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THR33P4C
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CD player shopping

Im looking for an entry level, but good cd player...
-Here is a list of a few players I found on online auctions.

NAD c520
Rotel RCD-971
California Audio Labs DX-1

The ROTEL is probably going to end up going out of my price range but the other two I would be comfortable purchasing.

The NAD has a 20bit DAC and some decent specs but I have read that the disc trays tend to fail on these units often.

The Cal looks really cool to begin with... Ive read some good reviews on it. Seems durable and sounds like its preferred over even more modern players. It's DAC is only 16bit though and the THD is .007%...

Any opinions? is the Cal to old? Is the NAD to cheaply built?

-Keep in mind that this is my first CD player. I'm looking for something that will sound good through my NAD seperates, but not break the bank...

Buddha
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Re: CD player shopping

I'll make it easy on you.

Go to Music Direct and buy this:

Marantz Universal Player marked down from 699 to 249.

mrlowry
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Re: CD player shopping

Buddha is right Marantz makes some of the best CD players from a major manufacturer. Actually, Music Direct also has the DV7001 (http://www.musicdirect.com/product/73833) on sale for not much more than the one Buddha recommended and it is leaps and bounds better sounding. That might be a mistake on their website but if they honor that price it's absolutely a STEAL!

The fact that it's a single disc is also in it's favor. I'm an album listener so for me the multi-disc is useless. Plus the changing mechanism must cost quite a bit of money, money that isn't going to sound quality. That mechanism also has to allow more vibrations in than a single tray, potentially reducing the accuracy of the laser. Plus, it's another thing that can break. If you occasionally need a changer for parties (hey you are in college) or whatever you can always get a really, really cheap one at a pawn ship.

THR33P4C
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Re: CD player shopping

I agree about changers... I have no need for them, IMO changers just make swapping CD's slower. I would prefer a single disc player.

Ill look around that site and see what I find...
$399 is a little out of my price range right now

THR33P4C
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Re: CD player shopping

Wow!

Why am I on ebay when I can get this stuff for so cheap?

Its between the Marantz CD 5001
or the Marantz VC-6001

The VC seems to have much better specs and looks like a better value. It looks like they have a demo VC-6001, I can save $50 by doing that... Is that advisable? Are you guys 100% sure that I will like this player?

Buddha
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Re: CD player shopping

I have a VC-6001 and love it. You can change the sampling rate, and it's SACD capable, too.

This is an overgereneralization, of course, but SACD players seem to do a better job with CD's than CD-only players. Again, a generalization only.

I don't do video, but the player will if you want to.

For that damn price, I can't think of a criticism.

If your budget can extend, look at the DV 7001 at 399.00.

THR33P4C
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Re: CD player shopping

What can I expect from a demo product?

Also I read a review saying that changing and loading CD's in the VC 6001 took ages...

Did you notice that at all Buddha?

Buddha
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Re: CD player shopping


Quote:
What can I expect from a demo product?

Also I read a review saying that changing and loading CD's in the VC 6001 took ages...

Did you notice that at all Buddha?

If either unit is 'hibernating,' it takes exactly ten seconds from when I hit a button until I get, "Yes, sir!"

Seems long at the moment, but I've timed it.

If the unit is already paying attention, it is instant.

THR33P4C
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Re: CD player shopping

ok... but I still need an answer on what is meant by a demo product?

Was it on a store shelf on display for people to touch and ruin? Or does that mean that it was given to a respectable audio reviewer to test?

Buddha
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Re: CD player shopping


Quote:
ok... but I still need an answer on what is meant by a demo product?

Was it on a store shelf on display for people to touch and ruin? Or does that mean that it was given to a respectable audio reviewer to test?

"Demo" means 'still covered by the manufacturer's warranty and has already been proven to work right.'

Either way, "Demo" usually = bargain.

THR33P4C
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Re: CD player shopping

Ok:

Ive narrowed it down to two CD players

NAD C541i HDCD Player
MARANTZ - VC 6001 5-DISC UNIVERSAL CHANGER

I like the NAD because it has HDCD decoders and is a single disc player. Here are the specs:
http://www.nadelectronics.com/img/datasheets/NAD_C541i.pdf

The Marantz is very temping though.

Are these players somewhat comparable, or does the marantz blow the NAD out of the water?

Colnmary
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Re: CD player shopping

I have had a NAD C541i that I use in my lounge to play CDs when the TV isn't on. It has performed well for over 4 years or more and has a great sound, especially on some HDCD encoded CD's.

I haven't heard the MARANTZ - VC 6001, but the NAD C541i was highly rated as a CD Player when it was released worldwide in its price and class. It was NADs Classic Line, top of the line model. Been replaced by the NAD C542. I'd recommend it over the MARANTZ - VC 6001 5 disk.

THR33P4C
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Re: CD player shopping

Anyone else for the NAD?

THR33P4C
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Re: CD player shopping

I think I am going to go with the marantz, I will be buying a new product rather than used. The marantz is also kind of future proof reading SACD, DVD-A, and .mp3/.wma files...

Speak now or forever hold your peace///

JK, thanks for the help guys.

Buddha
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Re: CD player shopping

Wise choice.

THR33P4C
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Re: CD player shopping

Just ordered the VC 6001 this morning. Can't wait for it to Arrive!!!

