Component CD player recommendations?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Shaun Gonzalez, Aug 3, 2002.

  1. Shaun Gonzalez

    Shaun Gonzalez Auditioning

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2002
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey all, this seems to be as good of a place as any to ask this...
    We recently got a surround sound setup (receiver + speakers), and are looking to throw a CD changer into the mix. While I've done a little looking around in stores, I was hoping to garner some general recommendations here.
    We're looking for a 5-6 disc changer. While we do have enough CDs to fill a 100 disc changer, it just seems like more hassle than it's worth (not to mention more money for the unit itself).
    MP3 playback is highly preferred. Through my preliminary research, I've found two CD changers that can play discs full of MP3s:
    - A Sony 400 disc changer. See above.
    - A RCA 5 disc changer. As far as features go, it looks to be what we want, but we don't trust RCA as a brand.
    Now, I know that there's DVD changers that can play MP3 CDs, but we already have a DVD player hooked up to the system, so another DVD player would just be an extra cost. Not to mention that, in my experience, items that do multiple functions aren't as good as a specialized unit.
    A digital coaxial output would also be nice. Our receiver has an optical input (currently being used by the DVD player), and a free coaxial, so one with an optical out won't really do us a whole lot of good. We did find this changer. The feature list shows "2 Optical digital inputs, 1 coaxial digital input". Now, is that a typo, or is there some reason I'm not aware of that a CD player would have inputs?
    On a related tangent, which one gives better sound quality, optical or coaxial?
    One final thing is a question of brand. I've seen some posts in here regarding Sony and how they tend to cost more than they're worth as far as quality goes. What brand would you guys recommend, though? I've had good experiences with Sony's stuff, but other suggestions would be welcome. Unfortunately, our budget for this is, at the very max, around $300.
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Shaun, welcome to the Forum. Few CD players can play MP3-encoded CDs. Outside of some cheap models like the RCA changer you mentioned, the only other player I can think of with MP3 capability is the Sony CDP-CX455 400-disc megachanger, which you came across. Note that I am not considering DVD players here. Unfortunately, the 'CX455 only has an optical digital output. I don't know what the RCA changer offers.
    I checked out the link for the Sony CDP-CE575 changer that you provided. If you read the feature list, it is clear that Sony erroneously inserted a list for a receiver. As with the vast majority of CD players, the 'CE575 has no digital inputs. It only has an optical digital output. Note that the 'CE575 does not play MP3-encoded CDs. For more on this player, go to www.crutchfield.com .
    If you can live without MP3 capability, there are two quality CD changers priced at $300 or less that you should check out. Both are five-disc carousel changers and both have coaxial digital outputs. Take a look at the Denon DCM-370 and Marantz CC4000. I have the Denon unit, and it is quite good for the money. Tweeter has it, if you have a store in your area. Also, see www.crutchfield.com for more information. I believe www.hifi.com has the Marantz changer.
    In my opinion, Sony makes some high-quality gear and some not-so-high-quality gear. Sony's ES line offers some quality components. The quality of Sony's non-ES components varies. Sony's non-ES carousel CD changers, like the 'CE575, are average at best. The Denon and Marantz changers I mentioned are much better. Sony offers the CDP-CA70ES carousel changer in its ES line for around the same price as the Denon and Marantz changers, but the 'CA70ES only has an optical digital output. Other ES changers that have coaxial digital outputs sell for more than $300. The ES changers are quality components.
     
  3. TomCW

    TomCW Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Messages:
    339
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    110
    RCA is generally made by Thomson Electronics. They also make GE and other budget brands. I avoid them like the plague. I worked as a bench tech for years and I wouldn't recommend RCA to anyone.
    Tom
     
  4. Shaun Gonzalez

    Shaun Gonzalez Auditioning

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2002
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    KeithH
    Thanks for the model numbers and links. Are you aware of any sites that do reviews of stuff like this, though? I like to get as many opinions on something as possible before I plunk down money for it (especially applicable for items that run hundreds of dollars). That way, I can see not only potential ups and downs of the products, but I can see how many people have a certain issue with it. I think I'm going to have to go into a place like Tweeter or Myer Emco and see if I can listen to these different models. I'm by no stretch a huge audio purist, so what may seem worth a $100 price jump to some, may not appeal to me as much. As is, I see stuff like "Multilevel Noise Shaping D/A converter and an advanced digital filter" and it all sounds like marketing junk. Sad thing is, I used to work in the home electronics department at Sears. Shows how good their training is, eh?
    Of course, if I go into a place like Tweeter and listen these items on their setups, they'll probably be on systems that far outpower my own, so it won't be a good representation anyway... oh well [​IMG]
     
  5. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2001
    Messages:
    1,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The 5-disc changer with HDCD chip Denon DCM-370 has 138 reviews at audioreview.com HERE
    While I do not regard this review board too highly because posters tend to be so subjective, this is as good a place as any for this particular unit. There is even a "hidden tweak" buried in the prose, which I have adopted.
    bill
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Bill,

    Good call on audioreview.com. That would have been my suggestion to Shaun. I don't like that web site either, but it is a source of reviews. They used to have a problem with people logging bogus reviews or using the review section to argue about the virtues of various components. I don't know if they have cleaned that up.

    You said:

     
  7. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2001
    Messages:
    1,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Keith, yes I disabled the headphone connection. Took 5-10 minutes, easy, and can be replaced on the terminal any time.

    Effect? I dont know; it certainly didn't degrade any sound. One has to consider the whole chain of signal path from source to speakers which vary from user to user, room to room.

    I now have the CDp analogs connected to the pre/pro's 6Chl Inputs Mains (with a Y also to regular CD inputs) just to listen to optional paths. This switching sets up very good with a Yamaha AVR.
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Bill, thanks for the information. Some have said that disabling the headphone jack on the '370 is beneficial to the sound quality. I wonder.
     

Share This Page