CD player with good analog output

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Merrell, Jun 3, 2002.

  1. Michael Merrell

    Michael Merrell Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm upgrading my HT system, and the receiver I am buying (Sony STR-DA5ES) supports multi-room distribution. I plan on running my living room speakers from the room 2 pre-outs through two channels of a Parasound HCA855A amplifier. It is in this room that I will most often listen to music. Room three will be some deck speakers powered by the receiver's internal amplification.

    The multi-room feature will only use the analog signal from the sources (seems to be this way on all multi-zone receivers), so the receiver's DAC isn't part of the equation.

    My old CD player is a Pioneer 6-CD cartridge changer that's about 10 years old. Nothing special. My DVD player is a JVC XVS60BK that's about a year old. I don't want to use the Pioneer, and I'm not sure how much I would have to spend to exceed the quality I get from the JVC's DAC.

    I've read through threads in this forum, but it's hard to place what I have in the hierarchy of CD players/changers. I don't have a set budget, but I don't want to spend too much money (vague enough for you?). I am a casual music listener, not an audiophile. When purchasing products whose performance is more easily quantifiable, I typically try to get something from that place on the price/performance curve just before it starts going up at a steep angle. I would rather spend $300 on a good product than $200 on a mediocre product; $800 for another 10% increase probably wouldn't be worth it.

    I guess "diminishing returns" is what I'm trying to describe.

    I don't need a megachanger, though if the cost for quality is close, I'm not averse. I don't need a SACD player (most of my listening will be in a room limited to two channel), but again, if the redbook quality is part of the package...

    The Sony ES line might be a nice, especially if it allows the use of one remote from the second zone (through the IR jack in the back of the DA5ES). How would the CD players in this line be ranked by analog output quality, and where would I see the big gaps in price as quality increases (those diminishing returns).

    Normally, I try to post more coherently, but it's one of those nights, and I'm hoping to order the player when I order the receiver in the morning. Thanks for your patience.

    Thanks,

    --Mike
     
  2. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    Sony SCD-C555ES. Can't go wrong with it's outstanding analog play. It is a SACD player however, i use it mainly for redbook. Great changer.
     
  3. Michael Merrell

    Michael Merrell Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess I'm trying to figure out if the improvement in analog output of redbook CD sound improves in proportion to the price increase.

    CE775 $200
    C222ES $380
    C555ES $600

    The fact that I'm a casual listener makes the decision more painful. If I were really into music, I'd just spend the money, and not look back. I just feel bad if I spend a chunk of money on something that I don't appreciate.

    (gnashing of teeth)

    Thanks,

    --Mike
     
  4. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    Michael,

    If your a casual listener, maybe the 222ES might be ok for you? Actually, i'm a casual listener too however, my system is revealing enough for me to tell how good the 555 is and, appreciate it. From what i understand the DAC's in the 775 and 222ES are virtually the same whereas in the case of the 555ES, their very good. I use to own a CA80ES and can definately tell the difference from it to the 555ES. The 555ES is simply outstanding sounding and the build quality is first rate. I'll keep the 555ES in my system for a long time most likely. I paid $800.00 for the 555ES....damn, $600.00 sounds real sweet for the piece... i'd jump all over that! Good luck with whatever you decide.
     
  5. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Michael,

    It's going to be pretty tough for us to "figure out if the improvement in analog output of redbook CD sound improves in proportion to the price increase", etc., given we don't have your ears and sense of valuation. It'd be a help if you could provide any info regarding CDP's you've heard, comparing one to another.

    That said--you've got basically three options:

    - get a good CDP
    - get an inexpensive CDP and mod it
    - get an inexpensive CDP (or use your existing JVC DVDP) and use an outboard DAC

    Most of these ideas have been explored a good bit at HTF within the last 30-45 days (actually, heavily explored). You might try browsing through past threads for that time period. There were a lot of good comments and recommendations.
     

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