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post #1 of 52 Old 01-16-2014, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
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My CD player died. It's DPA Renaissnace - don't bother looking as it's quite rare. It was a nice sounding player and I'd replace it if I could find one. Would really like to have something line an Audio Research CD3. Prices are too high.

I'm listening mostly to digital now via Flac rips of CDs. But I'd still like to be able to play CDs. Any thoughts about what is a good used player? Older is fine - I'm looking for something with better quality. Highly depreciated is fine too. For example, if I could find a working DPA Renaissance, it would probably go for $250 now. Note that this for an audio only system. Having DVD-A and SACD support are nice to have but not required.

Or should I just get a used Oppo and call it done?

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post #2 of 52 Old 01-16-2014, 01:40 PM
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An Oppo would be totally fine.  Especially if you want SACD and DVD-Audio.


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post #3 of 52 Old 01-17-2014, 10:18 AM
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May i ask what happened to the Oppo?  Is it that it is not reading the disks any more or that the disks wont eject?  Also, what ever you do don't get a old onkyo DX 1700,  They are not the lasers are not replaceable any more and the belts are finicky.

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post #4 of 52 Old 01-17-2014, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RippyD View Post

My CD player died. It's DPA Renaissnace - don't bother looking as it's quite rare. It was a nice sounding player and I'd replace it if I could find one. Would really like to have something line an Audio Research CD3. Prices are too high.

I'm listening mostly to digital now via Flac rips of CDs. But I'd still like to be able to play CDs. Any thoughts about what is a good used player? Older is fine - I'm looking for something with better quality. Highly depreciated is fine too. For example, if I could find a working DPA Renaissance, it would probably go for $250 now. Note that this for an audio only system. Having DVD-A and SACD support are nice to have but not required.

Or should I just get a used Oppo and call it done?

The best way to connect a optical disc player is via a digital connnection - HDMI, optical Toslink, or coax.

If you connect your optical player by means of a digital connection you bypass just about everything that makes an Oppo more desireable.

I personally use a ca. $100 Panasonic BD player to play CDs, though if truth be known I have most of my CDs ripped and play them off a server PC that I access via the network feature of my AVR or BD player.
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post #5 of 52 Old 01-17-2014, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by henk5066 View Post

May i ask what happened to the Oppo?  Is it that it is not reading the disks any more or that the disks wont eject?  Also, what ever you do don't get a old onkyo DX 1700,  They are not the lasers are not replaceable any more and the belts are finicky.
I've never had an Oppo. I had a DPA Renaissance player. The drive mechanism has gone bad. I have no doubt I could replace it, but it's an old player (going on 14 years) and it's probably not worth it. Got quoted $250 to put in a new drive. I'm choosing to retire it and move to something else.

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post #6 of 52 Old 01-17-2014, 02:39 PM
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It might be worth it if it is truely that rare a unit.  i would look into replacing the drive mechanism if it were me.  that and it might be an interesting project.  I went and looked up the unit online and it looks nice.

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post #7 of 52 Old 01-17-2014, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

The best way to connect a optical disc player is via a digital connnection - HDMI, optical Toslink, or coax.

If you connect your optical player by means of a digital connection you bypass just about everything that makes an Oppo more desireable.

I personally use a ca. $100 Panasonic BD player to play CDs, though if truth be known I have most of my CDs ripped and play them off a server PC that I access via the network feature of my AVR or BD player.

I'm looking for a player, not a transport. You seem to be assuming that the DACs in a downstream device would be better than the one in the player. That's very much an "it depends" situation. In my case there's nothing downstream to connect to digitally. I'm looking for CD player for a 2-channel music only system. The only thing downstream will be an integrated amp. I should been more clear in my initial post.

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post #8 of 52 Old 01-17-2014, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by henk5066 View Post

It might be worth it if it is truely that rare a unit.  i would look into replacing the drive mechanism if it were me.  that and it might be an interesting project.  I went and looked up the unit online and it looks nice.
It's a nice player and very under-rated. But I'll have to start worrying about the caps drying out, or the board cracking or any number of other issues. If I could find another one for parts I would consider it. For now, I'll move to something else.

