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Question Audiophile BD/CD dilemma

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by al2813, Sep 1, 2017.

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    1. al2813

      al2813
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      Since deciding to build again a setup in my living room I made quite a few hit and misses, resulting in buying and selling components, changing my mind etc. I finally achieved a setup that is giving me a joy.
      My main focus is stereo music. Multichannel audio is not a priority at this stage. It took me some time to get to this conclusion but here I am :)
      So music plays through a Bluesound node 2 (cannot sing enough the praises of this wonder box), connected to an Arcam A28 amp and music delivered via a pair of Focal Chorus 836v floor stands. After a lot of thinking I kept my Yamaha RX V781 AV amp which caters for my Sat and streamer boxes. Pre out is connected to my Arcam amp for sound.

      I also had for some time a Cambridge Audio Topaz CD10 player for my many physical CDs, but with my Tidal Hifi subscription, I ended up using it so little, that I finally sold it.

      A few weeks later, I still am thinking of a solution I need to find for all my physical media. DVDs, CDs (not all my CDs are available on Tidal) and now I get to the conclusion that i do need a player to cover that. I first thought of pulling the trigger on one box for both (and was looking at Oppo), but am having a second thought whether I should spend all that money. For my CDs I definitely want a quality player that will match the quality of my other components. Question is can I combine this with DVD and Bd playback. Support for UHD BDs is not necessary a requirement. I don't have any, and although the rest of my setup is 4K, I am happy to cater for that with 4K streaming/tv channels (when available).

      Happy to get recommendations both ways - single box for both uses or a two box approach. My budget is around 800 eur, but would be happy to spend less if I can....
       
    2. Crocodile

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      My thread from last week.

      Universal Disc Player Recommendations

      My requirement was for only occasional use of physical medal. I certainly didn't need any fancy programming features or anything else from a dedicated CDP. My stereo amp (Arcam SR250) also has HDMI which made things even easier. I'm more than happy with my bargain £25 Panasonic.

      I believe that the Bluesound has an optical input so you could try something similar, with HDMI to your AVR for DVD/BD & optical to the Node 2 for CD. Just need to make sure that any playback device you select can output both simultaneously. Another benefit of the Panasonic to me is it's slimline form factor. BD players that trumpet their CD credentials are likely to be big beasts with enhanced DACS. If your happy with the DAC in your Node 2 for streaming you should be just as happy with it decoding a BD player. So the DAC in an expensive universal player like an Oppo is wasted.
       
    3. Mark.Yudkin

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      At the moment, the only "audiophile" UHD/BD/DVD/SACD/CD player on the market is the Oppo UDP-205. Since you don't need UHD, you could also consider the older BDP-105.

      OTOH, since you're happy with the Bluesound node 2, a simpler BDP is likely adequate, there being no need to pay for a quality DAC when the Bluesound already has enough capacity for CD and DVD over optical.
       
    4. al2813

      al2813
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      Thanks for the answers so far. Apologies if the next question is ignorant - this is a new world for me. So Assuming I am happy with the Node 2 DAC (based on readings in different audiophile forums) the Node 2 seems to punch way above its weight in this department), I can buy, let's say, an average BD player, use it's optical out to connect to the Node 2 optical in and than the player will only be used for transport? Would there be no advantage in buying a more expensive CD player sound wise?
       
    5. Crocodile

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      Yes. What you might compromise on is functions like program play & read speed but sound should be fine. As per my example, it would cost very little to try it.
       
    6. BlueWizard

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      When you break a OPPO 205 down into separate components, it is not that expensive. But admittedly the overall price is not cheap.

      - DAC = £280
      - CD Player = £280
      - BluRay Player = £280
      - Network Audio Streaming = £280
      - Network Video Streaming = £280
      - Total = £1400

      OPPO UDP-205


      £280 might be a bit much for a BluRay Player or Video Streaming which is typically included in devices now days, but £280 is a bit lean for a Network Streaming Device, so it probably averages out.

      Though it doesn't support Native 4k, it does support 4K Upscaling, the Sony UHP-H1 Audio and Video Player does have Stereo Analog Outputs as well as DVD/BluRay playback as well as other common audio discs.

