Search for a simple but good CD player for a Rotel amplifier

Kloëtjüpke

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dear hi-fi enthusiasts,
I have another purchasing dilemma.
I'm looking for a nice, not too expensive CD player to connect to my Rotel A14 mkII. Just to be able to play the old CDs again. It does not have to be super quality, but it must do justice to the Rotel amplifier.
I have already done a bit of searching and came across two nice options.
First of all, I could of course go for a Rotel CD player because it naturally fits well with the amplifier. I have my eye on the "Rotel CD-11 Tribute" because it is for sale somewhere for a very good price.
But as a second choice I have the "Denon DCD-900NE" in mind. Although a different brand than my amplifier, but according to some it is also a reasonably good CD player at a competitive price.
Does anyone have any good arguments for either one to make my choice easier?
 

twinkletoes

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Or if don’t mind second hand, find a DVD player for a 10er (pioneer 565) and hook up to the digital output of your amp. Might look a bit different but will sound the same as any other cd transport. Food for thought a no brainer in my mind
 
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Leon74

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Doesn't matter at all which one,as long as it has digital out

You have a dac in your amp you can use if the cdplayer doesn't sound good
I second that. Personally, I wouldn't even spend that much on the CD-player as you plan to. As long as you connect it digitally and your amp's DAC is used, there is no need to spend more than around 50-70 dollars for a simple Philips or Sony player with CD function. Though I would probably spend a hundred bucks more for improved functionality, not sound (because it will be the amp that makes or breaks the sound when connected digitally).
 

gasolin

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I wanted a faster cdplayer since my yamaha cd-s300 was slow

I found a black denon cdplayer for 100 euros i think, it works as it should and when i compare tidal or my tt to my cdplayer (volume match) my denoen cdplayer sounded much brighter, so i used my built in dac in my amp and got a more neutral sound

Just get one that matches the look of your amp with digital out, i would stay away from a dvd player since most i have used i find to be slow, things like it takes a little time to open and close the tray and to play a cd
 

jetblack9090

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I don't necessarily buy into the theory that digital is digital and as long as you're using digital out then the cheapest DVD player or budget CD player will do.

Obviously something like a $40 Sony DVD player will function as a CD player and you can use it as a CD player using its digital out into a dac of your choice. But I have heard over the years the difference a quality transport can make to the sound of CDs even when using an external converter.

I've often found that a good quality CD player or transport will have vibration dampening and acoustical qualities to the construction of the player that a cheap DVD player or CD player does not have. As much as people want to claim otherwise because they want to feel secure in their own personal belief or budget, these construction aspects can and do make an audible difference and in my opinion are worth the money.

Another aspect of having a purpose made CD player versus something like a DVD player, is the fact that a purpose-made CD player will have functions and usability aspects that A DVD player simply does not have. Take a budget Sony DVD player for example versus my NAD c538 cd player. With the Sony if I wanted to repeat a track for example the thing has to be hooked up to some sort of monitor so that you can access the menu while you're playing a disc so that you can see to be able to select the option for either repeating a single track or the whole disc. With my NAD all I have to do is hit one button on the remote and it shows up on the display as a selection for either single track repeat or whole disc repeat, and there are other examples like this as well.

Something like the Rotel for example would be the one I would go with. Obviously aesthetically it will match your existing amplifier but also Rotel is known for producing a great quality CD player and probably going to be the best bang for Buck when using your amplifier.

Also I'm not necessarily one to believe in the power of an external DAC when used with a CD player, at least in the aspects of a budget system and with the aspect of achieving better sound quality.

In numerous budget systems that I've put together over the years, everything from Marantz to NAD to Yamaha to Arcam And Cambridge audio, I found that to my satisfaction and ears often the built-in DAC of a CD player sounds better than running it off to an external DAC. Now of course you can achieve better sound quality with an external DAC, but in my experience you have to spend two or three times the cost Of the CD player itself to truly get better sound.

I think oftentimes when people claim their hearing better sound when switching out a component, like a DAC for example, what they're really hearing isn't a " better" sound, it's just a different sound , and that's something that has taken me a long time to learn as a Hi-Fi enthusiast, different doesn't always equal better.

Anyway get the Rotel you'll be happy and it's a great player
 
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Rodolfo

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I have the Rotel A12 and am very happy with it. When I purchased it several years ago, I already had a favorite CD player. I've been partial to CD changers since my first one in 1985, and have not been without one since. I use two daily and they are usually loaded with up to 6 CDs. A third is in a box as a backup to my primary music one because I don't want to have to start shopping should that one fail, particularly because I value older Sony ES players in particular, for the quality, reliability, and features I've experienced with them.

Nevertheless, I have also searched for a Rotel CD14 since I got the A12. The local shop never got one, and now they are no longer a Rotel dealer. Prices have stayed up even after several years, but (unlike the associated tuner, which I don't need) at least they are available. I regularly and patiently browse ebay, etc. for a nice CD14. I want one: I'd appreciate another Rotel component, and rather than a Denon. The only other single-disc player I'd consider is one that also played SACDs, but that would be as an extra player in my case, and today I'm thinking I don't need one.

