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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am curious as to the opinions of the folks on this site regarding using DVD players for redbook playback. Are DVD players inherently inferior to dedicated CD players?


Specifically, I currently own a Panny XR-45 and am looking to replace my current CD player (Denon DCM-360) which doesn't have a digital output with a CD transport that does. I was looking at the Panny F65K DVD Changer as a possibility exclusively for CD playback and maybe some DTS CD playback (I really like the slim form factor). Would I be short changing my CD playback quality by going with a DVD changer as opposed to a dedicated CD changer? If so are there any suggestions as to a specific CD changer to go with considering I won't be using its on-board DACs?


I asked a similar question on the Amps forum but got no response.


Thanks.


Todd
 

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I can't comment on the audio or build quality of DVD players vs. CD players, but I've always found that DVD players have a much poorer response time than CD players do. Minor point, though.
 

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If you are using only a digital connection Toslink or Coax to my ears there is NO DIFFERENCE. Now I'm talking about comperable DVD players. If you have a $50 DVD player all bets are off but any player in the same range that I have heard is capable of sending 1 s and 0s over the digital connection where the reciever's DAcs decode the 1 s and 0s.


Other people swear they can tell the difference. I cannot .


I can only give my personal opinion. If I was making the decision I would not buy a separate CD player to use as a transport.


101011 looks exactly the same to a recievers Dacs from a DVD as from a CD. You might hear talk about jitter etc. etc. and I don't know if I buy it or not but I can't see there being a difference in the digital outout . If you want to use the CD/DVD players Dacs all bets are off.
 

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Many DVD players like the higher end Denon models have excellent DACs for CD playback and perform HDCD decoding and 24 bit upsampling. Why insist on a digital connection?
 

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I'd say if you want a dedicated player then the answer would be to get a universal player that will do CD's as well as DVD-A and SACD - at least then there's a definate reason to pay for the new unit, that being presumable superior DACs for high-res audio. For CD I can't see much of an advantage to external DACs unless your receiver is not very good.
 

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Hi

The people still promoting stand alone cd players make one hell of a product that is well consructed has low jitter (whatever) and is usually very expensive. It also caters to a technology that IMHO is in more trouble than analog.


I have a Panny rp82 which pound for pound is the best dvd player on the planet (thats the planet with players under 4g's). It also has an upsampling feature called re-master that when used upsamples standard redbooks from 44.1 to 88.2. I know it does this because the face of my Denon flashes pcm 88.2 and I had to look it up in the Panny manual because I didn't know what was going on.


Oh and by the way it also plays DVD-Audio discs.


Anyway my feeling is that stand alone cd players are going with vcr's eventually. "convergence,convergence,convergence".


Peter m.
 

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Quote:
I have a Panny rp82 which pound for pound is the best dvd player on the planet (thats the planet with players under 4g's).
Along these lines, the Denon 1600 (based on the RP82, but discontinued recently) is an excellent player as well, albeit a bit more expensive than an RP82 (if you can find one ;-). It's slightly behind the RP82 in video, but slightly ahead the RP82 in audio (being that Denon used better DACs).


I am not sure, however, if it can perform the upsampling to 88.2.
 

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If you really care about redbook playing buy a CD changer instead of a DVD changer. The reasons are:


(1)DVD players have video circuitry which can possibly cause interference with the audio circuitry (some players place them on separate boards but the possibility of some compromising is still there)

(2)If the DVD player uses the same lens to read the CD as for DVD then there is definitely an audible degradation of signal. If it uses dual lens, etc. then it is better

(3)DVD players usually are not good transports. Most are very light and it has been "proved" (it is controversial some folks disagree) that heavier players are much better transports. Just to give you an idea some high-end CD transports are usually around $7K! And this affects directly the digital output. But keep in mind there are a lot of people who swear by "bits are bits, 0s and 1s", etc. and cannot hear the difference.

(4)Power supply is also another source for potential problems. DVD players usually are not built to have large power supplies (thin is what most people like:)


Given that and some other variables, I would in my personal opinion go for a dedicated CD player.


