Best CD player for 2-speaker stereo amp


I am wondering what this HDCD format is about, and whether or not it is worth getting a player for those DVD-Audio discs? I heard DVD Audio at school in a recording studio, and I was turning down each instrument seperately because each was on its own channel. It sounded great, but it was a sound stage so clapping my hands sounded amazing. Is this the new thing? Or HDCD? Or are audiophiles sticking with standard CDs in a good single player?

I'm getting a NAD C320BEE amp for a pair of minipod speakers.. what sort of CD player would you add? Does it matter with this size setup or should I just use one of my game consoles etc to play the music?

HDCD gets very good reviews but did not really take hold. The cds that are available are supposed to sound great. DVD-AUDIO and SACD have been slow out of the gate as they say, some people feel that they will catch on but that remains to be seen. They both are supposed to sound much better than regular cds. I don!t know how many DVDS for music are available. I know there are some SACD titles available.

So uh. Do you need a 5.1 surround sound system when playing a DVD-Audio disc? What about SACD, is that more than just stereo too?

You need a 5.1 system to get all the information from a DVD-Audio or SACD disc. They are both surround formats. I imagine they will play like a default CD and play 2-channel when confronted with only a two channel set-up. But why would anyone pay the far more expensive price of SACD or DVD-Audio if they were playing two channel?

It is like--why would someone by a Ferrari if they just drove to the train station and parked the car all day?

Because the experience of driving the Ferrari, even if its over a short distance, is better than in a regular ole car.

SACD, DVD-A, and HDCD discs are all coming down in price... I don't own a player that will reap their full benefits, but I'll still buy them b/c (1) I can already play most of them on my DVD/CD player connected to my 2-Ch. stereo receiver, and (2) they CAN sound better (as long as you have a 24-bit/192kHz DAC). But how is this possible!? Here's the skinny...

CD's playback in stereo at 16-bit/44.1kHz with a regular CD player.

DVD-A's playback in stereo at 24-bit/192kHz (a big improvement in sound quality) with a regular DVD player. NOTE: You don't need a dedicated DVD-A player to realize this improvement in sound!

DVD-A's also playback in 5.1 surround at 24-bit/96kHz with a dedicated DVD-A player. Sure it's surround, but not as good quality as in stereo, so I'm actually hearing the more pristine sound with my regular old DVD player!

HDCD's playback in stereo at 16-bit/44.1kHz with a regular CD player.

HDCD's playback in stereo with an additional 4-bits with a dedicated HDCD player.

"HYBRID" SACD's playback in stereo at 16-bit/44.1kHz with a regular CD player.

All SACD's get better quality with a dedicated SACD player, although the measure of improvement is a little different to explain.

If you only have a stereo system, my opinion is to go with a DVD/CD player that is SACD and HDCD compatible (and also has decent video playback, perhaps progressive scan), which will also allow you reap the benefits of the DVD-A stereo track, and hook the player up via its digital output to a decent external DAC and then feed the analog signal from the DAC to your reciever. Should be able to do all of this for around $500, and the improvement in sound will be worth it.

Well, actually, I take that back about the external DAC. You'd need the DAC in the player to decode the HDCD and SACD information.

Black Math
Not all SACD's are 5.1. Some are Single layer which must be played in a dedicated SACD player. Others are Dual layer (Hybrid) which is CD and SACD. Both varieties can come in mono, stereo, and 5.1., often with several mixes on the same disc.

DVD Audio and SACD decoding require different transport mechanisms and D/A chips than red book CD's require. HDCD decoding occurs in a Pacific Microsystems (Owned by Microsoft) HDCD digital filter. Which occurs after the D/A stage.

The nice thing about Dual Layer SACD and HDCD is that they should play in every CD player, although you may not get the benefit of those formats if your machine won't do the extra decoding. I hear they are testing backwards compatable DVD Audio discs.

There are more HDCD titles than people think, many lables won't but the HDCD logo on their disc because they don't want to pay Microsoft the licensing fee.

I only will by Dual layer (Hybrid) SACD's due to the fact that I do not want to get stuck with unplayable software.

They have released the Rolling Stones Abkco and a good chunk of Bob Dylan's albums on Hybrid SACDS. They sound fantastic on CD or SACD layer. Hopefully they do this with more the Beatles.

I can say that I am not a fan of tinkering with the original audio mix. "Blond on Blond" was a mono release and I want to hear it that way.

Regardless, I feel that SACD, DVD Audio, and HDCD have been horribly marketed and are all destined to fail. It is ironic that MP3, which is an inferior format to CD, SACD, HDCD, and DVD Audio, is beginning to become the preferred musical format for a whole generation of people.

I just purchased a ARCAM 73T. While I am still breaking it in, I am very pleased with it. It is a well thought out machine and reproduces the sound. It is upgradable also. I would look into this machine. I was able to get it for 640.00.

Unregistered guest
Can anyone tell me if I can connect a CD Changer directly into a 1970's vintage receiver's AUX input with RCA plug connections? If not can you advise? Thanks.

jelly lord
Unregistered guest
So,do hybrid SACD's sound just like straightforward CD's when replayed on a normal player?I'd heard Floyd's DSOTM sounded better than the existing recordings on standard equipment...I want Art Pepper's "Meets the Rhythmn Section"in the best possible format.I had a Japanese CD,but there's a 20 bit remastering,a hybrid,heaven knows what else out there...

Unregistered guest
i have been using a cheap denon cd player,and it
always got the job done-although the mids and highs have always been harsh and irritating
to my ears(i attributed this to my cheapness
in buying this model player)

you can imagine my amazement when i recently
bought a 30.00 dvd/cd player,and put a cd in just for fun-the mids and highs were much clearer
than the denon,and much more pleasing to listen to!!!can anyone explain this phenomena to me?
thanks much, yohn

Unregistered guest
Not really.
Denon is known for its silky smooth sound, whether its an expensive or cheap one. Or it has to be a very old one (beginning days of cd).
There is this possibility that your dvd-player hasn't got any resolution and clarity and that you simply like it better that way.
Not a "good" sound but a pleasant sound.


Unregistered guest
in response to nout,the denon cd player is relatively new-1999

i have a very good ear for the subtle differences between different players-and i can hear instruments and vocals on the cheap dvd player that i never knew existed!!

now,our previous home(we just moved to tampa 1 year ago)had hardwood floors,and the stereo equipment had to constantly be dusted-i am sure
that there is significant dust inside of the denon player
would that cause distortion,especially in the
midrange and upper ends? thanks for your help!!!

Unregistered guest
It could be, I've had this experience with an old amp, cleaning it did open-up the sound, but it made the sound rougher too, a harsh treble.
I've never heard of a cd player however which sound distorts because of dust (yes skipping and reading problems, but nothing soundwise)
I find it strange that a budget dvd-player has a clearer, but smoother sound. With cheap gear "clearer" mostly means rougher and more agressive.
But hey, you've got yourself a great buy: a $30 DVD player with an excellent sound!

Unregistered guest
which player was the $30 one? and was the player's DAC doing the decoding, or were you putting a digital signal out of the player? i'll laugh if you say Toshiba.

Unregistered guest
Could you please tell me whether a SACD player can play HDCD's?
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