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Expensive CD players, are they worth it?  

post #1 of 540
Thread Starter 
This maybe sound like a stupid question, but a CD player just transports the digital audio file on the CD to the receiver through a optical or coaxial cable. Why should you buy a $3000 CD player when a $100 CD player does the same thing. I mean if it's analog then more expensive CD players will convert the signal better than cheaper models, but digital signal can't be degraded because the CD player sucks. Somebody help me understand this. How does a more expensive CD player produce a better sound than a cheaper model when they just read the CD and transport the digital signal to the receiver?
post #2 of 540
Well, the CD player could be so bad at reading that data off the disk that it produces unrecoverable errors. But your typical $30 DVD player won't have this problem.
post #3 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by chengbin View Post

This maybe sound like a stupid question, but a CD player just transports the digital audio file on the CD to the receiver through a optical or coaxial cable. Why should you buy a $3000 CD player when a $100 CD player does the same thing. I mean if it's analog then more expensive CD players will convert the signal better than cheaper models, but digital signal can't be degraded because the CD player sucks. Somebody help me understand this. How does a more expensive CD player produce a better sound than a cheaper model when they just read the CD and transport the digital signal to the receiver?

If you are using it as a transport only, as long as there is some type of time synching (shared system clock) between the receiver and the transport's clocks and/or a digital memory buffer to reclock the signal, then you shouldn't have any issues. If you don't have those things, you could run into audible sound discrepancies in the time domain (i.e., jitter).
post #4 of 540
Thread Starter 
So it's only if you're using the analog out on the CD player which in this case the quality of the CD player matters right?
post #5 of 540
There is also the noise and accuracy of the mechanic, but the most quality differences re in the DAC, yes.

Me, I would get a cdp with Teac VDRS mechanic.
post #6 of 540
Some of us doubt it matters much even if you're using the analog outs.
post #7 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by def View Post

Some of us doubt it matters much even if you're using the analog outs.

deaf people agree.
post #8 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealTelstar View Post


There is also the noise and accuracy of the mechanic, but the most quality differences re in the DAC, yes.

Me, I would get a cdp with Teac VDRS mechanic.

Teac manufactures premium quality transports but there are other transports out there as good as any Teac. AFAIK some of the best are the Teac CMK 3.2 (like the one inside the Wadia 861) and the Phillips CDM 12. This latter can even be found in players that cost less than 1,000 dollars.

Furthermore, Sony manufactures really good transports (believe it or not).

But IMHO any CD player with a good clock and buffer can easily cope with "problems" related to DACs' jitter or transport noise.
post #9 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by chengbin View Post

So it's only if you're using the analog out on the CD player which in this case the quality of the CD player matters right?

It doesn't matter then, either.
post #10 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by chengbin
So it's only if you're using the analog out on the CD player which in this case the quality of the CD player matters right?

It doesn't matter then, either.
__________________
"I'm not bad; I'm just drawn that way."-Jessica Rabbit


Please, don't let your hearing limitations count as valuable advise to others.

There are huge differences among different dacs.
post #11 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

It doesn't matter then, either.

This isn't true, DBT and ABX testing has shown that there can be subtle differences between CD players...
post #12 of 540
Are there huge audible differences when they're carefully level matched?
post #13 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber View Post

This isn't true, DBT and ABX testing has shown that there can be subtle differences between CD players...

The key word here is "subtle". "Subtle" in this case meaning "barely detectable even under strictly controlled conditions, much less normal listening conditions."
post #14 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

The key word here is "subtle". "Subtle" in this case meaning "barely detectable even under strictly controlled conditions, much less normal listening conditions."

In your untreated cubicle, at your noisy urban dwelling, with your equipment, and your attitude, it will likely not be noticable if there is a difference...

There are plenty of people around whose equipment is transparent enough and whose dedicated rooms are acoustically treated enough to allow perceptible differences.

Also, need I remind you that no one here or anywhere else has compiled a database of relevant information on enough CD players to judge how subtle or blatant those differences can be. We do know audible differences exist and as such, claiming otherwise is spreading false information.
post #15 of 540
Those that claim "huge" differences do exist are spreading false information as well.

While it is true ABX tests database is not comprehensive, for the time being it is more honest to state that the differences are very difficult to notice even in properly conditioned rooms. Under level matched conditions the differences (if any) are subtle indeed.
post #16 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber View Post

We do know audible differences exist and as such, claiming otherwise is spreading false information.

No significant difference remains the default hypothesis until valid, convincing proof of a significant difference can be shown.
post #17 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

No significant difference remains the default hypothesis until valid, convincing proof of a significant difference can be shown.

Ah, but proof has already been shown that differences exist. You are the one who is posting all over these fora that they don't exist.

Perhaps to you those differences don't matter, but they do exist, and posting otherwise is an act of deliberate falsehood.

As to their level of significance, that is relative, just like human hearing is relative, and just like testing/listening environments are relative. It is relative between listeners, it is relative between different equipment and setups, it is relative between different rooms, etc. When you talk about "controlled conditions" in this case you are referring to tests that were done by a few slackers and arm-chair engineers from these fora and neighboring fora in the privacy of their own homes. Not tests done in specially prepared anechoic or quasi-anechoic chambers under extremely strict environmental conditions. This would mean the tests are much less subtle than you are implying.

Now if you want to argue how little the differences matter to you, that is a completely different issue, but do everyone a favor, stop lying. There are much better ways for you to get the attention you crave than by trying to be controversial...
post #18 of 540
And when we talk about uncontrolled conditions, what do we give as a title to those performing those evaluations? Can they not be considered slackers of a different sort and arm chair audiophiles?
post #19 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

No significant difference remains the default hypothesis until valid, convincing proof of a significant difference can be shown.