I understand you're looking for one changer which makes a good transport (you said you did not care about the DACs). I recommend the SONY 555ES which is a 5 CD/SACD changer. It is not being manufactured anymore but you can get it used. It is solidly built and on the plus side its DACs are wonderful, believe me if you use its DACs you will forget your receiver's :D
 

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Quote:
(1)DVD players have video circuitry which can possibly cause interference with the audio circuitry (some players place them on separate boards but the possibility of some compromising is still there)
The Denon 1600 has the ability to turn off the video section. I believe there are other players which can do the same (or similar) thing.
Quote:
(2)If the DVD player uses the same lens to read the CD as for DVD then there is definitely an audible degradation of signal. If it uses dual lens, etc. then it is better
So there is a higher error rate under the single lens scenario? Explain a bit here, please.
Quote:
(4)Power supply is also another source for potential problems. DVD players usually are not built to have large power supplies (thin is what most people like:)
I would agree here, especially if one used the analog section of the player.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by sergiohm


But keep in mind there are a lot of people who swear by "bits are bits, 0s and 1s", etc. and cannot hear the difference.
Being a software engineer I'd be one that swears by the "bits are bits" theory. It's funny because people say "bits are bits" like that is proof to the laman that there is no difference in sound quality. For people who understand computers, digital data, and data transmission, "bits are bits" does actually mean something - for everyone else we sound like we're just spouting off. One day I'll get the equipment necessary to read an optical stream and then run the same song through two players, cables, etc. and compare the actual signal received, bit for bit, to end this stupid debate. I'm too busy to embark on such an adventure right now though, and don't have the equipment either.


I get frustrated with the whole sound industry about how it's so shrouded in mystery. The computer industry does have its issues, but can you imagine if we all argued whether a $100 IDE cable made the data on our Hard Drives more reliable? The whole concept is riduculous but I could see it happen... "With a cheap, non-shielded IDE cable, iterference from a poor power supply can 'colour' the data. With a $100 cable you can be sure that the hard drive receives the data stream from your processor without any jitter or data artifacts, so that your precious data is not lost. You could also buy a $1000 shielded power supply, but that's not cost effective compared to replacing all your cables." The only people that wouldn't listen to reason would be the audiophiles... "No, none of my documents are ever corrupted, and no pictures ever have pixels changed after I save them to my Hard Drive. But I swear, I've done blind A/B tests, and for the all the music files that I've saved to my Hard Drive, I can clearly hear the difference when using the shielded IDE cable." LOL, sorry for the rant, but the whole industry is so subjective with such outlandish claims that I can't stand it sometimes.


Anyways, back to my point... There are caveats to the bits are bits theory; places where differences can be introduced between two players. For instance, the transmission protocol for 16-bit digital music has 4 "optional" bits that any player may or may not use. So there's one potential difference right there. A second difference is what the receiver does with these bits - some might just ignore them, and other's might process them in some manner. These and possibly other factors can change the sound, which then once people can tell any difference, they convince themselves that the unit costing 7K is the one that sounds "best."


Where I don't believe there can be subtle differences is in the reading of the data from the CD (any CD reader can do this effectively, plus there are redundancy checks, etc.) and in the actual transmission line (i.e. cable quality) of the digital tranmission.


Edit: Someone should patent a shielded, pure silver, IDE cable before Monster catches on and beats us to it!!!
 

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Quote:
Edit: Someone should patent a shielded, pure silver, IDE cable before Monster catches on and beats us to it!!!
Excellent suggestion. When I shielded my IDE cable (a DIY project which also includes outlining the cable with a blue marker), I found that my code took on a more true tone - it was as if a fog had been lifted from my comments. The high end of my dwords rang clear, while the LSBs had more directed and accurate energy.


:D
 

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Sorry, one further comment:
Quote:
One day I'll get the equipment necessary to read an optical stream and then run the same song through two players, cables, etc. and compare the actual signal received, bit for bit, to end this stupid debate.
It was done a while back. A study took 12 self proclaimed "golden ears" and performed double blind tests using cheap, low end CD players, and some more expensive "decent" players. 1 of the 12 was able to distinguish the players (I believe the listener actually scored a %15 accuracy rate, which is much better than the other 11's %50 accuracy rate).


