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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have this Blu-ray player, which will also play music CDs, but wondering if I should splash out for an actual CD player? Obviously, as a CD player is designed only to play CD's, I theorize that it would sound better - but is this right?


I understand this likely depends on what quality of player you get. Haven't really done any exhaustive research on players yet. But, let's use the Cambridge Audio 550C player as an example.


Will I achieve any noticeable sonic benefit if this is connected to my speakers through my Yamaha RX-A800 AVR (as compared to my universal Blu-Ray connected the same way)?


My max budget for a player would likely be $500, which probably doesn't get you much in the new market - but I would likely be looking at closeouts, open box and possibly used.
 

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If you connect it via HDMI or toslink (optical) or coax--in other words, digitally--your BD player will not sound any different with CDs than any CD player hooked up digitally to your A800 (I have the A1000 and all my music sources are connected digitally and everything sounds great).


However, there are other reasons to consider a separate CD player (someone will come along soon enough to recommend ripping all your audio to a hard drive, but I'll assume you want to continue using the shiny discs on a regular basis, as I do). Many BD (and DVD) players offer minimal functionality for things like track programming, displaying information on the front panel and they can be slow to load the disc. I have nine different disc players in my house (one combo DVD/VHS, one DVD/DVD-A player, two DVD/SACD/DVD-A players, two BD players, two HD DVD players and a PS3). I've tried CDs with each of them and the ergonomics vary quite a bit (audio quality when hooked up digitally does not vary at all). I do not use the HD DVD players or the BD players for CD playback because the PS3, the DVD-A player and the SACD/DVD-A players all offer a more user-friendly (to me) interface. However, if only had the BD and HD DVD players, I would be totally happy with them for audio quality (as my AVR would be doing all the work anyway).


Another reason you might want a separate CD player is build quality (though this is more difficult to judge than it might seem at first glance). My DVD-A player has the most solid physical structure of all my disc players. However, its transport is a bit noisy, so it's not my "go to" player for CD playback. (I'll spare everyone the rundown on all my players for build quality.)


Also, error correction (dealing with disc surface imperfections) can be a reason for getting a CD player--though it is quite difficult to determine that capability ahead of time. Over the years, I've discovered that my Marantz DV6400 DVD/DVD-A/SACD player (not my most "solidly built" player, nor most modern--no HDMI) is far and away the best for dealing with scratched discs (BD and HD DVD excepted, of course). Rental DVDs that have brought all my other players to their "knees" because of scratches will almost always play through on the Marantz (CDs that people have brought over are dealt with just as well). If it can't play on my Marantz, it is seriously scratched.


And then there are things like aesthetics that can come into play.


But, as long as the devices are hooked up digitally to your A800, they won't sound any different than your current BD player with CDs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Ovation. Definitely not looking to rip my library at this time - maybe when I upgrade the AVR to one with networking.


Sounds like there isn't much point in adding a separate CD player to my system at this point, unless I'm also adding a DAC, or unless I want a multi-disc player. I found a Rotel RCC-1055 for a very nice price (as it is/was discontinued) and that is what got me thinking about a separate player. Not quite sure about the pros/cons of the single vs. multi at this point, or differences between various brands.
 

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If you find the BD player cumbersome for CD use (like some of my disc players are) AND you can find a CD player that fits your budget, it's not a bad option. I don't know that Rotel model. Is it a multi-disc player? Could be a good choice then, for that feature alone. Despite having so many disc players in the house, I don't have a multi-disc player and every once in a while I'm tempted to add one to the living room 2 channel system. If I didn't have a readily available player for that system when I put it together last month, I would have sprung for a multi-disc player. May yet do so in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovation /forum/post/21637977


If you find the BD player cumbersome for CD use (like some of my disc players are) AND you can find a CD player that fits your budget, it's not a bad option. I don't know that Rotel model. Is it a multi-disc player? Could be a good choice then, for that feature alone. Despite having so many disc players in the house, I don't have a multi-disc player and every once in a while I'm tempted to add one to the living room 2 channel system. If I didn't have a readily available player for that system when I put it together last month, I would have sprung for a multi-disc player. May yet do so in the future.


This is a multi-disc player. Similar (I believe thru research) to the Rotel 1070 model single disc player. This multi-disc player can be had for under $300 (before tax) from a dealer on closeout.


Also came across a Cambridge Audio 550C online which can be had for under $400, or the CA 650C for under $600. I've read these are a good brand. Also saw a NAD player (not sure the model - 545BEE, maybe?) at a good price online as well.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC2011 /forum/post/21638161


This is a multi-disc player. Similar (I believe thru research) to the Rotel 1070 model single disc player. This multi-disc player can be had for under $300 (before tax) from a dealer on closeout.


