why am i not impressed more? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 147 Old 01-13-2008, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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so...i had my older pioneer dvd player (626) hooked up with an optical connect to my h/k avr130 to my monitor audio gs10's. it sounded great in stereo. just got a rega apollo and have it hooked up analog to the h/k and it is hard to tell the difference between the two players! the apollo does sound a shade smoother overall, but i think there should be a bigger diffference. due to not having a proper interconnect, i an using a $2.99 one for now (i know, i know). please tell me this is why my sound is not as good as it should be! maybe the cdp is not run in enough? maybe it's my receiver? all speculations welcome!...thanks.
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post #2 of 147 Old 01-13-2008, 11:09 AM
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Take a look at the CD Players & Dedicated Music Transports forum here (that's the one this thread is in). You'll see several recent threads on this general question:
--What is it about 300+ dollar cd players that makes them sound better??
--Expensive CD players, are they worth it?
--Law Of Diminishing Returns - CD Players

Scroll through them and you'll discover that there are a lot of us who do not think most CD players--cheap, expensive, or otherwise--sound very different at all. Whatever difference you do hear might simply be the result of the players having slightly different output levels.

And no, your $2.99 interconnect is not the problem. And no, CD players do not "break in." There's a lot of hype and not a little hooey in audiophilia.

If you really want to improve the sound of your system, think about your speakers, and think about your room. That's where the sound quality really varies.

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

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post #3 of 147 Old 01-13-2008, 11:34 AM
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It's a pity PoundHound.

Many people tend to expect huge improvements when acquiring new expensive audio gear. Unfortunately, it has been demonstrated (at least to a reasonable point) that it is extremely difficult to notice differences between different CD players in DBT, regardless of their price.

I would expect better construction quality, high quality components and ultimately a better reliability in the expensive units, but that's all.

You may be interested in reading the threads Mcnarus already mention.
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post #4 of 147 Old 01-13-2008, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

If you really want to improve the sound of your system, think about your speakers, and think about your room. That's where the sound quality really varies.

Agree totaly with your comment. If you are NOT happy with the Rega, can you return it? There is nothing worse then buyers remorse.

Recently, I purchased a Marantz player and when comparing it to my older Sony 555ES multi changer, I can hear a difference in Red Book and SACD. However, was/is the difference the total WOW factor. No. However, I anticipated the results to be like this. If you were expecting to be floored, perhaps your expectations exceeded the results.

My personal experience tells me sometimes you need to spend more money to get small incremental improvements. The question I try to always ask myself is would it be worth the added cost. As Jorge has mentioned, speakers and room treatments are always a good start if you want to acquire the WOW factor.

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post #5 of 147 Old 01-13-2008, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Poundhound View Post

so...i had my older pioneer dvd player (626) hooked up with an optical connect to my h/k avr130 to my monitor audio gs10's. it sounded great in stereo. just got a rega apollo and have it hooked up analog to the h/k and it is hard to tell the difference between the two players! the apollo does sound a shade smoother overall, but i think there should be a bigger diffference. due to not having a proper interconnect, i an using a $2.99 one for now (i know, i know). please tell me this is why my sound is not as good as it should be! maybe the cdp is not run in enough? maybe it's my receiver? all speculations welcome!...thanks.

Could be a number of things. I think it is possible or even probable that you would notice a bigger difference with an upgrade in speakers and then a better avr, as I think the differences in sources are more readily apparent the better the equipment in the rest of the chain. On the other hand, there could be other explanations too. It may depend on what kind of music you listen to, or what your room environment is, or it may be that you will find a more substantial difference with longer term listening. Some of the differences between CD players might not be immediately apparent as soon as you switch to a new player, and it is not clear how long ago you made the change.

I would also venture to say that the ability to discern differences in sources is something that develops over time with more experience listening to different types of equipment. And I would generally say that the differences between sources are not a matter of Wow!, but are often more subtle. It may take some time to really appreciate these differences, again depending on what you are listening to.

I would give yourself a little more time with the new player and see how things develop over a couple of weeks. I might change the interconnect to a decent low-cost interconnect, as I'm not even sure what you get for $2.99 nowadays.

