What is it about 300+ dollar cd players that makes them sound better?? (I want detail - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 269 Old 12-30-2007, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
6SpeedTA95's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Tulsa area
Posts: 2,320
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Hey guys, I was hoping someone could shed some light on differences in processing/decoding that makes cd players like the Denon 390 or Marantz 4001 better than my 150 dollar dvd player, doing double duty? I've heard differences between low end cd players, dvd players vs mid range cd players. The differences were pretty substantial...but why? I'd appreciate any and all detail you guys can provide...just trying to learn
6SpeedTA95 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 269 Old 12-30-2007, 03:08 PM
Member
 
RealTelstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Italy
Posts: 177
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
A good DAC maybe?
RealTelstar is offline  
post #3 of 269 Old 12-30-2007, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
6SpeedTA95's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Tulsa area
Posts: 2,320
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealTelstar View Post

A good DAC maybe?

Yeah, but what makes one DAC better than another? It has something to do with how it samples the digital signal I guess?
6SpeedTA95 is offline  
post #4 of 269 Old 12-30-2007, 06:43 PM
AVS Special Member
 
mcnarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,009
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 265
Well, let me give you a contrarian view. There is nothing that makes an expensive CD player sound better than a basic one. Converting a Redbook-resolution file to analog is a trivial exercise in this day and age, one that can be acomplished by chips costing less than $1 wholesale, if purchased in bulk.

Granted, there is the occasional bad design (which is as common at the high end as the low). But if you heard "substantial" differences between players, there are really only two likely explanations:

1) One was playing louder than the other. A difference of as little as 0.2 dB can make two otherwise identical signals sound different (although they will still sound like they're the same volume).

2) You are the victim of what psychologists sometimes call expectation bias: You see two different players, so you expect them to sound different, so they do. This is human nature, and you can't get around it. That's why anyone who's serious about testing hearing and audibility uses blind tests.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

mcnarus is offline  
post #5 of 269 Old 12-30-2007, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
6SpeedTA95's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Tulsa area
Posts: 2,320
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Well, let me give you a contrarian view. There is nothing that makes an expensive CD player sound better than a basic one. Converting a Redbook-resolution file to analog is a trivial exercise in this day and age, one that can be acomplished by chips costing less than $1 wholesale, if purchased in bulk.

Granted, there is the occasional bad design (which is as common at the high end as the low). But if you heard "substantial" differences between players, there are really only two likely explanations:

1) One was playing louder than the other. A difference of as little as 0.2 dB can make two otherwise identical signals sound different (although they will still sound like they're the same volume).

2) You are the victim of what psychologists sometimes call expectation bias: You see two different players, so you expect them to sound different, so they do. This is human nature, and you can't get around it. That's why anyone who's serious about testing hearing and audibility uses blind tests.

1) Can you elaborate on 1?

2) I'm well aware of human psych issues which is why I told all the audio shops before I listened that I wanted things to be blind. I give them a cd, they operate the equipment and let me pickout the sound I like the best. Then they tell me. I did this with all the speakers I auditioned at various stores and the receivers/amps/players as well. It was time consuming but I think I came away a little better having done it.
6SpeedTA95 is offline  
post #6 of 269 Old 12-31-2007, 07:18 AM
AVS Special Member
 
mcnarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,009
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 265
You need about 1 dB of difference before one sounds louder than the other. Less than that, and they'll sound like they're playing at the same volume. But there will still be a qualitative difference between the two (the "louder" one will usually sound better).

In theory, every source component (except turntables) is supposed to have exactly the same output level. In practice, they don't. So if you plug two CD players into an amp and switch between them, the odds are that one will be subtly louder than the other, and it will sound better to you. But if you adjust the volumes to match, they will be indistinguishable. (BTW, to match volumes this precisely, you need to measure voltage at the speaker terminals; an SPL meter won't cut it.)

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

mcnarus is offline  
post #7 of 269 Old 12-31-2007, 09:42 AM
 
PULLIAMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 8,516
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Well, let me give you a contrarian view. There is nothing that makes an expensive CD player sound better than a basic one. Converting a Redbook-resolution file to analog is a trivial exercise in this day and age, one that can be acomplished by chips costing less than $1 wholesale, if purchased in bulk.

Granted, there is the occasional bad design (which is as common at the high end as the low). But if you heard "substantial" differences between players, there are really only two likely explanations:

1) One was playing louder than the other. A difference of as little as 0.2 dB can make two otherwise identical signals sound different (although they will still sound like they're the same volume).

