View Full Version : CD players, their sound, and quality


PioneerGuy85
10-10-2006, 06:40 PM
OK, so as plenty of you know, I've owned (and still own) several older mid-level consumer CD players.

Technics SL-P115
Technics SL-P400C
Pioneer PD-4550
JVC XL-V250
TEAC PD-350
Sony CDP-291

Which one has the best sound? Well, I haven't heard the SL-P115 in awhile, never got to actually hear the P400C. So, it's a toss-up between the CDP-291 and the PD-4550.

as for quality? toss up between the SL-P115 and CDP-291. The SL-P115 has weight to it, and has the best CD tray operation I've seen. It's like it's skating on ice, it's THAT smooth. The CDP-291 is a close second in both aspect. Most, however, have slow and noisy trays. The SL-P115 also has a completely silent transport - something I can't say about any of the others I've owned.

So let's hear your opinions on all of the CDPs y'all own or have owned. I'm trying to get ideas on what to buy next :smoke:

matel
10-10-2006, 07:24 PM
I just had a shootout this weekend between 3 players I own.
The player whose name shall not be spoken, O.K. the toshiba 3960
A brand new aquisition the sony es csd2000 and,
A Denon 560 changer about 7 years old.
Everyone knows about the little guy for 60 bucks good soundstage natural and easy sounding for 60 bucks mind you.
The es 2000 was a little cleaner, clearer soundstage though not as natural sounding as the the tosh.
The Denon reminds me of the sx 1050 I used to have. It is very powerful sounding. Wall pounding bass. Much more fully formed voices, instruments, huge soundstage, much sweatier performance. In a different class than the others. It's crying out for an update

JBN
10-12-2006, 04:28 PM
I say go for a Cambridge Audio 640C........

pustelniakr
10-12-2006, 04:33 PM
I have settled on the Pioneer DV-563AS. You cannot beat its audio section for several hundred more $$. The later models, intended to replace this one, do not sound near as good. I wish I could find a black-face one for my HT setup. It truly does sound superb...

Enjoy,
Rich P

NeedForSpeed
10-12-2006, 05:02 PM
I use an elite DV59AVi, and is great in all formats, very smooth. Adding
anti-vibration pads also enhanced the sound. That stuff works!

Eunomians
10-12-2006, 07:13 PM
NAD 502 is real mellow-sounding.

But the real surprise for me is the old (I mean old as in circa 1984) ADC CD-100X. Who would've thought? It is the opposite of brittle, lethargic & harsh. Instead it is musical, smooth, warm & quick-paced.

Negotiableterms
10-14-2006, 01:00 AM
What's your price range? I like the Cambridge 640C v2 as well, but it's not as cheap as some of the vintage stuff on eBay. I think it sounds a lot better, but that's heavy into YMMV territory.

PioneerGuy85
10-14-2006, 06:43 PM
What's your price range? I like the Cambridge 640C v2 as well, but it's not as cheap as some of the vintage stuff on eBay. I think it sounds a lot better, but that's heavy into YMMV territory.

I don't really have a price range. It's only a matter of saving up, and I'm semi-content with the stuff I'm running now (the CDP 291 and the PD 4550)

I'd LIKE another Technics SL-P115 (OR I'd like to get mine fixed) as it's my favorite all-around player.

As for buying new, I was looking at the Music Hall CD25.2.

Eunomians
10-14-2006, 07:07 PM
For new, I second the 640C V2 vote.

Kiwi
10-19-2006, 04:27 AM
I have 3 players that are all hooked up so its no drama to chose one over the other, they are a Denon DCD1015 , A Denon universal DVDA/SACD/DVD/CD player ( cant remember the model) and a Technics SLP555.
I dont think the Technics was rated as anything special in its day but was one of the last of the Pre MASH machines and reasonably high up the food chain , the Denon DCD1015 was a highly rated player from what I have read.
So what machine is the automatic choice when I want to play a CD ?
Its the Technics. It may not be technicaly better that the other 2 but I like the way it sounds. The universal player is the least favourite , but its still a very good player.

My 2c

PioneerGuy85
10-19-2006, 08:31 PM
So what machine is the automatic choice when I want to play a CD ?
Its the Technics. It may not be technicaly better that the other 2 but I like the way it sounds. The universal player is the least favourite , but its still a very good player.

My 2c

So its not just in my head.

I LOVED my SL-P115. I almost cried the day I threw in one of my favorite CDs, only to hear that familiar sound of a CDP's motor straining instead of beautiful music. I'm going to get it repaired or replace it if I find another. Hopefully, I can get it repaired, as it's teh CDP I grew up with and does hold some sentimental value. The quality of the thing is quite nice, though. As mentioned, the tray works like it's skating on ice. It appears to be well-dampened as well. And the chassis has some weight to it.

gener8tr
10-19-2006, 08:54 PM
I have a Technics SL-P500 from 1986 and it sounds nothing short of brilliant. I also have a Yamaha CDX-910U that is awesome ans super heavy... but not nearly as heavy as my Yamaha CD-1. :)

I love "vintage" CD players!

