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Screw my budget: Looking at Music Hall MMF-25 or (probably) Arcam Diva CD72T

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Here are (probably) the final three contenders for my upgrade dollars:

Arcam Diva CD72T ~$700
http://www.arcam.co.uk/diva/hifi/cd72.html

Music Hall MMF-25 $525
http://www.store.yahoo.com/decibelch...halmmfcdc.html

Sony DVP-NS500V $180
http://www.crutchfield.com/cgi-bin/S...VS500V&o=m&a=0

I was going to get the Sony DVP-NS500V, but then I did some reading on Audio Asylum and read some reviews of other players. Now I'm thinking that I won't regret spending more on a new CD player, and after reading Jude's Review and other great reviews, it really doesn't seem like I would regret significantly exceeding my budget and buying the Arcam Diva CD72T. I'm also fond of the aesthetics, but that's of no great importance.

My music: 2/3 of what I listen to is hard rock and metal 1/3 is classical symphonies, especially Mahler and Shostakovich.

This player will be used with my Etymotic ER4S and eric343 is in the process of building me a very nice META42; also I'm still planning on going with the $50 1.2 M Outlaw interconnects.

I'll be going from a Sony D25S pcdp+Etymotic ER4P (talk about an upgrade!).

Hopefully one (or many) of you will talk me into (or out of) buying the CD72T. Considering the fact that I spend at least two hours (and as much as eight) every school day listening to music, I can't see how it would be a bad idea to spend more for a good source.

I don't give a damn about SACD because I have ~170 CDs, most of what I listen to isn't available on SACD, and I won't have any money to get SACDs anyway after this upgrade. I only have ~4 HDCDs, so that doesn't really matter either. Also, I watch DVD's on my 22" monitor, so I don't want a separate DVD player.

Finally, this player won't get stolen at college, so don't worry about that.
post #2 of 30

Re: Screw my budget: Looking at Music Hall MMF-25 or (probably) Arcam Diva CD72T

Quote:
Originally posted by radrd
Arcam Diva CD72T ~$700
http://www.arcam.co.uk/diva/hifi/cd72.html

Music Hall MMF-25 $525
http://www.store.yahoo.com/decibelch...halmmfcdc.html

Sony DVP-NS500V $180
http://www.crutchfield.com/cgi-bin/S...VS500V&o=m&a=0
Ive got the Arcam Diva CD72 player and i think its a great player but at $180 for the dvp-ns500v.. i dont think you can go much wrong with the sony. should you found the sony lacking in redbook you could always add an ART DIO fully modded by bolders for < $500!!

ps: ive got a modded ART DIO 4sale too
post #3 of 30
Decided to keep the Arcam, eh taoster? Oh, and radrd, you can find used Arcam FMJ-23s on the used market for $1200. Why don't you stretch that budget just a little further...
post #4 of 30
You can also upgrade the Arcam in the future? Ring DAC?

The Sony is disposable the Arcam is an investment. I had the Sony and took it back. I didn’t like having to press the eject button twice after the disk was finished playing to get the disk out and the front panel buttons are real small because it wasn’t made to be used as a stand alone CD player. It was a beauty of an example of cheap construction, but it was built as a disposable consumer product.

I want the Arcam myself.

I think audio is a combination of senses and aesthetics is one. While not worth $500 alone it contributes to the pleasure of listening to music.
post #5 of 30

Arcam

The Arcam Rocks. I should know, I have it

And when you get a spare $900, you can upgrade it to a CD92 (dCS Ring DAC - one of the best there is)
post #6 of 30
Thread Starter 
eric343
Since you have the Arcam, I assume it will be a good match for the META you are building me, right?

Quote:
The Sony is disposable the Arcam is an investment.
That's what I'm thinking. Why bother with the Sony and upgrade next summer when I could just buy the Arcam now and not want to upgrade for much longer. From that perspective, regardless of how good of a deal the Sony is, the Sony would actually be a waste of money in the long run.

Quote:
And when you get a spare $900, you can upgrade it to a CD92 (dCS Ring DAC - one of the best there is
That's cool too. Then I have a definite upgrade path for the future.

Quote:
you can find used Arcam FMJ-23s on the used market for $1200. Why don't you stretch that budget just a little further...
Trust me, that would be a very bad idea at this point. There's no way in hell that anyone I know is finding out exactly how much the Arcam costs (assuming I don't wimp out and go with the Sony).
post #7 of 30
Yep. The Arcam, IMHO, is a great match for META42s... in fact, the best sound I've heard out of it yet was with a rather insane META42...(whose owner will be posting a review soon, RIGHT JOHN? ) even the guy at the audio shop where I bought it really liked the Arcam/META42 (well, Arcam/ETA42 at the time) combination...
post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 
Sweet. Mine's not insane, but it should be pretty good.

Thanks Eric.
post #9 of 30
I have the Arcam,the Music Hall and the Sony.The Arcam sounds a little better on redbook than the Sony and the Musichall is a great player as well but neither plays SACD and the Arcam is sure as hell not $500-$600 better than the Sony.The point of diminishing returns has been lowered greatly by players like the Sony.If you don't buy one you are really missing out.you can always buy an Arcam later to compare,the Sonys will be gone soon.
post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 
If you just want redbook playback, how much more would you be willing to pay for the Arcam?

Where is the Sony weaker than the Arcam in redbook playback? Is there any area where the Sony is actually better than the Arcam?

