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Old 11-14-2010, 07:04 PM   #1
Funky54 Funky54 is offline
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Default Newb ?s on CD players & Turntables

I have spent a few hours reading about DAC's and Formats...I'm very confused. I am a musician. I love good sound. I just wanna hear stuff like itís live. So even though I am making an effort to understand all this, itís not really my hobby. I just want it to sound good.

My first question is what is a good CD player to work with my Outlaw 950 decoder? I don't care what device is doing the work; I just want the best sound for the money. (Currently using an LG BD-390 blu-ray player to listen to CD's. Hooked up multichannel analog/direct bypass mode) I am looking for a noticeable improvement in audio. I have the option to use a coax, stereo rca or optical for input to the decoder 950 with whatever CD player I add. (Or replace the LG Blu-ray player with something that can play Blu-ray & CD's better, have multi out and give me some room calibration and still stream Netflix)

Second, I have read from this forum and a couple others about turn tables. Again, I just want good sound, what is hype and what will I hear? What do I need? Is a good quality used TT from the 70's or 80's in the $300 price range going to be better then whatís new in the $300 price range? What specific models should I look for? (I have the upgraded option in the 950 for a TT)

Many well meaning folk might waste their time explaining every detail about the software side of my questions...Frankly, their answers will go over my head. Its not the audiophile portion thats a hobby for me. Listening to great music, the best it can be is what I care about.

Any help will be appreciated.
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:01 PM   #2
audiophile8 audiophile8 is offline
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is your budget $300? in what format is most of your music, cds-albums-downloaded? how about burning all of your music to a computer or separate hard drive and using a music server through a dac?
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:27 PM   #3
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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audiophile8 has just given you a good suggestion. We do however need to know a little more about what you currently have in your system.

I don't want to burst your bubble, but $300 isn't going to give you a marked improvement in sound...you'll need to travel up the chain a bit further.

A older TT in good working order will give you as much satisfaction ( if not more) then the entry-level TT's available today. If you're not familiar with analog rigs however, I'd suggest going the newer route as at least you'll get a warranty.

John
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:02 PM   #4
Funky54 Funky54 is offline
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More about my music.. Well, most of my CD's are just purchased, regular CD's. Zepplin, Thin Lizzy, Urge Overkill, Foo Fighters and such. My records are from when I was a kid. Zepplin, Thin Lizzy, Urge Overlkill and hundreds of 45's. I just want to play them and have them sound good.

I have been reading to try and find what I might need, and all the conversations start to go in the way of DACs and downloading and format...ah I want to push play, and have it sound good. I need to purchase a CD player to either replace my Blu-Ray player or add in addition. If you’re telling me that for $300 I can’t buy a new CD player that will play CD's better than the LG Blu-Ray player, then I'll take your word for it. Personally I don’t think the LG does as good as my old radio shack rack mount cd player for music (but I sold it in a garage sale thinking I don’t need it)

As for the turn table, I just want to know if I only spend say $250-$300 for a turn table, will I get more for my money with a vintage one used or a new one? Whatever the answer, what specific turn table should I look for?

As to down loading or burning all my CD's, that’s cool (its portable and useful) but it’s not my goal. I wanna listen. I want good sound. I don't want to use my lap top..I want to listen to my home audio gear. I don’t live in an apartment. I like it loud, no mp3 or compressed stuff. No computers or wires and cables all over the place.

As far as analog older gear, I have no problem repairing or replacing parts on an older turn table. I'm into music all my guitar amps are tube, most of my effects are actual tape, like echoplexes and such. I dont own a single digital item in that realm. I'm not worried about repairs to a turn table. I build vintage harley drag engines and design cam shafts. I like the mechanical side.

Last edited by Funky54; 11-14-2010 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:19 PM   #5
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funky54 View Post
More about my music.. Well, most of my CD's are just purchased, regular CD's. Zepplin, Thin Lizzy, Urge Overkill, Foo Fighters and such. My records are from when I was a kid. Zepplin, Thin Lizzy, Urge Overlkill and hundreds of 45's. I just want to play them and have them sound good.

