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Old School CD Changer Shootout (1 Viewer)

Jon_Welker

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 29, 2003
Messages
404
I thought I would give everyone a break from all this talk about DVD players, and start this thread. Here is the situation. I have recently purchased a Yamaha CDC-685 5 disc changer, and have had it running for a couple of weeks. Yesterday, I picked up a Denon DCM-370 from a chain electronics store as an open box buy, with the sales guy understanding that I may be returning it within a few days. Here is the test equiptment:

- Pioneer Elite 45TX
- NHT T5's (doing test in 2 channel stereo)
- Interconnects are all Monster Cable of similar quality
- Also, have an Elite DV 45A with some quality Audio specs as well to make things even a little more interesting.

Currently, I have the Yammie hooked up via Optical, the Denon via analog, and the DV45A hooked up both ways. Thanks to the easy Signal Select feature on the 45TX A/B/C'ing these players is fairly easy. I have already done some listening, and have noticed some nuances between the 2 changers. I have mainly been listening to the DCM-370 with MCACC on. Tried the Direct mode (same w/ DV45A), and really didn't like it too much, unless I have something screwed up. I listened to Marc Cohn's Walking in Memphis a few times on each. I think the Yammie was a little brighter and more "analytical" on the highs than the Denon. Denon seemed like it picked up a touch more bass. More to come later.

Anyone else out there have any experiences with these 2 changers? Anyone want to know anything about these 2 that I could test out for you? Anyone out there who could give some advice on how to best test these guys from a "all things being equal" point of view. I'm pretty sure the Yammie would get killed if I hooked it up via Analog, so I'm letting the 45TX process for it. Maybe not the best way to test. Feedback much appreciated.

Let's take a break from DVD players and which Panasonic to buy, and talk some straight audio.
 

KeithH

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2000
Messages
9,413
Jon said:

Currently, I have the Yammie hooked up via Optical, the Denon via analog,
Then you really are not comparing these players. When using a digital cable (optical or coaxial), you are using the receiver's DAC. When using analog (RCA) cables, you are using the player's DAC. Also, when using analog cables, you should put the receiver in "direct mode". Otherwise, the receiver will convert the incoming analog signals to digital and then convert digital back to analog (i.e., the receiver will route the analog signals through the ADC and the resulting digital signal through the DAC). These extra conversions can degrade the sound quality, and then you are not evaluating the player's true sound.

If you want to compare the sound of the two changers, then use analog connections for both. Use the same brand and model of cables for both players. To compare the performance of the changers as transports, then use digital cables for both. Again, use the same brand and model of digital cable for both changers.
 

Jon_Welker

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 29, 2003
Messages
404
Keith,

Yeah, I was afraid someone was going to bring that up. I'm going to have to wait until tomorrow when my wife leaves to test that out. She doesn't know about the second changer, and I would have a hard time convincing her that I'm only (probably) going to keep one of them. Updates will be posted tomorow. Also, will put the 45TX in "Direct" mode. Thanks for your reply.

-Jon
 

Jon_Welker

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 29, 2003
Messages
404
Alright, just finished up doing some critical A/B'ing on these 2, using analog hookups to the receiver and in Direct mode. Honestly, I think I like the Yamaha better. I was almost convinced going in that the Denon would sound better. Not so, to my ears. The DCM-370 sounded decent, but it for whatever reason it wasn't like the highs that much, and almost overproduced the lows. Sounded like the vocals were suppressed as well. The Yammie did a much better job on the highs, still had plenty of low end output and the mids were right on also. Here are some sample of my test music:

311 - Down
The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary, Fire Woman
Chemical Brothers - Come With Us
Marc Cohn - Walking In Memphis
Morphine - Top Floor, Bottom Buzzer

I'm afraid the Denon is going back. I really thought it would've sounded better, but it didn't. It didn't meet my expectations, nor the performance of my existing Yammie.
 

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