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Higher end CDP's V's Cheapo ones

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Hawklord, Mar 5, 2004.

  1. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    There is a heated debate going on over at the overclockers forum about CDP's see here (starts about half way down):-

    http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?s=&threadid=17189281

    I have always felt that there is a major difference in sound and build quality between cheap and the more expensive players. Obviously the law of deminishing returns sets in eventually but some ppl are of the mind that lesser players are capable of producing similar results for little money.:confused:
    Surely if that were true we'd all be listening to cheap £100 players.

    what are your thoughts?
     
  2. bobbypunk

    bobbypunk
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    he seems quite arrogant
    As far as I understand it, better CD players sound better to me along with better interconnects and speaker cables so I couldn't give a crap why!
    People I've spoken to who use equipment that is considered high end will sometimes use lower priced equipment as part of their setup because they have researched it for one use eg.
    It's popular for people to buy Pioneer DV717 or 737 DVD players to use as a transport into a DAC cause they are good transports, as a CD player they are no more than reasonable but as a pure transport excellent for their price.
    My question is why do alot of audio engineers disagree with this mans opinions?, and is there any chance of one speaking up explaining why it does make a difference to us?
     
  3. Bassbin

    Bassbin
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    I've only really owned/listened to players up to about £500 and have settled on a rotel RCD965BX which I love. Whenever I've tried blind listening tests people have always stuggled to pick out major differences between players (owned about 8 since 1990).

    In a What Hi-Fi tha I kept (July 94) they had a report on blind listening test from the Bristol sound and vision show. The results were:

    1st Marantz CD63/DAC in the Box £500
    2nd Marantz CD63 £250
    3rd Arcam Alpha 5 £450
    4th Aiwa XC-950 £250
    =5th Meridian 506 £795
    =5th Teac VRDS-20 £1300
    =7th Micromega Stage 1 £450
    =7th Micromega Stage 3 £795

    They tested them with an Audiolab pre/power and Mission 751 speakers. Interestingly this experiment doesn't seem to have been repeated since (probably causes too much upset with advertisers). However, HI-Fi choice recently blind tested AV amps against Stereo amps and a Sony 790 beat more expensive 2 channel offerings from Creek and Roksan.
     
  4. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    When I upgraded my cdp recently I did it without knowing the cost of each (apart from the Arcam diva makes ). It was only after listening to all the ones on offer did I ask for the price of the players. This was the result in order of my preference:-

    Cyrus cd8+psxr psu £1350 (£1000+£350)
    Arcam FMJ CD33 £1299
    Naim CD5i £825
    Arcam CD93t £950
    Rega Jupiter £998
    Arcam CD82T £550
    Roksan Kandy £550

    as you can see the trend is towards the higher priced models except for the Naim being the black sheep. At the time of the audition I had an Arcam cd72T (cost me £375)which is in no way a bad player but couldn't compete with any of the above imo. There was a vast difference between the cd72 and any of the above imo in both the level of detail, soundstage and character not found with cheaper cdp's.
    I'm convinced that there is a major audible difference so either the way the cdp is designed and or the components used in higher end cdp's contribute to a better sound.
    For interest I went for the naim because it was the most I was prepared to pay and gave the best results (imo) for the money.
    At the end of the audition the dealer brought out the next level up Naim cdp which blew my socks off bettering everything else I'd heard but was a little out of my range I'm afraid costing £2600 :(
    I just wish I knew more about the technical side so I could put forward an argument about how each component effects the overall sound and how better components contribute to the improved sound over more generic cheaper ones:blush:
     
  5. 337GUS

    337GUS
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    In general I think that more expensive CD players sound better than cheaper ones. However there is system synergy to take into account.

    Last year I demmed a few CD players in the same session which included the Meridian 507, Rega Jupiter and Wadia 301.

    To my ears and my wife's the Rega was best despite being £200 cheaper than the 507 and £2K cheaper than the Wadia.

    At the end of the day it's our hard earned and if we want to spend it on a CD player we "think" sounds better to us, it's our perogative. I enjoy chilling out with some CD's after a long day with a glass of wine and enjoying my hifi, I'd rather do that than stare at the goggle box for hours on end. If I think it sounds better then that's fine as far as I am concerned. No-one's forcing this guy to spend more than £100 on a CD player so big deal.

    We all hear things differently, around £1K I would rate :

    MF3.2
    Rega Jupiter
    Roksan Caspian
    Cyrus CD8
    Meridian 507
    Arcam CD92

    Others would flip this on it's head.

    Yet others would go cheap CD/DVD as transport and an outboard DAC.

    As long as you are happy with the sound and cost involved there is no right or wrong, better or best.

    All IMHO :) :)

    Gus
     
  6. Jeff

    Jeff
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    IntegraR is clueless, people like him spout this rubbish yet I bet he hasn't heard a high end setup in his life.
     
