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High End Red Book CD Player Opinions? - Page 15

post #211 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by markl
But, I'm also biased against British gear from the off because their cost of manufacture is double what ours is, so I'm always questioning the value. That said, I'm also biased against the flood of cheap Chinese gear because of my concern that build quality (and maybe design) is sub-par, even if labour costs are so low.

Ideally, I'd opt for Canadian gear; you know, it's just like the USA, but at a 20% discount!
Value would be the thing that has had me not commit big bucks into the front end so far. I understand the "source first" philosophy and do agree with it but find diminishing returns sets in earlier with digital gear and the differences in performance much smaller than with amps and speakers. I also see the digital landscape as pretty unstable right now. I'd like to wait and see what happens with the five inch optical disc over the next year or two before sinking big bucks into a player. Superb performance becomes second rate awfully fast in the redbook world. It's cheaper (wiser?) to buy current second rate than yesterday's first rate?


Quote:
Originally Posted by markl
Well, the Naim may be just what the Dr. odered for you, it sounds like a monster. I've looked into the Naim, but the knock on it seems to be that highs are muted/rolled, and it lacks the "air" of the Ayre. :
Based on reading only, it would depend upon who you're reading. It's not all flowers and love for Naim. Welly's fav is Art Dudley and I like him too as a reviewer but moreso as a writer who can make me laugh with the personal (describing his hair style as a "squid going for a ride on a cannonball"). Prior to the Ayre Evolution he described the CD5X: "All other things being equal, I confess to enjoying reproduced music best when it has utter freedom from ambiguity in rhythm and in pitch. (Is that why I still love Toscanini?) Viewed in that light, Naim Audio's CD5x is the most satisfying "Red Book" CD player I've enjoyed in my system."

But I think I have a bias for some British writers as they seem more discerning and less easily in a state of awe than the Americans. Welly is definitely red, white and blue:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Welly Wu
panoramic width, penetrating depth, and tall headstage [B]that is extremely sharp, focused, and of ultra high resolution [I]with convincing imaging precision that is not choppy

the definition being steroid popping muscular dynamics and an extremely wide, cavernous, and towering soundstage.


The take on the CD5X by HIFI+'s Jason Hector was quite different and he even had the flatcap in use in the end.

I won't quote entire paragraphs but just key sentences. "In my opinion, and being blunt about it, the CD5X is not a stellar performer." "The sound I've described could best be summed-up as well balanced and safe. Certainly, there are more colourful, dramatic and better sounding CD players available for this sort of money." "The message is simple; the CD5X is not bad at anything but it is not spectacularly good at anything either." The 5x is middle-aged and sensible compared with the teenaged (CD3) 3's, sometimes clumsy, exuberance. This makes the CD5X a safer choice, and one that's far easier to pair with other manufacturer's equipment, but has the trade-off gone too far?" "This player's balance of virtues is unfailingly sensible and will allow you to enjoy more of your music for longer and it's easy to lose sight of the fact that this has to be the whole point of spending this sort of money on a CD player Exciting? No. Sensible? Certainly." "ask yourself whether you want to play it safe or live a little dangerously. That will tell you whether this player's for you."

Frankly, I'm in no real hurry to replace my front end. It isn't very often that my attention shifts from the music to the gear. I'm going to act as the CD5X and play it safe in the decision making.
post #212 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Welly Wu
For the first time, I am now thinking about loudspeakers, power amplifiers, to match up with this CD player.
Get ready to cough up $5-10-15K
post #213 of 251
Thread Starter 
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post #214 of 251
My position on high end redbook CD players is that no matter how much you spend on one it will never sound as good as a good turntable.Serious audiophiles will continue to listen to their speaker stereo systems with turntables as their source and I don't see this changing in the near future.Find a CD player within your budget you like and live with its limitations.
post #215 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssportclay
My position on high end redbook CD players is that no matter how much you spend on one it will never sound as good as a good turntable.Serious audiophiles will continue to listen to their speaker stereo systems with turntables as their source and I don't see this changing in the near future.Find a CD player within your budget you like and live with its limitations.
I agree with you. I once (and only once as it wasn't received well) offered the opinion that unless you're presently running a turntable you can't be taken completely seriously as an audiophile. (Is being an audiophile such a great thing? I don't think so. Are audiophiles happier than regular/normal music lovers? It's a hassle man!) You'd be lacking the reference format that puts measley low ceiling 16/44 into perspective. Vinyl is equivalent to something like 2 gigabits a second. But like I said that opinion didn't go over very well and I never said it again. Just as I've been hesitant to spend a lot on redbook, the same can be said for vinyl so far. I'm waiting a year or two to see what happens to redbook/blu-ray/hd-dvd/vinyl. Thousands spent on 16/44 seems like such a waste. Like buying an expensive padded brassiere for the flat chested or if your very serious, breast implants.

