Choosing a new CD player

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jo_M, Nov 10, 2002.

  1. Jo_M

    Jo_M Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm either going to get a 5-disc or a 400 disc changer. I have heard good things about the Sony ES line.

    If I use the digital connectors from any CD player, does it really matter what kind of DAC's are in the player itself.

    Won't the sound reproduction be based on my receiver?

    Would I be better off using the 2 channel output from the CD player?

    If that's the case then is it worth the extra money to get a Sony ES CD player?

    Any other recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    if you use digital out, the dac's of your receiver (or outboard dac if you use one) will be used...

    if you analog to your receiver, then the dac's of your cd player will be used...
     
  3. Elias

    Elias Stunt Coordinator

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    Joe,

    I was just pondering these questions six weeks ago as I was investigating the purchase of a new CD player.

    You are correct to say that if you use the digital out on the CD player, the quality of the onboard DACs does not matter. The sound would depend solely on the quality of the DACs on your receiver. If you plan to use the digital out on a CD player, you should be focusing on the quality of the transport mechanism, the overall build quality, the warranty, the diversity of functions, CD-Text capability, etc. CD players well-reviewed on these fronts will make you happy. By and large, 400-disc and 5-disc changers are more likely to malfunction than single-disc players, and a jukebox/carousel with a good name and warranty (i.e. Sony ES line) would probably suit you well.

    Keep in mind, however, that the DACs on many higher-end CD players are better than the DACs on your receiver, and you ought to consider using the analog out of a CD player if you are unsure of the DAC quality of your receiver. If you are considering using the analog out, make sure your receiver will allow you to pass an analog signal directly to the speakers, as opposed to doing a A-D for processing, then subsequent D-A conversion.

    I would like to join many others on this site by highly recommending the Sony SCD-555ES SACD/CD 5-disc carousel plater, available for 600-800 dollars. It uses high-quality DACs for the CD section, and has both optical and coaxial digital outs. Most people in HTF are quite satisfied with the redbook CD performance. In addition, the build quality is backed by Sony ES's 5-year warranty. As an added bonus, you would get SACD capability. If you haven't heard SACD, consider going to your local hi-fi store (I bought my 555ES from Tweeter) and listening to it. The clarity and spaciousness of the reproduced sound make conventional CD sound like AM radio. The 555ES has been recently given an A (or A+) rating in Stereophile for it's SACD section and everyone on this site is thrilled with its performance.

    For this amount of money, very few (if any) CD players would be better than the 555ES. When you add SACD to the list of features, this player is a steal. I would advise you to get one while you can, unless you are dying to have a 400-disc changer (whose CD-text memory frequently blanks out, I understand).

    Elias
     
  4. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The Sony 555es's internal DAC's are an improvement over the DAC's in my Pioneer Elite 47TX receiver. The Sony seems less harsh than the Pioneer. At $600, this player is an excellent value, IMO.
     
  5. Jo_M

    Jo_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks very much for the replies.

    The 555ES was one of the players I was considering. My current reciever is a Denon 1802 so I'm sure the DAC's are not the best. They should be at least decent. I have my Panasonic RP-82 hooked up as digital and analog so that I can switch between the two with the denon remote. There's a definite difference in the sound. How do I know whether the analog is being sent directly to the speakers without additional processing.
    I have gotten a few DVD-Audio discs since my RP-82 purchase, I'm still waiting for my six audio cables to arrive, so it's just two-channel for now. I'd like to have both DVD-A and SACD but I'll need a new reciever that has two 6 channel inputs or find an external switch.

    Elias, what equiment/speakers is the 555es hooked up to?
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  7. Jo_M

    Jo_M Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll check that out tonight.
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Jo, I will second Scott's notion that the 'C555ES is a real bargain. If you can spend $600, grab one. If you cannot spend $600, consider the 'C222ES for around $350. Both are excellent players at their respective price points, and you get SACD for free.
     

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