The Best (I Have) CD vs DVD Players

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by SoCal Sam, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,592
    Sony CDP-XA7ES vs Panasonic DVD-H1000 playing through Onkyo PR-SC886 and Crown XLS-202. The Onkyo is an AV preamp and an excellent performer in 2-channel mode. In "Pure Audio" mode, it is transparent. Some may say the Crown is the weak link but it passes near perfect square waves which is what I look for in amps. The Sony's Fixed output is hotter than the Panny so Variable output is set to 80% to match output. Swapping is done with RCA switch box.

    The Panasonic is one of those pieces of gear that really intrigues, it weighs 37 pounds and has a cast metal internal chassis that cannot be seen. The XA7ES needs no introduction, it is from the long line of "7" ES models that deserve all the respect they earn. Let the comparo begin. Sometimes at first listen, there is a clear winner but that is not the case. Both are high resolution players with excellent clarity and attack. There isn't much to separate them. The Sony might be marginally darker and dryer but that is a fleeting impression. The Panasonic might be slightly fuller but that is also a fleeting impression. The differences are so slight that extended listening with either wipes away the memory of the other. I'm calling this a tie.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
    Audioraven likes this.

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. Drumolator

    Drumolator Super Member

    Messages:
    1,351
    Location:
    Plaucheville, LA
    Nice, thanks for the review. I use DVD players to play CD's often. Peace and goodwill.
     
  3. just dave

    just dave vintage rules!

    Messages:
    7,404
    Location:
    Oak Forest ILL.
    Cool Sam,you should do one with a cheaper dvd player and see if you can tell a difference.BTW the Rotel is awesome,thanks again.
     
  4. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,592
    That's a great idea, I have a Denon DVD-1730 that is about as "empty box" as they come. I also have a BPC Sony CDP-297 to throw into the ring.

    Thanks for the Rotel update. Interestingly, the Rotel came from Chicago so in a way it is back home.
     
  5. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,592
    Round 2. This is my other super-DVD player, the Toshiba SD-9200. It weighs in at just over 24 pounds which would be respectable for a CDP. The Toshiba is a worthy competitor and does resolve very well but in this company, the Toshiba can't stay with the others. The clarity and attack are just below the others, the bass has a shade less harmonics but carries more weight. The mids are rich and full. This is the signature of a less strident, more laid back sound which many prefer but not me, I prefer objective accuracy. It's not that I do not like the Toshibla, it is still an appealing sound when taken alone, is satisfying. It's just that I have a choice which relegates the Toshiba to third.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
    Audioraven likes this.
  6. Audioraven

    Audioraven Active Member

    Messages:
    352
    Location:
    Coachella Valley
    That's a killer trifecta of CD playing excellence, Sam! :bowdown: I am jealous. :thumbsup:
     
    SoCal Sam likes this.
  7. just dave

    just dave vintage rules!

    Messages:
    7,404
    Location:
    Oak Forest ILL.
    It's the "Circle of life"... sorta.:D
     
  8. E-Stat

    E-Stat Super Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Why not use the two audio inputs on the AV Processor?

    Using an attached switch box with common grounds adds not only a superfluous cable, but the summed LC metrics of the other two. Your *test* methodology alone could easily be affecting the results with the high LC values.
     
  9. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,592
    Good points as we are discussing items in the signal path. I would agree with the longer signal path but the impediment would be the same for all test subjects and wash out in a comparo. Not sure if the switch box is common ground. I would note adding a second set of contacts in a switch box is a lot cheaper than adding discrete ground path to the preamp. With the switch box set to null and the players playing, there is no bleed, cross talk, loops or hiss detectable by me ears. Lab equipment may tell otherwise. As far as shifting the switching to the preamp, that's a good idea. I'm pretty sure the Onkyo is common ground so if "seeing" the grounds is an issue, there would be a sonically detectable difference that would depend on the number of pieces connected. I would imagine in your travels you have seen AV preamps with inputs maxed out with gear and you may have heard a difference. I invite your comment on this last point. This being said, the Onkyo in Pure Direct mode is one of the fastest and most transparent preamps I have in the house. I don't like preamps and when a CDP has variable output, I prefer direct drive. I've run variable output CDP comparo's with this switch box and have not heard any defects, although again lab equipment may say differently.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  10. E-Stat

    E-Stat Super Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Two problems with that assumption:

    1. Some sources are sensitive to capacitance and will not perform optimally under those conditions.
    2. Like old Russell speaker wire comparisons using 50 foot runs, you are dumbing down the entire process so that differences heard using typical connections may well be lost.

    Sorry, but that is incorrect. It is far cheaper to use a common wire daisy chained across each ground as you see in the example below than to provide discrete runs for each pair which also requires more complex (and expensive) switches.

    jumper.jpg
     
  11. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,592
    Have you heard a difference?

    For absolute SQ, I would not use a switch box or a second interconnect for signal path reasons. However, a comparo is different. Again, I would note that all players are subject to the same conditions so whatever effects are present would be a wash.
     
  12. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,592
    And one more for the bull ring: A thrift shop Sony Blu-Ray player. It's actually pretty good. It does not have the bass resolution of the other two but that is to be expected considering the different power supplies. Mids and highs are good enough to entertain which for me is what counts. The CD handling scheme of the BD player is quirky, there is no direct access and disks have to be re-inserted on power up to read. It does read CD-R's. Overall, pretty good for $8.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. E-Stat

    E-Stat Super Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Yes. Which is why I use low capacitance cables in lieu of red and white patch cords. I have a capacitance meter and find huge differences in the values found with interconnects.

    Actually, that would be three using the switch box with the summed metrics. And yet choose to do so when trying to hear differences among components?

    Enjoy your comparisons. :)
     
  14. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,592
    You have not presented your hearing impressions specific to grounding and how the number on components present effects sound. After all, we are trying to connect gear to perception. Capacitance and resistance are well known and thoroughly explained by Roger Russell. There is no debate here.
     
  15. E-Stat

    E-Stat Super Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    The problem is not using common grounds, per se. When you measure the cable metrics, however, you find the total value for capacitance summed. You are effectively listening to both cables (actually all three) in the circuit - with either input. The same is true when you use Y-adapters.

    Actually, his discourse is limited to speaker cables and ignores cases such as with my electrostats where high cap cables are detrimental to sound quality.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
  16. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,592
    Sorry for the detour folks. We are in an open forum so it happens.

    Anyways, on to the next round. Next up in the bull ring is my once beloved Yamaha CDX-1120. It is dual transformer equipped and features no less than 4 d/a chips, 2 per channel. Should be the right stuff but I found the 1120 to be much more laid back compared to the Panasonic. Even the $8 Blu-Ray player is faster sounding and better resolved. restorer-john in another recent CD thread explained that the age of opamps is a factor with significant improvement occurring in the mid-nineties. The 1120 is vintage 1990 so that fits.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,592
    I have a new entrant to the Digital bull ring, it is the Denon DVD-3910. Nice mellow sound with enough dynamics to satisfy. Resolution is fairly good but it does not resolve as well as the Panasonic.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

Share This Page