CD Player advice - Problems with Rotel Tribute CD11. What should I do?

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Shame it doesn't make so much acoustic sense. I suppose it depends what sort of music you listen to but I found the performance between 4-10kHz to be......interesting.... I suppose would be a polite way of putting it....

I'll have a look at Exposure thanks, not heard of them before tbh. As long as they work, play CDs and sound reasonably good in at least a mid range sense without clipping or distorting then that would be good enough for me.....
Don't know what amp you have but Arcam amplification with Rotel CDP works a treat.

Likewise Exposure works well with Arcam and my Leema.

Distortion can be caused by several things: playing too loud that causes clipping, a fault with one or more component etc etc etc...

Exposure has similar presentation to Rotel but doesn't have the electrical or mechanical gremlins of Exposure.

I play all sorts of genre, from Jazz, Soul/Funk, Rock, Blues to Pop.
 

Longchops

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Don't know what amp you have but Arcam amplification with Rotel CDP works a treat.

Likewise Exposure works well with Arcam and my Leema.

Distortion can be caused by several things: playing too loud that causes clipping, a fault with one or more component etc etc etc...

Exposure has similar presentation to Rotel but doesn't have the electrical or mechanical gremlins of Exposure.

I play all sorts of genre, from Jazz, Soul/Funk, Rock, Blues to Pop.

I don't have an amp any more. I bought the A11 as I was so impressed with the sound of the CD11 I thought it would be cool to have the matching pair. Also thought that because of who they were a tribute for made me think they might become sought after.

Connecting the CD11 up was one of the most joyous audio experiences of my life. It sounded so good. But connecting the amp and speakers up was actually the most disappointing. They just sounded horrible. They were boosting upper mid and treble frequencies well beyond the point of clipping. Every snare drum was distorting, every vocal S sound was sibilant....awful. It's why I'm so surprised to hear they were designed together.

It felt like they had put the crossover way too high and a lot of music just didn't have the headroom for it. It must have been boosting 3dB in those upper regions at least, maybe even more, it was way too much imo.

I'll have a loot at the exposure ones, although I need a 19" sized unit to match the rest of my system so that probably limits me to the older ones. If they sound as good as you say then might be worth it though....
 
I don't have an amp any more. I bought the A11 as I was so impressed with the sound of the CD11 I thought it would be cool to have the matching pair. Also thought that because of who they were a tribute for made me think they might become sought after.

Connecting the CD11 up was one of the most joyous audio experiences of my life. It sounded so good. But connecting the amp and speakers up was actually the most disappointing. They just sounded horrible. They were boosting upper mid and treble frequencies well beyond the point of clipping. Every snare drum was distorting, every vocal S sound was sibilant....awful. It's why I'm so surprised to hear they were designed together.

It felt like they had put the crossover way too high and a lot of music just didn't have the headroom for it. It must have been boosting 3dB in those upper regions at least, maybe even more, it was way too much imo.

I'll have a loot at the exposure ones, although I need a 19" sized unit to match the rest of my system so that probably limits me to the older ones. If they sound as good as you say then might be worth it though....
There could be a number of reasons for your disappointment. Certainly sibilance usually indicates a lack of synergy between amp, source and speakers. No idea what's causing distortion, generally you should only get clipping if you play music too loud, so if you go beyond 12 o'clock on the volume dial -- every amp and speakers have their limitations regardless of make and budget.

Did you try using headphones? It is a process of elimination.

It's difficult to advise in any real detail what model of B&Ws you have.
 
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matthewpianist

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I have two CD11 Tributes and my Dad has one also. All three of them have displayed this fault.

The Tribute amp and CD player are nice sounding products but flawed. I've also owned the amp in the past and it was noisier than it should be. I've long been a fan of Rotel products, but it appears their quality isn't what it used to be.

The nearest competitors are the Marantz CD6007 and PM6007. They're every bit as capable and extremely reliable. Also worth considering are the NAD C536 and C316BEE v2.0 (or the C328 amp).
 

hifi

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I have two CD11 Tributes and my Dad has one also. All three of them have displayed this fault.

The Tribute amp and CD player are nice sounding products but flawed. I've also owned the amp in the past and it was noisier than it should be. I've long been a fan of Rotel products, but it appears their quality isn't what it used to be.