Players, and which player, has always mattered to me, and any player can serve strictly or mostly as a "transport" is one chooses that, today, sometimes, or whenever.

Enjoy your eventual selection and especially your music.
 

Leon74

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I don't necessarily buy into the theory that digital is digital and as long as you're using digital out then the cheapest DVD player or budget CD player will do.

Obviously something like a $40 Sony DVD player will function as a CD player and you can use it as a CD player using its digital out into a dac of your choice. But I have heard over the years the difference a quality transport can make to the sound of CDs even when using an external converter.

I've often found that a good quality CD player or transport will have vibration dampening and acoustical qualities to the construction of the player that a cheap DVD player or CD player does not have. As much as people want to claim otherwise because they want to feel secure in their own personal belief or budget, these construction aspects can and do make an audible difference and in my opinion are worth the money.

Another aspect of having a purpose made CD player versus something like a DVD player, is the fact that a purpose-made CD player will have functions and usability aspects that A DVD player simply does not have. Take a budget Sony DVD player for example versus my NAD c538 cd player. With the Sony if I wanted to repeat a track for example the thing has to be hooked up to some sort of monitor so that you can access the menu while you're playing a disc so that you can see to be able to select the option for either repeating a single track or the whole disc. With my NAD all I have to do is hit one button on the remote and it shows up on the display as a selection for either single track repeat or whole disc repeat, and there are other examples like this as well.

Something like the Rotel for example would be the one I would go with. Obviously aesthetically it will match your existing amplifier but also Rotel is known for producing a great quality CD player and probably going to be the best bang for Buck when using your amplifier.

Also I'm not necessarily one to believe in the power of an external DAC when used with a CD player, at least in the aspects of a budget system and with the aspect of achieving better sound quality.

In numerous budget systems that I've put together over the years, everything from Marantz to NAD to Yamaha to Arcam And Cambridge audio, I found that to my satisfaction and ears often the built-in DAC of a CD player sounds better than running it off to an external DAC. Now of course you can achieve better sound quality with an external DAC, but in my experience you have to spend two or three times the cost Of the CD player itself to truly get better sound.

I think oftentimes when people claim their hearing better sound when switching out a component, like a DAC for example, what they're really hearing isn't a " better" sound, no they're hearing a different sound. Now that's something that has taken me a long time to learn as a Hi-Fi enthusiast but different doesn't always equal better.

Anyway get the Rotel you'll be happy and it's a great player
"vibration dampening and acoustical qualities to the construction" is plain nonsense, sorry.
That is a factor that plays a role while playing vinyl, not cd. Digital is digital, it's as simple as that. As long as the file is read correctly, the cheapest or the most expensive player or transporter won't, no, *can't* make a difference if the sound is sent digitally to the amp.

Function and usability is, of course, a completely different theme and of course a dedicated CD player will offer more functions.

As for "better" sound versus "different" sound: I guess it would be very hard to give definions of both that would make it possible to discriminate: what sounds "better" to you need not sound better to me.
 
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jetblack9090

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"vibration dampening and acoustical qualities to the construction" is plain nonsense, sorry.
That is a factor that plays a role while playing vinyl, not cd. Digital is digital, it's as simple as that. As long as the file is read correctly, the cheapest or the most expensive player or transporter won't, no, *can't* make a difference if the sound is sent digitally to the amp.

Function and usability is, of course, a completely different theme and of course a dedicated CD player will offer more functions.

As for "better" sound versus "different" sound: I guess it would be very hard to give definions of both that would it make possible to discriminate: what sounds "better" to you need not sound better to me.
All righty buddy, I guess you've never put dampers or isolators under a CD player?, if you had you would know, but maybe not, that vibration or elimination of vibration even with digital can make a difference.

It's oftentimes a final step with digital particularly CD players, And The differences often aren't as dramatic as say a turntable, but it can make a difference.

For example A friend of mine who has A far bigger wallet than I do purchased an esoteric CD transport A couple of years ago. I went to his house and he wanted me to help him move some of his equipment around to set it up. After we got through setting it up he told me that he also bought some stillpoints footers for the transport, and he asked me if I wanted to do a test. I said sure and we ended up doing blind test with and without the footers and to where either of us were unable to see whether they were installed or not and let me tell you what we found.

We spent about 2 hours going back and forth, an hour each between the both of us, and he would switch them out and I couldn't see it and I would switch them out and he couldn't see it, and we both came back to the same conclusion. It was a matter of flow, it's the best way I can describe it. Even without knowing whether or not the footers were installed when they were installed you got this greater sense of flow and like ease to the music. I know it sounds hokey and to be honest with you I was surprised, because I've always been the type of person to try everything. I mean believe but verify that kind of thing you know what I mean.

