What should I look for in a cd player?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Reid K, Mar 14, 2003.

  1. Reid K

    Reid K Stunt Coordinator

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    hopefully soon i will get a cd player for my yamaha rxv-730, and energy c-1s. On the side you think these will be good or should i consider looking into an amp? Back on track though what should I look for? Iam looking to spend up to 150 american. I just need it for playing cds, however most of mine will be CD-RW. So if you can give me any advice or recomened a player that would be great.
     
  2. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    Hi (again) Reid,

    With a CD player you want to be sure of two things. First, that it can play CD-RW. That's not an easy requirement to fill with some of the low-end units so be sure the the specs say they can play them. The second is to be sure that it has a digital output. When you do that the CD player really becomes nothing more than a transport that feeds a digital signal to your receiver to decode. The rule of thumb is to go with the better DAC (digital/analog converter). In your price range that will be in your reciever. The digital output on the CD player will bypass the CD player's internal DAC and feed the signal directly to the receiver. Given that, the rest is ergonomics. Find a player that you like. CD player remotes aren't so complex that nearly any receiver remote can't do everything required of it so don't let that be your guide.

    Nearly any of the major Japanese brands would be in your price range and they usually offer the best bang for the buck.
     
  3. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    This is my CD player if it helps any:

    Technics SL-PG4 single-disc player

    This player has no particular sound of its own--which is good IMO. My previous player from Pioneer, while sounding good/detailed, had a rather warm sound (i.e. bass-heavy). It was a changer model & I just didn't like guessing which slot each CD was in so I gave it away.

    An interesting factoid: my Technics player was made in Germany!

    LJ
     
  4. Reid K

    Reid K Stunt Coordinator

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    so what would you say is the best cd player of these? http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/sub...10&catid=10546
    right now iam thinking the RCA since it has 5 cds (right amount for me I wont need any more but would like more than one) it MUST have cr-rw which it does. On a side note why is the H/K more than double the price of the others? And would that be worth it?
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Reid, as with anything else, you do in part pay for the name behind the component. Harman/Kardon is a better name in audio than RCA. However, it is very important to understand that not all players sound alike. A general trend is that the more expensive the player, the better a player it is. When comparing the Harman/Kardon changer to the RCA changer, the higher price for the former is in part due to the Harman/Kardon name. The Harman/Kardon unit is also a better player. That said, I have never liked Harman/Kardon changers. For similar money, I recommend the Denon DCM-280 or '380 or the Sony CDP-CA70ES.

    A basic player that you might look at is the Sony CDP-XE370 single-disc player. It sells for around $140 USD, and it plays CD-RWs. Go to www.crutchfield.com for more information. Sony also makes the 'XE270 single-disc player for a little less money, but it doesn't come with a remote. Stick with the 'XE370 if you are going to go with a budget Sony model.
     
  6. Reid K

    Reid K Stunt Coordinator

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    okay thanks so any of the ones you said should be pretty good right?
     
  7. Reid K

    Reid K Stunt Coordinator

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    I think I have narrowed it down to the following:
    Sony CDP-XE370
    Sony CDPCE275
    Sony CDPCE375
    Any help on the final decision would be great. As in what will have better sound etc etc, and will work best with my current set up
     
  8. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I have a similiar player to the "Sony CDP-CE275 5-CD Carousel". I have an older model "CDP-CE335" and I've been happy with its performance. I would think the CE275 would be a great player as well. The Disc-Exchange feature is neat (i.e. You can exchange any of the other 4 discs while the 5th disc is playing). Also, CD-RW is a great thing to have as well.

    Optical outs are definitely the way to go! Not that it really matters now, but when I first got that player I was excited to be able to play DTS CD's, and being able to bypass the D/A convertor is a definite 'plus' in todays world.

    p.s. My motto has always been "You can't go wrong with a SONY". Maybe not in all cases, but if you are ever uncertain, you're safest to lean toward them.
     
  9. Sathyan

    Sathyan Second Unit

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    My brother has that HK & it sounds really good. It supports HDCD. If you get it use the CD players DAC (he uses it with a Roksan Kandy Integrated & Mirage OM10's). When working it sounds great but it has been in the shop twice in the last year. The HK is also substantially cheaper than quoted if you buy from harmanaudio.com

    I have the Sony 375 which is used as transport (using the DAC in my Onkyo receiver). The DAC is horrible. When bypassed, the CDP is dead-quiet, changes discs relatively fast, and interface logically laid-out but no HDCD and a smaller soundstage. Also the headphone & variable level is stupidly implemented. Build quality is better than I tend to expect from non-ES SONY. I've had it since last July the only problem was it stopped reading from Disc4 at one point; I shook it and npow its fixed. My only regret is that I should have bought the '775 for SACD playback. As a cheap redbook transport, the '375 is recommended. For using receiver-based bass management, you'll want to use a digital path

    When using a player DAC there are few adequate _changers_. Denon/MArantz and HK make good ones at the $250 price-point. SONY ES also (if you get SONY ES, get it with SACD). Above that price single-dics players dominate: the universals from Yamaha, Pioneer Elite, Denon, Onkyo and Marantz; Rega Planet, etc.
     
  10. Reid K

    Reid K Stunt Coordinator

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    Ya I will use it through my reciever but can only go up to 150$ american or 300 canadian before tax. Also I have no idea what like Hdcd or whatever means. Also if I just burn cds can I burn them with DTS? All the cds being played through it will be mixes also, and I wont be using it for anything super high tech, I just want it to sound good.
     
  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Reid, note that the Sony 'CE275 does not come with a remote. If you are going to get a changer, get the 'CE375. It comes with a remote.

    Do you have to have a changer? In general, a single-disc player is better than a comparably priced changer. I am primarily considering comparison of the two using the analog outputs. There are other variables to consider when comparing transports (i.e., using the digital outputs). The 'XE370 and 'CE375 are similarly priced, and you might find the 'XE370 to be the better player. In the end, try to compare them using the analog outputs on both. If you are set on using the digital outputs, it might not matter much, but you might want to compare them as transports.
     
  12. Reid K

    Reid K Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay I just always thought using an optical cable would give me better sound am I mistaken?
     
  13. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Mark said:

     
  15. Eric_M

    Eric_M Stunt Coordinator

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    I understand that a $500 player compared to a 150 player will probably be way better but then is it really worth the jump from a Sony $100 player to an Onkyo $200 player??
     
  16. Sathyan

    Sathyan Second Unit

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    Eric_M : You can get the Onkyo 380 for $80 as a refurb (at J&R with 90-day warranty; then add a 2-yr extended warranty for $20. In terms of build quality, reliability (my Sony occasionally gets "confused"), and DAC the Onkyo's definately better. As a transport, I can't tell the difference (on cheap speakers, it should be noted) in sound quality.

    Another thing to consider is system integration (same brand CD player and receiver) to limit remote juggling. My Onkyo receiver remote will not control non-Onkyo CD players or tape decks. So for the OP, consider Yamaha changers (I think they have one for $200); I've never hear them. It is convenient to hit play on the CDP and have the disc start spinning, source change to CD, and mode change from DolbyDigital to Stereo all with one button. Of course, if you have a macro-capable universal remote you can do this with other brands.

    Sathyan

    NP Natasha St-Pier - De L'Amour le Mieux (redbook)
     
  17. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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