Redbook only verses SACD/CD Players - Page 5 - AVS Forum
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post #121 of 141 Old 05-10-2007, 04:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JorgeGVB View Post

However, if you are listening to a well mastered recording on a quality system, the details of string instruments, cymbals, bass etc, are going to be greatly improved over a budget gear.

My claim is based on the fact that I do hear all of those details (along with ultra-tight bass, huge soundstage, pinpoint imaging, etc.) on my system with an under $200 CD player. If I were hearing less than 100% flawless sound, I would concede that improvements could be possible.
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post #122 of 141 Old 05-10-2007, 05:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ovation View Post

do you apply the "200$ rule" to everything you own? I hope you don't drive a Mercedes when a Hyundai Accent will do the same thing.

I apply it to things like CD players where no improvement exists beyond a certain price point. For cars and speakers, I agree that this price point is much higher, and that I am unlikely to ever reach it. Unlike many here, I also recognize the difference between choices based on performance and choices based on aesthetics.
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post #123 of 141 Old 05-10-2007, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Peter Nielsen View Post

Right, however, it's worth noting that the facts on that page are a bit dated. We need to take into account that it deals with CD-player quality of the 80's and 90's. I'm sure any decent CD player will pass the test today, in the year 2007.

The REALLY interesting issue would be to see how today's DVD players pass this CD test. Are the DVD lasers up to the task or not? What about a player purchased in 2006 and used for 1-2 years? Will it pass the test, or has it aged (or accumulated dirt) to the point that it will no longer pass the test... I'm curious!

Peter

Yes, that was my thinking too (that most modern day CDPs would probably give very good to excellent results). Especially considering that, if I remember correctly, the author finally find audio nirvana with an old Phillips CDP. Not knocking Phillips...just...well...you know what I mean.

Many of the "high end" CDPs, though, still do tout their error correction abilities. So, even though the article is dated, it might still be an interesting experiment. I'd be interested just because so many of my CDs are old and severely beaten up. I wonder about the universal players too, but I would suspect that they've gotten quite good over the years. Then again, my DVD player certainly does run into problems from time to time. But that's pretty much limited to DVDs rented from Blockbuster. What the hell people do to them when the have them out? Savages...


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post #124 of 141 Old 05-10-2007, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

I apply it to things like CD players where no improvement exists beyond a certain price point. For cars and speakers, I agree that this price point is much higher, and that I am unlikely to ever reach it. Unlike many here, I also recognize the difference between choices based on performance and choices based on aesthetics.

I can think of at least one performance criterion that is not directly sound related but has had an effect (whether it is worth the price premium is, again, up to the individual--but it is a performance issue nonetheless).

When I set out to put my current system together, there were NO 200$ universal audio players--in Canada, the entry price was around 600$. I paid 800$ for mine because of functionality as well as sound (the cheaper model had no time alignment settings). I discovered it had another feature I hadn't tested for but have found useful since. In my house, there are several DVD players scattered around hooked up to various TVs (and several computers). I rented a film that jammed up (pixelated image, wouldn't play, etc.) on my regular DVD player. I tried it on every player in the house and the only one that would play the disc is the universal audio player. Since then, I've probably gotten about a dozen or so discs that only that player would play (and I've "revived" some old, scratched CDs that I have that are out of print and hard to find). Now, I wouldn't pay 1000$ extra JUST for that more robust playback capability, but I might pay up to 150-200$ more. As it is, whenever I go shopping for DVD/CD players with my friends, in whatever budget range they feel comfortable, I bring along discs I know will trip up most players. I've yet to find one under 300$ that can play through them (I haven't tried any above 300$ because none of my friends has been looking for players that cost more than that and I'm not in the market for a new player).