Also came across a Cambridge Audio 550C online which can be had for under $400, or the CA 650C for under $600. I've read these are a good brand. Also saw a NAD player (not sure the model - 545BEE, maybe?) at a good price online as well.

If you hook them up digitally, as I would, there will be no difference in sound quality among these players (your AVR will be doing all the work). I have two Cambridge Audio disc players, and I've no complaints about them, but among your choices, I'd go with the multi-disc Rotel. Spend the difference on CDs.
 

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Unless you go super high end for D/A conversion in the player utilizing the analog outputs of the CD player OR want multidisc ability the C6900 will work great. I have this player, and it isn't too slow or cumbersome to use.


People mention ease of use, but I can't see how much ease of use you would need with a single disc player.......changer yeah, but with one disc at a time, how much more could you want to do other than skip, play, and pause?
 

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I've not found too many non-dedicated CD players that allow you to program tracks in a different order--that would be one feature I would look for if I were going to add a dedicated CD player into my setup. But that's a personal want--if it's not a feature one would use, the incentive to add a dedicated player diminishes.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovation /forum/post/21638210


If you hook them up digitally, as I would, there will be no difference in sound quality among these players (your AVR will be doing all the work). I have two Cambridge Audio disc players, and I've no complaints about them, but among your choices, I'd go with the multi-disc Rotel. Spend the difference on CDs.

Just a question: What makes you think that the DAC/analog audio section in your AVR is superior to the DAC/analog audio section in the CA CD players?

What is your AVR?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 /forum/post/0



Just a question: What makes you think that the DAC/analog audio section in your AVR is superior to the DAC/analog audio section in the CA CD players?

What is your AVR?

The fact that I've done level matched blind tests of DACs and could not distinguish them--nor has it ever been done in the past 20 years, at least (DACs are a very mature technology). I know there are measurable differences but that does not make them audible. In fact, I'd bet a week's pay that no one could tell in a level matched blind test.


My AVR, incidentally, is a Yamaha RX-A1000. I feel confident it is competently designed so as to be indistinguishable from any of the above players in a level matched blind test with respect to DACs.


There are many good reasons for buying a Cambridge Audio CD player (build quality, reliability, decent warranty, good dealer network--in my region, at least--aesthetics...) but I would not consider its DACs to be a primary motivation if a digital connection option is available. I would grant it some importance if connected to receiver/integrated amp/pre-amp that lacks a digital connection option. That is not the case with the OP's AVR.


I know there are different views on the subject and I'm certainly not trying to dictate to anyone what to buy. However, I was asked my view and I've given it, based in large part on what I've learned here and on similar sites.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovation /forum/post/21641468


The fact that I've done level matched blind tests of DACs and could not distinguish them--nor has it ever been done in the past 20 years, at least (DACs are a very mature technology). I know there are measurable differences but that does not make them audible. In fact, I'd bet a week's pay that no one could tell in a level matched blind test.

That's why I specifically asked in reference to the entire DAC/analog audio section, not just that DAC IC itself. Pre- and post-DAC filtering and other circuitry varies so much in mid-level players (like the DacMagic-like filters in some CA and Onkyo players.) I used coaxial digital interconnects for years with a Sony ES AVR and Sony ES player. But I'm back to analog for my Marantz CD6004. Six of one...half dozen of another.
 

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I should think the analogue input to output path on a typical AVR would be among its weaker elements, thereby making a digital connection more attractive. There is also the practical consideration that if one wants to keep a sub active for stereo listening, an analogue connection is rendered irrelevant by the AVR's ADCs. In most systems, the sub's supplement of bass is good to have on hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I contacted the dealer with the Rotel 5-disc player - it's a floor model (and Rotel has discontinued making multi-disc players) - Canadian MSRP was about $1k - he has offered $249 (down from advertised $299) before taxes/shipping. Looking into shipping cost and trying to get him down some more. I think this is a pretty good deal, even if it is a floor model. This uses a Burr Brown 1791.


On EBay or Amazon, I can get the Teac CD-P650, which uses a Burr Brown 1732, for between $225 - $250 (plus this has a front USB and can play MP3 and WAV files); or the Teac multi-player CD-D2610, which I guess uses a generic(?) DAC - the specs don't name the DAC - for under $200, all in.


I know there are lots and lots of other choices for CD players, but I can't currently locate any in the $$ range I am comfortable in - the Rotel would be stretching it.



