Why are CD players so expensive? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 28 Old 01-20-2020, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Why are CD players so expensive?

I have a Sony 5 CD Carousel player from the 90's that just died. The specs were impressive even by today's standards and the build quality is unmatched (it's a tank). I am looking for a replacement, and can't seem to find anything decent under $300-400 that has decent specs and a tray that isn't flimsy plastic. What is driving the cost of these players to be so high being that bluray players are now under $50 for brand names?
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post #2 of 28 Old 01-21-2020, 03:32 AM
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For one 20+ years of inflation. You can't expect to pay what you did in the 90s for anything. Two a declining market for physical media altogether, just not as many being sold today as in the 90s. Still a 5 CD changer an still be had in the 3-4 hundred range, albeit a plastic tray. It also seems most multi disc players are on BO until March in the few sites I tried. You might try some thrift stores. Might just stumble on one someone is getting rid of.

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post #3 of 28 Old 01-21-2020, 08:02 AM
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Fix your current one. What died? Maybe just the belt?

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post #4 of 28 Old 01-21-2020, 08:08 AM
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I see those on Craigslist all the time for almost nothing. You can probably find a cheap replacement.
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post #5 of 28 Old 01-21-2020, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonoMan View Post
Fix your current one. What died? Maybe just the belt?

Belt seems ok,....maybe a sensor.....just spins and has a mind of its own
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post #6 of 28 Old 01-21-2020, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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I hear what you are saying, but I've seen bluray players for 30-50 bucks and have to think those are more complex and costly to make than just a CD player. I am looking for a used one from the 90's. Can't beat the specs and the build quality. Mine lasted over 20 years.



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Originally Posted by glangford View Post
For one 20+ years of inflation. You can't expect to pay what you did in the 90s for anything. Two a declining market for physical media altogether, just not as many being sold today as in the 90s. Still a 5 CD changer an still be had in the 3-4 hundred range, albeit a plastic tray. It also seems most multi disc players are on BO until March in the few sites I tried. You might try some thrift stores. Might just stumble on one someone is getting rid of.
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post #7 of 28 Old 01-22-2020, 03:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill97Z View Post
I hear what you are saying, but I've seen bluray players for 30-50 bucks and have to think those are more complex and costly to make than just a CD player. I am looking for a used one from the 90's. Can't beat the specs and the build quality. Mine lasted over 20 years.
It's economy of scale. Everybody has a BD player, many don't have a CD player and just use their bd player for CDs. Today's CD player has some advantages, much better DACs than 20 years ago, the ability to play files from USB, and some even with streaming services. There is a lot to like about today's cd player.

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post #8 of 28 Old 01-23-2020, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
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How do you assess the DAC. Is there a specific spec to look out for?


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It's economy of scale. Everybody has a BD player, many don't have a CD player and just use their bd player for CDs. Today's CD player has some advantages, much better DACs than 20 years ago, the ability to play files from USB, and some even with streaming services. There is a lot to like about today's cd player.
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post #9 of 28 Old 01-24-2020, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by golfster View Post
I see those on Craigslist all the time for almost nothing. You can probably find a cheap replacement.

Agreed. These pop up quite frequently when I bargain hunt at the local thrift shops and Goodwill. People are definitely getting away from physical media resulting in good deals to be found if you take a little time to hunt for them.
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post #10 of 28 Old 01-24-2020, 02:41 PM
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I've got an older Pioneer 25 disc player sitting in a spare room not being used. Can't give that thing away. Even cheap on Craigslist. no takers. Replaced it with a refurbished Yamaha 5 disc from Accessories4Less. Like new, works and sounds great.
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post #11 of 28 Old 01-25-2020, 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill97Z View Post
How do you assess the DAC. Is there a specific spec to look out for?
THD, S/N ratio, bit depth. But be warned that specs aren't everything. Implementation in the player is important too. A lesser dac could sound better when properly implemented in a player.

for example my oppo 203 and anthem uses a akm 4458 vn dac, it's a relatively cheap dac chip (about 5 bucks a chip) i like it's sound. My 203 rivals my Oppo 95 with an ESS 9018 dac. I can't tell a lot of difference.

THD is -107 db, S/N is 115 db, and it's 32 bit sample rate up to 768k. and DSD capable.

the AKM 4452 is the two channel version of that DAC. I'd be happy with a cd player using that dac,. They make a flagship dac 4499 with the -124 db, and S/N of 140 db.

ESS dacs are very popular too. 9038 pro currently being their flagship.

A lot of these dacs are geared toward hi rez playback, in fact most dacs in CD players will be more than capable of handling the 44.1/16 playback of a cd player. It's when you get into high rez file playback from usb that the dac becomes more important. Some of the cheapest dacs today are more capable than their counterparts of year past.

