Will my Dvd give me good playback of CDs or is a seperate CD player Important?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jason Bell, Apr 6, 2002.

  1. Jason Bell

    Jason Bell Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm upgrading my receiver from a 10 yr old Sony surround, even before Pro-Logic, to a Denon 1802. My speakers are going from some Technics CBR77 3way towers to Axiom M22s. I cant wait till it arrives[​IMG]. My question is I dont have a dedicated Cd player I've just been using my 2 yr old Philips Magnavox Dvd player for Cds. Does it make that much difference to have a dedicated Cd player or not?
     
  2. Keith Ro

    Keith Ro Agent

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  3. Jason Bell

    Jason Bell Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for your reply. Would you recommend optical or coax for the connection? Most people I've asked say optical because of less interference.
     
  4. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    I use the optical, and my DVD player says it will play CD's , but locks up the unit everytime. I use a mega m333es for my 400CD collection. To me that is the most practical way to do it. Plus my DVD is on top of my RPTV so I can have very short component cables.
     
  5. Keith Ro

    Keith Ro Agent

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  6. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    A dedicated CD player that contains "superior" DACs might best the DVD/CD unit for digital-to-analog decoding.

    An example is the Denon DCM-370 with a Burr-Brown chip for HDCD discs.

    In this instance, one uses the RCA audio interconnents to the amp's CD inputs and hopefully with some kind of Audio Direct or Analog Bypass feature.

    A/B listening tests should help find which is the preferable sound.
     
  7. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    I was surprised how much even cheapo optical cables can cost the last time I went looking. Wound up trying a Radio Shack Gold Series cord. Very poorly made, IMHO. Definitely NOT worth the money.
    If trying optical, I'd recommend an Acoustic Research Pro cord (maybe try Accessories4less). Much better made (less likely to disconnect by accident) and a good bit less expensive.
    I'm not sure I quite agree with Keith on the "there's no difference", at least in all cases, but with the gear you have I think that would be a pretty safe assumption (again, IMHO).
    M
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    No, ANY RCA cable will NOT do. There is a post somewhere on here where a member was using a video RCA cable, and was getting "pauses" or drop outs. When he switched to a cable that was specified as a coax digital cable, the issue went away. Don't ask me why, but it apparently DOES matter.

    Optical vs coax - there should be no measurable difference. I use coax also.

    While I feel my DVD player does a decent job at CDs, I still prefer to use a dedicated CD player for music in my main system. In my bedroom system, I only have the DVD and I use it for 90% music. It does just fine.
     
  9. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    In my experience even a modest DVD player can sound quite good with CDs. The big advantage of a dedicated CD player is that you can get a 200-400 disc CD player for not much more than a 5 disc carousel.

    As far as connectors, I have to respectfully disagree with John Garcia about coaxial cable. One of the most interesting articles on the forums a few years ago was about how a guy took a coat hanger and used it as a coax cable with no problems. Try a spare RCA patch cord and if you have any problems with it you can always upgrade.

    Artie
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I didn't mean to make it sound like "you must go get a $100 dedicated coaxial digital cable", because I don't feel that is necessary at all. I was just relaying what I had read here. There could be an issue with the specific type of cable used, in particular with a DVD player (maybe a certain brand or model). I can't find the thread, but it wasn't too long ago.

    I have personally used basic patch cords and the cheapo coax dig. cable that came with my CDP without issue. Since I couldn't hear a difference between coax and analog, I am using analog for my CDP though, and coax dig for my DVD.
     
  11. Harold Leroy

    Harold Leroy Stunt Coordinator

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    DVD player as a transport is ok, but it sure gets a lot better with a good external DAC like Perpetual Technologies P-3A. It made a big difference with my Toshiba 9200. I hope to soon add the P-1A to complete the chain. I think the $1,700 spent on the Perpetual Tech stuff is better than spending the same amount on a dedicated CD player for the same price. I am listening to CD's much more than ever before since I bought the external DAC--I am really a believer!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  12. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    It depends on the quality of the respective players. In my experience some DVD players can make good CD players, but they are not cheap, because they are also optimized for audio, not just video.

    DJ
     
  13. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    All you need is a shielded RCA cable that is 75 Ohms. Most cables designated for video will comply with this, but you should check.
    As far as coax vs. optical, it will not make a difference. Digital is digital. On a related note, your DVD player will do fine as a transport. A lot of people say that transports can make a difference, but if a transport is delivering the digital data correctly, it will be decoded according to the receiver's clock and DAC's, so once you get the data to the receiver, it doesn't matter what the transport is!
    EDIT: There appears to be more to the issue. I'm learning all this stuff myself. Check out this site for some really good info:
    http://www.digido.com/jitteressay.html
     
  14. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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    I think too many people underestimate the transport in this whole equation. Quality of sound does not start and end at the D/A stage. There is an important stage before that - the transport.
    Now for my subjective opinion...I've never been satisfied with any DVD player as a CD transport. This applies both sonically and ergonomically. I find DVD transports to be terribly slow when playing CDs. From the time it takes to recognize the disc as a CD and read the TOC, to the sluggish track access. I have never found a DVD transport that operates as swiftly as my own Sony CD player.
    I'm not going to pretend I know more than I do, but I believe a lot of sonic differences have to do with jitter. Jitter is essentially time-based errors in a digital signal. Jitter can be caused by a whole host of things in a transport (and, in this case, an entire DVD player with often offending video circuitry). Digital is not just 1s and 0s and therefore as simple as that. It is precisely timed 1s and 0s - and if that timing is mucked up, there could be trouble. [​IMG]
    I would recommend exploring both options. Ultimately, unless space or budget is a concern, I would recommend a good stand-alone CD player for your music.
    /Jeff
     