The nearest competitors are the Marantz CD6007 and PM6007. They're every bit as capable and extremely reliable. Also worth considering are the NAD C536 and C316BEE v2.0 (or the C328 amp).
I can vouch for the Marantz had mine for over 5 years now Rock Solid build and i like the sound !
 
I have two CD11 Tributes and my Dad has one also. All three of them have displayed this fault.

The Tribute amp and CD player are nice sounding products but flawed. I've also owned the amp in the past and it was noisier than it should be. I've long been a fan of Rotel products, but it appears their quality isn't what it used to be.

The nearest competitors are the Marantz CD6007 and PM6007. They're every bit as capable and extremely reliable. Also worth considering are the NAD C536 and C316BEE v2.0 (or the C328 amp).
What a pity. Having owned the 975 it was fabulous but flawed. Flimsy tray, dodgy laser.... it became a real thorn in my side.
 
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WayneKerr

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Certainly sibilance usually indicates a lack of synergy between amp, source and speakers.
Thought we covered this in the "Sibilance" thread a few weeks ago? I believe the concensus of opinion was:

1. It's definitely the recording.
2. Some people are definitely more sensitive to hearing sibilance than others.

Nothing to do with "synergy" at all.
 

Longchops

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There could be a number of reasons for your disappointment. Certainly sibilance usually indicates a lack of synergy between amp, source and speakers. No idea what's causing distortion, generally you should only get clipping if you play music too loud, so if you go beyond 12 o'clock on the volume dial -- every amp and speakers have their limitations regardless of make and budget.

Did you try using headphones? It is a process of elimination.

It's difficult to advise in any real detail what model of B&Ws you have.

At the time I tested them, I actually had 4 pairs of speakers in the same room. I also have 5 pairs of headphones that I use for reference, but there was no point in using any of them because it was so obvious that there was something wrong just listening to them on their own; that's how bad they were. It was like fingernails down a blackboard. Whenever I heard sibilance or clipping I immediately rewound the track and A/B'd the section against the pair of identically sized speakers I had and it was obvious there was some very excessive boosting going on. Some music was just unlistenable on them, they sounded awful.

I then turned to the internet and found an American engineer had also noticed this too and tested the frequency curve for them. As you can see, everything above 4k on these speakers is a bit of lottery. 606 S2 Anniversary if that makes a difference. Another 5 star what hifi accoladed showpiece that don't appear to work in the real world, certainly not with the music I listen to anyway, which simply does not have the headroom for a 3dB boost at those kind of frequencies
 

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Longchops

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I have two CD11 Tributes and my Dad has one also. All three of them have displayed this fault.

The Tribute amp and CD player are nice sounding products but flawed. I've also owned the amp in the past and it was noisier than it should be. I've long been a fan of Rotel products, but it appears their quality isn't what it used to be.

The nearest competitors are the Marantz CD6007 and PM6007. They're every bit as capable and extremely reliable. Also worth considering are the NAD C536 and C316BEE v2.0 (or the C328 amp).


Thank you Matthew. I think we can safely say that all of these products have issues then....

Can I ask, did you keep them and just learn to live with the fault? Because this is something I am considering doing. I do really like the sound of it, it's just really annoying when it cuts out and I wonder if I would be better swapping it for something more reliable every time it happens
 
Thought we covered this in the "Sibilance" thread a few weeks ago? I believe the concensus of opinion was:

1. It's definitely the recording.
2. Some people are definitely more sensitive to hearing sibilance than others.

Nothing to do with "synergy" at all.
Only mentioned it because the OP did.

I used to get slight sibilance on some remastered recordings with the RS6s. Doesn't happen with the Dalis. To me that's a synergy problem.
 

matthewpianist

Well-known member
Thank you Matthew. I think we can safely say that all of these products have issues then....

Can I ask, did you keep them and just learn to live with the fault? Because this is something I am considering doing. I do really like the sound of it, it's just really annoying when it cuts out and I wonder if I would be better swapping it for something more reliable every time it happens

I still have both my CD11s and one is currently in use. It's a wonderful CD player in every sense apart from this irritating fault. I"m not going to stick with it long-term for this very reason, but whilst I'm trying to decide what's next for my system I'm going to enjoy the sound when it's working properly.

