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Musical and warm sounding CD player

vivek_r

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This is again blind (deaf?) based on reviews but Musical Fidelity M3 and Rega Apollo came tops in a recent hifi choice group test. Both should be a less than a lakh I believe, have dealers in India and were lauded for their warm sound.

While I could buy anything used, CD players I do worry about as the laser mechanism fails.

Heed the dude (Prem) - listen if possible.

Vivek
 
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Gerry_the_Merry

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Listening is advisable, but not guaranteed to lead you to any reasonably reliable conclusion. I heard the Esoteric K-01 XS and Naim CD555 matched against each other last week. It was a Naim/Esoteric/Focal dealer. The speakers were Focal Utopia Stella. Amp was Naim 500 stack (don't remember the exact model number but it is one step down from the TOTL Statement).

The room was a 20 foot x 20 foot room. Plenty of room treatment but also glass abounded.

It was unlistenable, irritating, edgy. After half an hour I had to tell the dealer to stop the audition. We discussed various things audio and then I left. All rigs are not set up properly. Some time back in Singapore I had heard Focal (speaker) / McIntosh(Amp and CDP) - it was spectacular. It was a different dealer.

The Pioneer PD70AE and Marantz SA10 I had heard at a friends place. The Pioneer was good. The Marantz was fresh out of the box, and still sounded classy. The system was very well setup. Wonder how the Esoteric and Naim would have sounded in this rig. Am sure their true class would have been revealed.

So listen all you can, but there are no guarantees it will lead you anywhere.
 

Hari Iyer

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I find my room to be a little bright sounding. So would prefer a neutral to warm cdp/dac
When I purchased my Marantz Blueray player ud-7007, I thought them to be bit brighter sound signature.
Six months down the line I discovered the culprit to be the RCA interconnect. After this change they sound pristine, very open, perfect balance, coherent and detailed with out sounding bright.
 

vivek_r

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reasonably
I agree Gerry - the key is to listen in a system you know really well. Ideally your own. Or next best a pal’s. As you are not listening to one component alone but the entire chain including the room.

The other option is to follow reviewers who seem to hear the way you do or have other components in your flavour. No point going to a whiskey hater and ask him about the best malt!

Vivek
 

audiopro

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Jan 31, 2015
Messages
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Listening is advisable, but not guaranteed to lead you to any reasonably reliable conclusion. I heard the Esoteric K-01 XS and Naim CD555 matched against each other last week. It was a Naim/Esoteric/Focal dealer. The speakers were Focal Utopia Stella. Amp was Naim 500 stack (don't remember the exact model number but it is one step down from the TOTL Statement).

The room was a 20 foot x 20 foot room. Plenty of room treatment but also glass abounded.

It was unlistenable, irritating, edgy. After half an hour I had to tell the dealer to stop the audition. We discussed various things audio and then I left. All rigs are not set up properly. Some time back in Singapore I had heard Focal (speaker) / McIntosh(Amp and CDP) - it was spectacular. It was a different dealer.

The Pioneer PD70AE and Marantz SA10 I had heard at a friends place. The Pioneer was good. The Marantz was fresh out of the box, and still sounded classy. The system was very well setup. Wonder how the Esoteric and Naim would have sounded in this rig. Am sure their true class would have been revealed.

So listen all you can, but there are no guarantees it will lead you anywhere.
Can you describe the pioneer and marantz sa10 sounds in this setup? Is the sa10 good or just tries and seduces you with some air etc but may not work with all music? I was looking at the pioneer hence asking. Any idea how much the pioneer costs?
 

Gerry_the_Merry

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Pioneer rs179k mrp. A reasonable discount certain based on my conversation with KEI in bandra. Marantz rs300k. JLS was also there in shootout. Our opinions differ. I found both detailed, and with good rhythm And pace. Marantz smoother. But pioneer broken in. Marantz just out of the box.
 

COOLDUDE7808

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Pioneer rs179k mrp. A reasonable discount certain based on my conversation with KEI in bandra. Marantz rs300k. JLS was also there in shootout. Our opinions differ. I found both detailed, and with good rhythm And pace. Marantz smoother. But pioneer broken in. Marantz just out of the box.

3L for Marantz SA10 is the Indian Price ? i.e MZ audio Bandra
 

Gerry_the_Merry

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Yes. 3lakhs. Much lower than international.
 
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audiopro

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It's available for well below international list price.
Jls how was the Marantz? I've found some.of their older players to sound podgy and I'll times, while the new ones are thinner sounding. The sa10 converts everything to dsd so does it sound pseudo? Any description would be nice.
 

vinothkumar

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Chennai
This is again blind (deaf?) based on reviews but Musical Fidelity M3 and Rega Apollo came tops in a recent hifi choice group test. Both should be a less than a lakh I believe, have dealers in India and were lauded for their warm sound.

While I could buy anything used, CD players I do worry about as the laser mechanism fails.

Heed the dude (Prem) - listen if possible.

Vivek

I dont think both comes under a lakh of budget.
 

jls001

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Jls how was the Marantz? I've found some.of their older players to sound podgy and I'll times, while the new ones are thinner sounding. The sa10 converts everything to dsd so does it sound pseudo? Any description would be nice.
Actually I'm the least qualified to give opinions in this particular instance. I reached the venue quite late and didn't get to hear the Marantz extensively (the Pioneer I've heard extensively under different iterations of pre-powers and different cablings).

The SA-10 certainly doesn't sound like Marantz's older players like SA-8005 (which I heard over extended periods solo and also paired with Marantz NA-11S1 DAC). SA-10 has a much more neutral sound compared to SA-8005-era Marantz house sound. We played from the analog output of the SA-10 so there was no further DAC to contend with. It was certainly not "podgy" or muddy, but it wasn't thin either. It leaned slightly to the warm side of neutral. And it certainly didn't lack in resolving details or throwing a believable sound stage.

Hope this helps.
 

Kiran Vaidya

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May 28, 2019
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Bangkok
I find my room to be a little bright sounding. So would prefer a neutral to warm cdp/dac
Go for used ones with TDA1541 chip and Philips CDM0 or CDM1 drive. There are many such units made by Philips, Marantz, Grundig etc
This is presuming you really like warm sound. I have Grundig Cd7550. It is just amazing. You can try any other model with TDA1541/CDM0 or CDM1
 

Gerry_the_Merry

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Hi. Some of you have contacted me on my opinion on the Marantz SA 10 and had offline discussions with me. I just wish to reiterate very clearly, in case it is not already clear, that I heard these two players in that shootout, and while I liked the Pioneer, and it is a good CD Player, I liked the Marantz SA10 better, and principally due to its sounding as detailed and punchy as the PD70AE but smoother. I also think the gap would have been wider if the Marantz had been broken in fully. The system which I listened to was an extremely well set-up system (one of the best I have heard ever, and many things for me to emulate from that, and just as an indication, significantly better in quality of sound than the Absolute Sound Singapore dealer's system featuring the NAD CD555 and Esoteric K-01XS, and 2nd in line Naim Amplification and Focal Stella Utopia speakers). Hence even if I were to re-do this shootout in the dealer's showroom (either Marantz or Pioneer) I would expect no change in the outcome.
 
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