Should We All Hold Off on Buying CD Players? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 128 Old 02-14-2007, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Since digital technology and new formats are here or coming to allow for much more bandwith, should one wait another year before spending $3000 or $4000 on an existing high-end audiophile CD player?

The possibility is that even 2 channel audio could be improved dramatically due to less compression, possibly making current players a thing of the past? Do you think this could happen in the next few years?

Thanks,
Dave
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post #2 of 128 Old 02-14-2007, 03:11 PM
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Happens every few years. Or, for some, never.

Ask yourself whether a new player can be justified by the music collection you have right now.

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post #3 of 128 Old 02-14-2007, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonlightdrive21 View Post

Since digital technology and new formats are here or coming to allow for much more bandwith, should one wait another year before spending $3000 or $4000 on an existing high-end audiophile CD player?

The possibility is that even 2 channel audio could be improved dramatically due to less compression, possibly making current players a thing of the past? Do you think this could happen in the next few years?

Thanks,
Dave

Less compression? CD is not a compressed format.
I would think one should consider the state of evolution of our hearing capability before waiting for the next generation of players for sonic improvements from CD mediums.
How would a $3K-$4K player do audibly better than ones costing, say $400?
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post #4 of 128 Old 02-14-2007, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonlightdrive21 View Post

Since digital technology and new formats are here or coming to allow for much more bandwith, should one wait another year before spending $3000 or $4000 on an existing high-end audiophile CD player?

The possibility is that even 2 channel audio could be improved dramatically due to less compression, possibly making current players a thing of the past? Do you think this could happen in the next few years?

Thanks,
Dave

Who's going to produce content for these new formats? What new formats? What's wrong with hirez PCM or DSD?

larry

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -- Thomas Alva Edison
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post #5 of 128 Old 02-14-2007, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PooperScooper View Post

Who's going to produce content for these new formats? What new formats? What's wrong with hirez PCM or DSD?
larry

1. Dunno
2. Dolby TruHD and DTS Master
3. Nothing except getting people to pay attention and buy them.

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post #6 of 128 Old 02-14-2007, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

1. Dunno
2. Dolby TruHD and DTS Master
3. Nothing except getting people to pay attention and buy them.

Kal, I am really tired of you being such a voice of reason
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post #7 of 128 Old 02-14-2007, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Randybes View Post

Kal, I am really tired of you being such a voice of reason

I rely on the isolation of the internet to get away with this. I am really wild and irrational.

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post #8 of 128 Old 02-14-2007, 07:32 PM
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Well, I'd wait personally. The last round of improved discs, SACD and DVD audio, were not exactly successful at replacing 1980s-era technology (the plain Jane CD). Besides, I'd not want to make the classic "perfect sound forever" promise seem hollow, it'd be insensitive...

I'd go with a sub-$500 machine that has the features I need until something compelling comes along. Ideally I'd only own one player per system for all discs, whether they are audio, video, or mixed.
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post #9 of 128 Old 02-14-2007, 09:00 PM
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Personally, I wouldnt wait. I'd buy what makes me very happy now because that's why I am in this hobby. I'm in this hobby for present enjoyment, not for investment. Waiting for "the best" is reserved for important things like a spouse
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post #10 of 128 Old 02-14-2007, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonlightdrive21 View Post

Since digital technology and new formats are here or coming to allow for much more bandwith, should one wait another year before spending $3000 or $4000 on an existing high-end audiophile CD player?

Digital technology arrived decades ago. There aren't any new formats currently out or planned for audio discs. No "high-end audiophile CD player" is going to be built in the near future that will better the sound of an existing CD because it has "more bandwidth." A CD is still a CD. Everyone should wait before spending $3000 or $4000 on a cd player. If you want to burn your money, at least roast a wiener over the flame so that you get something tangible out of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonlightdrive21 View Post

The possibility is that even 2 channel audio could be improved dramatically due to less compression, possibly making current players a thing of the past?

Perhaps you're just making this up as you go along? CD's are not compressed. If you're talking about dynamic compression in the studio, that's not going to change with new formats. The problem isn't that CD's need to have their dynamic range compressed, it's that audio engineers want the albums to sound a certain way and that requires a small dynamic range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonlightdrive21 View Post

Do you think this could happen in the next few years?

Since you haven't really proposed anything happening, I'll go with "no."
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post #11 of 128 Old 02-15-2007, 04:53 AM
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Quote:


Waiting for "the best" is reserved for important things like a spouse

Well, with something like a 60% divorce rate, I'd say the odds aren't all that much better

"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 #12 of 128 Old 02-15-2007, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Well, with something like a 60% divorce rate, I'd say the odds aren't all that much better

Waiting allows me to access if the woman is making more money than I am... ;p
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post #13 of 128 Old 02-15-2007, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry I was not clearer.

