Free Shipping on All Orders 1-866-764-1801

Vist our Online Store
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1

    Member Sales Rating: (19)

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    8,170

    Default "Audiophile-quality" CD or DVD player?

    I'm considering the purchase of a used Cambridge Audio D500SE CD player (I can get one for less than $300). I noticed that Cambridge Audio also sells a new 540D DVD player for $379 on www.audioadvisor.com.

    I was wondering if I should spend a little more money and buy the DVD player and play my CDs on it. I'm mostly interested in 2-channel audio, but for less than a hundred more bucks, I could get a new DVD player, too.

    Based on the specs of both products, will the DVD player sound just as good (or better) as the CD player?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Early B.; 01-14-2004 at 12:51 AM.

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    FL 320
    Posts
    5,005

    Default

    IMO, a CD only player will blow away the DVD player for CD playback. They use very high quality DAC's. If you're mostly interested in 2ch, why not save a little more for the CD player? $300 CD players are considered entry level and the next level which is slightly better starts around $500 usually with HDCD decoding.

    You should also check out Rotel and NAD. The NAD C521 (I think it's replaced by the 522 or 521i now) is $300.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  3. #3
    Polk-a-dweeb
    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    5,976

    Default

    A dedicated CD player might work for you, but I've had excellent playback from my universal player.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D

  4. #4

    Member Sales Rating: (58)

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    6 Underground
    Posts
    25,306

    Default

    It has suprised me that Cambridge has not commited to a format other than Redbook. That not being a big deal, I have really been impressed by the Cambridge pieces. SteveinAZ had a very nice 500SE if I recall, that went to a fellow Polkie, and he was happy with it. Any current thoughts?

    I recently had some closeup experience with a 540A Integrated from Cambridge, and was really giddy. The power was modest, 50wpc, but it handled everything quite nicely. The little bastard drove a pair of Monitor 10B's, quite nicely. I had the same feeling when, and still do, rock the NAD.

  5. #5

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    887

    Default

    I have been very vocal on how important source is. To me source is everything. Begin with a great source to move the music up the chain. CD players might not differ much in terms of sonics within the same price point as Speakers do, but they vary LARGELY between price points.

    I've personally heard more of a difference between a $200 and $400 CD player then I heard between $200 and $400 speakers, using the same source and amp. Try stuff and draw your own conclusions. I believe it was UHF magazine which did a test with a number of Audio journalists. They covered a system, and allowed people to sit and listen, then debate the sound. Some concluded it was a reference system, the covers were pulled and revealed was a set of PSB Alpha speakers ($200) a modest intergrated amp and a LINN reference CD player (10,000)

    The differences between a CD player and DVD player are there, and by a wide margin for the most part. The way sources are measured, dvd, cd, lp, are horribly outdated and you can reproduce the same statistical data even though there are huge differences among each measured unit.

  6. #6

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    FL 320
    Posts
    5,005

    Default

    Lush,
    I heard about that test. Very interesting. Have you had experience with the Alphas? I might get them for surround duty when I get my HT. I need something very small that I can mount on the wall. They also retail for $200 here in Canada.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  7. #7

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,740

    Default

    CD player all the way. If you want future upgradability as well, look for one with a detachable power cord. An aftermarket powercord can make a pretty big improvement in sound.
    SDA-2a, Anthem Pre-2L, Anthem Amp 1, MF A324 DAC, Rotel RCD1070

    Senn HD650 Cardas, Mapletree Audio Ear+ HD2, Kimber KS1030, Bel Canto DAC2, M-Audio Transit, Laptop.

  8. #8

    Member Sales Rating: (19)

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    8,170

    Default

    Thanks for the responses.

    I went ahead and ordered the Cambridge Audio D500SE. I'll be making my power cord as an upgrade. Looking forward to how it will sound with the Rti70's in direct 2-channel mode. I hope it makes an improvement over my current CD player (Sony CDP-CA70ES).

    In a few weeks I plan to invest in a better quality DVD player. I curently have a Harman Kardon DVD 101.

  9. #9

    Member Sales Rating: (11)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    1,899

    Default

    Originally posted by LuSh
    I have been very vocal on how important source is. To me source is everything. Begin with a great source to move the music up the chain. CD players might not differ much in terms of sonics within the same price point as Speakers do, but they vary LARGELY between price points.