After you've had the player for awhile, then you could consider upgrading your speakers and the avr if you're still not getting the sound you were hoping for. I would also suggest that, if you consider an upgrade, you consider buying from some place that offers a 30-day return. Then you get upgrade the other parts of your system and see if it helps. If it doesn't you can return the equipment or try something else. Sometimes achieving the sound you want takes some effort and some experimentation, and the nice thing about all these stores that offer return periods nowadays is that you can try some different things and let your own ears be the judge.
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post #6 of 147 Old 01-13-2008, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Smitty View Post


...Some of the differences between CD players might not be immediately apparent as soon as you switch to a new player, and it is not clear how long ago you made the change.

Nope, the break-in period related to electronic components is just another myth. Many salesmen and advertisers use the break-in argument precisely to avoid experiences like PoundHound's.

Have you ever heard of cognitive dissonance?
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post #7 of 147 Old 01-13-2008, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by JorgeLopez11 View Post

Nope, the break-in period related to electronic components is just another myth. Many salesmen and advertisers use the break-in argument precisely to avoid experiences like PoundHound's.

Have you ever heard of cognitive dissonance?

I wasn't suggesting electronic break in. I was suggesting he take some time to get used to and adjust to the player.

Let's not make this another thread containing arguments between the subjectivist and objectivist two camps. He asked for comments about why he wasn't hearing a difference and I gave him mine. You gave him yours. I'm sure he's an intelligent fellow and will consider the various points of view and do what's best for him.
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post #8 of 147 Old 01-13-2008, 06:25 PM
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Ok Smitty. Fair enough.

In any case I think that Rega is a solid CD player that I'd keep for CD reproduction.
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post #9 of 147 Old 01-13-2008, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by smitty View Post

Let's not make this another thread containing arguments between the subjectivist and objectivist two camps. He asked for comments about why he wasn't hearing a difference and I gave him mine. You gave him yours. I'm sure he's an intelligent fellow and will consider the various points of view and do what's best for him.

Agreed. This area of AVS is not as dynamic as many of the other areas and sometimes I think it's because of the "All Players Sound the Same" people and the latter, which seem to occur here on a frequent basis. It's better to just provide your opinion and let the original poster find his own truth.

Jorge and Smitty: I think you both have valid points where equipment synergy and room environment will all contribute to the output. The Rega is a very solid performer that most would be very happy to own.

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post #10 of 147 Old 01-13-2008, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mozvz View Post

Agreed. This area of AVS is not as dynamic as many of the other areas and sometimes I think it's because of the "All Players Sound the Same" people and the latter, which seem to occur here on a frequent basis. It's better to just provide your opinion and let the original poster find his own truth.

I don't agree with the above poster at all. I think you people should all argue.

This way you can all distract the original poster while I sneak into his house and steal his Rega!

"It is worse still to be ignorant of your ignorance."
-- Saint Jerome (374 AD - 419 AD)

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post #11 of 147 Old 01-13-2008, 07:11 PM
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Upgrading your speakers will definitely make your new CD player sound better. But it would also make your old CD player sound better.

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

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post #12 of 147 Old 01-13-2008, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by JorgeLopez11 View Post

Many people tend to expect huge improvements when acquiring new expensive audio gear. .

Well, after 20+ years of brainwashing from the hi-end, it is not surprising.
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post #13 of 147 Old 01-13-2008, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poundhound View Post

so...i had my older pioneer dvd player (626) hooked up with an optical connect to my h/k avr130 to my monitor audio gs10's. it sounded great in stereo. just got a rega apollo and have it hooked up analog to the h/k and it is hard to tell the difference between the two players! the apollo does sound a shade smoother overall, but i think there should be a bigger diffference. due to not having a proper interconnect, i an using a $2.99 one for now (i know, i know). please tell me this is why my sound is not as good as it should be! maybe the cdp is not run in enough? maybe it's my receiver? all speculations welcome!...thanks.

Welcome to the club. I bought a Benchmark DAC-1 expecting "WOW!!" based on all the positive press.

