Like

How to read CDP specs

 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 2564
Registered: Feb-07
Hey guys,

So I was just wondering what to look for in CD player specs. I understand about frequency response. But what about stuff like this?

Frequency Response: + 0.5dB, 20Hz to 20KHz
S/N Signal to Noise Ratio: > 102dB
THD + N Distortion: < 0.01%, 1KHz
Channel Separation: > 96dB (1KHz)
Line Output Voltage: > 2V, 47 Kohms
Digital Output: 0.5Vpp, 75 ohms

Also, what should one look for in sampling rates? I assume higher is better?
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 565
Registered: Jul-07
I'm far from qualified to answer your question Dave, but I will say this. IMO you can't imply sonic excellence (or ineptness) based on any number that is listed above....no matter what the value. I think understanding your personal goals and preferences and the design goals of the designer are more likely to indicate whether a piece of kit is likely to scratch your itch or not.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 2565
Registered: Feb-07
Good point Chris. I guess what I'm looking for is a baseline for what is considered "good", then taking it from there. Personal preference and system synergy I would imagine are much more important.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 12336
Registered: Dec-04
The output voltake nd impedence are useful, to see if the output will match that of other componants, making for even volume with a given vc position, and not the terror of playing a source with a very large output right after a source with a very small one.

The rest is listen and enjoy.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 13591
Registered: May-04
.

CD specs are largely the same across the board. You won't find your answer in these simple numbers. Yes, higher sampling rates will help but in 99% of the material you'll want you're limited by the source disc to 44/16.

So do you want to spend the money for a unit that upsamples? A good one isn't cheap and you still have no more information from the disc, all upsampling of 44/16 allows is a better filter action above 20kHz with less aliasing of the frequencies beneath that point - slightly less hash.

Slightly less hash doesn't equate to anything in particular, not better staging, not better timbre and not better pacing. That's either in the design of the unit or it's not. Looking at CD player specs is like looking at any other spec, the numbers are too broad to have much significance.

You really have to read a bit and then listen a lot. You have more than enough options right now, with high quality DAC's going for a few hundred dollars to several thousand. The Benchmark DAC is one of the best values from all reports. Plug it into an Oppo player (or better) for a transport and the results would appear to be quite satisfactory for most listeners. That gets you a very good system for under $2k with upgradeability to boot.

Players around $2-3k are about all you need in most cases, after that you're picking flavors for the most part. By $5k you've hit a wall. The $1,500 or so Cambridge has been getting excellent reviews but that was at the middle of last year. Digital is still moving forward and lots of people say they won't invest in another player when servers are the coming thing. Do away with the physical disc and you do away with a lot of digital's problems.


.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 12342
Registered: Dec-04
JV, would you rate the Saturn so far above the Apollo, and also, where have you heard the wall for reasonable investment?

The player from Bryston BCD-1 is rated most highly, at a going rate of 3k or so.

I only ask JV is response to the last post, I know Mike has his opinions already, hehe.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 13593
Registered: May-04
.

I've only heard the Saturn and Apollo players in different systems. "So far above"? wouldn't seem to take into account diminishing returns of any rising price. At $1k most people would consider the Apollo to be outrageously priced as is and not that much "better" than most.

However, over the decades I've come to expect and trust Rega only to market what they felt offered actual performance gains. No one I have seen or heard of comparing the two players side by side has not ranked the Saturn as having higher quality in various areas and as the overall "better" unit when price is not a consideration.

Stereophile's ST has stated the Saturn and a few other players around the $2.5-3k price range might be as good as anyone actually needs at this point in time with a dedicated CD player. I suppose that's for any one person to decide but gains are certainly smaller in nature above that price. Fortunately, what was out of my price range last year will be in my price range this year when it comes to digital. If I was buying that is.

For me my personal experience with CD players has taught me not to spend more than $1k on any CD player and to hold on to that player for years so the Apollo suits what I need and works well with the rest of my system IMO. Even if I had the money to spend on the Saturn, I would have a difficult time parting with that much money for a CD player. I'm glad MW can and that way I frequently get to hear the Saturn.



There is always better. For me, for the last four decades I told my clients and believed it myself that if you are only concerned with what's "better", you'll always eventually be disappointed and usually in hifi in very short time. There is always better hifi somewhere out there. Buy something today and hear something "better" next week. Too often that's the way this hobby works.

Finding what fits you and your needs and being satisfied with that as "best" for you is far more important than constantly finding what is better than the last thing you or anyone else owned. That way you get to go home and enjoy your music without worrying about whether you have the "best" system. IMO the music sounds better that way.


.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 12344
Registered: Dec-04
That is the viewpoint of a satisfied owner.
I second the motion, for the Apollo.

but still, the SE or Saturn...

Or the Bryston...
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2502
Registered: Jun-07
Jan- I third the Apollo. Great machine. I have auditioned it in my system with a few sub 1k cdp's before purchasing it, and felt it outweighed its cost mush better than the other brands.

Nuck- I would buy the Bryston over the Rega in a heartbeat. Not saying that it is the best sounding unit(which it very well could be) but after dealing with these guys and owning their gear, nothing tops their build and service. When it comes time for another move for source its going to be a Bryston DAC for me. Then to build myself a sick music server. *** It would make you sick to know the cost I can build one for***lol
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2503
Registered: Jun-07
To add : Bryston cdp would be a better synergy match with an all Bryston setup obviously. Thats not to say that the Saturn wouldn't win our in most systems. I would probably think the Rega cdp's would sound better with some Mac's.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 1937
Registered: May-06
If something sounds better with one Mac I suspect it would sound better in all Macs.

FWIW






Since you did not ask;

I think the Saturn and Apollo each have their strengths they play to, not all being the same. I think I mentioned to Art on a post about a year ago that one plays unamplified music better than the other and reciprocally one plays amplified music better than the other, but both do both well at the least. Chew on that for a moment...
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 12358
Registered: Dec-04
Gulp.
Once again, I think Rega dropped the ball by not having a digital in for the SE release, followed by a new Saturn with the same.

I am considering listening to a Cambridge 840c.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 2568
Registered: Feb-07
Nuck, I'm very happy with my 640C - the dual Wolfson DACs make for a very detailed, crisp sound. It sure would be nice to utilize those DACs from another source like the 840C, though. The 840 is an awesome unit.
 

Silver Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 433
Registered: Oct-07
Nuck, next time you're in SoCal, call:: My 840c is well conditioned and ready to go. I am soon to add an airport express to stream tunes from my Mac, in Apple Lossless, using one of those 'extra' inputs.
That should 'bout ice it. If I spend another nickel on this stuff, my wife will have my head on a stick.
« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

Add Your Message Here

Bold text Italics Create a hyperlink Insert a clipart image Add a YouTube Video
Need to Register?
Forgot Password?
Enable HTML code in message
   

Facebook

Shop Related Deals

Directory

Main Forums

Today's Posts

Forum Help

Follow Us