which cd cd player?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by tommy_E, Apr 15, 2005.

  1. tommy_E

    tommy_E Agent

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    whats up everyone...

    im looking at alot of cd players, to hard to decide. my budget will be around $350 to aorund $500. i looked at the cambridge audio, marantz, rotel. i need help on deciding which one would do well with my yamaha HTR-5790?

    thanks
    ciao
     
  2. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    I'd look for a used Arcam CD72T on audiogon or ebay. It's my favorite cdp under 1k.
     
  3. tommy_E

    tommy_E Agent

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    thanks Scott_n...I found some for around $410, and some for $710 so I'll be soon deciding . my main concern getting a cd player is because I play my audio cd's through my sony dvd player, but the cd's sound to thin and bright, while dvd's on the other sound great.I know dvds will sound better no matter what, but i dont wanna keep playing cd's on a dvd player. So I just need a good cd player for not to bad of a price to make my music sound good.

    Thanks
     
  4. tommy_E

    tommy_E Agent

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    By the way...

    I am seeing cd players with "Tubes"? Im not familiar with that...what do the tubes do and whats the advantages/disadvantages?

    thanks
     
  5. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    "Tubes" would be vacuum tubes. What are vacuum tubes? Here is a good explanation http://www.audioasylum.com/scripts/d...ubeprimer.html . I have a tubed cdp. Tubed cdp players are usually warmer sounding and have a better midrange especially with vocals to my ears than solid state. If you mostly listen to rock then I would stay with a solid state cdp since they have better bass than tubed cdp's IMO. But if you mostly listen to jazz or female vocals a might tubed cdp might work great for you.
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Actually, technically speaking if you are listening to the dvd's Dolby Digital or DTS track it should sound slightly worse than the CD version.....IF all else is equal. That's because Dolby/DTS are lossy formats (lossy = certain sounds are removed) and CD's digital format, PCM, is not.

    But everything isn't always equal, particularly these days in the present idiotic race to sell the loudest & brightest CD possible. [​IMG]

    It's weird this came up because just yesterday I read about the following site on another forum talking about this exact same subject:

    "Comparing Audio Tracks on Music DVDs"

    Also, listening to the surround version of a CD's music can also sound better simply by virtue of it being in surround form (but that requires a really hairy explanation which I won't get into here) but again, all else being equal becuase there are definitely crappy sounding surround mixes out there.

    And if you don't know what an overcompressed/too-loud recording sounds like, here is a way to visually get a feel for this nasty effect, quoted from this excellent article--using the same size font--by Rip Rowan on Prorec.com:

    WHY IS THE LOUDER IS BETTER APPROACH THE WRONG APPROACH? BECAUSE WHEN ALL OF THE SIGNAL IS AT THE MAXIMUM LEVEL, THEN THERE IS NO WAY FOR THE SIGNAL TO HAVE ANY PUNCH. THE WHOLE THING COMES SCREAMING AT YOU LIKE A MESSAGE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. AS WE ALL KNOW, WHEN YOU TYPE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS THERE ARE NO CUES TO HELP THE BRAIN MAKE SENSE OF THE SIGNAL, AND THE MIND TIRES QUICKLY OF TRYING TO PROCESS WHAT IS, BASICALLY, WHITE NOISE. LIKEWISE, A SIGNAL THAT JUST PEGS THE METERS CAUSES THE BRAIN TO REACT AS THOUGH IT IS BEING FED WHITE NOISE. WE SIMPLY FILTER IT OUT AND QUIT TRYING TO PROCESS IT.

    I have several CDs that sound like this, one of the worst being 311's From Chaos--irritating and uncomfortable to listen to at anything but elevator-music levels. The Beatles comp album 1 is also a great example IMO of a way too bright and overcompressed CD, worse than the 311 album in fact.

    Unfortunately this is the "exciting" sound [​IMG] you get when you buy many of today's remastered CDs & why many music hobbyists advise keeping your old version until you know the new version truly has better sound.
     
  7. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    I've been through this process. Not satisfied, I've had several "low" budget players on my shelf over the past few months to check CD sound quality. Given your budget, I'd also put the Onix "88" on your list which runs $299 from AV123.com. This is the player built by Shanling and is the same player as the Music Hall model (25, I believe).

    But ... wait, there are still other options. I've read about others buying a cheap transport then finding a cheap DAC such as a used Ack Dack and running that between the player and amp.

    Finally, you could also go really "low" budget and purchase one of the DVD players that has some good 24-bit DACs in it that don't sound all-too-bad. Granted, the new Sony players have 24-bit DACs, but I like my sound a bit fuller which led me down the path I'm on.

    Here's the players I've owned/own:

    Panasonic F32: The DACs on this player are 4 years old, out-of-date. Sound isn't that hot. I used the optical cable between the receiver and the player, so I was forced to use my 24-bit/192kHz DACs on my Pioneer Elite receiver.

    Pioneer Elite 54TX: As mentioned above, it features 24-bit DACs, but I don't know how to describe the sound when you use a CD player as a transport. Not one of my favorites.

