Poll: Sonic differences between low/mid/high end CD Players are... - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: The differences between low/mid/high CD Players are
real and significant 56 45.53%
real and minor 45 36.59%
non existent 7 5.69%
something that I'm looking into 15 12.20%
Voters: 123. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 253 Old 02-22-2007, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is your chance to set the record straight:
  1. real and significant: You can tell that one is better
  2. real and minor: different but not enough to care sonically
  3. non-existent: I buy the cheapest cuz it makes no difference
  4. something I'm looking into: Have no present opinion on
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post #2 of 253 Old 02-22-2007, 12:19 PM
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real and significant, of course now we can debate ones take on 'significant' !!
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post #3 of 253 Old 02-22-2007, 01:47 PM
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Strange, I can no longer see how people voted after I have voted myself. It should be the opposite quite frankly.

I voted 'real and minor' with the caveat that I have never heard high end. There is no difference other than running noise between my 7 year old Pioneer DV333 DVD player and my Rotel RCD-02 CD player. I think there are minor differences between them and my Phillips DVD-963SA DVD+SACD player, which oversamples as a CD player. The phillips seems more detailed in that I think I can lock onto an instrument in the background for a longer time, with detail and imaging.

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post #4 of 253 Old 02-22-2007, 02:03 PM
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If you voted real, what is the real due to? Level differences? A CD player whose FR (analog out) has changed over time? Imagination? High output impedance?

"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 #5 of 253 Old 02-22-2007, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psgcdn View Post

Strange, I can no longer see how people voted after I have voted myself.

To see how other voted...click on the any of the tally count numbers
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post #6 of 253 Old 02-22-2007, 02:39 PM
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There are many levels of cd player. I guess a good system and good ears and a desire to search out the really good player then you'll know why 6,7k players sell.---and way beyond this price.---(Not that everybody searches these players out.)
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post #7 of 253 Old 02-22-2007, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avguygeorge View Post

There are many levels of cd player. I guess a good system and good ears and a desire to search out the really good player then you'll know why 6,7k players sell.---and way beyond this price.---(Not that everybody searches these players out.)


I re-checked the poll and is about sonic differences. So, I would question who really established sonic differences beyond a biased, sighted comparison before purchasing that $6k CD player.
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post #8 of 253 Old 02-22-2007, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peakrc View Post

To see how other voted...click on the any of the tally count numbers

Cool, thanks!

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post #9 of 253 Old 02-23-2007, 08:18 AM
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The categories are very poorly constructed, perhaps reflecting to the author's biases.

My vote would go to a category that should have been included: 'measurably different, but unlikely to be audibly different in a DBT'
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post #10 of 253 Old 02-23-2007, 08:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

The categories are very poorly constructed, perhaps reflecting to the author's biases.

My vote would go to a category that should have been included: 'measurably different, but unlikely to be audibly different in a DBT'

I voted for "real and minor", but interpreted it to mean exactly what you just said.
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post #11 of 253 Old 02-23-2007, 09:20 AM
 
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Same here. "Real and minor" but I interpereted it to mean "measurable but not audible."

I'm pretty sure i'm stealing this expression from Chu Gai (and if not him, then someone else)... but I agree. If you have two CD players and one of them differs audibly from the other, then at least one of those CD players is malfunctioning or poorly designed, and thus not even worth comparing.
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post #12 of 253 Old 02-23-2007, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Quote:
Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

The categories are very poorly constructed, perhaps reflecting to the author's biases.

My vote would go to a category that should have been included: 'measurably different, but unlikely to be audibly different in a DBT'

Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

I voted for "real and minor", but interpreted it to mean exactly what you just said.

Good point but he problem is the within the forum/audience, it would exclude many who could not make measurements. Posing it the way I did would open it up to a larger audience.

Data reduction schemes tend to work on the fact that the data is lossy but the goal is to make sonic differences are imperceptable. It is all that matter in the end providing that thes schemes can "past mustard/fool" approved juries of professionals/experts in the artistic industry working on behalf of the standards committee/manufacturers. These Expert Groups. form the EG in JPEG and MPEG.

I'll modify the accompanying post to reflect your concerns some time today.

P.S. krabapple...don't forget to vote

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post #13 of 253 Old 02-23-2007, 11:30 AM
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It doesn't matter if they can make measurements themselves. If your poll is about the criteria people actually use for picking CDPs, then you should revamp to reflect that. As it stands, it reads like a referendum on what one holds to be true about the general audibility of CDP differences -- beliefs which can derive both from hands-on experience and reading the literature on CDPs and psychoacoustics.

