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At what price range, do CD players gain a major jump in sound quality? - Page 2

post #16 of 66
Generally I would agree. My Denon 5910 just doesn't cut itas a CD player. Nevertheless, my Bel Canto PL-1A has great CD playback as well as SACD and DVD-A. It sounds just as good at Redbook as my Meridian G08.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hershon2000
To address one of the points someone made on this thread about not being able to tell difference between CD & DVD sound for CD's, I think that is only true if you are a casual unobservant fan of music, nothing personal. Someone who say is a dedicated listener of either a genre of music, ie. blues, or a particular music group, will notice an immediate difference. I was listening to CDs for the past few years on a Harmon Kardon 31 DVD player connected to my Denon 3001 receiver to my Orb Audio Speaker & Sub system. THe sound was quite good but I always sensed something was missing & I couldn't quite put a finger on it. Then on a whim after doing careful research I bought a Pioneer Elite PD-59 CD player. The difference in sound quality between this CD player & the DVD player is to me night & day. The DVD player was making the sound too bright & kind of messed with the dynamics & kind of muddied the sound compared to the CD player in which everything comes alive & is much sweeter, smoother & richer & seems to spread the music out more. It's not so much that I hear things I didn't hear before but the CD player lets me notice them more, if that makes any sense. I'm told that is a common difference between CD & DVD players. The funny thing is I was all set to by a Denon 2900 Universal player when I read a review that was meant as a compliment but totally changed my mind which said "for a Universal player the sound is almost as good as a CD player, which is some feat"!
post #17 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hershon2000
To address one of the points someone made on this thread about not being able to tell difference between CD & DVD sound for CD's, I think that is only true if you are a casual unobservant fan of music, nothing personal.
I dont know if you are referring to me or rsaavedra. If me then.....


I have been an avid listener to music for all my adult life starting with a Garrard SP25 in 1976 and graduating to a Rega Planar 3 / A&R A60 / Kef Coda speakers in 1984 and going digital the same year. I get a lot of joy out of music and I used to listen with the lights off and the curtains drawn so as not to be distracted. I used to frequent hifi shows in London and braided my own speaker cables from solid core mains cable and had dedicated stands for my kit including carpet piercing speaker stands. In the last 2 years I have bought about 350 CDs (almost exclusively classical if that matters). I listen to music for 6 - 8 hours each saturday and sunday - unless the missus wants to go shopping.

I will tell you what I hear, take it however you like, believe me or not it is up to you, I dont know what you hear and I cannot argue that you dont hear what you say you hear (though the mischievious Psychologist in me wants to mention expectancy effect but lets not go there) , but dont dismiss me as a casual unobservant fan of music thank you very much.

Peace and Love !
post #18 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by CamelBackCinema
I was wondering, I wanted to spend about 300 dollars max on a CD source but I can save up or use a credit card if need be in order to get a very nice one.

On a side note, I am very new to dedicated sources. Hopefully you guys can recommend me one that can stand alone and won't need a DAC.

EDIT: BTW, my set up will be based around RS-1 ---> Woo Audio 3
If you want to stretch a bit, you can get nice deals on a used Rega Planet ($500 - $600) or used Marantz SA-8260 ($550) (sacd/redbook). If you really save, the CD-E5 ($650used - $750new) and Rega Apollo ($995) would be the next in line for me. There are certainly others but these are probably good places to start.
post #19 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hershon2000
To address one of the points someone made on this thread about not being able to tell difference between CD & DVD sound for CD's, I think that is only true if you are a casual unobservant fan of music, nothing personal.
Hershon2000 I think it's impossible to generalize about CD sound vs. DVD player sound from one isolated experience with one of each type, seems you are doing some casual invalid reasoning and generalization here, nothing personal

You mention one specific comparison between one cd player and one dvd player. You were not satisfied with the DVD player sound, ok good. Is that sufficient to generalize and say no DVD player can achieve the sound quality of a dedicated CD player? You simply cannot make such a generalization from one isolated experience. CD players themselves have their own spectrum of sound quality depending on what player you are considering, and DVD players as well. It is more than reasonable to expect that those spectrums overlap. Some DVD players might even sound better than some CD players, both in stock form. Assuming those footprints of sound quality don't overlap because of one and only one negative experience you had against DVD players would be like saying all Chinese restaurants are terrible because you were unlucky and went to one bad Chinese restaurant. Invalid generalization.

My own post would be a counter example (for me at least) to your generalization. I was also referring to a specific comparison between one dedicated CD player, and one heavily modded DVD player, and of course I'm biased, but I liked the Toshiba sound in the first place, and couldn't tell it apart from the Meridian in a quick listen. All in all, YMMV.

You should realize that both you and I compared compared specific players, not player types.
post #20 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by fewtch
Are you taking into account transparency? Because as much as I like the sound of my Toshiba SD-3980, it's piss-poor in terms of background blackness and transparency (i.e. how much difference you hear between recordings) and seems to have a strong "house sound" that homogenizes everything.
Maybe that house sound is identical to Rotel's? I really don't know. All I know is that I did some tests which involved putting the same disc in both players and starting them at the same time and switching between inputs. The Rotel had nicer LAT cabling and the Toshiba had the famous cheapo AR interconnect and Vibrapods (i heard no difference in the Rotel with the Vibrapods, but I did with the Toshiba...maybe the flimsy chassis and shakey transport).

I could hear no difference and I WANTED to, trust me. I like to think my hearing is pretty good, too...it's not like I'm some guy walking into Best Buy and listening to home theatre setups; I care about these things and listen closely. If there was a difference in sound between the two, it was so minute that I could never in good conscious justify my Rotel over the Toshiba.

