Auditioning CD37

Wag

Active Member
Hi,

I'm off to audition a CD37 tomorrow, due in no small part to this forum. I've been hanging on for the Arcam Blu-ray players, but I'm now having second thoughts about that being best way to go. In particular, it seems from other threads that the CD37 out performs the current DV139 by some margin when it comes to stereo. I am beginning to think that this is likely to also be the case with the new Blu-rays. Pure speculation I know......

I think I may get the CD37 for music and then get the blu-ray transport when it arrives for movies.

I wanted to compare the performance of the CD37 with the DV139 myself, but the dealer doesn't have the DVD player. They have suggested that I also have a listen to a Naim player, not sure if this is the CD5i or CD5XS. I don't know much about them.

Does anyone have any recommendations of what else to listen to?

This player will be to partner my AVR600 and PMC FB1i's.

Thing is...once I get there I will be like a kid in a sweet shop....I'm bound to buy something.:rolleyes:
 

hippiemark

Active Member
Hi, i never got to heard the 37, i used to own the Arcam cd72 but the new arcams have a more forward sound and some say a more Naim sound? Not quite sure myself. As my signature i have the Naim cd5i italic version, its slightly newer than the standard i. I like it and for what i paid, 600 it was a bargin. The Naim 5xs5sx or whatever its called is new new new like this month new. So i have zero clue sorry. The only other player i considered was the cambridge audio i think 840 it was the one with the built in dac.
 

Neil Hawkes

Active Member
I thought the DV139 contained the CD37 system?
 

Wag

Active Member
Thanks Hippiemark. Sounds like it will be interesting to compare the Naim and Arcam then.


I thought the DV139 contained the CD37 system?

Neil, don't ask me about the individual components...., all I know is what I have read posted by other members. The general consensus seems to be that in straight stereo, the CD37 is the better machine, sounding more spacious and three dimensional. My thinking is that this is likely to apply to the new blu-ray players as well.

What do you think? Is a dedicated CD player best for music?
 

ritchief

Active Member
Wag,

I have the Arcam transport on order I have been advised by Arcam that the full player will be released first but they are still working on it. I don't know for certain, but I would speculate that it will be out in Nov and the tranport may be in December - please don't shoot the messenger if this proves to be incorrect !!!!

Re the CD37 - I love it with the AV888. From what I have heard and read, a seperate CD player is better than an intergrated version, ie the DV139, however, I have not compared the two together.
 
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Da Philster

Active Member
Hi Wag i have owned a number of players both dedicated and universals inc the cd 72,92t/23t,dv29 and cd36.

IMO the arcam cd37 is the best Arcam cd player to date and having spent several hours, at time of purchase with the cd37, a cyrus8se and roksan caspian i felt the cd37 was the most rounded machine over a wide range of material,from R&B through James taylor(sacd which takes the cd37 to greater heights if you own any discs)to Holsts planets.

Last but not least i too was awaiting the Arcam bd player but i have recently picked up a Denon 3800bdci for a song and is fantastic for all things movie based,although would not dream of using it as a replacement for the cd37 as it cant compete with a dedicated cd player of that ilk.

Having said that i would strongly recommend a lenthy dem of your short list with a wide selection of discs you currently own so as to make the most informed decision.
Hope my experiences are of some use to you.:)
 
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Wag

Active Member
Last but not least i too was awaiting the Arcam bd player but i have recently picked up a Denon 3800bdci for a song and is fantastic for all things movie based,although would not dream of using it as a replacement for the cd37 as it cant compete with a dedicated cd player of that ilk.

Hi Da Philster. I hadn't really thought of that, but now that you mention it, that makes an good deal of sense. I may consider doing similar myself. Although at this point in time, it probably makes sense to hang on and see what blu-rays Arcam have to offer, especially if Ritchief is right about the release dates.

Thanks guys. I'll let you know how the audition goes.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
The CD37 is a stereo SACD / CD player, with native delta-sigma DACs for SACD. The DV139 is a multichannel DVD/DVD-A/SACD/CD player, with SACD converted to LPCM before passing through the DACs. This also answers Neil's question on containment. Indications here are that coming Arcam bluray machines will not support SACD replay, like the Denon 3800BD, but unlike the Denon A1UD. The Naim CD5i is a pure CD player.

