Can someone recommend a good CD megachanger?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Richard_T, Aug 14, 2002.

  1. Richard_T

    Richard_T Second Unit

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    I have about 500 CD's and I'm looking for a good CD megachanger. Now, I'd like a pretty good one but I don't want to break the bank here. Though I have allot of CDs, I don't get to listen to them as often as I'd like so I really don't want to spend a fortune on it. I just want to get rid of all the jewel cases all of my room and have the ability to have my collection available at my finger tips. I know you get what you pay for and all that but there must be some kind of compromise right? I was thinking to spend $500 or less. Is this even possible? Thanks for your input![​IMG]
     
  2. joe rizzuto

    joe rizzuto Stunt Coordinator

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    for what it's worth...i bought a pioneer a long time ago - it was one of the first mega changers, i think. it still works and sounds great. it holds 100 cd's in banks of 25. pdf 100, i believe is the model. i paid about $700 and they are going for less than $300 now. btw, that's canadian dollars. (try a&b sound)
     
  3. Greg*go

    Greg*go Supporting Actor

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    Sony has a model, CDP-CX355, that holds 300 cds and retails for $199. The best part with this puppy is that you can piggy-back it (using a cable) with another 355, and use the same remote for the two. You sort out the cds in groups, and it even has cd text ability. Thats 600 cds for $400. Sony also makes 2 400 cd changers, CDP-CX450 for $299 & CDP-CX455 for $399. I'm not sure about how good or bad any of these, they do have optical outputs though...
    Sony site
     
  4. David_Rivshin

    David_Rivshin Second Unit

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    One thing to be aware of with Sony megachangers is that if you want to piggy-back them you need to use the analog connections, so their DAC quality will be important. With the ES models I don't think that'd be a big issue, however. If you want to use optical connections you can always just treat them as separate sources on your receiver. The benefit of the analog piggybacking is that you can do full randomization between both players, and no-delay track/disk changing, as well as using only one input on the reciever.
    I don't believe anyone yet makes a single-device CD changer that can handle more than 400 disks, so you'll probably have to get 2 changers to handle the whole collection. Sony's, I know, can have 2 chained changers, and I believe Kenwood allows you to chain up to 3 400 disk changers for a truly monstrous collection [​IMG]
    Don't forget usability in a mega-changer, it's often hard to keep track of all those disks. Using SuperNudelist on a Pronto type remote seems to be popular for large collections. Sony's two-way remotes that come with their top-of-the-line changers do well enough for basic use.
    You could do something like get the CX450 (under $300) for the two-way remote, and then a CX355 (under $200) as a slave for 700 disks total.
    Happy shopping [​IMG]
     
  5. John_Kiger

    John_Kiger Agent

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    Right on, Greg--
    I have the Sony 300 CD mega changer, best thing I ever did for my audio hobby. Linking them with optic cable and one 2-way remote gives you a 600 capacity. I believe they have a 400 now that allows DVDs also (?).
    The feature that sent me hunting for this animal in the first place was the ability to delete boring tracks on each CD. What's left is what you want to hear. There's a port on the front for a PC keyboard. This is handy for keying in the name of the album for each slot, and group name.
    The 300 CD changer has 8 groups. I found the best way to group my CDs is by the audience...Rockin' Oldies, Nostalgia, Classical, Jazz/Latin, Easy Listening, Christmas, etc. I suppose one could have 8 categories of classical or hip-hop.
    So put away those CD jewel cases. Some sort of automation is necessary to nicely keep track of everything, with the jewel cases boxed up in the closet. I put the contents of each CD into an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of everything...one tab for each slot, listing selection, artist, etc. The last printout of the Excel spreadsheet is in a 3-ring binder under the coffee table--one sheet per CD. I can sit on the couch with a basketful of remotes and dial up anything I can think of.
    Next project was to round up all my old cassettes, vinyls, etc and plug tape decks or turntables into PC soundcard and put >that< onto CDs as well. I'm so satisfied I can't wipe this grin off my face. Have fun!
    John [​IMG]
     
  6. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    I bought a 200 disk Sony changer a couple of years ago. Looks like the 300 disk changers now go for the same or less than my 200 disk changer cost [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I'm trying to be selective about what CDs I put in there so I don't need a second changer (I may need to re-think that plan [​IMG] ). Anyway, the changer seems reliable enough, and I like the fact that I can delete tracks I don't like. I set the sucker up for random play of all the CDs. I only need to hit play from the remote and the magic starts. I know some will scoff at the changer and claim that single play models offer better DACs, etc. But for my money the changer is the way to go if you want to stash your collection somewhere and be able to play anything you want with the push of a button.
     
  7. RossVTaylor

    RossVTaylor Extra

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    I've got a Pioneer Elite mega-changer and the sound quality's excellent. I also have groups created, so I can select a group (such as Jazz, or Retro) and hit random. The changer will then play from those groups. It's been awesome.
    One observation, however. My Pioneer (and, I think, many Pioneer models) store disc info by the carriage slot. Sony changers, on the other hand, seem to store disc info by disc ID number. That means that if I move a disc, I have to reprogram the disc info. Not fun...
    This may have changed in the past two years or so, since I bought my Pioneer - if so, then ummmmmm never mind... [​IMG]
    Ross
     
  8. Richard_T

    Richard_T Second Unit

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    So can I safely say that the build and sound quality of the changes are as good as the single or 5 disk players? I have a Denon 5 disk carousel and I haven't had any real complaints about it at all other than the rather laid back sound of the Denon. Anyway, your findings would I be as happy with the changer as far as the above attributes go?
     
  9. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    I too would reccomend a Sony megachanger. I paid about $250 for my 51 disc changer five years ago and it's been flawless.
     
