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  1. #1

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    Post CD vs DVD...you might be surprised

    I was bored this morning, so I decided to run some CD's thru my 2 year old $99 Panasonic DVD-RV26. Not expecting much, I got quite a surprise.

    Lemme splain something. My dedicated CD player, a $600 CEC CD3300, single ended output, pure class A, 24/192 Burr Brown DAC's, custom power cord made from moon-dust (kidding), and high-speed interconnects---was having a hard time out-doing the $99, power supply the size of quarter, 18awg power cord (hardwired) having, cheapo nickle plated RCA jacks wearing, interconnected with a 6ft long $18 interconnect whose brand I don't even know.

    I'm a little jaded. I know what you're thinking, "thats cause your CD player sucks.." I think not. The thing is engineered and built like a tank, and very well reviewed. It probably weighs 8 times what my plastic Panny does.

    Moral of the story; before you go out there a plunk down huge bucks on your next CD player-----upgrade your speakers instead...

    ...I'm still shaking my head in disbelief...

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
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    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
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  2. #2
    Old Polk
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    Hi Steve,

    I had a similar experience when I put a Dynaco ST-70 and PAS-3x with a pair of SDA 2-A's together for a MBR system. Just for grins (with no intention of leaving the setup intact) I plugged an el cheapo Daewoo DVD player in for source. It's still there.

    The Daewoo was an eBay quick and dirty snag ($47 shipped) purchased soley for its region free feature. It's so light it would move if you sneezed very hard in its general direction. I had never tried a CD in it before. It sounds fantastic. The other plus I get from it is remote volume control for the vintage gear.

  3. #3

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    My panasonic and every other dvd player I've had sounds like utter sh*t...

    Very weird experience there, sorry to hear that...
    www.Vr3Mods.com ///// www.Version3Audio.com

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro

  4. #4

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    By default a speaker is more inaccurate then a source player from the stance that it colors the sound more. I have built my system using the source first approach and it has servered me well. A better source system will always win, always. This debate has raged for years. I'm firmly footed in the source first camp. I can't even begin to imagine what gash I would hear from a DVD player in my system. And gash to my ears might not be gash to somebody elses. When a source is really kickin in you no longer look at a system as a system but instead a complete musical operation.

  5. #5

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    Mediocre speakers won't save anything. They also won't accurately convey the gold. That's the way it is.

    George Grand (of the Jersey Grands)

  6. #6

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    Hey Steve --

    Leave your Panny DVD player where it is for a week or so, then go back to the CEC and report your results. I'm guessing that you'll rediscover the reason you bought the CEC in the first place.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50” LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  7. #7

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    Start with the source, garbage in.....garbage out.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  8. #8

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    Sears LXI cd player, Mark Levinson preamp, Krell power amp, Polk SDA-SRS speakers.


    Cambridge Audio cd player, Mark Levinson preamp, Krell power amp, Sears LXI speakers.

    Which system you want to listen to? That's what I thought.

    I didn't ask how absurd the combo's I put together are. I asked which system you would rather listen to.

    George Grand (of the Jersey Grands)
    Last edited by George Grand; 02-12-2005 at 07:02 PM.

  9. #9

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    I'm a member of the "George Grand" camp too. Speakers by far truly "shape" the music. I'll bet anyone on this board $1000 that if I hooked up a Sony walkman and ran it through some Wilson Watt Puppy's, you'd never guess in a million years you were listening to a $49 cd player....

    But, hook up a $47,000 cd player to $49 speakers...well, you get my drift....still believe source before speakers now?
    Last edited by steveinaz; 02-12-2005 at 10:22 PM.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
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  10. #10

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    You're on!
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  11. #11

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    I must say I feel a little bit like Ivor Tiefenbrun as I sit here and take medication while I read the two examples given.

    steveinaz...have you ever listened too Wilson Audio Watt Puppy's? I honestly can't say I have. I can tell you however, with talking to people I know who have owned them, they are perhaps the pickest speakers ever created. As crazy as this sound's they'd probably opt for the $49.99 speakers if they were forced to live with the gashly sounds coming out of their Wilson Audios. It's not a question of tricking other people but instead tricking yourself into believeing the $49.99 cd player isn't totally warping the sound. A speaker can only shape what is given to him. He can't add anything.

