how terrible of idea to use DVD player to play CDs?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Yoon Lee, Jun 16, 2002.

  1. Yoon Lee

    Yoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    It seems many people think playing your fav. CDs on your dvd player would give you much worse sound than CD players. How much is truth? Or, how far is it from truth? I've got Sony SCD 775, but its redbook CD reproduction has been harsh even compared to my Sony DVD 570. So,... I'm thinking of getting Sony NSP700 to upgrade to progressive scan and use it for CD playback also. How bad is this idea? Thanks.

    p.s. any alternative CD player at $200 price range would be appreciated.
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Yoon, if you need progressive-scan output, then replacing the 'S570D to the 'NS700V is a good idea. However, I doubt you will get better CD sound. If the 'NS700V is the CD player, it isn't much better.

    At a given price point, a dedicated CD player will almost always beat a DVD player playing CDs. Compromises in the design and interference can render DVD players inferior. That is not to say that all DVD players are poor CD players. In an absolute sense, some DVD players are good with CDs, however, a comparably priced CD player is likely to be better.

    For a CD player in your price range, take a look at the Sony SCD-CE775 carousel changer. It sells for $180 and plays stereo and multi-channel SACDs. It's a good CD player for the money. Other players to consider for around $200-300 are the Sony CDP-CA70ES, Denon DCM-370, and Marantz CC4000. They are all five-disc carousel changers.
     
  3. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Yoon, I saw in your other thread that you were asking about a transport for $200. Presumably, you will be using a new player with your Rotel component. With respect to the Sony 'CE775, note that you have to use the analog outputs for SACD. The 'CE775 only has an optical digital output for CD.

    Also, the other changers I listed are straight CD changers (no SACD). The 'CA70ES only has an optical digital output, while the Denon and Marantz models only have a coaxial digital output. I should also mention that while Denon DCM-370 sells for $250-300, you might be inclined to consider the '270, which sells for around $200. However, the '270 has no digital output.

    No matter which player you get, try it with the analog outputs. The 'CE775 could very well be your best bet. If you don't like the sound through the analog outputs, you can always use the digital output. As a bonus, you get SACD. As long as you the lack of a coaxial digital output doesn't bother you, I'd give the 'CE775 a listen.
     
  4. Yoon Lee

    Yoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    I use my CE775 using optical output. And, it sounds harsh compared to Sony 570 DVD player... No, I don't use CE775 at the moment and I'm not planning to do so any time soon. SACD is an added feature, which I might take advantage of later, if ever. So, its analog performance is pretty much out of question for me.
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Yoon, I'm a moron. I completely missed your statement about already owning the 'CE775. Oops. I question whether any $200 player will distinguish itself as a transport. The Marantz changers are warm-sounding, but I have only tried them using the analog outputs. I have the Denon DCM-370, and it too is a warm-sounding player, but again, I have only used the analog outputs. Consider the Marantz and Denon changers, and be open to using the analog outputs. Finally, changers generally don't perform well as transports, but there aren't many budget single-disc players available these days (not counting DVD players).
     
  6. Yoon Lee

    Yoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    KeithH, could you tell me why changers don't do well as transports? Are single-disc DVD players still not even as good as changers?
     
  7. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

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    Here's a question. I have the Toshiba 2108 which plays CD-RWs just fine. Problem is I have one of my friend's singing that I'm trying to copy to my standalone CD recorder digitally. I have an optical cable connecting the DVDs output to the recorder's input; but the recorder doesn't detect the digital signal. I've tried setting the DVD player to PCM and BITS without luck. The CD-RW plays fine through the analog outs and I know the recorder is fine because it works fine when connected to my CD player's opitical output (that player won't play CDRW).

    Any suggestions?
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Jeff,
    Consumer CD recorders employ SCMS, or Serial Copy Management System, which prevents the recording of CD-Rs or CD-RWs in digital mode. This should be explained in the owner's manual for the recorder. In other words, you can only make first-generation recordings in digital mode, meaning recordings from a pre-recorded CD to a CD-R or CD-RW. Professional CD recorders allow you to bypass SCMS and, therefore, copy CD-Rs or CD-RWs in digital mode. Examples are units by Tascam, HHB, Sony, and Marantz. Note that only some Sony and Marantz recorders are pro decks. See www.samash.com for examples of pro CD recorders.
    Yoon,
    Traditionally speaking, single-disc players function better as transports than carousel changers. I think part of it is a self-fulfilling prophecy in that audiophiles generally prefer single-disc players, and the more expensive and better-made components tend to be single-disc players. As a result, we are often comparing $1000+ single-disc players to $300 carousel changers. The point is that there are very few high-quality carousel changers available these days. The Sony SCD-C555ES is one of the few. That said, I think a single-disc player is more amenable to enhancements in the quality of the transport mechanism. Furthermore, a single-disc transport does not take up much space, so it is probably easier for the component designer to isolate power supplies, etc. to minimize interference. These are just general considerations, so in the end, you should compare the players that interest you as transports.
     
  9. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Keith, I do have a pro CD recorder (Tascam CDRW-700). It just doesn't sense the digital signal from the DVD player, period. The Tascam displays a message "Digital In - No Lock" (or something to that effect, I'm at work right now) when it doesn't have a digital signal.
     
