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Trying to switch from MP3 Audio to CD Audio

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I used to purchase music using itunes and then I'd listen to it on my computer through a total bithead and my grado 225s when I'm at home, but I'd use an Ipod and a pair of Beyerdynamic 250 headphones when I'm outside, which constitutes for most of my music listening time.

I have listened to my friend's CDs in a full sized cd player and I've seen the light, plus I want to start enjoying the album artwork and so on.

I don't actually, however, know much about portable CD players. My understanding is that the old ones are much better than the new ones, but is that like, a complete audiophile-level difference? How much should I be looking to spend on one given my headphones (as in, headphones that are in my opinion perfect value for money and are at the cutoff point of diminish returns). I would give a max budget but I don't know how far this could go. A figure of £200 would probably be the max I would pay but I don't know if that's actually way to high for what I need or nowhere near an improvement to mp3 audio.

If it helps, I listen to stuff like Porcupine Tree, The Mars Volta, Tool, and a lot of post-rock, which is different, because it's music with very good production and really ambient nuances, but also gets quite heavy at times which means that good attack is required (I'm more of a grado headbanger foottapper person than a sennheiser person).

Also, since this will be portable, size might actually be a bit of an issue.
post #2 of 12
It really depends on how portable you want to get. If you want ultra-portable cd-playback, then a classic Sony Discman will do pretty well, as will a classic Aiwa. There are other specialists in classic pcdps who will come along soon to advise you. After you move from headphone jack>headphone to optical out jack>dac or amp> headphones, you lose portability but you begin to gain in many areas of sound quality. You could have a classic portable cd feeding digital signal to a DAC, that went to a small amplifier, and then to a full-sized set of headphones, and this could be a very high quality, very compelling setup. But you'll have to think about it and plan out what sort of system you want to create.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much for getting me started.

I'll probably eventually go down that route, splurging on a DAC and an AMP (although I already have my bithead, but i may opt for something smaller).

It's really weird to see how good pcdps are so hard to find. I'm finding a lot of sony's and aiwa's but I don't know about their sound quality, and they're all really cheap. Is that what you meant by the type of cd player I should be looking for? cause my understanding is that vintage ones are a lot better but due to their rarity nowadays i'd imagine them costing a lot of money.
post #4 of 12
Why not just go lossless on your portable mp3 etc. device and call it a day?
post #5 of 12
I dont know if it just the equipment that i have used so i am probably not the most knowledgeable on the subject. But lossless on my zune doesnt sound as good as listening to the line out of my cdp. So lossless on a portable mp3 doesnt trump having a good cdp.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot for the replies.

I have thought about just pimping out my mp3 player instead of buying CDs but one of the reasons I want to switch to a pcdp besides the quality is because before i switched to digital audio i would buy less CDs and listen to each other more; it was about getting to know every nuance on the album by heart rather than building a massive library. This my sound silly because it's something in my control but I really like only having a CD for a while rather than being tempted with a massive library of music, if you know what I mean.

If I want audio that is only slightly better than my Ipod, should I just buy any cheap sony £20 pcdp? the newer expensive ones have mp3 which i don't care about and cant justify spending more money on
post #7 of 12
People still use PDCDP's? Why? DAP's with lossless support the music extraction is the same just depends on analogue section which is superior.

But lossless on my zune doesnt sound as good as listening to the line out of my cdp. So lossless on a portable mp3 doesnt trump having a good cdp.
Try comparing a DAP with digital out, playing lossless against a CD player digital out. Both into the same DAC.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
like i said, call me stupid, but i like the physical attachment to the CD for sentimental purposes.
post #9 of 12
Who says you can't also have the CD?
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
I really don't see the point of this little mini argument right now. I believe my question was fairly simple; which is the best out of the current pcdps being sold?
post #11 of 12
I see no point in arguing about whether the OP should use a DAP if he doesn't want to -_-

I think generally if you want quality sound out of a PCDP you need to get one with an SPDIF out and run it through a DAC and amp because like it or not, PCDPs nowadays are not popular enough for the manufacturers to make them with high quality designs and components. Me thinks this is also part of the reason why the older players, made when PCDPs were expensive and to some degree luxury items, sound better than PCDPs today.

As for which specific models, your choices are probably fairly limited for new players, but if you want the good older players it'll cost you a pretty penny.

Another option, if you will, might be minidisc. The last MD player from sony (I forget the model #) is supposed to sound extremely good. I have the RH900 (or something like that) and I certainly love the sound from that especially with lossless. You get the physical interaction you say you want with your music, and also more portability than a PCDP. But it's a pain in the neck getting your music transferred over.
post #12 of 12
There are plenty of CD-discmans to be found. Two things though, how do they handle with shocks while playing music and are they properly put together?

They are mighty cheap nowadays, just know what to look for.
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