Best Audio Quality?


Standard Member
What is the best way to go about playing an audio CD and getting high quality?
Is it simply a case of buying any CD player, or should i be looking at something differant?

I have heard of Super Audio but am un-educated in it all together.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I have a Sony DA2400ES Receiver and Wharfedale 5.1 speakers if it helps.

Thanks :D


Active Member
As you have a Sony receiver, it would be worth considering a Sony CDP but at the price point of your receiver, you are probably not going to hear much difference between brands in the same price range. Most manufacturers will try to have their components complementing one another, but your ears will tell you whether that is sthe sound you want. However if you want good audio I would definitely buy a CDP as opposed to using a DVD player to play CDs.


Standard Member
Thanks Ross

You couldnt point me in the right direction with Sony CDP's could you?


Active Member
SACD (Super Audio CD) have music encoded at a higher quality, to keep it simple. But an ordinary CD player cannot read this (decode) and you need a player which has SACD capability.

Also the selection of SACD discs is poor and poorly promoted. SACDs have a traditional CD layer which can usually be read and played on an ordinary CD player - usually called 'hybrid'. Some SACDs have a high quality stereo soundtrack and a 5.1 surround soundtrack.

You may be interested in improving your CD playback from your DVD player rather than buying a dedicated CD player (which will probably sound better than your DVD player for similar money).

My CD player (£1200 back in 1997) has been improved by buying a digital to analogue converter (made by Cambridge Audio). This little box gets the digital signal from my player and converts it into an anolgue one ready for amplifying. It is far more up to date and superior to the one that exists in the player though.

This converter in your DVD player will probably be quite a cheap one and will have a real impact on the sound.

These converters have the added bonus of being able to improve any digital audio signal such as those from computers/games consoles/portables and piping them through your main hifi.

Check out the forums on DACS - Cambridge Audio DacMagic.
Cost £200.


Distinguished Member
SACD is a higher resolution format that also supports up to 5.1. Whilst there is no shortage of classical releases in this format, there is apparently not much in other areas, so whether you'd want a SACD capable player will depend on your music tastes and disc availability. Peruse The Super Audio CD | SA-CD | SACD Reference for a decent list of what's available (on a site whose organization can be politely described as chaotic :().

Most SACD releases are actually hybrids - containing a SACD and a CD layer, and most SACD layers have both a 2.0 and a 5.1 version. Exceptions (classical anyway) are fairly rare (missinglink implies that exceptions in non-classical recordings may be more common). The use of hybrids means that you may well already own some SACDs, so check your collection.

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