't sound as good. Anyway, I'm always open if I have the money, to anything that I'm sure will improve sound quality. In regards to speakers, if I move & find 5 speakers & a sub, that will fit into my living room & look cosmetically good & sound better & I have the funds, of course I'll consider them. Right now in a medium sized living room, for me personally, the Orb speakers are my best option. Anything bigger will make me feel claustrophobic (in regards to 5 speakers & a sub as opposed to say 2 speakers & a sub).

  11. #11
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    I have no idea what you're saying.
    I think that sums it up right there.

    If you worked in a home theater store you would have been fired by now.

    For the money that you've spent on CD players and optical cables you could have upgraded your speakers by now.

  12. #12
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    I am not at all surprised by your results. If that's what you heard, good for you. If you did sighted tests without level matching, and I know for a fact that you did since you have absolutely no use for an SPL meter, I doubt it would withstand any scrutiny what so ever. So what? My methods for determining a preference wouldn't pass scientific scrutiny either. We are all limited by our resources and double blind level matched is tough to pull off under the best of circumstances. I would naturally have a couple of comments of my own though.

    1- Adcom isn't really known as a DAC company. I'm sure it's a competent enough piece of gear but after reading the mixed reviews on this site I'd say your opinion of this DAC is consistent with at least some of the reviews.

    2- I personally haven't tried to hear a bunch of differences between transports. My limited efforts have shown me so far that I can't hear a difference under single blind situations. Others claim transports make a huge difference. I usually say nothing to these people but I'm always curious if they could prove it under a blind test. To date I've neither seen or heard anyone actually pull it off. Odds being what they are I suppose somewhere there is a test showing a positive result. My guess is that it's something like Lottery odds though. Regardless, that sounds like a decent enough CDP. Pioneer Elite makes some outstanding products.

    3. I guess I'm one of the few that doesn't have a problem with your speakers. I wouldn't want them under any circumstances but based on your stated priorities of fit and looks being more important than sound it makes sense to me. I personally think they look like shizola but others might easily think the same of my speakers (those people would be idiots though).

    4. I don't think too much of the 3801, but it's a far cry better than the POS 3802 that I have boxed up in my basement, especially with music. That Pioneer Elite CDP ain't especially shabby either based on what you say. You're actually building a budget system that probably isn't too bad. Once you get the space for some better speakers you will hear night and day for the first time. Throw in an SPL meter for a lousy 35 bucks and you'll be set.

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

  13. #13
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    I don't have problems with anyone not liking any equipment I have per se but more so with people telling me I won't hear improvements in audio sound when I do or not hear improvements in sound quality when they say I should. The Adcom did seem to improve the CD sound of my Harmon Kardon 31 DVD player but it didn't seem to improve the CD sound for the Pioneer PD-59, in fact it seemed to make it worse. In regards to tests, I honestly feel if I have to analyze if something sounds better its not worth me getting because I either hear a difference right away or don't.

  14. #14
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    In regards to tests, I honestly feel if I have to analyze if something sounds better its not worth me getting because I either hear a difference right away or don't.
    And that's the fatal flaw when it comes to trying to convince anyone else if you are correct in even your own impressions. There are so many problems with that system that it's tough to cover them all. As has been stated here so many freaking times that even a slight volume difference is going to be perceived as better, when in fact it was only louder. Of course there's more detail, it's louder and therefore much easier to hear additional detail and superior resolution. Level matching is crucial, without it your impressions are meaningless and the sooner you realize that the better off you'll be. It takes a lot more work and it's hard to do 100% correctly but not even making the effort renders everything else worthless to everyone, yourself included.

    Sighted listening tests are equally meaningless. If you know what you're listening to your own particular bias comes into play. If I've learned anything from your posts it's that you have some peculiar biases especially when it comes to optical cables. Problems arise when you present these as fact as you so often do. We haven't even begun to deal with the biggest obstacle, memory retention which is incredibly short when it comes to this kind of thing. Very big oversights on your part, IMO if you're trying to convince yourself or anyone else.

