Respectable multi-CD player w/good built-in DAC, supports MP3

Discussion in 'New Gear - Values' started by myu701, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. myu701

    myu701 Vintage futurist

    Does anyone have any recommendations on a decent quality multi-CD player that can play MP3's? I know they've been out since around 2002, and the landscape of used equipment is littered with them... and rather spartan on the reviews.

    I recently picked up a Sony DVP-NC685V off a local seller. It plays CD-R's loaded with MP3's and does an OK job of it (it actually plays DVD's and SACD's as well, but DVD is limited to 480i... definitely not going to be used for that purpose). The only real problem with it is that it can't random access songs in the directory tree. It plays them in the order they were burned onto the disc. Sound quality is OK... fine for playing music at a party (load and forget), but I'd prefer something with a little better representation.

    Any recommended alternatives? Thanks. :)
  2. aabottom

    aabottom Swing

    I'm looking for a similar unit except, I don't need MP3.
  3. myu701

    myu701 Vintage futurist

    How do you like your Yamaha DVD-S2700? I see it has a pretty wide format capability, though only single disc.

    I'm thinking that with 320kbps MP3's, a single CD could host enough music play to not need a carousel player. The trick is being able to have usable random access and shuffle functions.
  4. aabottom

    aabottom Swing

    It's an excellent unit, sturdy versatile, & sounds great. I really like it. I may just get the Yamaha DVD-C961 for set-n-forget playing of up to 5 discs.
  5. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    Here's your problem, the best CD players are single play units and don't do MP3 format anything. The best changer you can get is the McIntosh changer using the Nakamichi transport and it doesn't do MP3 or WMA anything. So you most likely have these options, PC, MAC, or standalone music server or DVD changer from a typical fair to middling home theater maker. And still need a separate DAC unit for either. Changers are unfortunately compromises made for convenience over sound quality. MP3 for me is best listened to in cars or on portables, never on the main rig. Hard drive space is cheap, using a FLAC or other Lossless format makes sense. And that's the way of the world.
  6. myu701

    myu701 Vintage futurist

    Yes, I've started to see that in the spec sheets I've come across... the multi-disc changers generally have an inferior transport to single disc; which actually I find bizarre, because it's all about queuing up multiple CD's to be played by the same kind of mechanism. Why not totally modularize the circuitry of the delivery system separate from the playback system? Once the disc is in place, everything should be the same.

    A couple of manufacturers (like Yamaha and Sony) came out with a set up where a disc can be playing while the multi-CD tray system is operated--basic separation. So, the technology seems about there... I guess it's more of a marketing issue.

    Btw, I've seen some TOTL ($1500-$2500) single disc players supporting MP3. I seriously doubt you'd hear a difference from a properly converted 320kbps and a direct audio CD track, unless the unit has some kind of weakness in the DAC.

    Anyway, I'll let go of the multi-cd capability and stick with single CD. I won't be going the McIntosh route because resale is very high for their components... looking for near TOTL from brands like Denon, Marantz, and Yamaha. My guess is that TOTL DVD players that came out either before HDMI or with less than 1080p would make great audio-only use candidates.
  7. myu701

    myu701 Vintage futurist

    Well, kick me in the arse...

    That Sony DVP-NC685V I got? Much better than I first surmised. The test CD I had loaded wasn't a very good one, rather scrappy CD-R. I wasn't paying attention, just aiming for a quick test.

    So, I did some A/B comparisons with my other CDP using a sample of several discs (CD-R and CD) and I found the NC685V to be a better performer: a fuller sound, with better clarity and detail.

    But what really took me by surprise was the MP3 playback. Wow. I had an older MP3 CD that I'd compiled together a few years ago, suffering some scratches from when it was in the play rotation of my previous car (which had an aftermarket CD player w/MP3 support). It has a mishmash of different quality MP3 files inscribed (from 160kbps to 320kbps), and some extracted from subpar CD recordings. It was rather clear as to which files were the good ones by listening. Still, the player faired quite well with all of them. The better quality recordings extracted at 320kbps were indistinguishable from CD (to my ears). A few tracks that suffered from scratches could be advanced past the aberrations or skipped to the next track and continue music play--a few other CD players I've seen in the past would give up and reject the CD altogether.

    Aside from a few operational design quirks (like the shuffle skipping over MP3 CD's and a rather loud clunk at disc changes), this DVD/CD player impresses me quite a lot. I picked it up for $40 from a local seller. Well worth it.
  8. icenine

    icenine Super Member

    I do not know how much money you are wanting to spend but the Denon DVM-2845CI
    multi disk dvd player looks like what you may want to plays MP3 from cd-rs is at
  9. myu701

    myu701 Vintage futurist

    Thanks for the reference. Looks like a very decent player. A bit out of my price range, but worth looking for used.

    Crutchfield is recommending the Denon DBP-2010CI instead, priced about the same (elsewhere) and has some nice improvements, including ABT processing (instead of Faroudja), HDMI 1.3a support (the DVM-2845CI is 1.1) and of course Blu-ray playing capability. Only single disc though, but with MP3 capability that can surpass the song load of a regular 5-disc CD changer.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  10. Sam Cogley

    Sam Cogley Last of the Time Lords Subscriber

  11. Old_Tech

    Old_Tech Yer-isn't!

    The Marantz SA8003, 8004 will play MP3 files either from disc or from the front panel USB. :thmbsp:
  12. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    The Marantz would be recommended. That unit sounds quite nice and should be reliable. It has a good warranty and doesn't need an external DAC unless you want one. And good value for the money.
  13. CountBowers

    CountBowers New Member

    I love my Yamaha changer. They have excellent build and specifications, controls are great, and the displays are subtle orange that doesn't burn your retinas at night.
  14. aabottom

    aabottom Swing

    Are you refering to your Yamaha CDC-765in your signature?
  15. CountBowers

    CountBowers New Member

    Yes. Sorry for the delayed response.
  16. myu701

    myu701 Vintage futurist

    I recently bought a Marantz DV-9500. This was the TOTL CD/DVD player for Marantz back in 2004, with MSRP of $2099. The seller I got mine from had paid $1799 in mid 2005. It's a beautiful player, exuding superb craftsmanship. Everything about it is stellar, except for the fact that CD song titles aren't displayed and you can't scan through MP3 songs (only next/prev).

    I compared it to my Sony DVP-NC685V, doing A/B switching across a wide range of songs (type, genre, artist). I have to say that Sony held up VERY well. The bass was a bit colorized, not quite as crisp and honest as on the Marantz, but otherwise I couldn't hear much of a difference. They were both mated to an Onkyo TX-860, so who knows how much would be perceived through a high end amplifier.

    The SONY allows you to scan through MP3 songs, and it displays the ID tags. But the mechanism makes a bit of a clunking noise when switching discs. And there's a rather long bright white LED on the front which is a little distracting. However, given the price difference ($180 more for the Marantz), the Sony is a better value overall. I highly recommend it.

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