Better to buy a dedicated cd player or a bluray player and an external DAC?

P-P-S-S

Well-known Member
As the title asks, would it be better for me to buy a dedicated CD player such as the Marantz CD6006UK edition or should I get a 4kBluray player like Sony UBP X800mk2 and add an external DAC to it and play CDs through that?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The Sony, as far as I'm aware, does not have analogue out connections and any CD's played on it will rely on HDMI for transport to the amp. That's not a good option and in a comparison between the Sony and the Marantz cd6006 the Marantz will simply trounce it for stereo replay. Adding an external DAC should improve things with an optical connection but the Marantz already has a very good DAC onboard.

I've owned a cd6006 and it is without doubt one of the best players at under £500 that's ever been produced and it's build quality is very good indeed. Very quiet in operation. You are also looking at a CD player that is more expensive than the Sony and just designed to do one job.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I think it depends on your working budget, and your requirements.

First, do you need a BluRay Player? If you do and space is limited, it can double as a CD Player. But if you don't need a BluRay, then it makes more sense to buy a CD Player.



Also, keep in mind that a BluRay will play more, for example, it will play SACD, if that is of any interest to you.

The latest Marantz CD Players are about £350 to £400 -



They are in the same general price range, but you have to consider the addition of an external DAC. Does you existing Amp have a Spare Coaxial Connection (assuming it has a DAC).

And how much additional are you willing to spend on an external DAC. The price can range from about £20 up to several thousand.

Next, how badly do you need a CD Player? That is, how does this fit in your priorities? If CD's are you primary source of Music, then that pushes the choice toward a dedicated CD Player. However, if you interest is more casual, and you already need a good BluRay Player, then perhaps a BluRay is the best choice.

Myself, I bought an older model DVD Universal Player directly from Harman-Kardon when they were closing them out. Got a good +£400 Player for about £150. I'm completely satisfied with the DVD for exclusively playing CDs.

So, to some extent, you have to ponder your level of satisfaction. A new good BluRay will do a pretty decent job for CDs. And if a pretty decent job is good enough, then that is a problem solved. But, if you are a purist, and want to assure the absolute best within your budget, then perhaps a dedicated CD Player makes more sense.

Do you have a BluRay Player now? If so, does it have Analog RCA or Optical/Coaxial Outputs? If so, then give it a try, even if it is not a very good player, it will still give you some sense of whether this is a satisfactory route for you.

Or perhaps, if you don't have one, borrow a BluRay Player from a friend for an afternoon, and test it out.

Again I was looking for a bargain in a CD Player, I really did not have too much money to spend, and the Harman Kardon Universal DVD does everything I need at the best possible price. Though again, it as a +£400 player for £150, and it has its own very decent internal DACs, so no need for an external DAC.

Both will likely satisfy you, and on the assumption that you need a BluRay Player anyway, that might be a good place to start. If , later, you decide that this not the idea option for CD, then you can add a CD Player later.

Without literally being inside your mind, this is a difficult question to answer.

If you choose BluRay, for CD you use the Coaxial Output for dedicated Stereo Playback. For Movies, you use the HDMI.

Finding a Photo of the Back of the NAIM Uniti Nova (£4300), it has 2xOpitcal and 2xCoaxial, so no need for an external DAC unless there is something you are not telling us.


With out doing the full math, I'm guessing your system comes pretty close to £10,000. Given the quality of your equipment, and the fact that you are seeking a good but modestly priced CD Player, I kind of have to assume that CD Playback is perhaps not at the level of the rest of your equipment, and would therefore be inclined to think a BluRay Player would be good enough.

Again, if you need a BluRay anyway, then that seems the place to start. And if you already have a BluRay, test it out and see if it comes close to your standards.

Also, though very few now, for considerably more money, there are BluRay Players that hit a pretty high standard for Stereo Audio Playback.

According the Digital Trends, the Sony X800 M2 seems to high a very high standard, at a pretty modest price for Stereo Audio Playback -


I did find several other references to the Sony X800 M2 being especially good for Music Playback relative to other BluRay in the same price range.

So, the final decision is up to you, but my instinct says start with a BluRay, which one assumes you need, the decide where you want to take if from there. There are other High End BluRay that are suppose to be excellent for Audio, but they are three times the price or more.

That's about the best I can say.

