Redbook only verses SACD/CD Players - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 141 Old 04-08-2007, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
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All.

I have a question regarding Redbook only CDP and SACD/CD players.

I recently ordered a complete Dynaudio Focus system. I auditioned on Nad Masters and I ordered the Nad M25 Amp and M15 Pre/Pro.

The matching player for the Masters is a SACD/CD player. I do not think I will move to SACD at this time.

Is it then better to take the same amount of funds and look into a Redbook only player? Do most SACD players give up some of the Redbook quality in the under $2500 range?

I am able to audition something along the lines of Arcam CD36, a couple of Simaudios, Rega Saturn, Creek Destiny and Ayre. I will also compare the Masters to the Redbook only.

I currently have a Pioneer Elite 59AvI Universal that sounds pretty good on my current system but I think I can do better when the Dynaudio's arrive next week.

I will of course audition but am curious about any input before I audition next weekend.

Thanks
Rick
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post #2 of 141 Old 04-08-2007, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by CETA View Post

All.

I have a question regarding Redbook only CDP and SACD/CD players.

I recently ordered a complete Dynaudio Focus system. I auditioned on Nad Masters and I ordered the Nad M25 Amp and M15 Pre/Pro.

The matching player for the Masters is a SACD/CD player. I do not think I will move to SACD at this time.

Is it then better to take the same amount of funds and look into a Redbook only player? Do most SACD players give up some of the Redbook quality in the under $2500 range?

I am able to audition something along the lines of Arcam CD36, a couple of Simaudios, Rega Saturn, Creek Destiny and Ayre. I will also compare the Masters to the Redbook only.

I currently have a Pioneer Elite 59AvI Universal that sounds pretty good on my current system but I think I can do better when the Dynaudio's arrive next week.

I will of course audition but am curious about any input before I audition next weekend.

Thanks
Rick

The only input i can give is you should consider if you want a Multi channel SACD or just 2ch. IMO I think the difference between a 2ch SACD/CD player and a CD only player playring trdbook is probably quite small. The difference between a multi channel SACD and a CD only player playing a cd at the same price might be larger. I will not respond to any replies of "All cd players sound the same". I already have a headache from another thread.
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post #3 of 141 Old 04-09-2007, 05:06 AM
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CETA,

The auditions you plan are the only way to decide in your own mind about relative Redbook quality, particularly if you can try the final contenders at least in your own system. I haven't heard it but the NAD machine has had good reviews. I agree with classic77. the differences are mostly pretty subtle so listen to them all if you can for a reasonable period with a variety of material. I'm sure the NAD will sound fine and will at least match your other kit very well. Apart from the Ayre and the NAD which I haven't heard, I preferred the CD36 to the others you listed but that's a personal choice based on my love of detail.
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post #4 of 141 Old 04-10-2007, 01:54 PM
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Rick,

How many CD albums do you currently own? Of those, how many do you plan on getting SACD versions? That might help you decide whether or not SACD is worth it to you.

For the 2-3k price range there are some very good universal players, and very, very good Redbook players. I got my McCormack UDP-1 universal, primarily for Redbook, and the SACD/DVD-A/DVD-V (to me) is just bonus. Redbook, I'd be looking at an Audio Aero Prima CDP or Prima DAC.

IMHO a good player should not compromise sound quality for one software format or another...

- Steve O.
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post #5 of 141 Old 04-23-2007, 06:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Appreciate the feedback Folks.

I went with the Rega Saturn.

S/B here later this week. My speakers are not broken in fully yet. I will let you know and provide my final thoughts in a few weeks after I feel that everything is meshing together to the best of its abilities.

Starting to research Power Conditioning and Cords. What are your thoughts on this?

Rick
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post #6 of 141 Old 04-23-2007, 06:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CETA View Post

I went with the Rega Saturn.

I was going to tell you not to waste your money on an expensive CD player, but apparently I am too late. You could have gotten the same sound quality for under $200.
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post #7 of 141 Old 04-23-2007, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CETA View Post

Appreciate the feedback Folks.

I went with the Rega Saturn.

S/B here later this week. My speakers are not broken in fully yet. I will let you know and provide my final thoughts in a few weeks after I feel that everything is meshing together to the best of its abilities.

