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Will buying a CD player even make sense for my setup?

Hari Iyer

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Recently my Marantz cd-5400 (used) cd player have gone kaput and trying to replace the transport was not successful. So i am in a look out for a new cd player. Hifimart entry level cd player cost around 22K+ which i believe is very basic. Anyway i shall be using my external DAC and not use the basic in the player. Also buying a high-end cd player cant see any sense for the same reason as then my external DAC goes waste.

So i am thinking of a basic Sony blueray player that can play most of the formats ( i dont have a working DVD player anyway). I will be using them as a transport and connect it to my external DAC for my audio purpose. This entry level Sony Blueray player is available for around 6900/- which is a base model and does most of the job. (It also has a usb port which matters to me and can also play mp3). A expensive 4K blueray player cost me around 27K, but again the fancy features are of no use to me on a day to day basis.

Would like to hear from FMs if my thinking also agree with your thought process.
 
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amit11

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Anyway i shall be using my external DAC and not use the basic in the player.
The chip used in the CD player for transport purpose (SPDIF optical or coaxial) is very very important.
e.g DIR9001 chip, CS8146 chip etc, or sometimes the in-built DAC chip itself does both the functionalities of analog conversion aswell as spdif output.

The external DAC may have technology of reducing the jitter, it may have buffer and reclocking aswell. But nevertheless the sonic signature of the sending chip still remains in the final output.

I know this topic is discussed in the past. This was hard to digest for me, but I have experienced this myself by trial and errors. Hence thought to highlight it again.
 
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Hari Iyer

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Thanks Amit for highlighting this, as i though digital signal were always the same.
 

Kannan

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Dear Hari Sir,
ent
Is CD player essential today purely depends on an individual.
If you have a good collection of original CDs, then I would say go for it. I would never recommend a DVD or Bluray player if you are critical about the sound quality and will use the DAC of the player.
Ofcourse if you use the digital out to the DAC then you can look at a DVD or Bluray aswell. Most of the modernm players handle jitter reasonably well and if you external DAC is Asynchronous, then any decent player will do.

I don't know if it is appropriate to post an offer here.
I have a Clarion DRX9255 which comes with 20bit dual mono multibit DAC. One DAC each per channel.
This CD player is exactly the same as Mcintosh MX-406 (which was incidentally made by Clarion for Mcintosh).

I will not go onto details of its quality (it is absolutely top class), you can google for details to collaborate my opinion.

It needs a 22012 volt power supply which too I will bundle as I purchased one for it.
This CD player comes with its own dedicated power supply to filter our DC noise, ripples etc.

It is a very rare beast, I also have one spare original CD lens assembly for it in case you might need to replace in the future.

Do PM if you are interested.

Cheers
Kannan
 

amit11

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Thanks Amit for highlighting this, as i though digital signal were always the same.
Adding to this one more area, which was again difficult for me to believe till date. But recently I was forced to experiment and I have now digested it well. :)

The digital cable which is used. I have tried with optical cable only. (not coaxial).
And yes, the optical cables matter! In the last one month I purchased 6 different optical cables and each sounded different. The difference was not day and night but we can definitely make out if something is lacking or abundant, something is harsh or something is not just right.

I had started reading about the SPDIF protocol, how the data is sent, especially how the bits are sent across, when sending the bit bi-phase modulation is used, the zero crossover for detecting change in signal, the timing of the zero crossover, the drift in the timing and especially the material used for optical, the reflections inside it, the polish at the terminals etc. After hearing the differences my mind was still not able to get through as to how this can happen. But gradually by reading and trying to understand I can now logically (my mind) aswell conclude on the why of differences.
 
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Hari Iyer

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Dear Hari Sir,
ent
Is CD player essential today purely depends on an individual.
If you have a good collection of original CDs, then I would say go for it. I would never recommend a DVD or Bluray player if you are critical about the sound quality and will use the DAC of the player.
Ofcourse if you use the digital out to the DAC then you can look at a DVD or Bluray aswell. Most of the modernm players handle jitter reasonably well and if you external DAC is Asynchronous, then any decent player will do.

I don't know if it is appropriate to post an offer here.
I have a Clarion DRX9255 which comes with 20bit dual mono multibit DAC. One DAC each per channel.
This CD player is exactly the same as Mcintosh MX-406 (which was incidentally made by Clarion for Mcintosh).

I will not go onto details of its quality (it is absolutely top class), you can google for details to collaborate my opinion.

It needs a 22012 volt power supply which too I will bundle as I purchased one for it.
This CD player comes with its own dedicated power supply to filter our DC noise, ripples etc.

It is a very rare beast, I also have one spare original CD lens assembly for it in case you might need to replace in the future.

Do PM if you are interested.

