OK Me first. Under $500 single disk cd players? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 41 Old 02-03-2006, 06:57 AM
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pred02 - While I don't think the RCD-02 is overly bright, it does produce a lot of detail, and is not euphonic in any way. I find it too bright with CDs that are mixed too hot (which is the majority of pop CDs). With well recorded and mixed CDs, it sounds pretty good. I had a Rotel amp until last summer, and it did nothing to smooth out the jagged sound you can get from less than perfect CDs. My Odyssey amp is better in this respect, but even through my Vandersteen 1Cs (which IMHO are less bright than the Paradigms), I wish things were smoother in the upper-mids/lower treble.

If you don't mind giving up some detail, you might find the NAD 541i or its newer replacement. When I A/B'd the RCD-02 and the 541i, the NAD was noticeably fatter a nd fuller sounding, with bloomy, almost boomy, bass, smooth, but less detailed highs, and not quite the soundstage dimensions of the Rotel. However, you may find that the NAD has more synergy with your other gear. Oh, the NAD transport was much noisier than the Rotel, so if you sit close to it, take that into consideration.

"Not everything that can be measured counts, and not everything that counts can be measured." - Albert Einstein (paraphrase)
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post #32 of 41 Old 02-05-2006, 11:58 AM
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Bondmanp,

Thank you for your input. Of course one wants the best of both worlds, maximum resoultion, soundstage and detail while preserving the warm easy to listen to sound. But that seems difficult, at least at this price point.

I am looking to buy used, so its diffucult to demo any of the discountined units, hence I rely on the forums and reviews to determine a good match.

In the add, the brightness of my system is perhaps most caused by the listening room, however, until a green light is given for the dedicated HT room project where I can put in acoustical treatment, I just have to bear with the given.

I will be looking more into the Arcam Diva 72 CD player, it is a notch more expensive then the RCD971, however, I think it could perhaps give a good trade-off between the Rotel and the NAD. I am affraid of the NAD being too boomy.

Another player that comes to mind is the Rega Planet (and its new counterpart, 2000), however, this player even more so seems to be controversial.

Thanks for the info,
George
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post #33 of 41 Old 02-07-2006, 06:48 AM
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George - all good ideas. The good part about buying used is that, if you get a reasonably good deal, and you're dissappointed, you can resell it for most of what you paid for it. Heck, if you buy at auction, jot down the bids just behind yours. If you don't like what you bought, just email them (one at a time from highest to lowest bid) and see if they still wish to purchase the item at their high bid. Good luck.

"Not everything that can be measured counts, and not everything that counts can be measured." - Albert Einstein (paraphrase)
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post #34 of 41 Old 02-07-2006, 06:55 PM
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No one is mentioning the Sony SCD-CE595 5-Disc CD/SACD Player (?). In the $120 to $150 price range. Got lots of great reviews as a "budget" player.

I'm putting this into my mid-fi system and should have it by next week. This will be a headphone only setup. Consider listening to SACD quality audio on 2-channel stereo output. You don't need 5.1 and the difference in quality will more than make up for a few short-comings.
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post #35 of 41 Old 02-09-2006, 09:59 AM
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GeekGirl: Sounds like a good idea. Some of us are old enough to remember "record changers" - those turntables that allowed you to stack a few LPs on the tall spindle and the player would plop them down on top of each other in turn. The disdain with which people who cared even a little about audio fidelity viewed these contraptions makes them (myself, too) reluctant to buy anything with the word "changer" in the description. Of course there's nothing wrong with carousel CD changers, but it's a psychological barrier people my age have difficulty crossing.

BTW, what's the rest of cans-only system going to look like? TIA.

"Not everything that can be measured counts, and not everything that counts can be measured." - Albert Einstein (paraphrase)
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post #36 of 41 Old 02-09-2006, 11:48 AM
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This thread is right up my alley, I too am looking for the best CD Player new or used for under $500 *(also looking to pick up a new sub for around the same). In my research the past couple weeks the front runner I see is NAD C542 (new$400), Music Hall (CD-25 or CD25.2, the CD25 can be found with mods for around $400-600 and CD-25.2 for around $480 no mods with mods can go well over $1000), the Onix xcd-99 is suppose to be a Music Hall CD-25 before it became the 25.2(so i was told my a Music Hall/Onix dealer). Cambridge Azur 640v2 has gotten some great reviews but at a couple sites where owners rate them there is complaints of being very noisy(transformer I believe) and a couple other quality control problems which is kind of knocking that one off my list. Naim, Rotel and Adcom also are others I'm looking into but they are in the used category for they do tend to be high new.
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post #37 of 41 Old 02-09-2006, 08:05 PM
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Bondmanp: Don't forget about putting the penny on top of the needle to hold the arm. :) The rest of the system is the Sony SCD-CE595 CD/SACD player, (temporarily) a Nakamichi RE-3 receiver driving Audio-Technica ATH-A900 "cans". Monster cable interconnects between the player and receiver. I need a closed-design due to high ambient room noise and these headphones are are great for my situation.

