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Need advise on CD/SACD changer

by RustyDallas / December 3, 2007 12:58 AM PST

I'm finding that changing out CD's 1 at a time on my OPPO is inconvenient so I was thinking CD changer. Most of them seem to be 5-6 disk changers which seems a little light but I don't neccesarily need 400 either. I guess I might as well have SACD capability, also. Is there quality differances from unit to unit or will they all sound pretty much the same? Haven't found any reviews to go by.


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They will sound different
by jostenmeat / December 3, 2007 3:37 AM PST

a few to look into

Rotel 1055
Rotel 955
Sony makes some too.
Im sure there are many more. (Harman, Yamaha, Nakamichi, Toshiba...)

What you can do with most of these, or even with your Oppo, is to add a quality outboard DAC. The most common is the Benchmark. Bel Canto is also recommended. I am not sure that Wolfson makes an outboard (they must?) but they are highly sought after as well in players. The Benchmark or BelCanto are probably $500-$800 used, or close to 1k new. Oppo combined with hi end DAC is a common event among audiophiles.

Cheers Rusty.

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Well, SACD infers concern with that particular high quality
by NM_Bill / December 3, 2007 5:15 AM PST

special disc developed by Sony. It didn't particularly catch on - or die, either. As is discs don't already cost enough, of course the SACD discs are not a plentiful & cost more. It seems to me that their value lies mostly within the classical or jazz genres.

OK, one disc at a time is not the lazy mans way. Bear in mind jostenmeat has a trait to have interest lead him possibly towards high cost solutions. To each his own, always. Disc players aren't meant to sound different, but that's on the general side of things. Jostenmeat got a, what, $600 tube/hybrid disc player?

The world of true, aspiring audiophiles gets exotic quickly. My inclination is that since SACD is a Sony development, to first look to their products. They have a $150 5 disc changer as well as an ES series 5 disc changer @ $400, & a 400 disc changer, also @ $400.

SACD is not currently a big marketing push item, so C/NET has no particular interest as so many eagerly await C/NET reviews on new HDTVs. I am not current about audiophile websites and/or blogs, but have run across them when Googling. Maybe jostenmeat is current about those.

Best of luck for pursuing a Christmas for yourself as well as the other regulars around here. My particular thing was to devote a chunk of relatively available money to enhance my DVD library archives. In standard def, that is. I hate paying anything over 10 bucks for a disc (though some high value targets just have to be 15 or occasionally 20.) High def discs may come down with the possible eventuality of taking over the large volume of the market, but I'm no early adopter to get involved with that scene with its 20 buck discs. Cheers.

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Thanks for getting back to me guys
by RustyDallas / December 3, 2007 6:10 AM PST

Josten, I just learned to burn my own CD's off the I-tunes site and the one I did this weekend sounded really good. It's kinda cool to make my own categories to listen too with music I like. So, I've decided to try to become a junior grade music snob. I don't know if my obvious handicap will allow me to succeed so, if I do it, I'm going to try to hold it to a few hundred or so. I had something like this in mind:

The thing is, if ths music from a player like this would cheapen my attempt at audiophelia, I'll just stick with the OPPO. So, you guys make the call. 300.00 or less or do nothing?


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by Riverledge / December 3, 2007 6:35 AM PST


I think SONY still sells this model.

Best wishes,


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Rusty. Qualitywise the Oppo is better than the Sony 400
by NM_Bill / December 3, 2007 8:05 AM PST

disc player jukebox. For having SACD capabilities, ony has the $150 model & the better ES series @$400.

Both the SACD capable Sony models would have better quality than the jukebox model.

Glad to hear you now have CD burning capabilities. Of course, technically the iTunes songs have copy protection so you'd be a thief to their way of thinking. However, I've always felt I have a reasonable right to make a duplicate for me to use for my own non-commercial use, like in the car player.

No need to dive off the deep end for burning. Consider a priority of high value material to burn & leave other usually not hard to access material for that maybe sometime in the future frame of mind.

After all, cross purposes come to mind. If access would be mostly wanted at home, why not think about loading to a huge hard drive instead. Well, I guess I've crossed over into the convergence areas of things like Sonos or Olive.

But by becoming highly personally selective by being a discriminating listener, you are welcome to a new attitude of, not interfering or insulting anyone else, but not being satisfied with relatively poorer results, becoming your own music snob. It's not really like bring sophomoric.

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my man...
by jostenmeat / December 3, 2007 12:42 PM PST

(heh, recently saw American Gangster...)

Bill and company talked me out of SACD when I started here at CNET a year ago or so. They said the format was dead. They were already told that I was a classical buff, oh well. I guess I might be thankful. If I went multi-channel.... oh boy.... Some great new classical recordings are coming out as hybrids now, and they can cost. Just got one recently, of course only using the redbook layer. (The hyrbid is the only version available).

$300 firm? Keep your Oppo. If you had double that budget, and we were only limited to upgrading your audio source, I definitely vote for the DAC over a new player. I have zero confidence in the reliability of changers/carousels anyhow.

