Recommend CD Player with Volume Control

I have Magneplanar 3.6Rs and Classe CAM-350 monoblocks and am looking to add a CD player. Since this will be my only source, I am looking for a CD player that has volume control/variable output and I will bypass the preamp. 24 bit, HDCD, and upgradability are definite advantages. Any suggestions in the $2000 price range (new or used)?
Stretch your $$ a bit (Your system desreves it) and listen to the Resolution Audio CD55. 24/96, HDCD, true balanced configuration, excellent analog passive preamp included. And best of all it sounds wonderful: detailed without harshness, smooth with great heft and weight, delicate when it needs to be. Retail $3000.
I hate to be in disagreement, but I bought a CD50 to see what all the hype was about. I was completely disappointed with it, in fact I found that a Rotel 855 was more enjoyable to listen to. I tried it on 3 systems and it just never sounded right to me, I'm not saying that it is a piece of junk, it does some things extremely well, but overall I just didn't like it. Wadia sound is much better IMHO. I have one used in mint condition for sale now on Audiogon if you are interested.
The Resolution Audio CD50 is the best in the market anywhere near your $2000 price.
What specifically did you not like about the CD50, Ryan? "Just didn't like it" just doesn't cut it. I just don't like a lot of things, but I need to be more specific, or else saying it has no relevance. Perhaps you didn't like that it showed that your CD-R copies didn't sound better than the originals afterall?
Is it just my observation that Carl gets upset everytime someone doesnt agree w him about the CD50? I have a Wadia 850 and love it, but I know not everyone does/will so if there is a comment/review not favorable 2 it I dont get bent out of shape and defend it like its my wife. I have never heard the CD50 but I wouldnt doute its a great player based on the reviews I've read, but theres nothing out there that everyone will think is the BEST. Different strokes 4 different folks.
Thanks Dj, You hit the bullseye regarding Carl... BTW I also own an 850 and love it. I assume you have heard the fate of Wadia...not the news I was looking for.
See two other active threads concerning Wadia, but do not overreact! Things are changing...not going away. Wadia did not have any financial hardsdhip, but an internal group of employees has bought the Company and is going through a period of transition...Still great units and I would recommend even the discontinued 830 and 850 as great machines which do not break down, eliminate the pre-amp and associated interconnects from the chain, and offer fantastic sound quality. In the 2k range, look for a used Wadia 830ix and you'll have yourself a keeper!
I'm not bent out of shape, just challenged him to be what I said. Defending it like it was my wife? Get over yourself, dude.
I agree with Carl. To say you don't like a product without being specific as to why contributes little to this thread. I have never heard the Resolution Audio products but there seems to be general consensus that it is an excellent value. When there is a differing opinion it would be most useful to "share" with the readers why you don't like it. Give us a specific criticism. Constructive criticism offers greater insight into a product than "It never sounded right or "I just don't like it". I for one would like to know why you didn't like it as I am also in the market for a new digital front end. The above remarks are intended to be constructive not adversarial. I believe that is the point Carl tried to make.
Sorry guys I'll try to work on my specificity. In my defense knowone else said what they liked about it. I listend to and lived with the CD50 on 3 systems and came to roughly the same conclusion on each. Interestingly I found the CD50 scored the best on my he man rig. Tonally from the highs to the upper mids I really liked the CD50, it had extended treble without sounding bright or edgy, it may even beat out the Wadia in this regard. The lower mids seemed to have a slightly hard sound, not that bad though. The bass was generous and full though I felt that there was to much mid bass punch, which can add to effect of some music. It was in the area of spatial presentation where I feel that it fell short. The soundstage was narrow, with a confused sense of placement to each sound, it mushed or smushed the sound together. Compared to a Rotel 855, I thought that the Rotel bettered it in this area.Tonaly the CD50 is good, but the way it presents the sounds in space, simply sounds wrong to me. Instead of it sounding wide and deep, it seemed as if the sound was formed in a half circle coming at me. There is no doubt about it that the CD50 has a BIG detailed sound, "I just don't like it because of the way it deals with space." Maybe that area doesn't matter as much to some, but I don't think that the experience works if that doesn't. Oh yeah Carl I did listen to more than CDRs on it. My vote for a CD player with Volume control in the 2000.00 range would go to the Wadia 830 -Ryan
What preamp did you use with the Rotel, and did you use one with the CD50? I use no preamp with mine, and have found none of the aspects you name. How long was this CD50 left on in each instance, by the way? It needs a few days of being on, before it really performs its best. WHAT RECORDINGS DID YOU USE FOR COMPARISON? With mine, I hear a different soundstage size, width, depth, and tonal presentation, with each recording. I feel like I'm hearing the character of each space on each recording. And I definitely hear the rear corners of the recorded space, and hear no tonal emphasis of any kind, in any of the frequency range. If you like your Wadia better, that's fine. To each, his own. I suspect if the CD50, or CD55, costed $15,000, more people would buy one.
