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#1389 - 02/04/02 02:39 PM DVD/CD Player

I just purchased a pair of m22's and an ep175, and they sound fanstastic. I also have an Onkyo 595, which I think does the job quite well. The weak link in my system is the cd player, which is a Kenwood CD 204. It's not terrible, considering it was only $79, but the highs are especially poor--(It's definitely not the m22's that are at fault because I hear the same harshness through my Grado headphones).

So, what would be a good upgrade for my system? I figure I will be able to save money if I buy a DVD player instead of a cd player (because I'll buy a DVD eventually anyway). I'm looking for something in the neighborhood of $300 (or less, if possible). The Toshiba SD-5700 looks good as far as features--it's DVD-Audio capable--buy I haven't heard much about the actual sound. Does anyone have experience with this model (or others similar to it), or know of a website that reviews DVD players based on their sound more than their video?

Am I wrong in thinking I can get a DVD player that is up to the level of the rest of my system for around $300?


#1390 - 02/04/02 03:29 PM Re: DVD/CD Player
SurinderDhoti Offline

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 20
Try this

#1391 - 02/04/02 03:51 PM Re: DVD/CD Player
alan Offline

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3194
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Hello Tim,
You should be able to find a DVD player that matches the quality of your Axiom speakers. Although it strikes me as unlikely that the audio processors in the Kenwood are at fault, I've been using a Sony DVD player for several years and have auditioned and edited reviews of Toshiba players as well. The audio section of the Sony is very clean as are the Toshiba players. I also can't fault the audio sections of several Panasonic DVD players I've listened to. Because Toshiba is one of the originators of the DVD format, and the parent company of Panasonic (Matsushita) is a key player in the evolution of DVD-Audio, I believe you'd be satisfied with a player from either manufacturer. However, be sure the CD you are using to check out players doesn't already have hot or equalized (i.e. harsh) highs. Many pop/rock CDs have exaggerated high frequencies to ensure they have lots of "presence" when played over FM radios and car systems. Beware.

Good luck.

Alan Lofft
Axiom Resident Expert
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

#1392 - 02/04/02 04:17 PM Re: DVD/CD Player


I'm also interested in this topic. For the CD / DVD players in the range of 300 bucks, is there any noticeable difference can be hear in Tim's system or so ?

Is there any key specification we need to check when we select the DVD players, like twin laser pickup, 192Khz, HDCD or Signal/Noise ratio ? Or it needs to be judged on individual brand/model ?

A little bit difference from Tim, I will consider this player more for stereo but not DVD (or just play DVD on the stereo system for the moment). My HT will not be built in near future.


#1393 - 02/04/02 05:36 PM Re: DVD/CD Player
BBIBH Offline

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 1083
Loc: Canada
The source in any system is a key area. If this portion of a system is incapable of reading and reproducing the information from the media, the down stream components (amp or speakers) will not be able to replace the missing information. Combination players are regarded as convenience appliance, and great care should be taken when auditioning them.

I would not recommend under valuing this component, and saving money with an inexpensive model. You might want to save and aim a little higher.




#1394 - 02/04/02 09:30 PM Re: DVD/CD Player
duff Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 71
if just for stereo you may want to look into demo or used hi end cd players. I was thinking about using a dvd player even though it would be used just for music, but i found a CAL dx-2 cd player that was a demo, with only a year of use. The CAL new sold for $600. I paid $300. So at $300 I think it's much better than any dvd player i could have bought.
But if you eventually want a dvd player buying one unit to play movies and music is economically a good idea.

#1395 - 02/05/02 12:22 PM Re: DVD/CD Player
alan Offline

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3194
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Differences in audio playback quality of the DVD player brands I mentioned (Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic) would unlikely to be audible on the system Tim mentioned. Moreover, in my experience conducting listening tests with duplicate discs running in sync on two DVD players and switching instantaneouly between players with calibrated playback levels (a testing situation almost never duplicated by casual listeners and enthusiasts), the alleged differences in audio quality between players are essentially non-existent.

There are differences in DVD video quality, of course, although most are very subtle and difficult to spot except on certain DVD test discs (Avia, Ovation, etc).

You mentioned 192-kHz decoding, and I'd look for that. DVD players that will play DVD-Audio discs are 192-kHz compatible. HDCD is not important; HDCD recordings sound excellent played on non-HDCD players; there may be a slight improvement in dynamics with an HDCD player, using HDCD discs, but it's marginal.

If you burn your own CD-R or CD-RW audio discs, then choose a DVD player that will play them. Not all DVD players are compatible with the above, especially CD-
RW discs, which have only one-third the reflectance of conventional CDs, and thus won't play back on most CD players except new ones with so-called "universal" pickups.

Alan Lofft
Axiom Resident Expert
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

#1396 - 02/06/02 04:12 PM Re: DVD/CD Player

Couple of DVD players of good quality:
Pioneer DV-440 - $200 - good reviews. Friend has one and plays CDs very well too.
Cambridge Audio DVD300

Couple of CD players of good quality:
Used Rotel CD players

I base the term quality on mechanics and sound, NOT on bells and whistles. Personally would always go with a great sound over features. For up to $300 you should be able to acquire a good DVD player or CD player. I do not know if any of the DVD players come with this feature, but some inexpensive CD players have a digital out so that in the future you could use the player as a transport and purchase a separate, higher quality DAC. If you are going to use the player the majority of time for music, then a dedicated CD player would probably offer better quality. In my humble opinion :)



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