Buddha
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Re: CD player shopping

Congrats!

The one thing to remember when you get it is to hook it up to a TV at first to get the proper settings done. To choose upsampling for CD play you have to have an available screen to set it up. Then you can take that terrible sound ruining tele-device and place it back in the closet!

I prefer the higher rate upsampling setting with that unit.

Best wishes!

THR33P4C
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Re: CD player shopping

I read something about completely turning off the video DAC and all video related circuitry... Does that ring any bells?

Buddha
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Re: CD player shopping

Yes, I'm at work trying to remember which player does what. I think there is a front panel switch for that, but I might be thinking of another model.

THR33P4C
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Re: CD player shopping

I just read through the PDF manual on Marantz.com

I guess there is a button on the remote called Audio EX that turns off the Video DAC and front display to improve the audio section of the unit. (Really cool idea IMO)

THR33P4C
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Re: CD player shopping

Wow, Living in Wisconsin has its benefits... Ordered the VC6001 yesterday morning at I received it from UPS this afternoon. MusicDirect is run out of Chicago I believe.

Anyways, I got the player hooked up and love it... I can finally listen to CD's!!!

Thanks for the recommendation Buddha.

One question though... Is there a way to spin the loading tray when its out? or do you just have to weasel the discs into slots 4 and 5?

THR33P4C
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Re: CD player shopping

Also, If I burn MP3 and WMA CD's is it OK to write on the top of them with permanent marker or should I just leave them blank and mark the cases?

rmeyer52
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Re: CD player shopping

Emotiva is getting ready to launch their new CD player in February. Check out these features:

1. 24 bit processor with 384 x oversampling. (Most 'high end' players are 24 bit with 192 x oversampling)

2. Frequency response is 5hz to...absolute daylight. from 20hz to 20khz, it's flat as a board.

3. 4 independent power supplies, to drive each section of the unit separately. (1. CD carriage/2. digital portion/3. analogue portion/4. display) This prevents the different sections from interacting and causing noise.

4. The CD drive mechanism and the digital portion of the audio is encased in a steel substructure that shields it 100% from the audio stages. No noise from the mechanism or digital portion can get into the audio.

5. The audio board itself is fully isolated from the power supply and digital poritons and offers a fully discrete output stage, capable of producing 7 volts of output (no wimpy 2 volt output here!).

6. Sexy slot-load system with halo lighting.

7. Halo lighting brightens during functions like fast forward, next, previous, etc., them dims to low setting within a few seconds.

8. Remote control.

9. The DAC is the Analog Devices 1955.

10. The amps are Burr Brown OPA2134.

Although not official the price is believed to be around $499. To see a picture of the unit go to www.hifirotation.com

magma90210
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Re: CD player shopping

I just ordered the single disc version the Marantz 6100 off of MusicDirect...was on sale for $250!

just an FYI as I know some people didn't like the fact that the one mentioned upthread was a 5 CD changer..

anyway can't wait to hear it.

Marantz 6100 on sale now at MusicDirect

BillB
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Re: CD player shopping

Yes, you can write on 'em with a marker - no problem at all. I like the retractable "Sharpie" permanent marker.

I have tweaked it with a sorbothane grip wrap to make for a smoother writing experience.
Cryogenic treatment, however, had a negative effect on its calligraphic flow.

magma90210
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Re: CD player shopping

Very impressed with my initial listening last night.

one problem though:

Buddha, you said to turn on the CD upsampling. which i did, but to my ears it made everything sound really harsh and trebly, for lack of a better term...

am I missing something? I did the maximum level..should I try the middle setting? Because frankly I seemed to prefer it off so far.

I read some stuff on the Internet about CD "upsampling" and frankly I read so much contradictory/confusing stuff I really don't know what to think anymore...

Buddha
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Re: CD player shopping


Quote:
Very impressed with my initial listening last night.

one problem though:

Buddha, you said to turn on the CD upsampling. which i did, but to my ears it made everything sound really harsh and trebly, for lack of a better term...

am I missing something? I did the maximum level..should I try the middle setting? Because frankly I seemed to prefer it off so far.

I read some stuff on the Internet about CD "upsampling" and frankly I read so much contradictory/confusing stuff I really don't know what to think anymore...

As I have played more, there are discs that sound better to me with different settings.

Examples:

Bob Dylan's new Bootleg Series discs - best on the highest upsampling.

Cowboy Junkies' "End of Paths Taken" best at 'regular.

Roxy Music's "Avalon" - top setting.

This is completely uninformed conjecture...I wonder how compression affects the sound of upsampling? Does it matter?

Let's see if we have some discs in common and compare impressions.

I am hosting an 'amateur night' party tonight for the temporarily pseudo-Irish from work, and have another work thing tomorrow; but Thursday and Friday I could spend some time listening to what we have in common!

Cheers.

Addendum: Neil Young's Massey Hall disc sounds better upsampled.

Los Lobos "The Town and the City," not.

magma90210
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Re: CD player shopping

hmm odd that it would affect stuff in different ways.

well, i guess i will just have to keep it off, as i don't have a TV hooked up to it, so to swap I have to take it into the living room, hook it up, and it's a big pain...

either way, i'm loving the way it sounds! listened to "oar" by skip spence last night and wow it sounded great

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