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Question CD Player under £100

WozzaB

Active Member
I'm thinking of picking up a decent CD player as I still have a lot cd's knocking about!

They currently get played via a Sony UBP-X700 Bluray player, and I'm a little underwhelmed with the sound, it's running through a Denon AVR-X3500H with Q3010i fronts and BK XXLS400 subs.

So no dedicated amp, just the AVR running all sound duties.

I'm happy to look at used players, what would you guys recommend for around £100 or less?

Cheers!
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
Have you tried the coax digital out to the amp? Or are you just using the HDMI for everything.
 

WozzaB

Active Member
It's all connected via HDMI, didn't even think of looking for other options!
Everything was rca to rca last time I had any separates!:D
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Coax may give a better sound but the real problem may lie with the Denon. Receivers are not very good at stereo music, even the higher tier Denons such as my X6200 are comparatively poor. Even though you would be able to connect a dedicated CD player by analogue as most have their own onboard DAC it's going to get nowhere near as good as a CDP and stereo amp can produce.

I even tried connecting my blu ray player by analogue (Pioneer LX58 at the time) and used the receiver in pure direct which did make a slight improvement.

I wouldn't bother with a standalone CDP as the Sony will do just as good a job in conjunction with the Denon.
 

WozzaB

Active Member
Coax may give a better sound but the real problem may lie with the Denon. Receivers are not very good at stereo music, even the higher tier Denons such as my X6200 are comparatively poor. Even though you would be able to connect a dedicated CD player by analogue as most have their own onboard DAC it's going to get nowhere near as good as a CDP and stereo amp can produce.

I even tried connecting my blu ray player by analogue (Pioneer LX58 at the time) and used the receiver in pure direct which did make a slight improvement.

I wouldn't bother with a standalone CDP as the Sony will do just as good a job in conjunction with the Denon.
That's the answer I was expecting, but was hoping wasn't true:D

So, do I know go down the amp route or just stick with what I have? I need to have a think!

Cheers!
 

Fred Smith

Well-known Member
Why not try a phono / RCA cable between the two, coax digital to coax digital, and if you think is is better get a coax digital cable, like Amazon Basics.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Why not try a phono / RCA cable between the two and if you think is is better get a coax digital cable, like Amazon Basics.
No analogue out from the Sony. Coax or HDMI only.
 

Fred Smith

Well-known Member
No analogue out from the Sony. Coax or HDMI only.
I know, I own one.

My Marantz CD6006 does not support FLAC so I use the Sony's USB socket for that purpose, and output via coax digital to my amps coax digital input with an Amazon Basics digital coax cable.

OP could try a standard phono / RCA cable to try it out.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
@Fred Smith I will always recommend the Maratnz cd6006, it's an excellent player and probably the best in it's price range. I own one, although now confined to headphone duties, as well as the sa8005. Don't bother with FLAC files just CD and SACD. The sa8005 is directly linked to a Rega stereo amp and isn't linked at all to the Denon.

The Denon is always going to be the weak link, even with the 6006 and with it in place I doubt there would be any significant gain in audio quality over the Sony. A £100 player isn't going to cut it.
 

Fred Smith

Well-known Member
@Fred Smith I will always recommend the Maratnz cd6006, it's an excellent player and probably the best in it's price range. I own one, although now confined to headphone duties, as well as the sa8005. Don't bother with FLAC files just CD and SACD. The sa8005 is directly linked to a Rega stereo amp and isn't linked at all to the Denon.

The Denon is always going to be the weak link, even with the 6006 and with it in place I doubt there would be any significant gain in audio quality over the Sony. A £100 player isn't going to cut it.
Yes, why I suggested a try phono cable between the Sony and Denon and it's the OP thinks it is better, then a cheap coax digital cable could then possibly be substituted for it.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Yes, why I suggested a try phono cable between the Sony and Denon and it's the OP thinks it is better, then a cheap coax digital cable could then possibly be substituted for it.
The Sony doesn't have analogue out (phono) only digital connections.
 

Fred Smith

Well-known Member
The Sony doesn't have analogue out (phono) only digital connections.
Yes I know I OWN ONE.

Why not try a phono / RCA cable between the two, coax digital to coax digital, and if you think is is better get a coax digital cable, like Amazon Basics.
Coax digital sockets are phono / RCA type.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Yes I know I OWN ONE.



Coax digital sockets are phono / RCA type.
I thought you were on about owning a Marantz. My bad.

He could try a cable but that would still rely on the Denon doing the conversion and the problem lies with the Denon. No matter what player, in any configuration, on my 6200 could improved the audio performance. I've used a Pioneer LX58, Denon DBT 3313, Marantz cd6006 and sa8005, all bar the Denon 3313 which is a transport, sounded the same in stereo even when connected by analogue and the 6200 run in pure direct. You just cannot compare a receiver to the musical abilities of a stereo amp.

A cable would be cheaper for the OP rather than buying a new CDP as there would be no gain with the latter.
 

Fred Smith

Well-known Member
I thought you were on about owning a Marantz. My bad.


I own both see sig. I was illustrating my use of the X700 apart from Blu-rays.

He could try a cable but that would still rely on the Denon doing the conversion and the problem lies with the Denon.
Agreed.