  10. Greg*go

    Greg*go Supporting Actor

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    You're probably not going to hear any difference from the 5cd changers compared to the mega-changers. Unless, of course, you're used to a high-end single cd player. Most Circuit Cities, Best Buys, and Sears will sell one of the cd changers talked about in this thread, so you can go there and hear them for yourself. I like the idea of a 400/300 cd combo for you. You have to remember though, the prices listed in this thread were all US$. So you might have to spend a bit more in that there crazy colored Canadian currency.
     
  11. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    I just remembered something about the changer I have that I'm not too crazy about. It's a 200 disk changer, not a 200 + 1. I wish I had the '+1' feature. The +1 feature lets you play 1 disk right away without having to muck around with your settings. Here is a quote from the Crutchfield web site about the +1 feature on a Pioneer model
    This lets you pop in that new disk you just bought or borrowed and play it straight away.
    Not a biggie, but I think I would like to have this feature.
     
  12. JayDaniel

    JayDaniel Stunt Coordinator

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    I recently purchased a Sony 200 cd changer (CDP235 model) at BB, and took it back after only two weeks. It kept sending my discs flying in the back of the changer. They'd be laying all over the inside of the changer. I'd have to disconnect the power, reach my hand inside, and pull them out. Luckily, none were damaged. This happened on three different occasions in less than 2 weeks.

    I won't buy another Sony changer. Afterwards, I read the reviews of this model at AudioReview, and many had similar or other problems.

    I'm now looking at the Kenwood changers. One VERY NICE FEATURE is that you can hook it up to an internet connection, and it will go out to CDDB and download all your cd information (title, track names etc.). No need to type in unless its a CDR or regular cd that CDDB couldn't find (rare - my cd burning software, NERO Burn, uses CDDB). If needed, it does have a keyboard connection (some models even come with a keyboard).

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    JayDaniel
     
  13. John_Kiger

    John_Kiger Agent

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    On sound quality, the Sony CD 300 mega changer was better than my former Radio Shack 5-CD changer. But I know that's not saying much, eh? The randomizer works better on the Sony, too.

    Lew's comment about being selective reminded me of these two things I've had to think about in machine with a finite amount of space available: 1) Continuously acquiring CDs has prompted me to re-record singles off of CDs where I only play one track, and put them onto a composite CD full of similar things, thereby potentially saving the space of what was, perhaps 25 CDs, onto one....since I don't use MP3.

    2) Hitting the shuffle button to play the whole group randomly is also about my favorite mode of operation. But some tunes should be heard in more than one Group. In order for that to happen, the selection must therefore exist on more than one CD, since a CD >and all its tracks< can only be assigned to one group. To make all that happen, I must either duplicate the entire CD; or if it's only one track, put it onto a future composite disk which when sufficiently full, will have its own slot wherever. It's necessary to designate the whole slot, and its delete list, in only one group (or no group). I don't mind it a bit; it's enjoyable puttering with my pastime hobby. It's true that if we swap CD's around in there, the slots retain their original delete lists and slot names until manually changed, but that's not a big issue with me. I've had only problem when doing that: the display on the two-way remote reports the prior disk name and does not seem to update to the new one, no matter what I try to do.

    Changing everything around is fun, though, because you get to rebuild your entire database of CDs and what's on 'em, then see it work the new way. It's a good job for a cozy winter's day by the fire, but I typically find these diversions around tax time, it seems. Did I say "day"? Try several. I finally reprinted the database onto hardcopy (again) after two years of dinking around with stuff, then moving the equipment upstairs, away from the PC.

    John_Kiger
     
  14. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I've had my 300 disc Sony for a while now and love it. If you want to daisy chain two or more together get the ES models otherwise the non ES units will be fine.
     
  15. Richard_T

    Richard_T Second Unit

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    Just a couple more questions guys. What about access times? Are there any brands that access the CDs better than others? I know my Denon was pretty slow at spinning the carousel and pulling out the desired CD. Also, what about the memory in these megachangers? Once I sit down and input all the info about all my CDs, do I have to worry that if there's a power outage that I might loose all the information I keyed into the changer if the power says off for longer than a set period of time? Once again, thanks all!
     
  16. joe rizzuto

    joe rizzuto Stunt Coordinator

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    my pioneer loses all info with a power outage. and where i live we seem to have them on a regular basis, so i don't bother with it anymore. my player only allows for different groupings anyway so it's not much of a loss.
    afa it being a 100 cd player - i use it as a 99 cd player and keep the first slot open for new music.
     
  17. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    My Sony changer takes about 20 seconds or so to switch from one disk playing to another. You can avoid this by chaining 2 together and let one changer queue up while the other is playing (more that I think of it, maybe I do need another changer [​IMG]).
    As for the memory, we have power outages pretty regularly around here (one lasted almost 3 days), to the Sony's credit it has never lost any of the settings.
    One other thing to keep in mind about these changers, when you are in random play mode, they rely on the track markings on the CD to know when to switch to a new disk/track. I have a few live CDs where the track marks don't exactly line up with the start or end of a song. You can be listening to a song that is about to end and it just stops due to the placement of the track mark.
     
  18. Eduardo

    Eduardo Agent

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  19. Richard_T

    Richard_T Second Unit

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    OK, sorry all but one more question. I have been told that when the changes swaps disks, it doesn't put them in the original slot that I put it in so, though the player knows where the CD is, I don't! That's a bit of a concern to me. I mean, if I want a particular CD to play in my car, how will I know how to find it since it won't be where it was when I put it in there? Do all the new players still do this?
     
  20. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    The carousel on my Sony does not move until the CD is put back into it's original slot. The CDs do not change location.
     

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