In the end, the diminishing margin of return for luxury items will always be steep and, yes, other things than sound quality can and do influence purchasing decisions. But there are OTHER performance criteria--measurable and repeatable--that can factor into the decision to pay more than your threshold price. How much more depends entirely on the value one places on such things, of course.
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post #125 of 141 Old 05-10-2007, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by scorch123 View Post

Peter - ripping redbook CD tracks to hard drive doesn't have to be a "black art." Read up on EAC - decide what format you want for your hard drive files, and which software player (I like foobar2000). .

Yes, I have done that. I have EAC, FLAC, Foobar2000, and AccurateRIP.

Obviously digital copies are not guaranteed to be perfect. The fact that a tool like AccurateRIP actually exists is proof of that.

Also note all the settings in EAC and the AccurateRIP database of drive offsets.

Obviously the quality of computer CD/DVD roms is very varying.

My point: Since the quality of PC-drives and PC-software varies, why would the same not apply to the CD/DVD-player market?

Peter
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post #126 of 141 Old 05-10-2007, 12:23 PM
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How come I can copy gigabytes (not from one CD, of course) from a $5 PC drive and have the on disk data and CD match exactly? (including checksums that are sometimes stored in the data to ensure accurate reproduction)

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 #127 of 141 Old 05-10-2007, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

My claim is based on the fact that I do hear all of those details (along with ultra-tight bass, huge soundstage, pinpoint imaging, etc.) on my system with an under $200 CD player. If I were hearing less than 100% flawless sound, I would concede that improvements could be possible.

How do you know you are hearing 100% flawless sound?
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post #128 of 141 Old 05-10-2007, 06:42 PM
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I still can't believe some of you guys take the bait.

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 #129 of 141 Old 05-10-2007, 08:45 PM
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Agreed. It's like debating with a 5 year old. Why would one bother?
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post #130 of 141 Old 05-11-2007, 05:17 AM
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Obviously the quality of computer CD/DVD roms is very varying.

To a point, yes, but consider that many are quite capable of reading material at enormously high multiples of standard e.g. 48x without any difficulties. Perhaps more relevent is that the quality of one's CD or DVD collection can be considered suspect due to handling issues.

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post #131 of 141 Old 05-11-2007, 07:12 AM
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re: EAC

I found this on another site concerning EAC.

"This is just a bunch of marketing ********.

The only reason that computer programs like EAC have to re-read the data so many times is because they are trying to rip at 52x (or whatever). It has been shown time and time again that a standard audio CD drive running at 1x almost *never* will have an uncorrected error. Even then it only happens with damaged discs."

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post #132 of 141 Old 05-11-2007, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by PooperScooper View Post

How come I can copy gigabytes (not from one CD, of course) from a $5 PC drive and have the on disk data and CD match exactly? (including checksums that are sometimes stored in the data to ensure accurate reproduction)

larry

Possible reasons:
-You only own CDs with very high quality pressing
-Your CDs are less than 10 years old
-Your CDs are in immaculate condition

Fingerprints, scratches, bad manufacturing quality, and age are some factors that will introduce errors.

I've started ripping my 1,400+ CD collection. So far I'm only 20 CDs into it, but I've already encountered one CD that required me to use 2 different drives in order to RIP all tracks without error. This was a 1991 pressing by a small company, and from the looks of the label it's not the best quality. (I can see one visible manufacturing defect - a very small hole in the CD. Apart from that, the CD has only been played once or twice and is clean and free from scratches)

I noticed that newer CDs (year 2000 and newer) all seems to rip error free and very fast too...

Let's see what happens when I try one of my older CDs from 1983...

Peter
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post #133 of 141 Old 05-11-2007, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by PooperScooper View Post

The only reason that computer programs like EAC have to re-read the data so many times is because they are trying to rip at 52x (or whatever). It has been shown time and time again that a standard audio CD drive running at 1x almost *never* will have an uncorrected error. Even then it only happens with damaged discs."

We'll see when I'm done with my collection that spans CDs manufactured between 1983 and now.

