$1200 vs $200 cd players

hi, i am new to 2 ch audio.

i have borrowed a $1200 arcam cd82 and comparing it to a $200 sony dvd/cd player. switching between audioquest & highwire (brand) digital coax into my sony es2000 amp. speakers are proac tablettes. i cant hear a major difference playing cd's....is it the amp? music style? or is the difference not that big? i'm just trying to justify the purchase of the cd players....are the differences in equipment/sound mainly personal preference? what should i be looking for to jusitfy the cost?
i listen to jazz and electronic music.

Hi-enders will tell you there are major differences between cdps...the real truth...digital technology has improved to the point that the differences between such budget players and hi-end players is marginal at best...ofcourse they will inform you that your system is not "up to snuff", you are probably "tone deaf", and you simply dont have the sophisticated ear to distinguish between such players,you should remove your eyeglasses when listening, and be sure to have a glass of vintage red wine(not a bad idea)...bollocks! the real differences are primarly cosmetic and build quality...I recently did some home comparisons between my Sony sacd/cd unit(I assume the same model as the posters)and various other units ...and found the sound quality of the SOny even on redbook was equal or better than the higher priced competition....this arguement holds much more water with vinyl...as a $200 table will be simply spanked by a $1200 or higher one...
Despite some of the assertions that the newer generation of mass market CD players are at the same level as the better players, I disagree. I will say that many of them are much better sounding than those of 10 years ago.

First, the less expensive players do not have the power supplies to deliver the low frequencies. Possibly, on the Proacs, this is not an issue. But, with a friend's monster woofers, it became most apparent. Even with his mods, the player still didn't have the sock.

Secondly, most do not have the resolution of the better players. Pure and simple.

And, finally, the refinement is just plain not as good.

I will say that a lot of the players under $1500 have serious deficiencies as well, so a $200 might well hold its own in many a system. Again, in my opinion, the Music Hall MMF25 sounds as good to me as just about any player up to $1500. Once you move up to the class of the industry, the Audio Aero, Electrocompaniet, Granite, YBA players of the world, there is a real difference. Of course, one needs to decide if the expenditure is worth it.

Still, vinyl trumps digital...
My experience was much different. I replaced a $350 Cambridge Audio CD player with a $1000 Eastsound player.

I wasn't sure what to expect. Had already upgraded speakers, amp and wires. CD player was the last component upgrade.

The difference was substantial. Every and I literally mean every area was an improvement right out of the box and only got better on burn-in. On the same magnitude as the amp upgrade.

A few caveats though may account for the significant difference.

1) This as menitoned, was the final upgrade and as the weakest link the original CDP I'm sure allowed the other upgrades to show their merit.

2) Speakers are $3000 Focus Audio FS688's. The difference while still very notable was not nearly as substantial when I used a couple of pairs of $500 bookshelves in the same system.

3) The Eastsound is not the average "$1000" CDP. Its one of those over achieving Chinese players. It spanked the Jolida and Cayin CDP in a shootout at Audiocostruzioni and bested a $3000 Copland 288 CDP in another shootout.

Trust your own ears. Follow the advice of Budget car sells: "If you can't tell the difference, then why pay the difference."
You can only hear the difference if the rest of the system is up to snuff. If you compare a $200 player and a $2000 player on a system where the rest of the electronics is just average you will not hear that big a difference. If you don't hear the difference in your system dont buy it.
Some inexpensive players sound fantastic for what you pay for them. Having said that, some more expensive players & digital combo's add more refinement at most every level of performance. While i'm not directly familiar with the Arcam gear, what i know about it tells me that there is a "bottleneck" somewhere in your system. By no means am i saying that the Sony is a piece of junk, only that i would tend to believe that the Arcam "should be" superior in an audibly discernable manner. If you can't tell a difference, then i can't see any reason to justify the expense of changing components. Spending more money to upgrade without an audible improvement isn't "upgrading", it's just wasting money at this point in time. Then again, there are those that enjoy spending money and buying esoteric gear. To them, the gear is as important as the sound and investment made. To me, the bottom line has always been the best performance for the buck, brand names be damned. Sean
I compared a $2000 Lynn, can't remember the model name thank goodness, to my Rotel RCC-955 5 disc changer and couldn't identify much difference. What a disappointment--I almost gave up thinking that digital really does sound the same no matter how much you spend, so why spend more?

Then, I auditioned an Ayre Cx-7 at $3000. Man, the difference was incredible! I also tried a Cary 306-200 and Resolution Audio Opus 21--all amazing players that offer significant improvement over what I had been accustomed to with the Rotel. I eventaully purchased the RA Opus and am enjoying my Cd collection like never before.
Am I the onlly one who sees the issue here??

