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Please advise for a CD player purchase

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10 replies to this topic

#1 of 11 Kincade


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Posted April 17 2004 - 12:34 PM

Hi all... I'm hoping a few of you can give me some advice... Currently, my system consists of a pioneer 5 disk DVD/CD player, HK AVR7200 reciever, and Dahlquist QX10 Mains, QX60C center, and QX4 rear and side surrounds. I'm quite happy with it so far.

However, I'm building my own subwoofer - and I want to make bass management easier (2 different inputs = 2 different configurations). It seems like this would be a good time to add a dedicated CD player, which I've wanted for some time anyway...

I'm having quite a time finding one though - there are so many out there! I'd like standard audio cd's, and multichannel as well (SACD, DVD-A?).

I've read about the NAD521EE, The Cambridge 540C, Sony 555ES, the Denon 2900/2200, and the Toshiba SD-4900 (yes, I know it's cheap - but it seems to get good reviews on headfi, etc.) My budget is $1-400, if that helps... Any suggestions or push in a direction?

Lastly, I'm a little confused here... Currently I have the dvd player into an optical out to the receiver. Would I want to run the dedicated CD player with the 6-channel analog out? Or run it with a coax/optical out as well?

And the dumbest question of all... Does "redbook CD" mean a standard 2-channel CD?

Thanks in advance!

#2 of 11 Danny Tse

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Posted April 17 2004 - 01:48 PM

Dedicated CD player wouldn't have 6-channel analog out; the CD format doesn't support multi-channel playback. The CD player will have analog left/right outputs, and optical/coax digital output(s).

In order for you to get the benefits of multi-channel SACD or DVD-A playback, you need to run the 6-channel analog outputs of the player into the 6-channel analog inputs of the receiver. If there's only a digital interface between the receiver and the player, then you will be not be getting anything SACD or DVD-A.

Yes, "redbook CD" is just a regular CD.

Toshiba SD-4900 is currently on sale for $60.00 at Best Buy. The people at head-fi.org is going ga-ga over it (after the buzz created by the Toshiba SD-3950). Also, the similar-to-3950 SD-3960 is being cleared out at Target and Best Buy for $55.00. The SD-4900 is a multi-channel capable DVD-A player.

Another option is the Panasonic F87 5-disc DVD-V/A changer....HDCD decoding and DVD-A for $130.00.

Sony is set to launch an audio-only 5-disc SACD changer for $150.00.
SACD not listed at sa-cd.net (updated 8/26/2009)

#3 of 11 Kincade


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Posted April 18 2004 - 05:19 AM


Thanks for your response!

So for multichannel audio, I really need a DVD player, as the CD players don't recognize the format? And multichannel audio cannot be pumped to my receiver through a digital connection - only the analog 6 channel?

About the SD-4900... Do you think this is better than my current Panasonic CP72? Or would I just be needlessly adding another component to my system? I've read the reviews, but the price still scares me! It's hard to believe that it would compete with units that are priced at $500...

Thanks for all the advice!

#4 of 11 Kincade


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Posted April 18 2004 - 07:32 AM

I've been looking and reading for about 4 hours now... And it seems there isn't something out there that I can afford.

What I want:

NO video needed
Less than $400

It doesn't look like there's anything out there.. The tosh doesn't do SACD, the dv-563a apparently has some bad bass management issues, most of the NAD/Cambridge units don't have capabilities for both, the Phillips doesn't do DVD-A...

Is there something out there for me? Or do I bag the multichannel audio and just get the toshiba?


#5 of 11 chung_sotheby


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Posted April 18 2004 - 08:32 AM

DVD-Audio ONLY comes with video. For less than $400, you might be able to get a Yammy 1500 (just came out) or , if you are lucky, a Denon 2200.

#6 of 11 ScottCHI



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Posted April 18 2004 - 12:28 PM

someone had posted a link to refurbished 2200s for less than $400 recently

and there's the pioneer "whatever" (563a, i think is the model number) universal player. i'm not familiar with it's bass management capabilities, though.
"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."

#7 of 11 Kincade


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Posted April 19 2004 - 04:29 AM

Chung - thanks for the info. I didn't mean to say it COULDNT have video, only that the video section is very unimportant to me. Don't care about the dinterlacer, etc.


Was that deal posted here? I'd love to find that,it'd be the ticket.

The 563A is supposed to be ok - but i've read that the crossover is fixed at 120/200 hz for SACD/DVD-A. I always have the option of crossing it over in my receiver instead, but then the signal is digitized again, and I wonder if it will degrade the signal even further...

I'm thinking my goal is to find a 2200 for a good price. If not that, I guess bag the SACD idea and just get the toshiba with dvd-a...

#8 of 11 Danny Tse

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Posted April 19 2004 - 04:43 AM


For now, only a few extremely high-end SACD/universal players can output their hi-rez signals digitally. So, for now, high-rez is only available via analog. There are dedicated SACD players available, but those generally cost a lot more than the DVD/SACD players. Sony recently did announce a return to market a dedicated 5-disc SACD changer (with no video), which should retail for about $150.00.

Otherwise, there're the universal players. While the $400.00 Yamaha 1500 was mentioned in this thread, I believe it's not available online (unless you don't the warranty). However, J&R is offering the Yamaha DV-S5770 universal player for $400.00 w/ no shipping charges.

Regarding the Toshiba-SD4900, I have never heard it. I must admit that it's very tempting to get a multi-channel DVD-A player for $60.00 (Panasonic's new 2-channel DVD-A players come in at $100.00). To be honest, I don't expect it to be as good as a $500 player. Perhaps a $200 CD player like the NAD 521? At least you'll get a 30-day return period if you get the 4900 from Best Buy.

Here's an interesting thread at head-fi.org on the Toshiba-SD4900


And here's another thread on the Toshiba SD-3950 vs. the Pioneer 563A

SACD not listed at sa-cd.net (updated 8/26/2009)

#9 of 11 Kincade


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Posted April 21 2004 - 08:33 AM

Thanks for the advice Danny!

I've about decided that I need a dedicated Redbook player, just trying to figure out which one now! I'm looking at the NAD 541i, Cambridge azure 640, and the Music Hall CD25; Just can't find a place to demo any of them!

#10 of 11 Mike Co

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Posted April 21 2004 - 09:17 AM

I've mentioned on another thread that I recently puchased the Pioneer 563-a and the Outlaw ICBM for bass management (yes, it's needed). But the price is $150 + $250 plus cables. Nice price, good sound, plays everything and the bass management is superb.
FYI the DAC's, which imho are the costly components in an audio oriented system, are very good on the L+R+Center (so it covers redbook)and cheap on the surround speakers. To me, this is a reasonable compromise when budget is a high priority.

#11 of 11 Kincade


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Posted April 21 2004 - 09:55 AM


What DAC's does it use?

Thanks for the tip!