CD players are unpredictable beasts and it is becoming increasingly difficult to choose the right one. I had a Roksan K3 CDDi at one point, but it wouldn't play anything longer than the 80 minutes maximum length specified by the Redbook CD standard. This generally wouldn't be a problem for many people, but lots of classical reissues in big box sets spill over that length and these discs play fine on other players. Roksan's response was that contrary to most other manufacturers they use audio CD mechanisms rather than multi-purpose ones due to the better sound it brings. Not much help to my situation but it was a very fine sounding CD player.

Cyrus also famously have issues with some transports - again something which can ruin very good equipment.

Overall, I'd say Marantz and Denon are the most dependable options. If you have an external DAC or a digital input on your amp the Audiolab CD transports are also excellent.
 
At the time I tested them, I actually had 4 pairs of speakers in the same room. I also have 5 pairs of headphones that I use for reference, but there was no point in using any of them because it was so obvious that there was something wrong just listening to them on their own; that's how bad they were. It was like fingernails down a blackboard. Whenever I heard sibilance or clipping I immediately rewound the track and A/B'd the section against the pair of identically sized speakers I had and it was obvious there was some very excessive boosting going on. Some music was just unlistenable on them, they sounded awful.

I then turned to the internet and found an American engineer had also noticed this too and tested the frequency curve for them. As you can see, everything above 4k on these speakers is a bit of lottery. 606 S2 Anniversary if that makes a difference. Another 5 star what hifi accoladed showpiece that don't appear to work in the real world, certainly not with the music I listen to anyway, which simply does not have the headroom for a 3dB boost at those kind of frequencies
This is why buying 5 star products don't always work together.

I've never purchased blind based purely on reviews.

Out of all my gear only the amp and speakers and cables received 5 stars, the rest 3 and 4 star.
 

Longchops

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This is why buying 5 star products don't always work together.

I've never purchased blind based purely on reviews.

Out of all my gear only the amp and speakers and cables received 5 stars, the rest 3 and 4 star.

I bought the speakers based off a Youtube video from an Australian audio store who made a video testing various speaker pairings for the A11 but recommending these above all others. I read all the comments to see all the people agreeing, and I then searched the written reviews and could see what hifi thought they were the best speakers at this price point too so it seemed like a sensible purchase. It certainly wasn't a blind purchase. The amp was I suppose, but that was only because I was so impressed with the CD player at the time and hadn't noticed the faults yet.

The CD player was bought on impulse after I walked into the store and saw the price, I already knew what it was and how well it was regarded so that wasn't blind at all, it was just a good deal for what I believed to be a good product.

What I've learned after buying 3 what hifi award winning products that all turned out to be crap is always read the negative comments for everything, sometimes its difficult to hear the 5 people complaining about the exact same fault in the noise of 5000 people boasting about how amazing it is
 

Longchops

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I still have both my CD11s and one is currently in use. It's a wonderful CD player in every sense apart from this irritating fault. I"m not going to stick with it long-term for this very reason, but whilst I'm trying to decide what's next for my system I'm going to enjoy the sound when it's working properly.

CD players are unpredictable beasts and it is becoming increasingly difficult to choose the right one. I had a Roksan K3 CDDi at one point, but it wouldn't play anything longer than the 80 minutes maximum length specified by the Redbook CD standard. This generally wouldn't be a problem for many people, but lots of classical reissues in big box sets spill over that length and these discs play fine on other players. Roksan's response was that contrary to most other manufacturers they use audio CD mechanisms rather than multi-purpose ones due to the better sound it brings. Not much help to my situation but it was a very fine sounding CD player.

Cyrus also famously have issues with some transports - again something which can ruin very good equipment.

Overall, I'd say Marantz and Denon are the most dependable options. If you have an external DAC or a digital input on your amp the Audiolab CD transports are also excellent.


Thanks, this is about where I am with it at the moment. I love the sound but its just so annoying and I don't think I can live with it.

CD players are indeed difficult to buy in 2023. Unfortunately, Marantz have apparently just changed the DAC in the 6007 and there are a lot of people complaining that it doesn't sound as good anymore. The Yamaha one seems like it has issues, you've just put me off the Roksan and the Cyrus.....I mean....I'm wondering at thiis stage does anyone know how to actually build a CD player anymore? It's a question of the devil you know, I would hate to exchange this CD11 and end up with something that has another load of faults and another load of hassle. I might check out that NAD 536 (538?) though, what put me off were the whathifi reviews but tbh I think I trust your judgement a bit better at this stage.

