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high-end CD player .. worth it? - Page 2

post #31 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

I've never heard what I would characterize as a "big" difference between CD players. Differences are subtle. Differences in rooms or loudspeakers are what I would characterize as "big" differences.

Differences in something like a CDP are relatively subtle. A listener may find those subtle difference significant in their system, significant enough to be worth spending money and time on, but I certainly would disagree with anyone who would characterize these differences as "night and day" or something like that. IF you're looking for that kind of a change, look elsewhere. Playing back a CD is not difficult to do extremely well.

Completely agree. By big, big in respect to differences in electronics. Bigger than, say most amp differences. Big as in a NE5532 vs LM4562. Big, in that I was totally blown away by the difference I expected to be barely if at all audible. I totally agree, room treatments and speakers are the 99% part of the equation. Worry about electronic differences after one spends more than a car on the speakers and treatments. So, "big" is relative to the topic.

I also completely agree with your last statement. It is not hard. Use a good chip and good op-amp. That is all there is to it. That is why I have become a big fan of Chinese external DAC's and any half-decent CD with a clean lens. Worth it to me. I already have extensive room treatments and build my own speakers, constantly. Could any big brand just put in the $15 DAC and $8 Op-amp over the $4 & $1 in their $150 CD and sell it for $200? You-betch'a! But why not put on the expensive faceplate and sell it for $800? Capitalism.
post #32 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

People who make comments like yours fall into two categories; those who have never really heard a quality sound system...and those who are never going to spend more than $500 on a sound system and don't want to acknowledge that there might be something better.

Or those that actually know a thing or two about how a system works. I've spent nearly as much as you have, have more experience than you have, and I found your original post ridiculous as well.

What kind of room treatments are you using in your system? I saw no mention of that when you were explaining what makes a great system. Odd for someone with so much experience.

And how many times are you going to edit your posts? It makes it hard to reply.
post #33 of 266
And yet another edit. Talk about intellectually challenged...
post #34 of 266
Ehh, let's see. How long before we hear the first cries of "how many DBT's have been done"? Should be any minute..........
post #35 of 266
And another edit. Just how many tries does it take to get your point across?
post #36 of 266
Quote:


Last edited by commsysman; Today at 12:39 PM..

Again?
post #37 of 266
Quote:


Last edited by commsysman; Today at 12:41 PM..

And again.
post #38 of 266
Quote:


Last edited by commsysman; Today at 01:01 PM..

Must be all that experience.
post #39 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I always appreciate constructive criticism.

That's fine. Lets discuss CDP and the related topics, shall we? Perhaps you could start by answering these questions I posted.
post #40 of 266
To each his own. I replaced a totally respectable $500 CDP with a truly amazing $6500 machine and I am completely thrilled with the difference. Is the improvement there because psychologically I want to hear it? Maybe but it works for me. I'm happy! YMMV.
post #41 of 266
Geek and One are both correct. Geek is interested in accuracy ( measurable, reproducible, and accepted procedures), One is happy with the sound. Two goals, two solutions. Otherwise it would be very boring around here.

I am in both camps; Interested in what measurable differences characterize the sound I hear, but I also go in the other room and just enjoy the sound.
post #42 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by onemalt View Post

Is the improvement there because psychologically I want to hear it?

You certainly can find out if you are curious. There have been numerous posts made on the methods for it in this section of the forum.

Quote:
Maybe but it works for me. I'm happy! YMMV.

There can be 2 types of ignorance to choose from to achieve that happiness, one that can cost a lot of money and the other that can save a lot of money. Of course, the choice is one's own.
post #43 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post

Two goals, two solutions.

Are you sure there are not less or more than two goals and solutions?
Quote:
Otherwise it would be very boring around here.

How do you know that?
post #44 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

Of course, the choice is one's own.

Precisely. I wish you much happiness and satisfaction in your choice of pursuits.
post #45 of 266
Personally I have stopped obsessing about the "sound" of audio electronics. As I see it, if there are no technical reasons why they should sound different, they won't. And as far as I know, most audio electronics are technically similar enough within their product category to say that there are indeed no technical reasons why they should sound different. Unless of course you mix in tubes or various EQ and things like that. But then that would be "technical reasons" for a difference in sound, right?

Also, as I have begun to understand just how easily our auditory sense can be tripped up, subjective reviews and "testimonials" have lost most of their value. I believe psychology plays a considerably bigger role in audiophilia than most would like to believe or admit even if they did believe it. If someone hears a difference when there shouldn't be one, as far as I see it (based on psychology), it's in that persons head. I wouldn't even trust my own ears completely under uncontrolled listening conditions.

For me, the important thing to know with electronics would be if it will fit my needs functionally, and wether it's reliable. I'm not interested in electronics that add or subtract something from the sound (EQ/room-correction not included), so unless there is something wrong with it, I don't expect it to sound different. I prefer to put my efforts into finding a better sounding speaker or better acoustics (sadly I'm a bit short on funds for any of that, but that's another story...)