    OK, time to pick the pace up:

    - Panasonic S97
    - Sony 775
    - Philips 642
    - Toshiba SD-5760
    - Magnavox 458/17

    The Toshiba is noted to be pretty good sounding and with several hundred $$ in mods, it can sound fantastic. But, it wouldn't play some of my discs, took all damn day to load and skipped on some tracks so I couldn't live with it no matter how good it sounded. The Panasonic S97 proved to me how far sound has come and got me on the track to upgrade. The player was returned due to macroblocking issues and if I wanted a $300 CD player, I'd buy a dedicated one.

    The Sony 775 didn't have a lot of punch with 2-channel mode. The Philips had me "wowed" the most out of the bunch and for $69 is quite a steal. The sound was most excellent. Great highs, mids, lows, etc. Separation was excellent.

    Well, that got me thinking again. Philips owns Magnavox. I was habitually shopping in BB the other day and found the 458/17. $39.99 before a $10 rebate - (I ended up paying $29 + tax because there wasn't an active rebate for the player). All excited, I pulled the Philips off the shelf and fired up the Magnavox. The sound is quite similar. I still need to pull the covers off of both players and see if the "guts" are similar.

    With all of my testing, I used Radio Shack "gold" cables, 1 meter in length between my player and receiver. I tested in both direct mode and with some EQ via MCACC. Surprisingly, there are some sweet deals - and even sweeter sounding players for under $50 that pull some great duty when being used as a CD-only player.

    I still think about the Cambridge Audio players and the Shanling players because I could easily afford one. But, I feel that I have 95% of the sound capability at 10% of the cost right now, which I consider quite a great pay-off.

    Didn't mean to write a whole novel here. Just wanted to open up some of the other options.

    Enjoy! [​IMG]
     
  8. tommy_E

    tommy_E Agent

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    How u doin all..

    thanks alot everyone...I really appreciate all the feedback.

    I think its between the Arcam CD72, cambridge audio 340c, and the Onix "88"...Thanks Everyone
     
  9. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    LanceJ

    The poor recording quality of cd's today is one of the reasons I mostly listen to vinyl.
     
  10. Dan Halchak

    Dan Halchak Stunt Coordinator

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    Tommy, I would highly recommend looking at the Cambridge Audio Azur 640c, it can be had for $450 shipped and is the best player I've come across under the $1000 mark. I even like it better than the Arcam CD72. The WM8716 24-bit/ 192kHz DAC in this thing is amazing and easily as good if not better than the 24-bit/192kHz Burr-Brown Delta Sigma DAC. To say which one is clearly better would be amazing to me because they both sound so extremely good.

    I also like the looks of the CA Azur 640c over the Arcam and the remote for the CA is much better. It's very heavy (for it's size) and fits perfectly in your hand.

    There is a huge noticeable difference of the 340c and the 640c and I would definitely suggest you go for the 640c. It gives you that analog sound, but with superb clarity, imaging, and detail to it (almost to the point of "hey, is this digital?"). But if you listen to it through a digital presentation you can tell where you are missing the warmth from analog.

    Now I'm not by any means saying the Arcam CD72 is bad, or you shouldn't get it. Not at all. I'd happily take it as well, but since I had my choice of listening to both (actually had the Rotel RCD-1072 as well), I picked the player that, to me, was the best over all performance for the price.

    If you have any questions on the player, just let me know...it's happily sitting in my rack enjoying it's new home. [​IMG]

    Also, any CD player you get, let it play for about 30+ hours before you really judge it. The CA Azur 640c didn't stand out until about 12 hours of use, and now that it's got about 29 hours on it, it's even better...and the box says at least 36 hours of use required before CD player is broken in. [​IMG]
     
  11. tommy_E

    tommy_E Agent

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    Dan..thanks alot for the input. yea i think im going to go with the 640c.

    question- for the cd player, analog is better then digital?

    thanks

    ciao
     
  12. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Gentlemen, why were you all discussing CD players in the Receivers/Amps section? Thread moved to A/V Sources.
     
  13. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    OK, where do I begin?

    1) If you are buying a $500 CD player to use the digital connection (and the DACs on your receiver) you are essentially wasting your money. Buy a $60 player to do this.

    2) If you are buying a $500 CD player to use as a transport, you'll then have to buy a separate (and dedicated DAC) for a price of $300 - $2,000. This will permit you to capably use the digital connection.

    However,

    3) If you are buying a $500 CD player, but don't want to invest in any additional cash other than the player itself, use the analog connectors. This will force the use of the internal DACs in the player itself to be used. Normally, they should be of quite good quality whether they are Wolfsen DACs or even Burr-Brown DACs.

    Hopefully, my response has clarified a few things for you. [​IMG]
     
  14. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Used 222ES goes for around $250-300 used, is an excellent player, and gives you SACD as well. The 555 goes for around $450-500 and is even better.


    I agree with most of this. There are more factors than just passing a stream that will affect the sound, so a better player is still worth investing in. So a $60 player is still a waste of time, but a $500 probably isn't a good idea either if digital is the connection you will use.

    Note: the 340c is on sale for $199 right now. Check the coupons and bargins area.
     
  15. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Here's another CD player that should be auditioned....the Sherwood Newcastle CD-980T for $250.00. You may want to read this thread over at head-fi.org for an owner's review.
     

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