Mid-priced CDPs: Old vs. new technology


I’ve been pretty much out of the digital loop for a while, content with my inexpensive, aging Sony CD player. Now I’m trying to catch up, so please excuse the massive ignorance I’m about to display.

In CD players under about $1,500, I see what seem to be older technologies competing with new ones. I’ve read about new DAC technologies with spiffy names like Black Fin (Cambridge) and Sabre (Oppo and Eastern Electric), and I wonder whether they represent a significant improvement over older technologies.

There are players like the Jolida JD 100, which I believe is nearly 10 years old (but still seems to sell quickly on Audiogon). The Rega Apollo, I believe, is a few years old, as is the Njoe Tjoeb and a few other popular players.

Would it be wrong to think of the older technologies (i.e., Jolida, etc.) as obsolete or tending toward it? Are the newer technologies superior or just the “flavors of the month” and/or marketing hype? Thanks for any thoughts you may have.
-Bob
hesson11
if you look at MSB ilink you won't need a CD play and the sound is three time better
Hesson11:

Good topic. If the Jolida JD100 for example is the exact same design today as it was 10 years ago, then I'd tend to agree with you that this unit would be of somewhat "older technology". The key word is "IF". It still may be a fantastic machine though. What you need to find out is if this model has been updated over the years with improved DACs, improved internal signal path, beefed up power supply, better transport, etc but using the same model number. Some manufacturers are slower to introduce new models and others seem to be continuously introducing new models which many times are simply improvements over older models. Marantz is a good example of a manufacturer who continuously improves upon and introduces new models frequently. A new CDP at or just under $1500.00 (IMO) will buy you a darn good machine. My Rotel RCD-1072 for $699.00 back in 2006 is still sounding fantastic to me. This doesn't even have a 24bit DAC but so what. I just upgraded the interconnects for this machine and the results are a definitive improvement.

Are you looking to purchase a new one and if so, what is your price range? Are you overwhelmed with too many choices? What features are you looking for?

Why spend more then $60, including shipping? SonyStyle sells refurb's of the 595 changer from time to time. Best to get one and judge for your self. Hey, if you don't like it Sony will pick it up for free and give you all your money back. The 595 holds it own against $1500 players, I know as I have two high end players.
I'm actually just trying to get my bearings in today's digital technology. I truly appreciate the suggestions given, but I would really love to hear thoughts on the questions I asked, if anyone cares to offer them. THANKS!
-Bob
I would look at the Oppo BD-83 if you have any interest at all in playing SACD and DVDA as well as the new Hi Res Bluray discs and DVD. It's hard to beat for 499.00 or 899.00 for the SE model. An outboard DAC is always an option too.
Which Sony do you have specifically?

Overall they've probably gotten better at that price point but I'm sure there are some older units that still perform well compared to newer ones.

You would have to compare and see.

My experience has been that each time I replaced an older CD player with a newer one in similar price range or less, performance generally improved, though personal tastes may matter more than the absolute sound quality in determining
what sounds better.
"and I wonder whether they represent a significant improvement over older technologies." Of course, it all depends on how you define "improvement". My experience is that more modern players have more detail and clarity than older players. But older players are the equal as regards dynamics and quiet backgrounds, as it should be, power supply design being one of the more mature aspects of audio design. I also think that older players, like the Rega mentioned are, at least, the equal of newer players as regards tonality. In some ways it all mirrors the high end as a whole, some searching for ever increased clarity and some searching for greater tonality. Too bad we don't get both in the same package more often.
Why spend more then $60, including shipping? SonyStyle sells refurb's of the 595 changer from time to time. Best to get one and judge for your self. Hey, if you don't like it Sony will pick it up for free and give you all your money back. The 595 holds it own against $1500 players, I know as I have two high end players.

Thats one of the dumbest statement Ive read on this site.
To get back to your questions, in my opinion, CD players have improved with the improvement in chips. Bear in mind that upsampling is not always done well. Some manufacturers prefer older chips. The tube output CDPs are in a separate class and I used to own the Jolida 100. Now I wish I still had it. As fewer CDPs are produced, we will have fewer to choose from and I think it will come down to either super crappy ones and elegant expensive ones. Many, like myself, have gone to separate DACs and some kind of transport-CDP/DVD/BR.
Thanks a lot, Tgrisham. I've read of some dissatisfaction with upsampling. That's one of the reasons I'm curious about the advantages (or disadvantages) of the "latest, hottest" technology. It's also interesting that you speak highly of the Jolida, even after experiencing some of the more recent players/DACs shown in your system. Thanks very much for your thoughts.

Thanks to you, too, Viridian. It seems your thoughts on old vs. new gear is similar to Tgrisham's. Very informative, and I appreciate it.
-Bob
You're welcome, and that would be wrong, my thoughts on old vs. new gear are not at all like Tgrishams.
My apologies if I misunderstood, Viridian, but my reference to the similarity in your opinions was based on the fact that you both indicated that older players still had at least some good things going for them in comparison to newer ones. That was the general thrust of my question and perhaps that's what I focused on in reading your replies.
-Bob
No apology needed. I misunderstood and thought that you were speaking to the specifics and not the broader observiation. Good luck in the hunt. The journey is often a lot more fun than the destination.
>>The journey is often a lot more fun than the destination.<<

And a hell of a lot cheaper! Thanks.
-Bob
LOL, well put Bob!
I suspect real improvements over the past 5-7 years in CD playback comes from developments other than DAC chips - like power supplies, anlog output stages, internal vibration isolation and control, softeware algorithims etc. I think difference based on DACs alone are overhyped.