Retroman
10-19-2006, 09:29 PM
I have owned and rebuilt several Revox players - the B-225, B-226 and still have a Studer A-727. These early Studer/Revox players were all built like tanks but have the sweetest sound you ever heard, utilizing the legendary Philips TDA 1541 DAC's. I also have several Cal Audio Labs players - the Icon, which is a superb 20 bit player; and the Aria MKI and MarkIII, both tube players with wonderful, smooth, sweet sound. My latest player is the Marantz CD6000 SE OSE Heart tube player, probably the best player I've ever heard. Incredible sound stage and imaging.
All of these players are very "analog" sounding units.

m1.5tman
10-29-2006, 05:19 AM
I have settled on the Pioneer DV-563AS. You cannot beat its audio section for several hundred more $$. The later models, intended to replace this one, do not sound near as good. I wish I could find a black-face one for my HT setup. It truly does sound superb...

Enjoy,
Rich P


I have a DV-563a. What's the difference between th two, if any ? My brother auditioned it for a week against his pd-m90x and could hear no difference. Do you think maybe our (mine and my brother's) systems just aren't good enough to pick up extra details that newer players have to offer ?

WhiteSE
10-29-2006, 05:41 AM
If you dont object to spending a bit..Parasound CDP-2000 (belt driven top loader)...The most analogue sounding CDP i ever heard....also the competing model from EAD, as well as Rega///The tubed Tjoeb Ah! 4000 or whatever they call it is tremendous...but the first 3 units are above 500 bucks.

MrZero63
10-29-2006, 11:25 AM
What about this tubed gem? The Eastern Electric MiniMax http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/easternelectric_minimax_cd.htm

http://www.dagogo.com/images/EasternElecMiniMax-front.gif

It sounds sweet and exquisitely detailed. Has a solid build and quiet operation. I love it - especially at this price point. Just lose the 6922s that come with it and slap in some 6DJ8s - you won't be disappointed (I wasn't. Thanks again, Barry :D )!

-Dave

matel
10-29-2006, 07:57 PM
Any luck on that technics yet pioguy?
There is a really good indepth review of the 640 v2 at tnt-audio for those interested.
I picked up a Philips sacd 1000 player this morning. Hey, more to through into the fight. Sacd playback is fantastic. Cd playback is just incredibly detailed tho the soundstage and dynamics were rather flat, interesting. Made my old Denon seem bold and sprawling. I've made an appointment with the Dr* to clean up the sound. If you have an older player you like and it over samples 8x the Dr* can update things.
There's alot of ways to skin a cat? Oh man.

Billo
10-30-2006, 09:36 AM
I'll recomend the CA 640C.I've had a few CD players and this one is nice. I've also owned a few DVD p that were supposed to rival CD players. Recently purchased a Marantz DV7600 ( DVD) which was supposed to sound as good or better . Didn't happen! The 640 c still sounds best.A side note: I also own a CA 540D ( DVD). I have had nothing but disgust with this player. Sound and picture rivals that of the much more exspensive Marantz DV7600 (w/DVD -A), but it has major problems.I'm on my 2nd 540D, both had the same problem.
The 640c's performance led me in the direction of the 540d purchase.It's such a great performer, how could the 540D be such a disapointment? I learned a leason, an exspensive one.But I wouldn't hesitate on another 640c, it's that nice.

m1.5tman
10-30-2006, 04:47 PM
Any luck on that technics yet pioguy?
There is a really good indepth review of the 640 v2 at tnt-audio for those interested.
I picked up a Philips sacd 1000 player this morning. Hey, more to through into the fight. Sacd playback is fantastic. Cd playback is just incredibly detailed tho the soundstage and dynamics were rather flat, interesting. Made my old Denon seem bold and sprawling. I've made an appointment with the Dr* to clean up the sound. If you have an older player you like and it over samples 8x the Dr* can update things.
There's alot of ways to skin a cat? Oh man.



What Dr*? Who is he ? I have a sweet sounding Technics SL-P770 (built like a tank) and I'm curious as to what you mean about cleaning up the sound on machines if they have at least 8x oversampling ?

matel
10-30-2006, 07:48 PM
Dr*audio one AK's great techs. I think he said he's on vacation for a couple of weeks.
I know nothing of these matters except what I hear.
I asked if it was worth it to try to clean up the sound on a player I liked (the way it presented the sound). Meaning lower the noise floor increase clarity detail.
As long as it 8x oversampled he could do a
couple of things to help that out was the response.
It's an experiment for me. If I smell a sound I like I'll chase it for awhile.
I'm just begining.