Carl- originally I left the player on for a week before any decisions were made. To many recordings to list them all-Yuseff Lateef,Speedy J,Steve Roach,Morton Feldman,Gyorgi Ligeti,Arovane,Deftones are a few. No preamp against the Wadia, just Pass Aleph 2s. Against the Rotel it was a Jolida 40 watt integrated to a pair of B&W CDM7s, I followed Resolutions advice in the manual for pairing it with an integrated amp. Have you ever directly compared the CD50 to a Wadia player in your home? I think if they were going to sell for 15k they would need a lot better looking box and a lot less cheap remote. You've got to admit that remote sucks for a 3k player. And your probably right they would sell a lot more. If I had 15k to spend I would go for the new meridian player though.
From smeone who has owned Wadia I would tell you hands down get yourself a CD50 (I imagine the CD55 is also an excellent performer but cannot comment). I have owned one for two months and have probably spent 2K on new and used CD's in that time. It presents the most nonfatiguing detail I have come across. Everything is there including proper slam but you can let it play for a week straight and never have the urge to shut it down. Mine has been working overtime. One of the key questions is what your amp would rather be driven with (opamps vs. true bipolar transitors biased in class a) Made Wadia seem archaic in my system. hope this helps. Paul
Ryan, I've not tried the 860x in my home, no. It still rolls off the top octave by 3 dB, though. Anyway, I gurantee the CD50 is better than the 830, by far. Bring your 860 by anytime, when you're in my part of the country. You know what, yes, I absolutely agree that the RA remote sucks (it's a plastic tv remote), but I bet other programmable remotes might work with it, I haven't tried. The player itself looks very nice IMO, in silver, anyway. Just because the chassis doesn't weigh more than your SUV, doesn't mean that build quality is not in keeping with any highend CD player, though. And the electronic components are beyond Petland, me, and others know all too well. Yes, others on here have attempted to make a fool of me on issues of digital audio, but I still like Jeff Kalt very much, he is a truly honorable designer. At least he didn't buy a speaker company, and then turn around and have to divide his core company up...
Remember this guys, just as identical systems would sound very different in different rooms, no two sets of ears will hear the same thing, even if those systems were set up in the same room. There are just too many variables; likes, dislikes, age, hearing ability, the amount of hair growing in your ears, etc....
Remember this, Shelton, if it were true that none of us could hear similar things from the same equipment/system/room, then there would be no point in having this forum...remember that, and don't forget it, keep it in your memory...
Carl, read my post again. Of course you will hear SIMILAR things. Just as Ejlif clarified (after you forced him to) that he heard similar things from the CD-50 that you did, it's obvious that he did not hear the SAME things. Your raving passion aout the CD-50, like a positive review from one of the high-end mags, will cause and has caused others to seek out the CD-50. However, after an audition, not everyone will draw the SAME rave, positive conclusions. Your personal preferences are just that, yours!
Read the above again, I found essentially none of the things Ryan found, and my conclusions about this player are mine, and also those of many others. And if you bought one, they'd be YOURS! YOURS!
It's obvious that you, Carl, are missing the point that I'm trying to make. This is why. I own, and enjoy tremendously, a CD-50! You were so blinded by the fact that I raised the notion of individuality and personal preferences, that it never entered your mind to ask what I happen to be using in my system. To everyone else, I apologize for getting off track from the initial thread. In that regard, I too recommend the CD-50 without hesitation. That's just MY preference. It may not suit everyone's taste.
OK, so you just wanted to pick an argument, then. That's petty, and if you think you're telling me anything I don't already know (that everyone doesn't like the same thing...although you stated that wrong), you're wasting your time. I was talking specifics, and you were wondering why, when you had the player all along. Pipe down, already...
Smarting as I am to the rebukes I received for my Take the Audiophile Quiz post, I am wondering if we can't reach some agreement to keep these discussions positive. We all have a strong interest and love for music. We all want to see others enjoy the experiences we've had with music and equipment. Why is it necessary to inject anger into these threads? It is easy to slam somebody in cyberspace because you don't have to ever interact with them in person. But ultimately, I think this undermines the attempt to learn from one another so we can further enjoy this hobby of ours. And isn't it really just that -- a hobby? We're not talking about life and death, political gains and losses, or anything else in which one of us is going to win and another is going to lose. So can't we keep things polite, even when we don't agree with one another?
