New DAC vs older CD player

Fosteur

Novice Member
Tricky to know how to pair two components - and which interconnect is best. I would go for a Marantz CD6005 or 6006. You can talk til you're blue in the face about DAC chips. At this level you'll not really find two DACs that sound very different ihmo. Buy the Marantz and you may even have enough money left to buy a Chord interconnect (for example) - it'll be more bang for your buck than a DAC upgrade.
 

password1

Suspended
Tricky to know how to pair two components - and which interconnect is best. I would go for a Marantz CD6005 or 6006. You can talk til you're blue in the face about DAC chips. At this level you'll not really find two DACs that sound very different ihmo. Buy the Marantz and you may even have enough money left to buy a Chord interconnect (for example) - it'll be more bang for your buck than a DAC upgrade.
If you're happy with the sound quality of the CD6005 then you should consider a vintage Sony because I used to have a CD6005 then quickly went back to a Sony. The Marantz has a frustratingly slow tray and build quality is a little flimsy for the price.
 

Fosteur

Novice Member
If you're happy with the sound quality of the CD6005 then you should consider a vintage Sony because I used to have a CD6005 then quickly went back to a Sony. The Marantz has a frustratingly slow tray and build quality is a little flimsy for the price.
If you want a super-fast CD tray then the Marantz is definitely not the player for you. Not sure if all Sony CD players are created equal. Sony has made some really super gear in their time, but the good stuff didn't come cheap - I had the loans to prove it.
 

password1

Suspended
If you want a super-fast CD tray then the Marantz is definitely not the player for you. Not sure if all Sony CD players are created equal. Sony has made some really super gear in their time, but the good stuff didn't come cheap - I had the loans to prove it.
All my Sony cd players are inexpensive.. most expensive one cost me £100 (still in use) and even my cheapest one, which cost me £40, is very good, smooth cd tray, great sound quality, very fast at loading, quiet, better than my marantz cd6005, better than anything up to £500 imo.
 

Fosteur

Novice Member
All my Sony cd players are inexpensive.. most expensive one cost me £100 (still in use) and even my cheapest one, which cost me £40, is very good, smooth cd tray, great sound quality, very fast at loading, quiet, better than my marantz cd6005, better than anything up to £500 imo.
Interesting. I have a Cambridge Audio cxc and a Rega DAC. If you can suggest a CD player that sounds better than that combo for under £100 I'll try it. Expensive is not always good (not that my 2nd-hand stuff was super expensive).
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member

password1

Suspended
cd player that will work well as a transport for £100 or under yes.. Cd player and separate DAC for £100 or under that will sound better, probably not.
 

Fosteur

Novice Member
Getting all the info off a CD is more like playing an LP than one may think. A CD transport (or player) does not have time to keep going back and fixing disk-reading problems, even with a buffer (this is just like playing an LP in that sense). It is mechanical.
 
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password1

Suspended
I used to have a portable CD player and it has a system called ESP, electronic shock protection, which has a buffer and saves 10 or 20 seconds of music. I thought car cd players employ a similar system.

Actually I lied about a cd transport and DAC for £100 as I forgot that my Arcam rDAC only cost me £60 or £65... There are Sony cd players for as little as £25-£35 on ebay, fully working. Whether it's better than the Rega above, is unknown.

i nearly bought a Marantz cd6007 but decided against it based on previously owning a cd6005 and assuming the cd6007 is only a small improvement over the cd6005 and cd6006uk.
 

Kapkirk

Active Member
All my Sony cd players are inexpensive.. most expensive one cost me £100 (still in use) and even my cheapest one, which cost me £40, is very good, smooth cd tray, great sound quality, very fast at loading, quiet, better than my marantz cd6005, better than anything up to £500 imo.
Still using my 20 year old Sony CDP- XB920E as a Transport, sounds fantastic into a modern DAC, Only player I heard that sounded better was a Cyrus CDi. Tried a Marantz CD6005 a few years ago and it went straight back to the dealer. The Sony has much better build quality and sounded better, I had the Laser assy replaced about 6 years ago and it's been running sweet as a nut.
 

password1

Suspended
Still using my 20 year old Sony CDP- XB920E as a Transport, sounds fantastic into a modern DAC, Only player I heard that sounded better was a Cyrus CDi. Tried a Marantz CD6005 a few years ago and it went straight back to the dealer. The Sony has much better build quality and sounded better, I had the Laser assy replaced about 6 years ago and it's been running sweet as a nut.
What DAC are you using and are you using coax or toslink/sp dif cable?
 