And since you mentioned it, here's a little interesting fact: the DPA players and transports were the only ones I know of to have a timing cable as well as a data cable. What the heck is this, you ask? There are two digital outputs on the DPA players and transports, and two digital inputs on the DPA dacs. One is for data, the other is for a clock signal. The DPA players and transports send the clock signal to the DAC to eliminate the possibility of jitter. It's a very nice concept. I have one of their DACs and used it. I can't say I heard a difference when I used the clock cable or didn't, but the idea is a nice one.

I think (could be wrong) that most high-end dacs now have re-clocking logic to avoid the jitter problem. Back back in the 90s this was pretty advanced.

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post #9 of 52 Old 01-18-2014, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by RippyD View Post

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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

The best way to connect a optical disc player is via a digital connnection - HDMI, optical Toslink, or coax.

If you connect your optical player by means of a digital connection you bypass just about everything that makes an Oppo more desireable.

I personally use a ca. $100 Panasonic BD player to play CDs, though if truth be known I have most of my CDs ripped and play them off a server PC that I access via the network feature of my AVR or BD player.

I'm looking for a player, not a transport. You seem to be assuming that the DACs in a downstream device would be better than the one in the player.

No, I'm looking for a good digital player component in an audio system.

I think there is some value to keeping one's eyes on overall system performance rather than attempting to have a collection of ideal components.

One of the basic rules of configuring a modern audio system is that there is much good that can be obtained to following the rule of keeping the signal in the digital domain as close to the speaker terminals as possible.

CD transports were always a bad joke that was played on naive audiophiles by the high end audio industry. They have happily largely disappeared from the market.
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You seem to be assuming that the DACs in a downstream device would be better than the one in the player.

Let's call a spade a spade. This usually isn't about DACs in some arbitrary off-the-wall downstream device. Its about a DAC in a centralized system signal processor typically a pre/pro, or in an AVR.

From an engineering standpoint there is no necessary reason for an audio system to have more than one stereo DAC or array of DACs (multichannel. The ideal place for the DAcs is the AVR or pre/pro. Furthermore, it would be even more ideal if the pre/pro had no DACs and kept the signal in digital domain and passed it to a power amplifier with a digital input and a DAC. The fewer DACs the more money can be invested in obtaining a high quality DAC part given a certain budget for the system, right up to the law of diminishing returns.

One real world problem for people who wish to deify DACs is the fact that in these days relatively inexpensive DACs are both sonically transparent and have technical performance that is far in excess of the audible requirements for their function.
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That's very much an "it depends" situation. In my case there's nothing downstream to connect to digitally.

That is a very atypical situation. Congratulations for creating yet another OP that sequesters critical information, which seems to be a well-practiced AVS tradition.
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I'm looking for CD player for a 2-channel music only system. The only thing downstream will be an integrated amp. I should been more clear in my initial post.

I apologize for presuming that the discussion was about a well-designed modern audio system.
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post #10 of 52 Old 01-18-2014, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

That is a very atypical situation. Congratulations for creating yet another OP that sequesters critical information, which seems to be a well-practiced AVS tradition.
I apologize for presuming that the discussion was about a well-designed modern audio system.

Perhaps I'm reading this incorrectly, but your tone seems to be intended to be insulting. I didn't intentionally exclude any information. In retrospect I could have explained better. However I thought (and still think) I was pretty clear about what I'm looking for - a replacement CD player. Not sure why you're presuming why my system(s) isn't well designed? Is there something inherently bad or poorly designed about about a CD player in a 2-channel system? I also don't get why you seem to be judgmental about it.

