Was a $1000 CD Player Better than a $150 one? My view. - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 413 Old 12-19-2008, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by dbelon View Post

I have come to the conclusion that all CD players sound like crap because CDs are a poor medium for music. The technology is over 20 years old.

Technology isn't like the roof of a house. It doesn't necessarily wear out.

In fact CDs sound as good or as bad as they were made to sound. The CD is just a container, and it is a container that does not limit the sound quality of what's inside.

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There is hope with the new lossless technology but it's still just a digital sampling of an original analog source.

There's nothing inherently wrong with digital sampling. It can be done more than well enough to please the ears.

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The best sounding systems I have heard use analog media through vacuum tube amplifiers. There is a warmth and organic feel to the music that is lost in the digital realm.

Good for you, not so good for 99% of everybody else.

Older guys like me grew though the conversion from tubes to SS, and from analog media to digital media. Both changes were tremendous improvements in the opinion of just about everybody.

You have a different, minority opinion. That's fine. Just don't expect a lot of agreement from people who have heard the best that tubes, tape, and vinyl have to offer, found it lacking, and subsequently found that newer technology does work better.
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post #182 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 09:28 AM
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The best sounding systems I have heard use analog media through vacuum tube amplifiers. There is a warmth and organic feel to the music that is lost in the digital realm.

There is a similar warmth and organic feel when riding a horse but that's only if you step into it

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #183 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 12:40 PM
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I have added slightly to this post from a couple of pages back and thought I'd post it again to see if there are any comments on it this time:

The impression that I am getting is that some very experienced posters here believe that while there may be reasons to choose one player over another sound quality is not one of them. And that sound qualtiy is not impacted by:

The DACs or chips used, internal or external DAC

Method of connection to system whether balanced, unbalanced, coax, optical, HDMI

Filters or any other aspects of circuitry that I don't understand

The transport mechanism

Single vs multiplay transport configuration

Heft or rigidity and resistance to resonance of the case

Isolation of vibration from outside sources or damping of internal vibration

Presence of video circuitry or the ability to turn such circuitry off.

Electrical influence from nearby equipment - heat the only concern

Electrical influence from internal circuitry or separation of power supply

Use of tubes vs solid state

Differences related to jitter or word clock

Any other common myths that I left out?
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post #184 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 12:43 PM
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To those that believe that there is no audible differnce in properly constructed CD player, at what point will a listener hear audible differences in MP3 files vs CD?
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post #185 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 12:45 PM
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One of the links posted previouslywas to a translated webpage that in addition to finding no difference in CD players, found no difference in amps or cableing. Do those who maintain there is no difference in CD players agree that there are no differences in these components?
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post #186 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 12:47 PM
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Following from the reasoning put forward in this thread that most CD players sound the same, would the same apply to AV pre-processors, that they all pretty much sound the same (putting features such room EQ and the like aside)? If not, what factors would contribute to them sounding different?
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post #187 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 12:49 PM
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Since tape is a long dead format for most people, do all music systems sound the same when playing the same format except for vinyl, except for differences between speakers?
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post #188 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 02:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Volcan View Post

One of the links posted previouslywas to a translated webpage that in addition to finding no difference in CD players, found no difference in amps or cableing. Do those who maintain there is no difference in CD players agree that there are no differences in these components?

If cables are designed to conform to the spec needed for home audio application, they shouldn't sound different. Properly designed 75 Ohm IC cables will sound identical. Speaker cables with resistance within proper range for home audio use will sound identical. Some cable companies will come up with esoteric design such as higher capacitance or inductance via different material / gage or braiding pattern with their cable which acts as passive filtering device of their own and color the sound. Ideal cable should be transparent and not add coloration to sound. Keep in mind, properly designed cables can be had cheaply from your local hardware store. Anything more is waste of money.

As for the amps, there are loads of info written about them and I'd suggest you do some search.
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post #189 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 02:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EdanT View Post

Following from the reasoning put forward in this thread that most CD players sound the same, would the same apply to AV pre-processors, that they all pretty much sound the same (putting features such room EQ and the like aside)? If not, what factors would contribute to them sounding different?

Room mode can make an audible difference. Aesthetics and price can make a perceivable difference.

If you are using preamp for volume control only (CDP analog out to preamp analog in and bypass all other circuit), the difference would be negligible. Are you comparing built-in DAC of CDP and that of preamp?
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post #190 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 02:33 PM
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Amps can and definitely do sound audibly different from one another.

Some time ago, I asked this question to our friend Kurt from Blue Jeans Cable. Here was his very detailed and informative reply:

"Yes, absolutely, it's possible for similarly-spec'd amplifiers to sound
different from one another. This is very different from, say, expecting
cables to sound particularly different from one another; amplifiers are
active circuits; they have circuit impedances that vary with frequency,
filtering circuits which modify signals incoming, outgoing, and in process,
and semiconductors (or tubes) that have different noise floors, gain
characteristics, et cetera. This is a bit like designing a camera lens:
there's no simple, straightforward design that combines the best of all
possible outcomes, and so every design is something of a compromise between
competing objectives. The ideal amplifier is perfectly linear within its
operating frequency range, causes no distortion, cuts off sharply outside
its intended frequency band, and presents all of these characteristics
regardless of the type or level of input signal and the amount of gain
required--but this ideal amplifier is an idea, not a reality, and real-world
devices can and do differ in meaningful, audible ways, even as they attempt
to realize that ideal.

