Expensive CD players, are they worth it? - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 10:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by scientest View Post

...I own a very expensive turntable/tonearm/cartridge combination. Unless you like a rolled off high end (and you very well ma), compressed dynamics and a high noise floor, there's simply no way it can compare to even a cheap CD player. Still love my vinyl but I don't pretend it's an accurate reproduction medium compared to CDs...

Are you seriously suggesting that CD's actually sound better, dynamically, than LP's? I'm not arguing the fact that CD has the potential to sound better but I would suggest that given the way studios currently master CD's they often sound vastly inferior. There have been several, in depth, threads in this area on this issue and, after sifted for the normal BS and side arguments, make a rather compelling case for the superiority in sound of LP, dynamically speaking, over most of today's CDs.
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post #182 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by atdamico View Post

You show your desire for argument with your response. Any "normal" person with normal in this case being defined as someone with a sense of humor, somebody not overly sensitive to criticism, would have simply laughed at my post and recognized it for what it was, a tongue in cheek, response in an effort to lighten the mood. But now I really do see that you have issues. you need to lighten up, grow up, or give up.

Oh my bad. Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle. Hah, hah, Hah. I'll try to remember in the future what a funny and lighthearted guy you are. I should have picked up on this from your past posts on this issue. The sarcasm and insults that pervade those posts must have been in good fun also. Man, I'm such a dufus.
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post #183 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 11:07 AM
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I think it's possible you're dealing with a lawyer here....

Just remember that we're people too (or so it's been claimed).
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post #184 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by scientest View Post

Changing your set up is one thing, but tell me, what are you listening for? You keep dodging this question...

Give me a modern example? I don't think that statement has been true for the last 10 years (if it ever was for other than a couple of bad implementations)...

Dodging what question? I am listening for the best sound I can get/afford. And I compare what I hear in my system to what I have gone out and heard elsewhere (using my own music). Apparently you've never heard anything you didn't like if it "measured" well.
And you think all DACs and chips sound identical? I know for myself they don't all sound the same because I heard the differences, not because some piece of paper says they should or should not. Some CD players and outboard DAC's have options that can change the sound on the same player. I agree if you take 2 cd players that are made with basically the same chips and same transport etc. their going to sound about the same. But my Oppo does not sound identical to my Sony Changer, especially with SACD's. And the Sony playing analog out sounds especially different than its digital out to my Preamp.
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post #185 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 11:35 AM
 
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...Man, I'm such a dufus.

You see? We communicated perfectly and your statement is spot on.
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post #186 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atdamico View Post

Are you seriously suggesting that CD's actually sound better, dynamically, than LP's? I'm not arguing the fact that CD has the potential to sound better but I would suggest that given the way studios currently master CD's they often sound vastly inferior. There have been several, in depth, threads in this area on this issue and, after sifted for the normal BS and side arguments, make a rather compelling case for the superiority in sound of LP, dynamically speaking, over most of today's CDs.

First off, you're mixing up two completely different issues:

1) the dynamic range that the physical media is capable of;

2) how producers make use of that dynamic range.

The simple fact is that vinyl albums aren't physically capable of the same dynamic range as CDs.

Some producers are notorious for taking excess advantage of the capability of the CD media and there seems to be a competition of sorts to see who can produce the most over compressed dynamics. If they attempted to do the same thing with vinyl no consumer equipment (with the likely exception of an ELP laser turntable) would be able to play it back without severe mis-tracking.

The over compressed dynamics do in fact lead to crappy sounding CDs. However, suggesting that "most of today's CDs" suffer from these compressed dynamics is completely inane.

Here's a challenge, without resorting to internet resources, see if you can pick a bad example out of your collection that you think is common enough for many of us to own and if I have it somewhere in my 2000+ CDs I'll measure the actual dynamic range. You can tell us where you hear the problems and we'll see how that correlates to the actual measurements.
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post #187 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by dakar80124 View Post

Dodging what question?

Exactly what differences are you hearing? You keep telling us you hear differences but you don't tell us what they are!

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Originally Posted by dakar80124 View Post

But my Oppo does not sound identical to my Sony Changer, especially with SACD's. And the Sony playing analog out sounds especially different than its digital out to my Preamp.

Oooookkkkk, what are the differences?
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post #188 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by dakar80124 View Post

Some CD players and outboard DAC's have options that can change the sound on the same player. I agree if you take 2 cd players that are made with basically the same chips and same transport etc. their going to sound about the same. But my Oppo does not sound identical to my Sony Changer, especially with SACD's. And the Sony playing analog out sounds especially different than its digital out to my Preamp.