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post #12 of 28 Old 01-27-2020, 06:25 AM
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Everyone is moving on I guess to "bigger and better" things. Streaming is the way forward - plus, as everyone has said, CD players were very 90s. Feeling old as I rememember getting excited about my first one at uni. Don't judge. lol


This thread has made me think about getting my old DENON out of the loft though, use to use it with a NAD amp and some Maughton Shorts. Shorts are still on the go as is the amp. I've hundred of CDs sat behind me now. Might be a job for next weekend.

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post #13 of 28 Old 01-28-2020, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I tried to like streaming, there is nothing good about it.


- Sound quality can't match CD (bitrate is much lower)
- It uses a lot of data, so you need an unlimited data plan on your phone
- It messes around with the storage on your phone caching songs
- You are dependent on an internet connection

- If subscription gets too expensive and you quit, you walk away with nothing.


It's probably worth it if you use it at home only on an amazon echo, but if you have a high end audio system, or listen in your car or on the go, having the CD or actual digital files are superior.





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Everyone is moving on I guess to "bigger and better" things. Streaming is the way forward - plus, as everyone has said, CD players were very 90s. Feeling old as I rememember getting excited about my first one at uni. Don't judge. lol


This thread has made me think about getting my old DENON out of the loft though, use to use it with a NAD amp and some Maughton Shorts. Shorts are still on the go as is the amp. I've hundred of CDs sat behind me now. Might be a job for next weekend.
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post #14 of 28 Old 01-29-2020, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill97Z View Post
I tried to like streaming, there is nothing good about it.


- Sound quality can't match CD (bitrate is much lower)
- It uses a lot of data, so you need an unlimited data plan on your phone
- It messes around with the storage on your phone caching songs
- You are dependent on an internet connection

- If subscription gets too expensive and you quit, you walk away with nothing.


It's probably worth it if you use it at home only on an amazon echo, but if you have a high end audio system, or listen in your car or on the go, having the CD or actual digital files are superior.
I agree

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post #15 of 28 Old 01-29-2020, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill97Z View Post
I tried to like streaming, there is nothing good about it.


- Sound quality can't match CD (bitrate is much lower)
- It uses a lot of data, so you need an unlimited data plan on your phone
- It messes around with the storage on your phone caching songs
- You are dependent on an internet connection

- If subscription gets too expensive and you quit, you walk away with nothing.
You're probably an audiophile so, yeah... I have to agree with you.

BUT... with time comes compromise, which I have done.

Over the years, I have been converting my own CDs and I've settled on MP3s @ 192kbps CBR as a pretty good sound quality to balance with the filesize.

I use Google Play Music which allows you to upload 50,000 of your own songs, regardless of the size, for FREE!! So I can access it online wherever I log into my Google profile on my desktop, laptop or my phone.

On my phone I have a 256GB microSD card on which I have stored my entire 38,000 song library that I can listen to wherever I go and not be restricted by lack of access to the internet.

So there are options available, you just need to compromise and accept the limitations of the new technology.

Last edited by SuperFist; 01-29-2020 at 06:47 AM.
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post #16 of 28 Old 01-29-2020, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill97Z View Post
I tried to like streaming, there is nothing good about it.


- Sound quality can't match CD (bitrate is much lower)
- It uses a lot of data, so you need an unlimited data plan on your phone
- It messes around with the storage on your phone caching songs
- You are dependent on an internet connection

- If subscription gets too expensive and you quit, you walk away with nothing.


It's probably worth it if you use it at home only on an amazon echo, but if you have a high end audio system, or listen in your car or on the go, having the CD or actual digital files are superior.
I'm a late convert to Spotify. I think it is fantastic. Access to 40 million songs. I've been comparing Spotify Premium, not the free version, with CDs. The primary difference I hear is the extra bass in the CD versions.

While I may still listen to an occasional CD, for new music, nothing beats Spotify. There's also the added benefit of listening to older music that has been remastered.

For a family of four (living together), with four separate accounts, it is $15 per month.

Alan

Last edited by ahender; 01-29-2020 at 06:10 AM.
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post #17 of 28 Old 01-29-2020, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
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What file format are you using? Lossless or lossy?


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Originally Posted by SuperFist View Post
You're probably an audiophile so, yeah... I have to agree with you.

BUT... with time comes compromise, which I have done.

Over the years, I have been converting my own CDs and I've settled on 192kbps CBR as a pretty good sound quality to balance with the filesize.

I use Google Play Music which allows you to upload 50,000 of your own songs, regardless of the size, for FREE!! So I can access it online wherever I log into my Google profile on my desktop, laptop or my phone.

On my phone I have a 256GB microSD card on which I have stored my entire 38,000 song library that I can listen to wherever I go and not be restricted by lack of access to the internet.

