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CD Player with good headphone out for HD600?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Greetings,

 

I've begun recollecting CDs and I'm looking for a decent CD player solely to listen through headphones in a small room. I need Australian availability and I hope to keep it under AU$500. TIA :)

post #2 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by allets View Post
 

Greetings,

 

I've begun recollecting CDs and I'm looking for a decent CD player solely to listen through headphones in a small room. I need Australian availability and I hope to keep it under AU$500. TIA :)

 

Audio-GD NFB-15 external DAC/Head amp, $255 (USD)+shipping (from Hong Kong)

Comes with USB, optical, coaxial inputs.

They will claim a low value with the shipper to keep import tax low.

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm

 

Then get any CD, DVD, HD-DVD or Blu-ray player with a optical or coaxial output.

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 

Cheers! Order e-mail sent. :) 

 

Re: CD Player with optical/coaxial output. Would any really do? I was under the impression the player counts as the source and would need to be of considerable quality to match. 


Edited by allets - 6/14/14 at 2:00am
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by allets View Post
 

Cheers! Order e-mail sent. :) 

 

Re: CD Player with optical/coaxial output. Would any really do? I was under the impression the player counts as the source and would need to be of considerable quality to match. 

 

I'm far from an expert on CD players, but the CD has been around for 32 years, so they have had a while to make improvement in reading a music CD for the "common" CD player.

The info on a modern DVD is around 6 times denser then a CD and Blu-ray disk is something like 30 times denser the a CD, 

So I would think a modern DVD/Blu-ray player should easily be able read every necessary bit on a CD disk.

 

But I think the real benefit of my recommendation is the NFB-15, it comes with dual WM8741 DAC chips, which I assume has got to easily match or be better then what comes in a lot of "serious" CD players. 

The NFB-15 headphone amplifier can drive headphones from 12-Ohms to 600-Ohms :)

As the NFB-15 comes with USB, optical, coaxial inputs, you will be able to use it with a lot more then just a CD/DVD/Blu-ray players (like computers, TVs & DVRs)

post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

I'm far from an expert on CD players, but the CD has been around for 32 years, so they have had a while to make improvement in reading a music CD for the "common" CD player.

The info on a modern DVD is around 6 times denser then a CD and Blu-ray disk is something like 30 times denser the a CD, 

So I would think a modern DVD/Blu-ray player should easily be able read every necessary bit on a CD disk.

 

But I think the real benefit of my recommendation is the NFB-15, it comes with dual WM8741 DAC chips, which I assume has got to easily match or be better then what comes in a lot of "serious" CD players. 

The NFB-15 headphone amplifier can drive headphones from 12-Ohms to 600-Ohms :)

As the NFB-15 comes with USB, optical, coaxial inputs, you will be able to use it with a lot more then just a CD/DVD/Blu-ray players (like computers, TVs & DVRs)

 

Really helpful. Cheers mate! I can't wait for the order.

post #6 of 29

I just bought a Marantz CD5004.  Built in headphone amp, analog out and choice of digital outs.  Headphone out sounds nice with my HD598s though not quite as nice as my microStreamer.  Still, upgrade possibilities are limitless.

 

Decided to give CDs another shot when I realize how much time I've spent on file management over the last few years.  Also found I was looking at my computer screen too much while listening.

post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesC View Post
 

I just bought a Marantz CD5004.  Built in headphone amp, analog out and choice of digital outs.  Headphone out sounds nice with my HD598s though not quite as nice as my microStreamer.  Still, upgrade possibilities are limitless.

 

Decided to give CDs another shot when I realize how much time I've spent on file management over the last few years.  Also found I was looking at my computer screen too much while listening.

That's why I'm going back to CDs. Something has been lost over the years when listening to music. It all feels soulless. I remember the enjoyment of holding the album next to me, looking at the artwork and checking through the booklet while listening to the music. It's all part of the experience for me.

 

Maranz is a name that keeps popping up. I do like the idea of having a traditional CD player. If this amp/dac setup doesn't appeal to me, I might have to look into audiophile grade CD players from yesteryear.

post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by allets View Post
 

That's why I'm going back to CDs. Something has been lost over the years when listening to music. It all feels soulless. I remember the enjoyment of holding the album next to me, looking at the artwork and checking through the booklet while listening to the music. It's all part of the experience for me.

 

You can still do that without having a CD actually spinning - I still buy CDs but I use an Android phone as a music server now. I can still flip through the album, but I won't have to go through a CDP that perpetually breaks its gear tray (anything with the CDM-4, like my Marantz CD60), an older CDP whose sound I loved but at some point couldn't read new CDs with PC ocntent nor CD-Rs (like my Marantz CD60), an SACD player that stopped reading SACDs (my Sony SCD-595), a CD that shattered inside the transport while playing (an old Pioneer I had), a worldwide issue with a transport (kind of like the CDM-4, which happened pre-Internet forums) that the local distributor refused to service and people here had to email NAD's head office (the C520), a CD mechanism that got stuck with a CD inside (my old Alpine car receiver)...

