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What CD Player Should I Buy?

 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4934
Registered: Feb-07
Man, it's been a long time since I started a thread on here.

My most recent purchase (sort of on a whim) was an 840C CDP.

Since I had an 840A already, which I'm very happy with, I figured this would not only be logical choice as far as synergy goes, but on top of that, based on the multitude of glowing reviews on this product, a no brainer.

This piece has been the biggest disappointment in audio that I can remember. No matter what I did, I could not get this CDP to sound "right". Imaging was was off, soundstage was terrible, and everything just had a fake, unmusical sheen to it (by product of the non-defeatable upsampling?).

Anyway, the 840C is thankfully gone now. But now I'm left with the conundrum of what next? Pretty much everything else I'm happy with. Amp... check, speakers... check. Room... awesome. I just need a good source.

Open to suggestions here...
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15487
Registered: Feb-05
If you are looking at a CD player I can wholeheartedly recommend the TEAC Reference PD-H600. It's a killer deck, David. I just love this thing. Another possibility is the Audiolab CD player (with a DAC).

What type of source are ypu looking for, David?

BTW I will have the Apollo-R home in a couple of weeks as it is due in next week but I won't be able to make it to Portland until the weekend after next.

It may be different than the TEAC but I don't think there is a way in he!! that it will beat it...just sayin'!
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4935
Registered: Feb-07
Hey Art. How much does the Teac go for? This is something that has never been on my radar.

As for a source, I'm still leaning towards a CDP solution as opposed to a DAC/PC. But I could be convinced otherwise.

I have a dealer locally that sells Rega stuff so getting that is an option.

Normally, I don't mind buying used, but because of the mechanical nature of CD players, I'm wary.

The Audiolab 8200 is on my short list.....
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15490
Registered: Feb-05
The TEAC can be had for $699 U.S. or less. It was a TAS Golden Ear award winner and with good reason. It stomps the CA 650C and the NAD C545. It is to me clearly a cut above the original Apollo as well. Probably somewhere between the Apollo and Saturn in performance but with a different sound than both. In a way it sounds more musically correct than either. That Audiolab certainly is interesting as well.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4936
Registered: Feb-07
To me, the 650C was a lot more engaging and balanced sounding than the 840C. For what my opinion is worth.

The 8200CD is interesting in that it utilizes the ESS Sabre DAC, like a lot of products these days. I had the W4S DAC-1 briefly last year (same chip) and it was really quite good.

The Oppo BD-95 is another option, as it uses the ESS DAC too. But I guess it's all about design and architecture though.

This is an interesting option too:

http://shop.grantfidelity.com/Yulong-Sabre-D-18-Reference-32-bit-D-A-Converter.h tml

if one is not adverse to Chi-fi.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15491
Registered: Feb-05
The 650C is a good deck and especially for the price I wound up getting it for (try $399 U.S.). My wife now has it.

Ian Grant is a great guy and so on but I simply couldn't feel any pride of ownership with his stuff. I won't go into it but I'm going to abstain from buying any of his products for the time being.

You're in a tough spot in that you ave tried a lot of flavors and some you like and some you don't. At this point everything is simply going to be variations on a theme. I say find a good CD player and settle into some music for awhile. If you still have it, listen to your 650C for awhile and reacquaint yourself with what you feel is missing so you can get your bearings and set off in a more focused direction.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15492
Registered: Feb-05
Chi-Fi...lol! I missed it the first time...that's not the reason I'm avoiding GF.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4937
Registered: Feb-07
Have you dealt with GF in the past Art?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15494
Registered: Feb-05
No I haven't, but the folks I know who have bought from him, like him. That's why I said that he seems like a good sort. Once you start rebadging Chinese gear which is often a rip off of a western design to start with you kind of have a triple whammy of reasons that I simply couldn't have any pride of ownership. It's a personal thing and has nothing to do with Ian at all. I certainly understand why folks buy from him. I may change my mind sometime in the future.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4938
Registered: Feb-07
Fair 'nuff.

I've always had beyond satisfactory customer service from them.

But the resale value on Chi-fi in general is brutal.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4550
Registered: May-05
I'm sure you know I'm very happy with my Rega DAC. Try to get one from your local Rega guy. It may scratch you right where you itch.