I ended up with subtle differences, at best. Subtle wasn't worth $1K to me so I sent it back in the return period.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #14 of 147 Old 01-14-2008, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for all the responses! i'm new to this hi fi thing. it's funny, because i consider my monitor audio gold signature standmounts to be a pretty good upgrade already. they are revealing indeed and blew me away when i first got them home. i just thought an apollo would have to be a major upgrade from the universal player, but that dac in my h/k may be better than i thought. i've only had the apollo for the weekend so far, and it is a nice player. the more i listen the more i like it. i can notice a slightly fuller sound, more engaging vocals, and a smoother top end than my other player, but it is not a night and day difference. i thought it would be. you live and you learn, i guess. i am not unhappy because i bought it barely used on a pretty good deal...
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post #15 of 147 Old 01-14-2008, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
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now, it has got me thinking...what is up with all these absolutely gushing reviews about the apollo. i've probably read ten "professional" reviews in magazines and online that recomend this component without any hesitation at all. all the press really does make me think i'm missing something...i do plan on upgrading my power supply and i'm sure it would make everything sound better. i'm sure there are some rolling eyes out there because i'm driving these speakers with a small h/k receiver, and using a very poor interconnect...but like i said...i'm new to this...
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post #16 of 147 Old 01-14-2008, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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never dealt with these guys before, but would an rca interconnect from blue jeans cable be a good place to start with helping out my cdp? i'm not sure i can justify $225.00 for an audioquest king cobra. (also considering some of bjc's canare four conductor speaker cable for bi-wire).

not trying to go off topic here but,
any threads on bjc's?
(search didn't yield any results)

i appreciate your help...
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post #17 of 147 Old 01-14-2008, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poundhound View Post

never dealt with these guys before, but would an rca interconnect from blue jeans cable be a good place to start with helping out my cdp? i'm not sure i can justify $225.00 for an audioquest king cobra. (also considering some of bjc's canare four conductor speaker cable for bi-wire).

not trying to go off topic here but,
any threads on bjc's?
(search didn't yield any results)

i appreciate your help...

If you want a quality cable at a reasonable price, BJC is great. However, if you were let down by your expectations of audible improvement with the CDP, be prepared to be let down even more by differences in cables.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #18 of 147 Old 01-14-2008, 04:14 PM
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now, it has got me thinking...what is up with all these absolutely gushing reviews about the apollo. i've probably read ten "professional" reviews in magazines and online that recomend this component without any hesitation at all. all the press really does make me think i'm missing something.

Maybe you should trust your ears before you trust any reviewers.

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

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post #19 of 147 Old 01-14-2008, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Maybe you should trust your ears before you trust any reviewers.

Yes, definitely. Don't allow other people to tell you what you must hear or not hear. Consider their advice, but in the end, you need to use your ears to make your own judgment.
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post #20 of 147 Old 01-14-2008, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post

If you want a quality cable at a reasonable price, BJC is great. However, if you were let down by your expectations of audible improvement with the CDP, be prepared to be let down even more by differences in cables.

I agree wholeheartedly with your comment about being let down if you anticipate a major change with a new cable. However, if you decide to purchase any cable, BJC is a great place to do business. They build quality cables at a reasonable price.

It's always easy to spend other people's money, but if your HK has preouts and this was my system, I would not spend money on expensive cables and a new power supply. What I would do is purchase an external amp and use the pre-outs on the receiver. Make sure you are able to return the amp just in case you are not in the WOW state when you connect it if you go that route. It seems you are happy with the Monitor audio gs10's and room treatments are not possible? These thoughts are based on no experience with the Monitor speakers or the HK receiver. I have no idea of their capabilities.

As smitty, mcnarus and whoaru99 have shared, you have to decide what is right for yourself based on your personal listening experience. The guys here are very helpful and we all want you to make purchases that maximize the power of your pocketbook and in turn, purchase quality equipment that enhances your listening experience.

"Man plans, God laughs"
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post #21 of 147 Old 01-14-2008, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poundhound View Post

never dealt with these guys before, but would an rca interconnect from blue jeans cable be a good place to start with helping out my cdp? i'm not sure i can justify $225.00 for an audioquest king cobra. (also considering some of bjc's canare four conductor speaker cable for bi-wire).

not trying to go off topic here but,
any threads on bjc's?
(search didn't yield any results)

i appreciate your help...