I have been reading to try and find what I might need, and all the conversations start to go in the way of DACs and downloading and format...ah I want to push play, and have it sound good. I need to purchase a CD player to either replace my Blu-Ray player or add in addition. If youíre telling me that for $300 I canít buy a new CD player that will play CD's better than the LG Blu-Ray player, then I'll take your word for it. Personally I donít think the LG does as good as my old radio shack rack mount cd player for music (but I sold it in a garage sale thinking I donít need it)

As for the turn table, I just want to know if I only spend say $250-$300 for a turn table, will I get more for my money with a vintage one used or a new one? Whatever the answer, what specific turn table should I look for?

As to down loading or burning all my CD's, thatís cool (its portable and useful) but itís not my goal. I wanna listen. I want good sound. I don't want to use my lap top..I want to listen to my home audio gear. I donít live in an apartment. I like it loud, no mp3 or compressed stuff. No computers or wires and cables all over the place.

As far as analog older gear, I have no problem repairing or replacing parts on an older turn table. I'm into music all my guitar amps are tube, most of my effects are actual tape, like echoplexes and such. I dont own a single digital item in that realm. I'm not worried about repairs to a turn table. I build vintage harley drag engines and design cam shafts. I like the mechanical side.
As far a CD player is concerned...you may want to consider a PS1 (specific model # though), which even according The Absolute Sound was considered to be pretty darned good. You could probably pick one up for $50 somewhere.

As far as TT's are concerned the world gets a little more confusing as there are plenty that may work out fine for you. Perhaps a vintage Dual, Marantz, Revolver, etc....

John
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funky54 View Post
As for the turn table, I just want to know if I only spend say $250-$300 for a turn table, will I get more for my money with a vintage one used or a new one? Whatever the answer, what specific turn table should I look for?
If I were you, I'd avoid older TTs. Who knows what damage has happened to their bearings, etc? By buying new, you have the safety of a warranty, and (hopefully) a dealer who can help you set up your TT properly.

As for specific models, the entry level ones from Rega, Music Hall and Pro-Ject come to mind. There at about your price range, and include a cartridge.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:46 PM   #7
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well either you want to go the cd route or the turntable route. if you go the cd player route, just use your lg player as a transport and buy the best dac you can for the money{cambridge audio, musical fidelity,matrix mini, etc.} and you will notice a drastic difference. you dont seem to want to go the computer route but it is the most convenient and best sounding for the money, you could spend $300 for a Logitech Squeezebox Touch that does it all. you burn all of your music in a lossless format{flac} to either your computer or an external hard drive. the Touch just plugs into your outlaw and thats it, it works wirelessly through your network. it has a very good dac built into it and you would have all of your music at once without changing cds or albums. might want to read about it.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:55 PM   #8
Funky54 Funky54 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John72953 View Post
As far a CD player is concerned...you may want to consider a PS1 (specific model # though), which even according The Absolute Sound was considered to be pretty darned good. You could probably pick one up for $50 somewhere.

As far as TT's are concerned the world gets a little more confusing as there are plenty that may work out fine for you. Perhaps a vintage Dual, Marantz, Revolver, etc....

John
Hey thanks, I do some subcontract work for a Marantz dealer. They are a good group of guy's. I'll start there. They may even get trade ins from their installs.

As for the Play station...ok this is kinda Martha Stewart...but wouldn't that look kinda odd? Anyway I may try it.

Last edited by Funky54; 11-14-2010 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:56 PM   #9
Funky54 Funky54 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richteer View Post
If I were you, I'd avoid older TTs. Who knows what damage has happened to their bearings, etc? By buying new, you have the safety of a warranty, and (hopefully) a dealer who can help you set up your TT properly.