I have a home theater as well. I had 7.1 HT as early as 2002 (maybe 2001). I have ~1000 CDs ripped to Flac on a NAS. I have Sonos gear (more for the wife than me, but I use it too). I have a turntable for my my vinyl that has not ever been produced on CD. (Once I get all those albums ripped I'll no longer need a turntable.) I think I'm fairly modern with my systems. I'll admit that for audio I'm more about what sounds good to me than staying current.

There's no question that having a small 2-channel system is a luxury. I already have all the gear - I would just like to keep a nice sounding CD player with it.
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post #11 of 52 Old 01-18-2014, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post


I apologize for presuming that the discussion was about a well-designed modern audio system.

Two channel no longer has a place? eek.gif

Go ahead, let';s hear this one.

You already told me to toss my Cd player today.

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 #12 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 03:11 AM
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I listen to 2 channel music every day with my modern home theater. Nobody said 2 channel has no place.
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post #13 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 09:18 AM
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I listen to 2 channel music every day with my modern home theater. Nobody said 2 channel has no place.

So you need to listen to two channel though an AVR as opposed to a dedicated pre amp and power amp in order to be considered relevant?

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 #14 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 09:24 AM
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So you need to listen to two channel though an AVR as opposed to a dedicated pre amp and power amp in order to be considered relevant?
If by "relevant," you mean in relation to the best sound quality possible today, the answer is yes. If the best sound quality possible today is not your goal, however, that's fine.

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post #15 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I listen to 2 channel music every day with my modern home theater. Nobody said 2 channel has no place.
Not trying to be argumentative, but I don't get what you and arnyk are saying. Your use of the word "modern" seem to be pejorative and I don't understand the meaning in this context. Why is it not modern to have a dedicated 2-channel system where I have no need for an AVR or other processing? I listen to 2-channel from my HT as well. Is there some bias against CD players of which I'm not aware?

if there's a better way for me to go, I'm all ears.

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post #16 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 10:04 AM
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Your use of the word "modern" seem to be pejorative
I think you mean the opposite of that. To them, modern = good.
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Why is it not modern to have a dedicated 2-channel system where I have no need for an AVR or other processing?
Because it offers no better sound quality than was available 30 years ago. How is that "modern"?

Whereas, an AVR gives you the means to do better—to integrate subwoofers effectively, and to compensate for the vagaries of your room.

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post #17 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

If by "relevant," you mean in relation to the best sound quality possible today, the answer is yes. If the best sound quality possible today is not your goal, however, that's fine.

Explain to me what you believe to be the optimal pathway for state of the art sound in a 2.2 system today. Thanks in advance.

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 #18 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I think you mean the opposite of that. To them, modern = good.
Because it offers no better sound quality than was available 30 years ago. How is that "modern"?
Fair enough. They seem to be using the term "modern" to be derogatory toward the system I'm asking about.
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Whereas, an AVR gives you the means to do better—to integrate subwoofers effectively, and to compensate for the vagaries of your room.
I think you're suggesting that using an AVR with calibration will improve the sound of my 2-channel system? That could be, but I've been all over on equipment. I've had calibration for the past 12 years or so. I've used various EQs for my subs. I've had Lexicon calibration (MC-12), HK, Yamaha, Pioneer, and probably one or two others I'm forgetting. I get the value of calibration. (fyi, best results I've gotten were with a well dialed in Behringer Feedback Destroyer, but that's likely due to the time I spent on the calibration. Or maybe placebo effect.)

The setup I had is Aerial 5s with the amp output running through a REL sub, then to the Aerials. So I'm using the REL x-over. I'll also apply some some very modest room treatments as needed (in the process of moving). This REL/Aerial setup is simply amazing sounding to me. I know a better sub would be an improvement, particularly the Aerial sub. However this combo, when dialed in, is one of my favorite 2-channel systems. It's not the sexiest. For how I listen, and what I listen to, it's about as good as I've heard.

And I've tired the MC-12 and other AVRs in this config. I prefer the analog output going through the REL. It seems to integrate with the Aerials better - the sub completely disappears in a way it doesn't with an AVR. It's just completely seamless. Note also that I consider the MC-12 to be very undervalued for music - I thought it was a fantastic sounding processor across the board. (Frankly, I wish I still had mine.)

