The transport, and particularly the laser, tends to be the weak link in older players. If that's working properly there's no reason they won't last. Spare parts are starting to become an issue, though.
Technical Editor, What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision
Main system: Mac Mini 2011 • HRT II+ DAC • Marantz CD 63 mkII KI & PM66 KI • MS 10i speakers [borrowed]
In storage: Thorens TD160 (no cart) • Cyrus 2 & PSX • Cyrus tuner • Technics SL-P777 • Nakamichi DR-1
When you think about it, it's asking a lot for a modern £300 DAC to take on a CDP which was a highly-respected £500 player some 15/16 years ago, which crucially was at the tail end CD players' "golden era".
If we use the Marantz as an example (though obviously there were other great players from that era as well), it's difficult to say exactly how much of that £500 was purely spent on sonics. But if you consider the basic CD-63 mk2 was half the price, then that gives you some idea.
For a good modern £300 DAC to take it on and win comfortably, then the cost of manufacturing DAC circuitry of any given sonic calibre needs to have halved in 15 years. I'm not sure it has.
I tend to use my Mac Mini with my HRT II+ more than my CD63KI player, really for convenience-sake more than anything else. I'm really not at all sure that it sounds better.
What a great post Shafesk - brilliantly reviewed imo - they should give you a job on What Hi Fi !
This is one that could go on and on though because as you have correctly posted, it all really boils down to personal prefererences.
I still kick myself in the teeth for selling my Marantnz cd63se mk11 on fleabay a few years back. I really miss that sound, brilliant cd player.
Great read though, so thanks.
It all boils down to preference: Do you want versatility or just play CDs?
Amp: Leema Pulse; Source: Naim CD5i-2, Denon 260MKII, Pro-ject XP I; Speakers: PMC TB2i
Formerly known as plastic penguin
When it comes to any source hifi equipment these days the differences are very little. Again it all depends what you patntering the source with. Something that sounds thin in one system may sound good in another. Like most people may be aware by now, Hifi is a very tricky business. You have to get some much right to get the right sound, or may I say the type of sound you looking for.
I have a recording studio & also having been to so many over the years I have come to the conclusion that the speakers has to be the best you can afford then take it from there to know what your source & amp actually sound like. I think only then can u really built a good system. This is just my opinion, others may think otherwise.
If am to really to decide about dacs & cdps a traditional hifi system I will say cdp anyday. Computer based systems & or both hifi & computer systems then dacs start to make sense.
No rules. If it sounds good to you it sounds Right!!.Transpor:t . Oppo BDP-105EU Blue ray player. DAC:Musical Fidelity V90. AMP: Arcam AVR450. SPEAKER'S: Boston acoustics M340.
Just picking-up on an easily-overlooked point in Shafin's opening post:
Very interesting. I've often looked at CD63 KIs on Ebay and wondered about taking the plunge.
Inflation is probably a factor in the relative performances, too. The Marantz' £500 list price is more like £750 in 2012 terms, while the Dacmagic would have been around £200 in the late nineties.
NAD C565BEE, Harmon Kardon HK1200, B&W DM620, Graham Slee Novo, Sennheiser HD650
yes true, but think technology has moved on abit since then.
The new DAC's sound differ surprisingly much from older DAC's. Can it be the preamps, which have gone from discrete components to pure IC with switched power supply?
Denon DNP-720AE network streamer, Mordaunt Short Mezzo 6, Cayin A-55 T, Technics-SLQ210, Denon DP-29F turntable, 540p, Dac-magic, Marantz 5004CD and 6025 Turntable, Mac ,Pure AV interconnects, QED Revelation speaker cables, QED Performance interconnects.
Akg K702, Grado SR60i, UE Triple-fi, Musical Fidelity X-cans, HRT Music Streamer 2+
I had the DM for a while... Concluded it was utter kak.
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