Starting to research Power Conditioning and Cords. What are your thoughts on this?

Rick

Congrats on the new purchase. I imagine the Saturn will fit very nicely into that system. I've been using the Apollo for a while now and absolutely love it.

Enjoy.


Scott
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post #8 of 141 Old 04-23-2007, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

I was going to tell you not to waste your money on an expensive CD player, but apparently I am too late. You could have gotten the same sound quality for under $200.

YIKES....

Well not so sure about that but if you think so...

I am very familiar with my current Pioneer Elite Universal (a little more than $200 at the time) so at least I will have a decent piece of equipment to compare but I just have a sneaking suspicion on the sound quality between the two...

Thanks for your thoughts though. What should I have purchased for $200 that would of been it's equal?

-Rick
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post #9 of 141 Old 04-23-2007, 08:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CETA View Post

Thanks for your thoughts though. What should I have purchased for $200 that would of been it's equal?

Pretty much any CD player in that price range would do it. My Onkyo DX-C390 is just one example.
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post #10 of 141 Old 04-23-2007, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by CETA View Post

Appreciate the feedback Folks.

Starting to research Power Conditioning and Cords. What are your thoughts on this?

Rick

I can recommend a very good power conditioner: Furman PST-8D which sells for $99 on eBay. It is recommended my members in AudioAsylum and Audiogon. It has separate banks for digital and analog components.

As regards power cords, I recommend getting a shielded one for digital components like CDPs. I advise you to start at the low end. For DIY cables check out http://www.venhaus1.com/diymains.html (Flavor 1 for grounded and Flavor 3 for un-grounded digital components). Also check out www.takefiveaudio.com. You can probably DIY a PC based on belden bulk power cable for around $40.

But if you don't like DIY, check out Signal cable (www.signalcable.com), which has some decent power cables for cheap. And they have a 30 day return policy and no restocking charges, as far as I know. That way you can try and see for yourself if these things do indeed make a difference, without putting a hole in your wallet

C N Machani
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post #11 of 141 Old 04-23-2007, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CETA View Post

YIKES....

Well not so sure about that but if you think so...

I am very familiar with my current Pioneer Elite Universal (a little more than $200 at the time) so at least I will have a decent piece of equipment to compare but I just have a sneaking suspicion on the sound quality between the two...

Thanks for your thoughts though. What should I have purchased for $200 that would of been it's equal?

-Rick

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music is the best.
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post #12 of 141 Old 04-23-2007, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

I was going to tell you not to waste your money on an expensive CD player, but apparently I am too late. You could have gotten the same sound quality for under $200.

Don't listen to him, he's just jealsous
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post #13 of 141 Old 04-24-2007, 05:08 AM
 
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Don't listen to him, he's just jealsous

When I see somebody lighting a cigar with $100 bills, I might be jealous of their ability to do that, but it still isn't something I would do if I could. I recognize wastefulness when I see it, and spending more than $200 on a CD player is wasteful (unless maybe you really like the looks, and aren't uneducated enough to actually expect better sound.)
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post #14 of 141 Old 04-24-2007, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

When I see somebody lighting a cigar with $100 bills, I might be jealous of their ability to do that, but it still isn't something I would do if I could. I recognize wastefulness when I see it, and spending more than $200 on a CD player is wasteful (unless maybe you really like the looks, and aren't uneducated enough to actually expect better sound.)

Each one to their own.

Some people gladly shell out $$$$ on a Rolex when a $10 asian watch is just as good.

Some people pay $20-$40 for a novelty T-shirt when a $2.99 shirt from Wal-Mart works just as well.

Some people eat for $100 at a restaurant, when a <$10 meal at McDonalds would work just as well.

That's how I rationalize spending $1,000 on a CD player (= $200 player + eating out 8 times). I guess you could even conjure that the $1,000 CD player is better for my health

To be realist, only a fool would expect the $1,000 player to sound five times better than the $200 player. In reality, the $1,000 player may sound 0.05 times better... However, the paranoid and the perfectionists are opening up the poketbook for peace of mind (myself included).

