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MajorFubar's picture
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Why are older world-class CD players so darn cheap...

...when I'm truly convinced they still tan the hide of anything new at the same price?

Just sat here in my bedroom listening to Peter Gabriel's greatest hits album, "Shaking The Tree", and for a change I'm listening via my much-underused Marantz CD-63KI instead of via my HRT II+. I'm listening with a pair of Sennheiser RS180 headphones from the CDP's line-out.

Now I like my HRT II+.  In fact I love it.  I doubt £300 could have bought me another USB DAC which sounded vastly superior for the price, probably just different. I highly recommend it even today.

But, this CDP, verging on 20 years old, absolutely lays it to waste. There's no question and I'd be happy to ABX. How is it better?  The sound is bigger, it's more dynamic, the soundstage is wider and deeper, it's warmer and less clinical, and Whoa! The bass can rock. Percussive-sounds like snares snap with an eye-blinking realism. Vocals are crisp and clear. Everything just takes-on another scale to listening on the HRT.

Ok, the HRT is not a CD player, but I suspect - please correct me if I'm wrong! - that its sound must be of a similar quality to what one would expect from a new CDP at a similar price (is that a totally wrong assumption?). Yet you can buy one of these CD63KI babies for well-under £200.  There's pristine-looking boxed one on eBay at the moment for £150. Some of the ones without a BIN go for even less. It must be the bargain of the century

Who the hell are buying new CDPs for the same price, and why? Not just the Marantz, other legends like the Rotel RCD965BX are also available at these stupid prices too.

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RE: Why are older world-class CD players so darn cheap...

Moving parts make them more likely to break down than amplifiersof a similar age, thus making them a riskier purchase when you consider the fact that you may need to outlay significant amounts of cash for repair or replacement. Some people just don't want to take that risk.

Bedroom: Esoteric RZ-1, PMC DB1i, Fostex CW200A. FUBAR IV

Office: Nuforce Icon HDP, Adam A7X

Living room: Apple TV, FIIO D03K, Fostex PM0.4n

Headphones: Audio Technica ATH-AD900x and ATH-A900x, Sennheiser HD595,  Grado SR80i

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RE: Why are older world-class CD players so darn cheap...

Well the cd tray tends to fail on the Marantz. 

 

The HRT seems over priced in the UK as only $180 in USA.

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RE: Why are older world-class CD players so darn cheap...

BigH wrote:
Well the cd tray tends to fail on the Marantz.

Really? :? Mine tends not to have done. Have I been lucky?

BigH wrote:
The HRT seems over priced in the UK as only $180 in USA.

$180 is for the HRT II, not the HRT II+. The list-price of the HRT II+ is $349 in the States, which in terms of damage to the average American's pocket, is similar to the £299 price over here.

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RE: Why are older world-class CD players so darn cheap...

OK thanks for clarifying. Interesting that your cd player is better than the HRT+.

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RE: Why are older world-class CD players so darn cheap

BigH wrote:

OK thanks for clarifying. Interesting that your cd player is better than the HRT+.

It's probably a reflection of the fact that a good proportion of the KI's £500 cost in 1996 went towards building a bl--dy good analogue stage with high-quality components powered by a regulated mains-feed, not a surface-mount circuit-board containing a few chips, powered from a computer's USB socket. I suspect that to buy a DAC which scares-off the KI, I'd be looking for something built to the same standards, and i doubt I'd get much change from £600 in today's money, maybe more.

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RE: Why are older world-class CD players so darn cheap...

I absolutely love mine. Two thumbs up. It's big, dynamic and exciting

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RE: Why are older world-class CD players so darn cheap

MajorFubar wrote:
BigH wrote:

OK thanks for clarifying. Interesting that your cd player is better than the HRT+.

It's probably a reflection of the fact that a good proportion of the KI's £500 cost in 1996 went towards building a bl--dy good analogue stage with high-quality components powered by a regulated mains-feed, not a surface-mount circuit-board containing a few chips, powered from a computer's USB socket. I suspect that to buy a DAC which scares-off the KI, I'd be looking for something built to the same standards, and i doubt I'd get much change from £600 in today's money, maybe more.

 

I suspect the Pearl Lite is the closest. But Fidelity Audio say "The PSU in the 63 is very compromised and with the level 1 upgrade we address these issues allowing the music to flow effortlessly with superb bass weight and rhythm."

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RE: Why are older world-class CD players so darn cheap...

GMK wrote:

I absolutely love mine. Two thumbs up. It's big, dynamic and exciting

It is, and the difference took me by surprise tbh.
After ripping all my CD collection it's making me wonder whether I should wire the 'KI back up again and start saving for a really good DAC around the £1k mark which unquestionably improves upon it. Because now I feel I'm using my second-best source just for the sake of convenience.

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RE: Why are older world-class CD players so darn cheap

BigH wrote:
I suspect the Pearl Lite is the closest. But Fidelity Audio say "The PSU in the 63 is very compromised

I'm sure they do. Not that I'm saying they're lying, more that they have a vested interest in pointing out its flaws.

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RE: Why are older world-class CD players so darn cheap

MajorFubar wrote:
BigH wrote:
I suspect the Pearl Lite is the closest. But Fidelity Audio say "The PSU in the 63 is very compromised
I'm sure they do. Not that I'm saying they're lying, more that they have a vested interest in pointing out its flaws.

 

Yes I know but they don't say that on the other players they upgrade.

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RE: Why are older world-class CD players so darn cheap...

Mine does have modifications though (to what extent I'm not sure though - I've emailed the previous owner), so I don't know what a standard one sounds like

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RE: Why are older world-class CD players so darn cheap...

BigH wrote:

Well the cd tray tends to fail on the Marantz.

 

I have the Rotel mentioned in the OP's post and my tray has failed on that, or at least it needs gentle persuasion to open.

I've lubricated the 'cogs' a few times and all is well for a short while but the tray soon starts to jam again. I find a fingernail

behind the tray trim helps to start the tray opening.

 

CDP still sounds good though Smile

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RE: Why are older world-class CD players so darn cheap...

I'm gonna try and get a Rotel RCD-965BX  ... for a decent price, will I notice or WOULD I notice a difference fron it and my Sony BDP-S790 when playing a cd disk...

Plz excuse any ignorance in this matter as I have no idea., thx.

 


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RE: Why are older world-class CD players so darn cheap...

Deleted. Mistake

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RE: Why are older world-class CD players so darn cheap...

There's loads of CD63ki's on ebay coming up all the time (pm66ki's too), i was wondering if this is a vastly superior player to the CD6000ki?

I was thinking about replacing my 6000 series but on the other hand, I do much prefer the look of the 6000 range. In fact I don't think I've seen many hifi components since that early-mid 00's marantz era that look smarter. Just an opinion but those simplistic slabs of brushed aluminium in any finish make them look way more expensive than they are, to these eyes at least. Was thinking about shopping for the pm & cd 7000ki's to upgrade, but keep hearing about this legendary 63ki - how would it compare to WHF's favourite budget player the CD6004 for example? With all those years of technological advancement between the players, does it stand up well, or even outperform it?

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