    George Grand - I can't comment on the sears speakers. I can say however Linn created a reference sounding system at a show using $200 PSB bookshelves in order to demonstrate their point of view. Dave Wilson tried to show a different angel but his demonstration was flawed because he used two different speakers along with two different sources. Had he simply added an ipod to his speakers and a krell reference cdp player to another set (of the same speakers) then I would have been happy to hear the results.

    Breaking down dollar amounts is a complete waste of time. Price is irrelevant. It's a question of overall priority. If you want your system to function at its full and capable potential source MUST be placed as the highest priority
    Last edited by LuSh; 02-13-2005 at 12:48 AM.

  12. #12

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    who is gonna supply the watt puppies to do this little demonstration?
    SDA 2B
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  13. #13

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    The point of my original post was that there is not a whole lot of difference between a $99 player and a $600 player. Sure, when you do intense listening the CEC beats the Panasonic. But you have to listen very closely to hear the subtle differences.

    My suggestion to "upgrade your speakers" was a generic way of saying spend your bucks on something else that may be difficient in your system, because you're not going to get alot of bang for your buck upgrading your CD Player.

    We've had the whole debate on source vs speakers before, and we'll get nowhere with it. Do what you want, it's your hard earned money...

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
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  14. #14

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    The loudspeakers used, and their placement in the listening environment, will have a much greater impact on the sound of a system, than any changes upstream. Unless we're talking about substituting an 8-track player in place of a competent cd/dvd player as the source.

    Change out cd/dvd players, interconnects, speaker cables, and competent amps of the same power rating. Moving your existing speakers two feet from the original position will have a greater impact on the sound than any of those changes.

    George Grand (of the Jersey Grands)

  15. #15

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    IMO, for what its worth since im relatively new to this whole ht/audio scene, is that the components and speakers work together in a system. whats the point of spending 50 bucks on a dvd player and thousands on speakers or visa versa. speakers can only play as good as they recieve and components will only play speakers as good as the speakers can play. so you can argue over what will affect the sound more, but when it comes down to it, the entire system is only as good as its weakest link, doesnt matter how good of a dvd/cd player or how unbelievable the speakers are, one weak link and that is how ur system will sound. and that link could be anything from power to cables to components to speakers. obviously not everyone can afford to get the best of everything, so its more a balance of what can be afforded now and in the not too distant future and how even can i make my entire system. or go the route of pouring all the money into an item at a time and slowly upgrade to a great system. in that case it doesnt matter what u upgrade first to get the better sound since it is all gonna be upgrade eventually. like i said, im new to this game so this is just my opinion.

  16. #16

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    "I am so tired of this discussion. If two amps, of competent design, are used within their power ratings, driving the same speakers, and one hears an appreciable difference between the two, one of the amps is broken."

    Ken Kantor , Founder of NHT

    George Grand (of the Jersey Grands)

  17. #17

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    Change out cd/dvd players, interconnects, speaker cables, and competent amps of the same power rating. Moving your existing speakers two feet from the original position will have a greater impact on the sound than any of those changes.
    That may be true in certain circumstances, but the reason we'll never agree on this issue is because, aside from personal preferences, everyone's situation is different. For example, due to the room and WAF, my speakers can only be placed exactly where they are. It's not optimal, but it's the best I can do, so speaker placement is a moot point for me. To get better sound, I've changed out the CD player, interconnects, speaker cables, and amps. On every "upgrade," there was a significant improvement in sound. Now I've probably reached the point of diminishing returns.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50” LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  18. #18

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    Originally posted by steveinaz
    The point of my original post was that there is not a whole lot of difference between a $99 player and a $600 player.