Now, it's also probably fair to say that there is a lot of overstatement,
and some misconceptions, that people engage in when DESCRIBING the
differences between amps. Two good amps, both fed the same material and
driving the same speakers, ought to both sound good; but they may sound
different from one another, within a limited range. Obviously, if they
really sound profoundly different from one another, something is probably
the matter with one or both of them. We run into this in audiophile stuff
from time to time; for example, tube amps will often be said to be "warmer"
than transistor amps. That's true if one takes a certain view of what
"warmer" means; tube amps typically soften the highs a bit and that causes a
presentation which people often describe as warm. But that "warmth" comes,
of course, at the price of accuracy of reproduction of the input signal.
Whether one likes it or not is, of course, another matter."
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post #191 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

Room mode can make an audible difference. Aesthetics and price can make a perceivable difference.

If you are using preamp for volume control only (CDP analog out to preamp analog in and bypass all other circuit), the difference would be negligible. Are you comparing built-in DAC of CDP and that of preamp?

To provide a specific example to clarifiy my question, lets say I was playing a DVD with DTS 5.1 soundtrack via digital coax into a pre-amp, not using any features like room correction or surround matrixing, would one expect most pre-processors sound quality to be indistinguishable from one another? (This may appear off-topic but important to understand for greater context.)
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post #192 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 02:50 PM
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Any other common myths that I left out?

Well, a few of your "myths" don't belong on your list. In particular, there can definitely be audible differences between solid state and tube gear. And interference of various forms is always possible (though thankfully rare).

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To those that believe that there is no audible differnce in properly constructed CD player, at what point will a listener hear audible differences in MP3 files vs CD?

Depends on whether you know what to listen for, and whether the sounds you're using to test are difficult ones for the MP3 coder to handle. There's probably a handful of people in the world who can distinguish between 320 kbps and CD, at least on some material. For the average person who hasn't tried to learn the sonic signatures of codecs (this would include almost everyone who considers himself an audiophile), typical music programs start to get very tough to distinguish at about 192 kbps.

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Do those who maintain there is no difference in CD players agree that there are no differences in these components?

Cables will not be distinguishable unless one has much higher resistance than the other.

Amps will not be distinguishable as long as both are capable of driving your speakers adequately, and as long as neither exhibits any frequency response anomalies (usually caused by impedance mismatches with speakers, which occasionally happens with tube amps).

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Following from the reasoning put forward in this thread that most CD players sound the same, would the same apply to AV pre-processors, that they all pretty much sound the same (putting features such room EQ and the like aside)?

AV pre-processors are designed to sound different, giving the user control over a range of parameters. If you "put aside" these features, there's not much left. But if you turn off all processing and match levels to all channels, they should sound the same.

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Since tape is a long dead format for most people, do all music systems sound the same when playing the same format except for vinyl, except for differences between speakers?

In the general case, yeah, but note all the provisos.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #193 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Amps will not be distinguishable as long as both are capable of driving your speakers adequately, and as long as neither exhibits any frequency response anomalies.

This not true, though a lot of people probably would not notice the difference between two similar spec'd amps.

Also, other differences like speakers and room acoustics are probably more significant in most cases.
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post #194 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Technology isn't like the roof of a house. It doesn't necessarily wear out.

In fact CDs sound as good or as bad as they were made to sound. The CD is just a container, and it is a container that does not limit the sound quality of what's inside.



There's nothing inherently wrong with digital sampling. It can be done more than well enough to please the ears.



Good for you, not so good for 99% of everybody else.

Older guys like me grew though the conversion from tubes to SS, and from analog media to digital media. Both changes were tremendous improvements in the opinion of just about everybody.

You have a different, minority opinion. That's fine. Just don't expect a lot of agreement from people who have heard the best that tubes, tape, and vinyl have to offer, found it lacking, and subsequently found that newer technology does work better.

I have found that 99% of people are perfectly happy with digital audio. However, the other 1% who are more discriminating about their audio seem to prefer analog systems with vacuum tube amplification. Just check out audiophile forums like the Audio Circle. Just because digital is more popular doesn't make it better. I have a nice home theater system that uses the latest digital technology and it's fine for movies and casual music listening but for serious music listening I prefer my tube driven analog 2-channel setup by a wide margin.

Pro HD
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post #195 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 03:47 PM
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This not true, though a lot of people probably would not notice the difference between two similar spec'd amps.