    You are correct up to a point. None of us can do a verifiable and repeatable tests that will withstand peer review on scientific method. Given my interests in the hobby, I can live with that. Still, a little effort would make at least some sense, wouldn't it?

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

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    I should add to clarify, I am playing the same CD track(s) using the same exact cables on the same Receiver at the exact same levels. The only change other then the equipment I'm testing is on the receiver inputs as I'm using the input marked DVD when playing the CD through the DVD player & the input marked CD player when playing it through the CD player. As far as I know, that shouldn't result in any change. When I tested things with the analog cables I used my "VCR" input. All of the inputs were set on the same settings except DVD & CD are set for Optic Cable & VCR was set for RCA Analog cables. I also played the same track within 20-30 seconds of each other for comparison.

    I did record producing about a decade ago & my ears are sensitive to certain likes & dislikes of something that I'm hearing & on at least 60/70's type rock & blues, I can notice things that perhaps someone wouldn't. I admit I might not be able to do that with Classical Music or perhaps even Modern Rock. As I said, I noticed for my ears a richer more natural fuller & more vibrant sound & tighter bass playing the PD-59 at the same settings where I was making my tests. If Paul PCI comes over to hear this & listen to it on his own system as well, maybe he can articulate this better technically. If he doesn't agree that's cool.
    Last edited by EdwardGein; 04-07-2006 at 04:22 PM.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Using an SPL meter is the only way to level match. Without that, testing is rather useless.

  17. #17
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    I should add to clarify, I am playing the same CD track(s) using the same exact cables on the same Receiver at the exact same levels. The only change other then the equipment I'm testing is on the receiver inputs as I'm using the input marked DVD when playing the CD through the DVD player & the input marked CD player when playing it through the CD player. As far as I know, that shouldn't result in any change. When I tested things with the analog cables I used my "VCR" input. All of the inputs were set on the same settings except DVD & CD are set for Optic Cable & VCR was set for RCA Analog cables. I also played the same track within 20-30 seconds of each other for comparison.

    I did record producing about a decade ago & my ears are sensitive to certain likes & dislikes of something that I'm hearing & on at least 60/70's type rock & blues, I can notice things that perhaps someone wouldn't. I admit I might not be able to do that with Classical Music or perhaps even Modern Rock. As I said, I noticed for my ears a richer more natural fuller & more vibrant sound & tighter bass playing the PD-59 at the same settings where I was making my tests. If Paul PCI comes over to hear this & listen to it on his own system as well, maybe he can articulate this better technically. If he doesn't agree that's cool.
    And if i cant make it tell Paul to bring his SPL meter.
    Look & Listen

  18. #18
    Mutant from table 9
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    I should add to clarify, I am playing the same CD track(s) using the same exact cables on the same Receiver at the exact same levels. The only change other then the equipment I'm testing is on the receiver inputs as I'm using the input marked DVD when playing the CD through the DVD player & the input marked CD player when playing it through the CD player. As far as I know, that shouldn't result in any change. When I tested things with the analog cables I used my "VCR" input. All of the inputs were set on the same settings except DVD & CD are set for Optic Cable & VCR was set for RCA Analog cables. I also played the same track within 20-30 seconds of each other for comparison.
    Yeah... um.. that's not gonna work. I don't know about your Denon reciever, but on my Yammie my CD player is hooked up with both optical and analog cables. To switch between the two and do an instant A/B comparison, I simply hit the "analog/digital" button. And, guess what. No wait, I'll tell you: One is louder than the other. Why? Because the output voltages of the vary between the CDPs optical and analog outputs. Hell, the optical output isn't even voltage, it's light. Not that I expect you to grasp that.

    But, that's okay, because I don't actually put alot of stock in instant A/B comparison. Rather, I think it is better to evaluate a new piece slowly over the course of a few weeks rather than forming an instant opinion. Good thing your flawed damaged hearing and disdain for reliable SPL meters doesn't prevent you from being able to tell the difference in transports and cables right away.