So, for me a "high-end" CD-player wouldn't be worth it. However, I avoid openly judging those who do buy them. If money is not an issue, why not? Many of them look really nice, and if that or anything else makes you want to buy it, even a perceived difference in sound, then go ahead! I respect onemalts position on this.

It doesn't hurt to challange one's beliefs every now and then though. And in a forum where many consumers are looking for advice, a critical/sceptical view should be more than welcome. I am glad that it is here on AVS, but it certainly isn't welcome on many other forums devoted to audio. If you are a consumer looking for advice it's far too easy to be swept away by the various audio myths out there. And on many forums I have visited, these myths are reinforced rather than challanged. So a place like this forum is really needed.
post #46 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by onemalt View Post

Precisely.

If you have seen the movie The Matrix, I'm sure you would recognize what red pill and blue pill represent. It seems that you don't consider it to be important which pill one takes as long as he is happy with where it leads him to. Important thing to know is that unlike the fantasy, there is always the reality whether one chooses to acknowledge it or not.
post #47 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

If you have seen the movie The Matrix, I'm sure you would recognize what red pill and blue pill represent. It seems that you don't consider it to be important which pill one takes as long as he is happy with where it leads him to. Important thing to know is that unlike the fantasy, there is always the reality whether one chooses to acknowledge it or not.

Your reality. Have fun with it. I am not challenging your opinion, belief or perception. I simply acknowledge that there is often a healthy difference in those opinions and don't feel it necessary to intellectually "twist the arms" of those who don't share mine until they say uncle. With that I say uncle and goodnight.
post #48 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by onemalt View Post

Your reality. Have fun with it. I am not challenging your opinion, belief or perception. I simply acknowledge that there is often a healthy difference in those opinions and don't feel it necessary to intellectually "twist the arms" of those who don't share mine until they say uncle. With that I say uncle and goodnight.

You have missed my point. I wrote "the reality".
I'm curious, your time and money spent on your audio equipments, was it an attempt to achieve hi-fi (high fidelity)?
post #49 of 266
Yes I do believe Hi-End CD players to be worth it - at least now I've found one I love.

Half lion, half eagle .... my new Gryphon - Mikado Signature CD player !











I almost found out about Gryphon by accident and wish they had rather more coverage in the UK. Being from Denmark, they seem not to advertise over here and only have one UK dealer as far as I know - with them being in Scotland.

I compared this to other CD players from Moon [which would have matched my amps visually, but it wasn't to be] + Chord + Audio Research .... yet this player has a real magic about it. It injects 'life' in to everything you play and adds a live feel to recordings, even if it was done in the studio. It has a warmth and musicality, whilst still delivering drive and impact. Just what I was after then.

:-)
post #50 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by onemalt View Post

To each his own. I replaced a totally respectable $500 CDP with a truly amazing $6500 machine and I am completely thrilled with the difference. Is the improvement there because psychologically I want to hear it? Maybe but it works for me. I'm happy! YMMV.

I used the $6000 Ayre C5-Xe for 3 years, as has John Atkinson of Stereophile in his own system, and it was/is better than anything I had ever heard for under $10,000 until two months ago.

I now have the Sony SCD-XA5400ES, which in my opinion is by far the best SACD/CD player I have ever heard. I would have gladly spent $8000 for it, if I needed to...but it only costs $1500.

I don't know what you have, but I think you will abandon it after you hear the new Sony. It is going to send a lot of engineers at a lot of high-end companies back to their drawing boards.
post #51 of 266
posts deleted: no need to attack other members
post #52 of 266
King George II, good post (#45), excellently expressed. I agree wholeheartedly.
post #53 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Air View Post

Yes I do believe Hi-End CD players to be worth it - at least now I've found one I love.

Half lion, half eagle .... my new Gryphon - Mikado Signature CD player !











I almost found out about Gryphon by accident and wish they had rather more coverage in the UK. Being from Denmark, they seem not to advertise over here and only have one UK dealer as far as I know - with them being in Scotland.

I compared this to other CD players from Moon [which would have matched my amps visually, but it wasn't to be] + Chord + Audio Research .... yet this player has a real magic about it. It injects 'life' in to everything you play and adds a live feel to recordings, even if it was done in the studio. It has a warmth and musicality, whilst still delivering drive and impact. Just what I was after then.

:-)


Looks impressive but it probably costs more than what I paid for my house :-)
post #54 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mupi View Post

Looks impressive but it probably costs more than what I paid for my house :-)

The trick is to inherit the house and spend the money on the gear...lol.
post #55 of 266
Thread Starter 
If you use a high quality integrated amp with optical digital inputs, then the DAC in a CD player is a "don't care", correct? Then we wouldn't also need an external DAC.
How is the CA 650A in this regard?
Rob
post #56 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by albireo13 View Post

If you use a high quality integrated amp with optical digital inputs, then the DAC in a CD player is a "don't care", correct? Then we wouldn't also need an external DAC.
How is the CA 650A in this regard?
Rob

True but the problem is many analog only int. amps dont have digital inputs.

