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Vinyl vs Digital Hype

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CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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QuestForThe13thNote said:
Most sources are good nowadays so don't be concerned with is cd better than vinyl or vice versa. If you want to improve your system upgrade amps and speakers. That's all there is to say.
I agree and disagree at the same time. *unknw*

I recon that your digital source needs to be good enough not to hold back your system...if you have a really decent amp and speakers, you don't want a cheap CDP/Streamer (which can cause a 2D image)....so maybe 15-25% of the value of your system.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
I'd absolutely agree with cno evil. And I definetely think these types of percentages are wise ; my cheapest source is about ten percent and most expensive about 15-20 percent. If I spent more I'd doubt it would be worth it, if I spent less I'd hear it.
 

Gazzip

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Jan 15, 2011
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QuestForThe13thNote said:
I'd absolutely agree with cno evil. And I definetely think these types of percentages are wise ; my cheapest source is about ten percent and most expensive about 15-20 percent. If I spent more I'd doubt it would be worth it, if I spent less I'd hear it.
Lest we forget that "worth it" is a relative term...
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
Worth it in the sense of what you get benefit out of in a sound quality way is what I meant, as hi fi is a game of spending in the best areas to yield the best returns. And that's less subjective and more objective I think. Eg

budget for upgrade £1000, current system ; amp £300, speakers £300, CD player £300.

1) upgrade one : buy £1000 CD player - return a marginal 5-10 percent improvement. Not worth it.

2) upgrade two : upgrade amps by £500 and speakers by £500 assuming trade in of existing stuff at 'similar' new prices, now have £800 speakers, £800 amp. keep CD player the same. Improvement : 30 percent over previous set up. Worth it.
 
I wouldn't normally recommend anyone with a £300 amp or speakers sell what they already have to "upgrade" to £500 alternatives - the gains will be pretty minimal with regards to quality. The speakers will give the biggest "perceived" difference due to their nature. If the £300 speakers are well designed, I'd recommend putting it all into the amp - presuming the CD player is up to the job.

There's too many variables to throw figures at this sort of scenario.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
Upgrades was from £300 to £800 in hypothetical example. I'd agree lots of variables and difficult to apportion exact figures, but it's definetely something to take it from subjectiveness in getting worth out of an expensive source on modest system or relatively modest, to objective better benefits on sq when you start spending the same cash instead on amps, speakers, dacs, etc.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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QuestForThe13thNote said:
I'd absolutely agree with cno evil. And I definetely think these types of percentages are wise ; my cheapest source is about ten percent and most expensive about 15-20 percent. If I spent more I'd doubt it would be worth it, if I spent less I'd hear it.
Would you hear it in a good way or a bad way?

Surely that would depend what sources we're talking about.

Here's one example from post #10 on the purist thread:

knaithrover said:
I have a Marantz CD48 which sounds so so good and never misses a beat - apparently has a fabled Philips DAC only produced in 1994. I prefer it to my rrp 3.5k Roksan cdp. It cost me 40 English pounds...
I think that allocating 0.1% of the total system budget to the digital source is quite acceptable and sensible - depending on the system.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
lindsayt said:
QuestForThe13thNote said:
I'd absolutely agree with cno evil. And I definetely think these types of percentages are wise ; my cheapest source is about ten percent and most expensive about 15-20 percent. If I spent more I'd doubt it would be worth it, if I spent less I'd hear it.
Would you hear it in a good way or a bad way?

Surely that would depend what sources we're talking about.

Here's one example from post #10 on the purist thread:

knaithrover said:
I have a Marantz CD48 which sounds so so good and never misses a beat - apparently has a fabled Philips DAC only produced in 1994. I prefer it to my rrp 3.5k Roksan cdp. It cost me 40 English pounds...
I think that allocating 0.1% of the total system budget to the digital source is quite acceptable and sensible - depending on the system.
Id hear not much benefit for my buck, and depending on the price probably not much at all.

this is my point though since if you match a £3295 roksan amp and £3500 CD player with £1000 acoustic energy ae 305 speakers, you very likely won't get the benefit out of the roksan CD player assuming the roksan CD player is very decent at its price in the right system, which I bet it is. This seems to be the experience of that poster, that the cheaper marantz works as well . Its about matching. This is common sense to me but also my experiences too_On the amp side of things, it seems perfectly matched to me if the amp eeks out all the performance of speakers, but pound matched for pound, amps will do that much better, CD players won't.