Steve/bluewizard
 

P-P-S-S

Well-known Member
The Sony, as far as I'm aware, does not have analogue out connections and any CD's played on it will rely on HDMI for transport to the amp.

I've owned a cd6006 and it is without doubt one of the best players at under £500 that's ever been produced and it's build quality is very good indeed. Very quiet in operation. You are also looking at a CD player that is more expensive than the Sony and just designed to do one job.
Ah, I wasn't aware that the Sony lacked the analogue outs. That puts a spin on the plans.

I have had my eye on the Marantz for quite a while and have heard nothign but good reviews about it.

Steve, thank you very much for the detailed answer.

Despite what it must look like I tend to listen equally to Vinyl, CD and streaming. Somehow I have kept the cost of the cd player below the £500 mark.

Currently my Marantz CD5001 seems to be ready to give up the ghost so I definitely do need a CD player. I also need a 4k player as well as SACD (although the latter will be a more casual listen).

I am waiting to find out if the new PS5 will have SACD playback abilities and if it does I will get that and the Marantz and they will cover all formats I need. Fingers crossed the PS5 will come through.

However if the PS5 does not have SACD capabilities then I will need to look at getting a CD player capable fo playing SACD. However i am aware that I might need to shell out more than I was going to for the Marantz. And I will need to do more research to determine which CD/SACD player I will need to get.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
The Sony has a coax digital spdif stereo output so as in the OP this can be fed into a dac for stereo playback.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The Marantz cd6006 doesn't have SACD capability. For that you would need a UD player for 5.1 performance and I believe the Sony does have that ability. Panasonic players do not have SACD capability and some of the Pioneers do.

Marantz players for stereo SACD are very good and you would be looking to the used market for a sa8005 which are very few and far between although there was one in our classifieds a few weeks ago. I also own a sa8005 and for CD playback, even though it uses the same DAC as the 6006, it is a better performer on redbooks.

Pioneer UD players are very good multi channel performers and many models such as the LX58 also have analogue out abilities as does the excellent LX500. The LX500 is my UD player and again is a really good multi channel SACD performer.

For new standalone stereo SACD players you're looking at the likes of the Denon DCD1600NE as a starting point for outstanding performance but at a price. A word of caution about SACDs themselves. Depending on your genre it can get expensive as most rock albums are confined to the secondary market and average out at around £30 a disc from the likes of evil bay or Discogs. The classics are much better served and a good quality SACD recording will cost you no more than a standard redbook.

 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Ah, I wasn't aware that the Sony lacked the analogue outs. That puts a spin on the plans.

....
The system listed at the bottom of your post (Signature) says you have a NAIM Nova, the Nova has TWO Coaxial and TWO Optical inputs, so the BluRay having an Coaxial Out is of no consequence, unless you are already using all the Digital In on the Amp, which would be very unusual.

Use the Coaxial for Stereo Playback, and Use the HDMI for Movie Playback.

This information, that the BluRay doesn't have Analog RCA out is really of no consequence.

And the BluRay will play just about every Disc Format including SACD.

Now if you start looking at CD/SACD Players the price is going to get a bit expensive, what I'm finding ranges from £700 and UP.

There are High End BluRay Players that run £1000 and above, that are top notch for Audio and Video.





The Sony X1000es at £670 is not that much more than the Sony you were already looking at -


Note the Sony Website no longer lists the X1000ES, so it may be discontinued, though seems to be widely available.


You might want to at least explore these as possibilities. The 3 listed above do have Analog RCA Outputs.

I think right now, though I haven't checked lately, Panasonic is topping the list of Universal Players -


There are Pioneer LX500 available, but I'm getting the sense that Pioneer has dropped out of the BluRay game, so those are pre-existing stock.

In all honesty, with your original budget, I think your original instinct was right. For high value and a full range of features, the Sony UDP-X800-M2 was probably the ideal choice.


If you can find it, the Panasonic DP-UB820EB has Analog RCA out, and appears to be closer to your original price range -



Though, of course, you are free to choose any path you want.

EDITED:
I'm not sure if the Panasonic Model will play SACD, you might want to look deeper into that.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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P-P-S-S

Well-known Member
From what I understand I think it would make a lot more sense and it would be simpler if I dropped SACD compatibility from my criteria. I do not have any SACD yet but was planning to buy some however it seems that it is mor ehassle than it is worth. I don't have surround sound either. Just 2.0.

