Good CDPs / SACDPs?
May 12, 2002 at 2:42 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 66

Joe Bloggs

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Help, I'm completely new to the world of sources, feel free to throw in any recommendation. Max. price about $1000 but will consider more.

A great transport and line out are the main criteria, but a good headphone jack would be a plus.

Would I get better sound for the buck for CD-only players?

One question specifically regarding the NAD line:
Is their 541i their top model CDP?
 
May 12, 2002 at 3:03 PM Post #2 of 66

Joe Bloggs

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And the CDP-XA20ES is Sony's top of the line single CD player? It does sound better than the 400CD changer M555ES at the same price right???
 
May 12, 2002 at 8:02 PM Post #4 of 66

alexerwu

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Quote:

And the CDP-XA20ES is Sony's top of the line single CD player? It does sound better than the 400CD changer M555ES at the same price right???


Yes. It also is a great transport (headphone jack included). My only quibble is that it does not have an spdif digital out. The US model has the toslink digital out. Other than that, I bought mine at an extremely attractive price ($400 new).

On the other hand, you would probably do better in the long run by getting the new Sony SCD-XA777ES multichannel SACD ($1900 on some sites--search on Google). It is the top-of-the-line multichannel SACD player available and is, according to reviews, a terrific player both for CD's and SACD's.

That's my next upgrade.
 
May 12, 2002 at 9:43 PM Post #5 of 66

markl

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Hi Joe,
With a budget like that, you can hook yourself up with a killer SACD player. I would recommend a SACD player instead of standard CDP. We always argue about this, so I'll put it this way: IMO, similarly-priced CDPs and SACD players *in general* are NOT equal for Redbook CD playback. People upgrade to better outboard DACs to take advantage of their superior DA conversion processors. SACD is much more processing-intesnse than CDs as a result SACD players have DACs that are way overbuilt for simple CD playback.

Check out the Sony SCD-555ES which (i'm guessing that by now) you can get for around $600 through www.oade.com.

Depending on how adventurous you are you can send your Sony out to be modified for under $400 to take the 555ES to a whole other level.

markl
 
May 12, 2002 at 10:00 PM Post #6 of 66

Vertigo-1

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Quote:

And the CDP-XA20ES is Sony's top of the line single CD player?


Actually wouldn't that be the XA7ES? The 20ES goes for beans nowdays, while the 7ES still goes for $1k, and is generally considered to be Sony's best redbook one box player to date (their best two box player to date would be the CDP-R10 transport, considered one of the finest transports ever made, and accompanying DAS-R10 DAC).

Speaking of R10s, anybody ever seen these electrostatic speakers by Sony before, the SS-R10?

9041CMSON-IMG-SS-R10.jpg


Yep, Sony rules.
biggrin.gif
 
May 13, 2002 at 12:49 AM Post #8 of 66

markl

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It's the same chipset in an SACD player that decodes SACD and CD. Think of it like a DVD player that supports DVD-Audio. That same DAC that processes DTS/DD, Dolby Pro Logic, and stereo, from DVD-Video discs, can also process DVD-Audio discs, or CD media. There's not a separate chipset that decodes each one. That would cost thousands! and be impractical.

markl
 
May 13, 2002 at 4:52 AM Post #9 of 66

JohnActon

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$1000 can buy a lot of CD player.

In addition to the highly-regarded Sony SACD players mentioned above, some Red-Book CD players (besides the NAD you already listed) that people really seem to like (in no particular order):

Musical Fidelity A3 (although this is being re-released with upsampling, etc, shortly)
Arcam (CD72, CD92)
Rega Planet
Rotel 971, 991, 1070
Exposure 2010
Roksan Candy
Creek CD43 Mk. II
Denon DCD-1650 (is this still around)
Adcom GCD-750


I'm sure there are many others that I just can't think of right now.

I haven't heard all of these players, and everyone has different tastes, anyhow. You should try and audition some players in your price range at some local dealers. The good (and bad) thing about headphones is that they seem to really highlight differences in sources and cabling (and other ancillaries). It's definitely worth the time and effort to listen to as many players as you can before spending this kind of cash.

Also, an alternative route is to look on Audiogon.com for used players. Some really good players can be had there, as well (although you won't get a chance to audition first).
 
May 13, 2002 at 5:11 AM Post #10 of 66

DanG

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Consider also the Creek CD53. Supposed to be a great CD player and can be had for under $900 used, last I checked. Also has balanced out so you could use it with the Blockhead.
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May 13, 2002 at 6:04 AM Post #11 of 66

Joe Bloggs

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I'm still undecided on the CD / SACD issue. Thing is, I've never heard an SACD and just about haven't seen one either!
rolleyes.gif


I see, markl, they use the same chip.
But still the question is how much CD playback can benefit fom an SACD+CD+DVD DAC... if it's the same chip then what parts of the chip are used in common for all the formats--and what parts have to be different for each format?

I thought CDPs are supposed to play redbook better than SACDPs at the same price
confused.gif


And I still dunno whether SACD will turn out to be a viable format?

And looks like I can buy the top of the line NAD or Sony but maybe only entry level SACDps like the 333ES or 555ES--will these be better than the NAD 541i and Sony XA20ES?

Anyway, think I'll go on my first CDP window shopping trip today
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May 13, 2002 at 11:46 AM Post #12 of 66

tanfenton

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If you're of the opinion that CD isn't going anywhere--which is to say that it is here to stay--return to JohnAction's post. One thousand is that magic amount in American dollars where the digital field becomes especially congested. Of the CDPs that have been mentioned, the Arcams are possibly the most highly resolving.

I like my CD player very much, but it, too, isn't for everyone. Look at anything that gives you pause, and pray whatever you decide on is what will make you most happy.

NGF
 
May 13, 2002 at 12:28 PM Post #14 of 66

Vertigo-1

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Well Joe you might want to try telling us just what you want your CDP to sound like. That might help a bit.
rolleyes.gif
wink.gif


Anyways, when I was in HK, didn't seem as if there were all that many high end audio shops around, and I did look. The best I saw were the R10s in Time Square's electronics floor (it was my first real life encounter with the R10s, and yes I left quite a puddle of drool behind as it was dream territory still, but as things turn out I ended up getting a pair a couple months later
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) and some HD-580s in some side street shop, the rest were mainstream Sony/Panasonic/Phillip stuff. Unless you know some dark alley in Mong Kok that sells the good stuff?
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And with the way salesmen are in HK, I can imagine getting a peaceful audition wouldn't be easy.

I'm thinking that if you were to look though, you should run across some Sony ES stuff since Sony is very big in HK. And it'd be the really nice looking Sony ES stuff too like the champagne gold SCD-777ES or the gold 9000ES or gold (?) XA777ES. I'm not so sure British gear is that easy to find, such as Arcam, Rega (blech
very_evil_smiley.gif
), Creek, or Musical Fidelity. Another company to consider is Denon...their very high end stuff that never makes it out of the Orient might be available in HK. They're definitely no slouches and don't get enough recognition in the high end field.
 
May 13, 2002 at 3:37 PM Post #15 of 66

Blighty

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I would stick to a good old quality redbook player instead. I am interested in SACD but will wait until the format has proven its ability to survive its infancy and offers a couple thousand titles before making the leap. Also, I know of no SACD player that will play CDRs properly which is a major drawback, IMHO.
 

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