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CD player recommendations

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by wizbongre, Nov 29, 2003.

  1. wizbongre

    wizbongre
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    Right,

    I'm, sick of listening to my CD's through my DVD player... I'm after a decent CD player for under £200. It will be paired with my Yammy AV amp for now. I am tempted to go for something by Marantz but don't really know?!

    Any recommendations for starting points? I listen to all sorts of music, especially classic rock and modern dance/house.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
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    Rotel or secondhand Arcam for starters. I would go for a second-hand quality player. Marantz make some great players but also some that have not shone so brightly for no apparent reason.

    I would personally try to find a good Arcam Alpha (any number will do). There's always loads on Ebay but you may pay a higher price.
     
  3. wizbongre

    wizbongre
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    Been looking round t'internet this afternoon and seen a few Arcam so may give them a go.

    Thanks.
     
  4. nsherin

    nsherin
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    If you're looking for a brand new player, also consider the NAD C521BEE
     
  5. overkill

    overkill
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    As above Arcams are good......................beware partnering bright sounding players with the yam!! Ie the NAD while ace might be a little ear shredding with your amp! The Arcams "easy on the ear" sound would be ideal.
     
  6. wizbongre

    wizbongre
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    Would something like this be any good? With the accompanying DAC

    (Can you tell I know jack **** about CD players?!)

    I am assuming a seperate transport and DAC will give better results than an all in one player?
     
  7. overkill

    overkill
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    Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeell, thats actually a tricky one!! Two box solutions can be better, but due to incorrect clock timings (not in synch) they can introduce jitter which defeats the whole object!! However, the parts you were looking at are well matched and sound pretty good for their age. Which is where you get problems. CD transports, players over 7 - 8 years start getting problems with laser mis-alignment, dodgy pickups in general, worn bearings etc.............. This is as other peeps will tell you, is dependant on make, price, build quality etc.

    If you want to go for those two bits ask:-

    1) last service (on transport)
    2) Reason for sale - if they start getting evasive, don't bother, it means the players started acting up - but not enough to get them in trouble with e-bay.
    3) Purchase date. I found a great guide to second hand pricing (and flipping lost it!) which gave a good rule of thumb for CD players over ten years old - don't pay more than 25-35% of original asking price. Unless it's a VERY good unit say a Naim, MF, Meridian or similar.

    The two box Arcam is good, but it is old, and you would want a very sharp price to warrant buying it. Try one of the newer Alphas instead, unless you can get a fairly low final bid accepted.
     
  8. wizbongre

    wizbongre
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    Okay, thanks.
     
  9. wizbongre

    wizbongre
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    Just an update....

    I've bought a second hand Arcam Alpha 8 which should be turning up in the next few days or so...

    I'll let you know how I get on!
     
  10. Garrett

    Garrett
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    This model was the winner in its price range in the What Hi_Fi awards this year.
     
  11. nsherin

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    That's right - it did win the awards this year. I've been a fan of their players for a few years now.

    Regarding the NAD players being bright and partnering with Yamaha kit, I've not found that at all. Marantz, although very good, was too bright for my tastes. I use the C521BEE with a Yamaha HTR5540RDS, the sound is warm and detailed with good, punchy bass.

    wizbongre - hope you enjoy the Arcam - I nearly bought an ex-dem DiVA CD62T, but it was a bit out of my price range.
     
  12. Cool-hand

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    Definitley a used player off ebay. you should find something decent there.

    ch
     
  13. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    wizbongre

    I think you'll be OK with this. I bought a second hand Alpha 7se (not off e-bay), payed £150 for it with box manual etc. It is a really nice player. Supposed to be very similar internally to CD72.

    I also have a Yam HC amp but TBH the biggest difference came when I bought a dedicated Stereo amp (Alpha 7) to go with the player. What a cracking little amp and so cheap at £65. I now bi amp having added an Alpha 8p £150 again. I reckon the original new prices must have added up to around £900 + for those 3 and I believe they can still hold their own it that price range.

    Bargains galor on the second hand trail. :smashin: I think you stand to sacrifice much more in style terms than in sound quality. I certainly think this to be true of the Alpha range. One word of caution, things tend to go for over the odds on E-bay. Work out a reasonable price and stick to it, don't get carried away. Try Loot, or Bargain Pages and don't forget the local rag, you'd be suprised what comes up. Happy hunting.

    Cheers

    Croc
     
  14. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    One nice thing you can do with Alpha 7 and 8 CD players is upgrade them with the DAC board from the CD82 - from memory this costs £200 and is a dealer fit. The final performance will then be pretty much the same as the CD82 (though the cosmetics will not!).

    HTH.

    JOhn Dawson (Arcam)
     
  15. wizbongre

    wizbongre
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    Well, the Alpha 8 turned up yesterday... I managed to pick it up with all original packaging and stuff for £170 so not a bad deal.

    Can't believe how different my CD's sound through this compared to my Pioneer DVD350 or even my old Technics seperates.

    I'm well pleased! :smashin:

    The sound is really balanced and clear, and the stereo imaging and sound stage seems to have dramatically improved. I'm hearing sounds and instruments in tracks that I just didn't know where there before.

    Mr. Dawson, thanks for that - I had dropped an email to Arcam support about the upgrade but haven't had a reply yet - now I know!

    And I have to say the cosmetics aren't that bad - I quite like the understated, simplistic styling. It shouldn't matter soon anyway because my setup will be hidden in a stand/cabinet of some sort...
     
  16. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    There is also a whimsical pleasure in owning a CD player that has rather more going on under the hood than at first it appears to. My old Alpha 7se is now owned by my brother and has the CD82 module in it- for a total of £250 its pretty untouchable.
     
  17. wizbongre

    wizbongre
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    Have to agree - its the CD version of putting a 2.0 turbo engine into a Vauxhall Nova... Except hopefully it'll sound better and won't get wrapped round a lampost at the first opportunity.

    Will seriously consider the upgrade once the new year comes and money is a bit more free-flowing.
     

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