While CD technology improvements may be exahausted, there is still the advanced audio codec arena where high resolution media like HD-DVD's and Blu-ray discs play. These are the other digital formats I was referring to, which provide a hell of a lot more bandwidth. Not sure what this will mean in the near future for audio.

So, one can invest a lot of cash in a very high end CD player now, but maybe as soon as a year from now there will be a player that does an excellent job with existing CD's, plus plays other formats for audio.

Anyways, thanks for all of your feedback.

Dave
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post #14 of 128 Old 02-15-2007, 01:26 PM
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If you have your eye on a player now, buy it. In audio, and especially video, worrying what comes next will keep you from ever buying anything. I'd recommend getting a used player on Audiogon.

larry

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -- Thomas Alva Edison
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post #15 of 128 Old 02-15-2007, 02:46 PM
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Just to add my 0.02 separate your CDP from your DVD player if you have a sizeable CD collection. It will give you more flexibility later on plus getting A class redbook playback on a DVD player is an uphill task IMHO.

IGNORANCE IS A BLISS
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post #16 of 128 Old 02-15-2007, 06:27 PM
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Lot of animosity in here. I think the OP's got a valid question, and it's worth talking about the audio side of the new disc formats out there. You've got kind of a multi-pronged situation here.

First, the new HD DVD media offers a means to deliver audio content to consumers in higher quality than a standard CD. SACD and DVD-Audio have been offering similar content for the last few years. I think "compression" was probably a misleading word to describe what these formats offer, a better description would probably be more accuracy. The first thing you need to do is decide whether or not the high-res music matters to you. Have you had a chance to extensively listen to SACD or DVD-Audio? If you're already into the high-res music, then you'll have a little tougher decision to make. If you've heard the high-res music formats and you didn't notice that big of a difference or you don't care, things are a bit easier.

For the most part, SACD and DVD-Audio flopped. In a perfect, audiophile world, one of those two formats would have just replaced the CD as the standard audio medium and life would be good. Unfortunately, the average consumer neither understands high-res audio nor cares. For years, people have used CDs as the reference for audio quality. How many times have you heard someone reference the quality of audio by saying it is or isn't "CD quality?" Most people are completely content with CDs, and it would be extremely difficult for any other media to overtake them. Diminishing returns has already kicked in. Most people wouldn't even be able to distinguish between high-res audio and a standard CD if you sat them down and played them back to back. As a result, people won't pay for music converted to digital at a higher bit rate or sampling frequency because they can't perceive a benefit.

What I'm driving at is that we're likely not going to see another disc-based media for audio content delivery. CDs will keep running their course, and then online/solid-state delivery will take over from there at some point. Despite the fact that the 1% of the electronics-buying population that visits AVS forums wants a higher-res disc to replace the CD, CD's are likely going to be the last audio disc the world sees. So really when thinking about buying a CD player, you should likely be thinking of buying a CD player with the purpose of playing CDs, only. That's why I asked if you're already into high-res music, because that's about the only thing that could complicate your decision.

Buying a CD player is almost akin to buying a turntable right now. You're buying a machine to play redbook CDs, which will likely never change, and maybe SACD or DVD-Audio, which are on their respective last legs and also likely won't ever change. Nothing else will likely come out that you'll need to play. It's all about legacy playback now.

Bottom line as I see it: Buy the best sounding CD player you can afford. If you like SACD/DVD-Audio, then add a separate SACD/DVD-Audio player to the mix. You could do an all in one, but my ignorant self tends to believe that the most expensive SACD/DVD-Audio players won't match the audio quality with standard CDs that the most expensive CD players can produce. I'd actually be curious if somebody could link to an SACD/DVD-Audio player that also has redbook CD quality of a Rega Apollo or something. I might be interested myself.

Of course this is all my personal speculation, but I figured that just goes without saying.
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post #17 of 128 Old 02-15-2007, 10:47 PM
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[quote=marvke. I'd actually be curious if somebody could link to an SACD/DVD-Audio player that also has redbook CD quality of a Rega Apollo or something. I might be interested myself.

Of course this is all my personal speculation, but I figured that just goes without saying.[/QUOTE]

THE ARCAM DV139
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post #18 of 128 Old 02-16-2007, 04:13 AM
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Marvin, there's only so many times you can bleed the consumer.

"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 #19 of 128 Old 02-16-2007, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonomega View Post

Waiting allows me to access if the woman is making more money than I am... ;p

Maybe she can fix your word usage also.

The First Clarke Law states, 'If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible he is almost certainly right, but if he says that it is impossible he is very probably wrong.'
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post #20 of 128 Old 02-16-2007, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by dollarman View Post

... plus getting A class redbook playback on a DVD player is an uphill task IMHO.