When considering what (else) to listen to, indicating the level of SACD replay desired (none, stereo, multichannel) is crucial.
 
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Vipers

Well-known Member
Thanks guys. I'll let you know how the audition goes.

Look forward to hearing what you think Wag, for me the CD37 was a massive step up in audio quality to anything that I'd heard before, I just felt it was a shame that it doesn't do Multi channel SACD.

This week again I've been comparing the A1UD to the CD37 for just plain CD playback and the CD37 wins everytime, there's a real richness and warmth to the sound that just isn't present with the A1UD, like I've said before though maybe it helps pairing it up with the AVR600.
 

Neil Hawkes

Active Member
Neil, don't ask me about the individual components...., all I know is what I have read posted by other members. The general consensus seems to be that in straight stereo, the CD37 is the better machine, sounding more spacious and three dimensional. My thinking is that this is likely to apply to the new blu-ray players as well. :D

What do you think? Is a dedicated CD player best for music?

Well, yes & no. Never had the luxury of comparing two units at the same time. I still don't understand why a standalone is supposedly different to a combined, if all the components are the same?

Cheers,
Neil.
 

Neil Hawkes

Active Member
The CD37 is a stereo SACD / CD player, with native delta-sigma DACs for SACD. The DV139 is a multichannel DVD/DVD-A/SACD/CD player, with SACD converted to LPCM before passing through the DACs. This also answers Neil's question on containment. Indications here are that coming Arcam bluray machines will not support SACD replay, like the Denon 3800BD, but unlike the Denon A1UD. The Naim CD5i is a pure CD player.

When considering what (else) to listen to, indicating the level of SACD replay desired (none, stereo, multichannel) is crucial.

So the SACD from the DV139 can only be multichannel, whereas the CD37 can only be stereo?

Also the SACD on the DV139 is 'downgraded' before delivery?

Thanks Mark.

Cheers,
Neil.
 

Canti1982

Well-known Member
I was actually thinking the same thing the other day. I have a 139 but did wonder if a CD37 and Arcam blu-ray would be the way to go.

Will be very interested to know how the 37 compares to my 139, think I will wait to see what the new transport is capable of before getting too tempted. Once your in the store its a slippery slope ;)
 

GYRODEC1

Active Member
Hi,

I've never had the opportunity of listening to the Arcam FMJ CD37 but I would like to know how it would sound like with my MF A5 Pre and Pwr amps. I have an Arcam CD72T which I think is totally out of it's league when matched with the MF amps.

Do you guys think the Arcam CD37 would be a suitable match for my amps?

Your advice would be great.

Cheers:)
 

Da Philster

Active Member
Hi,

I've never had the opportunity of listening to the Arcam FMJ CD37 but I would like to know how it would sound like with my MF A5 Pre and Pwr amps. I have an Arcam CD72T which I think is totally out of it's league when matched with the MF amps.

Do you guys think the Arcam CD37 would be a suitable match for my amps?

Your advice would be great.

Cheers:)

Hi there, sound is always such a subjective issue. If you like the rich nature of the "Arcam sound" then having owned a few players all i can do is part my experience in that the cd 37 is the first player i owned to NOT need the backing of the sub i use, as the lower midrange is just so good my speakers sound at thier best, the cyrus 8se was i felt excellent but still (for me at least) needed the low end i am used too.

Mark y pointed out earlier that the player deploys direct DSD via the wolfson 8741s which imo is a major reason for owning this player as i have aquired over 150 sacds and having owned a Denon 2900 multi ch universal, player i would still rather have the Arcam in good ol stereo its that good.

So audition,take plenty of discs(sorry to be sucky eggy) and have fun,you will love what your pre/power combo can bring out in this machine.:)
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
So the SACD from the DV139 can only be multichannel, whereas the CD37 can only be stereo?
No and yes, in that order. The DV139 can play both the stereo layer or the mulitchannel layer. The CD37 is a stereo-only player.
Also the SACD on the DV139 is 'downgraded' before delivery?
I was merely explaining how it worked on the CD37 and DV139. I know of no universal players or A/V processors with native DSD DACs, although there are some multichannel SACD/CD players (e.g. Sony XA9000ES or XE597) with native DSD DACs. What sounds best is another question, as Vipers' and Da Philster's posts discuss.
 

