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Roksan K2 CDS Vs Marantz CD63SE

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
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Some of the discussion on another thread, concerning the Roksan K2 amplifier and then, by extension the K2 CD player got me thinking. PP reminded me that I haven't always been completely happy with the K2 CD player and some of the comments by davedotco and others about the aggressive nature of the K2 amp's sound chimed with some of the reservations I've had over time about the CD player. I've had to work hard to get a pleasing sound from the CD player, and although I have largely been very happy with it since I started using the Exposure amp and Dynaudio speakers, this afternoon's discussion did make some of the reservations re-surface in my mind.

So, by way of comparison, I decided it might be informative to pull out my old Marantz CD63SE, just to see how it fared. In some ways I'm shocked but in others I'm not. The CD63SE is more musical than the Roksan. It still has plenty of dynamic capability but somehow it sounds more coherent and works really well with the rest of the system.

I did use it (and the Rotel RCD965BX) for a while when the Roksan was away having a new display module and thoroughly enjoyed it then. Right now I'm playing 'The Lark Ascending' as recorded by the wonderful Nicola Benedetti and it sounds superbly natural with plenty of atmosphere and a very inviting quality.

I'll see how it goes over the next few days.
 

Covenanter

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I suspect you know what I'm going to say! I've been listening to the Marantz SA8005 both on speakers and through headphones and it is brilliant. It is very revealing so bad recordings are exposed. My long time favourite Boult Brahms 4th has been exposed somewhat! The Jenniffer Warnes "Famous Blue Raincoat" album sounds better than ever and the great man's voice in "Joan of Arc" sounds truly wonderful, full of gravel!

Give it a listen.

Chris
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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In due course I probably will, although I can't afford to yet.

In the meantime the CD63SE is showing the Roksan to be a bit of a musical sledgehammer, just as you described the amp.

I will probably look out for a tidy 2nd hand Marantz SACD player over the next few weeks.
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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Big fan of the seducing allrounder CD-63SE. It made my Pioneer A400 catholic. lol

I would just stick with it as it seems to improve every bit of kit that interacts with it.
 

MajorFubar

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I'm not shocked by this. When I feel like spinning a CD instead of streaming from the Mac, my CD63KI rewards me with a hugely involving listen. The SE will be broadly similar. I keep threatening to sell it, but I know I would regret it.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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Vladimir said:
Big fan of the seducing allrounder CD-63SE. It made my Pioneer A400 catholic. lol

I would just stick with it as it seems to improve every bit of kit that interacts with it.
:rofl:

It is a bit creaky, that's the only issue. I'd like SACD playback as well really as many of the classical CDs I'm buying are dual layer. Some of the interesting catalogues from the likes of BIS and Marinsky are all SACD dual layers.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
I picked up a near mint CD-63KI the other week for throwaway money. Rather nice it is too so I've two excellent dedicated CD players that deliver in spades. I like the Marantz, but it does sound a tad too robust in the bass at times.

The AVI player (which was three times the price of the Marantz on release) has all the body of the Marantz player, but retains more control of the music across the board. Both are hugely enjoyable for different reasons and the Marantz player is a real legend.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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MUSICRAFT said:
matthewpiano said:
I will probably look out for a tidy 2nd hand Marantz SACD player over the next few weeks.
Hi Matthew

If you want to go with Marantz then try and get a hold of an SA1 SACD player otherwise I wouldn't really bother.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
What would you suggest otherwise Rick?

Regards, M.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
matthewpiano said:
It is a bit creaky, that's the only issue. I'd like SACD playback as well really as many of the classical CDs I'm buying are dual layer. Some of the interesting catalogues from the likes of BIS and Marinsky are all SACD dual layers.
The BIS Mendelssohn Complete Cocertos disc is interesting - four hours in duration and uses all four layers of the disc. Brilliant stuff. Still haven't listened to it end-to-end. Never had the time!
 
T

the record spot

Guest
matthewpiano said:
What would you suggest otherwise Rick?

