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wesriley
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Which CD Player Should I Buy?

I am just starting out with my interest in high end audio. I'm trying to decide on a CD player to buy. I have a million and one questions while trying to stumble into this exciting realm without falling on my face.
My current equipment is as follows: (I paid about $60.00 for all of this equipment over the past year at a local thrift store)
Sony STR-DE675 AVR
Sony SCS-CE595 SACD player
Sony TC-RX55ES cassette deck
Sony MDS-JE520 minidisc deck
Polk Audio LS50 speakers
JBL Sub-Woofer Sub 135
Right now I am using a 1979 Kenwood KA-5700 integrated amp that I got at a yard sale for $5.00 and a Toshiba SD-4000 dvd player to play CDs with the polk Audion LS50 speakers. I got the SD-4000 because of the 192 kHz/24 bit DAC and it also has an HDCD decoder and plays mp3 & wma files.
I didn't really like using the sub-woofer so I tried the 2 channel mode but couldn't get any bass or depth even with usin the EQ Tone feature. SO I thought I would try the KA-5700 amp with the polk Audio speakers and WOW I couldn't believe the sound I have been missing...
So I want to start with a new CD player and I have three in mind and any input on these or others around the $400 price range would be very very welcomed.
1)Marantz CD5004 $350
2) NAD C545BEE $500
3) Cambridge Audio AZUR 350C $500

jackfish
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Welcome, But triple posting

Welcome, But triple posting the same thing is ill advised.

wesriley
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sorry about the multiple postings

Sorry, wasn't sure if it posted my question.

jackfish
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I am waiting for moderation

I am waiting for moderation on the other thread but the gist of what I wrote is that CD players under $500 may only be marginally better than your Sony SACD player. Check out the Emotiva ERC-1 for $450.

wesriley
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Emotiva ERC-1

I went to Emotiva's website and the ERC-1 really looks nice. I don't know what all the numbers and such mean in the specs, as I said I'm just starting to take my audio interest to a new level. What are the most important specs to look at on a quality cd player? Thanks

jackfish
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Specifications

Specifications for CD players will generally be of little use. The use and implementation of an adequate digital to analog converter with appropriate complementary circuitry and the transport used is far more important than how the specs read. You really need to audition these components. Luckily, one can do so with the Emotiva ERC-1 in their own home and if it proves unsatisfactory it can be returned within 30 days for a full purchase price refund.

Erkit
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Caveat emptor

I've heard great things about the Marantz 5004, including the review in this mag, but I'd be cautious of the company. I bought a player from them that has been in warranty repair or replacement for a total of seven months, the equivalent of more than one month out of every six. So beware. But also know that I might just be unlucky.

soulful.terrain
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If your..

..not particularly into the extreme high-end, then let me refer you to the Oppo BDP-93. SACD,HDCD, DVD-A, DVD video Blu-ray. This is by far the best bang for the buck under $500.00 in my opinion.

Allen Fant
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Cambridge Azur CD players are

Cambridge Azur CD players are nice as well.

Paul Welch
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updates

 

I have 2 systems, one for "in depth" music listening, one for casual music listening and movies (wife's system).

The in depth system uses an NAD 521BEE but it is greatly upgraded using th digital co axial output and running through an Arcam rDAC

(paid $429 for the later).  Without the rDAC, the NAD has exagerted bass and overall lacks harmonic detail.

With the rDAC, I have compared it to the Jolida $900, Vincent $2000 and Arcam $1200 CD player and it is equivalent

to slightly better with very strong bass dynamics but the bass is flat and not exagerted and the mid and upper harmonics are really good.

The Bryston CD player would beter match the quality levle of the rest of my system and I am saving up for it.

 

In the mean time I made an attempt to upgrade my wifes' home theater system, which uses a $2500 NAD reciever and Martin Logan ESLs...

with a Marantz Blu Ray UD BDP50005 ($599 list got for $430 but since returned it).  Excellent video, good sound for the movies but music>>YUK!

Total ack of harmonic richness.  Lack of dyamics.  Smooth is the best word for it.  I tried hooking it up 4 ways:

and listed in order of best to worst:  Digital co-axial using my rDAC (basically by passing it), Digital co-axial (basically by passing it as uses the internal NAD DAC), HDMI uses internal NAD DAC, RCAs.  The later is important to me as I want it to be able to be a "back-up" for my "in depth" system.  So I returned it and I have ordered and expecting a Oppo BDP-93 ($509).  I plan to update this review later when I check that unit out.

 

My points to be made are:

One must always have good reference points from which to compare, do not be afraid to compare to units that are 3 times the

price such that you have an idea and the the level of equipment.

