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Analog Sound

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have never like CD sound, it always seems grainy compared to a R-t-R tape or even Vinyl (to be fair I have never heard a high end CDP either.) I just stumbled on a review of the Minimax CD player which the reviewer claims it gives analog sound to CD's. However I missed the boat on this with the price now $1200 vs $800, I can't but it knowing I'm paying 50% more than I should.

What would be a good alternative to getting analog sound out of a CDP for $800 (including the CDP up to but not including the headphone)
post #2 of 18
Do you need the actual CD player or would a DAC do?
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal
I have never like CD sound, it always seems grainy compared to a R-t-R tape or even Vinyl (to be fair I have never heard a high end CDP either.) I just stumbled on a review of the Minimax CD player which the reviewer claims it gives analog sound to CD's. However I missed the boat on this with the price now $1200 vs $800, I can't but it knowing I'm paying 50% more than I should.

What would be a good alternative to getting analog sound out of a CDP for $800 (including the CDP up to but not including the headphone)
The Rega Apollo at $995 new or around $800 to $850 used is one choice.

However, if you want analog, why not put together a vinyl rig.
post #4 of 18
Have you given a tube amp some thought? They do a nice job of softening CD playback; you'd probably like it.
post #5 of 18
IMO for an analogue sound see if you can track down a first generation Philips based player from 1983-84.I've just bought a Marantz CD-73 and I have not heard a more analogue sound from any modern player costly less than £4000.Some would say it sounds too vague and fuzzy but I would disagree.The only problem is the transport,if it goes wrong you've had it no service is available on these old units.Having said that the old CDM0 & CDM1 transports are pretty robust.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob N
IMO for an analogue sound see if you can track down a first generation Philips based player from 1983-84...
The most "analogue sounding" 1st gen ones I've heard are mainly Philips based but there are a few which the Japanese made or which used Japanese parts.
Look out for

Bang & Olufsen CDX
Bang & Olufsen CD50
Philips CD100
Philips CD101
Philips CD104
Philips CD202
Philips CD303
Marantz CD63 / CD63B
Marantz CD73
Meridian MCD / MCD pro
Revox B225
Sony D-50 (PCDP)

Most European manufacturers rushed CD players into production in the mid 1980's and even the cheapest brands would have used the 1st or 2nd gen Philips chipsets and mechs because these were pretty much the only things available. So even Amstrad or Ferguson players from the 80's may well sound quite good. Grundig, Blaupunkt Dual...etc are all worth checking out if you come accross one as they will be cheaper than any of the more collectable list above.
post #7 of 18
NOS DAC! There are quite a few models that are below $1000.

I have the MHDT Paradisea tube buffered NOS DAC. (http://www.enjoythemusic.com/Magazin...ratory_dac.htm)
You can adjust the "analog" sound to your taste with different tubes. You can get that DAC between $400 and $500 when the Chinese manufacturer produces one and puts it on ebay. You would need a digital transport to feed it, either a PCDP with digital out or something like the M-audio Transit or HagUSB with your computer.
post #8 of 18
Based on my 19+ years experience with Philip CD104 I would say that it does not sound "vinyl" or "analog" at all. It sounds very similar to my Denon DCD-685 and my M-Audio Transit. IMHO, this is a good thing. Analog may sound pleasing to your ears, but that's a different kettle of fish altogether. I would suggest going for the original sound (i.e. CD) instead of the pleasing distortions of analog.


Regards,

L.
post #9 of 18
Talking of first Gen players, the Toshiba XR-Z90 sounds not so bad, and has a very innovative vertical loading system

I will agree with RobN, Marantz made some really good units (or Philips did under the Marantz name depending on how you look at it) - I have a CD75 that sounds surprisingly musical, and is built to last with its CDM4 mechanism (not the 4/19 though, this one has a hall effect motor, will probably last longer than I will lol)...
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
I guess I am leaning for a tube just not sure where. It seems that a lot of people love tubes. I have never listened to one, but I can't stand the harsh grainy sound of digital music, seems a lot of internet talk is that a tube can smooth out the digitalis.

Would a tube be more useful in the cd player, an external DAC, or should I just find a tube headphone amp?
post #11 of 18
To me tube CD players seem a little passive in sound. I am sure there are exceptions but at what cost. I prefere a tube output on the amp and a analogueish sounding player such as the Rega Apollo. No grain there.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey01
To me tube CD players seem a little passive in sound. I am sure there are exceptions but at what cost. I prefere a tube output on the amp and a analogueish sounding player such as the Rega Apollo. No grain there.
I found the current Chinese tube players fairly unimpressive but have only really listened to the Shanlings.
The best tube experience I have had with CD is with an actual Audio Innovations Valve amplifier (300B I think) which was pretty inexpensive as tube amps go and made a really crappy CD player sound quite good but only with certain types of music. Jazz, classical, psychadelic rock etc.

If you like any other types of music it may be less suitable. For instance stick on Public Enemy and all the James Brown samples sound great but the slamming Bomb Squad rhythm programming gets lost in the fuzz.

The best thing to do would probably be to get a pretty smooth modern CD player like the NAD 542 and a tube headphone amp to take the edge of the sound.

Modern Delta Sigma chipsets like in the NAD are very detailed and polite compared to the thrills and spills of late 80's multibit. Where Delta Sigma's score over 1st gen machines is in the detail but they do tend to sound a bit flat by comparison. Those old Philips die cast mech players really have amazing presence and solidity compared to modern machines though.
post #13 of 18
With the Rega Apollo, if there is excitment in the music, it will be there with the Apollo. Otherwise it is uncolored, dynamic, clean and detailed.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leporello
Analog may sound pleasing to your ears, but that's a different kettle of fish altogether. I would suggest going for the original sound (i.e. CD) instead of the pleasing distortions of analog.
Don't think you can really make an argument for CD sounding more 'real'. All playback and recoding technologies have greater or lesser degrees and methods of creating pleasing ditortions. Ultimately all that can be described as sounding 'real' is what connects you most with the music.

A lot of people, myself amongst them, merely tolerate the imperfections of CD for convenience sake and listen to records when time allows. Equally it I'm sure there are people, however misguided, who prefer CD and are perfectly happy.

At the end of the day if it kills your love of music it doesn't matter how accurate a recording may be to a set of theoretical assumptions about the character of sound arrived at by a mathematician. If you don't connect with it on an emotional level then it has singularly failed to achieve it's purpose and no matter how many self deluded audiophiles tell themselves "yeah but it sounds really real man' it will always be so.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by memepool
Don't think you can really make an argument for CD sounding more 'real'. All playback and recoding technologies have greater or lesser degrees and methods of creating pleasing ditortions. Ultimately all that can be described as sounding 'real' is what connects you most with the music.

A lot of people, myself amongst them, merely tolerate the imperfections of CD for convenience sake and listen to records when time allows. Equally it I'm sure there are people, however misguided, who prefer CD and are perfectly happy.

At the end of the day if it kills your love of music it doesn't matter how accurate a recording may be to a set of theoretical assumptions about the character of sound arrived at by a mathematician. If you don't connect with it on an emotional level then it has singularly failed to achieve it's purpose and no matter how many self deluded audiophiles tell themselves "yeah but it sounds really real man' it will always be so.
Ditto
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