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Let's talk CD Players!

typericey

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#1
Did a title search here and did not find much discussion.

- Do you still own a dedicated* CD Player (or players)? *plays CDs only Why or why not?
- If yes, what model(s)? Pics would be nice.
- anecdotes about CD playback most welcome
- links to measurements of CD players also welcome
 

Sal1950

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#2
Do you still own a dedicated* CD Player
Do they still make them? :)
I've got 2 transports in my desktop computer.
And 2 standalone BluRay players that will play any disc format.
Why would I need a stand alone CD?
 
OP
typericey

typericey

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Thread Starter #3
I don't have a player at the moment but I'm thinking of getting a cheap one (i.e. Marantz CD5005) because I want to get back to the hobby of CD collecting. Mostly because of nostalgia, "the ritual", etc. Perhaps the same reasons other folks are into vinyl.

Maybe I watch too much Darko, but some of his tenets resonate with me: anything beyond redbook is inaudible and being "music first" i.e. I listen to music I like, so I don't care about Diana Krall or Patricia Barber and their 24/192 albums.

Also, I have a lot of guilt in pirating a lot of music in the past, so I want to make it up to the artists by buying more music. I listen to a lot of Anjunadeep and one album I am interested in is $10 for a FLAC download and $14.50 for FLAC + 2 CDs. I certainly don't mind sacrificing a cup of coffee for 2 shiny discs!

My main reservation for going back to CDs: players don't seem to last, they eventually break.
 

PaulD

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#4
I keep a CD player around home as an SPDIF output device for testing, but I almost never use it (one a year maybe). It's a NAD C541. I have all of my CDs digitised and on a server. I recently had to fix the loading mechanism, the belt is a bit dodgy now and the tray would not open or close easily, I ordered a replacement belt, it works mostly. Because I have not used it in a long time I recently loaned it to a neighbour friend who does play CDs, I can grab it back any time I need it...
 

raif71

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#5
I don't have a dedicated CD player but rather use BD-Players ie Pioneer BDP-450 and Oppo 103d and they are connected to my setup of 3.1 and 7.1 respectively. Occasionally I'd like to pop in CD, DTS-CD and SACD discs so that these will just play without me having to switch on the display for navigation and stuff of selecting music files on hdd etc.
 

rodtor

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#6
I did buy a new CD player a couple of years ago, replacing a 25 year old Pioneer. It is a NAD C 546BEE. It is fine, but I rarely use it any more, as I ripped my collection of classical and jazz CDS to my laptop as FLAC files. I wouldn't make this purchase now that I have learned more about how audio works today. If you you want to buy lossless albums, you can purchase and download them quite legally. If you want the CD, either to have the physical item or for disks that are hard to find online, you can still rip them for playback. It's far easier to find and play a CD or file organized into folders on your PC than to pull it out of a stand and load it into a player.
 
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typericey

typericey

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Thread Starter #7
Definitely doesn't make much sense owning a dedicated player if you already have "combo" players.

I don't have BluRay player (not a movie buff). My music computer doesn't have a drive either. I guess the cheapest solution for me to play CDs is to get a $30 external USB player but that would kill the ritual bit.

I wonder if the Marantz CD5005 is any good. A lot of good user reviews, sure, but Google wasn't able to help finding measurements, but it does have a decent Cirrus Logic chip. It also has a Marantz designed discrete op amp...I wonder if it brings anything to the table.
 

restorer-john

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#8
I own a significant number of CD players as my primary music source is CD. I have zero interest in streaming, downloading or ripping to network devices or music servers. My NASs have movies, files and pictures, but no music.

To me, there is absolutely no comparison between a TOTL CD player from the 80s/90s and any crappy multi format spinner made today. They are simply glorious machines built in a different era that do one thing perfectly instead of lots of things in a half-assed way.

As for reliability, they pretty much last forever, apart from changing loading belts every 10 years or so and lubricating loading mechanism parts if they need it.

People dribble on about Oppo machines being wonderful. In my experience fixing them for people, I wouldn't have one as a gift.

Hunt down a Sony CDP-X7/X77/X777 or some of the big Denons, Onkyos or Pioneers. Spend a few dollars on a new set of belts for the loading mech and enjoy it forever. Spend a few more dollars on a strong shelf to support it as they weigh a ton (around 17kg or 37.4lbs). In terms of performance and measured figures, they all pretty much hit the performance stops in 1990-93 with 16/44.
 

Sal1950

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#10
Always did have a hankerin for an open platform CD player. One of those looks like a mini-lp player where you pick up a weight puck, set the CD and then the puck back down and watch er spin. Most all the ritual of vinyl without all the rice krispies, surface noise and the rest of LP's junk. ;)
 

garbulky

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#11
Lol. Funny you asked - well yes I do! And only because it sounds fantastic (subjectively, no dbt). No I don't think there's anything special about CD players that would make them sound better than a dac. If my dac did everything I wanted, I would simply toss the CD player.

I use a Denon DCD 660 from the early 90's or was it late 80's? Anyway, it was $5 at a garage sale. I put it on expecting it to sound like crap compared to my DC-1 and to my surprise that wasn't even slightly the case. Imagine my shock. I had heard plenty of delta sigma dacs from the 90's and early 2000's and the DC-1 was a long distance from those early (crap) DS DACs.

So what made this old CD player sound fantastic?
(note: Huge assuptions and conjecture ahead! :D )
After some digging I found that it used a multibit DAC unit a PCM 61. Old school stuff that came before the Delta Sigma revolution. Comparatively my DC-1 has a bit more detail in some cases not to mention significantly better measurements. But the PCM 61 simply sounds bigger, and more dynamic. Jazz, drums, piano. Fantastic stuff. There's really not much to criticize at all. More importantly anybody listening to it and a DS CD player solution of the 90's would easily give the nod to the Dennon imo.