So it looks like it might be best if I went down the route of PS5 + CD player. I was going to buy PS5 anyway so if I dropped the SACD requirement I would simply need a CD player.

The reason why I have decided on the Marantz CD6006UK edition is because it gets rave reviews and it is hard to beat by any other players arund the £500 mark apparently. The CD6007 seems to have come out but I am not sure if that is any better than the 6006UK ed.
 

Onlythesound

Active Member
Late to the show as usual but a few comments on the Sony UBP X800m2 which I have owned since Dec last year. I use it in a variety of ways including CD playback, Blu-ray films, YouTube music (via wifi). Context is always different as are our ears and tastes. However, IMO the player holds its own across all of these sources which I play through a Denon DRA 800 h. Stereo amp which has been designed with all of the above possibilities in mind. My Sony is only connected via HDMI direct to the Amp which, I believe has 2 DACS onboard.

Greater minds than mine on this forum will know how this all works but the upshot for me is that I feel the Sony can hold its head high (through B&W 606 speakers by the way). I haven’t played SACDs on it yet.

Cheers,
David
 

gibbsy

Moderator
@BlueWizard The Panny 9000 isn't a UD player unfortunately as it lacks SACD capability.

The Pioneer LX500 is a very fine multi channel player, I have one. It's interesting that you have mentioned the Pioneer maybe leaving the player market. There has been no confirmation and UK dealers are still taking orders for both LX500 and 800. It was rumoured that stock would be returning at the end of September. The Pioneer website is still showing both to be available for ordering.

On the standalone stereo SACD players that part of the market is looking pretty healthy with new players from Marantz and the continuing support from Denon with the DCD 1600/2500 and the limited edition A110.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
@BlueWizard ...it was rumoured that stock would be returning at the end of September. The Pioneer website is still showing both to be available for ordering.

...
I could not find BluRay listed on the Pioneer Electronics website, though perhaps I just missed it.

The Sony X1000 is still readily available and for sale, but also not listed on the Sony Website.

And yes it seems the Panasonic 9000 does NOT play SACD, not sure about the Panasonic 820 though, but I suspect not.

All that said, the Sony X800 is certainly available at a pretty fair price, and though it might not do everything, it certainly does what needs to be done.

The Marantz CD6006-UK plus the Sony X800 would take the OP just a bit above budget, but not by much -

£350 = Marantz CD6006-UK
£300 = Sony X800 BluRay
-----------------------
£650

Steve/bluewizard
 

luiscardoso88

Standard Member
I’m using a X800M2 as a universal player (it’s the only one I have) that’s connected via a digital coaxial cable to my Audiolab 6000A amplifier, which has a good DAC inside.

It works flawlessly, it’s solid (has a metal chassis) and it‘s very quiet in operation. A CD can only be heard spinning inside if you put your ear right against the case of the player.

I‘d prefer to have a display showing the track and playtime but one gets used to it, I guess.
 

butcherpete

Active Member
I have a Sony X800, and next week take delivery of a Teac DAC, so will use that for the sony and pc, may use it for the recently inherited Tascam DAT
 

Kingchin

Active Member
Pity Oppo stopped manufacturing players as a Oppo UDP 203 would of been the perfect solution for the OP. I use mine as a pre amp & DAC for blu rays/4k blu rays, CDs, SACDs. Using the 5.1 rca analogue outputs connected to a subwoofer, high quality power amplifier which also has Bluetooth AptX for the front two speakers. A mono amplifier for the centre channel and a stereo amplifier for the surround speakers.
 
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butcherpete

Active Member
Why isn't the Sony ES UBP-X1100ES mentioned?
Possibly because they look and maybe sound the same, the difference is the 1100 had more inputs and is a big price increase?
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Why isn't the Sony ES UBP-X1100ES mentioned?
Do you have a link to one for sale, and a link to the Sony Website?

This does exist in theory -


But if you go to BluRay Players at the Top Level on the Sony Website, this item is not listed.

Actually it is listed, I was on that sight a couple of days ago and it wasn't there -



But if we go to Sony-UK it is NOT listed -


And while the Suggested Retail Price is US$499 (£386), in the UK it is selling for closer to £750 -


Amazon product
Plus you can get the Sony X800 AND the Marantz CD6007 for less money.

At the US price, that would be well worth considering, but the UK prices are a bit steep.

Still it has Coaxial, Optical, and Analog Outputs.

Steve/bluewizard
 

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