I'll try to dig up the study, but it was quite a number of years ago.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by yubyub
Excellent suggestion. When I shielded my IDE cable (a DIY project which also includes outlining the cable with a blue marker), I found that my code took on a more true tone - it was as if a fog had been lifted from my comments. The high end of my dwords rang clear, while the LSBs had more directed and accurate energy.
LMAO!!! That's too funny. Thanks for catching on to my point. :)

Quote:
Originally posted by yubyub


It was done a while back. A study took 12 self proclaimed "golden ears" and performed double blind tests using cheap, low end CD players, and some more expensive "decent" players. 1 of the 12 was able to distinguish the players (I believe the listener actually scored a %15 accuracy rate, which is much better than the other 11's %50 accuracy rate).

:D
Which does seem to support our theory about the digital debate. Also note that comparing whole players also introduces the optional bits as another factor, so it's even more suprising that between entire units no one could tell the difference.


I'd love to read that if you can find it.
 

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Hi,

As Sergiohm points out tne most important thing here is your long term priority. I'm not going to put words in your mouth but as YOU being an audio lover with many cds, I'm going to suggest that HIREZ AUDIO, (if not already) is not too far over your horizon.


As I pointed out some neat tricks with a Panny and yubyub with a Denon, and as it happens the PureDirect Mode of my Denon reciever does the same trick as the 1600 by turning off video circuitry and making it pure audio.

Pretty soon both hirez formats will be able to play in anything (dvd & cd players), so all the tools are there.


If I were you I would ask myself "where do I truly see myself 3 years hence" Then crank up whatever you've chosen and enjoy.


Peter m.
 

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If I were you I would ask myself "where do I truly see myself 3 years hence" Then crank up whatever you've chosen and enjoy.
Amen.
 

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Originally posted by yubyub
The Denon 1600 has the ability to turn off the video section. I believe there are other players which can do the same (or similar) thing.
Yes there are some who do it and although it is an improvement there is still the fact of what the designer of the player maximizes it for. A CD player is an audio player so you can design each component to work best in this scenario and do not have to worry about also dealing with the video circuitry/components.
Quote:


So there is a higher error rate under the single lens scenario? Explain a bit here, please.
Actually I read it somewhere and I forgot the exact words, it is not a matter of higher error rate but more the fact that there is a substantial difference in the laser wavelength of SA-CD (650 nm) and CD (780 nm) for example.
Quote:


I would agree here, especially if one used the analog section of the player.
I'm glad we agree on something:D

John E. Johnson, Jr. on Secrets wrote this article about the Classe CDP-10 CD player and mentions some of the things I pointed out as well.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Felgar
Being a software engineer I'd be one that swears by the "bits are bits" theory.
I'm also a software engineer :D and for a long time I did not give too much tought the "bits are bits", but recently I had the opportunity of testing the Pioneer Elite DV-47Ai and the SONY XA-9000ES both connected to a Pioneer Elite VSX-49Txi using firewire. I expected them to sound exactly alike. Surprise! They did sound much more like via firewire than via analog but they did sound distinctly different (well the XA-9000ES sounded better). I think it was because the XA-9000ES is a better transport, it weighs 44 pounds and is built like a tank while the 47Ai although better than most players is a bit light.;)
 

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I had two cd players attached via coax to a receiver. The sony 555es and an adcom gcd-700.


The difference between the two was night and day.


So I'm of the belief if music is important to you then get a dedicated CD player you like the sound of.
 

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I can't dispute that two players sound different through a digitial connection when so many people report the same findings. The only plausible explanation I've ever been willing to accept is the optional bits in the transfer protocal as I mentioned above. I'm open to new ideas though if they can be proven - I swore there was NO difference before being informed of the optional bits. Like I said, one day I'll get something to read the raw digital stream and we can compare the information sent by each player intelligently.


Through analog though, there's no question in my mind that there are huge differences - in this case it comes down to the quality of the DACs which will play a huge role in determining the SQ. This is why I proposed getting a full universal player because it seems to me that at least you can set up a really good analog link and have it useful for a number of tasks, not just CD.


FWIW, last night I just A/B'd my Denon 1600 (fairly renouned for great SQ), using a commercial CD of Holly Cole and a Monster Optical cable against a lowly Panasonic HS2 using the cheapest optical cable I could find (electrohome) and using my test CD that I burned for demoing speakers.... they were identical to my ears, despite my intent on "stacking" the odds in favour of the Denon. And that $130 Monster cable is going back to the B&M where I bought it.
 
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