Check out the Mcintosh MCD205, front loading player that holds 5 discs. Still current in their product line. Specs are on their website. Seen a few sell on the gon in mid to high teens.
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But aren't the SACD players class rated for native hirez discs only? I.e. the scd-c333es was A rated only for SACd and not redbook? That makes a difference. I believe that is how JA does the rankings. someone with a copy of stereophile could verify this since he mentioned that in the issues with the ranked components.
with that being said, since this is for background listening, I would choose something reasonably smooth sound, with a quiet and robust mechanism. You don't want one that sounds like a robot walking on rocks when you change a disc. Plus if it's decently ergonomic and reliable the wife should like.
I'd like an Marantz since that's the only one i've liked that I've had experience with. I have not played with the more expensive Rotel or McIntosh recommendations here. I'm not sure if the price of those scares you away. I think the prima runs $2k-ish ir so no? So you'll probably want to spend less than that ideally, no? The Sony has known quirks that bother me. That may be a nonissue for you. If it were me, I'd get the best Marantz. If I wanted something more neutral sounding, I'd look into a panasonic DVD changer on the low end of the price spectrum (ergonomics suck on this one) and the Rotel on the higher end. My $0.02
Aroc yes Stereophile does Class rate the players mainly for Hi-Rez, however they do offer a valid in-depth review on Redbook performance. If Robust, & Quiet for background music is the main concern the Sony is a affordable answer in the sub $600 level used. The Sony 333/555 offer 5 digital Wadia type digital filters which allow the end user to adjust the roll-off to suite their system. The Mcintosh 205 uses a Teac 5 disc changer assembly, this is one NOISY player at low volume levels. And at a $1700-1800 used level this would be one player I would not consider for a Low Volume Background Music Wife Acceptance Factor Easy To Load, & Operate Player.
Thanks everyone for your input thus far. Noisy and ergonomically friendly are in fact 2 important wife acceptance factors and for me too. I didn't know that the McIntosh was noisy and certainly pricy too. Perhaps the Sony 333/555ES used or Rotel or Marantz is the better way to go.
Aroc -- what Marantz model do you suggest? I see from their website that they only have the CC4300 model avail but I don't know the cost.
What about Denon or Philips - anyone have any insights on these 2 makes?
The Rotel (rcd-1055) has a full-size removable IEC type... I don't think the Marantz does - that's one reason I also looked into the Rotel. I'd have been happy to buy the Marantz, but I really don't like cheap captive power cords with my gear. I'd even settle for a removable DVD/CD type (the little figure-8 shaped cord) so I could at least use an Audioquest NRG1 or an IEC adapter with it. Go to the manufacturer's website and download the .PDF manuals and look at the diagrams - that's the best way to research this particular question.
I still haven't made a purchase. Rotel, just like NAD has an absolutely lousy retail presence and can't be bought online except through certain circumstances.
bored so I looked up some info for you....between the Sony above and these 2 changers are looking good for the money.
Denon DCM-380 5 Disc Changer HDCD® Burr-Brown 20-Bit D/A (PCM-1748) Coaxial Digital Output, headphone jack ,Remote volume up/down Remote I/O Ports SRP $299 1 year parts and labor
Well built good looking machine w/HDCD,Detachable power cord,2years parts and labor @$700 us retail.
Thanks Michaelbr, MWilson, and Clbeanz for your respective info.
I think the McIntosh may be out of my price league for now (after all it's a CD changer and the cash could be spent on upgrading my speakers instead) but the Sony, Rotel, Denon and Marantz are all contenders.
MWilson - thanks for the info on the replacable power cords for Rotel & Marantz.
Clbeanz - there is a current Denon model called DCD380. Last year's models were called DCM as in DCM460 and DCM560. Is the model you refer to last year's model or is it a typo and really is this year's model? Apparently here in Canada the DCM models are discontinued items (so will have to consider used).
Sony - anyone know if the 333/555ES have detachable power cords?
5 Disc Carousel CD Changer Playback of CD/CD-R/CD-RW MP3 Decoder HDCD® Decoding Burr-Brown 20-Bit D/A Converters (PCM-1748) Synchro Record function 3 Mode random playback Coaxial Digital Output Intelligent Disc Scan 20 Track Music Calendar Display 32 Track program memory Front panel headphone jack Remote controlled volume up/down Remote I/O Ports Dimensions: 17.1"w x 4.5"h x 15.3"d SRP $299
Cut and paste off Denon factory webpage. Canada may have different #'s or site needs update?
