Better for CD: NAD CD 522 or Sony SCD-CE775?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by AaronD, Mar 4, 2002.

  1. AaronD

    AaronD Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been waiting for an excuse to buy an SACD player, and with the recent price drops of the CE775 I think I've found it. My question is, for redbook CD playback do you think the CE775 will be on par with my NAD CD 522? The NAD has burr-brown dac's, how are the dac's in the CE775? Are they comparable?
    Thanks!
    Aaron
     
  2. AaronD

    AaronD Stunt Coordinator

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    buuuump
     
  3. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Aaron, I have not used the NAD 522, but the 'CE775 uses Burr-Brown DACs. The 'CE775 is not as good a CD player as the Sony ES SACD players, but that is to be expected given the difference in price. I feel the 'CE775 is an excellent value at $250, especially when you consider the ability to play SACDs. However, you will have to listen to both players to decide which is better with CDs to your ears.
     
  4. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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    AaronD,

    I have a 775 and NAD 521 (which I believe is an updated version of the 522, or is it the other way around?). So far, I find that my 521 wipes the floor with the 775 on redbook playback--better microdynamics, detail and far better soundstaging. The 775 just seemed a lot more compressed, with a flattening of individual instruments and voices into the soundstage. I guess you could say that redbook CDs just sounded more 3-D like with the NAD.

    HOWEVER, there are a couple of caveats here. I've only had the 775 since Saturday, so I don't think it's broken in yet (owned the 521 for over a year now). Also, I've tweaked my 521 by lining the inside with cork and blu-tak to minimize internal cabinet vibrations. The 775 has had no such tweaks done to it yet -- still haven't decided if I want to keep it. As things stand, and I'm hoping they will improve after more break in and tweaks, I think that if you're using the 775 for casual listening or parties, it's an excellent value. For serious listening, I'm sticking to my 521. SACDs do sound very good to my ears, though.
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Eujin, you have the NAD C 521, which replaced the C 520. I believe the 522 was a carousel changer that came before the current 523. Note that NAD does not use the 'C' in the model numbers for its carousel changers.

    I am not surprised that the C 521 would beat the 'CE775 with CDs. The 522 could very well beat it too. I just feel the 'CE775 is a good value at $250, considering that it also plays both stereo and multi-channel SACDs. However, to get quality CD playback in an SACD player, I feel you have to look at the Sony 'C222ES or preferably, the 'C555ES.
     
  6. AaronD

    AaronD Stunt Coordinator

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    First off, thanks for all the replies guys...
    The 522 is a single disc player, very similar to the 521... I bought it used for cheap a couple of months ago and I absolutely love it. However, I would like to have a changer with red book playback on par with my 522 for extended listening. Plus, I hope to move the 522 to a music only system in a couple of months (moving to a bigger place).
    I like the idea of the 775 because there are some titles that I'd really love to have on SACD.
    I can't find mention anywhere on Sony's site about the 775 using burr-brown dac's... Are they 20-bit like the 522?
    Thanks,
    Aaron
     
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Aaron, thanks for the info. on the NAD 522 player. I had heard the model number before, but I thought it was changer.

    I don't know the exact specs. of the Burr-Brown DACs used in the 'CE775, but I believe the model number is DSD 1702. Note that the DACs used are only one factor that contributes to sound quality. The power supply, quality of the analog output stage, quality of the transport, and overall build quality are important to consider as well.
     
  8. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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    Keith, I agree completely that the 775 is one heck of a bargain. My dilemma is that right now, it just doesn't match up to my 521 for redbook playback. I'm still hoping that it will continue to break in, but if it doesn't, I'm not sure what I'm going to do . I'd love to get a 222es or 555es, but just can't justify the money right now--there are plenty of other things I could add or upgrade with that cash. The only reason I picked up the 775 was because it was so cheap. Also, I much prefere two channel SACD over multi-channel--just wish that little blue light would come on all the time [​IMG]
    Anyways, I'm still looking for a CD changer that will be at least as good as the 521, for around the same price of the 775--do they exist? I'm open to suggestions...
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Eujin, take a look at the Denon DCM-370, Marantz CC4000, and Sony CDP-CA70ES CD changers for around $250. Of course they don't do SACD, but they are good CD players for the money. Since you like the sound of the NAD C 521, also look at the NAD 523 carousel changer. It will run you a bit more than the other changers I mentioned ($300-350), but you may find it to be worth the extra cash.
     
  10. AaronD

    AaronD Stunt Coordinator

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    Having tons of black boxes is certainly cool... But I'd like to eliminate some of the redundancy by combining a few devices. Maybe I'll just have to look at the ES SACD players. Although just keeping the NAD and going for the Pioneer Elite DV-47a is also tempting...I just wish I had a changer.
    Why can't NAD just make a spiffy combo player? Is that too much to ask!? [​IMG]
    -aaron
     
  11. AaronD

    AaronD Stunt Coordinator

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    What about the Harman Kardon FL8380 CD changer?
    -aaron
     
  12. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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    The NAD 523 just doesn't sound anything like the 521 to me and the Denon has had way too many reliability issues for me to consider it. I don't know, maybe I should just scratch the idea of a changer or even SACD (until there are more titles available) for now.
     
  13. AaronD

    AaronD Stunt Coordinator

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    I've got the same problem... It's hard to prioritize my toy purchases... I mean, I've currently got finish purchasing B&W DM600 series speakers all around (Got 604 mains, they're beautiful), Rotel amps, SACD/DVD-A, and also have a small interest in getting a standalone CD-R.
    Life is tough when you're addicted.
    -Aaron
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Aaron said:

     
  15. AaronD

    AaronD Stunt Coordinator

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    I might just be one of 10 people that think the NAD gear looks really nice. It's plain, yes -- but it has a sort of wolf in sheeps clothing kind of appearance.
    -Aaron
     
  16. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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    Keith, really appreciate the suggestions. I'd love to get a 222 or 555, but for that kind of money, I could add a HD receiver to my set-up -- same dramatic improvement in experience, same lack of content [​IMG] And there's the rub: I can improve the audio or video components in my set-up, but not both.
    Aaron, I think we're both part of the same club. NADs look good to me too and I don't think of them as ugly at all. Besides, I'd rather have ugly-looking gear than ugly-SOUNDING gear.
     
  17. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    FYI there's a 222ES SACD changer on audiogon for $400...
     
  18. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Eujin, NAD is definitely known for what is under the hood, not the window dressing. I have an NAD C 370 integrated amp biamped with an NAD C 270 power amp in my main stereo system and an NAD C 350 integrated amp in my second system, so I am quite familiar with NAD's quality and value. I guess there is a certain mystique about the drab appearance.
     
  19. AaronD

    AaronD Stunt Coordinator

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    I just really wish NAD made an SACD player, it'll be hard for me to give up this 522... Especially since it appeared in one of my favorite movies of all time--High Fidelity...
    Yeah, I know it's a stupid reason [​IMG]
    -Aaron
     
  20. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Aaron, I noticed the NAD CD player in High Fidelity. Great movie.
     

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