If you had $300 burning in your pocket to spend on audio, I vote for treatments or EQ. (I know you might want a sub, ok, can I have "two votes"?). But treatments are not exactly cheap if you don't make them yourself. I know you like bass response as you've mentioned from the rock you listen to, and I can only imagine that bass traps in every single corner of your room would help tremendously. Will your guests think you are completely nuts? Yeah, probably...

I need EQ and treatments. I am in a holding pattern for several months more, to see if I will be able to split my HT into a separate 2-ch as well. If I am able to pull it off, the 2-ch will most likely get its own dedicated room, and not the HT, although that isn't the easiest decision. (Remember when you were educating me on projection screen technology? I even checked out theater seating!). I cannot wait to have wall treatments, bass traps, Audyssey, better bass mgmt, etc. I am getting some healthy peaks at numerous freq's due to reflections (remember I have dipole mains) and modes.

Digression is over. I know you've got the gist of what Im saying.

p.s. oh ya try to keep the recordings as cd-quality. Some have experimented with varying levels of minor compression and found little or no ill-effect. Im sure it depends on everything... recording itself, listener, setup, etc....

p.p.s. IIRC, there's a nice fellow ML owner who has two of those 400 disc changers, because his wife is wheelchair bound. He also has a modified Oppo player that he recommends very, very highly, but we are talking about a grand.... If you want me to ask any particular questions about the changer, I can. Or better yet, I can tell you his handle at what forum if you want to pm him questions. You've got my email.

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SONY SCD-DE595 (5 disk changer + SACD)
by GTRider03 / December 3, 2007 7:04 AM PST

I just got this changer mainly for the ability to read/play MP3 CDs. I am VERY disappointed with it not being able to read ANY of my CD-Rs & RWs. I've used several different brands of media (Imation, Plextor, Maxell, etc) and NONE of them are able to be read. They are able to be read just fine in a Toshiba.

I don't recommend this changer. Get a different brand.


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Subject - compatibility.
by NM_Bill / December 3, 2007 8:07 AM PST

Yes, watch for most general purpose commerical players not handling CD-Rs & CD-RWs.

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Ok, the board is spoken
by RustyDallas / December 4, 2007 3:28 AM PST

I'll just have to keep up with the exhausting task of walking to the OPPO and changing disks as I wait for another solution. No way I buck sound quality advise from both Josten and Bill.

Thanks for everyones input and I'm moving on to new gizmo (buttkicker) to entertain myself.


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Hey, we are simply avid consumers like you!
by jostenmeat / December 5, 2007 3:18 AM PST

How's the remote treating you? What have you learned about those bass transducers so far anyways? Pretty expensive maybe? Happy

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Hey Josten
by RustyDallas / December 5, 2007 7:34 AM PST

I ordered the Buttkicker LFE kit with the 1000w amp for 399.00 delivered. I'm not sure its the best one but my home theater is in my bedroom and I need to shake a whole king sized bed. The Crowsons seem really cool but I figure the Buttkicker is the only one strong enough to deal with all the absorption of a mattress and box springs. I talked to the head buttkicker and he thinks one shaker will be enough. If not, I'll just have to add a second one. this is truly an addiction.

I noticed on the Onkyo web site that they have a firmware upgrade for the 605 to address issues on some of the very first ones shipped to address "ability to decode Dolby True HD, DTS HD, and Master Audio." What do you bet they are addressing the problem that guy had awhile back not being able to make lossless formats work with more than 5 channels? The good news is that they say it doesn't apply to my unit. The bad news is that I now have another problem that people have posted about. It only comes into play when I'm listening to CD's using both zone 1 and 2. After varying amounts of time, zone 1 stops playing but zone 2 is fine. Amusingly, if I turn on my TV, zone 1 comes back on and works fine. Onkyo thinks it has to do with the power supply and wants me to take it to a local service center. I guess I'll do it but it sure is a hassle for such a small problem. Others have posted about this model only working with the TV on so I guess they have a problem. I can't stand the thought of having to listen to my TV speakers while it's gone. Jonesing already.

The experience made me think though, I wonder how the receiver would handle it if I had a separate CD player for sound and also had a DVD in for video? I was pondering the big blue OPPO screen saver that I have had on my TV to make my speakers work and thought, you know, it wouldn't be so bad if I had one of those DVD's with an image of a fire in a fire place. I gotta find a step program. I'm sick, sick, sick sick sick,


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I remember, just about a year ago, I think on New Years Day
by jostenmeat / December 5, 2007 5:09 PM PST
In reply to: Hey Josten

one of my hi-def channels had the burning fireplace on for 24 hours, no commercial breaks. The show wasn't even the best part, I thought the ad's leading to this stupendous event was a joke at first. The ad had one of those full-blown "Monster-Truck / Guitar Center Blowout" voices with full echo effect deployed, going off.... I guess you had to be there... ahahaha

Damn fella. Buttkicker for the bed! Beware the nightmares... And if the thing goes off on accident during your sleep, you might be having some funky dreams! WOTW alien spaceships hovering above you in a WWII battle during a California Earthquake Silly

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