I don't have a DAC yet because one thing I need is gapless playback and I notice many of them can't actually do this. Most of the stuff I listen to is DJ mixes so it would be no good to have breaks in between every track. One of the main reasons I'm still listening to CDs in 2023 tbh
 
I bought the speakers based off a Youtube video from an Australian audio store who made a video testing various speaker pairings for the A11 but recommending these above all others. I read all the comments to see all the people agreeing, and I then searched the written reviews and could see what hifi thought they were the best speakers at this price point too so it seemed like a sensible purchase. It certainly wasn't a blind purchase. The amp was I suppose, but that was only because I was so impressed with the CD player at the time and hadn't noticed the faults yet.

The CD player was bought on impulse after I walked into the store and saw the price, I already knew what it was and how well it was regarded so that wasn't blind at all, it was just a good deal for what I believed to be a good product.

What I've learned after buying 3 what hifi award winning products that all turned out to be crap is always read the negative comments for everything, sometimes its difficult to hear the 5 people complaining about the exact same fault in the noise of 5000 people boasting about how amazing it is
With respect, the worst things you can do is purchase any hi-fi equipment from a YouTube review.

I've always banged on about demoing either in your house or shop before deciding. I actually demoed the Dalis twice (in store) before parting with money.

We all make mistakes, I certainly have over the decades, but you learn from these mistakes.

I know shop and home demos sounds like a real faff, but it saves you a lot of money and heartache.
 
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I don't have a DAC yet because one thing I need is gapless playback and I notice many of them can't actually do this.
I think it’s occasionally the streamer function that lacks gapless playback capability. Not the DAC. Very rare today, as it should be, it’s such a basic failing.

Incidentally, the Rotel CD11 has a proven TI Burr Brown DAC that should give excellent performance.
 
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Longchops

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With respect, the worst things you can do is purchase any hi-fi equipment from a YouTube review.

I've always banged on about demoing either in your house or shop before deciding. I actually demoed the Dalis twice (in store) before parting with money.

We all make mistakes, I certainly have over the decades, but you learn from these mistakes.

I know shop and home demos sounds like a real faff, but it saves you a lot of money and heartache.

I've now done 4 home demos. I didn't want to have to do any. I just wanted a new CD player because my old one broke. I don't go to the store with a loaf of bread and start A/Bing toasters every time mine packs up, I just don't have time for that for such a low value appliance.. I just check the prices, check the numbers, check the reviews and then order one and assume that the product I buy will be of sufficient quality.

If I was spending £5000 on some speakers then I would definitely want some kind of demonstration (and maybe a second opinion from a psychiatrist) but I really didn't think it would be necessary for a pair of £500 speakers and a £360 amp that both came highly recommended. I just expected them to work and to be of sufficient quality. If they had I would have been happy.

Definitely learned a lot from this experience though. So for now all I want is a CD player that works
 
I've now done 4 home demos. I didn't want to have to do any. I just wanted a new CD player because my old one broke. I don't go to the store with a loaf of bread and start A/Bing toasters every time mine packs up, I just don't have time for that for such a low value appliance.. I just check the prices, check the numbers, check the reviews and then order one and assume that the product I buy will be of sufficient quality.

If I was spending £5000 on some speakers then I would definitely want some kind of demonstration (and maybe a second opinion from a psychiatrist) but I really didn't think it would be necessary for a pair of £500 speakers and a £360 amp that both came highly recommended. I just expected them to work and to be of sufficient quality. If they had I would have been happy.

Definitely learned a lot from this experience though. So for now all I want is a CD player that works
What are you planning to connect this replacement CDP to? Have you still got the Rotel amp or something completely different?
 
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matthewpianist

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I think it’s occasionally the streamer function that lacks gapless playback capability. Not the DAC. Very rare today, as it should be, it’s such a basic failing.

Incidentally, the Rotel CD11 has a proven TI Burr Brown DAC that should give excellent performance.

The Rotel has no shortcomings in terms of sound at its price, and that Burr Brown DAC sounds superb. If Rotel could get the reliability up to scratch there wouldn't be any question of need a replacement unless your budget got significantly bigger. Then a demo would be a good idea!

As it goes, I'd suggest plumping for the Marantz CD6007 and set to enjoying your music. That's where my own thinking lies at the moment - Dad has the 6007 pairing (with B&W 607s2) and it sounds superb.
 

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