Oddly enough, I heard a greater difference when going from Audioquest speaker wire of questionable condition to Canare 4S11, than I did when switching from the Toshiba to the Rotel. That said, I haven't performed this same source test with the Canare cabling in place. Maybe the ****** AQ wire was the bottle neck and I'd hear a great difference now? I'll try it tonight.
post #21 of 66

CD Sound Versus DVD player Sound

I totally agree with you that just based on my single experience with CD & DVD players, to try to conclude solely based on that, ones superiority to the other is meaningless. I based my conclusions on the hundreds of different posts & reviews I've read on this board & others, 98% of them proclaimed CD sound is superior when played on a CD player then a Universal/DVD player. Again that might be meaningless as well but at least that would help point someone in a direction. Having said that, I find myself totally in the minority by stating that I find some toslink optical cables produce better sound then others & some CD players sound just as good when connected by optical cable instead of analog cables & that not all DVD players sound the same when connected by digital cable (albeit there are not night & day differences).
post #22 of 66
DVD players are built to do a lot of things other than music play back: they also include lots of specific components that can create noise, iterference and so on. To give a good CD reproduction would cost a lot of extra money and, in most cases, the end user would not care about it that much.
A CD player is designed to do just one thing: reproduce music with the best possible quality withing its retail price.
It is obvious than in most cases, at the same price point a CDP would sound considerably better than a DVD player.
Of course there are exceptions of a few DVD players with particoularly good CD replay and some CDP of extremely bad value.

I don't want to sound like a snob, but I own a Denon 2900 DVD, SACD, DVD A of good quality, its price here was about $1,500 at the time. I also own a Musical Fidelity X-ray v.3 CD player, with the same retail price.
I bought a few SACD and DVD A just to give it a try. The playback sound of the Denon in SACD and DVD A is so much inferior to the MF using simple CDs that I never again tried to play even once any SACD or DVD A and ever since I only used the Denon to read DVD movies (job that it accomplishes very well)
post #23 of 66
Trying to get more on topic, I second Tyrion suggestion regarding the CD-E5.
I tried it at the nat meet and really liked it, as well as the Original CD-A8T.
They both retail for about $700 and I had never heard anything at this price point sounding so good
post #24 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by proglife
Maybe that house sound is identical to Rotel's?
No. The Rotel has no overbearing sound that homogenizes recordings and makes them all sound similar, like the Toshiba does.

Quote:
I really don't know. All I know is that I did some tests which involved putting the same disc in both players and starting them at the same time and switching between inputs. The Rotel had nicer LAT cabling and the Toshiba had the famous cheapo AR interconnect and Vibrapods (i heard no difference in the Rotel with the Vibrapods, but I did with the Toshiba...maybe the flimsy chassis and shakey transport).
Did you say this was at a meet? Notoriously awful place to try & hear differences between sources.

Quote:
I could hear no difference and I WANTED to, trust me. I like to think my hearing is pretty good, too...it's not like I'm some guy walking into Best Buy and listening to home theatre setups; I care about these things and listen closely. If there was a difference in sound between the two, it was so minute that I could never in good conscious justify my Rotel over the Toshiba.
Well, I don't have any knowledge of your hearing and can't make any statements about that. To me, there are major sonic differences between my Rotel RCD-855 and Toshiba SD-3980 DVD player. Of course, the Toshiba is stock/unmodded (so is the Rotel). The Toshiba just has awful transparency, although it has great bass/treble extension and a very involving sound. If all I ever listened to was highly processed studio synthesizer or guitar music, maybe I could be happy with it. I'm actually putting up with less detail, less soundstage and less bottom/top extension in favor of superior transparency, which to me is a characteristic that's absolutely crucial.
post #25 of 66
Tried it again last night with the better speaker cables and the difference was greater, but only really noticable if i put my ear right up to the tweeter. There was more noise in Toshiba...it was less quiet.

I'm not sure if I'm impressed with the Toshiba or disappointed by the Rotel. I've never had another high-end CDP in my chain.
post #26 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by CamelBackCinema
I was wondering, I wanted to spend about 300 dollars max on a CD source but I can save up or use a credit card if need be in order to get a very nice one.

On a side note, I am very new to dedicated sources. Hopefully you guys can recommend me one that can stand alone and won't need a DAC.
Get something like a NAD 521BEE. This is a no-frills budget player with reasonable build quality and outstanding Sonics for the money. It will sound way better than most DVD or Universal players without spending silly money.

The thing with CD is you will notice bigger differences when you go from a player like the NAD to a machine like the Naim CD5i at 7 times the price once you have lived with a budget player for a while rather than at a first glance so to speak. Not to say there isn't a big difference but just that you will appreciate it more if you take smaller steps.

The amp will play a big part in this too as others have said.
post #27 of 66
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the discussion so far, Im still learning so keep it coming!
post #28 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by memepool
Get something like a NAD 521BEE. This is a no-frills budget player with reasonable build quality and outstanding Sonics for the money. It will sound way better than most DVD or Universal players without spending silly money.

The thing with CD is you will notice bigger differences when you go from a player like the NAD to a machine like the Naim CD5i at 7 times the price once you have lived with a budget player for a while rather than at a first glance so to speak. Not to say there isn't a big difference but just that you will appreciate it more if you take smaller steps.

The amp will play a big part in this too as others have said.
NAD might be the perfect one. Where can i buy that player?
post #29 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by CamelBackCinema
NAD might be the perfect one. Where can i buy that player?
http://www.nadelectronics.com/dealers/index.htm

they have a web page with a form where you input your zip code and it tells you the nearest dealer.
post #30 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by memepool
http://www.nadelectronics.com/dealers/index.htm

they have a web page with a form where you input your zip code and it tells you the nearest dealer.
So there is no place online where I can buy this player with free shipping? I'd rather avoid tax but I think there is one near my house.
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