 

At first I was luke warm with the sound of the Marantz until I tried some solo acoustic guitar music, the Marantz was boring and completely uninvolving due to lack of harmonic detail.  So test the piece of equipment with every type of music that you love the best.

 

Example: I have another pair of "high end"speakers that due a pretty fine job on everything but piano.  They have been turned around backwards and forced into rear channel home theatre system duty, I use the side walls to spread out their sound better.

 

The Martanz blu ray is OK for home theatre use but lacks harmonic detail and dynamics so if one wants to use it for music, look elsewhere.

 

The Arcam rDAC is a great way to upgrade CD players that have co-axial outputs and of course it a a great USB DAC as well.

ledzep1968
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Denon DCD-600

I've always been content with my Denon DCD-600. I don't think they make them anymore, but you can easily find one used on Ebay.

Drtrey3
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My Oppo BDP-93

came in Monday. I have been going home from work whenever I can just to listen. I bought it because my Denon multi-disc player died after the Nashville flood and I had not been able to listen to DVD-audio and SACD discs. I was not expecting how great it would sound on cds.

The first one I put in was just something I grabbed, a funck compilation. My wife was there when I set things up, and she commented about 5 bars into Love Roller Coaster of all things. "Wow, that sounds different!" She was right, it did not sound better, but it sure sounded different! You could hear the conflicting "space" surrounding the different overdubs very clearly. It made the song much more interesting, if a little less fun.

Having heard that, I just kept playing cds and the Oppo kept being the best cd player I have had right out of the box.

It also plays every kind of silver disc I own (including a few that never played correctly before) and I can hook up my hard drive so I can listen to my high resolution flac files. Just for fun, I burned a data disc with a bunch of flac files on it and it played perfectly!

So if you have the $500, I would get the Oppo. I am certainly happy that I did.

Trey

tmsorosk
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Have you consulted

Have you consulted Stereophiles last recommended componemnts Issue?

ColorfulPellets
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Derp

Tascam CD-200 FTW.

commsysman
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CD PLAYER

I suggest that you get the Cambridge 550C player, which is currently only $399 from Audio Advisor.

It is better than the ones you have listed IMO.

 

 

 

[quote=wesriley]I am just starting out with my interest in high end audio. I'm trying to decide on a CD player to buy. I have a million and one questions while trying to stumble into this exciting realm without falling on my face. My current equipment is as follows: (I paid about $60.00 for all of this equipment over the past year at a local thrift store) Sony STR-DE675 AVR Sony SCS-CE595 SACD player Sony TC-RX55ES cassette deck Sony MDS-JE520 minidisc deck Polk Audio LS50 speakers JBL Sub-Woofer Sub 135

Bill Milligan
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External DAC for a Lector CDP 7-T CD player or OPPO-95?

I've been using a Lector CDP 7-T CD player for years with excellent results but I'm considering either adding a DAC (not sure which one) or changing to an OPPO-95 DVD/CD player.  Need advise on this one...also considering selling Gallo Reference speakers (two pregnant bowling balls with tin can on top) and upgrading to new Classic Reference Gallos (approx. $ 2,400), any comments?

commsysman
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GALLO CL-3

I suggest you try the Gallo CL-3 (or CL-4); 60-day free trial with shipping paid both ways.

I got the CL-3 a week ago, and they are amazing!

They sound like speakers 3 times their size and 3 times their price; they seem to defy the laws of physics!

The resolution, detail, and sonic purity are right up there with my Vandersteen 3A speakers, which I have at my other house. The dynamics and bass are really hard to believe. They are better in every way than speakers from KEF, Vienna Acoustics and Paradigm that sell for $2000-4000.

The OPPO BDP-95 is better for CD/SACD than my $6000 Ayre C5xe/MP. I don't know of a better player for under $10,000. Very highly recommended.

Allen Fant
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Check out the Azur 740 CD

Check out the Azur 740 CD player.

wozwoz
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CD player
wesriley wrote:

So I want to start with a new CD player and I have three in mind and any input on these or others around the $400 price range would be very very welcomed. 1)Marantz CD5004 $350 2) NAD C545BEE $500 3) Cambridge Audio AZUR 350C $500

I would certainly go for the Marantz SA8003 or SA8004 over the CD5004.

For one, they both offer SACD playback, and would also be better CD players than the 5004. If I recall correctly, the SA8004 adds hi-quality support for playback from your iPod or computer, using the hi-rez dac in the machine rather than the 'whatever' d/a that exists in your computer.

On the other hand, you should be able to pick up the SA8003 for a great price second-hand.

Happy hunting. 

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