The Definitive "Best of CD players" $0-500, $500-1000, $1000-1500, $1500-2000, 2000- - Page 7 - AVS Forum

AVS Forum > Audio > CD Players & Dedicated Music Transports > The Definitive "Best of CD players" $0-500, $500-1000, $1000-1500, $1500-2000, 2000-

CD Players & Dedicated Music Transports

wb2fcr's Avatar wb2fcr
05:02 AM Liked: 10
post #181 of 209
12-24-2007 | Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by beerme1 View Post

Anything by Oneida.

Good stuff. Made in my home town - too bad they're having a tough time staying in business. Sign of the times.
Maverickster2's Avatar Maverickster2
07:49 AM Liked: 10
post #182 of 209
12-24-2007 | Posts: 803
Joined: Jul 2007
True to AVS Forum tradition, a thread whose title promises tremendously helpful information to the uninformed digressed (after fewer than 5 posts!) into technical arguments about te subject. Hilarious, seriously, this is one of the things I love about this forum -- people have an AWESOME amount of passion about virtually every possible element of AVS!

Merry Christmas all!

--Mav

P.S. If anyone has a suggestion for a sub-$500 CD Player, I'm all ears! Take care.
QueueCumber's Avatar QueueCumber
08:39 AM Liked: 14
post #183 of 209
12-24-2007 | Posts: 6,089
Joined: Sep 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by D_Strasse View Post

They did. It's called Lexus.

While I lease a Lexus and like it very much (especially their pick-up service), there is no comparison between the luxuries in a Lexus and the luxuries in a Rolls Royce. The Rolls blows it away, as does a Bentley or any other higher end car with a customized interior. The Lexus interiors are cheap and flimsy in comparison... They handle decent enough for the price, though they aren't very cushy in terms of shock absorption compared to a higher end car. Their engines are nothing special either, unless you consider the LS600h, which is a pretty cool design, but the pricing is on par with other cars that have nicer interiors and are much much faster for the price...

The best thing about Lexus lately is their highly personalized service plan. Their pricing is no great bargain if you comparison shop IMO.
QueueCumber's Avatar QueueCumber
08:42 AM Liked: 14
post #184 of 209
12-24-2007 | Posts: 6,089
Joined: Sep 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by JorgeLopez11 View Post

I've never categorically denied that differences may exist. On the contrary, I clearly mentioned that some differences between different CD players have been reported even in ABX tests. The differences are subtle though

Good, I'm glad we cleared this all up...
QueueCumber's Avatar QueueCumber
08:47 AM Liked: 14
post #185 of 209
12-24-2007 | Posts: 6,089
Joined: Sep 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverickster2 View Post

P.S. If anyone has a suggestion for a sub-$500 CD Player, I'm all ears! Take care.

You could always check out the Rotel RCD-1072. You could probably get one used somewhere, or find someone willing to sell one for $500 or less.




commsysman's Avatar commsysman
09:33 AM Liked: 257
post #186 of 209
12-24-2007 | Posts: 5,292
Joined: Dec 2007
Mr. Strasse;

As with audio gear, price does not always have 1 to 1 correlation with quality. There are some very fine CD players that cost from 10 to 25 thousand dollars, yet in the opinion of Stereophile and The Absolute Sound magazines (and my ears...lol), the best-sounding players at this time are the Ayre C5xe and C7xe at $6000 and $3000 respectively ( the C7 is Cd only; the C5 plays SACD also and is what I have).

Furthermore, I have driven both Rolls-Royce and Lexus, and if they were one-fourth of their ridiculous prices I would not want one for my personal car. I find that the Jaguar S-type V8 (or the discontinued Lincoln LS V8, which is the same car with different fenders) is by far the all-around best-driving performance sedan in the world, and while it is hardly an economy job at $45K or so, I think it is a steal at that price compared to the truck-like 6000-pound big BMWs or the Lexus, which to me wallows down the road like a 1955 Buick.

The only thing that comes close to the Jaguar for me is the new Infinity M, which is a very nice driving machine also. The Jaguar also has the best sounding audio system of all of them, from Alpine (the Bose and BMW auto sound systems sound bloated and inaccurate; the new Mark Levinson sound systems are very good also)!

For a fabulous car at a very reasonable price with a wonderful audio system, one could do no better than a low-mileage 3-year-old Jaguar S or Lincoln LS at $20K or so.
commsysman's Avatar commsysman
09:52 AM Liked: 257
post #187 of 209
12-24-2007 | Posts: 5,292
Joined: Dec 2007
In looking at the list of players you have tried, it sounds like you have tried almost everything except the Ayre players.

Since the staff at Stereophile have all gone to the Ayre C5-Xe as a reference, and the article on it in The Absolute Sound said it was the best they have ever heard, and it sounds better than anything I have heard in my system, I can certainly recommend it to you for an audition.