So, now it's time to make a decision. I could just stick with the Samsung universal player, as I don't currently listen to much of my CD collection; but I can forsee this changing once my HT room/system is fully up and running. For that reason, I am kind of leaning to a CD player for that purpose. (plus it's another new toy)


But, as I will be running any player thru my AVR, if I am not going to get any added sonic value, then I guess the only real reason would be if I wanted a multi-player for convenience. (I assume there is no way to bypass the AVR's internal DAC if I have to route the CD player through it to get to the speakers?)


If I'm going multi-player, then the Rotel would seem to make the most sense in the long term given it's better DAC if I ever decided to setup a different connection route, even though it will cost me $100 or so more than the Teac.


But, I also can't find much information about the quality of Teac brand stuff, whereas Rotel is somewhat of a "household name", if you will - although I realize that doesn't always translate to better performance or long life.


So, what do you think? Buy the Rotel and run?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC2011 /forum/post/21643286


(I assume there is no way to bypass the AVR's internal DAC if I have to route the CD player through it to get to the speakers?)

Sure you can. Use the AVR's analog inputs.


Although the Yamaha you have has Burr-Brown DACs. Not that it's the final word, but something to consider.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa /forum/post/0



Sure you can. Use the AVR's analog inputs.


Although the Yamaha you have has Burr-Brown DACs. Not that it's the final word, but something to consider.

Can do that but the sub will be out of play, if that matters. I'd go with the Rotel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay, just finished reading through another thread here about differences in DACs - seemed the consensus was that there should be no difference if the units being compared have been level matched. Do I understand this?


So, comparing the Rotel multi-disc to the Teac multi-disc, there should really be no difference in sound due to the DACs, especially when running through the AVR (which as Tulpa noted in my case is the Yamaha with Burr Brown DAC anyway...)


So to spend the extra $110 on the Rotel over the Teac multi-disc, there would need to be other reasons, such as overall build quality, performance, etc., none of which I can adequately compare.


I am leaning towards pulling the trigger on the Rotel (maybe it is the ego of the pseudo-audiophile in me grativating towards "brand" names), but need to justify it to the wife.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC2011 /forum/post/21644266


Okay, just finished reading through another thread here about differences in DACs - seemed the consensus was that there should be no difference if the units being compared have been level matched. Do I understand this?

That is correct.

Quote:
So, comparing the Rotel multi-disc to the Teac multi-disc, there should really be no difference in sound due to the DACs, especially when running through the AVR (which as Tulpa noted in my case is the Yamaha with Burr Brown DAC anyway...)

Also correct.

Quote:
So to spend the extra $110 on the Rotel over the Teac multi-disc, there would need to be other reasons, such as overall build quality, performance, etc., none of which I can adequately compare.


I am leaning towards pulling the trigger on the Rotel (maybe it is the ego of the pseudo-audiophile in me grativating towards "brand" names), but need to justify it to the wife.

The Rotel originally sold for over 1100$ in Canada, so you're getting it for around 80% off. I've looked each of them up and (albeit only from photos) the build quality seems much better on the Rotel. By itself, that would sway me for the difference, but it's not my money. I did come across something about the Teac that I would find disappointing: it apparently cannot shuffle across all its discs--pressing shuffle will do so only on the disc currently playing. Given that getting a dedicated player, especially a multi-disc player, has as its main advantage extra functionality, this would be another factor that would weigh in favour of the Rotel (checked its manual and it will shuffle either one or all discs--your choice; also checked the Teac manual to confirm what I'd read. It will only shuffle on one disc at a time).


In terms of sound, either one would be fine if connected digitally. Features and build quality, to me, make the Rotel more attractive.


Good luck.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovation /forum/post/21638210


I'd go with the multi-disc Rotel. Spend the difference on CDs.

This is what I would do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

That is correct.


Also correct.




I did come across something about the Teac that I would find disappointing: it apparently cannot shuffle across all its discs--pressing shuffle will do so only on the disc currently playing. Given that getting a dedicated player, especially a multi-disc player, has as its main advantage extra functionality, this would be another factor that would weigh in favour of the Rotel (checked its manual and it will shuffle either one or all discs--your choice; also checked the Teac manual to confirm what I'd read. It will only shuffle on one disc at a time).


QUOTE]




Thanks, I had not seen that issue with the Teac. Looks like Rotel is the winner! Now to see what is the best deal I can get...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
One last question on this (hopefully) - should I be concerned at all that the Rotel is/has been on demo at the dealer? They said something like 2 - 3 years it has been a demo unit, may have a couple of scratches, but everything functions well.


The dealer is over 2hrs drive from me (saw the ad on their website), so I was planning to get it shipped to me, sight unseen....


Does have a 1 year manufacturer's warranty, and I assume I could get an extended.
 
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