This forum was and is very polite, Michael, and there will never be agreement in this hobby...please don't otherwise delude yourself on that. We are all here because we love music thru audio, and that's not really "just a hobby", is it? Posting it twice doesn't help, either....................It's clear that Shelton simply wanted to belabor a point obvious to all of us, stated it wrongly, and then hid the fact that he knew the CD50 was a terrific player. As the glib and verbally challenged simpletons always sate on here..."nuff said".
To clarify one thing, when I say "never be agreement", I mean perhaps what Shelton thought he was trying to "teach" me. That we won't always agree on the various intricacies of this "hobby". BUT, (this relates to my point) that does NOT meant that when a product works very well (like the CD50), that there won't be a clear consensus to the positive feelings of the vast MAJORITY of those who have owned or heard the product. Denying that is what I perceive Shelton is actually doing, and that's like denying that the sky is USUALLY blue in the daytime, when there are no clouds. That is my point: that Shelton actually agreed with all the rest of us on the CD50 (except Ryan alone), and yet he denied that most of us could somehow be in agreement on it, because we "would all hear it differently". I submit that there IS a median human audibility curve, and any aduiologist will provide those facts for you, Shelton. There's also a "mean degree of 'adequate' system set-up and synergy of fidelity" that most of us in this "hobby" have arrived at, so there is a reasonable degree of "translation" from ONE system (whose performance has been optimized adequately), TO THE NEXT. I'm not talking between systems where there are problems, I'm talking between ones where there are few if any problems. Any system that provides a satisfying musical rendition, and also displays in obvious fashion the difference bewteen one recording's character, to the next, is my definition of such an audio system. And, MOST OF MY ACQUAINTANCES ON HERE HAVE SUCH SYSTEMS, so that, in a practical sense, DISPROVES Shelton's little theory for me, and I hope for the rest of you...............The rest is for the Supreme Court to decide, and I hear Remquist and a few of the other justices are in a bad mood today, because they haven't been able to listen to their CD50's enough, of late...
Hello is the Audigon or "Carl_eber_gon". I wish carl_eber was gone. What is up with this constant carping, whining about the Resolution Audio CD50 being God's gift to humanity. It almost seems like when God gave the 10 commandments to Moses, Carl_eber was lurking around the background and God gifted him with the Resolution Audio CD 50. Lo and Behold, a messiah was born --- carl to the crusade of the CD 50.
I agree with you Carl that there has to be some element of objectivity for any of this to make sense. I am sorry for the double submission of my post. It was an accident. I stand by my comments suggesting that we should refrain from antagonism in these posts.
Michael, I have a right to defend my pont of view, and you possess just as much personal antagonism, in pointing out how you think I should (or should not) say what I say, singling me out, perhaps.....Sunny, thanks so much for your "non-antagonistic" comments. God is a good God, and I hope you can aspire to know him in some way...wishing I was "gone" seems like you might want to play God yourself (and perhaps you might be more aligned with that fallen angel that felt the same need). I'm merely discussing the merits of audio equipment, and philosophies. God probably doesn't care much, and likely has a better audio system than all of us anyway. I'm pretty sure they didn't even have electricity in the time of Moses...perhaps you should double check that.
And sorry for the typos. I'm glad that you at least agree with me on my points about translatability, Michael.
Carl, cool off man. Keep your finger off the CAPS (oops). Lets keep the forum on the technicalities of the subject and nothing else please. Nobody will hear what you can with your RA CD50/Krell/MIT...unless one has exactly the same set up as yours, which is not and can never be the case. Why keep harping over what you are able to hear being more superior than thou. You once said yourself that one can never be happy in pursuit of this @#$% hobby, so why you think it should be different now. :)
Carl, it was really meant to be a broad statement about the nature of the exchanges. I am sorry if you took it personally. That was not my intent.
First of all, how many of you even have a CD player with volume control ,which is what this thread is about? If you don't have one, and are "tired" of me, start another thread, and talk about something else. And Shapiro, what is it you mean by "all I can afford"? Do you meant that you think you are more wealthy than me, and somehow that makes you superior to me?
I think if you check, Carl, you will notice that you spent a fair amount of time in this thread talking about translatability of experiences. Now you have told us that this thread is exclusively the province of discussions about CDs with volume controls. If you want to start setting rules, you have to play by them.