Are you speaking of 2 channel or multi-channel SACD's? I have an Oppo and 6 Sony changers and I run the changers through Escients and then digitally to a Yamaha RX-Z11. I have not heard any difference between the Oppo digitally and analog-do you have the 980?
As far as the Escients and the Sony changer, I run them all digitally and let the Yamaha do its thing. SACD's and DVD-A's are run through the Oppo throught HDMI. I tried an analog hook up and really didn't hear a difference on 2 channel. Didn't try analog out for multi-channel because that is the reason I got the Oppo.

Once I get a CD, I typically listen first through the Oppo (or previously a Denon and before that a California Audio) and then put it into "rotation" using the Escient and Sony's. I have never heard any difference. Now that I have written all that, I don't think it proves anything, but it is my experience. I was sold a California Audio DVD player that The Absolute Sound raved about because of its abilities as a high end CD player. I still have it. I don't think it sounds any different than my Oppo; however, my dealer friend assumes that it has to and that it MUST be better!
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post #189 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atdamico View Post

Are you seriously suggesting that CD's actually sound better, dynamically, than LP's? I'm not arguing the fact that CD has the potential to sound better but I would suggest that given the way studios currently master CD's they often sound vastly inferior. There have been several, in depth, threads in this area on this issue and, after sifted for the normal BS and side arguments, make a rather compelling case for the superiority in sound of LP, dynamically speaking, over most of today's CDs.

So if you copy the LP to a CD and then play it, can you tell the difference? Is the CD inferior to the copied LP? If not, then that would seem to be the way to go so that you can avoid the inevitable wear on the LP.
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post #190 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 12:29 PM
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Just again my 2 cents since this thread is never-ending. Perhaps the differences between cd players are so slight that only some people can perceive the differences. And it's not to say people who can't hear the difference have bad hearing. It might be the same thing like professional athletes watching a movie. Some professional athletes have field vision that is so good that any small error in the film print (which are usually in the corners) they notice right away. And it has nothing to do with 20/20 eyesight. It's just that they field of vision is so much wider then the average person. Which is part of the reason they are professional athletes.
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post #191 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 12:31 PM
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Perhaps the differences between cd players are so slight that only some people can perceive the differences.

Nope.
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post #192 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 12:41 PM
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A lawyer joke...as if there's a shortage!

Quote:


A big-city, California, lawyer went duck hunting in rural Texas. He shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a farmer's field on the other side of a fence. As the lawyer climbed over the fence, an elderly farmer drove up on his tractor and asked him what he was doing.

The litigator responded, "I shot a duck and it fell into this field, and now I'm going to retrieve it." The old farmer replied, "This is my property, and you are not coming over here."

The indignant lawyer said, "I am one of the best trial attorneys in the U.S. and, if you don't let me get that duck, I'll sue you and take everything you own." The old farmer smiled and said, "Apparently, you don't know how we do things in Texas. We settle small disagreements like this with the Texas Three-Kick Rule." The lawyer asked, "What is the Texas Three-Kick Rule?" The Farmer replied, "Well, first I kick you three times and then you kick me three times, and so on, back and forth, until someone gives up."

The attorney quickly thought about the proposed contest and decided that he could easily take the old codger. He agreed to abide by the local custom.

The old farmer slowly climbed down from the tractor and walked up to the city feller. His first kick planted the toe of his heavy work boot into the lawyer's groin and dropped him to his knees. His second kick nearly wiped the man's nose off his face. The barrister was flat on his belly when the farmer's third kick to a kidney nearly caused him to give up.

The lawyer summoned every bit of his will and managed to get to his feet and said, "Okay, you old coot! Now, it's my turn!" The old farmer smiled and said, "Naw, I give up. You can have the duck!"


"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
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post #193 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by scientest View Post

Exactly what differences are you hearing? You keep telling us you hear differences but you don't tell us what they are!

The basic premise that you are suggesting is that there should not be any difference in sound between 2 comparable CD players. that is what I was expressing.
So now as what the difference is - very apparent on the Sony via analog out - the soundstage seems small and very focused, it gives a nice phantom center speaker sound as if anyone sitting there thinks it is the center speaker providing much of the sound. Now I change my Preamp to the digital input (in stereo mode) and the soundstage now moves up higher and more spreadout wider and deeper. It sounds more like all three front speakers are more in unison and as if its coming from my actual LCD which is above my center speaker. Its a definite difference. Comparing my Oppo to the Sony - both as analog in - female voices sound slightly better to me on the Oppo. Just more real to me as singing in front of me. Some music I cannot hardly tell any differences such as harder rock. Mostly in the voices do I hear any differences but sometimes in the bass too.
I'm looking to compare my Oppo to one or two Marantz players here soon and determine if there is much of a difference in them.
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post #194 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 01:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scientest View Post

First off, you're mixing up two completely different issues:

1) the dynamic range that the physical media is capable of;

2) how producers make use of that dynamic range.

The simple fact is that vinyl albums aren't physically capable of the same dynamic range as CDs.

