Question CD Players

Dave B

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Feb 16, 2022
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Interested in opinions on a new CD player. Considering the Marantz 6007, the Rotel CD11 and CD14, also the Audiolab CD transport and using the DAC on my Yamaha RN803D. I noticed Rotel have a new CD14 out and the old version is reduced in price. Anyone views on the new versus old version? All opinions welcome!
 
Interested in opinions on a new CD player. Considering the Marantz 6007, the Rotel CD11 and CD14, also the Audiolab CD transport and using the DAC on my Yamaha RN803D. I noticed Rotel have a new CD14 out and the old version is reduced in price. Anyone views on the new versus old version? All opinions welcome!
no idea about the Rotel versions or your budget but if you already have a reasonable DAC I would stick with a transport that is very well designed to do just that, get the Audiolab.
If anything in hifi is progressing rapidly it is DAC development. This will give you a wide margin on upgrade potential in the future.
 
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suburbansky

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Mar 15, 2022
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no idea about the Rotel versions or your budget but if you already have a reasonable DAC I would stick with a transport that is very well designed to do just that, get the Audiolab.
If anything in hifi is progressing rapidly it is DAC development. This will give you a wide margin on upgrade potential in the future.
I own a Marantz CD-6006 and am very happy with it. It can be run using its in-built DAC, connected to analogue, or as a mere transport (through Coax). Runs flawlessly so far.
 
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Dave B

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Feb 16, 2022
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no idea about the Rotel versions or your budget but if you already have a reasonable DAC I would stick with a transport that is very well designed to do just that, get the Audiolab.
If anything in hifi is progressing rapidly it is DAC development. This will give you a wide margin on upgrade potential in the future.
Thanks, very good points!
 

thekenc

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Mar 17, 2022
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My only addition here, minimal though it is, is that the Audio lab CD player has its own master clock. In addition to innovations in DAC technology, there are also advances in 'de-jitter' which pertain to the use of high quality master clocks. Based on that I'd support the choice of the Audiolab CD player.
 

Dave B

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2022
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My only addition here, minimal though it is, is that the Audio lab CD player has its own master clock. In addition to innovations in DAC technology, there are also advances in 'de-jitter' which pertain to the use of high quality master clocks. Based on that I'd support the choice of the Audiolab CD player.
Thanks, that is helpful
 

suburbansky

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2022
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My only addition here, minimal though it is, is that the Audio lab CD player has its own master clock. In addition to innovations in DAC technology, there are also advances in 'de-jitter' which pertain to the use of high quality master clocks. Based on that I'd support the choice of the Audiolab CD player.
This, I'm afraid, I don't fully understand... Does this have to do with the physical aspects of the disc rotation and the 'reading' of the 0 and 1 on the CD?
 

thekenc

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Mar 17, 2022
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This, I'm afraid, I don't fully understand... Does this have to do with the physical aspects of the disc rotation and the 'reading' of the 0 and 1 on the CD?
Yes. Sorry for the confusion. Here is the clearest explanation I can give with respect to CD players, master clocks, data transport of the information to the DAC, and the conversion of the digital signal to analog:

When a CD player transports the data through the digital output -- either Coaxial or optical -- it sends the data out at the rate that it is being read. If there is any slight variation in the rotational speed of the CD player then the data will arrive at the DAC 'wrinkled' by the data compression and data slackness associated with the varying speed. When the DAC goes to convert to analog, I think of the DAC is like an iron (yes, for ironing shirts), and when it generates the analog signal it irons over the wrinkles. To resolve that problem, master clocks are used to reconcile these data compressions and slackness by smoothing out the data onto a consistent timeline before the DAC irons over the signal to produce analog output.

I hope that helps. I think of the master clock as the orchestrator of the process -- it keeps the beat/time for the process. In some ways this is related to a lot of computer processing -- time synchronization is key for keeping systems going smoothly.
 
