Is it worth buying a seperate cd player or just use my dvd player?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff Adams, Dec 19, 2001.

  1. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    I am getting ready to upgrade my system. I want to do it right up front so there is no need to buy something else 4 months from now. "Yeah , right, thats what I always say." What my question is, do most of you use your dvd player as your cd player or do you have a seperate higher end cd player? Right now I am just using my dvd player and the quality of both cd and dvd-audio playback are really good. Is there any benefit of having a stand alone cd player? Is it worth the extra money and another black box with my equipment? Or is an all in one player the way to go?
     
  2. Dave Isham

    Dave Isham Extra

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    Your results will vary based on how the gear in your signal chain (or proposed upgrades) reproduce music. Post a gear list and proposed upgrades for a more valued response and cdp recommendations.

    I've noticed a night and day difference in favor of a dedicated cd player. (Panasonic A-310, Sony NS300 DVD vs. Arcam alpha 7 CD and now the Sony SCD-333ES) The DVD players can sound veiled and uninteresting on CD compared to my cdp choices (which I would consider great value, entry level mid-fi cdps).

    Regards,
     
  3. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Actually I just caught that post by Randal about, "Is there a difference between cd players quality." That had alot of info that was helpful. I think that I am most definately getting a stand alone cd player. That Sony 333 ES looks sweet. I don't know if I am alla bout the multichannel music yet. I usually listen to my dvd-audio in 2 channel mode. But I also don't want something that is obsolete. My next question is,and I know this has been asked before, do most people use analog or digital inputs for your cd players? If you are using the digital inputs then the quality of the player is not AS big of a deal when using analog right?
     
  4. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    I use my Sony DVP-360 as my CD source and I HATE IT. I think it sucks big time. The sound is go grating. In my bedroom (with the same speakers), I have a second system with a dedicated source. Even though my Yamaha changer is almost 10 years old, the sound is so much better than that from my DVD player in the living room that I can't stomach listening to CD's in there. I cannot wait until I can afford a dedicated source in the living room (Sony SCD555ES) so I can finally entertain guests with style. I'm embarrassed by the sound my DVD player puts out..not matter if I go analog, coax or optical outs, it still sucks.
     
  5. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Oh, and my gear consists of Marantz SR-9200 receiver. PSB Image 6t's for the left and right. PSB C9 for center. PSB 10S for side surrounds and PSB Stratus mini's for rear channel. My dvd player is a JVC XV-723GD dvd-audio player.
     
  6. Dave Isham

    Dave Isham Extra

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    Jeff,

    Does the SR-9200 have analog inputs that bypass it's digital processor? If yes, you'll be able to exploit the benefits of SACD as well as any cd player's internal DAC our outboard DAC that might be superior to your receiver's DAC. If no, there's no need to invest in outboard DAC's or coax out as either signal would ultimately end up being converted to analog by the receiver.
     
  7. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Dave, I know it has 7 analog inputs for dvd-audio or sacd. I am pretty sure that by using those inputs on my receiver would bypass my dac's. I would also beable to play 2 channel cd off of those right?
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Dave,

    The SR-9200 is a current receiver and is one of Marantz's better models, so it must have analog bypass. Also, considering Marantz's tradition of stressing musical experssion ("Because music matters"), I can't imagine they would leave out an analog bypass mode.

    Jeff,

    Note that the Sony SCD-C333ES has been discontinued. You may still be able to find a dealer that has it though. Check J&R Music World (1-800-221-8180). They are a reputable and authorized mail-order dealer, and they discount. I was in their brick-and-mortar store in New York City a few weeks ago, and they still had the 'C333ES on display. Also, someone is selling a slightly used one on the Hardware For Sale/Trade board here for $500 plus shipping.

    I have the 'C333ES, and it is an excellent CD player. No offense, but it will beat your JVC 'D723GD handily. SACD is on a whole other level. If you cannot find the 'C333ES, consider the 'C555ES for $800 from Oade Bros. (1-229-228-0093 or 1-229-228-4480) or OneCall (1-800-340-4770). Both are authorized dealers. The 'C555ES is much like the 'C333ES, but adds multi-channel SACD capability. I have the 'C555ES as well, and it is an excellent CD and stereo SACD player. Both SACD changers are outstanding.
     
  9. Bryan Acevedo

    Bryan Acevedo Second Unit

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    I think it also depends on the DVD player involved. Now with DVD-Audio coming out, your DVD-Audio player IS your CD player AND DVD player. So how could that be bad?

    Sound & Vision just tested the new Denon DVM-4800 - and it's audio performance was superb. So in this case, no, a seperate CD player would not give you better performance. Maybe you should just look at getting a better DVD/CD player, instead of having two boxes. But hey, I like simplicity, and the less boxes, the better.

    Bryan
     
  10. Dave Isham

    Dave Isham Extra

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    Jeff, KeithH:

    I was not not familiar with the features of the 9200. Thanks for the info.

    Jeff, You'll be able to play cd's and SACD's with the SCD-C333ES and not degrade the SACD analog signal.

    The SCD-C333ES orig. retail price was $1200. I bought my 333ES at J&R's brick and Mortar store for $599. For this price the unit is an outstanding value.
     
  11. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Now thing's are getting a little more complicated for me. If my receiver only has 1 set of multichannel audio inputs this means that I would have to get a player that has both dvd-audio and sacd, or if I only get that 2 channel sacd player can I use the normal analog inputs on the receiver? In other words the red and white analog inputs. Will using those let me listen to 2 cjannel sacd or just normal cd's?
     
