CD Demo Help

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by FunkyStonker, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. FunkyStonker

    FunkyStonker
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    Hi All,

    Some advice would be simply super.

    I am looking to upgrade to a separate CD player and I will have a demo shortly of the following, and I was wondering if anyone had any good/bad knowledge of any of these.

    Naim 5i
    Arcam CD73
    Rega Apollo

    Also I would like any hints and tips on what to listen out for so I go prepared.
    Obviously the top of the criteria list is whether I like the sound or not but if I can go in tooled up with prepared knowledge I could make the most of the session!

    They would be demo'd with a similar amp and same speakers. Music will be varied between the shops demo discs and my own fav discs to ensure I get a wide range to listen too!

    Any help/advice would be most appreciated and I will of course feed back a report :D

    Cheers,
    Des.
     
  2. VoodooDoctor

    VoodooDoctor
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    I have the Rega Apollo and love it. Really gets to the root of the music and I'm currently re-discovering my CD collection.

    I would suggest that you shouldn't pay too much attention to the shop's demo discs. Take along your favourite CD's from all genres that you listen to. I believe some people make their own mix CD. This way you'll know how well the player handles what you like.
     
  3. amcluesent

    amcluesent
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    <I am looking to upgrade to a separate CD player<

    Have you considered moving away from CD players and using network player like a Squeezebox?
     
  4. FunkyStonker

    FunkyStonker
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    thanks guys,

    I will look into the squeeze box, but theres something about the tangible quality and feeling of owning cds :eek:)

    if i create my own disc instead of taking a whole bunch of cds what rate should I rip the original at before creating my own disc to ensure good quality? I know its all digital etc etc and I usually rip at 192 is this suffice?

    Cheers.
     
  5. John Martin

    John Martin
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    duh ... if you're intending to make a compilation CD to demo CD players, the obvious answer is rip as .wav files. i.e. don't compress at all :rolleyes:
     
  6. cwilson

    cwilson
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    Just rip as wav's and the burn the compilation CD, if you rip to MP3 you have a couple of problems, not all CD players will play them, and you are ripping out three parts of the stuff you want a better CD player for. Just take a few of fav's and best known CD's along, let them settle you in with a coffee, and listen. Some of like to listen for the sound stage of thing, others are more interested in the way the machine involves you in the music. With the 3 CDP's you have listed you really have covered most of the bases, they are very different in how they sound. For me it would be a simple choice, but we all have different ears.
    Don't just judge them in the first 5 minutes, take your time and enjoy the dem, and really listen, the different traits of the players will shine through.
     
  7. Ightenhill

    Ightenhill
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    I don't know about the Rega Apollo as it never made it into my music room. The Naim 5i did along with the Nait 5i and the Arcam CD73 sat alongside it for some time as well.

    The Naim 5i in combination with the amp is beautifully musical, however it took about two months to start sounding sweet. It then IMO had a fantastic sound but a definate Naim sound which may or may not be to your liking.

    The Arcam CD73 dissapointed me from the outset, detailed and precise but totally unmusical would be my summing up of its performance. Something seemed to be missing from the music that made it boring to listen to.

    I have to qualify that I now use neither machine and have moved on to the Linn Majik which gives me the musicality and PRAT I had with the Naim but a tonality that to me seems more natural and realistic. Its involving (without being brash and showy) and no matter what I play draws me in and involves me, daring me to stop listening.

    I would advise you to try to find a dealer who will allow you to demo at home, dont forget to spend carefully on cabling etc. With the Naim especially and to a degree the Linn there is a synergy in the brand especially between the Nait amp the CD5i and Naca cabling. Im not sure the CD5i is easy to match in to another system.
     
  8. karkus30

    karkus30
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    :thumbsup:good advice.

    I home demo over a few days is the only way to decide. In a shop you are listening to their set up and room acoustics which is almost certainly different to your own environment. Its also in a situation that makes you more open to suggestion by the dealer as to 'what you heard'...ie mmmm, that rega/arcam/naim sounds better than that rega/arcam/naim doesn't it, far more open and musical.........and you nod your head.:D
     
  9. RossFlet

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    I'd agree with all of the above and especially with Karkus regarding a home trial. BUT as you haven't told us what other gear you have - I'm assuming that you aren't replacing the other items - I'm not sure what your shop demos will achieve. I'm also assuming that there is only one shop involved. If not, you are wasting your time.

    Unless the shop has the same amp/speakers as you currently own, the sound from each of these players could be significantly different from what you will hear at home. Listening to multiple combinations at more than one shop will end up confusing and frustrating you.

    A better idea would be to borrow each of the players (or more than one if the shop will co-operate) and try them at home with the same tracks which represent the range of music you listen to. I've always done this except for one occasion when I was helping a freind buy a complete set-up. Some brands of CDP sound best with their own brand of amp but this is by no means always true. Only YOUR ears can tell YOU Good luck!
     
  10. FunkyStonker

    FunkyStonker
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    Hi,
    Thanks all for your help.
    My home setup is mentioned in me signature, yamaha and B&W and the shop can match what I have, which is a good thing, as its the only shop in my area worth mentioning.
    Some very useful info here and I didnt know about ripping into wav format!
    but the most important thing which has been confirmed and I was aware of is what my own ears hear!

    I have been swayed towards the NAIM before I wrote this, but I didnt mention as I didnt want it to influence any replys, and I am going into this with my ears open. You can read reviews all day long but opinions from people who have listened, owned and demo'd are priceless. So thank you.

    Cheers,
    Des.
     
  11. Scott_Mac

    Scott_Mac
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    As said above, the Naim is a stunner (as is the Rega) but Naim CD players just tend to work better with Naim amplification in my experience.... as for the music, take along what you listen to it, you'll know it better and have an idea if you like what you're hearing.

    As above though when you're spending that kind of money you need a home demo, you'll learn a lot more about the unit in your own home, in your chair, with your cables, music etc....
     
  12. Ightenhill

    Ightenhill
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    Just one other thing I would add re the Naim.. Make sure its the latest version (the italic i one).. secondly if you do like the Naim sound and think thats the way your going to go in the future bear in mind you cant expand the CD5i or the Nait with caps unfortunately so will have to sell and start again on the next level up.

    I have never actually heard a CD5i out of a Naim amplification environment and would imagine it will be rather fussy about its amplification partner.
     
  13. GW43

    GW43
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    Since I replaced my CD player with a Squeezebox I have actually bought more CDs than ever.

    With a Squeezebox:

    There's something about being able to play your entire collection at random
    There's something about suddenly hearing a long forgotten track that you didn't realise you had
    There's something about being able to search your collection quickly and easily
    There's something about being able to play every track with the word "wibble" in the title
    There's something about being able to play all songs by one artist/genre/year
    There's something about being able to use playlists
    There's something about not having to get up to change a CD every 40 minutes or so
    There's something about it being...so convenient!
    There's something about not scratching your CDs - rip them once and stick them in the loft!

    ...and relax....

    Sorry, I don't know what came over me!
     
  14. Ightenhill

    Ightenhill
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    If you go the squeezebox route make sure you get an external DAC.
     
  15. GW43

    GW43
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    Yes you can add an external DAC.

    However, I just got the Squeezebox - and compared to my Arcam Alpha 7SE it was better
    The 7SE was no different to the Arcam CD73 in a side by side demo
    "Eightelms" suggested I had to spend a grand to "significantly" better the 7SE
    Ergo, for me (and I have to stress the "for me" bit), the Squeezebox is no worse than a CD player for less than a grand - although I obviously haven't heard all CD players under a grand.
     

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