Peter
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post #15 of 141 Old 04-24-2007, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Peter Nielsen View Post

To be realist, only a fool would expect the $1,000 player to sound five times better than the $200 player. In reality, the $1,000 player may sound 0.05 times better... However, the paranoid and the perfectionists are opening up the poketbook for peace of mind (myself included).

Peter

I think that's an underappreciated point. I don't think anyone (myself included) that advocates buying a "more expensive" (relative term, I know) CDP thinks of it as a bang-for-the-buck solution. It's not. You'll get a much more noticeable improvement by trading in your $200 speakers for $1000 speakers.


Scott
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post #16 of 141 Old 04-24-2007, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

When I see somebody lighting a cigar with $100 bills, I might be jealous of their ability to do that, but it still isn't something I would do if I could. I recognize wastefulness when I see it, and spending more than $200 on a CD player is wasteful (unless maybe you really like the looks, and aren't uneducated enough to actually expect better sound.)

Yeah, but you've arbitrarily set the point of diminishing returns for all CDPs at $200 just because that's what you have. Maybe the guy with the $100 Infinity Primus speakers thinks that you're uneducated, wasteful or superficial for spending the extra money on the B&W's.

Everyone knows your schtick by now, but that post, like so many others from you, is full of the exact kind of audio snobbery that you claim to hate so much.


Scott
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post #17 of 141 Old 04-24-2007, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I like the comments folks. I for once have the ability to purchase a player at this level. Whether I would have been better off with sticking with my Pioneer we will soon find out.

I am a no BS kind of Guy. I only have the Pioneer 59AVi to compare with when the Rega arrives this week.

I would prefer to let a little break-in happen before I comment but I promise you this that I will try my best to give a fair review and if the player is just a slight improvement I will let you know.

I was only able to audition the Apollo. After some chit-chat with my dealer and some very careful research I am taking on the Saturn. I know to take the reviews with a grain of salt but what I have read is pretty incredible. I really really liked the Apollo a lot so I do not feel I am taking any chances here.

I do not want to have to upgrade my CDP for years if not forever so this is worth a try to me.

If someone wants to spend $200 on a player or if someone wanted to spend $17k on a player means nothing to me. I only care about my own system and enjoyment and if someone is interested in info about components that I happen to own or have heard I will gladly share my opinions.

I am excited about getting my hands on this player. I don't care what it cost this stuff is fun.

I will give you my HONEST opinions soon.

Rick
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post #18 of 141 Old 04-24-2007, 07:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Nielsen View Post

Some people gladly shell out $$$$ on a Rolex when a $10 asian watch is just as good.

Some people pay $20-$40 for a novelty T-shirt when a $2.99 shirt from Wal-Mart works just as well.

Some people eat for $100 at a restaurant, when a <$10 meal at McDonalds would work just as well.

The first of these is a pretty good analogy. The Rolex offers better looks and build quality, but not better timekeeping. By the same token, an expensive CDP offers better looks and build quality than a cheap one, but not better sound.
The other two are bad analogies. The novelty T-shirt obviously has an image on it that the Wal-Mart one doesn't, and this is what the buyer wants. The more expensive meal is almost that much better, and worth it once the better atmosphere is included.
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post #19 of 141 Old 04-24-2007, 07:55 AM
 
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Everyone knows your schtick by now, but that post, like so many others from you, is full of the exact kind of audio snobbery that you claim to hate so much.

This post, like so many others from you, is full of exactly the kind of BS that I hate so much. Snobbery is people with more money than sense looking down on those who own cheaper things.
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post #20 of 141 Old 04-24-2007, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

Snobbery is people with more money than sense looking down on those who own cheaper things.

And a smart aleck is an arrogant, self-assertive person who insults the intelligence of others while claiming to have superior knowledge while having neither the experience nor any real basis to back up his claims.

C N Machani
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post #21 of 141 Old 04-24-2007, 09:01 AM
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Why do you let Pulliam (Tin-Ears) get you into these silly discussions that derail otherwise good threads? The forum has a very handy Ignore function, BTW.