The ATH-A900 has excellent construction and the cabling is high-quality stuff. Very comfortable and I can wear them all day. Not for portable use. Of course, it's no comparison to imaging on my "main" 5.1 system (Vandersteen IIce with 15" Carver Sunfire Sub), but it's certainly relaxing to be able to sit down and work at your PC in your "own space". Headphones do that for you. Nice. It's all about the music...

If you are serious about headphones, head over to http://head-fi.org/ Another feature of using headphones is that you don't need a high power amp and there's a separate forum just for DIY amps, etc. Very easy and fun to build your own when you don't need more than a Watt or so. (Did I mention cheap?) To clarify my note of "temporary" for the receiver is that I'm going to homebrew a headphone amp when I get the chance- there are lots of designs to choose from.

Head-fi also has an extensive discussion forum on dedicated source components, which is exactly the subject of this CD Player/ Transport forum.
http://www4.head-fi.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=11 I would venture to guess that this AVS forum was started by noting other what other forums are doing (?). This is a good thing.

From your original point, I agree on the stigma of a "changer". Actually after reading all the reviews, the point didn't hit home until I installed it. It's not a cheap mechanism, but it does take a while to get everything setup and ready to play when you feed it a disc. Menu is OK and it comes with a remote. For a $120 - $150 range player, it sounds fine. I haven't compared it to anything else.

What was unachievable a few years ago is now high end. The challenge is in the quality of the transport mechanism- which is key to getting the timing clock stream from the CD error free (low jitter). Along with DAC and filtering design trades. Hence, this forum. My next challenge.
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post #38 of 41 Old 02-10-2006, 09:44 PM
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While DVD-a, HDCD, SACD do offer measurable leaps in performance, I am affraid that unfortunatnely, most of the music I own is still redbook CDs 2-channel. Lot of them are old, some of them are foreign. And I don't see many of them catching onto the new format anytime soon.

Hence, the need for a good redbook CD player, in 2006, is a higher priority for my system. It is the one component that ties together the other pieces of my system for the pure listening pleasure. It is during the 2-channel listening that I observe the quality (or lack of) of my audio equipment. HT is nice, but during the audio listening is where it all stands out. I am sure a lot of other users feel the same.

And perhaps, the 2-channel reproduction is perhaps the hardest to achieve properly.
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post #39 of 41 Old 02-10-2006, 10:34 PM
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Honestly, I suggest the Music Hall MMF CD25 player. While it's only 16 bit, it really out shines players 'worth' several times it's cost.
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post #40 of 41 Old 02-11-2006, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pred02
While DVD-a, HDCD, SACD do offer measurable leaps in performance, I am affraid that unfortunatnely, most of the music I own is still redbook CDs 2-channel. Lot of them are old, some of them are foreign. And I don't see many of them catching onto the new format anytime soon.

Hence, the need for a good redbook CD player, in 2006, is a higher priority for my system. It is the one component that ties together the other pieces of my system for the pure listening pleasure. It is during the 2-channel listening that I observe the quality (or lack of) of my audio equipment. HT is nice, but during the audio listening is where it all stands out. I am sure a lot of other users feel the same.

And perhaps, the 2-channel reproduction is perhaps the hardest to achieve properly.
I'm pretty much in the same boat you are. A couple of years back I wanted to upgrade from my more entry level 2 channel stuff. So I went through trying all of these HT setups, all the way up to the Denon 4805 receiver and some Martin Logan's. But I just wasn't satisfied with the way music sounded, specifically MY music collection, and I finally just chucked it all for some higher end 2 channel gear. NOW I can say I'm totally satisfied, but the missing piece is the CD deck. That's why I'm really glad this section was added to the forum.
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post #41 of 41 Old 02-12-2006, 11:41 AM
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Well, I got my NAD C542 for $400... $100 off retail.

I'm very happy with it, except when I put in a cd that wasn't produced as well as it could have been.

my NADs are new
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