Does such a CD player exist??

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Russell G, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    I have found nothing at most of my usual haunts, but I though I'd give the audio experts at the HTF a shot at this.

    I am looking to buy a CD player, as I have found, that CDs tend to sound way better on a CD player than on a DVD player. What I am looking for is a CD player that either is MP3 compatible, but preferebly has a hard drive that can be filled to the gills with Mp3s. If it could display the disc art on a TV, even better.

    I was thinking of buying a second DVR with a hard drive, as then I could basically do the above (have a player to play CDs with a hard drive for the MP3's, leaving my current unit dedicated for the DVD watching/VHS transfering.

    The reason for me wanting a second player is, I would like to listen to music, while editing on the DVR, which means I need a second unit.

    So, to wrap up, does a CD player with a hard drive exist, and if not, are there DVD players that are better suited for playing CDs? I fully expect to pay in the $500-$1000 range.
     
  2. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Maybe the Cambridge Audio Azur 640H.

    I just came across it while searching for info on the McIntosh music server-- about 5 times your budget.
     
  3. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Most DVD players are designed to play back DVDs as a primary source. Pretty much the vast majority will pass PCM at the DVD-V bitstream at 48k hz vs. the PCM sampling rate of 44.1k. They tend to be designed to pass a digital signal into a receiver for example. The DACs in a rec'r are designed for HT and most of the time drag the signal thru the DSP circuitry. I'm not sure how your listening tests were done and whether you listeded to both DVD and CD players via an analog connection in an analog direct mode. I have still found that CD players sound better to me in general.

    http://www.olive.us makes one for $900 but I'm not sure if it would suit your needs. I tend to see positive comments about the sound (I've never heard them) and also comments that it is pricey for what you get. Did you ever consider buying a used or new DAC and a PC or laptop? http://www.gr-research.com/components/lite_dacs.htm has the DAC-60 which seems to get good comments at $470. They have cheaper DACs too but I have not seen comments about them. Some DACs even have a digital in and out for recording. Getting something at that price point or less with a computer, unless you had a space problem, would seem like getting a decent bang for the buck. There are other DACs I've seen good comments about that are not horribly priced too.
     
  4. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    Your right, that's pretty much what I was looking for, a solid CD player with storage functions.

    I'm totally not understanding what exactly a DAC is. Is it a sampling converter for the signal coming from a PC? I'm a total newb to this so please be gentle [​IMG]
     
  5. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    "DAC" is the device which takes the Digital audio signal and Converts it to an Analog signal. Either that, or it's me. [​IMG]
    All CD and DVD players and computer soundcards have DACs built in, of course, to feed the analog output jacks, but you can get better results with a high-quality purpose built external unit fed through your coaxial or optical digital connector.
     
  6. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    A CD player basically consists of a couple of devices. The laser reads what is on the disc and passes it to the built in DAC (digital to analog converter). The CD player also includes a transport to play the disc. You then take the signal out of the rear of the unit with an analog left and right output. As I noted above you can take out a digital output (toslink or coax) into a rec'r but then you're dealing with the DSP (digital signal processor) engine to go thru a chain of various circuitry to somewhere down the chain re-convert the signal to analog so it can be played over your analog speakers. On a home theater product, which may be great home theater, it will not necessarily be optimized for 2-channel music (depending on how discriminating your tastes are).

    An outboard DAC is basically the same type of component that is built into the CD player w/o the transport. You can use a DVD player as a transport. The DAC receives the digital signal (and could do various functions such as reclock it, over sample it, upsample it - some units have options) and then you take the signal out of its analog outs into an analog input (and probably with an analog direct type mode on the rec'r or preamp to aviod signal processing) of the rec'r. Computer hard drive playback likely eliminates some of the jitter (timing differences) one can get with playing with a physical CD. So if you had a PC/laptop with a CD drive as well and a digital output (to put into the DAC) on the sound card, you can use it to store the music (I'm not a big PC expert - I'm sure there are others on this board who - I just have played with lots of audio stuff in lots of systems) and playback. If the DAC has more than one input you can also put another device into it. Some DACs even have USB inputs. So you can put your DVD player output into it too and if you play something like Neil Young's Greatest Hits on 24/96 (assuming your DAC can take that sampling freq. mine is older will do just 48k hz) DVD-V disc or a DVD-A disc that has tracks (some do) that can be passed digitally you can run them thru the DAC too.

    Obviously w/o the moving parts of a transport, a DAC can last a while and you can use other transports with it as you change stuff down the road. Mine is likely about 12 yrs. old (MicroMega DuoPro) and probably listed for about $3k in its day. When I play stuff, people are often blown away by the quality. I traded useless stuff (to me) worth perhaps a couple of hundred about 6 yrs. ago. Micromega stopped (at least for a bit have not checked recently) distributing in the US (French co.) and few heard of it and they use to OEM a DAC for an even higher end co. that probably had similarities to mine. It is not uncommon in the audio industry.
     
  7. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    A much better and concise explanation that my ramblings[​IMG] OK I confess I'm a reforming basket case audiophile.
     
  8. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    Thanks for the explanation!

    I don't have a great surround/speaker set up, so I'm trying to buy/think ahead as I well eventually upgrade everything. The DAC might be the trick as I could buy a DVR w/ HDD for relativly little (around $400CDn for a name brand with 160GB HD), than later on buy a DAC to improve the CD sound. This would give me even more of a benifit than a sole CD server.

    the only thing missing is my fantasy of scrolling through album art on the TV to pick a CD from the hard drive.

    Thanks again for all the info, it has really givin me a lot to consider, in a good way.
     
  9. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    I don't know if you have to give that up. As I noted, I'm not the best with PCs but there is stuff like: http://www.eyejamz.com/ So it is likely possible to use a PC and a DAC and get something in that neighborhood.
     
  10. homthtr

    homthtr Supporting Actor

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  11. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    That Jukebox would be a tempting item. I'm trying to eliminate my PC from the equations, as I just have a laptop, and even with an external hard drive, it's getting a bit of a workout right now. I usually burn of my MP3 to CDs for my portable CD player, so either a cd server or DVR would be best suited.

    The DAC really opened up my eyes, as I could get a decent DVR, then when I upgrade my system, if I don't like the CD sound from the DVR, the DAC would be option to improve it. I'm thinking that might be the way to go, and easier on my wallet.

    Thanks again for all the suggestions!
     
  12. Vic_T

    Vic_T Stunt Coordinator

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    That Media Player looks nice. That's pretty much what I've been looking for. I just may swing on over to best buy today.
     
  13. homthtr

    homthtr Supporting Actor

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    Yes it's a nice piece. I would suggest connecting it wired ethernet vers wireless. You can try it both ways but the data transfer rate will be faster via the wired ethernet connection. Not sure of your current wireless router. If your not running a G router and have to stay wireless at least upgrade your router to the 802.11G
     
  14. Rick89114

    Rick89114 Extra

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    I have the D-link 320 (the SD version) It works great except it is very slow navigating the menus and play lists with a very large collection of files(with the d-link software). Also check out 3rd party server software TVersity, it is much faster at navigating.
     

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