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suburbansky

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Mar 15, 2022
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Yes. Sorry for the confusion. Here is the clearest explanation I can give with respect to CD players, master clocks, data transport of the information to the DAC, and the conversion of the digital signal to analog:

When a CD player transports the data through the digital output -- either Coaxial or optical -- it sends the data out at the rate that it is being read. If there is any slight variation in the rotational speed of the CD player then the data will arrive at the DAC 'wrinkled' by the data compression and data slackness associated with the varying speed. When the DAC goes to convert to analog, I think of the DAC is like an iron (yes, for ironing shirts), and when it generates the analog signal it irons over the wrinkles. To resolve that problem, master clocks are used to reconcile these data compressions and slackness by smoothing out the data onto a consistent timeline before the DAC irons over the signal to produce analog output.

I hope that helps. I think of the master clock as the orchestrator of the process -- it keeps the beat/time for the process. In some ways this is related to a lot of computer processing -- time synchronization is key for keeping systems going smoothly.
Thanks for the detailed answer! 😊👍🏻 Does this mean, then, that not every CD player has its own master clock?
 

thekenc

Active member
Mar 17, 2022
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Thanks for the detailed answer! 😊👍🏻 Does this mean, then, that not every CD player has its own master clock?
Another good question. I don't know the answer to that. What I can say is that there have been innovations in audio technology where more accurate -- improved -- master clocks are being used with great results. The Audiolab CD player uses, and highlights, the use of an accurate master clock in its design.
 

shadders

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Nov 19, 2009
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Yes. Sorry for the confusion. Here is the clearest explanation I can give with respect to CD players, master clocks, data transport of the information to the DAC, and the conversion of the digital signal to analog:

When a CD player transports the data through the digital output -- either Coaxial or optical -- it sends the data out at the rate that it is being read. If there is any slight variation in the rotational speed of the CD player then the data will arrive at the DAC 'wrinkled' by the data compression and data slackness associated with the varying speed. When the DAC goes to convert to analog, I think of the DAC is like an iron (yes, for ironing shirts), and when it generates the analog signal it irons over the wrinkles. To resolve that problem, master clocks are used to reconcile these data compressions and slackness by smoothing out the data onto a consistent timeline before the DAC irons over the signal to produce analog output.

I hope that helps. I think of the master clock as the orchestrator of the process -- it keeps the beat/time for the process. In some ways this is related to a lot of computer processing -- time synchronization is key for keeping systems going smoothly.
Hi,
The data read from the CD is buffered, so any variation in disc speed is compensated for by the buffer. The forward error correction of the reed solomon code has to be implemented too, so buffering will be used here also.

Every CD player has a clock, which controls the DAC IC conversion. There is no ironing out, just input data stream to the DAC IC and then conversion.

Every digital output runs from the same clock. There are encoding and framing of the digital data, so there is buffering before the data is transmitted.

Regards,
Shadders.
 

shadders

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Nov 19, 2009
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Thanks for the detailed answer! 😊👍🏻 Does this mean, then, that not every CD player has its own master clock?
Hi,
Every CD player has a clock. There is no difference between the master clock and clock, they are the same thing - just 1 clock in the CD player.

There may be another clock used for the microprocessor if implemented, but this has nothing to do with audio DAC IC conversion or digital output.

Regards,
Shadders.
 

manicm

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May 1, 2008
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From my experience not all CD players are equal, and the notion that digital is just digital is bollocks. Previously cheap CA CD players were awful and sibilant. Ditto NADs.

My first Pioneer DVD player was great at movies but rubbish at playing CD players - I traded up within a week to a better model.

A good transport is also important as the Audiolab proves. And a DAC can only improve things to a certain extent as early Sonos Connects proved too.
 
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thekenc

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Mar 17, 2022
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Understood on the buffering and clock folks. Here is what I observed when I added a new DAC into the loop:
* simply using the new DAC appeared to improve the audio quality of the CD player, which was expected.
* then I played withe DPLL setting on it, and took that configuration value down to "min" which optimizes on 'de-jittering' the output. Basically my 'iron' analogy - admittedly derived from my own efforts to try to understand what is going on - comes into the picture here. This 'further' improved the audio by ungarbling some sounds that I didn't even realize were somewhat garbled (e.g. double base, and high pitched chimes come to mind).

