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Thread: What can I expect from an upgraded cdp?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 890
    I'm Mike.

    Default What can I expect from an upgraded cdp?

    So I've done all the turntable upgrade thing, deck, arm, cart. Now that I'm paying serious attention to cds, I'm wondering about what improvements a 'better', i.e. more expensive cdp would bring. At the minute I am quite happy, but as audiophiles I'm sure you all have that feeling 'am I missing something'? I'm not the most serious audiophile so I'm not interested unless its a big/real upgrade/improvement. I currently use a rather lovely mint Pioneer PD 8700, it cost me 60 and works a dream. So your thinking, no need to scratch that itch then! Well I am wondering what would something like a Sony cdp 338es bring ? Is it worth it, or do I need to go higher? Or is it even worth it considering my rather humble amp? The Naim Nait 5 (with optional power supply!). Bearing in mind the Sony es range/other 80s/90s Jap brands are getting on for 30 years old, is it even worth bothering? Though of course there are fellows out there who can service these items, if parts are still available that is.
    Current system. NAS Interspace, Jelco 750, /Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CD Players - Mission PCM 7000/Pioneer PD 8700. Amps - Quad 909/306/Khozmo passive. Chario Syntar 100 Tower. QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 25,474
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    With a Naim amp I'd be inclined to go for a Naim CD player.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SLP1200 CD Player * Nelson Pass DCB1 Pre amp / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  3. #3
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 890
    I'm Mike.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    With a Naim amp I'd be inclined to go for a Naim CD player.
    The amp may not be around that long. Bought it because it was an absolute bargain, and I wanted something serviced, but am thinking the overall sound may not be for me in the long run, though it will certainly do for the time being.
    Current system. NAS Interspace, Jelco 750, /Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CD Players - Mission PCM 7000/Pioneer PD 8700. Amps - Quad 909/306/Khozmo passive. Chario Syntar 100 Tower. QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Dec 2013

    Location: New Zealand

    Posts: 78
    I'm Brett.

    Default

    Have you considered buying a Dac?
    And using your Pioneer PD 8700 as transport, with the optical out?

  5. #5
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: Surrey

    Posts: 4,140
    I'm Mike.

    Default

    The 8700 looks like a stable platter so keep it.
    How about a DAC as Jerry says
    Nice upgrade on my Pioneer going to a Beresford.
    Another upgrade with battery or other power supplies.
    Starting at the front if you don't already :
    Unswitched socket, decent power block, decent mains cables, interconnects, supports like RDC cones are good VFM.
    Belles integrated for an amp should stomp on the Naim
    Last edited by MikeMusic; 06-01-2019 at 12:03. Reason: typo
    TAD CD / DAC / Pre, Technics 1210, MCRU PSU, Mike New Bearing & Platter, Stillpoints LP1 weight, Speedy Steve Ebony armboard, Fidelity Research FR64FX arm, Ortofon SPU. Aurorasound VIDA Phono Pre Amp, TAD Power Amp, TAD E1 speakers. Coherent RTZ 3 Grounding box, Coherent grounding cables, Creaktiv racks. Coherent Mains Cables. SR Blue Fuse. Interconnects : Coherent and Yannis 223.5 Connect Litz. Coherent speaker cable. Audio Magic Transcendence Conditioner. Coherent mains socket. Mains Filters : , PS Audio Harvesters, Russ Andrews Purifiers, Tacima, Vertex. Black Ravioli and RDC supports. Electric Beach S1NX platforms for TAD CD and Technics. Ferrite chokes everywhere except the above. Ears, brain

    Mike

  6. #6
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 25,474
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    I've had a lot of CD players over the years and still have about a dozen of them lying around. There can be quite a difference in presentation between them but there is rarely a difference in quality. The two things are often confused. Some real cheap and nasty jobs aside, quality doesn't tend to vary much. You have to step up to the real 'battleship' designs, in particular the Jap kit from the late 1980s to early 2000s to get an improvement there and even then it isn't a massive jump up.


    Amplification plays a big part in getting good digital sound. This always seems to be overlooked. The objections to the sound quality of CD when it first came out I reckon were down entirely to 'flat earth' amplification like Naim and Exposure that a good chunk of the serious UK enthusiasts were using at the time. The rest of the world never had a problem, funny that.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SLP1200 CD Player * Nelson Pass DCB1 Pre amp / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  7. #7
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 4,888
    I'm Alan.

    Default

    Have you tried playing the CD digital output through your N-50K streamer?

    Worth a shot before you do anything else.

  8. #8
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: A Strangely Isolated Place in Suffolk with far away trains passing by...

    Posts: 14,559
    I'm David.

    Default

    A Flatcapped Nait 5 is very fair indeed until it's pushed too hard, especially now it's some years old and the current cosmetic models don't seem to drift off as quickly as older CB and Olive models did. Just that when it clips it tells you NASTILY in my experience!!! The later versions seem a little 'tamer' sonically (in a good way) so don't ditch the Naim automatically just yet until you've heard something 'genuinely' better.. (No, I'm not trying to get back into Naim's good books, but they have moved on - at silly-high prices I admit - and their current rather lovely looking/feeling streamer-amps do sound better/nicer than I remember earlier models sounding even if costs are prohibitive for many of us)

    The Naim CD players, whatever you or I think about them, had some quite serious production engineering in them, the hinged 'drawer' almost a work of (possibly clumsy) art if taken apart to change the mechanism for example. You can't, in my opinion, slag them off for just cobbling a few Philips circuit boards into an overpriced case... The old upgrade situation where you add yet more boxes is a pain though, although one Flatcap can power two units (Nait 5 preamp and CD player audio circuit) I seem to remember

    Of course there's plenty of well priced alternatives, but the Pioneer you have should make for a splendid transport as suggested above and sound quality aside, the 'feel' of a top-range player is always a joy, bearing in mind most go for peanuts today as everyone seems to stream... DAC's have also become cheaper but you need to be careful what to go for. I have a tiny DAC box from eBay costing well under a tenner depending on the seller and with an external 5V low noise linear supply which can be imported for forty quid from China, it 'sounds' great and on its own you don't hear any shortcomings, though maybe it's no better at all than you have already. Only drawback with this cheapie is the output is lower than usual and unless precisely level matched if A-B comparing, it'll sound worse because it's quieter and you can't switch inputs on it either. Amazing how good cheap DAC engineering can be though and I do believe the higher cost of many otherwise excellent Top End examples over a grand is more intellectual property in the designs than component and case costs..
    Tear down these walls; Cut the ties that held me
    Crying out at the top of my voice; Tell me now if you can hear me

  9. #9
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 890
    I'm Mike.

    Default

    Thanks for all replies. It seems to chime with what Steve - STD305M forum member - said today when he came around to buy my Nakamichi pre amp, he ended up recommending I keep it and change my amplification (Naim) ! And to possibly try out a Beresford DAC. So I'll keep the PD8700, and hunt around for a new power amp and possibly DAC. Thanks all.
    Current system. NAS Interspace, Jelco 750, /Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CD Players - Mission PCM 7000/Pioneer PD 8700. Amps - Quad 909/306/Khozmo passive. Chario Syntar 100 Tower. QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jun 2015

    Location: London/Durham

    Posts: 2,759
    I'm Lawrence.

    Default

    If you want digital to be a genuine alternative to vinyl in your system I'd consider spending quite a bit more on the dac. From my experience stable platter players can be used with some quite decent dacs without embarrassing themselves.

    Sent from my BLN-L21 using Tapatalk

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