2) You are the victim of what psychologists sometimes call expectation bias: You see two different players, so you expect them to sound different, so they do. This is human nature, and you can't get around it. That's why anyone who's serious about testing hearing and audibility uses blind tests.

Agreed 100%. I couldn't have said it better myself.
PULLIAMM is offline  
post #8 of 269 Old 12-31-2007, 09:45 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Sam S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 4,121
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Well, let me give you a contrarian view. There is nothing that makes an expensive CD player sound better than a basic one. Converting a Redbook-resolution file to analog is a trivial exercise in this day and age, one that can be acomplished by chips costing less than $1 wholesale, if purchased in bulk.


I'd be more than happy to host you at my house listening to a $100 CD player vs. a $5000 one. You will have no doubt which is which.

Yes, there are cheap CD players that sound good, but power supplies, analog output stages, better/bigger capacitors, etc. can have a remarkable effect on overall sound quality.
Sam S is offline  
post #9 of 269 Old 12-31-2007, 09:51 AM
 
PULLIAMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 8,516
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 14
If I had a massive windfall that allowed me to buy new equipment 20X as expensive as I have now, I would spend most of it on speakers, some on amplification, and keep my $180 CD changer.
PULLIAMM is offline  
post #10 of 269 Old 12-31-2007, 10:48 AM
Member
 
RealTelstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Italy
Posts: 177
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6SpeedTA95 View Post

Yeah, but what makes one DAC better than another? It has something to do with how it samples the digital signal I guess?

No, it's in the techniques used to do the conversion. Some DAC (or the digital/analog conversion part in the cdp itself) uses several DAC chips per channel. Other upsample or oversample and both.

If you want a good technical explanation you should read this thread at diyaudio:
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...5&pagenumber=1
RealTelstar is offline  
post #11 of 269 Old 12-31-2007, 10:49 AM
Member
 
RealTelstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Italy
Posts: 177
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

If I had a massive windfall that allowed me to buy new equipment 20X as expensive as I have now, I would spend most of it on speakers, some on amplification, and keep my $180 CD changer.

While I do think that the source is the least important component in the audio chain, the difference between a low and a high-quality digital player is paramount.

If I had unlimited founds I know what I would buy.
RealTelstar is offline  
post #12 of 269 Old 12-31-2007, 12:23 PM
 
PULLIAMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 8,516
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealTelstar View Post

If I had unlimited founds I know what I would buy.

I do too. So we agree!
PULLIAMM is offline  
post #13 of 269 Old 01-01-2008, 04:38 AM
Member
 
RealTelstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Italy
Posts: 177
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

I do too. So we agree!

RealTelstar is offline  
post #14 of 269 Old 01-01-2008, 05:39 AM
Moderator
 
PooperScooper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Leominster MA
Posts: 19,764
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Liked: 72
I've said this before but it falls on deaf ears (or unexperienced ears). Some players (Esoteric units have a few) allow for different "filtering" during D->A. My DV50 has 3 different filtering settings. Switching between them cause an immediate, noticeable difference in sound. So if one player can sound like 3 players, how can all CD players sound the same (according to some people)? CD players aren't computers. When analog is involved it's impossible to have a 1:1 mapping of input->output.

larry

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -- Thomas Alva Edison
PooperScooper is offline  
post #15 of 269 Old 01-01-2008, 07:28 AM
AVS Special Member
 
mcnarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,009
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 265
And what is that filtering doing? And why would you want to do it?

Anybody could make a CD player that sounded different. The question is, why would you want to? A $50 DVD player can deliver to your preamp terminals a signal that's audibly indistinguishable from the master file from which the CD was made. Why would you want anything else?

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

mcnarus is offline  
post #16 of 269 Old 01-02-2008, 08:07 PM
AVS Special Member
 
CharlesJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,127
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam S View Post

I'd be more than happy to host you at my house listening to a $100 CD player vs. a $5000 one. You will have no doubt which is which.
.