So it is in my system. Yes the tray sticks and needs to be helped out. And the remote is MIA. And the display is now starting to flash.

But it will stay till I find a replacement that produces that kind of sound. If my experience with the Gungnir multibit dac is anything to go by, the Schiit Ygdrassil will tick my boxes. Especially if it comes with a REMOTE! :D Or I will buy the PCM 63 version of the Denon DCD660 and be perfectly happy :D
 
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watchnerd

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#12
Did a title search here and did not find much discussion.

- Do you still own a dedicated* CD Player (or players)? *plays CDs only Why or why not?
- If yes, what model(s)? Pics would be nice.
- anecdotes about CD playback most welcome
- links to measurements of CD players also welcome
None of the above, as I ripped all my CDs to FLAC years and years ago.

We don't have a single optical drive in our house. No CD, no CD-ROM, no DVD, no Blu Ray.
 
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typericey

typericey

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Thread Starter #13
To me, there is absolutely no comparison between a TOTL CD player from the 80s/90s and any crappy multi format spinner made today. They are simply glorious machines built in a different era that do one thing perfectly instead of lots of things in a half-assed way.

As for reliability, they pretty much last forever, apart from changing loading belts every 10 years or so and lubricating loading mechanism parts if they need it.
I had an el crappo DVD player 10 years ago and used it to play CDs and used an external dac. They did take forever to load and play CDs. Dedicated CD players are much quicker.

Also, isn't it that cheap Walmart type multi players tend to have nasty jittery digital outputs?
 
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typericey

typericey

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Thread Starter #14
And is there a case for more expensive (yet still sensibly priced) CD transports such as the Cambridge Audio CXC? Is it supposed to be more durable? It's twice the price ofvan entry level Marantz but hey, if it lasts twice as long before needing repairs...
 

RayDunzl

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#15
I bought a Tascam CD-200 a couple of years ago to replace "Skippy", that was 20 years old, both just used as transports after getting a standalone DAC.


I do take the analog outs, and use that signal to compare to the DSP'ed in-room measurements, because my preference is to measurably reproduce in the room what's on the disk (to the extent that that is possible).
 
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#16
I own a significant number of CD players as my primary music source is CD. I have zero interest in streaming, downloading or ripping to network devices or music servers. My NASs have movies, files and pictures, but no music.

To me, there is absolutely no comparison between a TOTL CD player from the 80s/90s and any crappy multi format spinner made today. They are simply glorious machines built in a different era that do one thing perfectly instead of lots of things in a half-assed way.

As for reliability, they pretty much last forever, apart from changing loading belts every 10 years or so and lubricating loading mechanism parts if they need it.

People dribble on about Oppo machines being wonderful. In my experience fixing them for people, I wouldn't have one as a gift.

Hunt down a Sony CDP-X7/X77/X777 or some of the big Denons, Onkyos or Pioneers. Spend a few dollars on a new set of belts for the loading mech and enjoy it forever. Spend a few more dollars on a strong shelf to support it as they weigh a ton (around 17kg or 37.4lbs). In terms of performance and measured figures, they all pretty much hit the performance stops in 1990-93 with 16/44.
I gave up on my two "good" 90s sonys as they both stopped loading. I replaced the belts once on each but the second time I just replaced them with a Blu-ray that has a separate audio optical out that I run thru a dac. I play about one cd a year at this point so it's overkill but it puts my mind at ease. :)
 

M00ndancer

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#17
I still own my first DVD player: A Pioneer DV-444 region free version in black. It needs some loving, the tray wont stay out but returns immediately.
Other that it works fine as a CD player, both as transport and DAC.
1569222129725.png
 

restorer-john

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#18
The error correction and tracking ability of the older dedicated upper range machines are in another league also. They will track damaged discs with perfection that computer drive based machines will not. Add linear motor tracking (as opposed to gear/rack or stepper) and BSL spindle motors and you get long term reliability where it counts.

The failure points on old CD players mostly revolve around the loading/chucking/clamping mechanisms. Either go for a very solid mechanism or a machine where each part of the loading mech has it's own motor. The single motor system load/chucking (commonly low end Sonys) are trouble as they get old- too much plastic and wear.

The other option is to go with the polar opposite- a very cheap mechanism like the plastic geared Sanyo that uses a Sony laser block and a very simple magnetic clamp straight onto the spindle motor. You could also easily make a transport out of cheap boom boxes where a particular chipset was used (Sanyo) that provided for an easy tap of fully error corrected SPDIF. Benefit is you get a fast and indestructible transport to feed the D/A of your choice for a few dollars and a fun little project to boot. :)
 

sergeauckland

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#19
I still have my Meridian 206, which these days gets very little use as I rip all my CDs to my HD as soon as I get them. I keep it partially for nostalgia, partially for friends who may bring a few CDs round for an evening of tunes and partially for the S-PDIF output. This has proved useful for the few CDs I've bought which are either copy protected so won't rip, or are damaged and the PC's error correction isn't as good as the CD player's.

I have a DVD player in my workshop used primarily as an S-PDIF source for testing DACs.

I can't see me ever getting rid of a player able to play CDs and with a digital output for completeness if nothing else. I even have a cassette player for the same reason. Wish I hadn't got rid of my VHS player for the same reason, but frankly that's something I've only missed once.

S.
 

restorer-john

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#20
Wish I hadn't got rid of my VHS player for the same reason, but frankly that's something I've only missed once.
When you found that sex-tape you made in the 80s with the entire UK female Olympic gymnastics team at that seedy hotel in Ibiza? ;)
 

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