  7. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    I wish someone would take the guy down a peg or two or at least be able to speak to him on his own level.
    I know it's not his fault that so many of us are ignorant of the way these components function but to dismiss our experiance as incorrect or flawed in some way is a bit much.
    I wish I was an uber audio techno geek that could put forward an argument against his theory. But until someone with the qualifications to be able to do so comes along I think it will be him basquing in his own ignorance:(
     
  8. CJROSS

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    Wonderful post Gus, the trouble with audiohiles is that quite a few tell others what they hear and are happy with is "rubbish" etc etc, if there were more dudes like you about it would not be such a contentious hobby FWIW my take on CD is that :

    I find most CD players below £1000 universally trounced by £300 TTs, I personally think that CD starts to claw back some of the ground lost to vinyl at £1000 and above. One thing I always think describes the difference in CD terms at budget levels is cymbal work, vinyl manages this very well but sub £1000 CD is lacking, not much in it between CD players between £300 & £800 for example. Diminsihing returns etc etc.

    Oh & BTW normal DVD transport into good quality DACs now your talking !!
     
  9. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Hawlord the poster Mr. Sukebe will take him down a few pegs, but the guy wont even know it. Another point I would add is that we all have differing "levels of acceptance" for me I cannot hear above say a £2500 CD player like the Sugden Masterclass or a £2000 Copland 822 sound, to me these players were head & shoulders above a £12,000 CD12.

    Pound for pound though CD players dont come close to DACs IMPE, but hey thats juts me.
     
  10. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    The post seems to have died a death over at overclockers. He didn't appear to want to continue the debate other than on a technical basis which I couldn't:(
    I did give him a link here to try and get his oppinon across but he has obviously chosen not to comment:)
     
  11. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    What would Mr Intergra say about the Audio Note range? 1-bit Dacs in the top spec ones with Valve oversampling? Simply divine and should I ever have $35,000 to spend on a DAC it will be an Audio Note DAC5.
     
  12. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    I don't know lol go and ask him.:rotfl:
     
  13. alexs2

    alexs2
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    On that note,it would be interesting to have him compare the AudioNote Ongaku(SET,Class A etc) with something like the old Crown DC300A power amp from the 70's.
    On paper,the Crown would annihilate the Ongaku,but when you listen to the thing your first thought was always to turn it off...at the end of the day,it's all down to your own ears and preferences,and not what the test results say.
     
  14. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Funnily enough Alex, AN have many fans in the DAC world, I cant say they are my cup of tea : Once heard a DAC 1.1 Signature and it was as far away from digital replay to my ears as I could imagine, AN go for a sound that im told is aimed at is getting as close to vinyl as is possible, again I never heard that type of comparison when I heard the DAC above against a AN TT2 deck. Another interesting point about the MD of AN (an avowed hater of CD FWIW) is that he was once asked why he makes such an expensive digital convertor as the DAC 5, his reply :

    “If people are daft enough to buy it, then I will make for them”

    Sort of shows his contempt of the digital realm, FWIW me asking to hear his DAC 1.1 in his room at a show did not go down to well with him or his assistant. So I cant say im really a fan of AN or their digital policy, FWIW even up till recently they were selling anti RFI clamps to fit onto digital coaxial cables, what this does to a digital lead is quite extrordinary IMPE creating a very loud hum from my DAC effectivly it attenautes the digital signal IIRC, again they seem to have got that quite wrong but carried on selling these coaxial ferrites clamps for coaxial use. Not exactly covering themselves in glory in my book.

    FWIW dudes do a search on the net for the insides of a £18,500 DAC5 you will be flabbergasted whats actaully inside one.
     
  15. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Very few brands polarise opinion like Audio Note does! I personally believe that their CD players/DAC's are the best thing since sliced bread but can't get anywhere near as excited about their amps- Ongaku and GAKU-ON perhaps excepted. That said, the only valve amp that had me thinking how many members of my family I should sell to get it, was a Rogue Audio 99.

    Yep and I love it! :). An Audio Note front end on a fast powerful class B is the proverbial mutts nuts as far as I'm concerned. The last shred of detail has probably vanished into the ether but I have never enjoyed listening to every one of my CD's as much as I do now- who knows what will happen if I ever get around to buying the Exposure pre/power combo I have long hankered after. My Dad on the other hand (Naim owner) has in the past described my system as "warm, safe tat." We agree to disagree :).

    This I concede is a bit crazy even for me.

    Some binder twine and a dead bat for all I care! I've heard it and I know I want it. I was told the cost price some time ago and I am quite aware that the Audio Note margin is best described as "healthy."
     
  16. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    From the AN website :

    FERRITE RINGS SPECIAL OFFER!

    In many systems, especially ones using transistor based amplification, there is often a problem of incoming RF mixing into the feedback loop, especially from connected CD-players, clamping a ferrite rings around the cable between the CD-transport and the DAC or the output of the DAC or CD-player and the pre-amplifier input yields surprising results.

    http://www.audionote.co.uk/kits/misc.htm

    Go on dudes try it Audio Note recommend it so it must be OK (it was far from OK for me FWIW). YMMV. But I certianly guarantee it “yields surprising results.” If this does not give a clue to their vibes on digital dude Im barking up the wrong tree.

    Hey TOF I admire you liking Audio Note for whatever reasons dude but I fear your old boy is spot on, I should make clear that the Dac 1.1 Signature I heard sounded nowhere near vinyl either, in fact their TT2 trounced it into the bushes. Anyway I hope you get a DAC 5 bro, but if you ever do try not to think of the MD of AN and his views about people who like digital products or the fact the price is as ridiculous as it is due to the simple fact the he believes “if people are willing to pay for it” etc etc.

    Ive heard really good things about Rogue Audio amps BTW from a tubed friend. ATB.
     

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