CD Changer advice, I think mine is about to bite the dust.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MichaelO, Jan 4, 2002.

  1. MichaelO

    MichaelO Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm afraid my trusty old JVC 100 disc CD changer is about to bite the dust. Can anyone recommend a good changer? It needs to offer coaxial digital output, store at least 100 discs (more would be better), and play CD-R's.
    My JVC is an older unit but it had a very nice sound to it, hopefully a newer player will sound even better. I don't want to break the bank, I am hoping to find one under $500.
    In case it makes a difference, I have a Denon AVD-2000 pre/pro so I assume that I use the DAC's in that instead of the DAC's within the player itself.
    Any help / suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Michael, 100-disc capacity is relatively small by today's standards in megachangers. However, you have a few good options in 300-, 301-, and 400-disc megachangers for $500 or less. Sony makes a few good 300- and 400-disc models, but unfortunately, they only offer optical digital outputs. Still, I have two Sony ES 300-disc players daisy-chained, and they are quite good. If there is any chance that you can live with an optical digital output, look at the Sony models (ES and non-ES). If you want more information on these models, let me know, and I would be glad to respond.

    Pioneer makes the PD-F1039 and Elite PD-F27 301-disc megachangers. I am writing about these because they have a good reputation and I don't know if they have a coaxial digital output. The Elite model is the more expensive of the two, and I believe it is still in production. You probably will not find it for $500 at brick-and-mortar stores (e.g., Tweeter), but I have seen new units sell on eBay for under $500. The 'F1039 sells for around $300. Both have PC keyboard inputs for disc naming. You should be able to find the 'F1039 at most brick-and-mortar stores as well as from Crutchfield and J&R Music World by mail. Note that Pioneer also makes the 'F1009, but it does not offer disc-naming capability. Actually, I'm not even sure if the 'F1009 is still in production.
     
  3. MichaelO

    MichaelO Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith, thanks for the info. Yes please, if you could provide me with more info regarding the Sony's I would appreciate it. I checked on the back of my Denon and I do have an open optical input so an optical out would be fine.
    Do the Sony's have a good sound, or do all CD players these days sound basically the same. I haven't been in the market for a CD player for quite some time and I'm sure the market has changed quite a bit.
    If you could tell me some pros and cons of the Sony's I would really appreciate it.
    Thanks for your time and help.
     
  4. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I've had my 300 disc Sony for over a year now and its never given me a days trouble. I have always used the optical out to my pre amp since the internal DAC's on the mega chagers aren't that great (same can be said of any budget CD player though)
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Michael, CD players do not all sound the same. At a given price point, a general rule of thumb is that a carousel changer will outperform a megachanger and a single-disc player will outperform a carousel changer. This trend could very well be observed using the analog or digital outputs. This trend may be understood by consideration of design complexity. Megachangers have a lot of parts, so a lower percentage of the design budget is available for key sound-determining elements, such as the DAC, analog output stage, transport, clock, etc. A single-disc player is the simplest design (shortest parts list), so more of the budget is available for attention to the sound-determining elements.
    With regard to Sony megachangers, here are the models to consider:
    1) CDP-CX335: This is a 300-disc model from Sony's mass-market line. It is available for around $250 at Best Buy, Circuit City, and Tweeter, and possibly for less by mail from authorized dealers.
    2) CDP-CX400: This is a 400-disc model from the mass-market line. Overall, it's operation is similar to that of the 'CX335. Brick-and-mortar stores tend to sell it for $300, but J&R Music World (authorized dealer) sells it for $230.
    3) CDP-CX450: This is also a 400-disc model from the mass-market line. It sells for $400 at brick-and-mortar stores. It is very similar to the 'CX400 except that it comes with an LCD remote for display of disc titles.
    4) CDP-M333ES: The 'M333ES is a 400-disc player from Sony's better ES line. It is similar to the 'CX400 except that the ES unit is built better on the outside (more sturdy chassis) and has a better DAC, gold-plated RCA inputs and outputs, and sound filters that can be selected to improve the sound depending on genre (different frequency roll-offs, etc.). Also, as an ES model, the 'M333ES comes with a five-year warranty. The non-ES players only come with a one-year warranty. The 'M333ES sells at brick-and-mortar stores for $600, but can be bought for less by mail.
    5) CDP-M555ES: The 'M555ES is the ES version of the 'CX450 in that it comes with an LCD remote. It offers all of the ES advantages of the 'M333ES. Brick-and-mortar stores sell it for $700, but mail-order dealers sell it for less.
    Note that all Sony models have a PC keyboard input. For more information on these players, see www.crutchfield.com . Their prices are higher than mail-order dealers like OneCall, Oade Bros., and J&R Music World.
     