High End Red Book is an oxymoron.
post #216 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeteeth
I agree with you. I once (and only once as it wasn't received well) offered the opinion that unless you're presently running a turntable you can't be taken completely seriously as an audiophile. (Is being an audiophile such a great thing? I don't think so. Are audiophiles happier than regular/normal music lovers? It's a hassle man!) You'd be lacking the reference format that puts measley low ceiling 16/44 into perspective. Vinyl is equivalent to something like 2 gigabits a second. But like I said that opinion didn't go over very well and I never said it again. Just as I've been hesitant to spend a lot on redbook, the same can be said for vinyl so far. I'm waiting a year or two to see what happens to redbook/blu-ray/hd-dvd/vinyl. Thousands spent on 16/44 seems like such a waste. Like buying an expensive padded brassiere for the flat chested or if your very serious, breast implants.

High End Red Book is an oxymoron.
Who cares about being taken seriously?Whatever sounds good,is good.To be honest,the people who go to the trouble of installing a massive plinth on a used Rek-o-kut or Lenco rim drive turntable and installing a kicked-up Rega 250 tonearm for not much money are probably listening to better stereo than 98% of the people reading this thread.I am not about to give up my CD player but it does sound like a sanitized version of what audio should sound like and I am afraid that no amount of money spent can overcome this.
post #217 of 251
Quote:
My position on high end redbook CD players is that no matter how much you spend on one it will never sound as good as a good turntable.Serious audiophiles will continue to listen to their speaker stereo systems with turntables as their source and I don't see this changing in the near future.
Quote:
I agree with you. I once (and only once as it wasn't received well) offered the opinion that unless you're presently running a turntable you can't be taken completely seriously as an audiophile.
Vinylphiles crack me up.

Oh the pomposity!

You realize that speaker-o-philes will tell both of you aren't "serious" audiophiles because you favor lousy ol' headphones, dontcha?

Power-o-philes will tell you that because you don't use a regenerator, you aren't a serious audiophile.

Cable-o-philes will tell you if you don't have a $3000 set of ICs you aren't a serious audiophile.

Amp-o-philes will tell you if you don't have dual 1000 watt per channel monoblocks you aren't serious...

Tube-o-philes will tell you...
post #218 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssportclay
Who cares about being taken seriously?
The question being who-anyone who would use the word "soundstage". The implied question of if it's important to be taken seriously would bring some awareness to the person asked and a candid answer would not be guaranteed. They would answer "no".

Quote:
Originally Posted by markl
You realize that speaker-o-philes will tell both of you aren't "serious" audiophiles because you favor lousy ol' headphones, dontcha?

Power-o-philes will tell you that because you don't use a regenerator, you aren't a serious audiophile.

Cable-o-philes will tell you if you don't have a $3000 set of ICs you aren't a serious audiophile.

Amp-o-philes will tell you if you don't have dual 1000 watt per channel monoblocks you aren't serious...

Tube-o-philes will tell you...
No one wants to hear that their girlfriend is ugly.
When needing to shift something to being incorrect, which is what you are doing with your statement, is first to oversimplifying it. But you're right about some being snobby about gear and if you're not at a certain level it doesn't count. I can't agree with that. To distinguish the difference between vinyl and redbook or speakers and headphones is pretty apparent though.
Speakers over 'phones, I agree with. Power conditioning, not crucial. Cables, not crucial. Amps matter. Tubes I'm ok with but not crucial. Now you know where I stand.

I think what I was getting at was speaking about soundstages and resolution and such from the lesser reference POV of being familiar with digital only, as being incomplete.
post #219 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by markl
Vinylphiles crack me up.

Oh the pomposity!

You realize that speaker-o-philes will tell both of you aren't "serious" audiophiles because you favor lousy ol' headphones, dontcha?

Power-o-philes will tell you that because you don't use a regenerator, you aren't a serious audiophile.

Cable-o-philes will tell you if you don't have a $3000 set of ICs you aren't a serious audiophile.

Amp-o-philes will tell you if you don't have dual 1000 watt per channel monoblocks you aren't serious...

Tube-o-philes will tell you...
Hi MARKL:I am not really a vinylphile but I do listen to a lot of LPs and CDs on the same system.I am not completly happy with either format but on the whole vinyl sounds more real and digital does fewer things wrong and is easier to use.
post #220 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssportclay
My position on high end redbook CD players is that no matter how much you spend on one it will never sound as good as a good turntable.Serious audiophiles will continue to listen to their speaker stereo systems with turntables as their source and I don't see this changing in the near future.Find a CD player within your budget you like and live with its limitations.