As for specific models, the entry level ones from Rega, Music Hall and Pro-Ject come to mind. There at about your price range, and include a cartridge.
Music Hall has come up a few times. I may look into it as well. Thanks!
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:01 PM   #10
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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I think he's looking at both digital and analogue suggestions.

John
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:01 PM   #11
Funky54 Funky54 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiophile8 View Post
well either you want to go the cd route or the turntable route. if you go the cd player route, just use your lg player as a transport and buy the best dac you can for the money{cambridge audio, musical fidelity,matrix mini, etc.} and you will notice a drastic difference. you dont seem to want to go the computer route but it is the most convenient and best sounding for the money, you could spend $300 for a Logitech Squeezebox Touch that does it all. you burn all of your music in a lossless format{flac} to either your computer or an external hard drive. the Touch just plugs into your outlaw and thats it, it works wirelessly through your network. it has a very good dac built into it and you would have all of your music at once without changing cds or albums. might want to read about it.
Yeah I guess I left it confusing, I am investing in a CD player with a budget of $300 and a Turn Table with a budget of $300. A total of $600.

Sorry I'm a dinasour. I don't understand 2/3 of what you said. The DAC in my Decoder (Outlaw 950) was supposed to be pretty darn good. So a simple player may work? What is a transport. This keeps coming up and I dont get it.

Last edited by Funky54; 11-14-2010 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:04 PM   #12
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funky54 View Post
Hey thanks, I do some subcontract work for a Marantz dealer. they are are good group of guy's. I'll start there. They may even get trade ins from their installs.

As for the Play station...ok this is kinda Martha Stewart...but wouldn't that look kinda odd? Anyway I may try it.
It probably would look a bit strange but apparently it is very effective. Look at some of the PS1 or gaming threads here and ask the guys there as there is a specific model...not all PS1's are up to the task.

John
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:42 PM   #13
audiophile8 audiophile8 is offline
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if your outlaw has a good dac built into it then just run an optical or digital cable out of your lg into the outlaw. in this setup you are using the dac built into the outlaw. if you run an rca cable from your lg into the outlaw then you are using the dac built into the lg, which is usually pretty poor. alot of people use an old cd player or blu ray player as a transport, meaning they just use it to spin the disc and send its information to something else such as a dac.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:49 PM   #14
audiophile8 audiophile8 is offline
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if you are looking for a stand alone cd player then check out the music hall cd 25.2, there is one for sale on audiogon.com. i use to own one and it is a very good player for the money. check out the reviews on it.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:33 PM   #15
Funky54 Funky54 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiophile8 View Post
if your outlaw has a good dac built into it then just run an optical or digital cable out of your lg into the outlaw. in this setup you are using the dac built into the outlaw. if you run an rca cable from your lg into the outlaw then you are using the dac built into the lg, which is usually pretty poor. alot of people use an old cd player or blu ray player as a transport, meaning they just use it to spin the disc and send its information to something else such as a dac.
I have the LG Blu-Ray Player connected analog multichannel out. I am hopeing to add a CD player and connect it to the outlaw and not run it in bypass for music. I have available several optical, coax, and rca ins. I can run the phono in the phono "in" or in a optical or coax.

Really I just need a good way to spin the cd's. This may be why my Radio Shack rack mount cd player actually sounded better than the LG at playing music..it was using the Outlaw's DAC I guess. I am going to try to connect the LG in coax and give up the True Dolby HD to see if it sounds better, We'll see. I'm trying that cause I'm not thrilled with room calabration with the LG..it blows. So I'm gonna compare the loss of true hd dolby vs the gain of the out laws DAC's and room calabration..I was gonna do it yesterday..then today..I'm sorta lazy.
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:24 AM   #16
LordoftheRings LordoftheRings is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funky54 View Post
Yeah I guess I left it confusing, I am investing in a CD player with a budget of $300 and a Turn Table with a budget of $300. A total of $600.