Anyway I certainly don't have the budget he has to spend on audio gear but I ended up getting some cheaper footers under most of my equipment and I've been happy ever since.

I'm not saying you have to believe me and I certainly think a lot of these tweaks are budget dependent and component dependent.

I think at the end of the day I was simply trying to help the op with a good cd player advice and I think I did that. You bringing me into some sort of argument about what constitutes good sound or not or whether or not isolation or vibration dampening works in regards to digital components is totally missing the point and you're simply baiting me into having an argument with you.

Anyway have a good day and enjoy the music
 

Leon74

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Apr 8, 2024
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All righty buddy, I guess you've never put dampers or isolators under a CD player?, if you had you would know, but maybe not, that vibration or elimination of vibration even with digital can make a difference.

It's oftentimes a final step with digital particularly CD players, And The differences often aren't as dramatic as say a turntable, but it can make a difference.

For example A friend of mine who has A far bigger wallet than I do purchased an esoteric CD transport A couple of years ago. I went to his house and he wanted me to help him move some of his equipment around to set it up. After we got through setting it up he told me that he also bought some stillpoints footers for the transport, and he asked me if I wanted to do a test. I said sure and we ended up doing blind test with and without the footers and to where either of us were unable to see whether they were installed or not and let me tell you what we found.

We spent about 2 hours going back and forth, an hour each between the both of us, and he would switch them out and I couldn't see it and I would switch them out and he couldn't see it, and we both came back to the same conclusion. It was a matter of flow, it's the best way I can describe it. Even without knowing whether or not the footers were installed when they were installed you got this greater sense of flow and like ease to the music. I know it sounds hokey and to be honest with you I was surprised, because I've always been the type of person to try everything. I mean believe but verify that kind of thing you know what I mean.

Anyway I certainly don't have the budget he has to spend on audio gear but I ended up getting some cheaper footers under most of my equipment and I've been happy ever since.

I'm not saying you have to believe me and I certainly think a lot of these tweaks are budget dependent and component dependent.

I think at the end of the day I was simply trying to help the op with a good cd player advice and I think I did that. You bringing me into some sort of argument about what constitutes good sound or not or whether or not isolation or vibration dampening works in regards to digital components is totally missing the point and you're simply baiting me into having an argument with you.

Anyway have a good day and enjoy the music
Why would I "bait" you into "having an argument"?
Just reacting to something I obviously don't agree with.
They even make sports cd players. Imagine the vibrations such a device has to endure. A normal CD player that gives a different sound in a normal location simply is badly constructed and definitely not a Phillips.
 
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"vibration dampening and acoustical qualities to the construction" is plain nonsense, sorry.
That is a factor that plays a role while playing vinyl, not cd. Digital is digital, it's as simple as that. As long as the file is read correctly, the cheapest or the most expensive player or transporter won't, no, *can't* make a difference if the sound is sent digitally to the amp.

Function and usability is, of course, a completely different theme and of course a dedicated CD player will offer more functions.

As for "better" sound versus "different" sound: I guess it would be very hard to give definions of both that would make it possible to discriminate: what sounds "better" to you need not sound better to me.
What ' more functions ' will a dedicated CD player give? You've lost me there.
 

Fandango Andy

Well-known member
"vibration dampening and acoustical qualities to the construction" is plain nonsense, sorry.
That is a factor that plays a role while playing vinyl, not cd. Digital is digital, it's as simple as that. As long as the file is read correctly, the cheapest or the most expensive player or transporter won't, no, *can't* make a difference if the sound is sent digitally to the amp.

Function and usability is, of course, a completely different theme and of course a dedicated CD player will offer more functions.

As for "better" sound versus "different" sound: I guess it would be very hard to give definions of both that would make it possible to discriminate: what sounds "better" to you need not sound better to me.

The biggest difference in how a CD player sounds is going to be the DAC. Therefore, the big question the OP needs to ask themselves, do they want a CD player or a transport that they are going to plug into an external DAC.

When buying a hifi product there are lots of things to consider including build quality and reliability. I have two CD players from the early 2000s that are still going strong and sound great.
 

Leon74

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Apr 8, 2024
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The biggest difference in how a CD player sounds is going to be the DAC. Therefore, the big question the OP needs to ask themselves, do they want a CD player or a transport that they are going to plug into an external DAC.

When buying a hifi product there are lots of things to consider including build quality and reliability. I have two CD players from the early 2000s that are still going strong and sound great.
I just took an old Philips CD Recorder (probably from the early nineties) from the attic and it sounds great with analogue connections, though it also has digital (and digital-optical) out.
It's a pity that when I bought it I didn't make more than about 30 recordings with it. I was young without much money, the recordable CD's were still quite expensive (also because of copyright added tax) and quite soon after internet music downloads and CD (-rom) burning came around.
The same happened to me with the CD-I and minidisc, all very nice inventions but soon outdated. I just wish minidisc would have won and not the CD: minidiscs are far superior.
 

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