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CD Playback: NAD C521BEE vs Denon 2200

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Gugbe, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. Gugbe

    Gugbe
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    Hi,
    Have been using my Denon 2200 as my only player for some time now, and have been very pleased with it. However, I have now started listening to more and more CDs, and am wondering if spending £150 (or pref cheaper second-hand) on a C521BEE is going to give me a significant improvement in CD playback quailty?
    I am (/would be) using it though a Pioneer 2011 amp (on Direct mode) and B&W 603s.
    Thanks in advance,
    Ryan
     
  2. nsherin

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    Haven't heard the Denon, so can't make any comparison, but I can recommend the NAD C521BEE CD player. Great sound for the cash - very detailed and warm sounding. A very enjoyable listen. My advice is to try and compare the two side by side and see which you prefer.
     
  3. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Gube, Check out the thread about offboard DACs at the top of the hi-fi forum page. You should find it very useful.
     
  4. Gugbe

    Gugbe
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    Thanks. The DACs thread is very usefull - and would prob be an good idea for me.
    Will look around on Ebay for second-hand ones around £100.
     
  5. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Be careful & do your research first - a £100 dac might not necessarily improve the cd playback from your 2200. I reckon you'll struggle to find something that will noticeably improve upon it for less than £350.

    Also, you're running it through an AV amp (albeit, a very good one), which won't do the end sound quality any favours - the effect of any improvements made in the source area with a DAC will be reduced because of this.

    Quite a lot of people (including myself) will tell you that you can't simply bolt-on a DAC and instantly turn your home cinema set-up into a great stereo.

    The 603's are great speakers though :smashin:

    DT
     
  6. Andywilliams

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    Hi
    I used to own a denon 2200 and found it to be rather cack at cd playback.I played it back to back with my sony 900v dvd player and to say the least i ended up selling the denon on and keeping the sony which bettered it on all fronts.If you can pick up a exdemo nad 521i or 541i you will notice a difference,I did have a 541i also and the sony was nearly on par with that. Cheers Gonzo.
     
  7. Gugbe

    Gugbe
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    OK, maybe a DAC isn't for me then. I simply don't listen to enough CDs to warrant much more than a 100 quid upgrade.
    I have listened to the budget NAD player a couple of years ago (think it was the plain 521), and was very impressed back then - but have never listened to it compared with any DVD players. Just didn't want to waste money if there was no difference in sound quality. But am much happier now (thanks guys), so I'll start hunting for a 2nd-hand 521i/BEE.

    Ryan
     
  8. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Good idea - save your money and spend it on some wicked dvd's instead :devil:
     
  9. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Also, Gonzo, why did you decide to buy a caspian cdp instead of a similarly priced dac?

    Do you run it through the 8500, or do you have separate stereo amp not listed in you sig?

    Cheers,
    DT
     
  10. Andywilliams

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    Hi Dt
    I run the caspian through my avr8500,This receiver is the best ive heard in stereo and i know my set up is very av biased but cds do sound very good.If in the future i do change my m&ks for full range speakers i may decide on getting a decent quality stereo amp,btw the avr8500 to my ears sounds as good as the old arcam a85.
    Cheers Gonzo. :)
    Ps i did think about going for a dac but decided on the caspian instead.
     
  11. superpixel

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    £150 isn't going to do anything.

    As someone who's owned and collected various pieces of hifi over the years, I can confidently say that even £1500 won't do much. There are differences for sure, but nothing to justify the price differential and nothing the right tweaking by way of interconnects can't fix.

    My favourite party trick is to take my £80 Sony CD player in when auditioning playback systems. I had a grin all day when that condascending manager of Sevenoaks confidently chose the Sony as the clearly superior player...compared to the £1200 Tag CD20R that 'he knew like the back of his hand'. All this playing through £3000 of Tag Amps and £2000 Kef Reference speakers... :rotfl:

    I have 4 different CD players, two DACs (bought mainly for creating music, but I couldn't resist comparisons), 2 ultra-budget DVD players and an old JVC midi system with stereo outputs! You have golden ears if you can tell a difference between these at usual to medium volume levels, even on an A-B comparison. The differences are slight, and mainly to do with things such as timing, rhythm, enjoyment, that sense of naturalness and being 'right'. They need a quality system and long-term listening to be appreciated. Funnily enough it is precisely in this way that I prefer the Sony to all my other players.

    so yeh, im with the others - save your money and just enjoy those discs!
    perhaps keep a piggybank for upgrades downstream, where the returns are much more worthwhile - and dont believe the 'cd playback is good, but still not as good as a dedicated budget player' propaganda!
     

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