Originally Posted by PULLIAMM
Onkyo DX-C390. (The only reasons I don't use my Sony Discman are inconvenience and a tendency to skip. On mint condition discs, it sounds as good as any CDP out there, regardless of price.)
Well I just got one of these players in the mail yesterday. [sarcasm] I'm so glad there isn't a better sounding CDP available. And, to think...I only paid $100 [/sarcasm]
I wouldn't dare to think I just bought a player that can't be outperformed (sound quality) for $100. I don't think that more expensive players are going to give so much difference I would have a religious expience over them, but come on...nothing is perfect. So, by my logic, some players are going to be more perfect than others. I'm currently using digital out anyway, but I'm tempted to go buy a couple of 12' stereo cables just to hook up this player and a DVD player to test.
Also, I KNOW there is a difference in the ability to read a disc BEFORE DACs. DACs are not the only part of the path that has the ability to change the output that is heard. So error correction in the DACs may be an issue, but the ability for a laser to correctly read the information is important also.
IMO CD technology has been out sufficiently long enough to create very affordable, mature, well featured, and great performing players at good prices. Early in the technology, a $300 player might have been a good bit different than a $1000 player, but both MAY be outperformed by a $200 player today. Once a technology matures, by far the greatest difference comes from a different format. For instance, Dolby prologic receivers performed differently from each other, but pretty much all of them suck compared to any decent dolby digital system when watching DVDs. I haven't gotten into SACD, DVD-A and HDCD, but I would think they have the potential to be much better than standard CD.
Several years ago, I wanted the best possible audio and video I could afford, now I just want a reasonably priced solid performer in the technology I'm buying. I also want features that will add functionality. That last few percent of audio/video quality isn't worth the much higher cost to me right now. I just wouldn't tell other people they are crazy/stupid for thinking different players sound differently. If they hear a difference, there is a difference...even if it's only caused by the angle they hold their head.