the difference in sound quality in a CD player

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Samuel_Fred, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. Samuel_Fred

    Samuel_Fred Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    For years now I've basically been playing my CDs through my PC, which is hooked up through an optical cord from my sound card to my Onkyo receiver.

    Will I really hear a difference if I upgrade to a stand alone CD player? I'm finally investing in a set of audiophile headphones (probably the Grado sr325) and want to be sure I get the best sound coming into my receiver. Is the CD player really going to make a big difference? If yes, what is a good one for a decent price?
     
  2. Samuel_Fred

    Samuel_Fred Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scavenging the Net for info I've found that most audiophiles say there's basically no difference between CD playes in terms of the actual sound you get. True?

    If so, how about SACD players? If I want only to listen to SACDs on a 2-channel system (my Onkyo doesn't have proper inputs for 5.1 analog) and on headphones, will a cheap SACD player (like the Pioneer DV-578A-S) give me great sound or will I be missing something?
     
  3. Jacob C

    Jacob C Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think tihs is going to depend a lot on your computer. I know many people use Home Theater PCs (HTPCs) for DVD because they are better than all but the most extremely high priced models IF they are set up with the proper hardware and software. I would guess the same is true for CDs.
     
  4. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    0


    I have the first generation model of that player (DV-563A) and here's what I observed. In comparing the CD and SACD of O Brother Where Art Thou, which are both stereo recordings, I found the CD to have more gain at the same volume level, which will make some people automatically think that the CD sounds better. Not so fast. To me the SACD sounded much more natural and in comparison, the voices (especially on one track - I can't remember which now. It's been awhile) on the CD seemed to be coming through cupped hands or through a horn. Also, since SACD (and DVD audio) has a much higher sampling rate than that of CD, the soundwave much more closely resembles the natural soundwave of analog. So, even if your ears can't tell, your mind can. I am by no means an audiophile, but I listen to both LPs and CDs and find LPs to be much easier and less fatiguing to listen to, even though they have more inherent noise than a CD.

    Higher end players won't give you much more in the way of sound. Video, however, is a different story.
     

Share This Page