My take away was that the DPLL setting on the DAC, which has to do with the clock on the DAC, really improved the sound.

I'll admit that I could be wrong about this. But in the spirit of trying and learning, I wanted to give you all that I had.
 
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suburbansky

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Mar 15, 2022
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From my experience not all CD players are equal, and the notion that digital is just digital is bollocks. Previously cheap CA CD players were awful and sibilant. Ditto NADs.

My first Pioneer DVD player was great at movies but rubbish at playing CD players - I traded up within a week to a better model.

A good transport is also important as the Audiolab proves. And a DAC can only improve things to a certain extent as early Sonos Connects proved too.
So Audiolab would be your choice for a CD player, no matter what? Or are there others?
 

matthewpianist

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Feb 18, 2022
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If you want an affordable CD player (as opposed to a transport alone) the Denon DCD600NE, Rotel CD11 Tribute and Marantz CD6007 are all excellent. The Rotel is the brightest and punchiest of the 3 - either a good thing or an issue depending on your preferences.

If it's a transport only solution, you can't do better than the Audiolab for reasonable money.
 

amormusic

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Feb 24, 2016
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I've only skimmed all the answers, but here's my two pence...

I own the Audiolab 6000CDT transport. It is excellent, really really excellent...

It is fed into a decent DAC (I have two options of which) and it sounds really great.

This transport replaced two different players I owned, an Arcam one (I forget the model) and a Denon professional DN680, both tried as CD players and also just as transports. Neither of these was close in performance to the Audiolab, with the Denon being the better of the two.

However, compared to my preferred streaming medium, both players sounded like they were coming from behind a curtain. There, but just muffled and not clear by comparison. The Audiolab in contrast fed straight into my DAC (as is my streamer also) is an equal. This brings my CD collection back to life.

I have a pretty decent system in my opinion, so results may vary for others. But for me it's very clear that digital is not just digital. Not all transports are the same and do not give the same result. The Audiolab though is excellent and comfortably worth its price tag.
 
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suburbansky

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Mar 15, 2022
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I've only skimmed all the answers, but here's my two pence...

I own the Audiolab 6000CDT transport. It is excellent, really really excellent...

It is fed into a decent DAC (I have two options of which) and it sounds really great.

This transport replaced two different players I owned, an Arcam one (I forget the model) and a Denon professional DN680, both tried as CD players and also just as transports. Neither of these was close in performance to the Audiolab, with the Denon being the better of the two.

However, compared to my preferred streaming medium, both players sounded like they were coming from behind a curtain. There, but just muffled and not clear by comparison. The Audiolab in contrast fed straight into my DAC (as is my streamer also) is an equal. This brings my CD collection back to life.

I have a pretty decent system in my opinion, so results may vary for others. But for me it's very clear that digital is not just digital. Not all transports are the same and do not give the same result. The Audiolab though is excellent and comfortably worth its price tag.
Running, for instance, the Marantz CD-6006(or7) through your DAC (using Coax) would arguably produce similar results then, wouldn't it? Couldn't you say then that a player with digital outputs circumventing its on-board DAC gives you more flexibility, rendering the player/transport question somewhat moot? Or am I missing something?
 

amormusic

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Feb 24, 2016
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Running, for instance, the Marantz CD-6006(or7) through your DAC (using Coax) would arguably produce similar results then, wouldn't it? Couldn't you say then that a player with digital outputs circumventing its on-board DAC gives you more flexibility, rendering the player/transport question somewhat moot? Or am I missing something?
Of this I couldn't say, as I've not heard the Marantz. Perhaps my point was lost in my post, but what I'm saying is that my experience is that it is not just 0 and 1's, digital is not just digital. There is an element of quality of reproduction to it as well. The Denon, by all accounts is a well regarded transport (it's a cd and fairly old but most use it as such), however it's not on equal terms with the Audiolab imo. Read into that what you will.

In short the Audiolab transport has ended my search for a spinner. It sounds great, works great etc.

I'm sure most Cd players/transports fed to a dac would sound good. But if you start to compare them as I have, there are differences...

Just my two pence...
 
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