There are plenty of "serious audiophiles" who think vinyl offers inferior playback over digital. While recording/mastering can skew that picture, there is no objective basis for claiming vinyl is a superior format. You can prefer either format but, based on my own experience, the only reason for keeping a vinyl rig is for the extensive library of cheap vinyl available and the fact that many CDs are mastered poorly. On a proper digital-based speaker rig with some well recorded CDs, vinyl pales in comparison. Of course, just my opinion.
post #221 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleestack
there is no objective basis for claiming vinyl is a superior format. You can prefer either format but, based on my own experience, the only reason for keeping a vinyl rig is for the extensive library of cheap vinyl available and the fact that many CDs are mastered poorly. Get yourself a proper digital-based speaker rig and some well recorded CDs and perhaps you will hear how vinyl pales in comparison.
Uh oh, here we go.
I'll take a pass on the argument and the "objective basis" stuff.

Just ask those with comparable playback in both formats which sounds better when superb CD of the same title as superb vinyl gets played.

I thought this comparison of the $400 TT versus some multi-thousand CD players seemed fair enough. CD vs. LP - a Face-off: a Musical Fidelity A308CR vs. the Meridian 588-24 vs. an Accuphase DP-57 vs. vinyl vs. a Technics SL-1210 MK2/Dynavector 10X5 analog rig

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue26/technics.htm

I listen to CD mostly (it's true), mostly because I'm lazy (that's very true, at least with audio).
post #222 of 251
This was my vinyl rig: VPI SuperScoutmaster w/ Grado Statement, Ray Samuel's XR-10B, VPI record cleaner and Billy Bags Custom TT Table. I consider that a pretty rigorous vinyl setup.My vinyl collection was all near mint or mint, consisting of everything from original Blue Note pressings of Miles Davis and Lee Morgan to reissue heavy vinyl of various blues, jazz and rock artists. I also had access tosme of the largest and rarest vinyl collections in the Bay area. I think that should be a reasonable basis of comparison for any digital rig. After much listening time through my speaker rigs, it was clear to me that when digital is properly mastered it has no audible deficincies compared to vinyl. That being said, finding well recorded CDs these days can be an exercise in frustration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeteeth
Uh oh, here we go.
I'll take a pass on the argument and the "objective basis" stuff.

Just ask those with comparable playback in both formats which sounds better when superb CD of the same title as superb vinyl gets played.

I thought this comparison of the $400 TT versus some multi-thousand CD players seemed fair enough. CD vs. LP - a Face-off: a Musical Fidelity A308CR vs. the Meridian 588-24 vs. an Accuphase DP-57 vs. vinyl vs. a Technics SL-1210 MK2/Dynavector 10X5 analog rig

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue26/technics.htm

I listen to CD mostly (it's true), mostly because I'm lazy (that's very true, at least with audio).
post #223 of 251
That's some sweet, sweet stuff Sleestack, and Eggleston Andra no less.
Still we'll have to differ in opinion. CD sounds canned to me with the same titles and equal care in their manufacture. I'd welcome this not to be the case but I have to rely upon what I experience, not what I wish were true.
post #224 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeteeth
That's some sweet, sweet stuff Sleestack, and Eggleston Andra no less.
Still we'll have to differ in opinion. CD sounds canned to me with the same titles and equal care in their manufacture. I'd welcome this not to be the case but I have to rely upon what I experience, not what I wish were true.
As with most things in audio, it really does come down to a matter of opinion. My opinion is partially prejudiced by the fact that I can't stand the maintenance required for vinyl and the surface noise drove me nuts. Vinyl does sound wonderful, but I just find digital to be more transparent and realistic. Of course, I do admit, my systems were all put together with digital playback in mind and they have the unfair advantage of advanced room correction.
post #225 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleestack
my systems were all put together with digital playback in mind and they have the unfair advantage of advanced room correction.
My understanding is that that should make a major difference. My room is possibly lousy. Actually, sometimes everything sounds lousy if I'm not in the mood to have my disbelief suspended. I can't say I'm going to devote much more money or effort into it (pissing in the wind?). I'm not too interested in how extended are the frequency extremes or pin-point imaging. It is what it is, and right now it's not fantastic in my view, it's OK. The primary musical message is communicated honestly and unharmed and that's enough for me.

Digital room correction is a fantastic road to take and I wish high-rez digital would establish it's self so we could all benefit from both technologies.
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