I would be interested in what you think when you hear it (the C7 is only half as much money if you do not want to be able to play SACD, and some say it is just as good for CD only...).

By the way...what ARE you using for an amplifier and/or preamp...??
commsysman's Avatar commsysman
10:05 AM Liked: 257
post #188 of 209
12-24-2007 | Posts: 5,292
Joined: Dec 2007
Uhh....Jorge;

You seem to imply that my ears are somehow "fooling" me and that my "perception"
is illusory.

Well, if I hear a difference in sound quality and I keep on hearing that difference, and so does my wife...well, that is what we are going to continue hearing when we play our music, isn't it? So I guess if it is somehow an illusion, and it sounds great to us...what else matters?
commsysman's Avatar commsysman
10:21 AM Liked: 257
post #189 of 209
12-24-2007 | Posts: 5,292
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Jorge;

By the way, you mentioned that you own a H/K CD changer.

I have not found ANY CD changer that delivers decent sound on its own, but my wife likes having a changer and so we have a Yamaha 5 CD unit that we have used for 10 years or so with no problems. On its own, it does not sound very good, but feeding its coaxial digital output to a Theta Pro Basic III D/A converter with balanced outputs, it sounds pretty good!

The Theta is a really nice-sounding unit. It cost me $2000 ten years ago, but I think they can be found used these days for about $600, and if you put one together with a $300 changer with a coaxial digital output, that would give you some pretty good sound for around $1000. If I only wanted to spend $1000 for a CD player, I don't think you could beat that combination for best sound.

The Theta D/A units seem to have fabulous reliabilty, by the way; I think they last forever.

I am not sure if any Yamaha units currently have coaxial digital outputs, but Audio Advisor has the Marantz CC4001 changer at $329, and it does have a coaxial digital output.
JorgeLopez11's Avatar JorgeLopez11
11:44 AM Liked: 18
post #190 of 209
12-24-2007 | Posts: 1,890
Joined: Oct 2003
Quote:


Uhh....Jorge;

You seem to imply that my ears are somehow "fooling" me and that my "perception"
is illusory.

Hi commsysman,

It not was my intention at all. What I tried to state is that human perception begins with hearing..... then the brain processes the signals according to very specific situations that may result in perceiving differences that may not actually exist.... Human hearing is pretty deficient, BTW.

Quote:


Well, if I hear a difference in sound quality and I keep on hearing that difference, and so does my wife...well, that is what we are going to continue hearing when we play our music, isn't it? So I guess if it is somehow an illusion, and it sounds great to us...what else matters?

Of course! This is a hobby that is immensely satisfactory to most people around here. Does this satisfaction is improved by the audio gear itself or by the sounds and music?

It is a matter of personal tastes
JorgeLopez11's Avatar JorgeLopez11
11:55 AM Liked: 18
post #191 of 209
12-24-2007 | Posts: 1,890
Joined: Oct 2003
Quote:


Jorge;

By the way, you mentioned that you own a H/K CD changer.

I have not found ANY CD changer that delivers decent sound on its own, but my wife likes having a changer and so we have a Yamaha 5 CD unit that we have used for 10 years or so with no problems. On its own, it does not sound very good, but feeding its coaxial digital output to a Theta Pro Basic III D/A converter with balanced outputs, it sounds pretty good!

I tend to agree with you. I've own various CD changers and I've never been completely satisfied with their sonic performance. My current H/K 8385 sounds good to a point, but my main complaints are about its poor construction quality.

Regarding the Theta CD player, I've had the opportunity to auditioned it paired up to the Pass labs X0 preamplifier, the huge Pass Labs X250.5 power amp driving beautiful Avalon Acoustics Ascendants and Opus Ceramique.

The sound was awesome....

I own a "modest" Rotel RCD-1072 that has been modified by a friend of mine, and it is a very competent player. I even own the more expensive Arcam FMJ CD33 and with my current audio equipment I can not tell the differences between them...

BTW, I haven't update my profile. Now I'm using the NAD Masters M3 integrated amplifier, but now and then I bring my Arcam to my office and have some fun with my Odissey candela tube preamp and the Rotel RB-1080 power amp.

Which one is best? I tend to prefer the NAD, but some others prefer the separates.
JorgeLopez11's Avatar JorgeLopez11
12:00 PM Liked: 18
post #192 of 209
12-24-2007 | Posts: 1,890
Joined: Oct 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber View Post


Good, I'm glad we cleared this all up...

Why not? I just want to emphasize to the word "subtle"...

BTW, you have awesome equipment, Mr. QueueCumber. Congratulations!
Homl's Avatar Homl
05:30 PM Liked: 10
post #193 of 209
12-25-2007 | Posts: 44
Joined: Nov 2003
Has anyone compare the sound quality of WAV files played through a PS3, thru stereo out, versus a highend CD player?
TIA
PULLIAMM's Avatar PULLIAMM
07:06 AM Liked: 14
post #194 of 209
12-26-2007 | Posts: 8,516
Joined: Aug 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by JorgeLopez11 View Post

I tend to agree with you. I've own various CD changers and I've never been completely satisfied with their sonic performance.