No Carl. I have no idea how wealthy you are, nor do I care. It isn't even relevant. I just wanted to see your Pavlovian response. And you didn't disappoint me. Thanks.
Carl. I wasn't hiding the fact that I own a CD-50 just to be disagreeable with you. You don't merit that kind of attention. My point was, again, that we (music lovers/audiophiles) are never going to hear and enjoy the same things, in music, no matter what systems we are using. Even if those systems are identical. Furthermore, if someone disagrees with you, it's not a personal attack. Enjoy the music!
I'm not a psychoanalyst, and don't know what sort of a response you are referring to, Shapiro, but I suspect that you enjoy analyzing people, figuring them out. If you think you have me nailed down, that's fine. I resent being analyzed by psychologists, because I'm an individual, and thus cannot be "figured" out by the modern religion you call psychology. I don't think in time with someone elses mind, and am not part of a collective unconscious. What am I thinking now?..............Michael, I'm not setting rules here, only pointing out that my whole discussion was in the context of a CD player with volume control (translatablity of a certain CD player, although you could apply it to other audio contexts, perhaps), where your posts seem to come from that of personal criticism. You aren't setting rules for this thread, either. I think if you check, you'll realize that................Shelton, you haven't even clearly stated whatever point you think you're making, and thus haven't begun to prove it, either. Yes, indeed, I'm gonna enjoy the music right now...
And Shapiro, do you own a CD player with volume control, and connect it straight into your amplifier? Are you scared to answer such a simple question? That's the response I expected...find a thread that deals with audio subjects that you have experience with, perhaps you'll have something relevant to say there...but I doubt it.
And Jla, you need to shut up, until you have something relevant to say PERTINANT TO THIS THREAD. I don't care if you (or any of you) are tired of me, or not. You're a crybaby. Who the hell asked you to read my posts in the first place? Your computer has an off switch; use it, or else find another forum, cause I'm not leaving...and you couldn't do anything about it anyway.
in Carl's defense he opened his comments with a three word statement and then asked someone to expand on their position (very reasonably I might add if you read closely). Since that time comments and suggestions specific to HIM have been coming from left field and contributing little to the original question. I don't know Carl and have agreed with him very few times, but I respect anyone who will back-up their opinions and challenge others to do the same. It seems to me some of the energy directed at Carl comes from those at a loss for words related to audio. For the record, from all that I have seen with his name on it(many many things) I agree with him on two things only: the cd50, the moses electricity thing. He adds flavor to this site simply because he substantiates his position with an uncompromising style. This world has plenty of jerks just more opinionated than Carl but with a hell of a lot less to say, IMHO
Once again Carl you are right. Regarding this thread my vote is for either the Wadia 850 or 860...Carl's favorites and BTW I own an 850. Now Carl don't get your panties in a twist over this one...
Thats a backhanded compliment but I agree with what you say, Petland. I have seen many questions, by a lot of people, that can seem pointed and thus taken the wrong way. I think that "provocative" questions/responses to individuals who post gives rise to the opportunity for the (came before)person posting to elaborate on their comments. It's people, just like Carl (and others), that are a great catalyst for that. Unfortunatley, for many of you, my posts are rather long but I aim to be concise, make my point and back it up with "something". Sometimes head-butting is enevitable (it's the nature of this medium) but it also makes it fun!
Petland, I thank you for the half-way support, but don't understand why you'd disagree with me on so many other issues in the past. I don't recall that you have told me as much, anyway. I'm glad that you like the CD50. I don't see myself as a catalyst, so much as a lightening rod for the true jerks on here. That's fine, except that it wastes time for anyone wanting to get anything substantive out of this forum. As you hint at, I guess having an opinion, and backing it up (with anything at all), brings out the worst in people, all too often. I appreciate yours and Treyhoss's commitment to keeping it on things audio..........Jla, thanks for getting back to the subject, and for realizing that you can turn your computer off, or otherwise ignore my comments.
Jeez,Carl.How can one guy have the best eqp.,the only opinion that counts,was never wrong about anything?? YOUR system is not a tube lovers' delight,That makes for lots of room for disagreement.You get so nasty and personal.It is ok to disagree,loose the nasty.It waters down anything positive you might contribute.
Carl, I must apologize for picking on you. I'm not trying to analyze you. You're just so easy to bait and I find you very amusing. Oops, is that too condescending a remark? Damn, there I go again. Sorry.