Btw I'm not criticising that posters choices, but just making the point. If you had a pair of really good performing ae speakers at say £5k , which will perform better on detail and everything at their price point if a good model speaker, could the poster say the same thing with the marantz comparing it to the roksan, assuming as I say both CD players perform best at their price points. I doubt it, as the marantz would probably be shown up against the £5k ae speakers revealing the marantz flaws. This idea people say that a good £30 CD player copes as well as a good £1000 cd one within its design, is wishful thinking. It's impossible at its price, and design. It doesn't mean price reflects performance because law of dim returns comes in. But it's what works better in a matched sense.

I tried a £30 chromecast audio in place of my streamer at £1300, and it's quite obvious it sounded horrendous comparatively and you wouldn't match the two. I've also tried my 1992 Sony CD player (about £100 then) on my system using its dacs and analogue out, and to say it took dynamics out, an understatement. I'm sure I'd get similar results if I tried a £200 ish CD player from today, with basic dac but probably not as bad as dacs much better nowadays.
 

knaithrover

Moderator
Nov 24, 2013
193
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18,670
QuestForThe13thNote said:
lindsayt said:
QuestForThe13thNote said:
I'd absolutely agree with cno evil. And I definetely think these types of percentages are wise ; my cheapest source is about ten percent and most expensive about 15-20 percent. If I spent more I'd doubt it would be worth it, if I spent less I'd hear it.
Would you hear it in a good way or a bad way?

Surely that would depend what sources we're talking about.

Here's one example from post #10 on the purist thread:

knaithrover said:
I have a Marantz CD48 which sounds so so good and never misses a beat - apparently has a fabled Philips DAC only produced in 1994. I prefer it to my rrp 3.5k Roksan cdp. It cost me 40 English pounds...
I think that allocating 0.1% of the total system budget to the digital source is quite acceptable and sensible - depending on the system.
Id hear not much benefit for my buck, and depending on the price probably not much at all.

this is my point though since if you match a £3295 roksan amp and £3500 CD player with £1000 acoustic energy ae 305 speakers, you very likely won't get the benefit out of the roksan CD player assuming the roksan CD player is very decent at its price in the right system, which I bet it is. This seems to be the experience of that poster, that the cheaper marantz works as well . Its about matching. This is common sense to me but also my experiences too_On the amp side of things, it seems perfectly matched to me if the amp eeks out all the performance of speakers, but pound matched for pound, amps will do that much better, CD players won't.

Btw I'm not criticising that posters choices, but just making the point. If you had a pair of really good performing ae speakers at say £5k , which will perform better on detail and everything at their price point if a good model speaker, could the poster say the same thing with the marantz comparing it to the roksan, assuming as I say both CD players perform best at their price points. I doubt it, as the marantz would probably be shown up against the £5k ae speakers revealing the marantz flaws. This idea people say that a good £30 CD player copes as well as a good £1000 cd one within its design, is wishful thinking. It's impossible at its price, and design. It doesn't mean price reflects performance because law of dim returns comes in. But it's what works better in a matched sense.

I tried a £30 chromecast audio in place of my streamer at £1300, and it's quite obvious it sounded horrendous comparatively and you wouldn't match the two. I've also tried my 1992 Sony CD player (about £100 then) on my system using its dacs and analogue out, and to say it took dynamics out, an understatement. I'm sure I'd get similar results if I tried a £200 ish CD player from today, with basic dac but probably not as bad as dacs much better nowadays.
Interesting point and not taken as criticism at all, i'd not considered that my CD48 sounded better than my vastly more expensive Roksan cdp because it was at a more compatible level - I just thought it sounded better because it was good. My AE's sound great with the Roksans btw but I have been conscious since I paired them up that I need to go up a couple of levels at least speaker - wise to get the best out of the amp/cd - expensive business!! Bit of a virgin at this price level though....
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
Thanks for your nice comments. I suppose as the amp is really good you could borrow some different speakers up the range at some stage and also another CD player a bit more modest, and see if you might get the full benefit out of the roksan CD player, depending on what speakers you go for. If you don't get full benefit out of the roksan CD player, with the demoted speakers, you could sell it and put towards speakers and a different more modest CD player if you don't get full benefit of roksan out of chosen speakers. That said I know how much same make stuff looks good together, and sounds together too!
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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When I use my Marantz CD48 with speakers that I paid £5500 for, it sounds fine.