That is unfortunate for you. I have always been 100% satisfied with the SQ from mine.
JorgeLopez11's Avatar JorgeLopez11
09:21 AM Liked: 18
post #195 of 209
12-26-2007 | Posts: 1,890
Joined: Oct 2003
Good for you Pulliam.

Where have you been? There are some people that have been missing you in avsforum!
PULLIAMM's Avatar PULLIAMM
09:37 AM Liked: 14
post #196 of 209
12-26-2007 | Posts: 8,516
Joined: Aug 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by JorgeLopez11 View Post

Good for you Pulliam.

Where have you been? There are some people that have been missing you in avsforum!

I would be flattered, except that I never left other than for Xmas break.
teamrivers's Avatar teamrivers
10:27 PM Liked: 10
post #197 of 209
12-26-2007 | Posts: 122
Joined: Jan 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

That is unfortunate for you. I have always been 100% satisfied with the SQ from mine.

I remember really likeing my boom box and thought there was no better....but as I expanded my listening, and truely listened, I learned there is a whole world of great audio with the decoding and transport of digital being an equally important component.

I think your arguments in this thread are valid, in terms of what someone can be happy with. And isn't that what we are all really in search of? Happiness?

After hearing a very high end system, I became, unhappy if you will. And since that time have been in the quest for higher end sound, which, includes higher end, costlier gear. Truth be known, speakers are probably the largest influencer of any listening system. That's not to say the other components don't influence, but speakers are like soul mates, everyone has one out there that is a perfect match, and you may or may not find them.

My search for a higher end player/transport lead me to this thread.

Thanks to those of you with various recomendations at different price points.
teamrivers's Avatar teamrivers
10:34 PM Liked: 10
post #198 of 209
12-26-2007 | Posts: 122
Joined: Jan 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Homl View Post

Has anyone compare the sound quality of WAV files played through a PS3, thru stereo out, versus a highend CD player?
TIA

Unfortunately, the PS3 nor Xbox360 will pass WAV sound format, but will send the lossless Windows Media version as well as MP3. I can tell you from personal experience, it's not a solution (James Taylor is playing through my Xbox360 as I type this) when compared to a dedicated CD player. Both units must send digital signals that must be decoded within the processor. At least for me, the best sound comes from an analog signal being sent to my preamp. I can tell huge differences.

I'd like to know if there are "high-end" media servers out there that can store lossless, and pass clean analog out over balanced outputs to a dedicated pre.
Rdrcr's Avatar Rdrcr
08:43 AM Liked: 10
post #199 of 209
12-28-2007 | Posts: 389
Joined: Jan 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Mr. Strasse;

As with audio gear, price does not always have 1 to 1 correlation with quality. There are some very fine CD players that cost from 10 to 25 thousand dollars, yet in the opinion of Stereophile and The Absolute Sound magazines (and my ears...lol), the best-sounding players at this time are the Ayre C5xe and C7xe at $6000 and $3000 respectively ( the C7 is Cd only; the C5 plays SACD also and is what I have).

I'm in the market for a CD player. The Ayre player is within my budget. What makes this player sound superior compared to the competition? I've been considering "tube" players, but have only heard the old Sonic Frontiers unit. I currently am using a Lexicon RT-20 universal player for all my audio needs.

Mike
PULLIAMM's Avatar PULLIAMM
08:56 AM Liked: 14
post #200 of 209
12-28-2007 | Posts: 8,516
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rdrcr View Post

What makes this player sound superior compared to the competition?

Nothing does.
QueueCumber's Avatar QueueCumber
10:09 AM Liked: 14
post #201 of 209
12-28-2007 | Posts: 6,089
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

Nothing does.

You've heard it? You've done or seen ABX tests of that unit against other units, both low and high end?

What equipment did you test it with personally? How well was the room treated that you tested the equipment in? Was the room well sound proofed against outside noise?

I'm guessing you have never even heard it, let alone tested it against other units... ABX testing of CD players has shown that there can be differences in sound between units, making the bases for your subjective opinion that it doesn't sound superior to other units absolutely worthless hearsay (much like everything you pontificate on these fora...). If it can sound different, some people might prefer its sound to another unit. Only the individual can decide their own preference for it by testing it against other units.
JorgeLopez11's Avatar JorgeLopez11
10:23 AM Liked: 18
post #202 of 209
12-28-2007 | Posts: 1,890
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pulliam View Post


Nothing does.

Mmmmm... bold statement Pulliam. I recommend you to read the CX-7 review by Richard Hardesty in AP journal # 9 and perhaps Hardesty's interview to its designer, Charles Hansen.

