CD Player...... With extras?

Big Simon

Novice Member
Hi All,

So yes, i'm on the look out for a CD player, however......

Current setup:

  • Marantz PM6005 AMP
  • Cambridge Audio Aero 6 speakers + BK Electronics sub

Looking a CD player to compliment the above, however i also have a large digital music library (which i own, not streamed) which i have spent years cultivating, tidying up the tags, metadata etc. None of it is DRM or restricted in any shape or form.

If such a thing exists I would like a black CD player but also one with a screen which can display the artwork from all of the digital music, (assuming i can plug USB hardrive etc into the player to access my digital music) and the player can pull the embedded artwork from the metadata?

If the player also had a network feature that i could stream podcasts from my iPhone via airplay, bluetooth etc it would be a bonus but not essential.

I don't think there is necessarily a one size fits all here, possibly two separate units would be better? However i have looked at the following:

1. Yamaha CD-NT670D - Cannot display album artwork but appears to have the other features.

2. Pioneer NC50DAB - Has its own separate speaker terminals on rear so not sure if its a good idea to plug into the Marantz PM6005 etc?

Both of the above also have a network feature.

I don't think there is a huge amount of choice out there but i'm going round in circles a bit and would really appreciate any help or guidance to help make some decisions.

Thank you all

Simon.
 

Nico72

Active Member
What format are your music files? MP3? FLAC? Where are they physically stored? Do you have them on a PC or just a memory stick?

I have my music collection stored mostly as FLAC on a PC. I have installed PLEX as a media server but there are many other programs available.

Then I use an app called Hi Fi Cast on my android phone, which casts the music from my PC to a Google Chromecast Audio connected to my stereo.
The phone works just as a controller, and shows me my music library and artwork. It works all wireless using my home WiFi network.
You could achieve the same with your iPhone via an airplay enabled streamer such as the Yamaha WXAD10 connected to your amp. But you would need a PC, a Mac or a NAS to store your music files on and, act as a media server.
If your music is on a memory stick, then you need a player with a USB port, but not many have a screen to show the artwork.
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
Morning, I don’t think cover art is embedded on a CD.
As @Nico72 suggests you’ll need an App to display your music library.
 
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Big Simon

Novice Member
What format are your music files? MP3? FLAC? Where are they physically stored? Do you have them on a PC or just a memory stick?

I have my music collection stored mostly as FLAC on a PC. I have installed PLEX as a media server but there are many other programs available.

Then I use an app called Hi Fi Cast on my android phone, which casts the music from my PC to a Google Chromecast Audio connected to my stereo.
The phone works just as a controller, and shows me my music library and artwork. It works all wireless using my home WiFi network.
You could achieve the same with your iPhone via an airplay enabled streamer such as the Yamaha WXAD10 connected to your amp. But you would need a PC, a Mac or a NAS to store your music files on and, act as a media server.
If your music is on a memory stick, then you need a player with a USB port, but not many have a screen to show the artwork.
What format are your music files? MP3? FLAC? Where are they physically stored? Do you have them on a PC or just a memory stick?

I have my music collection stored mostly as FLAC on a PC. I have installed PLEX as a media server but there are many other programs available.

Then I use an app called Hi Fi Cast on my android phone, which casts the music from my PC to a Google Chromecast Audio connected to my stereo.
The phone works just as a controller, and shows me my music library and artwork. It works all wireless using my home WiFi network.
You could achieve the same with your iPhone via an airplay enabled streamer such as the Yamaha WXAD10 connected to your amp. But you would need a PC, a Mac or a NAS to store your music files on and, act as a media server.
If your music is on a memory stick, then you need a player with a USB port, but not many have a screen to show the artwork.
Hi Nico, thanks for responding. Most are MP3, Some may be AAC and they are presently stored as follows:

  • physically on Mac
  • backed up to Hard Drive
  • Stored in cloud

The preference is to use a simply USB or external hard drive connected to the CD unit. So the device which enable the player to pull the physical source from that point. I agree that few players will show the artwork. Off the two i am looking at the Pioneer one does i believe?

The idea is not be be reliant on the MAC or a phone in the future, simply have my CD's and digital library full downloaded and accessed as required. Hence why i want to remove Mac or Phones from the equation if possible

Best

Simon.
 
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TheHighFlyingBirds

Well-known Member
It might be best going for two separate devices. Get a normal cd player and a separate streamer.

I was like you in that I wanted a display for album art etc, and trying to find a device with decent screen size was difficult / expensive. Ended up using a raspberry pi (running picoreplayer) with touch screen, which works brilliantly, allowing album art to be displayed and also has option of vu meters or spectrum analyser.

Edit: control wise you use the touch screen, can use a phone or as I have done added a IR dongle (flirc) so can use a physical remote control.
 

Big Simon

Novice Member
It might be best going for two separate devices. Get a normal cd player and a separate streamer.