You can criticize the equipment I use [fixed typo] as being non-modern. If you have a better sounding small 2-channel set up, I'd love to hear it. For now, I'll enjoy my fantastic set up. And again, if there's a reasonable way to improve this one, I'm all ears. Note that excect for the CD player, this one is already paid for, so it has that going for it as well.

Another edit, and an editorial: You know how when you go to a high end stereo place and they have $20K of equipment running to great speakers and they're playing a great recording and you're sitting right in the sweet spot thinking "this sounds amazing - I wish I could get this at home?" My REL/Aerial setup gets me very close to that experience. And I'm not advocating that this is the best setup for anybody else - there are dozens of great speaker brands and far better subs. I'm saying what this does for my ears with my music.

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post #19 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 11:55 AM
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Explain to me what you believe to be the optimal pathway for state of the art sound in a 2.2 system today.
I have no idea what you mean by "optimal pathway." But if you want the best possible sound, you need four things:
1. Good speakers
2. Good room treatment
3. Good bass management
4. Good room correction

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post #20 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 12:01 PM
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This REL/Aerial setup is simply amazing sounding to me.
And that, let us not forget, is all that matters, in the end.
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You know how when you go to a high end stereo place and they have $20K of equipment running to great speakers and they're playing a great recording and you're sitting right in the sweet spot thinking "this sounds amazing - I wish I could get this at home?"
Yeah, but let's be honest. A big part of that is psychological. You're in this dark, windowless room, with all this shiny, glowing equipment. Just about anything above mediocre would sound impressive, no? We're all suckers for that sort of thing.

And don't forget that that $20K of electronics ahead of the speakers can almost certainly be equalled for a tenth of that price, maybe even less.

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post #21 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

I have no idea what you mean by "optimal pathway." But if you want the best possible sound, you need four things:
1. Good speakers
2. Good room treatment
3. Good bass management
4. Good room correction



Start with the source, route the signal then amplify it then get it to the speakers.

In a 2.2.

thanks.

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 #22 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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And don't forget that that $20K of electronics ahead of the speakers can almost certainly be equalled for a tenth of that price, maybe even less.
Yep, I'm doing it for less than 10% of that. I'm sure there's a psychological component, but... the first time you hear some subtle sound of a CD you've never heard before it's impressive. It could be a singer taking a breath, or fingers sliding on guitar strings, or something else. There's a ton of sound on CDs that most people just never hear. It's that very low noise floor and getting every detail off the CD that I'm after. And some speakers that disappear pretty well and pull me into the music. (The best speakers are the ones I don't even know are there.)

And I get that this is hard to do at home with kids screaming, the neighbors lawn mowers going, cars driving by, and other external sounds. But for me, this small, modest system gets very close.

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post #23 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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And I hope most of you know what I'm talking about when I mentioned the subtle stuff that's on many CDs. It just occurred to me that some people may not have had this experience. A good 2-channel system can just disappear.

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post #24 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 02:29 PM
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And I hope most of you know what I'm talking about when I mentioned the subtle stuff that's on many CDs.
I know what you think you mean. I just think you're wrong to imagine that these sorts of things cannot be heard on good but modest systems. You just didn't notice them until you were listening on a better system, and you mistakenly attributed your discovery to the quality of that system. If you went back to a lesser system, you'd be surprised how much is still there.

Now, obviously, that's not universally true. Subtleties can get lost. But in my experience, I'd say a bad room is most often the culprit, not bad electronics, or even speakers.
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post #25 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

I know what you think you mean. I just think you're wrong to imagine that these sorts of things cannot be heard on good but modest systems. You just didn't notice them until you were listening on a better system, and you mistakenly attributed your discovery to the quality of that system. If you went back to a lesser system, you'd be surprised how much is still there.

