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Comparing CD transports... (did I delude myself?)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by PaulKH, Mar 3, 2002.

  1. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    Hi - I have a Toshiba 4700 DVD player and an older Sony CA8ES carousel CD player. I always heard good things about Sony ES CD players which is why I got that one ages ago. And I've heard people say newer Toshiba DVD players don't do so well on CDs.

    So today I did an A/B comparison of the same CD on both transports, same volume level, direct stereo, both connected with optical connections.

    I'm not sure if I'm hearing what my biases above told me, but I think the Sony sounded better. Not much, but somehow a bit clearer??

    What do you think?

    One other thing... I haven't listened just to CDs on my home theater in ages, but Dolby Pro Logic II makes it HUGELY more enjoyable. (For the test I did stereo direct only, though.)
     
  2. peter_anderson

    peter_anderson Stunt Coordinator

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    the consesus seems to be that almost NO DVD players under $1000 are good CD transports or analog players. I myself am about to purchase a dedicated CD player, as the Panny RP56 doesn't do oversampling well for redbook.

    Would you care to post a list of your other equipment so I can get an idea of how revealing the rest of your system is?
     
  3. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    I used to play CDs using my Panny RP91. I feel that this player does a really good job with CDs (it also has an "Audio Only" feature which kills the video circuits when playing CDs) and sounds pretty darn good for a DVD player. However, much to my chagrin, it doesn't play my gold MoFi CDs, so I opted to go with a dedicated CD player (Musical Fidelity A3).
     
  4. Tulli

    Tulli Stunt Coordinator

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    I own a Panny RP-56 and a Marantz CD-5000 which I use as CD transport, and the Marantz clearly beats the Panny.
     
  5. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Tulli, are you saying you hear a difference between these to units when using your pre/recievers dacs ?

    What am I doing wrong that everybody hears a difference between players when used strickly as a transport through the digital connection?

    I have a revealing system, nht 2.9 denon 4802 as pre and parasound 2205, kimber 8tc..

    I have did much a/bing in this fashion and cant really hear a difference as your using the pre/recivers dacs anyway. I know about less jitter, plate mechanism etc.

    I can hear a difference between speaker cables and such but not transports.
     
  6. Steve T

    Steve T Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been comparing the Denon DCM-370 to the Panasonic DVD-A7 using the digital outputs for close to a year now, and cannot hear any difference. I am using a Denon AVR-1801 as pre/pro and an older HK770 2 channel amp. There is a big difference using the analog outputs, but I am not sure which I like better.

    Steve
     
  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    I have a Panny RP91 and a Pioneer DVL-909, and I prefer the DVL-909 for CD playback (via their digital outputs). Don't ask me why, but there you are.
     
  8. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I wonder if part of the problem between DVD players and CD players also lies in the lasers used and not just the differences in transport mechanisms? (just speculating)
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    DVD players generally don't function well with CDs when compared to comparably priced CD players, either using the analog outputs or as transports. It could be the issue with different lasers as Andrew suggested and/or the notion that inclusion of video circuitry leads to compromises in the audio section of the player.

    Whether one can discern differences between the sound of different transports will depend on the transports being used (maybe there really is no obvious difference), the resolution of the system, and one's hearing acuity. I've heard difference between transports on relatively modest systems. For example, back when I had a Sony STR-DB930 receiver, I could easily hear the difference between Sony CDP-CE535 and CDP-CA80ES carousel changers as transports through Energy e:XL 16 speakers. The 'CA80ES was much better than the 'CE535. By far the worst transport I have ever used was a Pioneer CLD-D406 LD player. It just sucked as a transport to my ears.
     
  10. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    KeithH, Considering your vast first hand experience with different players I think I will try another source one more time.

