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Thread: CD player/changer

  1. #1
    Senior Member quindecima's Avatar
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    CD player/changer

    My CD changer just went south for all time and It's not a high end unit and I had it fixed once before so I need to get a new one or a quality used one. What is a good unit that I should look at?

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    I bought a TEAC CD-P650-B nearly two-years ago when I was looking for an elegant way to connect an iPod to one of my systems. It's a well-made single-disc player with a good DAC (PCM1791A Burr Brown) that has quite a bit of versatility in addition to a USB direct iPod connectivity. TEAC sells direct on Amazon and when I got mine it was around $120, shipped. It's gotten a bit more popular recently and the price has crept up a bit, but it's still a good buy. B&H still shows it for $119 shipping included and no tax outside NY. Most reviews are excellent. The bad ones simply show that not everyone has even a clue as to how audio works!

    I consider it a fantastic USB iPod and MP3 player with a CD player as an added bonus. I should probably buy one for each of my systems.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

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    Senior Member quindecima's Avatar
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    Good stuff, I will look at that one. I would rather have a multiple cd player but will settle for a single if its better.

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    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    Again a single disc player, but the Onkyo C-7030 I purchased this year is designed for high quality audio and delivers for me. I'll put it up against the expensive units. Since Gibson purchased Onkyo the quality has gone up.
    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom
    Too many audiophiles listen with their eyes instead of their ears


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    I've been using a emotiva erc2 for a few years now. They have a newer model out and I can't speak for that one. I know there's some on this forum who don't like there products. But all there products I've had have been excellent. The erc2 is may with excellent engineering practices in audio design.all circuits are completely compartmentalized. The player is a bit more then the other 2 suggested but it it does have a reputation as a bit of a giant slayer.

    Nick

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    If you would like an elevated level of performance at a moderate cost, I'd recommend going with virtually any CD player or changer equipped with a S/PIDF output and a Byrston BDA-1. I've seen them lately on the used market for $600. This DAC with any decent disc spinner will sound pretty darned close to the best possible in digital playback options.


    Widget

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    Senior Member LowPhreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducatista47 View Post
    Again a single disc player, but the Onkyo C-7030 I purchased this year is designed for high quality audio and delivers for me. I'll put it up against the expensive units. Since Gibson purchased Onkyo the quality has gone up.
    Ducatista, how's the low end on that model? I've seen it around and for the money, it gets praise but I've not been able to hear it yet. I'm happy with the definition, timing, and coherence of my Marantz CD6005, especially on the prog rock I listen to which can be complex, but sometimes I yearn for just a tad more richness in the lows, like if it had +1dB from the mid-100's Hz and lower.

    Widget - I'd take your recommendation on the Bryston but these days, I have to do things on the "even cheaper than a great deal" basis.

  8. #8
    Senior Member quindecima's Avatar
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    I haven't seen any of those bryston's for less than 1K

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    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowPhreak View Post
    Ducatista, how's the low end on that model? I've seen it around and for the money, it gets praise but I've not been able to hear it yet. I'm happy with the definition, timing, and coherence of my Marantz CD6005, especially on the prog rock I listen to which can be complex, but sometimes I yearn for just a tad more richness in the lows, like if it had +1dB from the mid-100's Hz and lower.
    I only gave the native player a brief trial. I use my CD players (and other digital sources) coax out to an outboard DAC. The Onkyo sounded great to me before that, not surprising as it was designed for high end playback, but it was a limited audition. Too limited to laser in on just 100dB down. I think I paid $150-160 for it.

    It is probably irrelevant to your question that it sounds faultless as a digital source. As for your +1dB quest, I have turned to parametric EQ for such desires. The analog devices have shelving as well as full parametric capability. They can do almost anything. A boost for 100Hz down would be a simple shelving solution. One of the nice things about analog parametric, there is no footprint on regions not chosen if the master output is not boosted or cut.

    Widget, my DAC has COAX and USB as well as optical input, and I sincerely believe the COAX is better than optical, as currently practiced.

    Clark
    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom
    Too many audiophiles listen with their eyes instead of their ears


  10. #10
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducatista47 View Post
    Widget, my DAC has COAX and USB as well as optical input, and I sincerely believe the COAX is better than optical, as currently practiced.
    Yep, my Bryston BDA-1 is the same and that's why I suggested that anyone using it get a CD player or transport with a S/PDIF output. The optical Toslink type connection may be equally good in some DACs, but it isn't quite as good in my comparison. A BNC S/PIDIF connection is generally considered the best.


    Widget

  11. #11
    Senior Member LowPhreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducatista47 View Post
    I only gave the native player a brief trial. I use my CD players (and other digital sources) coax out to an outboard DAC. The Onkyo sounded great to me before that, not surprising as it was designed for high end playback, but it was a limited audition. Too limited to laser in on just 100dB down. I think I paid $150-160 for it.

    It is probably irrelevant to your question that it sounds faultless as a digital source. As for your +1dB quest, I have turned to parametric EQ for such desires. The analog devices have shelving as well as full parametric capability. They can do almost anything. A boost for 100Hz down would be a simple shelving solution. One of the nice things about analog parametric, there is no footprint on regions not chosen if the master output is not boosted or cut.
    Thanks for the info. I have EQ via a Soundcraftsmen, but changing the curve back when I change sources would be more of a hassle than just having a CD source with the response I'm after, and leaving the EQ settings put.

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    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    I had all but forgotten CD's until I discovered that some DVD players have
    24/192 DAC's. Tried a couple and settled on a Panasonic. Was very happy.

