Please help me choose CD/SACD player

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by vasia, Aug 18, 2004.

  1. vasia

    vasia Stunt Coordinator

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    I am looking for a budget CD/SACD player. MY priorities are redbook CDs and then SACD (I only have one disk right now). Looking at the audiogon, etc., it seems like there is a bunch of options on used/older models. My budget is 250-300. Please help me choose between, maybe:
    1) Pioneer DV-45a (I already have DVD/DVD-Audio, but I heard some great reviews about 45a)
    2) Phllips 963sa
    3) Sony 222ES
    4) maybe new Sony SCDCE595 plus un-modded ART D/IO
    5) CI VDA-1 DAC (I'd rather get a DAC than a stand alone CD player)
    what else is good in this price range?
    I compiled this list based on the reviews I found for items in this price range. Also, if external DAC, like VDA-1, would provide a greatly superior redbook than any of the other options, I might just not get SACD. Again, first priority is CD playback, then SACD. Finally, I really want to finish my system now, rather than save up and do it later.
     
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    The 222ES is discontinued I believe. There is a new ES changer that should be out in a month that does CD and SACD (no DVD) for $399 list. If you're really into quality CD playback, the 1st few choices might not cut it for you. There are good used DACs as well, although the Channel Island one has a good rep for the money. It also depends how much software is on SACD or coming to it that you like.
     
  3. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    The new Sony ES changer coming out is probably your best choice.

    http://ww3.onecall.com/PID_25152.htm

    You should be able to get it for a little over your stated budget. But IMO it would be worth the over budget for the 5 year warranty and a new product.
     
  4. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Charles, thanks for the link on info. I'll likely be picking one up for a secondary system in the basement. However, I suspect for those more inclined towards real high end, I'm not sure of the CD playback quality. I have a good DAC and will be putting it in the basement and it should be interested to compare different transports (I'm guessing I might like my Pioneer 704 LD player but who knows I have a couple of other things too). I guess I'll find out when it is out how good it really is.
     
  5. vasia

    vasia Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the replies! I've read couple of posts that the new 2000ES version will probably have the same chips/audio boards as SCD-CE595. I have auditioned the latter one and did not notice any significant improvemnt over my current system. Its not to say it was bad, just was not better than what I compared it to (Kenwood DV-5700). SACD is a different story, but I wanted to compement it with improved 2 channel.
     
  6. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I can vouch for the 5 year ES warranty! I have an old 555ES receiver that just died in it's 4 1/2 year. Took it in to my local repair center, they swapped out the power supply and some other things, no charge!
     
  7. ross ish

    ross ish Stunt Coordinator

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    The Philips is a very good cd player. The Philips has ultra low jitter (180ps)that rivals stand alone transports. Excess Noise for CD, SACD are at theoretical maximum of 16bits CD, 18bits SACD. Can be have at audiogon for a little over 2bills.
     
  8. vasia

    vasia Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks,
    I decided to give Philips a try. Thus far I like it a lot, but I cannot seen to figure out sub managment for SACD (see another post).
     
  9. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    The 2200 Denon is a good universal for $289 refurbed at eCost. Sound comparable to the 222ES (slight edge to the 222 though), and you get DVD-Audio and DVD playback as well.
     
  10. vasia

    vasia Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,
    After getting a number of good recommendations, I figured that my set up is wrong. So I sold my Kenwood DVD. I still have Philips 963SA, but I can return it during next week if I decide to go different route. So, I am either looking for universal DVD player plus standalone CD unit with a budget of about 600$ or just a universal DVD plus 963SA for CD duties. So, what should I get to optimize my source (I also have Marantz SR8300 receiver and MA Silver 8/Silver HT speakers):
    1) Get Denon 2200 and keep 963sa for CD duties
    2) Get Denon 2200 and get new Sony CD/SACD (2000SE) for CD (I've heard new Sony player and it is not better that 963SA, there is also a new review saying that new Sony is inferior to Denon, so I am not sure if this set up makes any sense at all, if it was not for 5 year ES warranty).
    3) Get lower end universal (like Samsung HD-841) and Azur 640C for CD
    4) Get Denon 2200 and one of the modded players like Tosh 3950 (I cannot mod myself, so I'll have to get the already modded one).
    5) Get Denon 2200 and DAC (which one would be an upgrade over 963SA?)
    6) Get a universal in 600$ range which will have good redbook playback (comparable to dedicated CD solutions that I can get) as well as good PQ, SACD, DVD-A (How about new Onkyo CP802) to have one box for everything?

    I am pretty content with 963SA and I would like to keep it, because it is a great unit for future mods and even in the stock form is comparable to any CD player in its price range, e.g. 541i and CD-25 (based on other peoples opinions). On the other hand, I would like to figure out my source set up for couple of years, so if it makes sense to return it, I can do that as well.
     
  11. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    If you like the Philips for SACD, then I'd suggest you audition the Cambridge Audio 540D. I bought over the 540C as my dedicated CD player (already had a universal picked out for other duties). As a bonus, it does DVD-A and it's bass management is active on CD playback, so you can keep you sub in the mix without A/D/A, (if that matters to you). For CDs, I compared the 540D to the 540C, which I had already chosen over the NAD and my Marantz DV6400 universal. The Onkyo might be a good alternative (though I haven't heard/seen it). Good luck.
     
  12. vasia

    vasia Stunt Coordinator

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    Paul,
    Thanks for the reply. The major problem for me is that my receiver has only one set of 5.1 inputs, so I definitely would like to have one universal for DVD-Audio, DVD and SACD and a dedicated CD. If the CD player has SACD and video, it would be a bonus, if I decide to move it to another room or smth like that, but I would initially use it mostly for CD. Moded Toshiba SD3950 has been getting rave reviews, so getting that one and Denon 2200 sounds pretty interesting. How much of a drop off in video, SACD and DVD-Audio is it to go from Denon 2200 to Samsung HD-841?
     
  13. Lee Distad

    Lee Distad Stunt Coordinator

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    I just unboxed our demo SCDC2000ES and have been playing with it all morning. It is very nice.

    Is it nice to the tune of more than twice the price of the SCDDE595? Dunno. It is nice though.
     

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