I was like you in that I wanted a display for album art etc, and trying to find a device with decent screen size was difficult / expensive. Ended up using a raspberry pi (running picoreplayer) with touch screen, which works brilliantly, allowing album art to be displayed and also has option of vu meters or spectrum analyser.

Edit: control wise you use the touch screen, can use a phone or as I have done added a IR dongle (flirc) so can use a physical remote control.
Hi,
Raspberry Pi is not something i am familiar with, how would it interface with my existing set up?
Thank you for taking the time to respond, it is appreciated
Best
Simon.
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
Hi,
Raspberry Pi is not something i am familiar with, how would it interface with my existing set up?
Thank you for taking the time to respond, it is appreciated
Best
Simon.
Simon - I don’t know much about them as I decided a long time ago not to rip my CD’s but what about a Brennan B2 or similar?
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Well-known Member
Hi,
Raspberry Pi is not something i am familiar with, how would it interface with my existing set up?
Thank you for taking the time to respond, it is appreciated
Best
Simon.
Its a small cheap mini computer effectively. If you had a USB input on your marantz it could connect directly. However, as it doesn't you would need something called a hat, either a digital or a dac. I went for a dac hat so connect direct to my amp using standard rca cables. A digi hat would use optical or coax.

This arrangement does need some setting up, but there are really detailed guides on the net which provide step by step instructions and its not too difficult. Plus quite a few of us on here who use them for this purpose.

Whilst it is a diy route, it works very well and there are several software packages available that can be used, most have really good community support. I originally used mine with a NAS on my network, but ended up getting a second raspberry pi (with a SSD drive to store all the music) to act as a dedicated music server. However a pi as just a player will work with a hard drive connected (just have to be mindful of power requirements to power the drive, a cheap external ssd should be fine). Overall if you like having a play and are comfortable with computers it is a worthwhile and satisfying option.
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Well-known Member
To give you an idea heres mine, including a shot with album artwork (obviously you need to have the mp3s with correct tags and artwork).
20190422_162923.jpg
20190422_164155.jpg

I built the base for it, so could have all connections at the rear and so I could include a on/off button. The screen is in a smartipi case, which holds the pi and has different depth back covers allowing for hats to be added to the pi, which is how I originally had it as per below:
20190130_223718.jpg
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
CD Cover art is downloaded by media tools from internet libraries. DC Players tend to play CDs rather than try to download information about them, so don't try to display things not on the CD.

I have a Yamaha CD-NT670D in the office. As a universal player it is vey nice. It can be controlled with a smartphone, very useful with internet radio and the various streaming options it offers, and of course phone apps can do all sorts of clever things.

I am happy with the purchase.
 

Jampot90

Active Member
Only available used these days but a Logitech Squeezebox Touch will take care of streaming just like the Raspberry Pi described by THFB above.

CD players are for playing CDs on :)

Jim
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
Hi,
Raspberry Pi is not something i am familiar with, how would it interface with my existing set up?
Thank you for taking the time to respond, it is appreciated
Best
Simon.
Simon
I’m another one in the Raspberry Pi camp.
All of my music is/are FLAC and almost 100% now, I listen to my music via my Raspberry Pi. I control it with my IPAD (I could use the android phone but the screen is a bit small). The music is on a USB stick, although I have previously used a spare hard drive.
I call what I do ‘streaming’ although not in the same way as others who stream from the internet (which I could easily do, but don’t and have no intention of ever doing).
If you are OK with a bit of PC-type tinkering (nothing too complicated) the a RPi could be a very cost effective option with the added benefit of a wide choice of software. If ‘tinkering’ is not your thing/you have no interest and want something to work straight out of the box, then I’d say a RPi is not for you.
A long time ago I decided that I didn’t want a separate CD player and that is why I have gone the way I have. My system does everything I want it to and I have put it together for sensible money.
Over time, I’ve upgraded my RPi and other connected kit to the point that I simply can’t be bothered to listen to my vinyl despite having a half decent TT.
I too have a stereo amp and speakers; one difference could be whether or not your amp has a built in DAC.
If you’re at all interested in any of this, then there is so much more that I could say but I’ll only do that if there is a point.
Hope some of this helps.
PS although I would not consider myself expert, I do now have a degree of first hand experience built up over the last 18 months or so.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
I would like a raspberry pi based music player that works like a branan b2 but have no idea where to start.
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
I would like a raspberry pi based music player that works like a branan b2 but have no idea where to start.
I didn’t have a clue what a Brennan B2 was, so had a quick look on line.
There are similarities, but also some significant differences. For instance, a RPi can’t rip a CD to hard disk in the same way as the B2 seems to be able to.
Are there specific features of the B2 which are essential?
 

password1

Distinguished Member
i have hundreds of CDs that I'd like to be able to play and the Brennan b2 is the only solution im.aware of but it's not cheap.

I can rip using my computer so no ripping from CD is no problem
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Well-known Member
Looks like volumio allows for a cd drive to be added to a pi, but powering it would be the issue. You'd need one that allows for usb for data (connected to pi) plus a second usb for power from a separate source, i.e. not powered by the pi.
Edit: looks like an internal cd drive, using a powered sata to usb adapter might be better.
 