  6. Terry McCann

    Terry McCann Auditioning

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    Michael,

    I've had the Sony CDP-350 (300 disc capacity) for about 2 years and have been extremely pleased with it. I would not hesitate to recommend it.

    Terry
     
  7. MichaelO

    MichaelO Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey, thanks for all the help and info, I think Sony is the way that I am going to go.
    Thanks again!
    Michael
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    No problem, Michael. Glad to help. Any idea which model you will get? Note that if you are planning on daisy-chaining a second megachanger at some point, you might want to go with ES models. Daisy-chaining requires use of the analog outputs, so the better DAC in the ES models may benefit you.
     
  9. MichaelO

    MichaelO Stunt Coordinator

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    I will probably go with one of the 300 disc models. They seem to have the best prices right now and I really don't think I will need to daisy chain any other changers because I will most likely never be able to fill up the 300 disc changer anyway. Heck I have had my 100 disc changer for over 5 years and I only have about 50 or so discs outside of the 100 that is loaded in my changer. The 300 disc changer should keep me busy for a few years anyway.
    Thanks again for all your help!
    Oh, one more thing. Do the Sony's come with a book that you can store the disc covers in so you can flip through to decide what to listen to? My JVC does so I assume all mega changers offer something similar.
     
  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Michael, my ES 300-disc megachangers came with the type of booklets you described. I assume the 'CX335 does as well. Note that the 'CX335 is the only 300-disc model Sony is currently producing. It replaced the 'CX300, and the 'CX350 was discontinued in 2000. The 'CX350 had an LCD remote. The ES 300-disc players were replaced by the 400-disc models.

    As far as price goes, don't forget that J&R Music World (1-800-221-8180), an authorized Sony dealer, is selling the 'CX400 400-disc model for only $230. Maybe they have a great deal going on the 'CX335 too.
     
  11. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    Anyone own a cx 450/400 and could give me a report. I'm need to buy something soon!
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Earl, while I don't have either the 'CX400 or 'CX450, it seems that a few people here are happy owners of these models and other Sony megachangers. I have very pleased with my 'CX333ES 300-disc models. Sony makes good megachangers, so I would say that you couldn't go wrong with either 400-disc unit you are considering. As I said earlier in this thread, J&R Music World (1-800-221-8180) is selling the 'CX400 for $230, which is a great deal. I imagine they have a good deal going on the 'CX450 too. Best of luck.
     
  13. Dave Pobuda

    Dave Pobuda Stunt Coordinator

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    I just purchased the Sony CDP-CX400 yesterday. I still haven't had time to hook it up but I do have a question. I was wondering if I ran the optical out cable to my JVC XL-R5000BK CDR if I would be able to record and also have play back from the Sony ? Or would I need to hook up the analog outs to my Denon to do the playback and the optical out to the JVC for recording. Thanks in advance for your help.

    Dave
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Dave, if you run two RCA cables from the JVC CD recorder to the Denon receiver and engage an analog bypass mode on the receiver (assuming the receiver has one), then you would basically be using the JVC unit as an external DAC for the Sony megachanger (with an optical digital cable between the megachanger and CD recorder). Then you wouldn't need any other cables running from the Sony, as the digital cable would handle both recording and playback. You would just have to have the JVC recorder turned on whenever you wanted to play a CD. I'm not sure how well this set up would work because the JVC recorder may not function as a good DAC.

