Opinions on CD player replacement

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by stephen_z, Jul 27, 2002.

  1. stephen_z

    stephen_z Stunt Coordinator

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    Looking for suggestions on which way to go. I was looking for a single box solution for progressive DVD, SACD, and redbook (still looking for a Philips DVD962SA to show up locally...even considering holding out for the 963SA with upsampling), when my old cd player crapped out. I could do one of the following:

    1) buy a cheap replacement (~$200) to tie me over until I finalize on what DVD player to pick up. Any suggestions on which players?

    2) buy something reasonable (~$500) and sell it later if it turns out that my DVD solution sounds reasonable with redbook. Looking at Arcam 62, Music Hall CD-25, NAD 541i
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Stephen, buying a $200 player to tide your over until the DVD player you want is available makes sense if you will be happy with a $200 player. Certainly, players in the $500-600 range will be better than any of the $200 players. The Arcam DiVA CD62, Music Hall MMF-CD25, and NAD C 541i are good players to consider for around $500. All of them have garnered positive reviews either in print or on Audio Asylum. For $500-600, also consider the Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 (www.upscaleaudio.com), Heart CD5000 (www.fsaudioweb.com), and the Sony SCD-C555ES. I have the Ah! (stock tubes upgraded to Siemens 7308s) and the 'C555ES and would go with the 'C555ES if I had to choose between the two. The 'C555ES is available from authorized dealers by mail these days for $600. It's a steal at that price, as it originally retailed for $1700. As you may know, the 'C555ES plays both stereo and multi-channel SACDs and is a carousel changer. Build quality is excellent. Consider it if you are looking to spend that much on a player.
    For around $200, check out the Denon DCM-370, Sony SCD-CE775, Sony CDP-CA70ES, and Marantz CC4000. These are all carousel changers, and they each have their strengths. The 'CE775 plays stereo and multi-channel SACDs. Build quality is so-so, but one doesn't get a tank at this price point. The Sony 'CA70ES is a good all-around changer that gives a detailed sound. It comes with the ES five-year warranty. The Marantz changer gives a warm sound, and I find it to be too warm. The carousel mechanism is excellent, however. It is very fast and smooth. I have the Denon changer and it is good for the money. It gives a warm sound. Vocals are particularly "real" on the '370, considering it is a budget player. The build quality could be better, as the carousel mechanism is a bit clunky, but again, one does not get all-world build quality at this price point. If digital outputs are important to you, it is worth noting that the Sony changers only have an optical digital output, while the Marantz and Denon changers only have a coaxial digital output.
     
  3. stephen_z

    stephen_z Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Keith for your inputs! One of my concerns with using a DVD player for redbook is the general concensus that they don't perform as well as dedicated CDPs. How is the CD performance of the Sony SCD-C555ES and is bass management addressed for SACD? Thanks for the inputs on the budget CDP...
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Stephen, no problem. I am very happy with the CD performance of the 'C555ES. It has limited bass management for SACD. I say "limited" because you can choose different speaker arrangements, but you cannot adjust the crossover frequency. That's the way all Sony SACD players operate at present. Give the 'C555ES a listen, but compare it to the other models you are looking at to make sure it is the right player for you. I view SACD as an incredible bonus, but make sure the 'C555ES is the right CD player for you. Seeing as you live in California, you should be able to track down the 'C555ES at The Good Guys.
     

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