No matter what player, in any configuration, on my 6200 could improved the audio performance. I've used a Pioneer LX58, Denon DBT 3313, Marantz cd6006 and sa8005, all bar the Denon 3313 which is a transport, sounded the same in stereo even when connected by analogue and the 6200 run in pure direct. You just cannot compare a receiver to the musical abilities of a stereo amp.
I did not, I suggested the OP try it to see if it imporved.

A cable would be cheaper for the OP rather than buying a new CDP as there would be no gain with the latter.
We are getting there.
 

WozzaB

Active Member
Thanks for the info guys.

So if I go down the amp route, where do I start price wise? Is there a starting point where amps become decent quality etc?
 

password1

Active Member
new or used?

if budget is £100 theres plenty of used choice
if new you'd probably need to increase.budget slightly..
 

Fred Smith

Well-known Member
Ebay has a 20% off offer at the moment. New Yamaha A-S501 for around £240 (own one hence the recommendation), others makes and models also available.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The Denon has pre-outs which means you could connect to a suitable stereo amp that has HT by-pass. This is probably the most convenient way to accomplish good music stereo but is quite expensive if you wish to use the same front speakers for that stereo sound.

The problem now arises with the Sony player. As well as needing HT by-pass the stereo amp would also need to have it's own DAC as the coax would need to be used. Either that or you do indeed buy a CDP as well as a stereo amp. Now the cost is starting to escalate.

A cheaper alternative would be to use a standard stereo amp with a DAC and use a speaker switcher such as the Beresford 7220. Mating both receiver and stereo amp together even without HT by-pass or switcher is doable with a little bit of faffing around.

You have to ask yourself just how important really good music is to you. Maybe concentrate on the classifieds, certainly for the amp and use in short term the Sony into it coax.
 

password1

Active Member
for around £250..you can buy a complete system..cdp, amp and.speakers. or get an amp with dac built in and use your Sony
 

Khazul

Well-known Member
I think you may be suffering from a cumulative effect of a few things:
1. Audio via HDMI is often detrimentally processed in ways that optical outs are not for CD playback (worst case is badly convert to 48Khz), even without sample rate conversion, I have often found AVRs applying digital processing to HDMI audio that they would not apply to the same via optical/coax input.

2. An AVR just isn't going to be as good for music as a stereo amp at a similar price point. Expect considerable improved bass control of a full range speaker, considerably improved depth and clarity.

For an existing AVR that has front pre-outs, then as suggested you have an opportunity to upgrade to a hybrid AV + Hifi setup by adding an integrated amp to drive your front speakers for AV user and act as the sole pre-amp and amp for music use.

For that BD player, I guess you will also need a DAC that can accept a digital coax input (not sure it if also has optical).

The problem with HT bypass integrated amps is the feature tends to be almost exclusive the premium models and therefore such amps tend to be expensive new. About the cheapest such amp I can think of is (I think) music fidelity m3i. As it does not have a DAC, then you will also want a separate DAC probably with an associated cost of £100+ for something decent.

The M3i is I think are about 550 or so new, but maybe you can find one used for a lot less.

In your place rather than spending 100 new, I would save for a while and consider something similar to above.
 

WozzaB

Active Member
Thanks for the advice guys.

So if I pick up an amp to run the 2 fronts, then what runs the 2 subs? Is it still the AVR?:confused:
 

password1

Active Member
if the sub can accept both high and low level at yhe same time, use the high level with the stereo amp. and the low level lfe with the avr

my rel sub is connected this way
 

WozzaB

Active Member
The XXLS400's have high level inputs, but as there are 2 then that wouldn't work on a 2 channel amp right? Or do you just wire them in together as the sub amps do all work and only need a signal?
 

WozzaB

Active Member
I presume I'd lose the XT32 EQ on the subs as well, running them via high level?
I need to have a proper think now:rotfl:
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
I presume I'd lose the XT32 EQ on the subs as well, running them via high level?
I need to have a proper think now:rotfl:
A suitable sub will have both an RCA input and the high level speaker output.

So for AV use XT32 would still be active via the sub input, the high level input would make no contribution because the lower frequencies are already missing as a result of the AVR crossover.

If you then feed the speakers a full range signal (which could either be just the AVR set to pure direct mode or a separate stereo amp) the crossover on the sub gets involved, this obviously won't be involving XT32.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
If you use the receiver alongside a stereo amp for driving the fronts then the sub will be connected to the receiver and you would run XT32 whilst the stereo amp is running. To use the sub with just the stereo amp running then it would be connected by Neutrik to the high level. REL and BK subs can run both types of connections simultaneously.
 

WozzaB

Active Member
Hmm, I'll have a think!
We might move to a bigger place in a year or 2, so if I'm looking at amps etc, I might hang on and look at swapping the front L/R for something else as well, maybe some nice floorstanders.
 

Lawrence001

Active Member
I've always had a decent stereo setup but with some good speakers I was more than happy with music on my AV system in surround with Dolby music mode. It was a Denon DVD and AV amp using the coax output. You can get a decent player for £100, in fact I'm selling my Sony QS SACD/dvd player on another forum for £50 and I preferred it to the Denon. Ive never used hdmi for audio but if that's the issue you're better off with something like my Sony, and you can always play SACDs using the 5 or 6 direct coax connections if your amp still had those.
 

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