Perhaps that expensive one IS designed to be euphonic? Are there some FR specs? THD+N?
Perhaps the testing has shortcomings?
CharlesJ is offline  
post #17 of 269 Old 01-02-2008, 08:11 PM
AVS Special Member
 
CharlesJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,127
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by PooperScooper View Post

I've said this before but it falls on deaf ears (or unexperienced ears). Some players (Esoteric units have a few) allow for different "filtering" during D->A. My DV50 has 3 different filtering settings. Switching between them cause an immediate, noticeable difference in sound. So if one player can sound like 3 players, how can all CD players sound the same (according to some people)? CD players aren't computers. When analog is involved it's impossible to have a 1:1 mapping of input->output.

larry

Maybe not ALL sound the same just that some do sound different as some DBTs of the past has shown And yours, obviously is designed to impart 3 different FR large enough to be audible.
CharlesJ is offline  
post #18 of 269 Old 01-03-2008, 03:48 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Chu Gai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: NYC area
Posts: 14,724
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 117 Post(s)
Liked: 414
Quote:
Originally Posted by PooperScooper View Post

I've said this before but it falls on deaf ears (or unexperienced ears). Some players (Esoteric units have a few) allow for different "filtering" during D->A. My DV50 has 3 different filtering settings. Switching between them cause an immediate, noticeable difference in sound. So if one player can sound like 3 players, how can all CD players sound the same (according to some people)? CD players aren't computers. When analog is involved it's impossible to have a 1:1 mapping of input->output.

larry

Larry, you'd have to do a bit more work to find out if the filtering, in addition to whatever else it does, is also affecting the overall volume in the way mcnarnus explained. You could run test tones and measure the output voltage at the speaker terminals as you switched. Other than that, I would think the different filtering schemes also allow for different amount of out of band information to be 'folded' back into the original signal. Running the output into a reasonably competent sound card and examining the waveforms could likely corroborate that.

"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
Chu Gai is offline  
post #19 of 269 Old 01-03-2008, 10:01 AM
AVS Special Member
 
JorgeLopez11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: MEXICO CITY
Posts: 1,887
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Chu, I remember you own the Onkyo DX-7555 which allows different digital filter selection.

What's your opinion?
JorgeLopez11 is offline  
post #20 of 269 Old 01-03-2008, 02:03 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Chu Gai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: NYC area
Posts: 14,724
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 117 Post(s)
Liked: 414
Well Jorge, IIRC, that was a feature or aspect of the Wolfson DAC that was used. Personally, I find the difference on the subtle side - quite subtle - when switching between the two. The 'slow' setting seems to me to soften or enrich the music somewhat. I attribute that, rightly or wrongly, to additional information that gets aliased back down into the audible band. It doesn't though, make music that you didn't like originally suddenly transformed into something that's emminently listenable. As an analogy, I liken it to looking at paint chips and trying to decide between something called Misty Harbor and Dover Cliffs.

By way of example, I made a sincere attempt, using comparative long term listening (1 month), at determining whether I could identify the filter. The selections I used, at the risk of developing a hatred seeing as I was playing them so often, were 'Merry Go Round' by Freddy Cole and 'Soul Sauce' by Cal Tjader. My success rate was 16 out of 30. The selections were made by my son who grudgingly flipped a coin 30 times and recorded H or T on a calendar. Then each morning, he'd make the switch and in the evening, I'd try to identify which was which.

Now, I didn't use any fast switching before each of the listening sessions. I did use sighted comparisons initially in an attempt to familiarize myself with the differences. After that, I listened as I normally do and as I presume most others do.

The player, IMO is attractive from a modestly retro POV. It's got a nice heft to it and came with a minimum of hype suggesting to me that more dollars went into the guts rather than into gimmicky things. It's discountable, appears to be finished quite nicely giving the appearance of players costing considerably more. I'm hoping that at some point, it gets a comprehensive review with measurements much like Onkyo's integrated amp did recently in StereoPhile. I'd be curious, from an academic POV, to see if this accurate clock results in objectively lower jitter numbers (not that it's a biggie). BTW, I never phucked with the clock setting.

"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
Chu Gai is offline  
post #21 of 269 Old 01-03-2008, 02:11 PM
AVS Special Member
 
smitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 1,744
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Well, let me give you a contrarian view. There is nothing that makes an expensive CD player sound better than a basic one. Converting a Redbook-resolution file to analog is a trivial exercise in this day and age, one that can be acomplished by chips costing less than $1 wholesale, if purchased in bulk.

Granted, there is the occasional bad design (which is as common at the high end as the low). But if you heard "substantial" differences between players, there are really only two likely explanations:

1) One was playing louder than the other. A difference of as little as 0.2 dB can make two otherwise identical signals sound different (although they will still sound like they're the same volume).

2) You are the victim of what psychologists sometimes call expectation bias: You see two different players, so you expect them to sound different, so they do. This is human nature, and you can't get around it. That's why anyone who's serious about testing hearing and audibility uses blind tests.

