Bang For The Buck CD Player w/Balanced Outs for B&W N802's? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-19-2007, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I value every link in my chain but don't wish to go overboard on a decent cd player with balanced outs through my Pass Labs Aleph P preamp and Aleph 5 amp into my B&W N802's. I don't need SACD, just good redbook performance. I prefer the detail and stong mids and top end and the Aleph combo provides that in spades. I also prefer to buy on the used market. I've considered the Meridian 508.24 - any other suggestions?
On a side note, I bought several Crown XLS-402D amps for my home theater and was shocked at how good it sounded with the B&W's even in place of the Class A Aleph 5! It's almost embarassing to admit how good it was considering the price. Makes me wonder if a professional Denon cd player with balanced outs would sound great too?
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-20-2007, 06:16 PM
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The Cambridge Audio 840C with balanced outputs is getting very good reviews (though it may not play in the league you're looking at--worth checking out, though). It also has a digital input so it can be used as a DAC for any other digital device you have.
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post #3 of 15 Old 05-23-2007, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumart1 View Post

I value every link in my chain but don't wish to go overboard on a decent cd player with balanced outs through my Pass Labs Aleph P preamp and Aleph 5 amp into my B&W N802's. I don't need SACD, just good redbook performance. I prefer the detail and stong mids and top end and the Aleph combo provides that in spades. I also prefer to buy on the used market. I've considered the Meridian 508.24 - any other suggestions?
On a side note, I bought several Crown XLS-402D amps for my home theater and was shocked at how good it sounded with the B&W's even in place of the Class A Aleph 5! It's almost embarassing to admit how good it was considering the price. Makes me wonder if a professional Denon cd player with balanced outs would sound great too?

I'm running a Bel Canto CD-1 through a Krell processor (balanced) and Cary Cinema 200 watt amp. Great player and redbook sounds terrific through my B&W CDM 9nt's.
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-24-2007, 08:39 PM
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For redbook only - here's a candidate: Audio Aero Prima CDP - it will eliminate the need for your Aleph preamp. It has a sweet, musical sound, so I would audition it first before getting serious. (Then again, that might be dangerous...)

Funny you compared the Aleph 5 vs. Crown XLS 402D. I have Aleph 3 monoblocs, and if it wasn't summertime here in Phoenix, I would be using them instead of my Crown XLS 402Bs. To each his/her own...

- Steve O.
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-25-2007, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the great suggestions Ovation, Dealer6871, and scorch123. Stev O. - I'll trade you my Crowns for your 3 Aleph 's - I'm in Chicago which is perfect for them and the 402D fans will keep you cool! With the direct to amp CDP's, is it true that they will still sound better through a good preamp like my Aleph P? I think I remember reading this about the Wadia CDP's like the 830 which I may also consider.
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-25-2007, 07:46 PM
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gumart1,

If the output levels of the Pass preamp are higher than your variable output CDP (and you're not clipping your amp), the preamp will probably sound better.

If your CDP can adequately drive your amps, then taking a preamp out of the chain simply removes a level of complexity and distortion. There is no preamp or linestage that is "straight wire" with attenuation/gain.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not advocating you to sell your preamp. You should experiment with different configurations and choose what works and sounds best.

- Steve O.
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post #7 of 15 Old 06-02-2007, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovation View Post

The Cambridge Audio 840C with balanced outputs is getting very good reviews (though it may not play in the league you're looking at--worth checking out, though). It also has a digital input so it can be used as a DAC for any other digital device you have.

I own the 540c V2 and I will vouch for the sound and build quality of Cambridge. I almost bought the 840 when I owned my McIntosh equipment just for the balanced outputs on the 840. For the money it will be hard to find a nicer sounding unit with full balanced outputs then the 840.
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-03-2007, 01:38 PM
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I have a 804C and I really love this player. I would highly recommend it. You get a lot of bange for the buck with Cambrigde Audio.
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post #9 of 15 Old 06-04-2007, 01:29 AM
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Primare CD31 is an option, I own one.
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-04-2007, 07:15 AM
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^^^ Yes, another very nice option.
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post #11 of 15 Old 05-29-2008, 02:03 PM
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What did you end up with?

Vince
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post #12 of 15 Old 05-03-2009, 09:10 PM
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I'm not quite a newb to the board, but took a long break from AV equipment as I was either between homes and formal HT installation, or busy with other stuff. A bunch of equipment has recently been diagnosed as ill, or needing replacement, and in the process, I've had some enthusiasm re-ignited to try some dedicated 2 channel listening with a good set of speakers, and a good amp.

Having read this thread, it seems that:

Oppo 980H, Meridian 508.24, Cambridge Audio 840C, Bel Canto CD-1, Wadia 830 and Primare CD31 are all options that have balanced outputs.

I've written each the posters to get some additional details, but rather than start a new thread, I'd like to see if anyone reading this has something to contribute.

Specifically, I'm looking to have a CDP with balanced outputs that are for sure variable outputs that its remote would control. I seek to absolutely bypass the preamp, and go straight to a bryston amp that is fully balanced.

Not too much online for specifics on older models in terms of details of whether the outputs are variable in level or not, and as a relative newbie to balanced CDP, not sure if that is a given to be present, common, or rare aspect to the balanced output CDP.

Strongly prefere to buy a good quality used CDP that matches the above....will be looking for listed models, but very curious what has changed since the OP started the thread.

Alex.
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post #13 of 15 Old 05-26-2009, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexBen View Post

I'm not quite a newb to the board, but took a long break from AV equipment as I was either between homes and formal HT installation, or busy with other stuff. A bunch of equipment has recently been diagnosed as ill, or needing replacement, and in the process, I've had some enthusiasm re-ignited to try some dedicated 2 channel listening with a good set of speakers, and a good amp.

Having read this thread, it seems that:

Oppo 980H, Meridian 508.24, Cambridge Audio 840C, Bel Canto CD-1, Wadia 830 and Primare CD31 are all options that have balanced outputs.

I've written each the posters to get some additional details, but rather than start a new thread, I'd like to see if anyone reading this has something to contribute.

Specifically, I'm looking to have a CDP with balanced outputs that are for sure variable outputs that its remote would control. I seek to absolutely bypass the preamp, and go straight to a bryston amp that is fully balanced.

Not too much online for specifics on older models in terms of details of whether the outputs are variable in level or not, and as a relative newbie to balanced CDP, not sure if that is a given to be present, common, or rare aspect to the balanced output CDP.

Strongly prefere to buy a good quality used CDP that matches the above....will be looking for listed models, but very curious what has changed since the OP started the thread.

Alex.

I do not have experience with any of these players but (another) Cambridge Audio and Oppo. I'd definately take Oppo out of the running, as I don't believe it gives you the audio quality you're looking for in your setup.

Cambridge Audio and Meridian (and the other brands) are designed specifically for what you're looking for, Oppo is first and foremost a DVD upscaler.

Just my 2 cents.

Pioneer Elite SC-67, B&W 805S/XTC/M1/PV1, Pioneer Elite Kuro 111FD, Elite BDP-05FD
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post #14 of 15 Old 05-30-2009, 12:26 PM
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Emotiva ERC-1 $399.00

Nothing's Impossible if you don't have to do it yourself ! Glenee
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post #15 of 15 Old 05-30-2009, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Glenee View Post

Emotiva ERC-1 $399.00

How does Rotel 1072 compare to Emotiva? I might be able to get a demo at a good price.

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