Some producers are notorious for taking excess advantage of the capability of the CD media and there seems to be a competition of sorts to see who can produce the most over compressed dynamics. If they attempted to do the same thing with vinyl no consumer equipment (with the likely exception of an ELP laser turntable) would be able to play it back without severe mis-tracking.

The over compressed dynamics do in fact lead to crappy sounding CDs. However, suggesting that "most of today's CDs" suffer from these compressed dynamics is completely inane.

Here's a challenge, without resorting to internet resources, see if you can pick a bad example out of your collection that you think is common enough for many of us to own and if I have it somewhere in my 2000+ CDs I'll measure the actual dynamic range. You can tell us where you hear the problems and we'll see how that correlates to the actual measurements.


First off, I wasn't mixing the issues. I understand them very well which is why I specifically stated that CD had the "potential" of a much broader range or dynamic range if you perfer. And I also specifically stated that it was the mastering process that didn't take advantage of it. I don't and didn't argue the simple fact that CD's are cabable of a broader dynamic range than LP's. So frankly I don't understand the first part of your post as it makes no sense based on the statements I posted. Perhaps you may want to re-read them?

Second I don't debate with As**hole* that say that I am insane. I don't remember personally attacking you I simply questioned the statement. Attacking positions and statements is a far cry from personally attacking the poster. So bugger off.
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post #195 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 01:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Randybes View Post

So if you copy the LP to a CD and then play it, can you tell the difference? Is the CD inferior to the copied LP? If not, then that would seem to be the way to go so that you can avoid the inevitable wear on the LP.

IMO the answer to your questions are No. I don't believe one could tell the difference (assuming the transfer is done properly)
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post #196 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by atdamico View Post

First off, I wasn't mixing the issues. I understand them very well which is why I specifically stated that CD had the "potential" of a much broader range or dynamic range if you perfer. And I also specifically stated that it was the mastering process that didn't take advantage of it. I don't and didn't argue the simple fact that CD's are cabable of a broader dynamic range than LP's.

If you understand all this what was the point of your post in the first place?

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Second I don't debate with As**hole* that say that I am insane. I don't remember personally attacking you I simply questioned the statement. Attacking positions and statements is a far cry from personally attacking the poster. So bugger off.

Lovely, read more carefully: I didn't call you "insane", I said "suggesting that "most of today's CDs" suffer from these compressed dynamics is completely inane." as in "lacking sense".
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post #197 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by atdamico View Post

IMO the answer to your questions are No. I don't believe one could tell the difference (assuming the transfer is done properly)

I actually intend to do this with my LP collection; however, so far I have been too lazy. I haven't bought any newer LP's so I can't really compare them to their counterpart CD's.
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post #198 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by dakar80124 View Post

So now as what the difference is - very apparent on the Sony via analog out - the soundstage seems small and very focused, it gives a nice phantom center speaker sound as if anyone sitting there thinks it is the center speaker providing much of the sound. Now I change my Preamp to the digital input (in stereo mode) and the soundstage now moves up higher and more spreadout wider and deeper. It sounds more like all three front speakers are more in unison and as if its coming from my actual LCD which is above my center speaker. Its a definite difference.

You do understand that there are a lot more variables at play here than the DAC?

Just to make sure we understand; what pre-amp are you using? I take it there is no signal processing (phantom center channel) going on at any point? Just direct stereo in both cases?

Do _really_ you think you could pick out this difference in a blind test? Depending on your preamp it can be pretty easy to setup with a little bit of help...
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post #199 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by scientest View Post

You do understand that there are a lot more variables at play here than the DAC?

Just to make sure we understand; what pre-amp are you using? I take it there is no signal processing (phantom center channel) going on at any point? Just direct stereo in both cases?

Do _really_ you think you could pick out this difference in a blind test? Depending on your preamp it can be pretty easy to setup with a little bit of help...

I have a NAD Pre. Set as stereo mode for each input. I've demonstrated this difference to 2 others and asked them- do you hear a difference? And they both did. I realize that some differences can be minute and hard to distinguish but not in this case. As I mentioned, I seek to find out for myself what differences there are and what I am describing to you is what is leading me to now try out some other CD players.
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post #200 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 01:58 PM
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Your copy-paste shows that he said inane. You really need to settle down and read people's posts more carefully.

LEARN 2 READ.
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Originally Posted by Pitot Static View Post

Your copy-paste shows that he said inane. You really need to settle down and read people's posts more carefully.

LEARN 2 READ.

You are right. I should practice what I preach!
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post #202 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 02:10 PM
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You are right. I should practice what I preach!

Perhaps you wouldn't mind going back and editing your previous post to remove the nasty part?
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post #203 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by dakar80124 View Post

I have a NAD Pre.