OK, what was this thread about again?
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post #22 of 141 Old 04-24-2007, 10:02 AM
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CETA,

You said you were going to compare the two CD players, why not have a friend or your wife help you with a blind test. Show the person how to hook up the two players, tell them to hook one of the players up, and hide the two players say behind a blanket. Play around with your amp and give it a listen. Have the person switch players randomly a few times and see if you can tell the better sounding player.

I think everyone in the forum would be interested in your conclusions. Just a suggestion, I know I would be curious to know if I purchased such an expensive CD player if I could pick it out from an inexpensive CD player.
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post #23 of 141 Old 04-24-2007, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

This post, like so many others from you, is full of exactly the kind of BS that I hate so much. Snobbery is people with more money than sense looking down on those who own cheaper things.

I'm all for freedom of speech, but if there's a poster that wants to deal with a very specific issue, Why do we have to hear these rants about all players being the same, etc.

Enjoy your $199.00 cd player, and let us in return waste our money on whatever we want. thank you.

Do not steal, The powers that be do not like the competition.
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post #24 of 141 Old 04-24-2007, 11:30 AM
 
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..., and aren't uneducated enough to actually expect better sound.)

I just wanted to capture this quote of you finally admitting that those who expect better sound are educated, which is also an indirect admission that those who done expect it are uneducated.
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post #25 of 141 Old 04-24-2007, 11:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by luismanrara View Post

Enjoy your $199.00 cd player, and let us in return waste our money on whatever we want. thank you.

If someone understands the fact it is wasting money, and chooses to do it anyway, I am perfectly fine with that. I just hate to see anybody do so out of ignorance, imagining that they will actually hear an improvement.
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post #26 of 141 Old 04-24-2007, 11:51 AM
 
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I just wanted to capture this quote of you finally admitting that those who expect better sound are educated, which is also an indirect admission that those who done expect it are uneducated.

Try actually reading the sentence, with comprehension this time. It clearly states that those who expect better sound are uneducated.
(I am much too good at both logic and writing to make the kind of mistake you are attempting to catch.)
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post #27 of 141 Old 04-24-2007, 12:06 PM
 
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Try actually reading the sentence, with comprehension this time. It clearly states that those who expect better sound are uneducated.
(I am much too good at both logic and writing to make the kind of mistake you are attempting to catch.)

What part of aren't uneducated (your very own words nonetheless) is it that you don't understand?

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..., and aren't uneducated enough to actually expect better sound.)

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post #28 of 141 Old 04-24-2007, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by CETA View Post

Appreciate the feedback Folks.

I went with the Rega Saturn.

S/B here later this week. My speakers are not broken in fully yet. I will let you know and provide my final thoughts in a few weeks after I feel that everything is meshing together to the best of its abilities.

Starting to research Power Conditioning and Cords. What are your thoughts on this?

Rick

Rick,

Power conditioning and power cords can make a difference. So can vibration control, especially for a front end with a transport mechanism.

For my front-end, I currently use a balanced A/C power system, a basic IEC power cord with solid connectors, and three heavy brass footers. Combined, it is an audible improvement in sound.

- Steve O.
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post #29 of 141 Old 04-24-2007, 12:48 PM
 
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What part of aren't uneducated (your very own words nonetheless) is it that you don't understand?

If you aren't uneducated enough to expect better sound, then you are educated enough to know that you will not get better sound, and therefore know that you are buying the more expensive player for the looks, build, or other factors. DUH!
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post #30 of 141 Old 04-24-2007, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

The first of these is a pretty good analogy. The Rolex offers better looks and build quality, but not better timekeeping. By the same token, an expensive CDP offers better looks and build quality than a cheap one, but not better sound.

I agree. That's actually something that the extra cost may justify, especially if you're the type of person that only upgrades once every 10-20 years.

I guess I could use my own mid-price Sony DVP-S7700 as a good example. Back in the late 90's it cost $1,200, sounded good and played all DVDs flawlessly.

Today, 7+ years later it does not sound like it used to. It skips on some DVDs and I bet that Redbook CD playback is not what it should be.

You could argue, that if I had invested the money in a higher-end CD-only player at the time, the CD player would still sound good. (Or if I had spent $10,000 on a DVD player at the time, it would not skip after 7 years like the Sony does now...)

Food for thought...

Peter
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