Of course it's true, and there's plenty of research to back it up. There are a lot of amp companies that don't want you to believe it, and their publicist hacks at the audio rags are glad to help them, and plenty of audiophiles who are happy to believe otherwise. But this is so basic you can find it in college textbooks today.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #196 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 03:48 PM
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However, the other 1% who are more discriminating about their audio seem to prefer analog systems with vacuum tube amplification.

They may prefer something different, but there's no reason to believe they are more discriminating. They just have different preferences.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #197 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Of course it's true, and there's plenty of research to back it up. There are a lot of amp companies that don't want you to believe it, and their publicist hacks at the audio rags are glad to help them, and plenty of audiophiles who are happy to believe otherwise. But this is so basic you can find it in college textbooks today.



So I guess Kurt doesn't know what he's talking about then?

How much are you willing to bet that I cannot blindly distinguish between two different, non-defective amplifiers of my choosing?
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post #198 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 04:20 PM
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So I guess Kurt doesn't know what he's talking about then?

Kurt is a lawyer, not a psychoacoustician.

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How much are you willing to bet that I cannot blindly distinguish between two different, non-defective amplifiers of my choosing?

Nondefective amplifiers can sound different. I stated the conditions under which this was possible. Correct for those conditions, and you can't. David Clark offered $10,000 to anyone who could. Hundreds tried. None succeeded.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #199 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Kurt is a lawyer, not a psychoacoustician.

Neither are you.

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Nondefective amplifiers can sound different. I stated the conditions under which this was possible.

I missed that. What are the conditions and how common are they? My only experience is with amps in receivers running in 2 channel analog direct mode. The different ones and brands I've heard sounded a little different from one another.

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Correct for those conditions, and you can't. David Clark offered $10,000 to anyone who could. Hundreds tried. None succeeded.

So you are willing to bet then? How much?
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post #200 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 06:20 PM
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Didn't Michael Fremer correctly identify a difference 5 out of 5 times @ Clark's 1988 large-scale AES test, only to be dismissed as a "lucky coin"?
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post #201 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 06:31 PM
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Didn't Michael Fremer correctly identify a difference 5 out of 5 times @ Clark's 1988 large-scale AES test, only to be dismissed as a "lucky coin"?

5 out of 5 one time is not enough. I'd say he have do 5 out of 5 at least two or three times.
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post #202 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Volcan View Post

To those that believe that there is no audible differnce in properly constructed CD player, at what point will a listener hear audible differences in MP3 files vs CD?

That's hard to say given that most people don't do the evaluations blindly (as say hydrogenaudio.org where if it ain't blind no one cares) as well as the program source. 256K or 320K is Herculean difficult, but you can get lossless compression with flac's and many people don't bother with mp3's for that reason.

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #203 of 413 Old 12-20-2008, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Volcan View Post

Since tape is a long dead format for most people, do all music systems sound the same when playing the same format except for vinyl, except for differences between speakers?

Depends what the device does to the format and that's not an easy thing to figure out from reviews or a manufactuer's information. It's not an unequivocal yes.

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #204 of 413 Old 12-21-2008, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by RUR View Post

Didn't Michael Fremer correctly identify a difference 5 out of 5 times @ Clark's 1988 large-scale AES test, only to be dismissed as a "lucky coin"?

That was with 2 amps, one of which was tube based, matched at only 1 kHz. There's some controversy over Fremer's results. Tom Nousaine, who was at the LA AES gathering, recalls that Fremer didn't hand in his sheet (actually his results weren't written on the official sheet) until after the results had been disclosed. But as other's have said, 5 out of 5 isn't unusual and one can't draw much from that. Far as I know, Fremer has stayed away from blind tests.

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post #205 of 413 Old 12-21-2008, 08:30 AM
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So you are willing to bet then?

Bet on what? Certainly not under the conditions you set (two non-defective amps of your choice). My momma didn't raise no fool.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #206 of 413 Old 12-21-2008, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Volcan View Post


The impression that I am getting is that some very experienced posters here believe that while there may be reasons to choose one player over another sound quality is not one of them.


Yes, from the cheap ones.

It's amazing I have not checked this forum for months and it is still the same few people crusading for cheap electronics. They really do this board a disservice.

What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #207 of 413 Old 12-21-2008, 08:44 AM
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It's amazing I have not checked this forum for months and it is still the same few people crusading for cheap electronics. They really do this board a disservice.

Thanks for your constructive contribution.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #208 of 413 Old 12-21-2008, 08:51 AM
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Thanks for your constructive contribution.

The only way to be constructive in this forum in regards to CD players is to leave a link for another forum, which I considered and decided was inappropriate. I did however feel the need to post my frustration that any discussion here on this subject is a waste, hence my post.

What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #209 of 413 Old 12-21-2008, 09:09 AM
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Bet on what? Certainly not under the conditions you set (two non-defective amps of your choice). My momma didn't raise no fool.

I don't get it then. Why would I bet if it wasn't two amplifiers of my choosing that I heard differences with?
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post #210 of 413 Old 12-21-2008, 09:13 AM
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what are your two amps and fwiw what speakers were they driving?

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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