    I've been through this several times myself. What I learned is that different sources mate differently with different preamps/amplifiers. You can have a cart load full of very high quality equipment and out of that cartload you will find one pre that mates better with your good player and another that will mate better with your cheap player. You can get any result you want depending on how you roll the equipment. The key is to roll all the best stuff together and have it synergize. I went through tons of equipment to figure that out.

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  19. #19

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    This really isn't about dollar amounts, its about whats the most important point when building a resonable to good 2 channel music system. The answer is the source, price is irrelevant.

    George, bringing quotes from speaker manufactures really does little. What did you expect him to say?

    "Yes, the last link colors the music the most but can't add anything that has been detracted further down the signal path"... or how about...."I build speakers even though I realize there are differences that play as important roles further up the chain."

    since were on too quotes how about I paraphrase one from Gilbert Brigg's of Wharfedale - 'a loudspeaker can only detract to a greater or lesser extent from its input signal.'

    Lastly, I yammer on about this stuff cuz I wish somebody told me when I was starting out long ago...but I've NEVER heard a system I didn't like when the electronics were excellent and decent speakers were being used. I've heard ALOT of systems that sounded like they were being choked when the electronics weren't as good as the output speaker.
    Last edited by LuSh; 02-13-2005 at 01:52 PM.

  20. #20

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    I thought Mr. Kantor's quote was right on. I don't look at him as a speaker man solely. MIT grad, circuit designer, AND speaker man extraordinaire.

    I stand by what I said. You can swap out every component you want, change all the cabling, whatever. All the changes upstream COMBINED won't alter the sound as much as swapping out speakers, or moving the existing speakers to a different location in the room.

    What did I expect him to say? As a speaker man? Nothing really, as he made that statement long after he sold his interest in NHT, and wasn't going to profit from people running out and getting new speakers.

    I don't expect him to come out with a new set of cables every three months (as these cable guys do) and proclaim........"I didn't think I could improve upon my finest cable, but this new product of mine is a real breakthrough!" Yeah, no moving parts, and it's a breakthrough. A break please! Can I get a break please!

    So what the **** happens every three months, or even every year, that could so radically affect cable design? We getting new conductive materials from other planets or what?

    George Grand (of the Jersey Grands)

  21. #21

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    who is gonna supply the watt puppies to do this little demonstration?
    I can supply the Sears LX1 speakers.
    I've had these speakers which were part of the LX1 system since about 1982,they are now part of the garage system.The amp in the reciever smoked about 1991, I still own the turntable and the duel cassette player,which are stored in a box.
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  22. #22

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    I think everyone here has made good points with there experiences. Repeating what a Professional said is fine but don't you think personal experience is better to talk about? I know George has to have had many different cd players , amp , cables and speakers in his life , I would like to hear his personal comments.

    I have had a few different cd players in my systems over the years. The only ones I got the pleasure of demoing against each other was a Pioneer PDM-60 from the 80's vs a Pioneer dv414 dvd player vs a Pioneer Elite PDF 19 vs a Pioneer Elite dv47a. All these players I owned at the same time before I moved them somewhere else or sold , I got to sit and play. They all sounded different. Closest was the 2 Elite players with giving the edge to the Pioneer Elite dv47a dvd player sounding the best overall.Weird but very true.

    I do however agree with George (rare but true) that speakers make the biggest difference in overall sound quality. Some speakers sound so completely different then others. This is your night and day difference.
    Wire makes small differences. Slight tone and clarity is what I find ever tie I change cables of some sort. I have found cables to mud up the mid range and some to be very bright. Some have such a sparkle and clarity. But these differences are small.
    Amps I have found ( I only owned a few I mostly owned receivers) to make a difference in dynamic range and sound quality. I don't agree that amps sounding the same. I have done many shootouts with power amps and heard differences everytime. It would be great if they all sounded the same as I would buy the cheapest one and put the extra money somewhere else.