Regards, M.
Seeing as I had an SA-7001 KI for some years, I'd suggest you get one of those if you want to dip your toe in the SACD water but with an excellent player for reasonable money. The SA1 is like hen's teeth and would set you back hundreds.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
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matthewpiano said:
Some of the discussion on another thread, concerning the Roksan K2 amplifier and then, by extension the K2 CD player got me thinking. PP reminded me that I haven't always been completely happy with the K2 CD player and some of the comments by davedotco and others about the aggressive nature of the K2 amp's sound chimed with some of the reservations I've had over time about the CD player. I've had to work hard to get a pleasing sound from the CD player, and although I have largely been very happy with it since I started using the Exposure amp and Dynaudio speakers, this afternoon's discussion did make some of the reservations re-surface in my mind. So, by way of comparison, I decided it might be informative to pull out my old Marantz CD63SE, just to see how it fared. In some ways I'm shocked but in others I'm not. The CD63SE is more musical than the Roksan. It still has plenty of dynamic capability but somehow it sounds more coherent and works really well with the rest of the system. I did use it (and the Rotel RCD965BX) for a while when the Roksan was away having a new display module and thoroughly enjoyed it then. Right now I'm playing 'The Lark Ascending' as recorded by the wonderful Nicola Benedetti and it sounds superbly natural with plenty of atmosphere and a very inviting quality. I'll see how it goes over the next few days.
Matthew - take your Exposure along to a Naim dealer and have a listen to a CD5si or, if possible, CD5i.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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A bit expensive at present PP. If I could afford that sort of money I'd either go for the SACD-able SA8005, Denon DCD1510AE or (probably more likely on balance) the Consonance CD120 Linear (and do without the SACD capability).

SACD players seem to be few and far between and the other complication is that I can't stand noisy mechanisms because they can be really intrusive when listening to solo piano music. It was the big reason why I got shot of a Sony SCD-XA1200ES a few years ago.

The truth is there aren't that many good CD players around. The CD6005 is fine but really no better than the CD63SE. The Cambridge 651C is perhaps the only other really good budget player until you get to the Exposure 1010.

I may just see how things go for a while. Then I think the options may well be:

1. Seek out a slightly less creaky CD63SE or 63 KI-Signature (probably the latter)

2. Switch to something equivalent new - probably a 651C.

3. Look for a DAC to use with the Roksan - Musical Fidelity V90DAC might do the trick, given that I really enjoy the V90HPA through its USB input on my headphone/computer set-up.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
MP, don't start chopping and changing again! Take it from me, I've done side by side comparisons and the difference between a £1500 CD player in the shape of the AVI and two players in the £500-600 region are minimal and not worth the difference. Especially between the Marantz SA7001-KI and the AVI.

You can easily pick up a cheap secondhand player that won't have a noisy mechanism. Try the Denon DVD-3930 which was an excellent universal player and which you'll get for under £150 and very likely mint. Sound quality was again excellent and build couldn't be faulted. It was £1000 in 2007. Picture quality is good too. However I would still recommend the likes of the aforesaid SA7001-KI, or the standard model.
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
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matthewpiano said:
The truth is there aren't that many good CD players around. The CD6005 is fine but really no better than the CD63SE. The Cambridge 651C is perhaps the only other really good budget player until you get to the Exposure 1010.
Their prices aren't that far apart (about £50 - £65 difference depending on where bought) and i'd have thought a complete 1010 pairing would make sense.

You have a K2 CD player to sell (plus any others you have stored away like your CD63SE) so it's not going to cost a lot.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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chebby said:
matthewpiano said:
The truth is there aren't that many good CD players around. The CD6005 is fine but really no better than the CD63SE. The Cambridge 651C is perhaps the only other really good budget player until you get to the Exposure 1010.
Their prices aren't that far apart (about £50 - £65 difference depending on where bought) and i'd have thought a complete 1010 pairing would make sense.