    I've personally heard more of a difference between a $200 and $400 CD player then I heard between $200 and $400 speakers, using the same source and amp. Try stuff and draw your own conclusions. I believe it was UHF magazine which did a test with a number of Audio journalists. They covered a system, and allowed people to sit and listen, then debate the sound. Some concluded it was a reference system, the covers were pulled and revealed was a set of PSB Alpha speakers ($200) a modest intergrated amp and a LINN reference CD player (10,000)

    The differences between a CD player and DVD player are there, and by a wide margin for the most part. The way sources are measured, dvd, cd, lp, are horribly outdated and you can reproduce the same statistical data even though there are huge differences among each measured unit.
    That's funny because Dave Wilson (Wilson Audio) just pulled the same stunt in reverse at CES this year. a quote from this thread

    "Finally, there was an incredible demo at Dave Wilson's private suite in the Mirage for his dealers where he put a B&W 800 Signature ( $21K) pair of speakers up against his Sophias ($11K). The B&W were driven by a Krell 700 Mcx ($8K) amp and the Sophias driven by a $1000 Parasound amp. Front end was Krell kps 25s into Nagra. The Sophia system by everyone's opinion was that the Sophia was simply much better. At the end of the demo he took it one step further by unveiling the front end of the Sophia which NOT driven by the Krell Kps25s as was the B&W but rather by an iPOD using a .wavfile. Everyone there was blown away by this."

    Of course I would imagine just about anything should sound GREAT on Wilson speakers
    Last edited by tryrrthg; 01-14-2004 at 11:26 AM.
    Sony KDL-40V2500 HDTV, Rotel RSX-1067 Receiver, Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, Slim Devices Squeezebox, Polk RTi6, CSi3 & R15, DIY sub with Atlas 15

  10. #10
    Stronzo
    Member Sales Rating: (7)

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Over Yonder
    Posts
    7,883

    Default

    Shamefully, there was a time not long ago when I was under the impression that cd players conveyed the least audible difference within all the equipment in a system. While I could detect differences between players from the likes of amc, nad, rotel, rega, and musical fidelity, the differences did not seem to warrent the price increase. In fact, I believed that cd players held more of a mark-up than cables and wire.

    About a month ago that all changed quite drastically when a good audiophile friend of mine pointed me in the direction of some ridiculously cheap, unorthodox source. An external CD ROM drive from NEC (model 601). A relatively large unit with analog and a digital out. Looked it up on ebay, and they could be had for 20 bucks. Why the hell not? Won the bid... and the NEC arrived a week later.

    The loading trey actually comes out of the unit. You open the case, flip the cd in, and place the trey back into the rom drive. I expected complete ****, what I got was just the opposite..

    Never once before have I heard music pack so much punch, life, and clarity. Un-freaking real! I could go on and on, (done so already), but the point is....... through this experience I learned that your source very well could be the "end all-be all" for your system. More significant than even your pre-amp / amp / cables.

    Its simply a matter of finding that player that will bring your system new life, whether its a Linn, an NEC, or anything in-between!

  11. #11

    Member Sales Rating: (14)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Pa
    Posts
    13,434

    Default

    Theres alot of great cd players on the market.Rega makes some nice ones.Rotels are good sounding for the money.But my sleeper is the Sony es players.There 5 disc players sound fantastic.the 222 and the 333 are really nice for a great price.The SCD-C555ES
    what I actually been thinking about as of late.5 disc and ready to go..
    Last edited by mantis; 01-14-2004 at 07:52 PM.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  12. #12

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    887

    Default

    tryrrthg: The Same stunt would have been if Wilson used the exact same speakers, Krell Amp on two systems. One using the iPOD and one using the Krell CDP. If anything it could show more of the short commings of the B & W speakers.

    I would be very curious to hear the difference between the IPOD and the KRELL CDP on the exact same setups.

    I think a few months ago ATCVenom debated me on the merits of source. I'm curious to at least experiement with DAC's and separate transports. Not to purchase but just to again experiment and use my own ears. Glad its working out for you Venom.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts