Taking the plunge on Saturday, player buying madness to ensue.

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by PaulDA, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    My final choices are as follows:

    Option 1
    Marantz DV6400 and Cambridge Audio 540C
    Pluses: Universal player and excellent CD player, programmability of CD player for tape and MD recording, won't lose all music access if a player goes kaput
    Minuses: 100hz xover, no time delay for SACD, no BM with 2 channel CD playback
    Additional points: can apply digital BM/TA for all formats w/variable xover via receiver (this applies to all options)

    Option 2
    Cambridge Audio 540D and Marantz DV6400
    Pluses: 540D xover 80hz, time delay applies, BM applies to 2-channel CD playback (keeps sub active in analogue domain via Pure Audio mode in receiver), region-free, redundant hi-res capability w/Marantz if a player goes kaput
    Minuses: same shortcomings for SACD as above for Marantz, requires switchboxes for full m/c capabilities, not as programmable for recording purposes

    Option 3
    Cambridge Audio 540D and Yamaha DVD-C940
    Pluses: same as Option 2, also carousel convenience, has Faroudja chip (supposed to be good, I can't use it for next 5 years or so), can watch LOTR w/o having to get up (not that I'm THAT lazy [​IMG] )
    Minuses: 120hz xover for SACD, no time delay for SACD, requires switchboxes for full m/c capabilities, not as programmable for recording purposes, carousel reliability a potential problem? (not sure about that, was certainly the case years ago when I last went player shopping).

    Each of these options costs me the same, so price is not an issue (I already have cables and switchboxes collected over the years).

    My goal is the best sound I can get, in each format, and to have two players split the workload of my music playback (don't want to be without a player in my main system should one go kaput). Options 2 and 3 keep the A/D/As to a minimum, though they do add switchboxes, so that might be a wash. I do wish someone made an affordable SACD player w/o video.

    So, am I crazy or what?[​IMG]
     
  2. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    and what is that price, approximately, if you don't mind me asking?
     
  3. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I promised my dealer that I wouldn't tell, but I'm getting a decent discount. I could probably squeeze a bit more if I went to unauthorized/internet sales, but he's given me valuable info and time, so I won't do that. A ballpark retail figure before taxes is 1300CDN$.
     
  4. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Denon 2900 out of the picture?
     
  5. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Is there nothing in the Sony ES line? Perhaps used? My friend has a 555ES changer which isn't bad.
     
  6. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Denon 2900 difficult to get for what I'm paying, plus I really like the idea of splitting the load between two machines. Current Sony ES line seems not to have non-video SACD machines (at least that I can afford) and I'm leery of used electronics with moving parts owing to lack of warranty. Thought about Onkyo 800, Yamaha 2300 and even new Pioneer 59AVi, but they were all too much if I wanted a separate cd player. My current leaning is towards the Cambridge 540D for DVD-A/CD duties and the Marantz for SACD (especially since Sound and Vision's lab tests show that the xover for SACD is 80hz--though the manual doesn't state this) and backup duties. I will evaluate them for video and choose accordingly.

    This is the best combination I can think of to stay in native format (no extra A/D/A) and get the sub to stay active in two channel playback. The lack of time alignment for m/c SACD might prove problematic, but for two channel, that won't be an issue. Besides, if the Cambridge craps out on me, I still have a universal player, and if the Marantz goes kaput, I still have excellent CD playback (which is the vast majority of my collection). I should also be covered on DVD-A compatibility as the odds of problems with both should be small. If prog scan were a major concern, I'd likely look at Denon or Yamaha, but it won't be an issue for quite some time for me.
     
  7. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Well the 2900 refurbs popped back onto the ecost site, albeit without any stock available for purchase. Last time there was stock though, final price, even with the ridiculous exchange rate, came out to just over $800 total to the door. Considering that's half retail, if stock comes back, I'm upgrading my 2200 (which is less than a month old) to a 2900. [​IMG]

    Cambridge Audio is good for affordable stereo electronics. My parents (courtesy of me, of course) have the larger of their pre-Azur integrated amps, and for $300CND, it was a fantastic buy.

    I'm looking for a separate CD player as well, since I don't really need video, and most of my listening is stereo CDs. I'm thinking a DAC is more for me though since my laziness has my CD collection in an (almost full) 300CD megachanger.

    Without going off track too much though...[​IMG] for Cambridge Audio (but I suppose that isn't much help considering all 3 options have it!)

    What are Rotel/Arcam CDPs going for these days?
     
  8. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I haven't checked recently (last month or so) but in Feb. they were, respectively, more and a lot more than the Cambridge Audio player that I'm considering.

    I'm torn over whether to avoid my receiver's A/D/A as much as possible or whether to go with the more conventional/convenient option. Option one means no switchboxes, but I'd likely end up using my receiver's digital BM/TA on both DVD-A (because of 100hz xover) and SACD (because of lack of TA) and also on the CD player to keep the sub engaged. My receiver has very good DACs and I might not be able to tell the difference in sound (my ears aren't that golden[​IMG] ). Option 2 means switchboxes, but almost all signals remain native (except possibly m/c SACD for TA) and my sub remains in the mix without extra processing. My dealer is several hours away, so taking all the options home and trying them out is not practical. And, of course, as price is the same for all options, I can't fall back on that for help in deciding. Too many choices.[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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