Good for you,yes there can be differences between old and new,but not as much as all the new is better that you hear all the time,differences can be pretty small,differences are not quite as apparent as when you change a amp or pre amp.Take whats close to a 10 yr old Arcam cd 9,that will still sound good even compared to anything new.
throught out your cd play and go with an MSB Tech ilink for
around $2,000. You not only get better sound because of the
lossless feature but now you can have over 150 cd's at you finger tips. I can not think of any reason to own a CD Player of any quality
Generally, new is better. Technology has improved a great deal. What used to cost thousand can now be achieved for hundreds.
I had an older Krell CD setup (all of my other electronics are Krell), but wanted to be able to play SACD's. I sold it and bought a Marantz SA14 and placed it atop the Nueance platform. => much better sound for less that half the price.
What's the rest of your system?
Rogue Metis Pre
Classe CA 300 Power
Usher 6371 speakers (just sold some Magnepan 1.6)
Music Hall mmf-7.1/grado reference
audio research ph3 phono pre
Also, I always forget my REL Strata 3
You're certainly entitled to your opinion on the subject, but my experience has been just the opposite.
For what it's worth, not to long ago, Stereophile released a list of what they felt where audio equipment classics.
The main criteria they used was the unit's ability to stand the test of time, and still hold it's own today.
To my surprise and many others, their list completely omitted any categories for digital playback.
After many subscribers wrote in to complain, they explained that because digital playback had improved by such a large margin, pretty much on an annual basis over the last 10 years or so, that none of the truly great players of yesteryear could even compete with a modestly good player today.
I have a Pioneer PD-65 in my 2nd system. It has been an extremely reliable and well built unit that has always worked flawlessly. It feeds a mid 90's Audio Alchemy DTI PRO/ DDE V3.0 d/a converter. I have kept all of the above, because nothing I have tried in the past 3 years at a retail price of $1500 or less has been any better. I have the output of the PD-65 feeding one input on my preamp and the Audio Alchemy feeding another. While the PD-65 sounds decent, the AA gear sounds much more natural and real. The PD-65 is a good transport. I recommend you consider a good D/A converter that caters to your sonic requirements and use it with the PD-65
"For what it's worth, not to long ago, Stereophile released a list of what they felt where audio equipment classics."
Stereophile was in a fog during the 90's. Get some back issues and read them. I almost lost faith in hi fi from their antics of the 1990's.
In my experience, newer ones sound better, but older ones are a thousand times more reliable.
"....but the old ones are a thousand times more reliable".
I bought a Sony 101 in the early 80's. Last I heard (2002) it was still up and running. Couldn't begin to believe how many folks have probably lost their hearing listening to it! :-)
Yep, new ones do sound more refined/resolving and balanced than the old ones. Even my old Cal Alpha/Delta (which I love with jazz) is very dated and different from my newer BAT, Raysonic, and Wadia CDP's, but mechanically its still chugging alone w/o the need for transport repairs.
I don't know about mid-1990's vs. today, but, it is not necessarily the case that newer stuff beats older. First, the simple, and I suppose one could say primitive, technology of the Audionote and Zanden approach delivers fantastic results. I would take the oldest DAC-5 over just about any other current non-Audionote DAC out there now.
The other issue has to do with current chipsets and transports. Aside from a few companies that make proprietary transports and D-A and filter chips, manufacturers have to rely on what big makers of OEM parts offer to the market. D-A chips, in particular, serve a variety of functions, so many new chips are designed to serve multiple function, and are not necessarily issued because they are superior in performance.
Some premium manufacturers, like Naim and Zanden, have horded "old" no longer manufactured chipsets, because, in their view, they offer superior performance. Examples would be the Burr-Brown 1704 chip. So, it is possible that a newer model from a particular manufacturer will have inferior sound to a prior model because a superior component is no longer on the market.
there is no way to generalize about oldeer or newer players.
that said, there are number of very satisfying older players, such as audio note cd2, cal audio labs tempest and aria, wadia 200-0 series, forsell dac and transport, lector 7 mark 1 (about 5 years old).
my point, i think i could be happier with players, dacs and transports from the 90's and prior to that, than i am with digital components of today.
my favorite cd player, circa 1992, was the naim cd x. i have not heard any digital hardware that i prefer to that player, period !
I can definitely generalize about reliability of the newer players, Mrtennis.
As someone who is the importer of a line of CD players, I know what the numbers are. For 2007, 75%+ of the players I brought in were defective in that the Sony transport assembly (laser head, ribbon cable, servo board) either failed to read a disc or had some drawer malady within the first year of operation. Fortunately, we switched to a different Sony plant to get the part from, and the problem seems to have been solved.
But, if you think it's just a function of this company, it's not. Just about all of the high-end audio companies use these same Sony parts, which I obviously consider the achilles heel of the entire hobby. Most players today are simply that Sony transport, a nice case, decent or better power supply, and an output section of the same level as the power supply. To call the part that actually interfaces with the disc junk would be a compliment.
My first CD player, a Pioneer PD5100 that I paid $99 for in 1997 has never failed to operate perfectly. Unfortunately, the days of most of us using this sort of player are long gone in favor of today's offerings by the niche companies that serve us. It used to be gigantic companies with the necessary R&D, testing, and development funding to build a CD player the right way ruled. No more.
I'll genearlize again, and say that in my opinion, the Pioneer does not sound nearly as good as today's offereings, but a functioning CD player always sounds better than one that doesn't work.
If I were in the market, I'd either buy a high-end player that doesn't use the typical Sony transport assembly, or buy something like the $99 Samsung universal I picked up at Best Buy, and spend my money on pairing it with a real good sounding DAC.
Interestingly, I just picked up a copy of Stereophile from 1986 on ebay and it has a shootout between cd vs. vinyl. It concludes that cd is vastly superior to the best vinyl available at the time. This is close to first generation cd they are talking about. So how can I now believe that new cd players are much better than older cd players when we keep hearing how horrible cd was back then from this same publication?
I have an Andromeda (Simaudio). It has the 1704uk chips as does my older Simaudio Eclipse. Andromeda is more dynamic. Eclipse still sounds very good. Andromeda increases dynamics, detail, residual grunge, and improves balance. Units reliable, expensive though. Pilips transport.
I also have Linn Karik Numerik. It sounds good too. 1994 vintage. I think it has the 1702 chipset. Less detail, dynamics, still has orchestral layering. I need to sell the Karik Numerik sometime. I think it is superior to current players above $1000. (It cost over $5000 originally).
When I replaced a 20 year old JVC CD player (still worked, made in Japan c1988, $300) with a Cambridge 640c (made in China 2008, $750), the improvement was not overwhelming. The CA was definitely better in every way, but not the leap I expected.
I think the reality is that while technology has raced ahead, build quality of the moving parts (transport, laser etc) has gone backwards with the move from away from Japanese precision to Chinese mass production.