Wag

Active Member
Well I'm back from the shop.

I listened to three players in all. The Arcam CD37, a Naim CD5X and a Linn Majik DS.

I first had a listen to the AVR600 fed with digital coax PCM from a Denon BD3800, since this is similar to how I have been listening to music so far. The sound was familiar, although the small dem room introduced a touch extra bass than I was used to. The sound was pretty good and I would probably have been happy achieving this sort of sound with my old Denon AVCA1D. The Arcam is a different beast though and I knew it was capable of more. Overall the sound was inoffensive, but relatively flat.

Next up was the CD37. There was an immediate significant improvement. the soundstage opened up dramatically, "scale" I think the term is. There was much more spaciousness. In addition the presentation was more "rounded". The midrange was fuller, which suited the FB1's and there was more bass than before. Very nice.

Next was the Naim CD5X (around £1500). Withe the price hike I was expecting an improvement. The build quality of the Naim was fantastic. The CD door could double as the hatch for a tank. I love the little magnet that is used to hold disks in place. My first impressions were that the Naim was indeed a better machine. The soundstage opened up further and seemed to become a bit more precise. It was different from the Arcam however in that the midrange / bass were not as full and as I listened, it struck me that the sound to my ears was a bit too clinical and I think that with extended listening i would find it fatiguing.

Finally, the Linn Majik (about £1800). This was a digital server, so no moving parts. It just connected wirelessly to a network in the shop and played uncompressed WAV files. I was expecting a further improvement, but to my surprise, this device to me sounded the least impressive. Similar tone to the Naim, but less spacious.

Well, in the end, I went for the safe option and opted for the CD37. as a bonus, I managed to get an ex-dem for £975, including a free pair of Atlas Equator interconnects (I will upgrade these later).

I'm now at home with the player in my rack and I've just updated the firmware to v1.2.

Now to settle down for an evenings listening.

Not a bad day all in all:smashin:
 

NonPayingMember

Previously Liam @ Prog AV
Replying to an earlier post, as I understand it after various delays Arcam will be releasing just one Blu-Ray player, a fully integrated unit for under £2,000 (I reckon much closer to £1.5k). I have my fingers crossed to get something before Christmas, but sensible money would back a new year launch. I now cannot wait to see Blu-Ray, CD, Processor and Power Amp all sporting Arcam badges in our main rack!!

And don't ask me about Blu-Ray spec because Arcam aren't saying a thing other than it will play Blu-Rays, DVDs and CDs and it will probably be very good at it!!!
 

Vipers

Well-known Member
Well, in the end, I went for the safe option and opted for the CD37. as a bonus, I managed to get an ex-dem for £975, including a free pair of Atlas Equator interconnects (I will upgrade these later).

I'm now at home with the player in my rack and I've just updated the firmware to v1.2.

Now to settle down for an evenings listening.

Not a bad day all in all:smashin:

Excellent decision Wag and at a great price :thumbsup: We'll have to start a CD37 owners thread, see who else is out there :)
 

Wag

Active Member
Excellent decision Wag and at a great price :thumbsup: We'll have to start a CD37 owners thread, see who else is out there :)

This was party your fault you know.....so thanks very much.;)

One day in and I'm absolutely blown away by this player. I can hardly recognize my CD collection. I am hearing so much more information.

Studio recorded music has taken on a much more "live" quality. It's almost like having the band in the room with me but 20 feet beyond the back wall. Sound that were difficult to work out before are now quite clearly identifiable as instruments.

Absolutely brilliant. I am very, very pleased.

One thing I haven't tried yet is an SACD since I don't own one. Does anyone have any recommendations for a good SACD supplier. There seems to be quite a limited choice when it comes to SACD. I'm not overly bothered though. I bought the player for CD's.
 

Mr_Orange

Well-known Member
I know of no universal players or A/V processors with native DSD DACs, although there are some multichannel SACD/CD players (e.g. Sony XA9000ES or XE597) with native DSD DACs.

I'm fairly sure the Lexicon RT-20 has native DSD DACs. In the setup, you have the option of selecting DSD or conversion to PCM before the analogue conversion happens. I'm fairly wiped out, so will need to check the manual when my brain has woken up!!
 