Not if you send the digital signal to the receiver/processor it isn't.
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post #21 of 128 Old 02-16-2007, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by schticker View Post

Maybe she can fix your word usage also.

Maybe he means he needs to first "access" records of her financial standing before he makes his decision .
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post #22 of 128 Old 02-16-2007, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post

Not if you send the digital signal to the receiver/processor it isn't.

In the first post the OP mentions 3-4K CDPs so I hope he is not going to use digital out in the end

IGNORANCE IS A BLISS
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post #23 of 128 Old 02-16-2007, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marvin4653 View Post


Bottom line as I see it: Buy the best sounding CD player you can afford. If you like SACD/DVD-Audio, then add a separate SACD/DVD-Audio player to the mix. You could do an all in one, but my ignorant self tends to believe that the most expensive SACD/DVD-Audio players won't match the audio quality with standard CDs that the most expensive CD players can produce. I'd actually be curious if somebody could link to an SACD/DVD-Audio player that also has redbook CD quality of a Rega Apollo or something. I might be interested myself.

Of course this is all my personal speculation, but I figured that just goes without saying.

Anything made by Esoteric will sound better than a Rega and will also play SACD/DVD-A, Redbook and in some cases DVDs.
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post #24 of 128 Old 02-16-2007, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Maybe he means he needs to first "access" records of her financial standing before he makes his decision .

Just keep track of how many times she wants to pick up dinner. It's not always a deadbeat test ya know...

The First Clarke Law states, 'If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible he is almost certainly right, but if he says that it is impossible he is very probably wrong.'
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post #25 of 128 Old 02-16-2007, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technics View Post

THE ARCAM DV139

Quote:
Originally Posted by diamonds View Post

Anything made by Esoteric will sound better than a Rega and will also play SACD/DVD-A, Redbook and in some cases DVDs.

Thanks guys, I'll take a look. I'm just getting started looking for a new CDP and I wasn't really sure if the mid-to-high-end CDPs are getting away from/never did support SACD and DVD-Audio. High-res audio isn't high on my necessity list so I wasn't paying too much attention to which players supported it, but I wouldn't mind being able to play that SACD DSoTM I've had sitting around. I'm bit scared to look at the MSRPs though.

Edit: after a quick look, rightfully so. I think the Rega will suit me fine; that DSoTM isn't worth spending double+ the Rega's price. Thanks for the info though, interesting to know those players are out there.
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post #26 of 128 Old 02-16-2007, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

1. Dunno
2. Dolby TruHD and DTS Master
3. Nothing except getting people to pay attention and buy them.

Doesn't Dolby TruHD use MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing), which is the basis for DVD-A?
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post #27 of 128 Old 02-16-2007, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squishy View Post

Doesn't Dolby TruHD use MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing), which is the basis for DVD-A?

Depending on the program material, yes. It is a component of Dolby TruHD.

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post #28 of 128 Old 03-03-2007, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marvin4653 View Post

I'd actually be curious if somebody could link to an SACD/DVD-Audio player that also has redbook CD quality of a Rega Apollo or something. I might be interested myself.

Ayre-5xe, Townshend-565 - I would expect both of these to sound at least as good if not better than the Rega Apollo.

Possibly the Simaudio Moon Orbiter would be worth a listen also.

Of course they all cost more than the Apollo, so you`d want to be fairly serious about the ability to play DVD-Audio and SACD, which are limited in selection compared to what's available on CD.

I went for the Townshend, CD playback pips my Benchmark DAC-1, plus awesome SACD and DVD-Audio playback (has multi-channel too which the Ayre doesn't),
and I can watch my music dvd's that have PCM soundtracks with great sound quality also (The Ayre doesn't do video playback either).

I'd recommend getting something that can play redbook well now, and the existing higher rez format if you're into them. SACD has the bigger selection, but depending on your music tastes you may want DVD-A also, I did.

Just my two cents
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post #29 of 128 Old 03-03-2007, 04:56 PM
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Oh, and in my opinion it is worth it for the SACD version of DSOTM, DVD-A version of Metallica's Black album, and many other great hi-rez discs.

I do wish that there were more Hi-rez releases of great albums though, given how well the SACD of DSOTM sold I can't believe we haven't seen SACD versions of Wish you were here and The Wall, c'mon Sony!
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post #30 of 128 Old 03-07-2007, 08:13 PM
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Reading over this thread again, and considering the options, IMO "yes." we should all hold off on buying CD players. Or forget it entirely. My next front end device will be able to play all or most small silver discs on the market when it is purchased. This means I'm buying after HD-DVD and Blue Ray settle, and after SACD and DVD-A are either long forgotten or still around enough for widespread universal player access to be a reality. No use investing till then. To clarify, I've re-read the thread, thought about it, looked at what's out there etc., and my initial conclusion still stands IMO. I'm waiting.
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