You have a K2 CD player to sell (plus any others you have stored away like your CD63SE) so it's not going to cost a lot.
You may well be right Chebby. I heard the 1010 CD player when I bought the amp and it is lovely.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
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the record spot said:
MP, don't start chopping and changing again! Take it from me, I've done side by side comparisons and the difference between a £1500 CD player in the shape of the AVI and two players in the £500-600 region are minimal and not worth the difference. Especially between the Marantz SA7001-KI and the AVI.

You can easily pick up a cheap secondhand player that won't have a noisy mechanism. Try the Denon DVD-3930 which was an excellent universal player and which you'll get for under £150 and very likely mint. Sound quality was again excellent and build couldn't be faulted. It was £1000 in 2007. Picture quality is good too. However I would still recommend the likes of the aforesaid SA7001-KI, or the standard model.
Don't worry RS, I'm not going back there again. The amp and speakers are set in stone, with the CD player the only thing in flux.

I'm questioning how important SACD playback is. Thinking back to when I did have it (with the Sony mentioned above and also the Denon DCD1500AE) I never thought it wildly better, and I think it is more important to have a decent CD player that does a good job with standard red book (or whatever approximate of the standard today's discs are).

The 63SE is sounding lovely this afternoon. Certainly more natural than the Roksan - less falsely rounded and with more space in the sound. It shows the difference between recordings more than the Roksan as well.

Chebby's Exposure suggestion is good, but I'm not entirely sure it is any better (or even quite as good) than the CD63SE.

For now I'm going to enjoy the 63SE for a while and take time to think about my next move. Will be busy with work for the next few days for a start off. The machines that really stand out are the 63 range, and the DCD720AE I had (actually a rather fine CD player). No rush to do much, and little inclination to spend big on a CD player again when things on a budget can sound this good.
 

Kamikaze Bitter

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The cd63se was a benchmark in its time - cd players started out pretty ropey, and the cd63se was one of the first, if not the first, affordable player that sounded really great. So if it sounded great back then why wouldn't it sound great now? Does hifi sound better now than it did? Not a lot to my ears - if at all.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
292
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Kamikaze Bitter said:
The cd63se was a benchmark in its time - cd players started out pretty ropey, and the cd63se was one of the first, if not the first, affordable player that sounded really great. So if it sounded great back then why wouldn't it sound great now? Does hifi sound better now than it did? Not a lot to my ears - if at all.
I think you may have a point. I suspect many manufacturers have lost real interest in continuing to make CD better now that it is no longer flavour of the month. The CD63SE came at a time when CD was a major priority for manufacturers and companies like Marantz were working it as hard as they could.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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MajorFubar

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matthewpiano said:
I think you may have a point. I suspect many manufacturers have lost real interest in continuing to make CD better now that it is no longer flavour of the month. The CD63SE came at a time when CD was a major priority for manufacturers and companies like Marantz were working it as hard as they could.
This is exactly 'it' in a nutshell really. Between let's say 1983 and 1990, CD was the technology for HiFi manufacturers to be seen to invest in, and huge strides were made in a short period of time. For the next five or six years, a plateau was sort of reached and what we saw instead of huge technological advances in the electronics was improved build-quality at the top-end, class-leading chip-sets filtering down to cheaper models and novel refinements like outboard DACs, different kinds of D-A conversion like Bistream and MASH, and even changes to the reading mehanism, like Pioneer's Stable Platter Mechanism (which I often feel never got half the interest it deserved).

These days it's old technology that no-one wants and the manufacturers are similarly indifferent to it tbh.
 

cannibal_ox77

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Feb 22, 2013
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the record spot said:
I picked up a near mint CD-63KI the other week for throwaway money. Rather nice it is too so I've two excellent dedicated CD players that deliver in spades. I like the Marantz, but it does sound a tad too robust in the bass at times.

The AVI player (which was three times the price of the Marantz on release) has all the body of the Marantz player, but retains more control of the music across the board. Both are hugely enjoyable for different reasons and the Marantz player is a real legend.
Just out of interest TRS, how does CD playback on the UD7007 fare against your other cd players?
 
T

the record spot

Guest
The 7007 is a little brighter, but still very enjoyable. I'll do a better comparison at the weekend when I'm around more however.
 

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