to CD / DVD or not to CD / DVD

I've had some discussions where people have told me you can't get anything good with a unit that plays both cd's and dvds (either in the same port or two different ones). I wanted to know how much you sacrifice or how good you can get and still have one unit for your various discs. And if ou know a good one, any recommendations?
Good topic. This has been discussed before not long ago and I submitted what I thought was fair and informed feedback. It's not that you can't obtain good universal disc players with decent audio. The believe however among the philes is that a combo DVD/CD player has to share more circuitry on the boards. There has to be extra board components and circuits for the video portion of the player which can impede sound quality for example. This is covered in Robert Harley's book, "The Complete Guide to High End Audio". He states that over approx $5K however, Universal disc players are then truly high end and the audio quality is superior. So for the purests, stand alone CD players are best unless you're willing to shell over $5K or more.
hi Metalsymph,
I don't necessarily subscribe to the idea that a universal player is always compromised because of the multi-format. There a number of examples out there from Esoteric (DV-50s or -60), McCormack (UDP-1 Deluxe), Cary (DVD-7) etc, just to name a few, which do various formats exceptionally well.

A number of these units are designed from the ground up (versus repacked players) and are thus well engineered. For example, the transport alone in the Esoteric is impressive. You'de have to spend a lot more money to significantly better them. I would suggest that you audition a few of these, ideally head to head with a dedicated player. Please report your findings to us....

good luck, hope that helps somewhat!
I own two units. A meridian (596) in my home theatre which is both a super dvd and cd player and a esoteric SA-60 in my two channel rig (which is on the cover of stereophile this month) a universal disc player. The other really incredible contender in the universaly player market <5K is the ayre player. If you have the funds and can swing a fully loaded meridian 800 player you would drop dead to hear how incredible dvd and cd can sound together!
(Nothing really beats vinyl though)
I have and am auditioning some players and it comes with mixed results, unfortunately - the players in our local dealers are often "assigned" to one set up or another - which makes figuring out what the palyer does, let alone a true A/B slightly difficult.
Starcon - agreed. Just bought a wonderful VPI.