  15. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    This has been beaten to death so many times on this forum, and who knows how many times on other forums. If anyone is interested in the very heated, detailed, technical, etc. discussions that have happened in the past, run a search for "optical coax jitter" or something like that. I'm sure there's enough material to keep someone busy for weeks, and I doubt there will be many questions left after reading all that. There are no clear-cut "this is how it works, period" answers here.
    In my opinion, of course [​IMG]
     
  16. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley Second Unit

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    Well me personally, I prefer to use a CD player when listening to CDs and ~Save~ my DVD player for the movies, lessens the amount of playing time on the DVD player, so it should last a bit longer, and I've run into where a burned CD won't play in my DVD player but will play in my ES Sony disc changer. Since I already have the CD player, I'll run that to death and later on upgrade to one of the SACD players as well.
    So I guess I don't like a DO ALL type machine, handy but I leave the movies to the movie playing devices and the music to the music playing devices...[​IMG]
    G2
     
  17. chung

    chung Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's a site that contains some measurements on a DVD player used as CD players:
    http://www.pcavtech.com/play-rec/summary/index.htm
    This is one of the very few places where you can find jitter measurement results (and spectra) of some common players.
    This topic has been discussed in a lot of detail, with heated exchanges, in the rec.audio.high-end newsgroup. You can do a google search for it.
     
  18. Blake Heinzeroth

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    I first got involved in the home theater hobby about four years ago

    when my friend first showed me his DVD player. Until that point, I

    never owned a single movie on VHS. But, DVD technology was so slick

    that I was immediately hooked. Soon, I was buying widescreen digital

    TVs, progressive scan DVD players, etc.

    Though the home theater bug bit only a few years ago, I've enjoyed

    collecting hi-fi stereo equipment for the past 11 years. One of the

    most interesting parts of becoming an HT addict is seeing how similar

    (and often how different) HT is from the "musical" hi-fi world.

    For instance, I've always felt that an unpowered speaker sounded much better

    (or at least more pure) than a powered speaker -- in relation to music

    reproduction. I've come to realize that this is very different for movie

    reproduction. A sub-woofer is a must for the pounding soundtracks that a

    DVD can provide.

    One thing that is relatively the same in both the HT world and the audio

    hi-fi world is the fact that the less a piece of equipment has to do, the

    better it usually does it. For instance, true audio aficionados shy away from using a receiver

    to reproduce music. A separate pre-amp and amp is a must. Home theater fans

    feel the same way, but probably not as fanatically. I think this is because there

    is a fundamental difference in what each hobby offers. I think many people would

    agree that accurate reproduction of every nuance of sound is not quite as important

    in a movie as it is in a passage of music. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying a

    HT setup won't benefit from a top of the line audio setup! However I believe

    there is a great deal more detail present in a piece of classical music than there

    is in a DD 5.1 surround movie soundtrack.

    All you need to do is compare reviews of HT equipment vs. audio equipment. Reviews

    of HT equipment tend to have passages describing how much the reviewer felt he

    was part of the movie, how accurately the surround sound setup placed sound effects,

    and how well the bass sounded. Audio equipment reviews get much, much more detailed,

    sometimes to the point where reviewers are just ridiuclous. They talk about the

    "liquidity" of music, the brightness, the organic shape of the sound reproduced,

    the breadth of the soundwave, the warmness or coolness of an amp or CD player, etc.

    Overall, I think the audio hi-fi hobby demands a bit more of a critical ear than

    the HT hobby.

    Anyway, the subject at hand: dedicated CD player vs. DVD player. I actually setup

    my Pioneer DV-37 DVD player in my audio system and A/Bd it against my dedicated CD

    player (an Adcom GCD-750). I have to say, the Adcom sounded much better than the

    DVD player. No contest. And I'm not talking in an esoteric "organic sound" kind

    of way -- it was obvious. I put identical CDs in both players, and asked eight of

    my friends to tell me which unit sounded better (they didn't know which was playing),

    and every one of them said the dedicated CD player sounded better.

    Then I took it a step further. The Adcom has a nice feature which allows it to act

    as a DAC for another digital source. In other words, you can connect another device

    with a digital out (in this case, my Pioneer DVd player) and allow the Adcom player

    to act as the digital audio converter. So, that's what I did. The sound coming

    from the Pioneer DVD player (now being decoded through the Adcom unit) was much better.

    Still, in my opinion, not quite as good as the Adcom by itself, but a considerable

    improvement over the Pioneer's DACs.

    My opinion/conclusion in all this? DVD player vs. standalone CD player... no contest.

    The CD player wins hands down. I am most confident in saying that DVD player DACs

    are no where near as nice as dedicated audio CD player DACs. However, if a DVD

    player is being run through an external DAC, it can come closer to the sound of a

    dedicated CD player... but not quite reach it. The quality of the transport itself

    is important (I won't get into jitter, as it's already been discussed here). My Pioneer

    DVD player weighs about 3.5 pounds. My Adcom CD player weighs nearly 30 -- that's a solid

    transport. And, I think it makes a difference (IMHO).
     
  19. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Jeff:

     
  20. Mike Veroukis

    Mike Veroukis Second Unit

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