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Question for Home Theater Gurus / DVD Player vs CD Player SQ for music playback only

Old 01-16-2009, 12:38 AM
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Question for Home Theater Gurus / DVD Player vs CD Player SQ for music playback only

Hello, and thanks for having me on this forum. I need opinions.

I have a Denon AVR 3808, Denon 1940 DVD Player, and OPPO 983 DVD Player. Right now, I have HDMI cables going from the players into the receiver and from there to the Sharp Aquos 46" TV, so that the receiver is doing all the processing with DAC's and upscaling, etc.

I used to run Monster analog cables before I got the big TV, and the the Denon and Oppo players sounded different when playing music, so I am guessing the DAC's were of different quality, and the diff was very easy to identify, but since I got HDMI cables and the receiver used it's DAC's the sound is way better, as I am guessing the receiver is expensive gear and has a much better DAC, but now both players sound identical.

And for my dilemma: I have been googling and noticed many audiophiles prefer a cd player sound quality over the dvd player for music playback. But noone has mentioned if they used analog or digital cables. I have no doubts that while running with analog cables, the expensive cd player will sound really good, but if I am planning to keep my HDMI wiring, and have my Denon reciever do the processing, will I benefit from getting a very expensive cd player like Arcam CD36 or CD37. I have been advised to use analog cables to hook it up, so this way I can take advantage of Arcam DAC's, but I am thinking that Denon 3808 already has better than average DAC. So basicly, I am asking if I am wasting my time and money by getting an Arcam CD36 and using digital connections(Optical or Digital Coax) to connect it to my receiver. I was told that most important factors were DAC's and clocking mechanism. Am I missing something? I also notice that the entry level Arcam player and the top one use the same DAC. So, if I use the Denon reciever for processing, will I have a great deal of sound quality to gain between the Denon dvd player and Arcam cd player? Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:46 AM
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Look at the sampling rates of the players. My brother in law and I were discussing this the other day. He was wondering if a DVD player in the car would sound better than a CD player. He found a DVD of the Beatles. No video at all just audio, but recorded in DVD quality. He was wondering if it would make a difference in the sound quality as the CD standard sampling rate is 44.1Khz whereas DVD is 192Khz. This may be even more of a factor with your setup as it is fully digital. I am by far no expert but it seems to me it would be audible with that big a jump??????? Maybe do a little checking with that in mind??? If you could find a DVD version of a music CD you already own and compare them side by side would be interesting to see. Let me know if you find out any more info on this, and I will keep my eyes open for anything as well because I am really curious about this now. LOL
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:29 PM
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Well, I see what you mean. My dvd player can do DVD-Audio, etc. I was more curious if the cd player sounds better possibly due to dedicated design to playback only audio, so it is packed with audio goodies only sort of speak, instead of sharing space with video circuitry, dvd player being a jack of all traits but no really a master at audio. And the Denon receiver can do upsampling up to 192khz. I prefer and use the 96khz setting.

I know what my answer would be in analog case like a car, but digital makes me wonder.

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Old 01-16-2009, 01:41 PM
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I personally feel that receivers all sound about the same with what ever is being put to them. I used to own the 3806 receiver then went to Anthem separates. I borrowed a CDP from a store and A/B tested. Didn't think the $1800 price tag was worth it! So in the end I bought a high end Dvd player that did everything. Sounded wonderful to me!

It's all about your personal opinion. Receiver to Separates yes there is a difference in Video quality and Audio is more dynamic and cleaner.

Use your DVD player .... the rest is all Voodoo

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Old 01-16-2009, 01:50 PM
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Thank you avidedtr. I just got a boner over top range Arcam cd player, and the reviews it got, but I was suspecting what you're saying. Did you have analog or digital wiring during the a/b test? Basically, how did you connect? Some people prefer hdmi straight into the TV and analog or optical/dig coax in to the receiver. How did you have it?

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Old 01-16-2009, 01:57 PM
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I did everything I could with the CDP....I even went back to the DENON with the CDP and the audio was more detailed but that's it! On the Anthem system. Analogue was almost at par with Digital. Needless to say it's not worth it! When(dreaming) I get my SimAudio and Vonschweikert gear I'll go out and spend the money on a CD, DVD, speparates...until then stick to what works and that extra edge you seek lies in the amplification and pre amp...not in the cd player, even though it helps!
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:24 PM
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All right! I am very happy with the performance I have now, but was wondering if I did not know what I was possibly missing. I think I will take your advise and stick to what I have. However, you did mention that "audio was more detailed, but that's it", and that would be the point though, is it not? But from what I can gather from your response, the gain is not substantial enough to spend like a $1000 on a dedicated CDP, which is a good deal for Arcam, cause the retail I believe is double that.
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:53 PM
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From what I've been Told Acram is NAD - the same manufacturer...Go talk to a high end shop....put a deposit down to borrow the unit. Try American Hi-Fi off yonge...they have loads of used gear. Try it and see if you hear a difference...listen to the CDP is the way I'd go if you have the time!
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