Been waiting to use that line. Courtesy of Kramer from the Festivus episode.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15495
Registered: Feb-05
LOL! I do love that episode...
 

Gold Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 1190
Registered: Dec-06
It's surprising about the 840C, Dave. Like you said, it might be the upsampling. What little upsampling I've heard I didn't like, but you'd figure on a $1,500 player it would be implemented well - maybe it's tough to make upsampling sound natural. They should have made it defeatable for that price though.

Simaudio is another possibility. My Sim player is a pleasure to use and is very clear and natural without being edgy. Sim also has an upgrade program (upgrade to another Sim player within a year and get full value for your player). At least I assume this program is still in place.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4939
Registered: Feb-07
I'm not a fan of upsampling either Dan. Maybe it was part of the problem. I remember when I had my Bryston DAC, I really hated the upsampling feature on that too, but at least that could be turned off.

Been curious about the Rega DAC for a long time now. Maybe it's time to try one out.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15496
Registered: Feb-05
It would be interesting to read your thoughts about the Rega DAC after owning the Bryston.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4940
Registered: Feb-07
I think the Rega and Bryston DACs would be polar opposites. The Bryston imparted no flavour unto the music. It basically just faithfully spits the bits out at you. It was not a very musical piece of gear of either.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4941
Registered: Feb-07
I've got a "possible" on a Creek Destiny CDP. If I recall, you were a fan of this piece, were you not Art?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15497
Registered: Feb-05
I like the sound of the Creek Destiny pieces, especially together as part of a Creek system. With your CA, I'm not sure. It would be a piece that would certainly interest me. Especially if it is the most recent one.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15498
Registered: Feb-05
BTW, all gear imparts a flavor. I think some folks have mistaken the Bryston sound as dead neutral. Make no mistake, it is not. There is no such thing. When you say that it was not very musical that's the first clue that it's not dead neutral. Music is...well...musical.

I know you didn't say that the Bryston DAC is neutral but it something that we all hear often about Bryston. The lack of musicality and listenability has always been my gripe with Bryston, and CA for that matter.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

..

Post Number: 3132
Registered: Nov-05
So I see you guys are still playing musical components heh, heh!
I recently read through a couple of threads in old Ecoustics here only to find you guys are having trouble settling on one flavour!. Well, I can't talk, it took me a few changes before finding a kit I've happily settled with - yep, the Quads, the Xindak amps, Rogue pre and of course, the Saturn - haven't changed a thing. Just love it - the music just keeps on!

With my music upgraditis well and truly cured, I now spend all my dough on photography which has become a bit of an obsession. Anyway, hi to you all, hope all is well - and guys - get it right will ya
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1518
Registered: Jul-07
David, if you want something to listen to that's a little different while you contemplate what to do next, you're welcome to borrow my Minimax. I'd be happy to ship it off to you.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4942
Registered: Feb-07
Hey M.R. Long time no see.

Thanks for the kind offer Chris. I just bought an Audiolab 8200CD yesterday (should be here before the weekend hopefully). So hopefully I'm good for awhile now.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15499
Registered: Feb-05
Good to see you, MR!

Looking forward to reading your impressions of the Audiolab, David!
 

Gold Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 1191
Registered: Dec-06
Looking forward to hearing about the 8200CD as well, David. If I was buying a player now it would definitely be on my short list.

Long time, MR. Hope all is well (sounds like it is). I will say in response to your post that part of the fun in this hobby is in the journey and not the destination, especially in discovering different approaches to equipment design that one has never heard before.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4945
Registered: Feb-07
I think the 8200 is the best of both worlds Dan. Audiolab describes it as a DAC with an onboard CD player, lol. Lots of flexibility there, and it utilizes the ESS Sabre DAC, which I'm a fan of.
 

New member
Username: Makeadifference

Hereford, Herefordshire United Kingdom

Post Number: 2
Registered: Dec-13
My old Arcam cd player gave up the ghost after 10 faithful years, I booked a demo of machines in the 400GBP proce range and preferred the Marantz CD6005 for its sound quality and build, together with fair price - very happy http://www.hifigear.co.uk/marantz-6005-cd-player.html
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