    I'm sure you remember the sony 555es discussion we had, so my question is,

    What unit in your opinion would be a good cd transport ? as I like the denon dacs, but want to get every inch posiible out of my system. There is much talk here about different players but I haven't seen to many transport only suggestions, oh yea budget would be under 500.00 or so and used is fine...thanks
     
  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    John, I have some experience with a number of players, but I haven't used many of them of transports. For one thing, I stopped using my A/V receiver for music a year ago. I now use stereo integrated amps in two stereo systems that have no DSP. Secondly, I do not have an outboard DAC (MSB Link, Perpetual Technologies, etc.). So, I do not consider myself a transport expert in terms of first-hand experience. I have much more experience using the analog outputs on players. That said, if I were spending $500 for less for a transport, I would look at single-disc players. There aren't too many brand new single-disc players available for $500 or less these days, so I would be open to used players.
    One player that has always gotten good marks as a transport for the money is the Pioneer Elite PD-65 single-disc player. It was discontinued back in 2000, but comes up on the used market every so often. The PD-65 has Pioneer's Stable Platter Mechanism, which is said to function as a very good transport. For what it's worth, Wadia has used Pioneer's mechanism in some high-end transports. I own the PD-65, but I use the analog outputs. Besides being a very good player when using the analog outputs, one reason I bought the PD-65 was because I figured it would serve as a good transport should I ever get an external DAC. The PD-65 typically sells for $350-400 used when available on www.audiogon.com .
    A couple new players that you might consider in your price range are the new Rotel RCD-1070 and NAD C 541. I have not used these players, but I have read good things about them. Also, the Cambridge Audio D500SE for $450 is a good player. See www.audioadvisor.com for more on the D500SE. Finally, Arcam recently released the DiVA CD62 in your price range. I have not read much about it, but Arcam generally makes excellent players.
    Oh, one other player I have read about as a good transport is the Marantz CD6000OSE. It was discontinued last year, but you should be able to find it used for around $400.
    Good luck!
     
  12. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Keith for the suggestions. Actually about a year ago I was very very close to buying a Pioneer pd-65. I have read nothing but great reviews on it, also read something about Pioneer almost being sued over the "link something or other" that was supposed to be close to wadia. Its been awhile so Im sure I got some details wrong..I may give this player a try as I dont need or care for anything more then a single disc player anyway
     
  13. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    John, Pioneer has used what it calls "Legato Link" in the D/A conversion process with many of its digital components. Maybe that's what you were thinking of. Good luck in your search. Hope you find a PD-65.
     
  14. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    quote from peter_anderson...

    "Would you care to post a list of your other equipment so I can get an idea of how revealing the rest of your system is?"

    Good morning, Mr. .... Anderson. We've been watching you for.... some time now.

    Sorry, couldn't resist. (Matrix).

    The devices are going into a Pioneer Elite VSX-49TX receiver (brand new). I have a hodge podge of speakers... ancient Mission fronts (just 2 way, but pass the wife test - not too huge, but still sound good), Acoustic Research sub and center, and Boston Acoustic surrounds (cheapies but adequate).

    My TV's a Pioneer Elite 510HD, but that's kind of irrelevant for this discussion.

    I was using Monster XP all around when I did the a/b test but I just upgraded the front 3 to some really beefy Monster 12ga wire and nice Monster Quick Lock banana plugs - I got a reel of the Monster because Home Depot just got out of selling Monster cables.
     
  15. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  16. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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  17. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Lewis, no gospel here. I am not that full of myself. Note that I used the word 'generally' in the post you quoted. I was merely writing from personal experience. If I had $500 to spend, and audio was my primary concern, I would get a dedicated CD player or an SACD player over a DVD player. DVD players typically, and I am saying typically, don't get the job done with CDs, especially at higher price points. Sure, as you spend more on a DVD player, you get better audio, but the comparably priced CD players get much better. For example, a $250 DVD player might not be bad in comparison to a Denon DCM-370 or Sony CDP-CA70ES CD changer for the same money (though I would take one of the CD changers). However, when you are looking at spending $700-800 for a DVD player, you could have an Arcam DiVA CD72T, Rega Planet 2000, Sony SCD-C555ES. I think you know which way I would go (and in the case of the 'C555ES, have gone). [​IMG]
     
  18. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Hmm...this is starting to sound like the wire war threads... [​IMG]
     
  19. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  20. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Lewis, well, my Pioneer Elite PD-65 is lightning quick to read a disc's TOC, but my Sony SCD-777ES is slow as molasses.
     

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