Blue Jeans Cable is the real deal. They don't push any of the snake oil that seems to permeate hi-fi today. They believe in cable with high conductance, high noise rejection characteristics terminated with high quality connectors. It's no-nonsense and it works. I use it in my 2.1 system and have had no issues whatsoever. Sorry if this sounds like an ad.
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post #22 of 147 Old 01-14-2008, 06:14 PM
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i'll add to the bjc lovefest... great quality, great price...

i'll also add to the "trust your ears" advice...

- chris

 

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post #23 of 147 Old 01-14-2008, 08:30 PM
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I'm curious, do you guys think there's an audible difference between a BJC interconnect and a $5 generic Phillips interconnect from Walmart?
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post #24 of 147 Old 01-14-2008, 08:49 PM
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I'm curious, do you guys think there's an audible difference between a BJC interconnect and a $5 generic Phillips interconnect from Walmart?

Yes. I'm not big into the whole "intangible" aspect of hi-fi, but I have to say that My BJC wiring and interconnects did make a difference from the cheapo cables and wiring I had before. Of course, I was using some old car audio wiring and the cheapest interconnect I could get at BB at the time. The biggest thing that I noticed was that movies, CDs and TV sounded quieter and fuller. It was enough of a difference for me to notice. And I really only did it to make everything "look" better by having all the cabling uniform.
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post #25 of 147 Old 01-14-2008, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbo2222 View Post

I'm curious, do you guys think there's an audible difference between a BJC interconnect and a $5 generic Phillips interconnect from Walmart?

As long as the wire is of the same gauge and the connector is correct. There will be ABSOLUTLY NO DIFFERENCE. There was a nice DB test done by a audiophile here who thought he could tell and he could not. It is all physics there is no magic to it at all.

I challenge the fellow who just posted that he heard a difference to do a DBT.
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post #26 of 147 Old 01-15-2008, 06:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poundhound View Post

so...i had my older pioneer dvd player (626) hooked up with an optical connect to my h/k avr130 to my monitor audio gs10's. it sounded great in stereo. just got a rega apollo and have it hooked up analog to the h/k and it is hard to tell the difference between the two players! the apollo does sound a shade smoother overall, but i think there should be a bigger diffference. due to not having a proper interconnect, i an using a $2.99 one for now (i know, i know). please tell me this is why my sound is not as good as it should be! maybe the cdp is not run in enough? maybe it's my receiver? all speculations welcome!...thanks.

It doesn't sound much better because cheap DVD players already achieve the best possible sound quality from CDs, leaving no room for improvement.
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post #27 of 147 Old 01-15-2008, 06:20 AM
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Quote:


I'm curious, do you guys think there's an audible difference between a BJC interconnect and a $5 generic Phillips interconnect from Walmart?

In terms of immediate sound quality, no. BJC might be a little more robust, though. And if the shielding is different, there might be cases where it solves a noise problem, I suppose.

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

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post #28 of 147 Old 01-15-2008, 06:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbo2222 View Post

I'm curious, do you guys think there's an audible difference between a BJC interconnect and a $5 generic Phillips interconnect from Walmart?

Assuming same guage, no.
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post #29 of 147 Old 01-15-2008, 06:59 AM
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If you're hoping that changing out your present interconnects which are only a couple of meters for something else which is a couple of meters will serve to bring out that 'je ne sais quoi' in your purchase, don't bet on it.

"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 #30 of 147 Old 01-15-2008, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by speco2003 View Post

As long as the wire is of the same gauge and the connector is correct. There will be ABSOLUTLY NO DIFFERENCE. There was a nice DB test done by a audiophile here who thought he could tell and he could not. It is all physics there is no magic to it at all.

I challenge the fellow who just posted that he heard a difference to do a DBT.

I could tell the difference. I guess I'm not an audiophile like some here, but I could hear a difference when I didn't expect to. I did use heavier gauge wires all around just to be on the safe side. If that's what made a difference, i'm not sure, but it did sound different.
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