Compact Disc Player Buying Guide
With the tagline, “perfect sound forever” Sony and Phillips unleashed the digital Compact Disc into the analogue world of hi-fi in 1982. The format quickly gathered pace due to its benefits - unlike a vinyl record, it didn’t deteriorate with use, it didn’t need to be treated as gently, and lacked the “snap, crackle and pop” of bulky records.
The Compact Disc was an instant success upon its release, and it didn’t take long for the first album on CD to sell a million copies – Dire Straits’ Brothers In Arms in 1985. The end of the vinyl record was prophesised, and only five years after the Walkman was introduced came the Discman in 1984. The Compact Disc found its way onto midi systems and “ghetto blasters”, as well as in car audio systems. Despite declining sales due to numerous streaming apps and download services, the Compact Disc survives due to the sheer amount of players and music CD’s that customers have built up over the years. Hifix stock many brands of some of the best CD players including Arcam, Audiolab, Cyrus, Oppo, Marantz Naim Primare Rega, and Yamaha.
Compact Disc Formats
There have been numerous variations on this disc based format, and in the hi-fi world, the most notable has been Super Audio CD (SACD), which appeared in 1999. A Sony/Phillips invention, it intended to provide superior audio reproduction to the standard Compact Disc. SACD uses a one-bit, high-resolution DSD system and when used throughout the entire recording process can produce a stunning audio soundstage and musicality with many times more resolution and much more realistic sound than a Standard compact disc Hifix stock SACD Players from both Denon and Pioneer SACD players.
What is SACD
The Super Audio CD - or SACD for short, is one of those high definition multi-channel audio formats designed specifically for music listening.
What about other audio formats?
If you’ve got CD-Rs or CD-RWs that you’ve burned, make sure you get a player that can handle them. Most CD players have no trouble with these formats. If you own any SACDs, be sure to find a player that has the ability to decode the high-resolution audio layer. Most SACDs will play in any CD player, but you’ll need a compatible player to unlock the best sound quality. Some universal players will offer SACD compatibility.
CD quality is really down to a couple of main things, like most other products there is a range of price points, however for music lovers the high quality of reproduction is reliant on the digital and analogue convertor and the Compact disc mechanism and motor and this is where most of the sound differences can occur, further incremental benefits can be increased by upgrading the DAC to further the sound quality including the sound stage and musicality. Don’t forget that extraneous vibrations can have a detrimental effect of sound quality by increasing jitter so ensure that you have a solid platform that is isolated from the floor for best results.
Being digital, Compact Disc is much more flexible than previous formats in that it allows programming of tracks in the order you choose, allows a disc or track to be continually repeated, and being fully remote controlled lets you enjoy your music from the comfort of your armchair. Software storage taking up less space in comparison to vinyl is an added benefit – no more sagging shelves!
Whilst much of a Compact Disc player is solid state, sound quality varies greatly due mainly to the Digital To Analogue Convertor (DAC) section of the player. It is the DAC’s job to accurately convert the digital signal into an analogue one in order to pass it on to a conventional amplifier. Technology in this field continually improves, making each new generation of CD players a genuine step up from the last.
Sound Enhancement Accessories
Don’t forget that HiFix stock a range of CD accessories such as isolation spikes, Isolation Cones, CD cleaners, so do not hesitate to contact us if you require and help or advice in the selection of CD players or indeed to improvement’s we can recommend to your existing systems.