So there are options available, you just need to compromise and accept the limitations of the new technology.
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post #18 of 28 Old 01-29-2020, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill97Z View Post
What file format are you using? Lossless or lossy?
With CDs, I not listening to a file. Is that what you are referring to?

I am going to rip a few discs just to compare.
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post #19 of 28 Old 01-29-2020, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, I am trying out amazon music and apple music, and I really want it to work for me. The concept is nice, and I really like the "radio stations" that are inspired by your listening habits. The problem is that I will always use this on the go, and I don't have an unlimited data plan on my phone. To make matters worse, at least for amazon and apple streaming services, it is very inefficient. In theory, with the advertised bitrates, the data usage per hour shouldn't be that bad. HOWEVER, I experienced huge data use and after investigation, I found that as soon as you start a song it caches the whole thing in a few seconds, so if you skip a lot of songs, you still downloaded that song and it really adds to the data fast. I was using like 1 GB per hour if I skipped a lot of songs.


The other part of it that is difficult to get past is that you are essentially signing up for a forever subscription....and who knows what the legal rights or subscription fees will evolve to over time. If you cancel, you walk away with nothing....all the music....gone.




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Originally Posted by ahender View Post
I'm a late convert to Spotify. I think it is fantastic. Access to 40 million songs. I've been comparing Spotify Premium, not the free version, with CDs. The primary difference I hear is the extra bass in the CD versions.

While I may still listen to an occasional CD, for new music, nothing beats Spotify. There's also the added benefit of listening to older music that has been remastered.

For a family of four (living together), with four separate accounts, it is $15 per month.

Alan
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post #20 of 28 Old 01-29-2020, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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My question was for SuperFist, who indicated he converts his CDs to music files. I was wondering what file format he uses AAC, Mp3, etc.



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Originally Posted by ahender View Post
With CDs, I not listening to a file. Is that what you are referring to?

I am going to rip a few discs just to compare.
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post #21 of 28 Old 01-29-2020, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill97Z View Post
What file format are you using? Lossless or lossy?
I use MP3, due to its universal usability, which is lossy and it sounds fantastic to me. Your mileage may vary.
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post #22 of 28 Old 01-29-2020, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill97Z View Post
Yes, I am trying out amazon music and apple music, and I really want it to work for me. The concept is nice, and I really like the "radio stations" that are inspired by your listening habits. The problem is that I will always use this on the go, and I don't have an unlimited data plan on my phone. To make matters worse, at least for amazon and apple streaming services, it is very inefficient. In theory, with the advertised bitrates, the data usage per hour shouldn't be that bad. HOWEVER, I experienced huge data use and after investigation, I found that as soon as you start a song it caches the whole thing in a few seconds, so if you skip a lot of songs, you still downloaded that song and it really adds to the data fast. I was using like 1 GB per hour if I skipped a lot of songs.


The other part of it that is difficult to get past is that you are essentially signing up for a forever subscription....and who knows what the legal rights or subscription fees will evolve to over time. If you cancel, you walk away with nothing....all the music....gone.
My wife has a limited data plan. Using the wifi at home, she will download the songs she wants to hear on the road and listen with a Bluetooth speaker.

Last edited by ahender; 01-29-2020 at 07:09 AM.
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post #23 of 28 Old 01-29-2020, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
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MP3 at a good bitrate always sounded good to me.



After a few weeks of use, the streaming services, which claim a bitrate of 100-300 kbps, have varying quality. Newer music sounds very close to the CD. Older music sounds a bit flatter, muted, and less sharp. The volume is always a little lower than playing a CD.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperFist View Post
I use MP3, due to its universal usability, which is lossy and it sounds fantastic to me. Your mileage may vary.
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post #24 of 28 Old 01-29-2020, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill97Z View Post
MP3 at a good bitrate always sounded good to me.



After a few weeks of use, the streaming services, which claim a bitrate of 100-300 kbps, have varying quality. Newer music sounds very close to the CD. Older music sounds a bit flatter, muted, and less sharp. The volume is always a little lower than playing a CD.
I just ripped Eva Cassidy's Autumn Leaves to a FLAC file. Played it via USB on my AV receiver and compared to Spotify. With this song, my 64-year-old ears could not tell a difference. Poor recordings will sound better on a CD. I just prefer not to listen to a poor recording since there is so much new, wonderfully recorded music out there. I will start the process of ripping my CDs because many of my CDs are from local artists and these are not available via streaming.
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post #25 of 28 Old 02-04-2020, 03:42 PM
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post #27 of 28 Old 02-12-2020, 05:16 AM
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A better question is why are CD transports so expensive?

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post #28 of 28 Old Yesterday, 06:52 PM
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I have a 13-year-old Oppo 980H. In the used market probably sells for $100. I was told in the Oppo thread I would not tell the difference between my player and the much more expensive Oppo 203. Lots of money does not equate to much better.
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