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Any difference between cheapo CD players and super expensive high end cd players?



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 3rd 03, 01:40 AM
William Sommerwerck
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Default Any difference between cheapo CD players and super expensive high end cd players?

There are sonic differences, though whether they're important to you is a
different matter. And there is no guarantee that expensive player A is sonically
superior to moderately priced player B.

Sometimes cheaper is better.

I recently switched from a $4000 CD transport and $4000 DAC to a $3000 Sony SACD
player (which also plays regular CDs). It was like getting a whole new CD
collection. Most of the hardness and brightness associated (rightly or wrongly)
with CDs vanished. There was also a significant reduction in the overall
"mechanical" quality of the sound.

Guitarboy wrote...

> I know a guy that just got a $1500 CD player. I mean i don't know
> about you but while I understand purchasing an expensive turntable
> and cartridge I have never heard any difference between CD players.
> If there were a difference wouldn't you see some of these high-priced
> CD players poping up in high end studios? all i ever see are consumer
> models. just wondering.


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  #2  
Old August 3rd 03, 05:59 AM
Fill X
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Default Any difference between cheapo CD players and super expensive high end cd players?

yeah they sound different. Like everything, whether it's worth the money to you
is another matter. I'll tell you one thing, I A/B'd my denon with my theta
once and i threw the denon in the closet and never listened to it again.


P h i l i p

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"I'm too ****ing busy and vice-versa"

- Dorothy Parker




  #3  
Old August 3rd 03, 10:25 AM
Arny Krueger
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Default Any difference between cheapo CD players and super expensive high end cd players?

"Guitarboy" > wrote in message


> I know a guy that just got a $1500 CD player. I mean i dont know about
> you but while I understand purchasing an expensive turntable and
> cartridge I have never heard any difference between CD players. If
> there were a difference wouldn't you see some of these high priced cd
> players poping up in high end studios? all i ever see are consumer
> models. just wondering.


The differences among nominally competent CD players is today and in general
far less dramatic than the differences among turntables. Not to say that all
CD players sound identically the same, but many of them are very difficult
to distinguish sonically.

Being mechanical, and representing legacy technology there are few if any
technological forces that would cause the price of a turntable/arm with a
given level of performance to decrease. It has always been pretty easy to
sonically distinguish between various turntables/arms/cartrdiges/preamps as
typically used, and it requires fairly close matching of
turntable/arm/cartridge/preamp parameters to make distinguishing them even
slightly challenging for a trained listener.

In contrast, being digital and being current technology, there are powerful
forces that can and have caused dramatic drops in the cost of CD players
with a given level of performance. It can be very difficult to distinguish
between a $150 DVD player and a $1500 CD player in a carefully-run
comparison. That would be a comparison that is level-matched,
time-synchronized and blind.


  #4  
Old August 3rd 03, 09:46 PM
Sugarite
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Default Any difference between cheapo CD players and super expensive high end cd players?

> I know a guy that just got a $1500 CD player. I mean i dont know about
> you but while I understand purchasing an expensive turntable and
> cartridge I have never heard any difference between CD players. If
> there were a difference wouldn't you see some of these high priced cd
> players poping up in high end studios? all i ever see are consumer
> models. just wondering.


CD players are pretty much dead. There's nothing about CD playback that
doesn't apply to DVD playback too, so it's pretty silly to go long on a
device that is limited to CD's when it's only a few components away from
supporting DVD's too.

And the addition of buffers to eliminate jitter problems coincided with the
advent of DVD player. Buffering is of great benefit to CD playback since
virtually all CD's manufactured prior to 1998 or burned on a consumer CD-R
generally have rampant jitter. The buffering allows the data stream to be
reconstituted on a first-in-first-out basis and clocked much better than
poorly manufactured or burned CD's. Buffering is also imperative to DVD
playback in order to process the video and audio data to be properly
synchronized.

Then there's the minimum 24-bit 96kHz d/a converters required by DVD
standard, something that benefits CD playback as well. Generally the data
is up-sampled to the highest resolution which benefits a/d conversion
greatly too (I'm not going to explain here, search for yourself or better
yet try it for yourself). My Toshiba SD2900 DVD player has a 192kHz d/a
converter, cost me $80, and wantonly kicks the snot out of a $400 NAD 514
from 5 years ago (which broke). I just wish the Toshiba had a s/pdif input
to use the d/a converter separately, I'd probably find a studio use for it
sooner or later, and I'm certain it competes with the d/a converters found
in most common audio interfaces. Thank the cheap Korean crap for driving
down DVD player prices!

The key components that distinguish high-end CD players are discrete power
supplies for at least the transport and d/a converter, a tube line-amp, and
a better acoustic environment for the transport and clock crystals etc, all
of which benefits DVD playback as well. I definitely wouldn't spend
anywhere near that kind of money on any optical media deck at this point
since there's 3 new standards that aren't fully implemented yet, SACD, HDCD,
and DVD-A. For $1500 it should be able to play everything and very very
well.

Somebody mentioned Theta. Yum! I was keen on the Dynaco CD players with
tube line-amps too, great value, a few mods made them really sing. Then
there's Cali Audio Labs, Mark Levinson, Conrad Johnson, etc... But like I
said, ancient history now, unless they're applying those advantages to
multi-platform players, which should be commonplace within the next 6
months. Until then, $80 gets you a long way.


  #5  
Old August 4th 03, 06:58 AM
curtis mathewson
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Default Any difference between cheapo CD players and super expensive high end cd players?

Guitarboy > wrote in message >...
> I know a guy that just got a $1500 CD player. I mean i dont know about
> you but while I understand purchasing an expensive turntable and
> cartridge I have never heard any difference between CD players. If
> there were a difference wouldn't you see some of these high priced cd
> players poping up in high end studios? all i ever see are consumer
> models. just wondering.


I was unaware of how diffrent c.d. players sounded untill I started
comparing the playback between cheepo players vs $1000.00 and up
players run through the same playback system.As one reply mentioned
that there is less and less of a diffrence as time marches on.Most
high end studios want to hear the cd playback as the average joe
consumer hears it.They will plug a $100.00 dollar cd player into the
ssl 9000 cause a cd player that costs a thousand dollars or more does
not elevate or help them justify the hourly rate the high end studio
charges.Producers/engineers for the most part look at what puts their
mixes in the ballpark when it comes to how the room they work in will
translate sound to the rest of the world once it leaves that
room/studio.A posh c.d. player means very little.A properly tuned
controll room is what matters when one is in the high end studio
game.Not a posh c.d. player for those who care.Thats icing on the cake
if not a compleat jerk off.The mastering guys seem to have more jerk
though.
  #6  
Old August 4th 03, 08:21 AM
Fill X
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Default Any difference between cheapo CD players and super expensive high end cd players?

>Not a posh c.d. player for those who care.Thats icing on the cake
>if not a compleat jerk off.The mastering guys seem to have more jerk
>though.
>


well, some cd players have no bass compared to others. boom boxes have that
ridiculous loudness thing so if anything has any real bass it sounds
ridiculous. Who are we supposed to master or mix for? It's not an easy
question. But the idea that having a good sounding cd player is a "jerk-off"
seems kind of like a silly notion. You might want to know what something sounds
like on a good system as well as a bad one.


P h i l i p

______________________________

"I'm too ****ing busy and vice-versa"

- Dorothy Parker




  #7  
Old August 4th 03, 11:49 AM
Mike Rivers
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Default Any difference between cheapo CD players and super expensive high end c


In article > writes:

> CD players are pretty much dead.


I love futurists. I'll bet you think Elvis is dead too.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers - )
 




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