Now, obviously, that's not universally true. Subtleties can get lost. But in my experience, I'd say a bad room is most often the culprit, not bad electronics, or even speakers.

Will respectfully disagree a little. No doubt most of this subtlety can be heard on far less expensive speakers. That's one component. Then imaging. Then tonal balance. And on and on. And finally personal preference. I put room correction first on my list. I'll take a better room with less expensive speakers any day. But I already have the Aerials, so of course I'll use them.

Given a good or adequate room, there are easily discernible differences between speakers. (Assume you'd agree?) To me, there is very little difference between electronics. (Not looking to start a war.) But the room and the speakers are 95% of the equation. I'm include calibration in this 95%. In my current place (which is a terrible set up) I was setting up speakers for stereo running off a Sonos. It's a bad, bad, bad room for audio. I started with my NHT 1.5s. These sounded fine. I also had a pair of Paradigms bookshelf speakers - don't recall the model. I liked these better. Then I decided to dig the Aerials out of storage. When I moved between the 3 with the wife listening, she gave me the "don't even think about moving these" look. The difference is not subtle.

And even in this terrible room, she's hearing things she never heard before. Could be she'd have heard those things on the NHTs and Paradigms too.

I'll run my Aerials with a $300 integrated amp and a $250 CD player and be perfectly happy.

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post #26 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 03:11 PM
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What I don't understand is why you need to replace your dead CD player with another one in the first place, since you have said that you are able to listen to FLAC rips of your CDs anyway. What is it about your playback of your FLAC files that you still feel the need for a CD player, if you don't mind me asking?
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post #27 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 03:27 PM
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Will respectfully disagree a little. No doubt most of this subtlety can be heard on far less expensive speakers. That's one component. Then imaging. Then tonal balance. And on and on. And finally personal preference. I put room correction first on my list. I'll take a better room with less expensive speakers any day. But I already have the Aerials, so of course I'll use them.

Given a good or adequate room, there are easily discernible differences between speakers. (Assume you'd agree?) To me, there is very little difference between electronics. (Not looking to start a war.) But the room and the speakers are 95% of the equation. I'm include calibration in this 95%.
I don't disagree in any substantial way with any of this. The one thing I'd add is that, in terms of both imaging and tonal balance, the room is often a far bigger factor than the speakers.

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

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post #28 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Cebolla View Post

What I don't understand is why you need to replace your dead CD player with another one in the first place, since you have said that you are able to listen to FLAC rips of your CDs anyway. What is it about your playback of your FLAC files that you still feel the need for a CD player, if you don't mind me asking?
That's a really good question. There are two reasons I wanted to replace my CD player.

The first is that it sounds better to me. I have not blind tested myself and I can't say if this is real or not. Could the DACs in my Renaissance player be so much better that I hear a difference? Yep. Is this the case? No idea.

The second is that I am currently playing my Flacs through a Sonos. I have tried both analog and digital out of the Sonos, and either way I am getting just the slightest hiss in the quiet sections. I suspect there's a problem somewhere that I haven't bothered to check yet. The fact that this is happening with digital output practically eliminates the Sonos as the problem. But I'm not getting this with CD output.

So you're asking the right question. I need to think about whether or not it's necessary. I should be able to get my Flacs sounding exactly as good.

Rip
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post #29 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 04:25 PM
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I don't own a Sonos, so I can't advise on how to specifically set it up. To me it sounds as if its output might be set too low, if you are getting hiss, though I would have thought this less likely, as you say, if you've noticed the same when using its digital output. I would certainly advise sorting this issue out, rather than opting to go for another CD player.

Presumably you were comparing the same source material, ie the FLAC files compared with the same CD it was ripped from, and the CD player was playing the CDs 'naturally' without any special noise reduction feature switched on?
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post #30 of 52 Old 01-19-2014, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

I have no idea what you mean by "optimal pathway."


Start with the source, route the signal then amplify it then get it to the speakers.

In a 2.2.

thanks.

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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