Countryman1972

Active Member
I believe it’s very possible to get a fine sounding CD player for £100. Something like the Rotel RCD965-BX will still give today‘s £500 players a run for their money. However, there is still a huge caveat about longevity and reliability. CD transport mechanisms, lasers and controls all wear out and are likely to fail at some point. I use a Rega Apollo-R CD player because it’s a top loader (don’t get me started on slot loaders….) with a separate Rega DAC. Sounds brilliant, to me.
 

password1

Suspended
I believe it’s very possible to get a fine sounding CD player for £100. Something like the Rotel RCD965-BX will still give today‘s £500 players a run for their money. However, there is still a huge caveat about longevity and reliability. CD transport mechanisms, lasers and controls all wear out and are likely to fail at some point. I use a Rega Apollo-R CD player because it’s a top loader (don’t get me started on slot loaders….) with a separate Rega DAC. Sounds brilliant, to me.
New doesn't mean more reliable. In fact my vintage Sony from the 80's still works flawlessly and the display looks new. It has outlasted several much newer brand new cd players. It will probably work for another 40 years.
 

Countryman1972

Active Member
New doesn't mean more reliable. In fact my vintage Sony from the 80's still works flawlessly and the display looks new. It has outlasted several much newer brand new cd players. It will probably work for another 40 years.
True. Cambridge Audio had an awful track record for a while, and some old players never die. But the odds of a fault are higher in an older player.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Rega Apollo-R CD
Still a good contender at £700. Does it really need a DAC as the shortest route to analogue is perhaps better. One glaring omission though, even with the excruciatingly expensive Saturn, no SACD playback. Agree with you about slot loaders, they can be a real pain in the arris.

I have to have onboard DACs as I've only ever used pure analogue amps and it's that analogue circuit that can really make the difference in playback quaility.
 

Countryman1972

Active Member
Still a good contender at £700. Does it really need a DAC as the shortest route to analogue is perhaps better. One glaring omission though, even with the excruciatingly expensive Saturn, no SACD playback. Agree with you about slot loaders, they can be a real pain in the arris.

I have to have onboard DACs as I've only ever used pure analogue amps and it's that analogue circuit that can really make the difference in playback quaility.
Does it need the DAC? Possibly not; it’s a fine player. Do I prefer it with the DAC? Yes, I do. I’ve never got into SACD. I once had a Rotel with HDCD compatibility, but I couldn’t find any HDCD discs 🤣. Mind you, that was in 1999. I stream, I have vinyl, but I can’t give up on the silver disc.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Does it need the DAC? Possibly not; it’s a fine player. Do I prefer it with the DAC? Yes, I do. I’ve never got into SACD. I once had a Rotel with HDCD compatibility, but I couldn’t find any HDCD discs 🤣. Mind you, that was in 1999. I stream, I have vinyl, but I can’t give up on the silver disc.
With having a standalone DAC or integrated stereo amp with it's own you do have the luxury of trying both and ending up with a favourite. As for HDCD I've several in my collection although my Denon doesn't decode it and just drops those extra four bits. SACD is a different ball game and producing a much wider and deeper soundstage. There's also the new UHQCDs, again I have several and these are very good although I think that may very well be down to better re-mastering as most come from Japan.
 

Kapkirk

Active Member
What DAC are you using and are you using coax or toslink/sp dif cable?
I was using the Wolfson DAC in my Cambridge CX60, then a Topping E30, for a while but the sound was so good using the Ti DAC in my Denon PMA1600NE amp I now use that most of the time.
I don't exactly know why these CDP- XB920/XB930/XB940E's sound so good when used as a transport (maybe it's the fixed pick up and puck arrangement) or maybe the way the data is picked up and processed to the digital outputs, but they really do sound impressive through any modern DAC. I have had various CP Players over the years - Cambridge Azur 640, Marantz CD6005, Rega Apollo (first version) and even tested Creek Destiny and Cyrus CDi at home but none with the exception of perhaps the Rega and the Cyrus gave the sound I was looking for which is why I have kept the Sony for so long.
There will be many on here that say the sound of ANY cheap CD player, Blu Ray will sound the same through an external DAC but I have found that is NOT the case. For example I have tried various other cd players/dvd players and even my own Cambridge CXU on external DAC's and none of them seems to sound as impressive as when the Sony is used like this.
I connect via (sony -thin type fibre optic lead) seems to sound better using this lead than the Electrical Coaxial lead, I know it really shouldn't but it does to me.
There's an interesting teardown of this player on YT.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
I can understand you won’t get rid of the Sony CD player.

I had the SONy DVD/CD DVP S725, the early 2000’s.

Why on earth I got rid of it... They can be fairly expensive in mint condition.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
In my ears it’s the best Marantz CD player I’ve owned.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Also heard the old PS1 is supposed to be an excellent CD player.
 

Kapkirk

Active Member
In my ears it’s the best Marantz CD player I’ve owned.
I might revisit Marantz CD players in the future if the Sony packs up, I was looking forward to trying the CD6005 after all the great reviews it was getting at the time but was quite disappointed with it tbh, just sounded too gentle for me and was getting lispy treble with certain vocals.
I really liked the analog(y) sound of the Rega but the top loading was no good for my rack.
It wouldn't surprise me if the turntable resurrection slowed down and stopped again in the coming years due mainly to the cost of vinyl, limited tracks, quality issues and inconvenience of having to get up to change sides etc and then seeing CD's make a big comeback.
 

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