      Sonly UHP-H1 A/V Player - £280 -


      Sony Premium Audio & Video Player

      https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-UHP-H1-Premium-High-Resolution-Blu-Ray-Black/dp/B01FW52SCU

      That is about the best Low-Cost Universal Player you will find.

      The Sony UHP-H1 is actually pretty low cost when you consider that even a basic CD only player is going to run about £200 minimum.

      Yamaha CDS300 CD Player - Superfi

      The lowest cost CD/SACD Player I know of is - (£430)

      Pioneer PD50 CD/SACD Player with DAC - Superfi

      Steve/Bluewizard
       
    7. al2813

      al2813
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      Thanks everybody. I am getting confused here. In the meantime, I have another element that came into play. My Yamaha RX-V781 has again network connectivity issues (long story), and the store has finally accepted a return and full refund. So now, I am left with a pure stereo setup + Bluesound Node 2. Not sure than what to do next and how to cater for AV connectivity and media playback. Back to the drawing board.....
       
    8. BlueWizard

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      Connectivity? Many of us who are using Stereo to watch movies connect HDMI to the TV, then connect the TV Digital Audio Out (usually optical) to an external DAC or to a DAC built into the Amp. I think the sound is 24b/48k, which is the most the movie studios will allow, but that is CD quality or better sound.

      Most TVs have 3 or 4 HDMI inputs, so the TV can easily act as an HDMI switch and switch all the HDMI sources.

      Analog sources like CD, Turntable, Streaming just connect directly to the amp.

      As to other digital audio sources, that will depend on your DAC and how many inputs it has.

      Is that what you were getting at?

      Steve/bluewizard
       
    9. al2813

      al2813
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      Exactly. I don't think I will be getting an AV amp, and happy to use the TV as an HDMI switch.
       
    10. al2813

      al2813
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      Hi am back at this one with more a more concrete question and again looking for opinions. I am now down to two alternatives as I don't want to spend more than 800-1000 EUR on this:

      1. Get an Oppo 203 (205 is simply out of budget for me)
      2. Get a good low cost BD player and a mid range audiophile CD player (Marantz CD6006 seems a good candidate). This is a lower cost so very tempted......
       
    11. Crocodile

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      Why?
       
    12. al2813

      al2813
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      because CD playback is important for me and I want to be as good as possible....
       
    13. Paul7777x

      Paul7777x
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    14. BlueWizard

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      For a BluRay/DVD that has UHD Upscaling, you are probably only looking at £100.

      Sony BDPS7200 Blu-ray Player with 4K Upscaling - Superfi

      For one that has full UHD Native support, probably close to £250 to £300.

      Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player - Superfi

      CD Players are going to run around £300 up to perhaps £500, not sure if you need to go above £500. However, if you want SACD Support, then we are in the £500 to £1000 range.

      Yamaha CDS300 CD Player (Silver) - Superfi

      Marantz CD6006 CD Player - Superfi

      Yamaha CDS700 CD Player - Superfi

      And CD/SACD -

      Pioneer PD50 CD/SACD Player with DAC - Superfi

      Audible Fidelity has excellent deals on the Marantz SA8005 CD/SACD Player (£550 (£999 retail)) -

      Marantz SA8005 SACD Player

      As mentioned, the Sony UHP-H1 BluRay is probably the lowest cost Audio/Video Universal Player at £300 -

      Sony UHP-H1 Premium Smart Blu-ray Player with 4K Upscaling

      So to do both as separate components, we are looking at about £400 for BluRay Upscaling Player and a standard CD Player.

      Keep in mind that Marantz also makes Universal Players -

      Marantz UD7007 Universal Player - £599 (£680 retail) -

      Marantz UD7007 Universal Blu-Ray Player

      Steve/bluewizard
       
    15. Rambles

      Rambles
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      I've been on a similar journey myself recently, trying a number of integrated amplifiers, DAC's and cd players to improve 2 channel music listening from what my AVR (Marantz SR7011) can do.

      I ended up with a Cambridge Audio Azur 351C cd player as transport, into a Musical Fidelity V90 DAC, into a Musical Fidelity M3i amplifier. I also put my HTPC through the asynchronous USB on the DAC for digital streaming and ripped FLAC files.