Yeah, CD players sound the same, and we also know that solid state amps sound the same, and, of course, cables make no difference. Nothing makes a difference except speakers. Therefore, if you listen to various solid state amp and CD player combinations with the same set of speakers they will all sound the same.

Gimme a break!
smitty is offline  
post #22 of 269 Old 01-03-2008, 02:32 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Chu Gai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: NYC area
Posts: 14,724
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 117 Post(s)
Liked: 414
So, you define things to suit you, simplifying to the point of absurdity and then dismiss the arguments that were never made.

"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
Chu Gai is offline  
post #23 of 269 Old 01-03-2008, 03:31 PM
AVS Special Member
 
smitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 1,744
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

So, you define things to suit you, simplifying to the point of absurdity and then dismiss the arguments that were never made.

I'm not following. The post to which I responded appeared to me to be suggesting that all reasonably well-designed CD players sound the same. There seems to be a general consensus among those in the "objectivist" camp that all reasonably well-designed solid state amps sound the same. Assuming both propositions are correct, and cables make no difference (another proposition routinely advanced by "objectivists"), should not any combination of a reasonably well-designed CD player and reasonably well-designed SS amp sound the same, if played through the same set of speakers or headphones? What did I miss?

As far as simplifying the matter to the point of absurdity, I'm just trying to illuminate the issue a little, for the benefit of folks who might stumble onto this thread and be fooled into thinking that alll well-designed CD players sound the same, regardless of how each handles the digital to analogue conversion. But perhaps that was not what was intimated?
smitty is offline  
post #24 of 269 Old 01-03-2008, 05:37 PM
AVS Special Member
 
JorgeLopez11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: MEXICO CITY
Posts: 1,887
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post


Well Jorge, IIRC, that was a feature or aspect of the Wolfson DAC that was used. Personally, I find the difference on the subtle side - quite subtle - when switching between the two.

Mmmm... what can be more subtle than subtle?

Quote:


It doesn't though, make music that you didn't like originally suddenly transformed into something that's emminently listenable.

Bad news. I thought this Onkyo was more on the Hi End side than Pulliam's beloved Onkyo CD changer....

Now talking seriously, I myself have played a lot with my CD players. Now and then I perceive my Arcam FMJ player sound more soft and euphonic than my Rotel player, particularly with classical music. It uses the same WM-8740 DACs, BTW.
JorgeLopez11 is offline  
post #25 of 269 Old 01-03-2008, 05:39 PM
AVS Special Member
 
JorgeLopez11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: MEXICO CITY
Posts: 1,887
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty View Post


As far as simplifying the matter to the point of absurdity, I'm just trying to illuminate the issue a little, for the benefit of folks who might stumble onto this thread and be fooled into thinking that alll well-designed CD players sound the same, regardless of how each handles the digital to analogue conversion.

Smitty,

Wy should different well designed players sound different in a level matched test?
JorgeLopez11 is offline  
post #26 of 269 Old 01-03-2008, 06:43 PM
AVS Special Member
 
mcnarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,009
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 265
Quote:


I'm not following. The post to which I responded appeared to me to be suggesting that all reasonably well-designed CD players sound the same. There seems to be a general consensus among those in the "objectivist" camp that all reasonably well-designed solid state amps sound the same. Assuming both propositions are correct, and cables make no difference (another proposition routinely advanced by "objectivists"), should not any combination of a reasonably well-designed CD player and reasonably well-designed SS amp sound the same, if played through the same set of speakers or headphones? What did I miss?

You didn't miss much. There are a few provisos to the amps question (no audible clipping, flat frequency response), and it's certainly possible (if perverse) to make a cable that really will sound different. But you've got the general idea.

And your substantive, logically irrefutable response to this:

Quote:


Gimme a break!

Gee, what can I say?

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

mcnarus is offline  
post #27 of 269 Old 01-03-2008, 07:02 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Chu Gai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: NYC area
Posts: 14,724
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 117 Post(s)
Liked: 414
You know Jorge, I didn't go overly crazy when searching out a replacement for when my Marantz died a while back. I set an arbitrary retail price limit of around $500-600 US and figured on a 10-15% discount. Maybe even no tax. I figured that ought to get me something pretty nice looking that appealed to my subjective side. In another thread, I outlined some of my criteria and I just don't feel like repeating it again. Changers...I don't know. I've tended to look at them as getting clunky and noisy as time goes on. That would kind of piss me off. Maybe if I replace the connectors and get put the changer up on myrtle blocks it'll be more high end Personally, I think Onkyo did a nice job with that unit and if it lasts me 5-10 years I'll be happy.