The post about whether 'sonic difference' has even been established is right on point. The poll assumes what still needs proof.



I
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post #14 of 253 Old 02-24-2007, 07:13 AM
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Of course, the debate is really about what defines "significant".

IMO, the more $ one has to spend on gear the less of a difference is needed to classify as "significant".

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #15 of 253 Old 02-24-2007, 08:59 AM
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IMO, there are 3 things which determine how well a CD player sounds:

1) Transport
2) DAC
3) Analog Output Stage

As long as those things are different between different players, there will be real and substantial audible differences between players. Once you introduce an outboard DAC into the mix, things become different and relative differences between players are a bit harder to quantify.

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post #16 of 253 Old 02-24-2007, 09:02 AM
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Please qualify substantial.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #17 of 253 Old 02-24-2007, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post

Please define substantial.

Sounds different to the point of being immediately noticeable.

A CD played on my XA777ES sounds different than the same disc played on a Realistic 5-disc changer (I have both). It is different enough to be immediately identifiable, hence substantial difference.

Of course, that's close to the extreme ends of the spectrum, but it still bears out what I said. Not all CD players use the same parts, so it stands to reason that there will be differences in playback, common sense really.

GAH! I just realized that I've been a member here six years as of yesterday.

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post #18 of 253 Old 02-24-2007, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicP View Post

IMO, there are 3 things which determine how well a CD player sounds:

1) Transport
2) DAC
3) Analog Output Stage

As long as those things are different between different players, there will be real and substantial audible differences between players. Once you introduce an outboard DAC into the mix, things become different and relative differences between players are a bit harder to quantify.

One may want to add...power supply(ies) to that as well.
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post #19 of 253 Old 02-24-2007, 05:53 PM
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Definitely the differences are REAL and MINOR.

Now we have to determine whether MINOR is equivalent to NON AUDIBLE in MOST cases
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post #20 of 253 Old 02-24-2007, 06:10 PM
 
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If running a digital out connection obviously there is no difference can we all agree on that?
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post #21 of 253 Old 02-24-2007, 09:40 PM
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With any of the modern, well-engineered decks that I have encountered: say $200.00+ and within four to five years of age: when level matched - I personally cannot detect an evidently / audible difference [when I cannot see which player is running].

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post #22 of 253 Old 02-25-2007, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicP View Post

IMO, there are 3 things which determine how well a CD player sounds:

1) Transport
2) DAC
3) Analog Output Stage

As long as those things are different between different players, there will be real and substantial audible differences between players. Once you introduce an outboard DAC into the mix, things become different and relative differences between players are a bit harder to quantify.


Agree. Items 2 and 3 especially to me. Not sure I could ever hear a transport delta, nor would I try to hear one, but it may contribute in some audible way, just not sure what that would be. Items 2 and 3 can make 2 units sound entirely different. I have experienced this quite dramatically and was not alone, nor drinking, and others have validated this without prompting by me (in my system).
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post #23 of 253 Old 02-25-2007, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post

Please qualify substantial.

To me it would be that I can actually hear the delta. If I can't hear it that does not mean they are not different, just that I can't hear it. It's always a personal thing anyway, what you hear, regardless of what a measurement or scope tells you.
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post #24 of 253 Old 02-25-2007, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicP View Post

Sounds different to the point of being immediately noticeable.

Not all CD players use the same parts, so it stands to reason that there will be differences in playback, common sense really.


Agreed. I would never lay down my money that I could pick out the $200 player A from the $250 player B. If they had similar circuits and parts I can't imagine telling them apart via their analog outs. But I have heard the very real and large difference between a retail $4k unit and a retail $1k unit because they used different D/A chipsets, topologies/output schemes, etc. (analog out listening). Now I had no outboard DAC to run both thru but I would suppose they would sound the same through the same DAC as the transport is only picking up the 1's and 0's and moving them to the DAC where it puts its fingerprints on the sound.

I have a retail $1700 CDP coming this week and a $500 outboard DAC and will try this with the $4k retail CDP to see what I hear. I'll run both through the analog outputs and both thru the digital outs to the DAC. I am trying to maintain the same level of sound by finding lower cost components that can recreate that. So I am working my way down, so to speak, versus working my way up in costs. I'll even pull out an old SOny DVD player and run it thru the DAC to see what I get. I bought the DAC for a Squeezebox, but if it satisfies me as much as the CDP does, I might just turn around and dump the CDP. But then I have to plug, unplug, to use the DAC between sources (whining here). I'll let you know, if you are interested in what I get.