I won't be buying and SACDs or watching any DVDs if I buy the Sony. I want redbook ONLY.

If you cut out the greatness of SACD and the versatility of DVD, how much is the Sony actually worth as a redbook player? For me, SACD and DVD aren't even features because I won't use them on the Sony ever. I already have a DVD player that is better than the Sony. I won't move to SACD or another format at least until I get out of college, which will be at least four years.

Finally, I can't afford to buy things to compare. If I buy the Sony, then I'm out $180 and I would be too far away from affording the Arcam any time in the semi-near future.
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by dhwilkin
Decided to keep the Arcam, eh taoster? Oh, and radrd, you can find used Arcam FMJ-23s on the used market for $1200. Why don't you stretch that budget just a little further...
Ive had the Arcam awhile now and was never going to get rid of it. got the ART DIO to hear for myself and decided i prefer it over the arcam cd72.

I really do think the Sony is the go at $180!! That's amazing value. That's $500 to upgrade on other items!!! amazing!
post #12 of 30
I like the ART DI/O a lot more than the Arcam CD72, also.

I'd also reconsider the upgrade angle of the Arcams. The fact it'd be much easier to sell whatever you have (Arcam or otherwise) and buy the next Arcam up the chain used. There are often used Arcams on Audiogon.

In your price range (~$700?), I still think the DVD player (the new Sony or the old Pioneer 440, or a used Sony S7000 if you can find one) and the ART DI/O together are the best way to go--even if you ONLY want redbook.
post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 

Wow, this is fun

I'm coming around on the ART DI/O

...but I'm going to need some help.

Where do I order one?

Is it worth having one modified?

Is there anywhere that sells them pre-modified?

With the DAC, does the CD player matter for sound quality, and if so how much?

What kind of cabling will I need?

My budget: For a source upgrade (DAC, CD player) I could go $750 shipped, but absolutely nothing more, and staying closer to $500 would make me happy.
post #14 of 30
Dammit! Kelly, now you've made me add the ART to my mental list of next upgrades... Grr.
post #15 of 30

Re: Wow, this is fun

Quote:
Originally posted by radrd
I'm coming around on the ART DI/O

...but I'm going to need some help.

Where do I order one?
Call Full Compass at 1-800-356-5844. They're $125 there (half the $250 retail). Don't bother looking on their web site -- it's difficult to navigate and they'll likely be out of stock anyway. When the salesman says it's out of stock, ask if you can go ahead and pay and have them ship when a restock arrives. This shouldn't take longer than two weeks. If you're less patient, go elsewhere but Full Compass is friendly and affordable.

Quote:
Is it worth having one modified?
I never had an opportunity to do a full AB of stock vs modified so these opinions are from my memory only (add however much salt you think appropriate). I felt the noise floor was substantially lowered and the treble sounded more open after modifications. The bass improves a good bit but seems to stem more from the upgraded power supply. The modded ART errs on the warm side with a slight added emphasis in the lower mids and a "lush" sound overall. It is not to the point of being thick or muddy but it's what you might call out if you were to compare it to more expensive sources.

At this point, I prefered the ART DI/O to the Channel Island DAC by a small margin across the board and by a good bit in the bass. I still consider the Dan Wright modified Perpetual Technologies P3A and stock Sony XA777ES to both be much better but those exceed your budget. Within your budget, I'm not sure I could name something that I've heard better for redbook that isn't used.

I bought the modification with the high grade resisters for $260 and the PSU for another $125 from Bolder Cable (http://www.boldercable.com).

Quote:
Is there anywhere that sells them pre-modified?
Not to my knowledge, but you could probably have it shipped directly to Bolder. You might ask him about it.

Quote:
With the DAC, does the CD player matter for sound quality, and if so how much?
Yes, the transport matters quite a bit. Many people will argue with me over this and I'd rather not rehash it. In my experience, transports can matter quite a bit in the extremes of treble and bass extension the most but make a good difference overall. Many people complain about upsampling transports in some players and DVD players and anything that doesn't put out true 16/44.1 to the coax jack. The Pioneer 440 that Nick Dangerous has and promotes is well known for being a good budget transport. Most modern DVD players should also do the job, and for reasons we discussed in other threads, DVD players in general are probably better transports than lower end CD player tend to be. A number of people think highly of the Sony S7000 which I recommended.

Quote:
What kind of cabling will I need?
If the ART DI/O DAC is modified, you'll need one digital coax cable and one pair of RCA analog interconnects. Bolder sells a good digital coax cable he makes for $75 for 1 meter. Dan Wright (http://www.modwright.com) sells an even better cable from Jena Labs called the Digi-Trio for $150. If these are too pricey for you for now, I'd recommend using whatever RCA cable you have for now rather than wasting money on anything less than Bolder's cable. This will especially please people who say there is no difference.

Quote:
My budget: For a source upgrade (DAC, CD player) I could go $750 shipped, but absolutely nothing more, and staying closer to $500 would make me happy.
You should be able to get a DVD player for ~$150 and the ART DI/O completely modded for just over $500. With shipping you should be under $700.


Eric343
This post was intended for someone who has not already invested in the Arcam CD72. For you, you should look more into a more revealing headphone and amplifier for your next upgrade. You should go listen to Stax then visit HeadWize's Gilmore articles and reevaluate your life.
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