Answered CD player question - HD-DVD player or dedicated CD


Standard Member
Hi, although I have been a member for years, it has also been a long time since I have been on here - sorry !

I have just started setting up a 2nd system for 2 channel audio only and have picked up an Arcam Xeta 1 amp which I am pretty impressed with so far.

I have hooked up an old Toshiba HD-E1 HD-DVD player that I had kicking around as a CD player (I gave away my old Sony SCD-XB940 a few years ago) but I am thinking of looking for a 2nd hand Arcam unit, either dedicated CD or DVD (eg CD72 or DV27/DV88). I know that the Tosh is a great DVD upscaler and I would expect the transport mech to be of good quality but I am not really sure of its performance in terms of 2 channel CD audio - yes it sounds okay but hard when nothing to compare to.

So, the question is.... am I likely to get significant better 2 channel audio performance with CDs on an Arcam CD or DVD player?

many thanks


Distinguished Member
Video players generally make poor audio players, and my experience is that BD & HD players are even worse. They're a jack of all trades.

I would get a dedicated CD player.



Distinguished Member
I don't 100% agree with Welwynick, but he does have something of a point. Video Players are just fair audio players, but UNIVERSAL Disc Players can do a pretty decent job of Audio Playback, but Universal Players are not cheap.

Universal Players have internal DACs just for the Audio Output, and they tend to play virtually very audio disc ever made. Plus of course, video discs.

I have a Harman Kardon DVD-48 Unviersal Disc Player dedicated to CD only use. It had an original retail price of £450, which I bought direct from Harman Kardon (B-Stock) for about £130. There is no dedicated CD Player for that price that I think would equal this Universal Player.

In another case, someone on an absolute desperation starvation budget, was looking for a way to play CDs, and the lowest cost player happened to be a DVD Player with Analog Audio Outs. Today you can buy these for dirt cheap, less than £50 NEW. We explained that the sound quality would not be the best, but some sound is better than no sound, so I think DVD is the direction he went.

In a similar thread a few days ago, someone has a fair system with a Pioneer BluRay player, and was wondering if he should get a dedicated CD Player. It was pointed out that the Pioneer BluRay had Analog Audio Out and that he should try playing CDs using those. He hasn't gotten back to us yet on how that worked out. But it was certainly the lowest cost option for him.

So, generally the key is that the Video Player have it own internal DAC, which means Red/White RCA Analog Outputs. If you have a Player with this, it is certainly worth trying.

So, it is really down to money. If you have the money, certainly a dedicated CD Player is the top choice. But, if you have a combine Music and Movie system, and you need a BluRay anyway, and if you can afford a Universal Player, it is certianly a worthy option to consider.

If you are looking a Used equipment, and you already have BluRay/DVD covered, the probably a dedicated CD Player.

It is down to a balancing act, finding the proper blend of budget, needs, and priorities to suit your personal circumstances.

Right now, I think it is possible to get very highly rated Marantz CD6005 for about £250. You will have a hard time finding a better unit at that price new. The CD6006 (current version) is about £400.

But if you want a bargain, the Yamaha CDS300 is only about £170. The lesser Marantz CD5005, which is still good, is about £165. So, it depends on the kind of money you are willing to spend.

You implied a couple of used Arcam, but you didn't actually give us your budget. Is this going to be used with the system listed in your post -

DVD: Sony DVPNS900 / HD-DVD/BD: Toshiba HD-E1 / Sony PS3/ Amp: Yamaha RXV1700

Or is this on a second system?

If any of the Disc Players you have an Analog Outs (Red/White RCA) give those a try and see what you think of the results. If you are satisfied, then it is a done deal and for free.

If you don't like the results and are willing to spend money, how much money? It is possible you can get a very nice NEW player for the same budget.

If you want a good CD Player at a bargain price, try tracking down the previous model Marantz CD6005, which should be roughly $250. Hard to beat that at the price.


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