Sorry I'm a dinasour. I don't understand 2/3 of what you said. The DAC in my Decoder (Outlaw 950) was supposed to be pretty darn good. So a simple player may work? What is a transport. This keeps coming up and I dont get it.
Just get the Emotiva ERC-1 CD player, and forget about the turntable, unless you have a sizeable collection of quality LP recordings.
-> @ http://www.emotiva.com/erc1.shtm

And use the analog connections from the ERC-1 going to your Outlaw pre/pro.

* By the way, I'm also a musician.

Cheers,
Bob
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:36 AM   #17
LordoftheRings LordoftheRings is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funky54 View Post
Many well meaning folk might waste their time explaining every detail about the software side of my questions...Frankly, their answers will go over my head. Its not the audiophile portion thats a hobby for me. Listening to great music, the best it can be is what I care about.

Any help will be appreciated.
The exact answer to that is right in my above post!

* You got 30 days, and if you don't like it you can return it for your money back.
But it just won't happen! Instead, you are going to tell me (after you listen to it for a couple days or so in your own system): "Thank you so much Bob, that was exactly what I was looking for!"

Enjoy life, enjoy your music played from the right gear!

Bob
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:34 PM   #18
Funky54 Funky54 is offline
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Originally Posted by LordoftheRings View Post
Just get the Emotiva ERC-1 CD player, and forget about the turntable, unless you have a sizeable collection of quality LP recordings.
-> @ http://www.emotiva.com/erc1.shtm

And use the analog connections from the ERC-1 going to your Outlaw pre/pro.

* By the way, I'm also a musician.

Cheers,
Bob
Sounds like great advice! I will deffinatley try one. As far as the turn table, I will still move forward with one in addition to the CD player. I have over 100 LP's and way over 100 45's from my teen years. Most of them were purchased used for a quarter at a swap shop even back then. Lots of it is not available in cd. I have some close friends that all got back into Vynil and they appear to be having a lot of fun. I miss it. With the upgrade of your suggestion with the Emotiva and perhaps a Marantz, Thoren, or Hall turn table, I will no doubt enjoy the time travel to vynil and better sound.

Keep the opinions and ideas coming until I have spent the coin

Use to play a lot of Van Morrison in several bands... good stuff.

Last edited by Funky54; 11-15-2010 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:59 PM   #19
LordoftheRings LordoftheRings is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funky54 View Post
Sounds like great advice! I will deffinatley try one. As far as the turn table, I will still move forward with one in addition to the CD player. I have over 100 LP's and way over 100 45's from my teen years. Most of them were purchased used for a quarter at a swap shop even back then. Lots of it is not available in cd. I have some close friends that all got back into Vynil and they appear to be having a lot of fun. I miss it. With the upgrade of your suggestion with the Emotiva and perhaps a Marantz, Thoren, or Hall turn table, I will no doubt enjoy the time travel to vynil and better sound.

Keep the opinions and ideas coming until I have spent the coin

Use to play a lot of Van Morrison in several bands... good stuff.
You can get a nice turntable (from Audiogon) for very little money (in your price range), like Rega, and like you already mentioned, from Thorens, Hall & others...

* Cool! ...Van Morrison is one of my favorite poets, songwriters and singers.

** And like I said before, that Emotiva ERC-1 CD player for the price is a real killer on audio quality, plus it has an HDCD decoder that will give that extra dynamic and realistic sound quality boost to all your CD recordings (preferably your good ones).

Have a great day,
Bob
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
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What is a transport. This keeps coming up and I dont get it.
A CD player comprises two parts: the bit that spins the CD and sucks data from the disc, and the bit that converts that data into an analogue signal (i.e., sound).

A transport is something that only does the former (and therefore has one or more digital outputs), and a DAC is something that only does the latter (and therefore has one or more digital inputs). Many receivers have built in DACs and so can be used in this role, but for the best sound quality you'll want an external dedicated DAC.

Some integrated CD players also feature digital outputs, allowing them to be used as transports (with a separate DAC).
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