  19. #19
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    Hey, Slumpbuster, genious. First of all I compared the optic sound of the Pioneer CD Player to that of the Harmon Kardon DVD player. There was a huge difference, deal with that. That had nothing whatsoever to deal with voltage or any other excuse you can imagine. What's great about this board is how you all know what's best for me and my opinion's secondary for myself. In regards to differences in volume in regards to analog or digital, even if there is a volume or loudness difference, as I said, even though you obviously don't understand English, the sound was fuller, richer, more natural, more vibrant & the bass was tighter. I do know the difference between simply more volume or loudness or whatever you want to call it. My hearing as far as music is probably so superior to yours it isn't funny. What I said and you don't want to understand is, chances are you hear alot better out of one ear then the other. As such, genious, if you go strictly by the SPL readings, your still not hearing it balanced from the standpoint of your hearing unless your hearing is close to being perfectly balanced which chances are you don't know from a medical stand point. The last time I had someone on this forum use an SPL on my system, his settings were actually very close as to what I did without it. So yes, in conclusion, I am saying I am better then you. EdwardGein eats Slumpbuster for breakfest. Grasp that.
    Last edited by EdwardGein; 04-07-2006 at 08:23 PM.

  20. #20
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Would you please stop saying "genious"?

    It's GENIUS.

    How freaking ironic.

    www.dictionary.com ....grasp that.

  21. #21
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    Come on you can think of better insults then that. To quote Cartman, "Weak".

  22. #22
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    I wasn't insulting you...I was telling you that you are spelling the word 'genius' WRONG every time you use it. That doesn't help your case when you're trying to come off as the superior intellect.

  23. #23
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    I asked this before,do you guys think since he wants to keep his orbs that a newer receiver that has an EQ might help him like a used 2805 or something like that?
    Look & Listen

  24. #24
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlumpBuster
    Yeah... um.. that's not gonna work. I don't know about your Denon reciever, but on my Yammie my CD player is hooked up with both optical and analog cables. To switch between the two and do an instant A/B comparison, I simply hit the "analog/digital" button. And, guess what. No wait, I'll tell you: One is louder than the other. Why? Because the output voltages of the vary between the CDPs optical and analog outputs. Hell, the optical output isn't even voltage, it's light. Not that I expect you to grasp that.

    But, that's okay, because I don't actually put alot of stock in instant A/B comparison. Rather, I think it is better to evaluate a new piece slowly over the course of a few weeks rather than forming an instant opinion. Good thing your flawed damaged hearing and disdain for reliable SPL meters doesn't prevent you from being able to tell the difference in transports and cables right away.
    Well, at the very least you have the distinction of being 100% correct so you can always "deal with that".

    I tried to run a test to see if I preferred
    a. The tubed stage of my Jolida 100a
    b. The HDCD output of an Oppo DVDP
    c. The digital out of the Jolida to the Arcam AVP 700

    The volume differences alone made this virtually impossible to make any conclusions that were remotely convincing. To many variables so in the end I scratched c completely. Lacking assistance this time around I did what you suggest, spending time with both pieces (level matched of course) and paying more attention to my notes not only of what I heard, but my impressions of my reactions over a couple of weeks. As a result I listen to the Jolida's tubed stage in Direct Mode. Next up when I get ambitious will be to try to compare the Arcam's Direct Mode to Stereo. Then of course I'll need try to factor in Stereo mode with the Jolida's digital out. There's a great deal of work and effort that goes into this if you want to do it right.

    Nice post "genious". ( I don't do smilies, but if I did one would be appropriate here)

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

  25. #25
    Mutant from table 9
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    EdwardGein eats Slumpbuster for breakfest. Grasp that.
    Yeah, I guess I grasp that. I've just always thought it was kinda fruity that when you eat me for breakfast you always want to start by nibbling on my applebag.


    Jim Clark,
    The best I've been able to do is use a DJ mixer. You can easily match levels with even a cheap Audio Technica. Of course, then you have the argument that you are now adding the noise or sound of the mixer to the source components, but at least it should be an equal addition across the board. Of course that is only for analog outputs though.

    Now I just try a piece for a couple weeks. If it sounds better, then it stays. Even if not very scientific.

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