No DBT by myself and no, I will not be suckered by level deltas. I know what my system sounds like.
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post #25 of 253 Old 02-26-2007, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicP View Post

Sounds different to the point of being immediately noticeable.


Then, this would be obvious when bias is controlled for, that is sound alone is the only thing being compared, DBT, level matched
If so, then such comparisons would be full of positive outcomes, right? Something just doesn't add up in reality then.
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post #26 of 253 Old 02-26-2007, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicP View Post

IMO, there are 3 things which determine how well a CD player sounds:

1) Transport
2) DAC
3) Analog Output Stage

...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PAD View Post

Agree. Items 2 and 3 especially to me. Not sure I could ever hear a transport delta, nor would I try to hear one, but it may contribute in some audible way, just not sure what that would be?

I would agree and this is the way most people progress through the digital upgrade treadmill. I got a chance to try my DAC (dAcK 2.0) at a dealer carrying the well received CEC TL-51xz and the DAC around closing time....jist enough for a couple of songs. I was not sure what to expect but what I heard just sounded so much more open and natural. Notes seem to have a bloom to them that contributed to making better sense/impression of recording. You'll have to try it to appreciate what I mean.

P.S. The amp and speakers were much more expensive than mine...so I'm going to try for a home edition as this transport is getting on the pricey side.

PeAK
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post #27 of 253 Old 02-26-2007, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

...My vote would go to a category that should have been included: 'measurably different, but unlikely to be audibly different in a DBT'

Quote:
Originally Posted by peakrc View Post

Good point but he problem is the within the forum/audience, it would exclude many who could not make measurements. Posing it the way I did would open it up to a larger audience....

Quote:
Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

It doesn't matter if they can make measurements themselves.

If your poll is about the criteria people actually use for picking CDPs, then you should revamp to reflect that.

As it stands, it reads like a referendum on what one holds to be true about the general audibility of CDP differences -- beliefs which can derive both from hands-on experience and reading the literature on CDPs and psychoacoustics.

The post (should be) about whether 'sonic difference' has even been established is right on point. The poll assumes what still needs proof.

Sound like your saying the poll question is a statement (i.e. it is putting the cart before the horse). Yes, the criteria is narrowed down early to whether perceived sonic differences (whether real or not) could be correlated to cost...with the implicit assumption that more expensive ones are better/different in fidelity.

I do not see in your last point in your last post that the poll is asking whether I'm asking people their criteria for selecting CDPs.. I don't care for those answers .

Could you re-phrase that post? Better yet set up your example of the preferred poll and post it.


confused,
PeAK
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post #28 of 253 Old 02-26-2007, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neverwinter2 View Post

If running a digital out connection obviously there is no difference can we all agree on that?



I didn't state that clearly but there are various scenarios, possible
  1. Crappy DAC in receiver so that it proves to be the limiting factor and unable to distinguish different CDP digital outs.
  2. Acid test connection would be the analog outs as it contains 2 more sections (DAC and output) stage to mess up on.

As the second choice is more revealing and the poll did say CDP...implying analog outs...I would expect most people to assume the analog outs are being used.

SIDENOTE:Most people will answer from the perspective of their pre-amp/receiver. Gauging from my friend's hookup in his digital ready receiver, the perception is that the DACs in the receiver will always be better than the ones in a CDP. I convinced him otherwise for his particular CDP choice.

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post #29 of 253 Old 02-26-2007, 05:47 PM
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Again, no one argues that there couldn't be sonic differences. But you can't assume there are , just because 'you heard them', or just because DACs are different etc. The problem is that there are too many ways to be fooled into thinking there are, in a sighted comparison, and modern DACs and ancillary electronics really are good enough that you can't assume sonic difference -- much less the 'obvious' ones touted.

This assumes to that level differences , which can be corrected by the user, don't count as 'real' differences because, they aren't intrinsic.

And I would not assume analog outs are used, btw. Optical connections are very common nowadays, and I have a feeling you 'convinced' your friend in a way that wouldn;t hold up to serious testing.
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post #30 of 253 Old 02-27-2007, 03:23 AM
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Is optical analog or digital? If digital then it is moot as then it is a transport and another DAC is fingerprinting the sound. So of course as many have intimated here, the 'transport' would not impact the sound and I do not know how one would know one transport from another.

I think we shouldn't assume everyone uses a receiver and/or its DACs here either.

Maybe the poll should have stated: low to mid, mid to high, low to high onboard DACs and analog outputs? I think that is what folks want to know?
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