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Need help in locating a suitable CD player

Wharfedale EVO 4.1 4.2 Speakers

Ashish

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I am new in the world of hi-fi. I recently bought Cambridge Audio 340A amplifier and Mordaunt-Short floor standing speakers - Avanti 906i (I hope these are considered hi-fi). Currently I am using a DVD player for playing audio CDs. I have been told that I should get a CD player, that will improve my listening experience.

Need help from you guys in understanding if it is true, and if yes what should I buy? Since I am new entrant, I don?t want to buy a very expensive unit. What is the least I need to spend for a CD player to get a hi-fi experience, which brand/model?

Normally I don?t play mp3, but sometimes my kids do. But I can always get them a separate mp3 player, if there is advantage in having a non-mp3 CD player. Same for DVD, should I buy a player that plays DVD also, or should have an exclusive audio CD player. My requirement is primarily to hear good music. I generally listen to soft numbers, old Hindi, semi classical & classical (both instrumental & vocal)
 

unleash_me

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Welcome Ashish,

A standalone CD player would be the best option imo. You can very well pair it with the same series CD player from CA.

However, having MP3 or SACD facility is a good option and it wont hurt to have them provided they are from a good companies. In this regard, you can consider the CD6002 from Marantz or PD-D6 from Pioneer. Both could be yours for around 20k - not to mention the discounts available if you bother to hunt a bit.

Regarding the video facilities, its good to seperate that from your hifi setup. Especially because the transport mechanism needed for hifi and dvd are very different. Having a dvd player for hifi needs will certainly be a compromise imh. If you can stretch your budget then you can consider the DV7001 from Marantz. Its a fine dvd player with very good sonic capabilities. An other option would be to consider the Oppo range.

Best Regards.
 
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ranjeetrain

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Welcome to the forum!

How much are you open to spend on the CDP? If you indicate that we can advise you on what to buy. A CDP sounds better because it is custom designed to play CDs. A DVD player/universal player can sound good too, depending on what it is. Generally speaking, a dedicated CDP should improved the sonics.

Also, you should use your current player to play MP3 rather than looking for a CDP capable of playing MP3. You'd be back to square one if you did so.
 

Ashish

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Thanks U_Me, thanks Ranjeetrain. Your replies are indeed enlightening.

It is becoming clear to me that I should have a standalone CDP for my audios and separate players for MP3 & DVDs. In any case I am more comfortable in keeping separate boxes for separate purpose.

If possible, for my first CDP I would ideally like to spend Rs 5K, but if CDP with sonic capabilities don?t come that cheap I am ready to go up to 15K, may be 20K. Basically I am looking for the least expensive CDP with ?sonic capabilities?.

You also said that ?High-end Indian brands will sound better than similarly priced international brands?. Are there Indian brands for CDP as well?

What is SACD?

About MP3 ? are there also MP3 players with ?sonic capabilities?? They start at what range? Will there be any difference in hearing experience between these and the regular DVD players? Currently I use a really inexpensive Philips DVP4050 to play MP3s (& DVDs & CDs).
 

ranjeetrain

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IMO, a CDP costing 10-12 K can't bring a noticeable difference above a DVP. I believe an universal player is the best option for you for the time being. Something like an Oppo or a PS2. Or may be you should wait for a while and buy the CDP when you can spend in access of 20k on the CDP alone.
 

Ashish

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I have decided to go for a CDP. Please advise me what is will be a good buy, where I can get the noticeable difference. I am little disappointed to hear that for CDP I will have to go above 20K. I am told that in Delhi I can get Cambridge Audio for 14K (340C) or 18K (540C). Are they good? Will I notice the difference?

In the forum I had been reading about brands like MARANTZ and NAD. How do they compare with CA, sound quality as well as price? What is your opinion about Onkyo, I believe they also have a model under 20K.

I really appreciate your guidance, thanks a lot.
 

dinyaar

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Hi Ashish,
A dedicated cdp is always better. That is an accepted fact but if u need a dvd,mp3 and cdp and go for a budget dvd thats perfectly ok too. Its ur needs that determine a purchase.
Another thing to note is its pointless to buy a great cdp and match it with average amplification and speakers!!!
If opting for a cdp try the Marantz 5001 or nad 515(i think thats the new budget cdp) or the CA cdp. Or u could opt for the Marantz 6002(CDP+MP3) if u are willing to spend 20K!!! I would leave out an onkyo cdp.
Regards
 

particleman

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Do not consider a CA CD Player below 640C - they are not worth it. Unleash_Me's recommendations are spot on - the Marantz CD6002 and Pioneer PD-D6 (SACD) are your best options at this budget. The 640C is a good fit as you have a CA amp & MS speakers but consider others as well. I think the Marantz may emerge the winner. However do not expect them to be a night-and-day difference from a budget DVD player - it will be anywhere from a subtle to a significant improvement depending on various factors. Do listen to them with your system before purchase.
 

particleman

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While you're auditioning CA, try their 540D V2 player as well which does DVD and CD and see if the sound is good enough. Should be around 15k. Best option would have been their 640D Universal Player but it is still on the drawing board and although it was slated for an early 2008 it seems far from ready.
 

Ashish

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Hi Ashish,
Another thing to note is its pointless to buy a great cdp and match it with average amplification and speakers!!!

Regards

Hi Dinyaar,

I take it that my current set-up CA 340A + Mordaunt-Short 900i speakers would be considered average. Will a Marantz 5001, NAD 515 or CA cdps will make a noticeable difference?