OvenMaster
10-30-2006, 08:27 PM
I've had exactly two players since 1986: A Sony CDP-50 (11 years) and my present Marantz CD-46 (9 years). Neither are really more than mid-fi. But if I fell into a bunch o' money, I know what I'd buy in a heartbeat: a first-generation Rega Planet. Originally listed at (I think) $700, I've read not one bad review. I'd dare to say that even used at $500 or so, it'd be worth every cent.
Tom

Dusty Chalk
10-30-2006, 11:52 PM
Pre-2K models go for closer to $300 on the used market.

And you're right, it's a damn fine player. But the 2K model is supposed to be even better.

EddyR
10-31-2006, 08:21 AM
Since you are talking about Technics Cd's one of my 7 CD's is a Technics SL-p350 I picked up in a GW a few years ago. It has been in my Carver system since the day I got it. I can see no reason to replace it as it seems as good as any that I own including a couple high end units.
Ed

pocketchange
11-03-2006, 11:17 AM
Sonic Frontiers SFCD-1SE with Amperex 6DJ8s.
Only poblem is it does take a little time to warm up.
I've had a few of the TOTL Denon CDPs and they do an excellent job but the SF brings everything to the table like a four cource meal on pre numbered (M) Noritake China!
pc

jblmar
11-03-2006, 12:31 PM
I like the Denon decks. Built well and sound great.

Ron

Mister Pig
11-04-2006, 10:15 AM
Well the first machine I had was a Nakamichi OM 5A. That was a decent machine.

Bought a Proceed PDP and PDT stack, my first great cd combo. One I would like to hear again.

Then acquired a Sonic Fontiers SFCD-1

Moved on to a Sony SCD-777ES. Eventually had it upgraded by tube research labs

Current CDP is a Sony SCD-595 which has the latest generation of TRL mods. This machine is quite the over achiever.

Also had a Audio Magic Kukuma DAC in the house, that was an awesome souning unit.

Regards
Mister Pig

matel
11-05-2006, 05:30 PM
Mr. P...I am really curious as to your take on the sound of the Trl Sony you have.
I have a es 2000 on ice. I think they do that as well.

arrow 68
11-06-2006, 01:55 PM
These are the most difficult units to find at the thrift store. I have had two 80's units. A Video Concepts bought new by my Father. Worked great until he gave it to me. A thrift store Yamaha that had problems reading CD's. Also had a Sony CDP 510 found at the thrift store. That couldn't read CD's correctly either. In the mid 90's I bought a new Kenwood that was crap as well. Not till I bought an Onkyo DX-C380 in 2000 did I get a player that has never missed a beat. But I got bored with it. Then over the summer I picked up 2 CD Players on Ebay. A Pioneer PD-M95 Elite CDP. It's a six disc cartidge player. Made in Sept. 91. I love it. I can't think of anything I don't like about it. Looks, and sounds great. The other is a Denon DCM 560. I don't think it sounds better than the Pioneer. Maybe an equal. Terrible mechanism. It clunks 8 times when it gets to an empty tray in it's carrousel before it moves to the next tray. And this unit gets great reviews. I did find a Denon DCD 910 at the thrift store the other day that I really like. Made in Oct. 88. The only flaw I can find is a faint high pitch humming noise eminating from it. Not really noticeable unless you are listening to music very low, and are close to the unit. It is the only good CDP I have ever found at the thrift. The Pioneer can be stopped in the middle of a track, powered off, turned back on, and pick up where it left off. Many of you probably have heard of this. I had never seen that before from a CDP. -Mark-

mhardy6647
11-06-2006, 02:25 PM
I have a mess of CD players. I tolerate all of them, but I don't like any of them. I realize this doesn't help much, but I feel better for having said it.

:-)

MitsuMan
11-07-2006, 10:54 AM
I fooked up my JVC XLM505 in my main system yesterday. :tears: I didn't put the cd in all the way in the single tray and pushed the close button. The cd got wedged and the tray wouldn't close all the way. In the process of extracting the cd, I damaged a piece in the tray slide mechanism. I took the cover off, and in trying to fix it, I broke a plastic piece that pulls the tray into the player. I have always loved the sound of this thing and I got conformation again as to why. :tears:

I then tried playing a cd in my main system using my Sony DVC/CD player. OMG I wanted to kill someone, it sounded so bad.

I immediately took my Denon CDM280 and brought it upstairs from my basement system to take the place of the JVC. While it sounds much, much better than the Sony, it doesn't sound nearly as good as the old JVC did. I need to find another one, quick!!!!!!!!!

Eunomians
11-07-2006, 01:46 PM
I like my NAD 502. It's got a nice & laid back sound.

Same goes for my ADC CD-100X. The ADC is dated 1985. It plays all CDs and all CD-R's with ease.

Both the NAD and the ADC play super-scratched CDs better than anything I've owned.

I can't justify buying a new CD player, unless I win the lottery. OK, maybe I'd buy a 640C V2. They sound unbelievable.

Axcel
02-20-2007, 10:17 AM
My Technics SL P1300 does well by me :thmbsp: Heavy as heck and the sound has warmth and sounds wonderful. I also like the old style top loading ( no drawer to bung up) everything on it is big Love it !