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Friday, March 6. 2020
CDs are our basic home music.
We have superb speakers, extravagant. Living room and bedroom. We happily live with no TV out in the country. Music-lovers, on a Brahms kick now. Live music is better, but how often? And I do not like to waste my time on live music unless I have heard it at home a few times first to get the idea of it. Otherwise, first time is too complex for me to process.
Computer music is good enough for pop or folk, but not for serious "adult" music. Try buying a good 6-CD player now to run through your fancy amp and fancy speakers. I have 1000 CDs, all important to me. Many operas. My player must have gotten the coronavirus, because it seems to have died.
I have tried "used" or refubished players. Not a good idea, sadly. That is from experience.
I welcome your ideas. The ones I find cost almost double what they used to cost. Do I need to spend $500 for a CD component? I have two great old amps which have lasted forever.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:18 | Comments (42) | Trackbacks (0)
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Amazon has new CD players from Yamaha, TEAC, Marantz, and Tascam that might be of interest. I have been very satisfied with my Yamaha unit.
Sorry but you are a bit late on this...they stopped putting CDs in new cars years ago. Like it or not CDs have been obsolete for a while.
Check out Rotel. I’ve had one of their CD players for about 12 years, and it’s fantastic. The RCD-1570 goes for about 700 bucks. I too believe that the CD is the perfect medium for music playback. I still love my vinyl too, but digital music formats sound screechy to me. CD audio has a purity like none other.
I have a Rotel AM/FM/audio amplifier I bought back in 1975 — still works great and i use it with the Dual turntable for the times I play LPs. (Which admittedly isn't anywhere near as often as CDs.)
I'm using a 1990's era Rotel CD/DVD player with an AVA hybrid outboard DAC, and it works just fine. Should be many good units from major brands available in the new and used market.
As for CD's being obsolete: They still work and they still sound substantially better than mp3s, so they are hardly obsolete. Just not as popular as streamed music these days. I am still buying CDs and LPs from places like Ebay and loving the music. Don't let anyone shame you into thinking that just because they are an older technology, they are no good, or that you are behind the times.
Steve Jobs hated the MP3 format, and he tried to stop it from becoming a standard. He said that the data compression spoiled the quality of the sound.
They still exist, but probably not at your local retail outlet, you’ll have to go to an online retailer.
Or just get a blu-ray player, they’ll play CDs fine (probably not likely to find a 6-disc changer though).
Or...encode them to some lossless digital format (like FLAC), and just play them from a network attached storage device. My current Yamaha receiver does a great job playing this kind of media. Takes a little time to do the encoding, but, once done, keep your CDs someplace safe.
You might consider looking at newer high-resolution digital audio players (DAPs), e.g. made by Sony or Astell & Kern. Good ones are available in the range of $300-1,000. You can rip your CDs to highest quality MP3 or uncompressed FLAC files, store them and play back through the DAP. Astell & Kern offer a CD ripper for FLAC files, but software is also available for any computer with CD drive. To most people's ears, high quality MP3s generally sound just as good. A number of web-based stores also exist where you can buy and download music as uncompressed or high quality compressed files. Might be a good move to make to preserve the CDs you have and adapt to the ongoing extinction of CD technology.
Onkyo DX-C390 is a good multi-disk player that is sub-$200
But golly, it does seem to be out of stock everywhere. Best-Buy claims to have "open box" ones at various stores.
Check out the Youtube Channel PS Audio. It's the owner of the high end audio company who answers question in 5-6 min videos. You can get a lot of info. One thing I learned is you shouldn't depend on the Digital Audio Converter (DAC) in almost any CD player, but rather feed into a quality DAC.
I have gone over to digital files, almost completely. All my cars and my home system allow me to plug in a thumb drive that holds a huge amount of music, audiobooks, or video files.
I usually keep my current playlist of 300 or so songs on a thumb drive that I can play in my shop, car, or house. I am constantly adding and subtracting stuff.
Quality is an important aspect. Digital files are available in much higher than CD quality. That might not matter for most of us. We recently upgraded to a Dolby Atmos system, and it is wonderful. Of course, we watch a lot of films, which we can also watch from thumb drives.
Everything is archived on a couple of big hard drives. The amount of music and films I have access to is just mind blowing.
Many Blu-Ray players have a usb slot. They will also play your CDs.
My 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe came with a Cd player from the factory. That was one factor in the decision to buy it....
Brahms is my favorite composer. I love to play his Intermezzi. Even my little grandson loves to sing along with Intermezzo Op.118, no. 2
I like Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn et.al., but Brahms makes me glad I'm alive. Haha. His Intermezzi are sublime.
No, CD's are not obsolete.
I still buy much of my music in CD format (online shopping of course), then "burn" the CD onto my various MP3 devices. The CD goes into storage until I need to use it to put it on another MP3 device.
I'm thinking it must be the survey of obsolete things from last autumn:
I always liked 8-tracks. When a song came on one channel that wasn't one of your favorites you could switch channels to play a better one. Haven't had an 8-track in 25 years but there are certain songs that I hear that remind me to hit the channel button. Pavlov's music lover.