  12. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Jeff, I don't think there is a player on the market that plays both DVD-A and SACD on the same unit because they are competing formats. Seeing you only have one set of 5.1 inputs, you would need a switcher box or designate one primary source for multichannel playback. Most people with both SACD and DVD-A seem to prefer SACD for that purpose but that's pure speculation on my part.
     
  13. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Evan, actually Pioneer has a combo player but is like $5000! So that is not going to work. My question is, can you plug the sacd analog inputs into the receiver's cd analog inputs? Will you still get to take advantage of sacd?
     
  14. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Once it's an analog signal, I think you should be able to plug it into any input. Just make sure your receiver doesn't re-convert that analog input into digital, run bass management/DSP/other stuff on it, and then re-re-convert it back to analog. AFAIK, most modern receivers have an "Analog Direct" mode, or dedicated analog-only inputs, that can do this.

    I guess you're asking if you can connect 2-channel SACD/DVD-A analog outputs to your regular CD stereo inputs? AFAIK, yes.

    Of course, this is all speculation, since I've never actually handled any of these receivers in question.
     
  15. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Yes, that is exactly what I am asking. Most receivers are the same, as far as the 5.1 inputs go. You really do not need to use those if you are going to use 2 channel sources such as a 2 channel sacd player. Is that correct? I want to be able to leave my dvd-audio player hooked up to the 5.1 inouts and add the 2 channel sacd player to my cd input on my receiver.
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Jeff,
    Yes, you can use standard RCA inputs on your receiver for stereo SACD playback. You do not need to use the 5.1-channel inputs. If you were to buy the 'C333ES, you could run two standard RCA cables from it to a pair of RCA inputs on your receiver for playback of CDs and stereo SACDs. Note that you must use the analog ouputs to play SACDs. However, you can use the optical or coaxial digital output for CDs.
    Now, if you were to own both a DVD-Audio player and a multi-channel SACD player, you could buy two Radio Shack switch boxes to switch between the players since your receiver only has one set of 5.1-channel inputs. Radio Shack makes an A/V switch box that works very well. The part number is 15-1952. It is only $15 and is available on www.radioshack.com and in Radio Shack stores. The switch box has two sets of inputs and one output. Each input and the one output has three RCA jacks (red, white, and yellow). I use two of them to switch between multi-channel DVD-Audio and multi-channel SACD since my Sony STR-V444ES receiver only has one set of 5.1-channel inputs. Here is how I have the switch boxes set up:
    Box 1
    Input A: DVD-Audio front left, front right, center
    Input B: SACD front left, front right, center
    Output: front left, front right, center to receiver's 5.1-channel inputs
    Box 2
    Input A: DVD-Audio surround left, surround right, subwoofer
    Input B: SACD surround left, surround right, subwoofer
    Output: surround left, surround right, subwoofer to receiver's 5.1-channel inputs
    These boxes work very well, as I detect no sound degradation. They are great and represent a $30 solution.
    Bryan said:
     
  17. Bryan Acevedo

    Bryan Acevedo Second Unit

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    Thanks Keith - that made sense - but one thing I find interesting is we are talking about getting the best sound out of a CD player, and you are recommending to go and put some cheap Radio Shack switcher in the loop. I would think that would degrade sound quality more than the actual transport. Just kind of funny if you think about it. But maybe it doesn't degrade the sound as much (as you said).

    Bryan
     
  18. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Bryan the switch boxes are off topic and have nothing to do with my views on high-end CD players. I was hardly contradicting myself. Believe it or not, the switch boxes work very well, and they are a lot cheaper than buying a new receiver with two sets of multi-channel inputs to handle DVD-Audio and multi-channel SACD. I have detected no sound degradation with these switch boxes. Is this the best solution for high-end multi-channel sound? No, but neither is any A/V receiver. Quality monoblock amps with a high-end pre-amp would be the way to go. Unfortunately, few if any high-end multi-channel pre-amps have two sets of multi-channel inputs, so we are back to square one. Multi-channel music is in its infancy, and the vast majority of hardware out there is not equipped to handle both DVD-Audio and multi-channel SACD. So, we are left to find novel, and hopefully, inexpensive solutions.
    In my case, I don't listen to multi-channel music as critically as I do stereo, so spending $30 on two Radio Shack that don't degrade the signal was a lot more attractive than replacing my 14-month-old Sony STR-V444ES receiver. I briefly considered the new Sony 'DA3ES for $685 or the 'DA5ES for $985, both from Oade Bros., but it made no sense for me to spend that much money just to get two sets of multi-channel inputs. I am perfectly happy with the 'V444ES from a sound standpoint. In any event, I encourage people to try the Radio Shack switch boxes. They work great.
    In home theater and audio, it is often true that high-quality sound and video reproduction come at a high price. However, this is not always the case. If you ever visit the Digital Drive message board on Audio Asylum, you will see that many audiophiles are raving about the ART DI/O DAC that sells for $123-189. People say that CDs on the Sony SCD-777ES SACD/CD player sound better through the ART DI/O than through the internal DAC! The '777ES originally retailed for $3500, and a sub-$200 is said to improve the sound! Go figure. Such bargains are rare, but they are out there. In any event, I feel it would be wise for anyone with DVD-Audio and multi-channel SACD players to try the Radio Shack switch boxes for $30 before dropping money on a new receiver. Don't let snob appeal or other biases prevent you from saving a lot of money. [​IMG]
     
  19. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    And the good thing with Radio Shack is, you can always return something if it doesn't work out for you.
    But Keith, what's the point of audio without snob appeal? [​IMG]
     
  20. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Saurav said:
     

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