  10. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    I'll get flamed for this, but if you're not using the CD player's internal DACs, then the choice of transport is (almost) irrelevant.

    Indeed, via the digital output a $25 CD-ROM drive will sound identical to a $500 CD transport in vast majority of cases. The sound quality will depend upon the electronics and DACs down the line.

    And yes, regardless of the transport (unless it has extra filtering circuitry or the signal is significantly modified by the downstream electronics or whatever), it will sound harsh on some systems compared to old-school technology.

    OTOH, many people will use the internal DACs on higher end CD players, and IMO these may (or may not) sound superior on a good system compared to an equivalently priced DVD player.

    Flame away...
     
  11. Yoon Lee

    Yoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    So, if CD player is used as transport, it doesn't add or subtract from signal it's getting from CD? But, I do hear difference between my CD changer and DVD player... Am I hearing difference between optical cable vs coax cable?
     
  12. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Eugene so are you saying that jitter in transports isn't a factor in sound quality? I posted this thread on HTG a while ago that indicates there's a very wide gap in jitter values for DVD players acting as transports...comments?
     
  13. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Sonics aside, I believe it's best to play DVD-Videos on DVD-Video players and CDs on dedicated CD players--if anything, just to extend the useful lifetime of the DVD player. This is an old saw, but most DVD players are not impressive in terms of longevity. I'd rather put them to their primary intended use while they are still working.
     
  14. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I'm 100% happy with my DVD player as a CD transport. If I need to play a CD-R it's not compatible but I've got a CLD-99 that can do those.
     
  15. Karl Englebright

    Karl Englebright Stunt Coordinator

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    I also read the Camelot review you provided a link to. I am curious as to how you can "de-jitter" a dolby digital data stream. I can see the theory behind a pcm signal but the fact that DD data is not only packetized but also encoded within each packet(with sync data at the begining of each packet), makes me wonder if I missed something in dolby's white papers that allows for this to happen.
     
  16. Stephen_Dar

    Stephen_Dar Stunt Coordinator

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    This is purely anecdotal, but I have to throw out my recent observation about longevity of CD vs DVD players. Jack Brigg's post above raised this as an novel issue I'd not considered, and his argument makes sense. However, here's my experience.

    My Toshiba 2109 (I think) DVD player is an oldie, bought back in the summer of 99 (doesn't even play CD-Rs and the like)for $270 (a budget buy back then), while my Rotel RCD 971 CD player cost me $600 in the summer of 2000. I operate my DVD player probably 4 times as much (conservative estimate) as my CD player, and today the DVD player is still going strong after 3 years while my CD player died on me this past spring, 1.5 years after purchase. Fortunately, the CD player was still under warranty and it got a new laser. All this was after what I think was a reasonable burn-in when I bought the CD player.

    So, are others finding problems like this too with some of these higher end units? I'm not impressed I must say given the money involved.

    As to the original point of this thread, I found my DVD player seems to offer less dynamic range than my CD player (when it works :) but I've never done a serious head to head.
     
  17. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Eugene,

    Jitter has been discussed quite a bit in the past. Furthermore, the relative quality of transports has as well. Do a search. The plain fact is that not all players sound alike when used as transports. Period. People often make the incorrect assumption that sound quality is only determined by the DAC. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Explain to me why a $180 Pioneer DV-440 DVD player with a Burr-Brown 24/192 DAC is a lackluster CD player.


    Stephen,

    One can't make generalizations about product reliability based on one example. The fact remains that expensive components are not perfect. The manufacturing process is not perfect. In short, $hit happens. I don't mean to sound insensitive, but I have been there myself. My $330 Sony MDS-JB930 mindisc deck ($400 retail) that I bought in June 2000 is still going strong and has never, ever hiccuped. However, the $850 Sony MDS-JA555ES minidisc deck ($1100 retail) I once owned died after six months of light use. Sony couldn't repair it because some parts were no longer available. It just happens.

    I have come across people on Audio Asylum who have had their $5000 Marantz SA-1 SACD players fail after a few months. Others have $200 CD players that are years old and working flawlessly. Go figure. Obviously, there are cheap components that are not reliable. APEX DVD players are an example. There are plenty of others. I'm sure some people had the Toshiba SD-2109 die "prematurely". In any event, I wouldn't let your experience bias you against Rotel. Rotel makes quality products.


    Jeff,

    Thanks for the clarification. Obviously something is wrong with your CD player, CD recorder, or digital cable. Have you tried a different digital cable? Is this the same digital output you use for playing DVDs? If the cable isn't the issue, do you have another CD player you could try for recording in digital mode? If not, I'd try pairing the recorder with a friend's CD or DVD player to try to isolate the problem. Best of luck.
     
  18. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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  19. Dzung Pham

    Dzung Pham Second Unit

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    There is an AES paper Eric Benjamin and Benjamin Gannon that found that humans could not detect jitter levels below 10ns. No players in the list posted by Andrew have jitter values nearly that high. There is some theory that suggests that lower levels might be audible (see http://www.nanophon.com/audio/) but I have not seen empirical evidence of this yet.
    I have heard that jitter can effect DD and DTS in the same manner that it affects PCM. From what I understand, as long as there is a clock signal, there can be jitter.
    I'm not voicing an opinion on this (I don't think there's enough evidence either way), just reporting what I've heard and read.
     
  20. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Eugene said:

     

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