I think there's every chance the CD48 sounds better in knaithrover's system than his Roksan because it is a better sounding CD player. As simple as. And that it would sound better regardless of the systems they were compared in. Check out what Lampizator says about them.

The key to a good sounding CD player is a good DAC chip and a good analogue stage - which generally means a simple analogue stage. The Phillips CD751 / Marantz CD48 fits the bill.

Quest, feel free to blow £20 to £40 on one and compare it against your Cyrus.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
I don't think I would buy one even if dead cheap, but I'd stand corrected if it was better or as good, but beating my dacs I'd think a snowball in hells chance. I suspect it could be a preference thing too. Looking at some reviews online I see people saying it is quite a detailed player. I seem to remember marantz had that reputation of being quite sharp in the 90s, for the good of detail etc.

anyone wants to swap one for my Sony or bring one around, I'd happily do a test. A marantz test?
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
I agree with everything David says on speakers and if the speakers are really decent you generally need pricier amps to get best out of them. A speakers ability to keep improving with better amplification, is a marker of their quality.

thats why I never get why people buy really decent speakers and bung on a relative value combined cd, amp and surround system all in one box. It just won't do the speakers justice, if a big criteria is sound quality.
 
The output on Marantz players are higher than most other manufacturers, so quick, direct comparisons can come across as they Marantz seemingly sounding better if this isn't taken into account. I always remember doing comparisons between those and the Rotel players of the time, which weren't much more than 1.3/1.5v output, compared to the Marantz's 2/2.2v. Most people who were looking for an 'easy on the ear' player usually bought Rotel, and those who wanted excitement chose Marantz.

There are numerous players from the mid 80s through to the early/mid 90s that were excellent players - I always remember a friend's system in the early 90s using KEF Reference 103/4 with dual Musical Fidelity P180 power amps, along with his Marantz CD94 player. Sounded amazing. The whole system had a deep, powerful bass presence, tons of detail etc etc. How would it stack up against more modern players, almost 30 years after its design? I don't know, but the chips used back then were different, what manufacturers understand about both the analogue and digital stages is different, but no doubt, as always, it would come down to preference. A few who are able to pick up a CD94 for a few hundred quid might well prefer it to a current £3,000 player - the saving of £2,800 would have a strong influence, just in the same way as the belief that the CD94 is an old, ancient player just cannot stack up against the best of today.

As for matching system components by price, there's too many variables, the main one being the ability of any one single component. £1,000 speakers not doing justice to an amp and CD player at £3.5k each? What if that was reversed? Would a £1,000 amplifier do justice to a £3.5k pair of speakers? It depends which £3.5k speakers you're using, and which £1k amplifier you're using. If you paired a Primare I22 with a pair of PMC Twenty5.24 (£4.5k), you'd be pretty safe. But pair a Naim Nait 5Si with some KEF Reference 203/2 (£4k) and you'll end up with a dog of a system. Personally, I'd rather spend more on the amplifier in order to get the best out of the speakers. No amount of speaker can make up for an insufficient amplifier, which has to be fully in control of the speaker in all aspects in order for the speaker to perform and sound as it has been designed - sell yourself short on the amp and the speakers will be underperforming, which is what a lot of people do when buying blind and buying based on price/ex demo deals do. They see a great ex-demo speaker with a big saving and jump on it, thinking the purchase will take their system to new heights never before experienced. Of course, they usually end up a little deflated when their system suddenly lacks in various areas and wonder why, leading to more upgrading or boxswapping. An ex-demo £5k speaker deal for £3k is great if it's the speaker you were after, but not necessarily a good choice if you we're only going to buy a £3k speaker in the first place (if that makes sense). But as I say, many variables to take into account.
 

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