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Warm/Lively cd player?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by ReVeReNcE, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. ReVeReNcE

    ReVeReNcE
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    I am currently in the process of upgrading my hifi (again) and now want a new CD player. My current equipment is:

    -Monitor bronze B2 speakers
    -Audiolab 8000a amp
    -Atacama nexus 6 stands
    -Philips CD723 player

    The sound is OK but I think it lacks a bit of warmth/dynamic sound (maybe due to the audiolab), and I realise it's not the best CD player in the world!

    So are there any particular brands that have a warmer/more lively sound to them? I am thinking along the lines of marantz, NAD or similar and have £200 max to spend. Cheers :thumbsup:
     
  2. peterlowe

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    I would go straight for the Rotel RCD-02 2nd hand on ebay - on sale quite frequently going for around 200. It promises a far more detailed, forward, engaging sound that might be just what you need to give your system a boot! Recommended by HifiChoice: http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/review_read.asp?ID=2321

    - Pete
     
  3. Daneel

    Daneel
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    I would start my fiddling with the position of your speakers and listening point.

    If that didn't help much I'd check the stands were solid (very little wabble if you poke them).

    I'd then consider changing the amp.

    Then look at the speakers. Normally I'd put the speakers at the top along with the room and positioning but the MA's are quite capable and I'm not sure if what you are describing is coming from their character (I've only heard the Silver and Gold series which were neutral to warm).

    If all else failed I'd consider changing the CDP.
     
  4. phillfyspoon

    phillfyspoon
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    Cambridge audio 640 best under £400. is £250. looks very nice too
     
  5. karkus30

    karkus30
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    You already know which components are suspect and both are contributing to the sonic character, you also dont mention your music tastes (some recent music is really badly recorded),or room size.

    Every time I listen to an 8000A it just sounds flat and lifeless (the colour 'Grey' springs to mind). However, it is still a reasonable amplifier and is obviously outclassing the CDP which cant be helping. I dont know the Monitor Audio speakers, so cant comment.

    So you need to be a bit careful in your choices, you could buy a warm CDP that suits the system, but is then let down due to your existing choice of speakers and amp. This is why careful auditioning is so important and not just other peoples opinion on which bit of kit is the best.

    Do you know anyone that can lend you an alternative CDP to try ?? It would give you a basis for how its going to effect the sound of the whole system.

    Also, as has already been pointed out, you need to be sure that your speakers are set up in the optimum position and correctly mounted (and in phase, which is often over looked).

    I had a similar problem to you, when using a Nait 3 amp and Arcam CD player through a set of Mordant Short Pageant 2s, I had already changed the amp with no effect, but changing the speakers to a pair of NEAT Critique's did the trick, despite the fact that I had auditioned loads of large floorstanders from Mission (753, 500), B&W, Tannoy etc which were all 5* rated by various magazines and dealers.
     
  6. ReVeReNcE

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    Thanks for the replies. In fairness I do like the way the amp disappears rather than make itself known, I bought it on the strength of listening to one for many years!

    The speakers are about 3-4 inches away from the wall, either side of a chimney breast (about 6-7 feet apart) - with a slight toe-in. I have just changed the speaker cable to some Supra rondo biwire so Im leaving it to settle down for a while.

    As for the CDP I dont know any other hi-fi buffs so I can borrow one! However the system I heard with the Audiolab was using a marantz cd63se so maybe this is worth a try?

    EDIT: listen to all kinds of music but i have to agree that a lot of new recordings sound poo!
     
  7. pwood

    pwood
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    Try Russ Andrews Anti static Releez spray on your CD's Sometimes the results are remarkable dependant on the disc. It seems to remove the haze form the sound. It doesnt work on every disc mind but its a worthwhile purchase IMHO.
    Audiolab amps are very good but really needed buying as part of a setup as they have a very dry sound which can play havoc in the wrong setup. Can't vouch for the cheaper machines so Arcam CD73 would be my choice for you to get a listen to as its warm yet detailed but unfortunately nearer £400.
    If you have filled your stands try experimenting with different amounts of fill as if you have filled them up fully this can contribute to the dryness and warmth of the sound.
     
  8. phillfyspoon

    phillfyspoon
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    In a recent what hifi group test the arcam cd73 was beatan by the cambridge audio 640 overall. It said the arcam was better but the cambridge was £150 less and the difference ws very small. they use the same DAC's also.
     
  9. SKA.face

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    The Audiolab is your best bit of kit bar far and needs a far better source,its a bit lean,and cold,but on the other hand had a clear midrange and clean treble,it needs better soure,and much better peakers I believe to.Taking one step at a time,you could lok for something like a Micromega CD player,they are back in the UK again,but are warm infomative players,that compliment the Audiolab sound.Later also change the speakers,maybe some second hand MA studio series would be nice as they don't fetch much money these days.
     
  10. overkill

    overkill
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    Or look for one on ebay. The 'stage' players were good, but like a lot of philips based machines not that reliable. However, if the owner has gone beyond four years (usually they die in the 1st) with no probs go for it! If you want new I'd go with the 640. The Rotel (RCD-02) is nice but might exaggerate the speakers top end.

    As for the amp/speakers, that combi should balance each other out, as small MA's tend to the 'lively', while the A-labs are erm', neutral? :D Like Karkus I always found them a touch 'grey'.
     
  11. deaf cat

    deaf cat
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    Hiya,

    Have you played with different interconnects cd player to amp etc ?

    I did not think that they would make much difference but tried a few around the £100 and found an amazing difference between them,

    The QED silver spiral may liven up your system, bit bright for me but does of course depend on the other components of your system.

    I would ask for a Marantz CD player in the demo room when I start looking again.

    Good luck
     
  12. deanym

    deanym
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    By the way, a philips 723 is a marantz cd4000, just different body.
     
  13. karkus30

    karkus30
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    Oh that explains everything ! Did'nt realise that, horrible player, far too bright IMO, dont know what KI was thinking of releasing players that sound as toppy as these. Nice Marantz CD17 MkII would do the trick.
     
  14. deaf cat

    deaf cat
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    errrm is this the only Marantz in a phillips shell ?
    just curious to know if Marantz are connected to Philips, as I believe Blaupunkt are somehow...........
     
  15. deanym

    deanym
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    well, the 753 was the cd5000 and then philips range stopped until the mega bucks range (£3000+).

    Marantz is now part of a holding company with Denon, but was owned by Philips.

    Up until a couple of years ago, all bottom of the range marantz cd and dvd players were philips hardware.

    Now marantz is doing more of its own thing but its universal players still use some donor organs from the pioneer units.

    I had a 753 and it was pretty good up against a dvd player of the same price but a £300+ marantz blew it away (my cd67se).

    Don't know if any of this helps - but the mid range marantz are quite warm compared to its peers.

    Demo a few. And if you like the warmer sound a second hand cd63 or 67 would be a great place to start upgrading.
     
  16. overkill

    overkill
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    They certainly are. As are B&O and quite a few others. Although Marantz are no longer directly connected they still use large amounts of Philips 'guts' in their cheaper players. In fairness though, unlike Philips, their QC was much, much better.
     
  17. karkus30

    karkus30
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    or CD17, velvet smooth player, the MkII is better still. Well built too.
     

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