M15 or some earlier model?
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post #204 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 02:34 PM
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I have the newer T175, nice unit although a couple of quirks. I've had several older various preamps and receivers in the past.
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post #205 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by dakar80124 View Post

I have the newer T175, nice unit although a couple of quirks. I've had several older various preamps and receivers in the past.

Not familiar with that model at all. Looks like it should be possible to run both the analog and digital outputs of the Sony at the same time? Can you level trim the inputs (do you have a volt meter?)? Can you rename inputs? If so, try this, have someone else rename both inputs (A, B) and see if you can pick which is which. Probably a PITA to do several times, but if you could you'd be getting close to a real test even if it's only single blind.

Of course you may in fact be hearing a difference. I don't think it can be the DACs but the circuity for the analog and digital inputs has to be completely different.

One thought occurs to me; I wonder if the Sony gets absolute phase correct? Some CD players invert on their analog outs (and I believe some also do on their digital outs) and some people are reportedly sensitive to absolute phase. Can you invert phase on the NAD and see what that does to the soundstage you're hearing?
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post #206 of 540 Old 02-27-2008, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scientest View Post

The over compressed dynamics do in fact lead to crappy sounding CDs. However, suggesting that "most of today's CDs" suffer from these compressed dynamics is completely inane.

Here's a challenge, without resorting to internet resources, see if you can pick a bad example out of your collection that you think is common enough for many of us to own and if I have it somewhere in my 2000+ CDs I'll measure the actual dynamic range. You can tell us where you hear the problems and we'll see how that correlates to the actual measurements.

How about many CDs that are geared toward the mainstream market? What exactly would you hear anyway? Lack of dynamic range creates an overall louder recording, so what you're not hearing is the actual volume between different parts of the recording. Often, it will sound fine, if not better, on first listen, but the overall effect is just kind of tiresome.

What I hear is more of a wall of sound as opposed to a more pleasing nuanced presentation. One CD that seems dynamic range compressed, not to mention digitally clipped, is Keb' Mo's Suitcase. Everything slams you at just about the same volume. And even though I like the music, I can't get through Amy Winehouse's Back to Black due to how loud and clipped every song is.

Modern recordings are abusing the advantages that CD has over LP. Instead of using the dynamic range, they're pushing everything to near the max.
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Like Amy Winehouse would ever be in a mental state to comment intelligently on anything she does

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post #208 of 540 Old 02-28-2008, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scientest View Post

Not familiar with that model at all. Looks like it should be possible to run both the analog and digital outputs of the Sony at the same time? Can you level trim the inputs (do you have a volt meter?)? Can you rename inputs? If so, try this, have someone else rename both inputs (A, B) and see if you can pick which is which. Probably a PITA to do several times, but if you could you'd be getting close to a real test even if it's only single blind.

Of course you may in fact be hearing a difference. I don't think it can be the DACs but the circuity for the analog and digital inputs has to be completely different.

One thought occurs to me; I wonder if the Sony gets absolute phase correct? Some CD players invert on their analog outs (and I believe some also do on their digital outs) and some people are reportedly sensitive to absolute phase. Can you invert phase on the NAD and see what that does to the soundstage you're hearing?

I reset my Pre last night and had to go aback in and reassign inputs etc. I now think the big difference in soundstage I heard before was due to the Preamps speaker level and distance settings which is used in Stereo mode. I need to only listen to them in Analog Bypass to get the real difference and I don't think thats what I was doing. So I'll be checking this out again, but with a new CD player I'm going to try out as well.
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post #209 of 540 Old 02-28-2008, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpco View Post

Modern recordings are abusing the advantages that CD has over LP. Instead of using the dynamic range, they're pushing everything to near the max.

I suppose if you do nothing but listen to nothing but modern rock, rap and hop hop you _might_ be able to view this as a pervasive problem. I have about 15 to 30 CDs pass through my hands each month in many different genres. I _occasionally_ (less than once a month) hear something with offensive dynamic compression and if I get really suspect of what is going on I'll grab the WAV and pop it into Audacity and have a look at what's really going on. Sometimes it bothers me enough that I see what I can do to fix it (another reason the Sonos rocks!) but I mostly don't see the need (usually the music isn't good enough to make me care in the first place).

Yeah, compression of dynamics is a problem, but this doesn't somehow magically make vinyl a better media than CDs. I really don't get what the point of this digression is?
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post #210 of 540 Old 02-28-2008, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakar80124 View Post

I now think the big difference in soundstage I heard before was due to the Preamps speaker level and distance settings which is used in Stereo mode. I need to only listen to them in Analog Bypass to get the real difference and I don't think thats what I was doing. So I'll be checking this out again, but with a new CD player I'm going to try out as well.

Hmm, that reminds me, I'll have to go into the Denon and see if it has separate settings for each input. That indeed would make a huge difference. Would be interested to hear what you find...
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Closed Thread CD Players & Dedicated Music Transports

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