ME TOO. My Elite Pioneer 35-C is Driving me nuts. It litterly locks up at least once per disc and ofen cannot even FF through it. It frequently drops audio informatiion. Bout ready to toss throuh window, I have god reo and woud feel guilty seling. We have a "entry high en (Classe,pre and amp, DVDO-HD and we love changer for a good CSI maraton. My 47ai is in shop. Maybe hexed by pioneer. WOULD APPRECIATE ANY MORE INFOR ON 5-6 Disc Changers thet WORK, hopefully under 1K. A appreciate feedback here already and will f/u. ANYONE HAVE THE NAKAMICHI????? Thanks Ed
I was at a dealer yesterday that sold both Rotel and Marantz and said that since Marantz has been bought by Denon that the Marantz quality has declined. He told me that the Rotel multi-disk player would sound better than the Marantz and also has an IEC power recepticle on the back to allow you to upgrade the power cord.
The other think I've learned is that the Sony SCD-based line of multi-disk players has poor Redbook CD playback but good SACD playback. In my case I would be using the multi-disk playback for parties so chances are the Sony CD playback, while less than stellar, would be adequate given the conversations, laughter and elevated ambient noise etc.
Just my 2-cents worth. . .
Just an idea but I have a 3-4 yr old Marantz CC4000SE 5 disc changer that is used for same purpose - bakcground and parties. It was the fastest deck on the market then with disc changes, drawer openings, disc payback time literally twice as fast as anything else. I found the Sonys to be slowest. The Marantz will change discs in 4 secs, so fast at social functions that one one ever notices a disc is being changed. I'll hit the 'shuffle' button and music starts in 5 seconds and discs change in this function in 4-5 seconds. However, if you are playing 5 discs in a row it only takes 4 secs between discs. This is about far better than the Sonys and Onkyos I tried.
Get the Rotel 1055. Looks good, sounds good, detachable power cord, well-made, better power supply (or so they say) in comparison to older models, remote is very nice.
Look, if it was 7 years ago, I'd recommend trying to get your hands on the Cal Audio changer, which are the best, but if you are lucky enough to find one, in all liklely hood, it's been in use for at least ten years.
The McIntosh is great and will be the best sounding, but it has the quirky load mechanism and is too expensive (IMHO).
I've used them all and have settled with the Rotel, and am very pleased. I know you will be too.
Of course this is mid-fi which is perfectly acceptable for background and especially parties. I use my Marantz as a transport with a DAC and also have a C.E.C. single disc transport. Marantz sounds pretty damn good that way and the C.E.C. is only a little better - more solid, better bass, and a little quieter.
Kevin - if you think there's enough SACD software to make it worthwhile, a Sony might be good idea but I still personally wouldn't buy a used multi-disc player. The last Sony SACD player I checked was still too slow for my tastes but I'm spoiled by the Marantz speed and quietness.
Also, if the player is just going to be used for background and social gatherings, I wouldn't worry about SACD - just makes things more complicated.
By the way - I checked with my local Sony ES dealer who said the C2000ES has not been shipped to them yet and doesn't know when it'll come in. But 400.00 bucks for a good multi-disc SACD player? I'll take one!
If it is for your wife and she just want the 5-disc capability with great sound, this is the unit you need. Save the rest of your money for more music!!!
I bought one from Oade Bros for $295.00. Cruthfield have it for $399 and Xpress Audio and Video ( NJ) have them for $249 ( but you have to wait about a month to get it).
Tomryan -- thanks Tom for your thoughts. I've done some more thinking and: (1)since the multi-CD disk feature is for parties, then top-shelf performance isn't required, and (2)I'd like to begin to exeriment with SACD so getting its capability with the Sony is an extra bonus. I know that this buying criteria has changed from my original thread question, and I have all of the people who responded to thank for helping clarify what my real needs are.
Jahaira -- thanks for your thoughts and retailer names. Your thread response doesn't specifically mention a product (e.g. Sony) so can I assume that you're referring to the new Sony SCD-C2000ES SACD changer that the prior post refers to?
Kevin - I have actually come to same conclusion and have bought 5 SACDs in anticipation of getting the Sony C2000 which appears to be an damn good bargin. You know, I got the idea for a multi-disc changer when, about 6 years ago, we were at a Christmas party and the homeowner had Spica TC60s in a bedroom system which used an Onkyo 6 disc changer for background music in the rear hall and bathroom area. I went in, sat down, and heard very warm musical sounds and enjoyed it quite a bit. That got me thinking and looking for a multi-disc changer even though every 'audiophile' buddy I talked to poo-poo'd it.
I found this thread very informative as I am currently looking for a multi disc cd player under similar circumstances. For around $600 you can get a Rotel RCC955, the predecessor of the RCC1055. I have also heard some good things about the Integra CDP 3.4 which retails for about $300. Also in the price range of the Integra, the Marantz CC4300, as others have alrteady mentioned, is a good quality player for the money.