I am not wealthy, not even close. When I decided to purchase a cd player last year for my music system I went out and tried several units, some expensive and some very inexpensive, many in the middle. I ended up with the Marantz SA11s1 because I felt it sounded better than most of the other players I listened to. Usually cd players do not have a night and day difference in sound quality, but there can be a huge difference, So how is it that there's no night and day difference in sound but there's a huge difference?, very simple, All cd players reproduce music but not all are musical...what... I am crazy? NOT LIKELY, Because I would not spend $2,200 if I could get the same sound for $150.00. It's true that metal face plates, transports, etc cost more, and that adds up to the price, but if I had heard no difference audio wise to justify expending my very hard to come by dollars, I would have bought a portable cd player at Wal- Mart and be very happy.

I have always said that if to any of you a cd player costing $50.00 sounds the same as one costing $2050.00, save yourself 2000 bucks and be happy, I know I would.
post #20 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by JorgeLopez11 View Post

Those that claim "huge" differences do exist are spreading false information as well.

While it is true ABX tests database is not comprehensive, for the time being it is more honest to state that the differences are very difficult to notice even in properly conditioned rooms. Under level matched conditions the differences (if any) are subtle indeed.

I disagree. The tests that have been done are not comprehensive enough to make your claims either, and the claims you make are too open to the relativity of perception (i.e. - people have different hearing levels, different intrinsic abilities involved with music perception, and different training levels). Not to mention, tests have been done in not so stringent environmental conditions and people could still identify differences. This to me means that the differences can be more noticeable than you and Pulliamm would like to state.

Does this mean all units will sound different? No. Is it glaringly obvious, like listening to two different performances of the same piece of music? No. It may however change the acoustical ambience of a piece, or other full bandwidth characteristics of the entire presentation. How obvious it is can change depending on how perceptive a person is and how well they can hear, among other external factors. As mentioned in previous threads, some companies intentionally alter the signal to have these effects. That doesn't matter though, except that it proves my point, because it still has a perceptible, sometimes even more obvious effect on what is being heard.

There are differences... People can hear them... Stating there are none, as Pulliamm likes to go around stating, is lying. That is really all that matters as far as I am concerned. Arguing about how "subtle" a difference is a slippery slope, because it brings highly relative variables into the equation. Not to mention, I've noticed that people (on both sides) tend to want to abuse the word "subtle" so that they can keep making the arguments they used to make before it was proven that audible differences do in fact exist.
post #21 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

And when we talk about uncontrolled conditions, what do we give as a title to those performing those evaluations? Can they not be considered slackers of a different sort and arm chair audiophiles?

For the record, I consider any regular posters "slackers." Including myself...

Face it, we could all be doing better things for humanity with our time.
post #22 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber View Post

Perhaps to you those differences don't matter, but they do exist, and posting otherwise is an act of deliberate falsehood.

You have it exactly backward. Your claims that they do exist are the deliberate falsehood.
post #23 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

You have it exactly backward. Your claims that they do exist are the deliberate falsehood.

Suit yourself. Testing has shown that they exist... If you want to keep lying, go ahead, but any time I catch you I'm going to confront you on it, as I have been doing already.
post #24 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber View Post

Suit yourself.

Thank you for your permission, as I always do anyway.
(By the way, referring to a fellow forum member as a "liar" is a good way to get yourself banned.)
post #25 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

(By the way, referring to a fellow forum member as a "liar" is a good way to get yourself banned.)

I didn't call you a liar.
post #26 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber View Post

I didn't call you a liar.

Refer to posts #17, 20, and 23.
post #27 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber View Post

If you are using it as a transport only, as long as there is some type of time synching (shared system clock) between the receiver and the transport's clocks and/or a digital memory buffer to reclock the signal, then you shouldn't have any issues. If you don't have those things, you could run into audible sound discrepancies in the time domain (i.e., jitter).

What if the receiver is Pure analouge?

And a single disc CD player costs more than a changer does!

Well except the teac CDP. but it has a severe quality problem.
post #28 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond Leggs View Post

And a single disc CD player costs more than a changer does!

That wasn't always the case. Entry-level single DVD players today play CDs so well that most manufacturers see no reason to bother making a dedicated CD player anymore.
post #29 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

Refer to posts #17, 20, and 23.

I never called you a liar in any of those posts. There is a difference, at least to me, between calling someone something and saying they are doing something or acting a certain way, especially in this case where it applies to one particular issue you are spreading falsehoods about. You even admit earlier in this thread that differences have been shown to exist...

For instance, there is a difference between saying someone is a goof and saying someone is being goofy. One applies to the person, the other applies to their action in a particular situation.

I don't consider you a liar, but I do think you are lying about this issue. That is me giving you the benefit of being an intelligent person, as you have had the opportunity to read up on this information in the past (and as per a previous post of yours, you know it is true that there are differences, yet you choose to state that there are no differences - the very definition of a lie).

I also don't see what I said as breaking any rules in terms of the forum rules that I could find for AVS Forum (though if I do find anything I'll make sure to never do it again):

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/rules.html

Would you prefer "portraying false information" instead?

Anyway... back on topic.
post #30 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond Leggs View Post

What if the receiver is Pure analouge?

And a single disc CD player costs more than a changer does!

Well except the teac CDP. but it has a severe quality problem.

The OP was asking about using a CDP as a transport.
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