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Evaluating CD players

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hifi

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How will you objectively evaluate a CD player?

I may be stirring a hornet's nest in saying that I try to always look at the specs while doing comparison.
 

Jagat

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I donn't think you should pay too much attention to the specs. After all its the sound/presentation you are after.

Many a times a good sounding player will have ok specs and a ok sounding player will have excellent specs.
 

unleash_me

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Of course hearing is believing, but I do look at the specs - it kinda reinforce the confidence factor.

With respect to the CDP only, the other stuff I usually look out besides the obvious ones are - the DAC used, connectivity options, read time, display dimmer/ on-off etc.

Another factor, if you are out for a cdp-especially in the case of a used one- is to check the tray and transport. Plus, of course the my good old bad habit of weighing it manually adding to the already perplexed and distressed look of the seller/retailer.:rolleyes:

Best Regards.
 

dinyaar

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Well i switch on to information gathering mode way prior to hearing the cdp. Speak to a few people and take their suggestions and look up the Av mags to see whats available and at what price.Then i shortlist a few and then go about hearing them extensively.
Specs are very important for me too. In fact i do all the above. Casework has to be sturdy as thats important too. What i also do is see where its made, as that matters to me.
And after all this and more i always end up unhappy with my cd players!!!!!!!!!
Am really going to follow this thread and see if any of u gurus can come up with something that will help me in my future cdp purchases.
 

TLR

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How will you objectively evaluate a CD player?

I may be stirring a hornet's nest in saying that I try to always look at the specs while doing comparison.

Most important IMHO are a high current and low impedance output stage. When the CDP runs out of current while playing very complex music (Symphonic Music, Big Band Jazz, Heavy Metal etc.) it will muddle the sound.

Regards,
Jochen
 

hifi

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Thanks for the information,

Plus, of course the my good old bad habit of weighing it manually adding to the already perplexed and distressed look of the seller/retailer.
This is true bcse a heavier cabinet will be more sturdy and robust.

Can something be inferred from the weight regarding the type of power supply of the CDP?

A linear analog power supply will make the CDP heavier because of the transformer.

Which one is better, linear power supply or switched mode power supply?:confused:

Does anybody got any information on this?

Most important IMHO are a high current and low impedance output stage. When the CDP runs out of current while playing very complex music (Symphonic Music, Big Band Jazz, Heavy Metal etc.) it will muddle the sound.

Is this valid even for the CDP? I believe the CDP only gives out very low current signal.

Let me start compiling the information so that this can be a one stop reference.

Evaluating a CD player

Functional Specs

DAC
No of bits - Higher the better (Typ 24bit)
Freq response - Wider the better (Typ 20Hz - 20kHz)
THD - Lesser the better (Typ 0.0025%)
Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) - Higher the better (Typ 110dB)
Dynamic Range - Higher the better (Typ 100dB)
Crosstalk - Higher the better (Typ 105dB)
Distortion/Noise - Higher the better (Typ 90dB)​

Read time - Lesser the better

Connectivity options

Gold plated RCA jacks - Y/N
Coax out - Y/N
Optical out - Y/N
Headphone - Y/N​

Display switching/dimming available - Y/N

Power supply type - Under discussion

Output stage
Output impedance - Lower the better (Typ 100 Ohms)​

Other Features

Cabinet Build quality - Heavy and sturdy
Robust Tray and transport mechanicsm
 
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TLR

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Is this valid even for the CDP? I believe the CDP only gives out very low current signal.

Absolutely! Some good CDPs do not only have two transformers (for analog and digital section) but also as powerful as some transformers used in integrated amps. The current reserves are definetly important. And a low impedance output stage gives you another important advantage: it can drive practically any cable and cable length.
 

hifi

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Absolutely! Some good CDPs do not only have two transformers (for analog and digital section) but also as powerful as some transformers used in integrated amps. The current reserves are definetly important. And a low impedance output stage gives you another important advantage: it can drive practically any cable and cable length.

Can you please indicate the typical values for output impedance and other figures. I could not find these in the product specs (I used Marantz CD5001 as reference).
 

prem

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Jitter specs is very important. More importantly try and avoid asynchronous upsampling. Most cd players today do that and thus the dissatisfaction. Stick to non oversampling cd players or synchronous upsampling players.
 

TLR

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Can you please indicate the typical values for output impedance and other figures. I could not find these in the product specs (I used Marantz CD5001 as reference).


Well, most CDPs have an output impedance of a around 100 Ohm. For a low output impedance around 50 Ohms would be a very good value, especially when it's a valve output stage. The lowest I have come across was 34 (I think) for a Audionet CDP.
 

saikat

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It is kind of difficult to understand all the details as the terminology used by the vendors are different; up-sampling/oversampling et all. So how do we figure out if the up-sampling is async. or not?

Have read up at a couple of articles that oversampling results in better audio, so when will a 44khz sampling sound better than async up-sampling of say 192khz (assuming the rest of the specs are same)?
 

hifi

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Well, most CDPs have an output impedance of a around 100 Ohm. For a low output impedance around 50 Ohms would be a very good value, especially when it's a valve output stage. The lowest I have come across was 34 (I think) for a Audionet CDP.

This is definitely valuable information, I will update my post with this information.
 

hifi

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Jitter specs is very important. More importantly try and avoid asynchronous upsampling. Most cd players today do that and thus the dissatisfaction. Stick to non oversampling cd players or synchronous upsampling players.

Do they provide jitter figures?

Do CDPs do oversampling? Or is it upsampling?
 

prem

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I do not know if jitter figures are given but normally reviews provide jitter figures.

Oversampling is a multiple of 44.1. Could be 2 times, 4 or 8 or 16 times. Synchronous upsampling is similar to this. Asynchronous upsampling is from 44.1 to 96 or 192. Since 96 or 192 is not a multiple of 44.1, the chip does its own extrapolation and this is where errors creep in. Upsampling or oversampling reduces jitter.
 
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