I would not hesitate to pay some $800 if an int. amp had digital inputs and used the same DACs that are used in the high-end CD players of the same brand. I dont see digital inputs on 650A
post #57 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by albireo13 View Post

If you use a high quality integrated amp with optical digital inputs, then the DAC in a CD player is a "don't care", correct? Then we wouldn't also need an external DAC.
How is the CA 650A in this regard?
Rob

As I understand it, the DAC is in the CD player is still "partly care" because the CD player cannot output optical digital for Super Audio CD (SACD) [see AK post #24 & 28].

If you want SACD you have to use the DAC in the CD player and the analog outputs of the CD player.

Bottom line: If you want SACD, buy a CD player that supports SACD and has the best possible DAC you can afford.
post #58 of 266
I got one of the first CD players on the market many years ago. It was a Phillips that originally was about $900.00 and as I came to find out had analog filters. When the laser went out about a year later the store gave me a loaner while mine was being repaired. It was an expensive Yamaha with digital filters and I could tell the difference almost instantly and it was not for the better. Now days I believe that most use a combination of filters to get the best sound and I can't tell much difference between my $1,500.00 hdcd recorder and my $350.00 sony cd recorder.

Recently I was looking for a decent SACD player and after reading a lot on the subject I bought an entry level Sony that had good reviews. Maybe I am wrong but the biggest difference as I understand it is between units that play dvd and SACD's vs just SACD through multi channel analog outputs. Units that play both convert the SACD signal to PCM which is what a regular cd puts out to begin with so you are not really gaining any benifit as I see it from buying a high dollar combination unit.
post #59 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by aabottom View Post

If you want SACD you have to use the DAC in the CD player and the analog outputs of the CD player.

In most, but not all cases: DSD over HDMI - Players
post #60 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

A great CD player is essential for a great system. What most of the inexperienced people posting here don't seem to comprehend is that only if the sound comes out of the SOURCE component with low distortion and high accuracy can it be that way at the end.
I have been an audiophile for 30 years and have built up an awesome system; I know what makes a difference. I have spent thousands of hours listening critically to various components and how they sound with different kinds of music, and my ears tell me which components make the cut. My system would make most people's jaw drop; the low overall distortion actually gets you very very close to the sound of a live performance (even at concert sound levels). MOst people simply do not appreciate what IS possible with the right stuff.
Another thing that people do not understand is the importance of a quality amplifier. Most amplifiers priced under $1000 have GROSS amounts of distortion when playing actual MUSIC (despite the silly published specs using a test tone). NAD and Cambridge DO make some amps that have fairly good sound for under $1000; they are the only exceptions to the rule that I know of.
It is pretty obvious from some of the ignorant garbage posted above that many of these people have never heard a system with a really good amplifier. Without a good amplifier that truly has low distortion it is impossible to tell what sort of sound a CD player is putting out. Trying to tell which CD player is better with the average crappy amplifier is like trying to tell if a blu-ray player is better than an el cheapo $39 DVD player when watching both on a 15" TV set that cost $69 in 1990 (duhhhh...they are all the same....duhhhhh).

I made the mistake 30 years ago of spending some fairly big bucks for speakers, and then feeding them with a mediocre CD player and amplifier; it basically sounded pretty bad.
The fact is that a pair of well-selected $300 speakers can sound very very good with a quality CD player and amplifier, but $3000 speakers will sound like **** if the CD player is a cheap unit.
Anyone who thinks that you should spend a lot of money on speakers first is ignoring the fact that they will give garbage out when you put garbage in! It is a stupid mistake that lots of people make when they don't know better. A quality amplifier is the essential first step to building a good system.
I just improved my $30,000 system by replacing my $6000 Ayre C5 SACD player (rated A+ by Streophile) with a $1500 Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD player. I think the Sony is the best unit you can buy for under $10,000; it really is THAT good.
I know most people are not going to invest the time or money that I have in my system, but a budget of $2000, if used INTELLIGENTLY, can get you a system so much better-sounding than the average that it is very nice to listen to. If you spend about $600 each for a NAD amp (C355BEE), a Cambridge CD player (550C), and some EPOS speakers (ELS8), for example, you will have something very nice to listen to. That NAD amp has low enough distortion that you will be able to accurately evaluate whatever you hook up to it.
See my detailed comments on the sound quality under "Sony vs Marantz" below.

All I read here is that you have ZERO audio science knowledge and 30 years of brain washing. Your opinion about amp distortion is completely wrong to start with and I doubt you have a single measurement to backup your opinion. With that I have a couple of sub $1000 amps that I will challenge you to any $$$ listening test against $5K amps. You should be aware that I have even $5K amps collect dust in my Garage so this isnt a who owns what contest.

I want to see your properly controlled tests to back up your 100% subjective opinion. If you truely have wasted that many $$$, Im hoping you did some properly controlled tests but I won't hold my breath.
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