I haven't listened to this player yet and I can not state its sound is "superior" to other CD players, but there are many good technical aspects about the analog circuitry design to think it is a superior player in terms of pure technical design and construction quality.
PULLIAMM's Avatar PULLIAMM
10:31 AM Liked: 14
post #203 of 209
12-28-2007 | Posts: 8,516
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JorgeLopez11 View Post

Mmmmm... bold statement Pulliam. I recommend you to read the CX-7 review by Richard Hardesty in AP journal # 9 and perhaps Hardesty's interview to its designer, Charles Hansen.

I haven't listened to this player yet and I can not state its sound is "superior" to other CD players, but there are many good technical aspects about the analog circuitry design to think it is a superior player in terms of pure technical design and construction quality.

Not really, since it is merely a specific example of the general fact that no CD player is inherently better sounding than another. Buying it for construction quality is a separate matter.
QueueCumber's Avatar QueueCumber
10:41 AM Liked: 14
post #204 of 209
12-28-2007 | Posts: 6,089
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

Not really, since it is merely a specific example of the general fact that no CD player is inherently better sounding than another. Buying it for construction quality is a separate matter.

If they can sound different (as has been proven via ABX testing) people can subjectively prefer the differences. Making your statements incorrect.
JorgeLopez11's Avatar JorgeLopez11
10:45 AM Liked: 18
post #205 of 209
12-28-2007 | Posts: 1,890
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OK Pulliam. Don't read that stuff if you don't want to.

It's just that I prefer to be well informed before making statements and I thought you were the same kind of person.

Just have in mind sonic properties of a CD player do not refer exclusively to digital circuitry. PSUs, transports and analog circuitry have a big role in the final sonic results.
teamrivers's Avatar teamrivers
01:57 PM Liked: 10
post #206 of 209
12-29-2007 | Posts: 122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JorgeLopez11 View Post

OK Pulliam. Don't read that stuff if you don't want to.

It's just that I prefer to be well informed before making statements and I thought you were the same kind of person.

Just have in mind sonic properties of a CD player do not refer exclusively to digital circuitry. PSUs, transports and analog circuitry have a big role in the final sonic results.

This is hard for many to understand or realize until they've actually heard the difference on a high resolution system. The CD player is a collection of systems that are typically broken out in the highest end pieces. Transports built with impeccable quality sending high bit rate streams to beefy DACS that in turn send the cleanest analog signals to one heck of a preamp. Love it...but there are those that haven't listened, or maybe they did make a few comparisons on a lower end system where nuances were buried in unwanted noise.
RealTelstar's Avatar RealTelstar
03:59 PM Liked: 10
post #207 of 209
12-29-2007 | Posts: 177
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$2000+ : APL NWO 3-GO (modified Esoteric X-01/UX-01, based on VRDS mechanic)

Priced $30k, but includes the DAC and "preamp". Probably the best digital player ever, but I haven't listened to it yet.
JorgeLopez11's Avatar JorgeLopez11
04:07 PM Liked: 18
post #208 of 209
12-29-2007 | Posts: 1,890
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teamrivers View Post


This is hard for many to understand or realize until they've actually heard the difference on a high resolution system.

Teamrivers,

It is true many of us haven't auditioned many fancy CD players so it is very difficult to give an educated opinion.

My personal experience is limited to four or five expensive CD players such as the Wadia 861, the Meridian G08, The Berendsen CD1, the Cary CD 303, the Luxman D107 and my own Arcam FMJ CD33.

Nevertheless, most Hi Fi and Hi End audio equipment actually ARE high resolution systems, so hearing differences between different CD players has nothing to do with such thing as "resolution".

Unfortunately, there are many people that attributes negative test results to gear that does not have enough resolution..... This is an absurd myth.
Bill Dietz's Avatar Bill Dietz
10:46 AM Liked: 10
post #209 of 209
12-30-2007 | Posts: 159
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Wondering if anyone here has heard both the Oppo 980 and the Marantz 4001 or 5001 for 2-channel music on the ANALOG connection?

Am torn between the much greater versatility of the Oppo vs. the great SQ I remember from the Marantz 4300 I used to own. At that time I did do some direct comparison between the 4300 and a Panasonic DVD player I had for analog music playback and did find some striking differences especially at higher volume levels.

Have heard some claims that the Oppo equals or betters players costing up to $500. This sounds a bit too good to be true---but considering how cheap overseas mass-manufacturing costs are these days, I don't rule it out completely...

Problem is, all the professional reviews of the Oppo are 90% about its video performance and the few audio comments about it are based on a digital connection. Pretty darn useless for my situation.

So am looking for people with direct personal experience hearing these low-cost models, not just a bunch of scientific rationales for how all CDPs absolutely sound the same.

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