The question is REALLY what's the difference between $200 and $1200 TRANSPORTS! He's using the digital out to his Sony.... I would suspect you would hear little difference.

I also suspect the analog outs would be substantially different.

Jupiterfish... try using the analog stereo outs from these two players into the analog ins on you amp and see what you think.
maxxc-can you provide addition info. on you eastsound CD player?
Im in the market for a new player and I see there is one for sale here.
I can find no info. on this company.
Do you have a link to their website?
thanks everyone. even after switching to the analog out, it was much of a difference. my conclusion is that its the wrong time to compare cd playr w/ this sony amp....so maybe after i got a more musical amp then this would make more of a difference.

thanks again
Yes the website is: WWW.East-Sound.com.cn It is in Chinese but you can go to babelfish-altavista.com and get the site translated. The information though is rather difficult to ascertain.

I found more information by going to many different sources and these are some of the things I found out.

Transport is from Philips.

Operational amps and chip set are not Burr browns as advertizsed here on audiogon. They are from Crystal Dynamics. Chip is the CS4390. The same one used in the $4000 Gamut player and several Meridian models.

Power source uses WIMA black box technology.

The most unusual part is the TCCO (Temperature Control Clock Ocillator). Did some research to find out what a TCCO does. Actually found the answer at a engineering website talking about clock designs.

According to them a traditional clock is affected by temperature and humidity. A TCCO clock minimizes the effect of temperature and humidity and is theoretically capable of being 20 times more accurate then a non temperature control clock.

The shootout Between the Cayin, Jolida and Eastsound is at Audiocostruzioni.com. Italian website with a English version. There is also a review of the Eastsound there which has a hyper link to the shootout between the Copland and Eastsound and the reviewer states the Eastsound "disintigrated" his own $3200 Copland.

The sound is analog in nature. The importer I got the Eastsound from was curious about the player, since it was the first one he imported and I let him keep it for a week to audition. He was very very suprised when he learned the player was all SS and had no tubes. It does slam like SS though.

Hope this helped some. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Best Wishes MaxxC

your Sony STR-DA2000ES, when fed a digital PCM signal from any source..and being in direct 2 channel mode, is an AMAZING SOUNDING amp. You'd have to spend upwards of $5k in sperate componants to top that soundstage, detail and imaging prowess.

That said...
the ONLY way to listen to one of these amps is by feeding it a digital signal and taking advantage of the Sony S-Master pro wizardry (which upsamples incoming PCM to DSD..hence the magic).
so, its the tranpsort that will make a big difference. Any new or old higher end Sony DVD / CD player should perform wonderfully as they are supposed to be exceptional tranpsorts on their own, from what I understand. I think big, heavy and well built players make for nice tranpsorts vs. the thin and flimsy plastic consumer players that are available these days.

The thing w/CD players..its about the tranpsort and build quality (one and the same) but more importantly, its all about the DAC inside. The better the DAC, the better the sound. pure and simple. And IMO, the DAC in the Sony 2000, 3000, 5000 and 9000es recievers are better sounding than most other stand alone DACs out there that cost under $2k.
I think you're on the right track where you are.
as mentioned, trust your ears. Keep listening to different gear and come to the conclusion that you all ready have a great sounding system.
A lot of the cheap $200 and less CD players have nice DACs in them,...but are lousy transports.
Many of the $1000-2000 CD players are great transports w/mediocore DACs in them. When you get the best of both worlds together in one box, those are the good decks.
as per CD players and my own observation....
I went from a Musical Fidelity CD-PRE24 which is a GREAT sounding CD player....to a $58 best buy Toshiba 3960. I had the two units running head to head and could not hear a difference. My system at the time was certainly up to the challange of showing me points of reference between componants.

Now, I run that same toshiba into a 3000es Sony amp. 1/4th the cost of my individual componant rig. 10x better sound.
still, I could stand a better transport to improve things a little bit.

I think an approach to try would be to better the digital signal. Something like the Apogee Big Ben master clock would do VERY nice between any transport and DAC.
Went from an Adcom CD player(changer) to a Wadia 21 CD player, the rest of the system was unchanged. (BTW, I connected the Adcom against a Rotel CD Player that was a recommended component 3 years ago, and the listening panel couldn't tell which was which!)

The same CD's played through the Wadia was like someone took the blankets off the speakers! Attack, involvement, music! Even a later upgrade in amps didn't do as much.
While you don't always get what you pay for, entry level cd or dvd players won't let you capture the full potential of your system.

But, if you start off with an inexpensive but musical player then you're well placed to do in-home auditions and make smart upgrade decisions.