Look forward to your advice.
 

Ashish

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However do not expect them to be a night-and-day difference from a budget DVD player - it will be anywhere from a subtle to a significant improvement depending on various factors.

If the difference is not going to be much with my current set-up, maybe I go for an average DVD player. Someone is selling Onkyo DVS 525 for RS 6000/-. Should I consider it?
 

tharun

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Hello Ashish

I have auditioned Nad , marantz 5001 and CA 640 before buying SA 7001 from Marantz ,

For me the marantz 5001 sounded better then the nad , CA 640 was good but on a brighter side.

Its sure A dedicated CD player will make a difference, even a budget CD player will make you system sounds better then a normal Dvd player.

Tharun.
 

particleman

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If the difference is not going to be much with my current set-up, maybe I go for an average DVD player. Someone is selling Onkyo DVS 525 for RS 6000/-. Should I consider it?

No, you are on the right track. Getting a dedicated CD player is the right thing to do. It will be better than a budget DVD player as mentioned above. All I wanted to do is caution you in terms of what to expect and to be realistic about it. The limiting factor is your speakers' ability to reveal the full potential of a good (or great) CD player. It will do so to a degree and may not be as dramatic depending on what you had in mind. But yes, it will certainly be much better than a DVD player.

About the Onkyo, I have no experience with them but it certainly doesn't hurt to audition as many players as you can. So if you can, go ahead and hear it. As Tharun has observed, the CA 640C is a bit bright but then this is because the CA amp is warm and thus there is a balance in the combination. With some other amp it may be out of place. Also each of us is looking for something different in our music - some want a warm tone, some want rich bass, some want exciting highs -- so, even with a lot of opinions offered and reviews considered, what will ultimately help you decide is listening to as many CD players as you can and finding the sound you like.
 

Ashish

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Okay, I am clear now. I will get a dedicated CD player.

Please tell me what is SACD?

Also I might get a pre-owned TS Lim modded Marantz CD67 special-edition for 13K. Will it be good for me?
 
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particleman

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SACD is one of two high-resolution audio formats that sought to improve on the Audio CD (the other being DVD-Audio). Compared to the CD which stores audio data sampled with a precision of 16 bits and at a sampling rate of 44100 Hz, the SACD stores audio data in a 1-bit format but with a much higher sampling rate, 2.8224 Megahertz. Also while Audio CD data is in PCM format, SACD uses DSD (Direct Stream Digital). In Sony's (co-inventor of the format) own words, "DSD's simplified mechanism for recording and playback results in a frequency response of over 100kHz and a dynamic range over 120dB across the audible frequency range." Finally, it also offers multichannel audio so you can have recordings in stereo and 5.1 formats. SACD enjoys an advantage over DVD-A in that it can exist as a hybrid, i.e. present the SACD data to an SACD player while being playable on a "regular" CD player.

To summarise, it offers improved sound over the regular CD but titles can be a bit difficult to find. It is most popular with Classical music listeners, followed by Jazz as many titles are in these genres. But companies are steadily (re-)releasing titles in Rock and other genres. Bands like Rolling Stones and Genesis to name a few. Also with Blu-ray and other technologies on the horizon it is unclear what its future will be. The Pioneer PD-D6 is a SACD player in your budget if you wish to audition it.

About the Marantz CD67 from square_wave... don't think about it! :D No, no, I am only joking because I've had an eye on it myself for very long! :) Seriously, its worth its weight in gold and that is a steal of a price for it. The CD67SE, I believe, was the last of the Marantz players that could be modified to the degree that one has been -- moreover, being a musician himself, TS Lim's modifications appeal to the audiophile and music listener alike. I am sure this player sounds far better than any competition at several times its price. It is a very lucky man who buys it.
 

Ashish

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Thanks Particleman.

My CA dealer has offered me to upgrade my amp from 340A to 540A, for a very nominal price. Will that improve my listening experience? Remember my speakers are Mordaunt-Short 900i floor standing.
 

tharun

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instead of upgrading to 540 try 640V2 , this upgrade will make a audible difference rather then going for 540.

And regarding the used CDP , listen to it before buying , New marantz and NAD are available at a pretty good price .

Tharun.
 

particleman

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If the difference in price is acceptable to you, go for it! The biggest advantages will be that 540A has pre-outs so you can connect it to a subwoofer or even a power amp in future. Also it has a multi-room feature that the 340A lacks. More power so it will drive the 906i much better.
 

dinyaar

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Hi Dinyaar,

I take it that my current set-up CA 340A + Mordaunt-Short 900i speakers would be considered average. Will a Marantz 5001, NAD 515 or CA cdps will make a noticeable difference?

Look forward to your advice.

Ashish,
Please dont feel offended but i truly dont like CA products. So my views will be biased. The cdps u have mentioned are all good budget players each having its pros & cons. I really feel a marantz player in every category is more musical than its rivals(except the loony priced cdp range).
U mentioned that ur dealer is willing to upgrade ur amp at a cost that seems reasonable? Please go for the bigger amp. Money well spent. Will sound more fluent, less strained and will extract more from ur floorstanders.
Regards
 

ranjeetrain

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Thanks Particleman.

My CA dealer has offered me to upgrade my amp from 340A to 540A, for a very nominal price. Will that improve my listening experience? Remember my speakers are Mordaunt-Short 900i floor standing.

That's the best news you have heard. Get the amp and pair it with a CA 640 CDP. You will be set for a good entertainment for next couple of months.
 
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