Cheers
Kannan
Thanks for your inputs. But aint these used in car audio?
 

elangoas

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This entry level Sony Blueray player is available for around 6900/- which is a base model and does most of the job. (It also has a usb port which matters to me and can also play mp3).
If you have / prefer more digital playback of files conveniently, load all the digital files on to android mobile (Micro SD Card) that supports USB-OTG, so that you can connect to external DAC..

Pick an used DVD player from OLX that has HDMI output (Rs 1,000).. You get the display on TV, as well as digital out to connect to external DAC..
 

Hari Iyer

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If you have / prefer more digital playback of files conveniently, load all the digital files on to android mobile (Micro SD Card) that supports USB-OTG, so that you can connect to external DAC..

Pick an used DVD player from OLX that has HDMI output (Rs 1,000).. You get the display on TV, as well as digital out to connect to external DAC..
I still can play through usb pen drive connected to my VU TV and connect to my optical out to the DAC. i like a more traditional method of playing CDs.
 

Mi_10

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Thanks Amit for highlighting this, as i though digital signal were always the same.
It depends on the rest of your equipment and their ability to expose shortcomings in the chain.

I myself have 3 sources for my Setup (including the one you are considering) to feed into my DAC

Samsung TV -> SPDIF
Sony BDP-1500 Blu ray -> Co-axial
Lenovo Laptop -> USB

To be fair, i can't find any difference between the first two sources (playing same file with same chain). However the Laptop as a source with USB as a connection point has a undeniable edge over the other two. I can't really explain where the improvements are, but overall they seem to have a lot more space and stage ( a higher imaging with a tad more depth).

But in all honesty, if i were to try these in a setup that is built to cost, then there difference is negligible. I am saying this since i have made an alternate source - Marantz AVR which is using its own DAC and feeding into the same speakers. Not only the sound stage is down, the details as well is kinda not opening up. Now with this setup, i did an experiment

Sony BDP - 1500 Bluray -> HDMI
In built USB port in NR 1608 AVR

I couldn't find any difference at all. Infact the sound form the Bluray player in Certain songs felt better
 
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Naturelover

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See if you can find a Sony BDP-S380 or S370. They were supposed to be excellent for analogue audio.
 

Naturelover

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I had a Marantz DVD player DV4001 which was also great for stereo playback. It's a 10 year old model, though.
 

Hari Iyer

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Thanks to everyone for this suggestions and opinion. I checked couple of models from Sony Blueray player. One of the entry level model is locally available for 6900/- (S1500) and the upper model is available for 23K (x700). The x700 looks cool given to the fact that i can also stream 4K movies and it virtually plays all audio / video format which also has a 24bit audio resoluion (though i dont know what that mean). Its just walking at the shop and picking it up. Also family members are more acceptable to allow a blueray player than a cd player as movies is what excites them too. My leaning also seems to be towards this as this is within my budget and i am not a audiophile quality freak.
 

rikhav

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If you have gathered very good msuic on audio CDs through your audio journey I see no reason why a CDP in today's time is also releveant

Someone I know purchased this CDP and I have heard from people who have heard this CDP that it sounds phenomenal

http://www.technicalaudiodevices.com/d1000/
 

rikhav

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Thanks to everyone for this suggestions and opinion. I checked couple of models from Sony Blueray player. One of the entry level model is locally available for 6900/- (S1500) and the upper model is available for 23K (x700). The x700 looks cool given to the fact that i can also stream 4K movies and it virtually plays all audio / video format which also has a 24bit audio resoluion (though i dont know what that mean). Its just walking at the shop and picking it up. Also family members are more acceptable to allow a blueray player than a cd player as movies is what excites them too. My leaning also seems to be towards this as this is within my budget and i am not a audiophile quality freak.
Check if it has analogue audio out. I understand your main use is to use player as transport but always better to have with analogue outs
Modern Sony players completely skip the analogue outs
 

Hari Iyer

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Check if it has analogue audio out. I understand your main use is to use player as transport but always better to have with analogue outs
Modern Sony players completely skip the analogue outs
Thanks for suggesting. It does not have analogue out and has only HDMI audio, coaxial and optical digital out. Infact i am not looking at analogue out and do not intend to spend on an internal DAC which i may never use. Currently i am planning to use them with my external BB PCM1794 DAC which is pretty cool imo. I may later updgrade to a tube DAC which one my friends at insigniafhifi is manufacturing.
 

prem

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Rikhav, isn’t TAD super expensive? I think it costs more than 15 lakhs
 

Hari Iyer

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Hari, do consider this suggestion. Sony BDP-S370 & 380 are amazing players.
I am looking at the option of Blueray player bascially as a transport for more than 90% of their use. Even if they have stunning video quality it may not be of much use to me.
 
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