If you do not like the sound of MP3 files, check out Exact Audio Copy (EAC) - it rips the data from your CD and writes it as a file. The key thing is that you have options to use a non-lossy file format like FLAC or OGG - what you put in, you get back out again.
Just to be safe, you should probably go with a Kalista. https://www.soundandvision.com/content/metronome-kalista-cd-transport
I purchased a slew of CD box sets @ $1-$3 per CD. Not obsolete for me.
I love these guys:
They are VERY knowledgeable and if they don't know something they will not try to bluff you. They will say just a minute and then hook you up to someone who DOES KNOW! They have been very helpful to me even when I don't buy something from them--though I have bought from them in the past and they are ALWAYS available to answer any question. Give them a call and tell them your situation.
They've also got my favourite 6-disk multi-CD player on sale for $149, but unfortunately you have to wait until summer for it to be restocked.
Enjoy your CDs. There is no question that they are "just a bit" better than the best MP3. As you get older and your high frequency hearing tanks it is harder to tell the difference, but the CD format is still the most convenient. Don't worry too much about which CD player to use. They are all great. Your amps and MOST OF ALL your speakers - and speaker placement - make the audible difference.
I probably have 300-400 CDs and no working CD player! How dumb is that?!
In recent years I have started listening to a lot of streaming music (Spotify and Apple Music) on phones, computers and now this iPad and all I need (it seems) to stream to my good stereo is a stereo Bluetooth adapter to plug into the stereo. I bought a fairly cheap one online but it did not work at all, sent that thing back.
Harman Kardon makes one that is around $65 and gets a lot of good reviews. Anyone taken this step and what did you find? My main question is, do you really get true stereo with separation and overall sound quality nearly equal to old school wired components? I am not interested in mono just for the convenience of Bluetooth.
As a data-point, I've been doing an annual survey of about 160 new-intake university students asking if they moved to campus with anything that would play an audio CD, such as a CD deck, boom-box, car-stereo, or computer with optical drive.
The past September was the first one with a majority that could not play the disk.
A CD player in a computer will do as well as a regular CD player, Use the sound output and connect it to your stereo system.
I have quite a library of CDs, myself, and continue to purchase them selectively. I recommend you check out Don Lindich's "Sound Advice" site (http://soundadvicenews.com) for reviews and recommendations of available CD players (among other things). When my venerable Sony player died, I relied on his advice and got a very nice Onkyo player which I am very happy with. Good luck!
Not obsolete. I don’t care what anyone says, and it’s fine if they’ve adapted, but I still love to have the physical copy of books and music. If that makes me a dinosaur, fine.
SACD players, DVD players, BluRay players, should all be able to serve as CD players.
Marantz and Sony I know to be good, Yamaha also makes them but don't know the quality of their audio playback equipment.
Of course you want a decent quality amplifier and speakers but if you're an audiophile you should already have that.
Yes - and they will probably have at least the sound quality with more format options than a regular CD player.
I use a $10 USB DVD drive into a laptop. Run the line-out into an isolation transformer to get rid of ground loop hum and into your audio system.
But I'm not an audiophile so maybe wouldn't know the difference.
Or for that matter a portable DVD player (cheap) will play CDs. Again line out to isolation transformer to audio system.
CDs are not obsolete. If you buy good quality recordings, remasters, etc. Do some research on the DACs, digital to analog converters, this is what makes the biggest difference in the sound. The last CD player I bought wasn't really high priced, $1000, but it had really good DACs, it made a world of difference. I bought a Cambridge Audio Azur. Cambridge Audio makes some really nice products at a reasonable price. I ran this player through my McIntosh tube equipment and a pair of custom-built speakers with ScanSpeak drivers.
The Barrister: on a Brahms kick now
Brahms Piano Concerto no.2, 4th movement
You should see my reel-to-reel deck with the 8 track recorder in the side. Hello 1973!
I have two Sony 400 disc changers. Originally my intended use was for all my DVD movies. For example, look up the Sony Dvp-cs995v "Disk Explorer," which plays CD's and DVD's. There is a remote available, as well. You can find them used on ebay for $200 give or take.
I second the notion of not owning a CD player but buying CDs. I have two of the Sony digital players (HAP-Z1ES and HAP-S1.) I can control either with a Sony app on my cell phone.
If I'm not using hi-res files downloaded from Hyperion, Blue Coast, or HDTracks, I rip my CDs on the computer's optical drive with EAC then send them over the Ethernet to store and playback on the Sonys.
Then I put the CDs on a shelf.
Easy and very convenient.
Go to Audiogon or Ebay. Your notion that used is no good is specious. Every piece of electronic equipment you own now is used. CD players have moving parts, and they can wear out, but otherwise they are pretty much utterly reliable and far, far cheaper used.
Buy any player that will play the formats you want, although I'd recommend if you want a higher fidelity player that you get one that plays SACD/DSD.
Denon makes good stuff. The last player I bought was a Pioneer in 2005 or so, and it plays everything but blue ray, but since I play CDs with it, no problemo.