      It may not be the right solution for you, but after listening to a number of different devices, and still finding music too harsh and disappointing, the V90 DAC was a revelation and a relief! A huge lovely warm sound with great instrument and voice separation. They are about £200 new, I found an open box one on ebay and managed to get a good deal under the 'make me an offer' option. If you use a separate DAC that will give you more options on what you can use as a transport.
       
      Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
    16. al2813

      al2813
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      Many thanks for the feedback. As I posted elsewhere, I ended up as well dumping my AV receiver (luckily i was able to return it for a full refund) and going with a 2 channel setup. I am more convinced now to fo separate for a cd player and certainly look for a second hand. Lots of bargains out there. I can than look for a decent cheap BD player just for video.
       
    17. Rambles

      Rambles
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      I have kept my AVR, the MF M3i integrated amp has HT bypass. So the AVR is only used for multi channel listening, but is switched off and not used for 2 channel music listening.

      My point with the DAC, is that it is that which makes the biggest difference in sound quality. I had tried a number of cd players, going directly in to the MF M3i amplifier, and although they sounded better than when going into or through the AVR, abut 50% of my cds still sounded a bit harsh and unenjoyable.

      It was only when I introduced the MF V90 DAC into the system that I finally hit upon a sound that I liked. I kept the Cambridge Audio CD player as it is has the best aesthetics / display / and it's remote coincidentally also controls the volume control on my amp, handy! But, you can use any disc player as a transport as long as it has a digital audio out (coax or optical), if using a DAC. It would likely come in a lot cheaper than a mid to high end cd player also. Plus it has more inputs available if you want to add other devices to it (BD player?).

      Just another option!
       
    18. degsy

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      Have you considered the Cambridge Audio CXU player? Very good CD and BD player (not UHD) and can be used as a digital hub for other sources.
       
    19. rento

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      iv had dedicated 2 channel musical fidelity cd player. the m56 blueray player has great sound and in my view next to no difference its a great player for blueray dvd cd sacd mine is up fo5r sale ur welcome to have a demo regards rento
       
    20. Abacus

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      If your using digital out (Either direct or via HDMI) then there will be no difference in sound between a £50 Blu-Ray player or a £3000 Audiophile CD player, as all the processing is done outside the player, however, if you wish to use analogue outs from the player then it’s either Oppo, TOTL Panasonic Blu-Ray or dedicated CD player.

      Another option (Which will probably be ideal for you) is to get a Blu-Ray player that does all you need, then get a separate DAC (Connected to the digital out) to feed your analogue equipment.

      As always, try before you buy, and take your time to choose, as otherwise you will be swopping and changing all the time, which serves no useful purpose except to reduce the size of your wallet.

      Bill
       
    21. rento

      rento
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      the m56 blueray has by far the best sound iv ever heard on cd its just the same as the cd player on sound as I had both
       
    22. RRRuss

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      Sorry to go off topic slightly, but out of interest do you stream any music at all and would that run through the DAC too?

      You're getting some great deals from these eBay Make an Offer purchases! I need to listen to these MF items as we seem to have the same issues and you've come up with a nice solution there.

      Have you tried your BD player into the DAC vs the Cambridge as a Transport only please?

      Was it Kef Q's you have? I am looking to change my MA Bronze 5's to Kef's, possibly R's but I think they'll update the range shortly so possibly the newer Q's
       
    23. Rambles

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      Yes, I have set up Foobar2000 on my HTPC and put that through the USB input on the DAC. Flac files sound great, certainly as good as the CD's.

      I know, I have become quite an internet bargain hunter! I had a Kef iQ 5.1 system for a few years, but recently upgraded the front three speakers when the outgoing Kef Q series were heavily discounted, so I went from the iQ50's as fronts to the Q700's for £499, and got the matching centre for £179 also. I have the Kef R50's as atmos, but haven't heard any of the other R series speakers, they are very well regarded though, don't think I have read anyone saying a bad thing about them.

      I haven't tried the BD player as a CD transport, it isn't as user friendly in that regard with load times, and front display. It does have optical audio out, but seeing as I have it configured for HDMI output I think I may have to keep going into the settings to switch it over.
       

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