what makes a good cd player?
Jul 14, 2008 at 5:16 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 55

atothex

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Ok, I'm new. Seriously, what makes one cd player better than another? The DAC? What's all this talk about jitter reduction? How is that accomplished?

Side note: is it possible to turn a videogame console into a decent cd player? Maybe a Linuxed PS3 USB out into a dedicated DAC or something? I hear good things about that 1st gen PS1. Which components make it better than later iterations?
 
Jul 14, 2008 at 8:01 AM Post #2 of 55

krmathis

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Let me see..:
* Transport (including laser pickup).
* Clock.
* DAC.
* ..
 
Jul 14, 2008 at 8:35 AM Post #5 of 55

tourmaline

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Transport
dac/ clock
analogue output stage, most important. The difference in the digital section is small compared to the analogue section.
2 cdplayers with the same chipset can sound completely different.
 
Jul 14, 2008 at 8:39 AM Post #6 of 55

krmathis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by StanleyB1 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Brand name and marketing. A high price also helps, especially if you have to save up or take out a loan to buy one.


Yeah right!
tongue.gif
 
Jul 14, 2008 at 1:11 PM Post #7 of 55

Lazarus Short

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The better ones TEND to be heavy and expensive, include digital outs, and [most important
wink.gif
] tubes.

Laz
 
Jul 14, 2008 at 1:40 PM Post #8 of 55

PFKMan23

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I'd also look at the circuit implementation of the CDP. (eg: filters used, active or passive I/V, the clock, etc..)
 
Jul 15, 2008 at 7:23 AM Post #11 of 55

StanleyB1

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fjf /img/forum/go_quote.gif
In my experience, any CDP will sound good if you connect the digital out to a good DAC.


I would rather use the phrase "a large numbers of CDP". Some CD lasers that now come fitted to the ever increasing cheaper players from China are of lower quality than the even the equivalent laser from say Japan or South Korea. Their beam strength and the quality of the laser focusing lens assembly is not geared up for high quality accuracy. Instead the CDP relies heavily on the various methods of error correction in order to reproduce a recognizable sound. In the budget end of the market a DVD player is surprisingly a far better choice for higher accuracy CD playback.
Unless a DAC design is very poor, just about any DAC could easily outperform a budget CDP or DVDP inbuilt DAC/audio output stage.
 
Jul 15, 2008 at 7:37 AM Post #12 of 55

progo

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The looks and the sound. I don't know about you guys but a nice and usable tray is a must. The DAC must be the most important piece, following by transport and its clock signal to reduce jitter.
And in my opinion a good CD player turns to a great one when it has digital inputs so it can function as a standalone DAC.
 
Jul 15, 2008 at 2:59 PM Post #13 of 55

Vic Trola

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Its not necessarily the transport a lasers are commodities. Its not necessarily the DAC because I have heard expensive codecs (PCM1749) sound lousy and cheap codecs (TDA145) sound great.

It is the filtering and related circuitry around the codec that makes the difference. Hence, all CD players can and do sound different as they are the whims of circuit designers, not chip stampers.

Some are congested and constrict the midrange. Snare drums, for example, sound like tambourines. Some are wide and open - yet manage to lack dynamics. Curious. Some image impeccably and let you peer into the music - where you can sense the air between the singer and his/her band.

Viva la difference.
 
Jul 15, 2008 at 4:36 PM Post #14 of 55

DavidNY

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Check out this link

Home Page

And click on the 7 links under Digital Playback heading on the lower lfet corner of the page.

A lot to read but this may give you some appreciation for a few of the issues involved in how a CD player works.

I think there is a misconception about CD play back. Much more of the process of reading information off of a disc and converting it into an analog waveform is analog (rather than digital) than you may think.
 
Jul 15, 2008 at 4:53 PM Post #15 of 55

bigshot

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The hardest thing for me to find in a CD player is a remote that doesn't have a million tiny buttons that I don't need. It's amazing how little thought goes into the design of the part of the unit that we actually interact with.

See ya
Steve
 

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