When I play albums such as Rolling Stones 40 Licks or any Zeppelin album I hear a constant hiss in the background. The louder my system is, the more apparent the sound becomes. However, on other albums, this hiss is non-existent. I've heard that this is related to the way the album is recorded, but I have heard the sound reproduced much cleaner on other systems. What can I do to reduce this?

Conrad Johnson CAV50 (45W tube amp, with new tubes)
Acoustic Research AR1 (AR's flagship speaker)
Sony CDP-CX450 (Megachanger)
Adcom GTA-7700 DAC ($1000 Adcom solid state DAC)
Wires are simple 14 gauge from Radio Shack (I can't fit thick wires underneath my rug)
You may be hearing tape hiss coming from the master tapes used at the recording sessions. This sound will be exacerbated by audio systems with an upper mid- range emphasis. When i look at your components my first reaction would be to expiriment with your CDP, try heavier guage speaker wire (i.e. 10 guage generic 100% copper twisted wire)and or try changing the direction your speakers are pointing (perhaps you are listening to them on axis - most speakers sound better off axis). I try these things in reverse order, cheaper that way.
Some of my most favorite music has bad recordings with hiss galore. It is not too noticible on my system but when I take these CDs for demoing, I am amazed at how loud the hiss is on some systems - to intolerable levels even (the Wilson Sophia/Spectral 150 combo was excruciating). Good luck getting rid of it. I just lucked out I guess!
I think the first response hit the nail right on the head. I would guess tape hiss on the master recording. I noticed it on some albums I have also. Very annoying because once you hear it, you'll notice it more and more everytime. I guess I don't know how to redcue it, but getting rid of some of the mid range emphasis certainly may help.
You might want to try out a different CD player. The hiss on those recordings is not noticable on my system. If you can afford it demo a player 2-3 steps better than the one you're using.

If you want to stick with Sony, I have 2 of their ES players and like I say, I don't notice it much on my setup. The ES players rock for the money - hard to beat economies of scale. Arthur
Agree...we are talking of analog master tapes that are over 30 years old...even with the improvement of digital and SACD...I think asking for "hiss free" recordings from this time period is a bit unrealistic...they were afterall analog to begin with...which inadherently contains background noise...this being said...on my rather unforgiving system...the new Stones remasters sound have a much more "black background" than their previous releases...even seminal jazz recordings such as "Kind of blue" have some background hiss...the recording is only as good as the master...and in this case...analog tape...let me also state...for me...the great performances of these listed still come through..maybe we being too spoiled by digital...the more important question is the recording any good to begin with?...
Oddly enough my friend has the cav 50 and he used to have Thiel cs 1.5's (which I now own) and never had any hiss.Later he bought some Sonus Fabers and abra-cadabra ...hiss.Not horrible, but enough to realize that it was a result of the speakers.It wasn't that the Thiels were rolling off any freq's or anything like that, they are just different.The Sonus Fabers seemed to like LP's but old recordings on CD just seemed a little hissy.