 

However sometimes I want to just listen to music with no other distractions like web browsing, and even a laptop with a 90w PSU (mine drains its battery to 35% within an hour using USB digital audio, even without charging the DAC), so I went for a more focused solution...an Android phone. I get home, I dock it and power up the system, feed my cat, take a shower, and by the time I get back the amp is warm enough (if that actually helps; I just do it out of habit thanks to an old tube amp I had).

 

 

However, that doesn't mean I won't get a premium CDP if the price is right, especially with the local Cayin dealer stocking transport parts and at least one whole transport so they can more quickly service CDPs. Problem is, apparently everyone loves the CDT23 so much, I only once saw it on sale at a local forum - I've seen more Meridian 505 and 506 CDPs than these.

 

 

 

I really just hate parting ways with my gear when I like their sound but they're broken and hard to repair, like my old Marantz CD60.


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 6/15/14 at 1:15am
post #9 of 29

I discovered last night that the Schiit Modi is available with an optical input so for the cost of Modi/Magni I can abandon the built in headphone amp on the CD5004 which, as I said earlier, doesn't quite measure up to the microStreamer that I am used to. It probably won't be long .....

post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 

audio-gd appear not to have stock of the NFB-15 until end of the month. Unable to confirm. Not sure what to look at next. Having a browse around ebay for similar items with 'WM8741' but there's no headphone out. I'm lost :)

 

Edit: I think I found an available alternative; Emotiva Stealth DC-1. Stretches the price a bit further but that's totally fine, however the additional headphone output will be useless. Any idea how it would fair against the NFB-15? Cheers


Edited by allets - 6/16/14 at 5:39am
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by allets View Post

 

Edit: I think I found an available alternative; Emotiva Stealth DC-1. Stretches the price a bit further but that's totally fine, however the additional headphone output will be useless. Any idea how it would fair against the NFB-15? Cheers

 

Haven't personally tried that so I can't really say anything aside from that they basically have a solid reputation for neutral sounding gear. You can search for it here, there has to be a thread that discussed it or a previous iteration of it.

post #12 of 29

For the same price, should I get a CD player or a DAC? I use Asgard 2 to amp my HE 400 and the source is X3. I am thinking getting a DAC or a CD player. Any idea? Thanks

post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by gahung View Post
 

For the same price, should I get a CD player or a DAC? I use Asgard 2 to amp my HE 400 and the source is X3. I am thinking getting a DAC or a CD player. Any idea? Thanks

 

Doesn't the X3 function as a DAC with the right firmware upgrade? Use that one with a computer and you can listen to a lot of other material that isn't on the microSD card.

post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

Doesn't the X3 function as a DAC with the right firmware upgrade? Use that one with a computer and you can listen to a lot of other material that isn't on the microSD card.

Thanks for you reply. I am sorry if I mislead you. I sometimes connect X3 to my PC as DAC, but I wonder if a quality CD player or a desktop DAC will improve the sound quality considerably? Or should I invest more on the amps? If the sound quality do improve, is CD player or DAC better for the same price (not high-end equipment)?

post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by gahung View Post
 

Thanks for you reply. I am sorry if I mislead you. I sometimes connect X3 to my PC as DAC, but I wonder if a quality CD player or a desktop DAC will improve the sound quality considerably? Or should I invest more on the amps? If the sound quality do improve, is CD player or DAC better for the same price (not high-end equipment)?

 

In technical terms a CDP or a DAC with a circuit design like what you will find in a CDP will be better, at least in terms of parts count, where you will probably find one DAC for each channel and an output stage using discrete components (if you can even find one other than Schiit's at that price point) or more complex HDAMs like on Marantz CDPs or AudioGD DACs. For the most part though what you will likely notice immediately is that the output is louder thanks to the full 2volt output that is usually expected from such DACs and of course CDPs (owing to Sony's redbook standard), but unless the amp's gain or output power is too low or gets higher THD too soon, the amp should be able to compensate properly just by adjusting the volume level. Chances are you would need to be using a really badly designed amp to have any issues with a generally properly-designed battery-powered 1.2v lineout vs a 2v lineout.

If anything, if the output stage was designed to color the sound (whether the X3 or the DAC/CDP you might be comparing it to), then whichever one produces the sound you prefer which may not necessarily be the more neutral one, as I've noticed with many people on "audiophile" forums ( for example - like switching out opamps to get close to what they know a tube amp sounds) will sound "better" to you.

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