    Then an ARCAM CD player became mine with it's extraordinary "Ring DAC"
    .... http://www.stereophile.com/cdplayers/251/

    About the Ring DAC: This is the same 24-bit-capable DAC (except for the output-stage rework mentioned above) used in the Alpha 9. Algorithmically, it's virtually identical to what you get in dCS's own Elgar, which earned an A+ rating in Stereophile's "Recommended Components" and would set you back a cool $12,000—without a transport. What makes the Ring DAC unique is that it provides something of a middle ground between multi-bit and single-bit converters. It uses a five-bit DAC (thereby having fewer steps in the resistor ladder, and better precision getting the smallest values right), and 64x oversampling (a lower rate than that of 1-bit DACs, which makes it less prone to timing errors and jitter).

    The "Ring" in Ring DAC isn't from Wagner—it comes from a process that continually varies the number and positions of the current sources for the DAC for each sample, sort of like a car's rotary distributor—thus "Ring." This randomizes the small variations in the current sources throughout the quantizing range. As a result, these variations are transformed into random white noise, which is then moved out of the audio frequency range (above 100kHz, actually) by fourth-order noise shaping. This high-frequency detritus is then filtered out in the analog domain.
    Although forward—perhaps "unobscured" would be a better description—the CD23 offered as good a sense of depth and lateral definition as I've heard from CD playback.

    Needless to say... CD playback is back on my mainstream , but those DVD players are a good bet too , only downside is not as many controls.
    Yes, I've got my reasons and to me they're all true,
    And I wouldn't change them, not even for you.

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    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    Yep, my Bryston BDA-1 is the same and that's why I suggested that anyone using it get a CD player or transport with a S/PDIF output. The optical Toslink type connection may be equally good in some DACs, but it isn't quite as good in my comparison. A BNC S/PIDIF connection is generally considered the best.


    Widget
    I am confused. Both COAX and Toslink are S/PDIF. It sounds like you are talking about a BNC COAX (as opposed to RCA terminated COAX)? I was speaking to COAX being a better implementation of S/PDIF than optical (Toslink), not which termination is used on COAX.

    If I am clear so far, I would not doubt that BNC has some mechanical advantages over RCA in pro use. In home use without frequent connect/disconnect cycles I suspect any advantages would be mechanical rather than sonic. I know that RCA was a poor choice for an audio standard for pro use, but at home I do not need to care about advantages which become theoretical there. I personally prefer XLR (for the connections and receptacles, not for noise cancelling) over BNC or RCA and use it where I can, but fully shielded XLR COAX is not an off the shelf item here. It is usually assumed XLR does not need shielding because of its usual applications, but S/PDIF COAX needs to be fully shielded, of course.

    Anyway, is BNC COAX S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Interconnect Digital Format) a seldom seen option outside the pro scene? I have not encountered it, in my ignorance and price range.
    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom
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  14. #14
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducatista47 View Post
    I am confused. Both COAX and Toslink are S/PDIF.
    I see what you mean... when I checked on Wikipedia, they maintain that both digital cable types, coax and optical use the S/PIDF protocol. In my world we refer to copper coax as S/PIDF and optical as Toslink. The two formats respectively from Sony/Phillips and Toshiba.

    In any case, my experience concurs with yours that coax digital sounds better than optical. I wouldn't definitively say that this is always the case, but with the associated equipment I have used it is.

    Regarding BNC connectors, these are used in the RF field and with lab equipment. They do offer a measurably superior connection. A digital signal is a high frequency square wave signal so it is possible that having exceptional high frequency response may be beneficial... I'm not certain, but it wouldn't surprise me. Many of the better DACs offer BNC connections. The Bryston I have offers all current formats.


    Widget

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    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    Regarding BNC connectors, these are used in the RF field and with lab equipment. They do offer a measurably superior connection. A digital signal is a high frequency square wave signal so it is possible that having exceptional high frequency response may be beneficial... I'm not certain, but it wouldn't surprise me. Many of the better DACs offer BNC connections. The Bryston I have offers all current formats.


    Widget
    >>Regarding BNC connectors

    BTN (b4 the net), we called them "British Nut Connectors" , and if so then "BNC connectors" would be
    BN connectors connectors. But I was wrong ......

    Origin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BNC_connector

    "The connector was named the BNC (for Bayonet Neill–Concelman) after its bayonet mount locking mechanism and its inventors, Paul Neill and Carl Concelman.[1] Neill worked at Bell Labs and also invented the N connector; Concelman worked at Amphenol and also invented the C connector. A backronym has been mistakenly applied to it: British Naval Connector."

    Quote Originally Posted by Ducatista47 View Post
    I am confused. Both COAX and Toslink are S/PDIF. It sounds like you are talking about a BNC COAX (as opposed to RCA terminated COAX)? I was speaking to COAX being a better implementation of S/PDIF than optical (Toslink), not which termination is used on COAX.

    If I am clear so far, I would not doubt that BNC has some mechanical advantages over RCA in pro use. In home use without frequent connect/disconnect cycles I suspect any advantages would be mechanical rather than sonic. I know that RCA was a poor choice for an audio standard for pro use, but at home I do not need to care about advantages which become theoretical there. I personally prefer XLR (for the connections and receptacles, not for noise cancelling) over BNC or RCA and use it where I can, but fully shielded XLR COAX is not an off the shelf item here. It is usually assumed XLR does not need shielding because of its usual applications, but S/PDIF COAX needs to be fully shielded, of course.

    Anyway, is BNC COAX S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Interconnect Digital Format) a seldom seen option outside the pro scene? I have not encountered it, in my ignorance and price range.
    The audio s/pdif that I use (and have only seen) is Toslink and RCA. Never seen a deck with BNC.

    Only BNC I ever worked with was 10base2.
    Yes, I've got my reasons and to me they're all true,
    And I wouldn't change them, not even for you.

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