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Yorkshire AV

Active Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hi

I'm not sure what your budget is - but it sounds like this could be a perfect solution for you?

The HiFI Rose RS250 is a digital pre-amplifier, streamer/DAC with USB inputs as well as a SSD interface for installing your own drives to.

It's android based - Roon certified, music library with great indexing as well as DNLA/uPNP.
It's touch screen, along with a great app and a 4K output via HDMI.


You can also attach the CD drive via USB and rip/burn to USB/SSD too.
It's a beautiful unit with great support for streaming services as well as local libraries :)
We have the full range out if you were ever in the area :)
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
i have hundreds of CDs that I'd like to be able to play and the Brennan b2 is the only solution im.aware of but it's not cheap.

I can rip using my computer so no ripping from CD is no problem
Do you have an external DAC, is one built in to your amp or neither?
Being OK with ripping CDs on a PC/MAC gets over the issue of trying to connect an external CD drive to the RPi.
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
How would you prefer to control it?
Do you have an IPad/Android tablet and would you be Ok with that?
I find my Android phone works fine but the screen is too small to make it a pleasant experience.
I could control the Pi from a laptop or main PC but choose not to.
I don’t have experience of adding external screen to the RPi - but many others do. See the excellent reply from @TheHighFlyingBirds, above
 

password1

Distinguished Member
At the moment my set up is very simple.

CD player to amp.

I'm using the CD player's internal DAC although I do have an Arcam rDAC lying about but would prefer not to have another device (unless the sound quality is superior from the Arcam DAC)

I don't have a tablet and don't have WiFi (using limited mobile data in my house) although I do have an android phone.

Edit: I use to rip my CDs on my desktop computer into mp3 or wma files which I would then transfer onto my Sony Walkman stick player but that was about 20 years ago. I've not turned my computer on for years. I have no idea what if any free software is available to do flac files.. I'm assuming flac is a loss less file format that takes up less space than wave files.
 
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password1

Distinguished Member
I'm now thinking, if control can be done via a phone or tablet, then why not rip CDs onto the phone or tablet...as I can connect a Bluetooth receiver to my amp..
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
I'm now thinking, if control can be done via a phone or tablet, then why not rip CDs onto the phone or tablet...as I can connect a Bluetooth receiver to my amp..
Lots to think about, on the back of your 2 replies.
I’ll try and respond to various points although they won’t be in any particular order. I’m sure other RPi users - and there are many on AVF - will be along later to add their thoughts or correct me, if needed.

Music quality - I opted for FLAC (compressed lossless). I use software called DB Poweramp and after using the 30 day trial, opted to pay for a licence. Wouldn’t be without it. Another option is Exact Audio Copy.

Using your phone/tablet. I started my journey with FLACs loaded onto my Samsung phone and from there sent a digital signal to my DAC then amp. The SQ was fine but it pretty soon became too much of a faff to lose control of my phone to the hifi cabinet. I am not, never have been and never will be, a proponent of bluetoothing anything although I do respect the opinions of other who are. Similarly, I really only use WiFi where I really have to. If I can use a cable/wire, I normally do.

Separate DAC - I see you already have one but not keen on using re increased box count. I can understand. If you decided to go the RPi route (and assuming no DAC inside the amp) then you could always add a DAC HAT (add on board) to the RPi , so then you’d connect the RPi with RCAs into the amp.

No home WiFi. Not necessarily a problem. The current RPi has an onboard WiFi chip and depending on the software chosen to turn the RPi into a streamer, there may well be an option for the RPi to set up its own WiFi hotspot - thereby removing the need for a router. My RPi establishes a connection with just my IPad (but it can do the same with my phone) and this is how I control things. My home router plays no part.

Possible way forward;
Rip CDs to FLAC files.
RPi 4, 2 GB version with DAC HAT. You’ll need a case, power supply and micro SD card for the operating system. I use Moode but have used Volumio too. You’ll need a PC to flash the Op Sys to the micro SD card. But this is fairly straightforward.
Connect DAC HAT to amp inputs with RCA cables, (analogue signal at this point).
Control with tablet or phone.

This is all very much a question of personal choice, though. As mentioned in my earlier reply (Tuesday morning) I would suggest that the RPi as a streamer is only for someone who quite likes the thought of some ‘tinkering’ (in a PC like way) and is not really suited to someone who doesn’t and/or wants something which just works straight out of the box.

That said, I have been delighted with every step I’ve taken with my RPi upgrades and for sensible money (I know still quite a lot for some), I have a streamer which does eveything I want it to. And of course, I get to upgrade various components if I want to and have a wide choice of different software.

Hope some of this helps.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
If the sound quality from HAT dac is similar or almost as good as my external DAC then I would rather have HAT dac.

I think ill need to do some reading on what I need as I have no idea what parts, both hardware and software wise.
 

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