See my earlier post about the 1991 CD. EAC was ripping it at speeds way below 1X, typically at 0.2X or 0.3X and did so for more than an hour. My Sony DVD-ROM was not able to read tracks #1 and #2 correctly but did fine with the other tracks. My Sony DVD/RW was able to read tracks #1 and #2 correctly...

It appears that newer CDs will be okay in any CD/DVD drive. However, old bad pressings or damaged CDs definitely produce differences...

Do you remember all the discussion back in 1983/84 about the label printing and lables "etching through" the aluminum foil... A lot of the fear at the time was unjustified, but I believe some of the problems (e.g. bad label printing practices) may be true...

Peter
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post #134 of 141 Old 05-11-2007, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

To a point, yes, but consider that many are quite capable of reading material at enormously high multiples of standard e.g. 48x without any difficulties. Perhaps more relevent is that the quality of one's CD or DVD collection can be considered suspect due to handling issues.

I agree. However, even with a pristine collection there are issues. Many older CDs (80's and early 90's) are infested with small manufacturing errors. The most obvious error is small pin holes that can be seen when holding up the CD against light.

The fact that people don't have a problem ripping their (new) CDs only indicate the very high CD manufacturing quality today.

This in turn makes you question how many manufacturers of CD/DVD-players that bother to implement good hardware and error correction. As we all know, they will manufacture the cheapest hardware that works for N% of the customers...

I think the "cd-check" test CD might be a good idea for anyone that wants to evaluate a player and wants peace of mind.

Peter
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post #135 of 141 Old 05-11-2007, 09:08 AM
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Sounds like you need some sort of automated CD polishing system there Peter!

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post #136 of 141 Old 05-11-2007, 09:45 AM
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This in turn makes you question how many manufacturers of CD/DVD-players that bother to implement good hardware and error correction. As we all know, they will manufacture the cheapest hardware that works for N% of the customers...

Today this is a "no brainer". The cheapest hardware exceeds what's required. If the disc is questionable then the missed bits are handled via duplication or some other technique inside the player. It's doubtful you'll be able to hear a few missed bits here and there especially when upsampling, filtering and D/A come into play. If lots of bits are missed then you'll get skips and it's time for a new disc or disc repair. There's more important places in the player and whole audio chain to focus on for improving "performance".

larry

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post #137 of 141 Old 05-11-2007, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Sounds like you need some sort of automated CD polishing system there Peter!

How would this help? If the CD isn't properly manufactured (hole in aluminum layer embedded between disk and protective plastic layer), then no polishing will solve the problem. Or do I miss something?

Peter
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post #138 of 141 Old 05-11-2007, 10:31 AM
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FWIW, the manufacturing problem I'm referring to is obviously some form of CD-rot.

Quote:


CD Rot
Laser Rot reportedly was a frequently occurring problem in many early compact discs (CD) production runs. On CDs, the rot becomes visually noticeable in two ways:

1. When the CD is held up to a strong light, light shines through several pin-prick sized holes. This is especially noticeable in older CDs that have a label of black text and a silver finish.
2. Discoloration of the disc, which looks like a coffee stain on the disc.

In audio CDs, the rot leads to decreased audio quality, chatter, scrambled audio, and static.


Peter
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post #139 of 141 Old 05-11-2007, 10:38 AM
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post #140 of 141 Old 05-11-2007, 10:40 AM
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Nope, polishing won't help a hole and holes can be a result of mishandling or manufacturing defects (contamination) too. BTW, I've mentioned that Canadian company in the past. Not a bad idea if one is spending some money and wants to put their player through some testing.

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post #141 of 141 Old 05-11-2007, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by PooperScooper View Post

If lots of bits are missed then you'll get skips and it's time for a new disc or disc repair. There's more important places in the player and whole audio chain to focus on for improving "performance".

Agreed, and most people miss the most important part of the chain: THE ROOM.

Room design and room treatments are definitely the most important part of the chain. Speakers are #2...

My next major upgrade will be a new house with a custom designed listening room...

Peter
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