"Audiophile-quality" CD or DVD player?

Early B.Early B. Posts: 8,171
edited January 2004 in 2 Channel Audio
I'm considering the purchase of a used Cambridge Audio D500SE CD player (I can get one for less than $300). I noticed that Cambridge Audio also sells a new 540D DVD player for $379 on www.audioadvisor.com.

I was wondering if I should spend a little more money and buy the DVD player and play my CDs on it. I'm mostly interested in 2-channel audio, but for less than a hundred more bucks, I could get a new DVD player, too.

Based on the specs of both products, will the DVD player sound just as good (or better) as the CD player?

Thanks.
HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50” LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

"God grooves with tubes."
Post edited by Early B. on

Comments

  • organorgan Posts: 5,022
    edited January 2004
    IMO, a CD only player will blow away the DVD player for CD playback. They use very high quality DAC's. If you're mostly interested in 2ch, why not save a little more for the CD player? $300 CD players are considered entry level and the next level which is slightly better starts around $500 usually with HDCD decoding.

    You should also check out Rotel and NAD. The NAD C521 (I think it's replaced by the 522 or 521i now) is $300.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited January 2004
    A dedicated CD player might work for you, but I've had excellent playback from my universal player.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • dorokusaidorokusai Posts: 25,453
    edited January 2004
    It has suprised me that Cambridge has not commited to a format other than Redbook. That not being a big deal, I have really been impressed by the Cambridge pieces. SteveinAZ had a very nice 500SE if I recall, that went to a fellow Polkie, and he was happy with it. Any current thoughts?

    I recently had some closeup experience with a 540A Integrated from Cambridge, and was really giddy. The power was modest, 50wpc, but it handled everything quite nicely. The little **** drove a pair of Monitor 10B's, quite nicely. I had the same feeling when, and still do, rock the NAD.
    CTC BBQ Amplifier, Sonic Frontiers Line3 Pre-Amplifier and Wadia 581 SACD player. Speakers? Always changing but for now, Mission Argonauts I picked up for $50 bucks, mint.
  • LuShLuSh Posts: 887
    edited January 2004
    I have been very vocal on how important source is. To me source is everything. Begin with a great source to move the music up the chain. CD players might not differ much in terms of sonics within the same price point as Speakers do, but they vary LARGELY between price points.

    I've personally heard more of a difference between a $200 and $400 CD player then I heard between $200 and $400 speakers, using the same source and amp. Try stuff and draw your own conclusions. I believe it was UHF magazine which did a test with a number of Audio journalists. They covered a system, and allowed people to sit and listen, then debate the sound. Some concluded it was a reference system, the covers were pulled and revealed was a set of PSB Alpha speakers ($200) a modest intergrated amp and a LINN reference CD player (10,000)

    The differences between a CD player and DVD player are there, and by a wide margin for the most part. The way sources are measured, dvd, cd, lp, are horribly outdated and you can reproduce the same statistical data even though there are huge differences among each measured unit.
  • organorgan Posts: 5,022
    edited January 2004
    Lush,
    I heard about that test. Very interesting. Have you had experience with the Alphas? I might get them for surround duty when I get my HT. I need something very small that I can mount on the wall. They also retail for $200 here in Canada.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**
  • dcarlsondcarlson Posts: 1,740
    edited January 2004
    CD player all the way. If you want future upgradability as well, look for one with a detachable power cord. An aftermarket powercord can make a pretty big improvement in sound.
    SDA-2a, Anthem Pre-2L, Anthem Amp 1, MF A324 DAC, Rotel RCD1070

    Senn HD650 Cardas, Mapletree Audio Ear+ HD2, Kimber KS1030, Bel Canto DAC2, M-Audio Transit, Laptop.
  • Early B.Early B. Posts: 8,171
    edited January 2004
    Thanks for the responses.

    I went ahead and ordered the Cambridge Audio D500SE. I'll be making my power cord as an upgrade. Looking forward to how it will sound with the Rti70's in direct 2-channel mode. I hope it makes an improvement over my current CD player (Sony CDP-CA70ES).

    In a few weeks I plan to invest in a better quality DVD player. I curently have a Harman Kardon DVD 101.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50” LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."
  • tryrrthgtryrrthg Posts: 1,900
    edited January 2004
    Originally posted by LuSh
    I have been very vocal on how important source is. To me source is everything. Begin with a great source to move the music up the chain. CD players might not differ much in terms of sonics within the same price point as Speakers do, but they vary LARGELY between price points.

    I've personally heard more of a difference between a $200 and $400 CD player then I heard between $200 and $400 speakers, using the same source and amp. Try stuff and draw your own conclusions. I believe it was UHF magazine which did a test with a number of Audio journalists. They covered a system, and allowed people to sit and listen, then debate the sound. Some concluded it was a reference system, the covers were pulled and revealed was a set of PSB Alpha speakers ($200) a modest intergrated amp and a LINN reference CD player (10,000)

    The differences between a CD player and DVD player are there, and by a wide margin for the most part. The way sources are measured, dvd, cd, lp, are horribly outdated and you can reproduce the same statistical data even though there are huge differences among each measured unit.
    That's funny because Dave Wilson (Wilson Audio) just pulled the same stunt in reverse at CES this year. a quote from this thread

    "Finally, there was an incredible demo at Dave Wilson's private suite in the Mirage for his dealers where he put a B&W 800 Signature ( $21K) pair of speakers up against his Sophias ($11K). The B&W were driven by a Krell 700 Mcx ($8K) amp and the Sophias driven by a $1000 Parasound amp. Front end was Krell kps 25s into Nagra. The Sophia system by everyone's opinion was that the Sophia was simply much better. At the end of the demo he took it one step further by unveiling the front end of the Sophia which NOT driven by the Krell Kps25s as was the B&W but rather by an iPOD using a .wavfile. Everyone there was blown away by this."

    Of course I would imagine just about anything should sound GREAT on Wilson speakers :rolleyes:
    Sony KDL-40V2500 HDTV, Rotel RSX-1067 Receiver, Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, Slim Devices Squeezebox, Polk RTi6, CSi3 & R15, DIY sub with Atlas 15
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,404
    edited January 2004
    Theres alot of great cd players on the market.Rega makes some nice ones.Rotels are good sounding for the money.But my sleeper is the Sony es players.There 5 disc players sound fantastic.the 222 and the 333 are really nice for a great price.The SCD-C555ES
    what I actually been thinking about as of late.5 disc and ready to go..
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • LuShLuSh Posts: 887
    edited January 2004
    tryrrthg: The Same stunt would have been if Wilson used the exact same speakers, Krell Amp on two systems. One using the iPOD and one using the Krell CDP. If anything it could show more of the short commings of the B & W speakers.

    I would be very curious to hear the difference between the IPOD and the KRELL CDP on the exact same setups.

    I think a few months ago ATCVenom debated me on the merits of source. I'm curious to at least experiement with DAC's and separate transports. Not to purchase but just to again experiment and use my own ears. Glad its working out for you Venom.
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