Maverick62

Active Member
Congratulations Wag!!

Bought my CD37 when it came out, and still love it to bits!
I do have some sacd's and must admit the sound from the stereo layer is superb, although I usually listen to most of them in multichannel on my universal player (those that have the multichannel layer!)
As for purchasing them amazon do still have some odd ones new otherwise ebay is a good source. I have noticed over time that prices are generally increasing though.

Enjoy your music all over again!!:thumbsup:
 

Vipers

Well-known Member
This was party your fault you know.....so thanks very much.;)

The pleasure is all mine :)

I'm just about to spend this afternoon comparing the £100 QED analogue interconnects I bought against the £20 Mark Grants that I have borrowed on the CD37 aswell as Mark Grants power cable against the stock one, I'll report back later.
 

Ian_S

Distinguished Member
I know of no universal players or A/V processors with native DSD DACs, although there are some multichannel SACD/CD players (e.g. Sony XA9000ES or XE597) with native DSD DACs.
Pretty much all the Denon's from the 2900 have DSD DACs, Burr Browns if memory serves correctly that take either PCM or DSD. Can't remember where they got to with regard to speaker management on SACD's though. Certainly on the 2900 some of the speaker settings did not apply to SACDs.

Also, the Oppo Blu-ray player which I think qualifies as universal also allows you to send native DSD to its internal DACs, but again, you sacrifice bass management and speaker settings.

Quite a few Onkyo amps have a direct DSD mode, (again sacrifices DSP processing) and I'm pretty sure most Denon amps do too. I guess there will be plenty more receivers and universal players with direct DSD as well if you look hard enough.

Quite what the restirctions are I'm not sure, but these mainly apply to multi-channel. For stereo, the direct DSD option offered by many units would certainly be an interesting comparison.
 

Vipers

Well-known Member
Just had a really interesting afternoon playing around with power cables and stereo interconnects connected to the CD37 which has answered a couple of questions that have been bugging me for a while. Do upgraded power cables really make a difference and do you get more for your money when spending more with stereo cables.

I sat my wife down for some blind testing, as it turned out in the last Blu Ray shootout that she had quite an astute ear for differences in audio, and I didn't tell her what we were listening to, I just wanted to know if she could hear any difference atall. We used Gerry Raffety's 'Baker Street' and The Eagles 'Hotel California', After as quickly as possible changing over the power cords between Mark Grants upgraded cable and the stock cable my wife straight away said that she could hear a big difference with one player, she actually thought I was asking her to compare the CD37 and the A1UD, and she was shocked that the improvement she was hearing was just down to changing over to Mark's cable.

So then I took my turn, showed my wife how to fly the kit and sat back and listened, everytime I picked the upgraded cable, before today I was the biggest sceptic, I just couldn't see how changing a 1m cable to could make any difference when you're still drawing the same power with all its interference problems throughout the house. But I can genuinly say that I am now a believer :) there was a definate extra clarity and defination to the instruments with voices comming across clearer aswell, everything just had a livlier sound to it. For the cost of one of these cable at about £40 it is a no brainer upgrade, what I'm wondering now is if you go higher up the price chain to you get bigger improvements or will it be a case of diminishing returns again.

Next I tried comparing the QED Signiture audio cable at £100/m to Mark Grants audio cable at £20 and although the difference wasn't as big as swapping over the power cables there was still a big enough difference again in extra clarity to the whole soundstage when using the QED's that I believe that spending that bit more is a worthwhile investment, especially on players like the CD37 and A1UD, maybe the rule of spending 10% on the value of the player on cables isn't a bad one.

So all in all it was a very interesting afternoon, I know there will be many people who don't believe in the whole power cord upgrade, I was one, but at least I know now for myself that both me and my wife could hear a noticable difference to make it worthwhile upgrade. One thing I read the other day though was that the differences are more noticable with the source, ie cd players, than with amplification, maybe thats a test for another day :)
 

Wag

Active Member
Vipers,

I have long been an advocate for upgraded power leads. Be warned though, this topic usually ends in flames.

Personally I use Russ Andrews power cables and I have to admit to being a big fan. They are quite expensive, but they are confident enough to offer a money back guarantee if you can't hear the improvement, which I think speaks for itself. I have never sent a cable back yet.
 
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