Cheapest used CD player for good sound quality.

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by Almonds, May 24, 2018.

  1. Almonds

    Almonds AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hey!
    So, I just came from goodwill where I picked up a CD player for $5.

    The backstory is this:

    About a year ago my wife and I bought a new iMac and realized it didn't have a CD player in it. We bought a smart TV 2 years ago, so we got rid of the DVD player. She bought a new mini cooper a year ago and it didn't come with a CD player. We were sitting around a friend's house listening to some music, and he said "Oh you like this? I'll burn you a CD" and it was then that we realized we had no CD players at all!

    So, since then I had been bitten by the audio bug and have been having fun getting into vintage audio. I've been streaming from spotify and tidal and my own uncompressed digital collection. I've been using an airport express to stream, and read that it streamed CD quality and I've been happy with the quality.

    Fast forward to today, I got home and threw on this crap sony DVD/CD player for $5 and instantly realized it was better quality than streaming. Mainly the imaging got more 3D and the highs are way more detailed.

    So, now my question is: If I get a better quality CD player, will I notice another improvement?
    And if so, what's a good CD player that I can find for maybe $50 or less that is considered audiophile grade? i don't need it to look good or have any features. I just want to enjoy the higher quality audio for when I'm doing critical listening.

    Then... the next topic is, now I realize I probably need a high quality DAC for my digital files.
     

     

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  2. Almonds

    Almonds AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Oh ya, I'm running the CD player straight into a VTA ST-120 with no pre-amp.
    I also have a Kenwood KA-9100 that I'll probably try it out on later.

    I think either of these amps are good enough to reveal a high quality CD player. what does everyone think?
     
  3. cwh

    cwh AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Lacking model recommends I know there are some great (audio) DVD players that can be found for under $100. Way under depending on where you search. Pay attention for SACD units.

    My Marantz DV8400 cost $5 and sounds good enough. Believe it cost close to $1500 when new.
     
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  4. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

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    At this point, you have lots of options. A stand-alone CDP is actually three components in one box--a drive to read the disc, a DAC chipset, and an analogue preamp stage to bring the analogue output signal up to a useable line-level.

    You could add an external drive to your Mac and use either the analogue out (internal DAC and sound card), or an external DAC via digital outs of the Mac.

    You could use any cheap CD or DVD player with a digital out, paired with an external DAC of your choice.

    You could seek out recommendations for a "good sounding" CDP (which you have done).

    I am a fan of the cheap CD player/drive and external DAC pairing. Drive technology has not changed much in the past 3 decades. DAC and streaming technology is changing faster than you can change your socks/shorts. Depending on the DAC you choose, it can support streaming, wi-fi, bluetooth, and function as a preamp, as well. You can also choose what you prefer in the format of the analogue output stage used in the DAC. If you want/need to upgrade the DAC, that is the only thing you have to swap out.
     
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  5. Almonds

    Almonds AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    So, if I get a cheap CD player and use it’s Digital out to go in to an external DAC, I will get the quality of the external DAC regardless of the quality of the CD player?
     
  6. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

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    1,550
    All under $80, all original MSRP of $1000 or more.

    Sony DVP-NS900V, so far I've only been able to get one in black, still looking for one in silver
    sony900v.gif

    Sony DVP-NS999ES
    x158dvp999s-f_LD.jpeg

    Sony DVP-CX777ES
    x158DVPX777-f.jpeg

    All great sounding decks, the 400 disc carousel set on shuffle play is awesome.
     
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  7. imral3

    imral3 Well-Known Member

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    The digital out of a CDP bypasses it's own internal DAC.
     
  8. E-Stat

    E-Stat Addicted Member

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    Upgrade to Tidal HIFI. Otherwise, you're comparing apples to oranges, aka 44/16 content to lossy with a forth of the bandwidth preserved.
     
  9. Almonds

    Almonds AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    i have tidal hifi, I also stream FLACS and other uncompressed formats.

    CD was still noticeably better. I think the difference is in the airport express that I'm using to stream. Maybe a sub par DAC?
     
  10. E-Stat

    E-Stat Addicted Member

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    Exactly. You're hearing differences downstream of the bitstream. Don't expect magic from a $90 streamer/DAC.

    I use the same Audio Research DAC8 for content stored on my music server and Tidal HIFI.
     
  11. gslikker

    gslikker Super Member

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    The "crap" DVD player may have very good specs for audio....
     

     

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  12. Almonds

    Almonds AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I guess that could be true about the crap player. It's a Sony DVP-SR210P. I just didn't think it's a very good one because it cost $5 at goodwill and it weighs about 6 ounces :)
     
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  13. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

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    Ya, my new TOTL Sony BRP has a tendency to want to fall off the back of the shelf because the HDMI cable attached weighs more lol. I don't use it for music, there's a nice Sony DVP-NS900V sitting next to it for that, makes the BRP look like a toy POS.
     
  14. AlTinkster92

    AlTinkster92 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Just picked up a Marantz DV7110 for 40 bucks, wish I knew where I could get a remote though..... do they make a generic universal remote for these?
     
  15. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights " Subscriber

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    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Hipocrates

    Hipocrates Anti-Muppet

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    Denon DVD-2910 $20
     
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  17. Hipocrates

    Hipocrates Anti-Muppet

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    For your marantz I'll bet you could find a harmony one remote from logitech or something similar on ebay.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
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  18. Pioneered

    Pioneered Well-Known Member

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    I use this one and am very happy with it, not that it's anything special YMMV.
    Sony DVD/VHS SLV-D370P and paid I think $40 used.
    Sony DVD VHS SLV-D370P.jpeg
     
  19. pdm4606

    pdm4606 Super Member

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    We have 2 cheapo Sony Blue Ray players and all are connected to an outboard DAC. Really good sound. Our 3rd Sony Blue Ray player is connected to the TV.
    They are reasonably cheap. Also besides Blue Ray they play SACD but I never tried it. All bought from the same place on the bay and all sound and work great.
    Maybe $30.00.
     
  20. AlTinkster92

    AlTinkster92 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Pioneer, that's the one I replaced with the Marantz, that Sony really sounded good. Had it for many years. It finally gave up the ghost.
     
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