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jkalman
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Joined: Sep 20 2005 - 7:04am
Arcam FMJ CD36

I was curious why the last few Arcam CD players don't include HDCD? I ordered the FMJ CD36 and have a FMJ CD33 to use in the interim while I wait. The 33 sounds incredible...

Does anyone know the reasoning behind not including HDCD decoding? Does it interfere with the process of upsampling (this seems to make sense to me with my limited knowledge of upsampling, since HDCD adds 4 bits during the transition from 16 bit to analog)? I saw a thread somewhere that mentioned licensing, but I don't see why that would have been the issue, surely anyone willing to pay $2500 USD for a player would pay the extra money for the HDCD option. I would have at least.

I notice a lot of companies are no longer using the HDCD decoding (Meridian as well). Is the new upsampling technology that good, that it eliminates the need for HDCD, or is it just a matter of the good chips no longer being made, or upsampling and HDCD not being able to coexist? If anyone knows any explicit details concerning this issue, I really want to know!

Thank you.

jkalman
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Re: Arcam FMJ CD36

Bah, I changed my order to the Classe CDP-100. My Dick's picks Grateful Dead bootlegs are mostly HDCD.

jkalman
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Re: Arcam FMJ CD36

After careful consideration (and a less than useful encounter with Classe Customer Service) I've come to the conclusion that there are no glaring differences between the CDP-10 and CDP-100 to spark my interest, besides the look-and-feel and TFT display. The customer Support rep was also less than useful in telling me what the actual differences were, even after I caught him pulling my leg with the "DAC is improved" statement (The CDP-10 and CDP-100 both use the same DACS!). All he could tell me after leaving me on hold for a few minutes, was that after comparing the innards side by side that the circuit paths were different. Sorry, but that isn't explicit enough to get my vote of confidence.

I decided to go with a Meridian G08 after testing it at home (it blew the FMJ 33 away IMO). I have both the Meridian G08 and the Arcam FMJ 33 right now until the audio store where I bought the Meridian receives my order. The Arcam lacked the ability to create cohesion out of the different elements in the music I listen to, especially classical, the Meridian didn't. It often sounded/felt like the musicians were not quite in synch.

As far as HDCD decoding, I've decided to splurge money on a Denon 5910 for DVD, SACD, DVD-A and HDCD. That should take care of me until Blue-Ray and/or HD-DVD become fairly established, that is, if they ever do...

Monty
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Re: Arcam FMJ CD36

This will probably generate a flame, but I've listened to Arcam gear compared to other British gear and have never preferred the sound, especially given the higher cost over say NAD or Rotel. This is a broad generalization, but dollar for dollar I consider the brand to be highly over-rated and over-priced.

jkalman
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Re: Arcam FMJ CD36

Monty,

I found the FMJ CD23 to handle the elements more cohesively than the FMJ CD33. I also found the Rotel RCD -1072 to handle them more cohesively than the FMJ CD33, but I liked the CD23 better than the Rotel, but not by a long shot. The CD23 seemed to accentuate detail a little more and it seemed to have more bass extension in all the sounds. The soundstage seemed deeper as well, to me (probably because of the bass extension).

The CD33 did have an up-front clarity, perhaps the CD36 will solve the issues with cohesiveness of musical elements, or perhaps I am just nuts... LOL

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