Didn't you guys have a look see at that unit where you are and if so, what did you think?


To reply to smitty...
The post to which I responded appeared to me to be suggesting that all reasonably well-designed CD players sound the same.
This might depend on how we define well-designed and specify the conditions under which two CDP's are evaluated. Level matching ain't so easy smitty and when you consider that the CD spec is 2 volts output, then units which are 1.501V and 2.499V are still considered in spec. If you don't level match, you'll pick up on what mcnarnus mentioned earlier.

There seems to be a general consensus among those in the "objectivist" camp that all reasonably well-designed solid state amps sound the same.
Again, level matching is important. One can have an arguably well-designed solid state amp with around 0.5-1.0 ohm output impedance that when paired with a relatively low nominal impedance speaker will no longer be flat 20-20K. That's known. Maybe a better way of saying it is if you take two amps, level match them such that neither amp is driven beyond its capabilities, you'll be hard pressed to tell the difference reliably. Under no circumstances does either my interpretation or yours mean that any amp can drive any speaker equally well. Nope. You choose your speaker first, figure out its 'idiosyncracies', and choose an amp that'll drive it to the volumes you want at the distances you sit with the music you listen to. Using a sub, especially in a 2 channel setup, just makes life easier.

Assuming both propositions are correct, and cables make no difference (another proposition routinely advanced by "objectivists"), should not any combination of a reasonably well-designed CD player and reasonably well-designed SS amp sound the same, if played through the same set of speakers or headphones?
Reread my reply above. In addition, some amps for whatever reasons may have issues with outside intereference or have a propensity to ground loops. Spec's don't tell much. Measurements are better but even most measurements made don't account for weird scenarios that happen from time to time. How an amp behaves within 20-20K is one thing. How it behaves outside of that region may be important depending upon what's feeding it. Do a search under my name and 'Rega Planet' for an example. Level matching, and by that I don't mean using an SPL meter, is the key here. It's a big key.

As far as simplifying the matter to the point of absurdity, I'm just trying to illuminate the issue a little, for the benefit of folks who might stumble onto this thread and be fooled into thinking that alll well-designed CD players sound the same, regardless of how each handles the digital to analogue conversion.
Look if you don't level match and do blind tests you'll pick up differences. Sometimes rather substantial. If you do level match using test tones and a VOM, things change. Big time. Now, if you've got a slew of level matched comparisons that illustrate the majority of well-designed CDP's don't sound the same, let us in on it. Otherwise...

"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
Chu Gai is offline  
post #28 of 269 Old 01-03-2008, 07:12 PM
AVS Special Member
 
scorch123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 1,824
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty View Post

Assuming both propositions are correct, and cables make no difference (another proposition routinely advanced by "objectivists"), should not any combination of a reasonably well-designed CD player and reasonably well-designed SS amp sound the same, if played through the same set of speakers or headphones? What did I miss?

Hi smitty,

I see your point, but there are some things you may not be considering:

You are assuming that the analog output stages are designed similarly for any CD player or DAC, and similarly, the input stage of solid state amplifiers. Also, when you throw in cables, they represent an impedance load. For example, some cables are purposely designed to have higher capacitance than others. These kinds of design/electrical variables can translate into audible differences.

I do believe that you can get quite decent sound with a less than $300 cd player, by the way...

- Steve O.
scorch123 is offline  
post #29 of 269 Old 01-04-2008, 05:21 AM
 
PULLIAMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 8,516
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty View Post

should not any combination of a reasonably well-designed CD player and reasonably well-designed SS amp sound the same, if played through the same set of speakers or headphones?

Yes. And not just should, but do.
PULLIAMM is offline  
post #30 of 269 Old 01-04-2008, 09:34 AM
AVS Special Member
 
smitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 1,744
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorch123 View Post


You are assuming that the analog output stages are designed similarly for any CD player or DAC, and similarly, the input stage of solid state amplifiers. Also, when you throw in cables, they represent an impedance load. For example, some cables are purposely designed to have higher capacitance than others. These kinds of design/electrical variables can translate into audible differences.

I agree with you and I'm not really assuming anything. I think it's other folks who are assuming some things.
smitty is offline  
Closed Thread CD Players & Dedicated Music Transports

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off