    Personal experiences are always different and sometimes the same. Placement of the speakers make a pretty big difference. I have broken carpet spikes due to movement of my speakers to many times playing around. I love it.

    Dan
    Dan
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  23. #23

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    Placement of the speakers make a pretty big difference.
    Just curious, but does placement of floorstanding speakers make a bigger difference than bookshelf speakers? I'm wondering if the bass in floorstanders requires more experimentation with placement. ???
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50” LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  24. #24

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    I still believe that the rig is a system of interdependant parts. When you change any one piece in the system you affect the other parts.

    That said, I would also add that less expensive CDP's are more accurate in delivering a signal than low end speakers, but hey thats just my .02.

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    Everthing Matters...Tubes Rule...and It's Over until it's Not Over

  25. #25

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    Originally posted by Early B.
    Just curious, but does placement of floorstanding speakers make a bigger difference than bookshelf speakers? I'm wondering if the bass in floorstanders requires more experimentation with placement. ???
    Absolutely. I had to play with placement on my towers for quite some time before getting the bass "just right." I ended up with them about 32" from the back wall, with 1" of toe-in.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
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    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
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    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  26. #26

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    Gotta go with GG on this. The speakers are the only "night and day" difference I have found in my travels. Even switching from a ROTM SS receiver to a seperate tube amp barely makes as much of a difference as swtching out the speakers. Especially when comparing brands of equal price:

    A $500 CDP will sound very similar, if not identical, to all other $500 CDP. Same with amps. Pre's make some difference if your using processing. Now on speakers? Klipsch to Polk to Swann's, to KLH to whatever. All sound much more different than the other components combined.
    There is no genuine justice in any scheme of feeding and coddling the loafer whose only ponderable energies are devoted wholly to reproduction. Nine-tenths of the rights he bellows for are really privileges and he does nothing to deserve them. We not only acquired a vast population of morons, we have inculcated all morons, old or young, with the doctrine that the decent and industrious people of the country are bound to support them for all time.-Menkin

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    I have compared a good DVD player with very good DACs to a good CDP at the same time using the same CD in each player. I used each player's DACs and ran the same (brand, size, etc) analog interconnects to different inputs. I was able to switch back and forth between the two with a simple press of a button on the remote. I was suprised at the result because I thought the DVD player was equal to the CDP when listening to them independently. I am convinced the virtues of a CD only player make them worth owning....even with a good DVD player.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

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  28. #28

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    A $500 CDP will sound very similar, if not identical, to all other $500 CDP.
    I replaced a $500 CD player with a $500 CD player and the difference was night and day. It's been said a million times on this forum -- you cannot shop on the basis of price alone. You gotta look under the hood and evaluate the quality of the components.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50” LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  29. #29

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    Originally posted by Early B.
    I replaced a $500 CD player with a $500 CD player and the difference was night and day. It's been said a million times on this forum -- you cannot shop on the basis of price alone. You gotta look under the hood and evaluate the quality of the components.
    Then something was broken in the one you replaced. A CD player is just a DAC and a transport. All it does is convert digital 1/0 to and analog signal. Only so many ways to do this and with the computing horspower available for such little $$$ that the difference in DACs is much smaller than the difference between speakers. Also, how many years apart are the two you compared? A $500 model now is soon a $40 standard in an Aiwa boombox in three years.
    There is no genuine justice in any scheme of feeding and coddling the loafer whose only ponderable energies are devoted wholly to reproduction. Nine-tenths of the rights he bellows for are really privileges and he does nothing to deserve them. We not only acquired a vast population of morons, we have inculcated all morons, old or young, with the doctrine that the decent and industrious people of the country are bound to support them for all time.-Menkin

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    Dan agreed with ME?

    Must be cause I treated him in a relatively civil manner a couple days ago.

    George Grand (of the Jersey Grands)

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