200/300 CD Changer Users please help!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MikeAF, Dec 4, 2001.

  1. MikeAF

    MikeAF Stunt Coordinator

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    I would like info from those that have one of these mega changers. What brand and model do you have and the pros/cons of your particular model would be nice. I hope to purchase one in the next couple of months and would like to know what to look for and what the better models are. I don't need it to play DVD's, just music CD's. Thanks for any and all help.

    Mike
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Mike, you didn't state your budget, but the Marantz, Sony ES, and Pioneer Elite megachangers are the best of the large-capacity models. Marantz makes a 301-disc megachanger. I haven't used it, but as a Marantz product, I would expect it to be good. Pioneer makes the Elite PD-F07 301-disc player that some people here have spoken highly of. I am most familiar with Sony's ES megachangers. I have two Sony CDP-CX333ES 300-disc players from last year (discontinued) daisy-chained, and they are great players. Sony now offers the CDP-M333ES and 'M555ES 400-disc models that I would imagine are comparable to my 'CX333ES soundwise. The 'M333ES and 'M555ES are the same basic player, except the 'M555ES comes with an LCD remote that displays disc titles. Retail prices for the 'M333ES and 'M555ES are $600 and $700, respectively, but you should be able to get them for significantly less from OneCall, Oade Bros., or J&R Music World by mail. They are authorized dealers. Check www.crutchfield.com for more information on these players.
    If the above-mentioned players are out of your price range, take a look at the Sony CDP-CX400 and 'CX450 400-disc megachangers. They are similar to the ES models. The 'CX450 comes with an LCD remote. In comparison to the 'CX400 and 'CX450, the ES models are built better, use a better DAC, have gold-plated RCA inputs and outputs, and come with a five-year warranty (one-year warranty for the non-ES models). So, the ES models are definitely better, but in their price range, the non-ES units are quite good. Otherwise, take a look at the Pioneer PD-F1039 301-disc player. I've read good things about it.
    Good luck.
     
  3. Harold A

    Harold A Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike,

    I have the Sony CDP-CX400. I got in fron OneCall about a year ago. I have had no problems with it. It took a little over an hour to load and Title all my CDs into it. You don't mention if you are going to run it analog or digital to your receiver. In my opinion if you are going to run it digitally to your receiver then don't wast the money on the Sony ES or Pioneer Elites. Why pay for the better DA converters in the changer if your are not planning on using them.
     
  4. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I have the Sony 335 300 disc mega changer and I have had zero problems with it. The ES units offer much better DACs which comes in useful if you intend to daisy chain otherwise use an optical out and use the DAC's in your receiver etc. The Pioneer had a nice single slot for playing CD's from the car etc but the Sony has a nice eject function so its a give and take between the two. Generally speaking though the Sony's get rave reviews from their owners.
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I agree somewhat that if one is not going to use the analog outputs, then a non-ES player is a smarter choice. However, the five-year ES warranty versus the one-year non-ES warranty was important to me too. Megachangers are highly mechanical, so the longer ES warranty was attractive to me. Of course, you have to spend a lot more to get the five-year warranty. The non-ES models aren't too expensive, so if a unit were to break down after a year, it might not be the end of the world to replace it.
     
  6. Oscar W

    Oscar W Stunt Coordinator

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    I also have the Sony 335. The only problem I had with it is it's friggin deep (22 inches?)! It won't fit many regular audio racks.

    Three things that annoyed me abit is that it seems to cut off the first second or two of the first track when starting to play.

    The keyboard input was kinda iffy. Most of the time it worked though it wouldn't change from CAPS to lower case at times. When adding cd's later on it is very easy to input titles fron the controls on the face of the unit.

    Only 13 places for labelling cd's. You have to get creative when you have a large collection of cd's from the same artist (12 Pink Floyd disc's).

    If you move it after you load it with CD's make sure you either: 1.remove all the cd's (very time consuming) or 2.take the cover off (easy, 6 screws) and replace the cd's that fell out of their slots, before plugging it back in.

    I have mine hooked optically to receiver so internal DAC's were not an issue for me.
     
  7. BrianKM

    BrianKM Stunt Coordinator

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    I have had the Pioneer PD-F1039 ($300) for about a year now and I absolutely love it. It has a keyboard input/301 disc capacity/single loader/custom groups. Earlier Pioneer models had memory issues, but that was all corrected with the 1039. Text length is limited to 12 characters, but album title and artist are separate entries. Depth is only 16.5", so it fits easily in most AV racks. I personally think it comes down to brand preference if their isn't an overriding feature requirement. I've had really bad luck with Sony CD players and really good luck with Pioneer CD players, so the choice was simple. Obviously, other people have been very happy with Sony spinning their CDs.

    Good luck.
     
  8. TomL

    TomL Extra

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    I just sold my Sony CDP-CX250 since I got tired of it. Even though I had it sitting level, it would drop a disk once every several hours of playing in random mode (where it switches disks after nearly every song). If a disk is dropped, it could get damaged, or others could get damaged. I once had 20+ disks fall out inside the machine after a malfunction (the first one caused another to pop out, etc.). This took over an hour to clean them and replace them in their proper spots.
    I've switched to the Audiotron. Now all my music plays off the PC, full digital connection all the way to the receiver.
     
  9. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    Not to hijack the thread, but does anyone know of a cd changer or jukebox that decodes MP3 as well? It seems as though you have to go the DVD route to find MP3 decoding. Anyone know of just a CD changer?
     
  10. Dylan SJ

    Dylan SJ Auditioning

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    I use a Sony CDP-CX350 300 CD and a CDP-CX450 400 CD changer. I'm not sure what the US equvilents are. They go straight to an external DAC, so I can't comment on their sound quality but they have been very reliable over 18 months.
    The main reason I bought them was because they're compatible with the Slinke from Nirvis. They've become incredibly useful jukebox's.
     
  11. DavidAM

    DavidAM Second Unit

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    I've been kicking around the idea of getting the Sony 335 lately. I was also thinking of getting the ES model but it seems like the regular 335 would be sufficient I hook it up digitally/optically. So tell me,

    #1--do I have external DAC's built into my HK AVR-520?

    #2--what do I need to hook it up optically? Would that be an S-video line?

    Thanks.
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    David,

    As a home-theater receiver, your Harman/Kardon AVR-520 had DACs. To use its DAC, you would not run an S-video cable from a CD player. As the name implies, an S-video cable is for video, not audio. To use the receiver's DAC, you would have to run an optical digital (Toslink) cable from the 'CX335 to the receiver. Such a cable is available at Radio Shack, Best Buy, etc.

    Dylan,

    As an FYI, the Sony 'CX350 was available in the US, but was dicontinued last year. For a budget 300-disc model, we now have the 'CX335. The 'CX450 is available here too.
     
  13. DavidAM

    DavidAM Second Unit

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    Thanks Keith. I guess I should have known S-video wasn't the cable to use (doh!). There are so many different cables and connections today that I don't have them all straight yet. I just replaced an 11 year old Pioneer reciever with this 520 and the 520 has so many features and plugs that I'm still trying to understand everything and learn how to use it. Thanks for clearing that up for me though.
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    David, no problem. Glad to help. I was in a similar position as you two years. That's when I replaced a then-ten-year-old Kenwood rack system (stereo) with my first DVD player and surround-sound receiver. Shortly thereafter, I bought a new CD player and many other components. It was certainly daunting at first, but I got the hang of it. You will too. I remember back in college when I had the Kenwood system that I was clueless about how to hook up all the components. Each time I moved, I had to use the owner's manual to hook up all the components. Not fun.
     

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