Is it important to match brands between a CD player and receiver?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott Stephens, Jun 26, 2002.

  1. Scott Stephens

    Scott Stephens Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 23, 1999
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    I've got a Denon 3802 and am currently in the market for a new CD player as well. I've been looking at the Denon DCM-370 but i'm a little skeptical of quality issues.

    My it important or necessary to match brands between the receiver and the CD player? Would there be any benefits/downfalls to matching/not matching?

    Sorry if this is a stupid question, but before I drop $400 on a CD player I'd like to at least get some opinions on this. Thanks.
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Mar 28, 2000
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    Scott, it is not necessary to match brands of receivers and CD players. That is not to say that you shouldn't. It depends. Evaluate the receivers and CD players against the competition and then see how various components work together, especially with your speakers. If you end up with a receiver and CD player from the same manufacturer, that's O.K.! However, just don't restrict yourself to one manufacturer. There are no rules for achieving system synergy.
    You already have the receiver, so let's consider CD players. I have the Denon '370, and for $250-300 (not $400), it is a good player. In my opinion, the '370 is surprisingly warm-sounding for the money. However, it is a bit too warm for my tastes. Part of my assessment could simply be a result of the '370 being a budget player. That is, I shouldn't be too critical of the '370 considering the price. It is a good player. That said, I use the '370 only for recording CDs to minidiscs, as I have better CD players that, admittedly, cost more.
    In and around the price of the '370, other players to consider are as follows:
    * Sony CDP-CA70ES: The 'CA70ES is a carousel changer that I have found to be more detailed than the '370. In general, I like Sony's detailed sound. Some don't. Compare the '370 to the 'CA70ES and see which you prefer. The carousel mechanism on the Sony is much smoother and quieter than that of the Denon. Also, the Sony comes with the standard five-year ES warranty. Note that the Sony changer only has an optical digital output, while the Denon only has a coaxial digital output.
    * Marantz CC4000OSE: The CC4000OSE is also a carousel changer. Along with the cheaper CC3000 and CC4000, the CC4000OSE is a warm player. I feel it is too warm. Again, just as I like Sony's detailed sound, some like Marantz's warm sound. All the Marantz changers have a very fast and smooth carousel mechanism, which is a plus. The Marantz changers only have a coaxial digital output.
    * NAD 523: I have limited experience with the 523 carousel changer. It is a solid player. Build quality is good, and the carousel mechanism is smooth. I can't say much more about this player, but NAD makes good products. As I recall, the 523 has just a coaxial digital output.
    * Sony SCD-C222ES: This is a player I would seriously consider if I were in your position. The 'C222ES retails for $500, but Oade Bros. (1-229-228-0093 or 1-229-228-4480) sells it for $325 delivered according to one member of the Forum. In fact, a thread about the 'C222ES selling for $325 is running on this board right now. Oade Bros. is an authorized dealer. I've ordered from them before, and they are great to do business with.
    The 'C222ES is a carousel changer that plays stereo and multi-channel SACDs in addition to CDs. For the money, the 'C222ES is an excellent CD player, and SACD is a bonus. Build quality is excellent, plus you get the five-year ES warranty. The 'C222ES has both an optical and a coaxial digital output.
    * NAD C 521i: The C 521i is a single-disc CD player that has garnered positive reviews in the audio press. It is a new model, as it recently replaced the C 521. I haven't heard the C 521i, but I recommend it based on positive reviews I've read. It is my recollection that the C 521i only has a coaxial digital output.
    In your price range, I feel the Sony 'C222ES is the way to go. To my mind, it offers the total package. Build quality, SACD, CD performance, and warranty coverage, all at a very reasonable price. That's just my opinion. It's worth mentioning that the 'C222ES retailed for $800 when it came out last fall, so $325 is a steal.
    In the end, listen to as many players as you can and see which one works for you, especially within your system. Best of luck.
  3. Norm Strong

    Norm Strong Stunt Coordinator

    May 7, 1999
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    The only reason to match brands is to get unified remote controls. There is no quality issue.

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