    If you find that you are dissatisfied with the DAC in the Sony megachanger such that you don't want to use its analog outputs, you could still use the optical digital output for both recording and playback. I assume your receiver has an optical digital output. If so, run an optical digital cable from the megachanger to an optical digital input on the receiver and another digital cable from an optical digital output on the receiver to the digital input on the JVC recorder. In this scenario, you would be using the receiver's DAC for playback of CDs from the megachanger (which could very well work best for you) and would still be recording to the JVC unit in the digital domain. I imagine that you would observe no signal loss in recording through the receiver, though I have never tried it.

    Hope this helps.
     
  15. BrianKM

    BrianKM Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Michael, just go be different, I'll throw out my recommendation for the Pioneer PD-F1039. I've had mine for over a year now and I abuse it everyday - I can't imagine living without a megachanger at this point. I personally went with the Pioneer over the Sony based on my past experiences with cd players from both companies, but YMMV.

    Good luck.
     
  16. Corbin Stirn

    Corbin Stirn Second Unit

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    Hi. Just had to interject............GRAB THE PIONEER. I have a 1007(model before the 1039) and I have never had a problem with it. I actually had 2, but after I bought 2 727s(the 300 DVD players), I sold my extra one. They will play ANYTHING(CD-R,CD-RWs, scratched discs that shouldn't play in any player) aqnd have never had a problem. I have had the Pioneer units for 4! years......no problems and flawless to this day. I used to work at a retail store that sold both Sony and Pioneer............never had a Pioneer returned in the 2 and a half years I worked there. Did have 4 Sonys returned.....2 300s and 2 400s. Sony CD players are not bad.....but the Pioneers would read anything...........the Sonys did have problems reading some CD-Rs and CD-RWs. Hope this helps and good luck!
     
  17. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Corbin, obviously people have varying experiences. My Sony CDP-CX333ES 300-disc megachangers (two daisy-chained) play everything, including CD-Rs and CD-RWs. In fact, I am in the process of copying CDs to CD-Rs for the megachangers. They are great players.

    By the way, you may be aware that the Pioneer PD-F1007 was known for memory dumps. People would type in all the disc titles, and one day, for no apparent reason, the memory would be erased. Glad you have not had problems with your unit. It seems as though this problem was corrected with the PD-F1039.
     
  18. Corbin Stirn

    Corbin Stirn Second Unit

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    Keith, I was relaying my own personal experiences as someone who sold mega CD players. I am very glad that you did not have any problems with your units..........unfortunately my customers did not have that same experience [​IMG]. I was aware of that memory dumping problem you mentioned..........I took it to my pioneer service center and they replaced the part that was supposed to be defective(hadn't had any problems but took it in just in case0. Pioneer even extended my warranty another 6 months............I would highly recommend Pioneer CD/DVD players to anyone.
     
  19. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Corbin, I realize you were commenting on your personal experiences, and I was doing the same. In any event, Pioneer makes great components, and in my opinion, choosing a Sony or Pioneer megachanger comes down to personal preference.

    I should add that when I was shopping for megachangers in the spring of 2000, I chose Sony ES over Pioneer Elite because I could buy the Sony units heavily discounted from J&R Music World, an authorized dealer. While the 'CX333ES retailed for $600, I bought each one for $400. With Pioneer Elite, if you want to buy from an authorized dealer, you usually have to deal with a brick-and-mortar dealer, which means that discounts are small or non-existent. Also, I liked the five-year warranty that comes with Sony ES components. Just my $0.02.
     
  20. Dave Pobuda

    Dave Pobuda Stunt Coordinator

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    KeithH,

    Thanks for the advice. I have the Denon AVR-4802 which I believe does have opt. out, so I will try the second scenario your suggested. I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks again,

    Dave
     

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