CD Transport/Player Recommendations

1

1911

Audioholic
I just placed a low-ball offer on a Sony CDP-620ES II and the seller accepted. Seller said it was fully functioning and in excellent condition. No remote, though. Pretty good deal if ya ax me. If anyone knows where I can get a remote, please let me know. Thanks.
 
Bobby Bass

Bobby Bass

Audioholic Chief
Good for you! The remote may be a Sony Remote Commander RM-D502. suggest searching vintage home audio sites. Looks like the first edition of the player came out in 85. Good luck finding the remote. Hope the player meets your listening needs.
 
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1

1911

Audioholic
@Bobby Bass: Thanks. I'll keep a lookout for the remote. Thanks for the model number. After all the positive reviews and articles I've read regarding the Sony ES units, I sure hope it sounds as good as they say. Also, that copper chassis sure is nice.
 
1

1911

Audioholic
I received my "new" Sony CDP-620ES II today and got it hooked up. Everything is working and it sounds great. I knew it was a heavy unit for a CD player, but this thing it built like a tank! I am pleased.
 
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1

1911

Audioholic
I've been enjoying it all evening. It's amazing how well-built this thing is. The CD tray was constructed entirely of metal and opens/shuts with authority - very smooth and certainly an order of magnitude better than the cheap plastic trays in most consumer-grade decks.
 
1

1911

Audioholic
Bad news. I was listening to a CD and all of the sudden, it popped and there was static and the CD tray opened and will not close. I also hear the motors spinning and clicks while the tray is open.

I took it to my Tech and we opened it up. The limit switch top cover is missing. Also found 2 small broken pieces of white plastic. Looks like someone tried to superglue something in there. Tech said that the belts also need replacement. He said he could probably repair it, but it would cost $300.00+, which is more than I paid for it. This CDP-620 ES II was represented as "fully tested and in perfect working order." Obviously misrepresented.

I'm not real happy. It will be difficult to find another Sony ES CDP for under $300.00, but I guess you get what you pay for. This broken one is going back to the seller.

Happy Father's Day!
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Samurai
This is a good read about the Wiim with some fair comparisons.

I will emphasize this, because it's come up before and will continue to be an issue: Streaming devices are all about the user interface, which means software, and software continuously changes, and costs R&D time, forever. Unlike, say, a CD player. The standard for CDs hasn't really changed since their debut in the early 80's. This means that a CD bought today, would play on a (still working) player from forty years ago. Needless to say, we didn't have Spotify or Pandora, or Tidal in 1983. We may not have those services in 2025. So, streaming devices require constant software updates. If the company goes out of business, the app on your phone may stop working and you can't use the product. If they change to a newer model, the old one may stop receiving software support and updates. It means that you can't view streaming devices and services in the same way you do a record player or a CD player. With those devices, you can invest more to get better hardware, and it will be good forever. It doesn't need an internet connection to stay relevant.

But, streaming is here. It's not the future. It's today. Most people these days are streaming their content. They don't wire from their phone to a set of speakers, they use Bluetooth (if they don't really care about quality) or Airplay or Chromecast if they want better quality. They stream from Spotify or Tidal or similar services. That user experience, to get Spotify into a streaming device that isn't a phone... it's not necessarily straightforward. It requires a lot of manpower to keep those services updated in the device. Then the communication between that device and your phone through an app must be updated and maintained. Forever.

I haven't heard the difference between CD players ever. I just don't have the ears I suppose to have ever noticed a difference. But, for convenience, I also haven't been playing with my CDs in many years since I ripped them all to my computer.

I use a Sonos Port in my home. It works well, and Sonos has a track record for keeping their software up to date with good support for many streaming services.
Wiim certainly looks interesting as a fairly priced option, but I'm not sure for how long they can keep up their software support at that price point. But, I do hope they deliver for many years to come. I've always struggled with Sonos and their pricing on the Port as they have fully integrated speakers, with an amplifier, and ALL their available services for about 1/3 the price of the Port. It would make way more sense for Sonos to have the Port closer to that price of the Wiim.

If I wanted great streaming sound above all else, I think I would look at Bluesound. But, I would also be at a point where I knew that's the primary way I listened to music in my home.

This question about what CD player to get, really has turned into a conversation about streaming. But, I think the reality is that CD players tend to all sound quite respectable without a tremendous difference from unit to unit to unit. You're playing a standard CD which hasn't changed in decades and the technology is quite mature. Nicer transports offer you connectivity that you may find to be quite useless. You don't need a network connection on a CD player. You never have. Having a better DAC inside a better CD player is great, but if you've been happy with your Technics for years, then you likely won't be unhappy with most of what is out there and you should get a unit that you like.

Finally, while you can connect a 3.5mm to RCA connection from your phone to the preamp, this will tie your phone to the preamp for as long as you're listening to music. This can be a real headache if a phone call comes in, or if you expect your phone to actually have a decent DAC in it as most do not. It's a pretty bad way to stream audio content.

Certainly, if I were buying right now, I think I would get a Wiim and try it out. For the price, it's a great way to get your foot in the door on streaming.

For CD playback, I would just use my Panasonic Blu-ray Disc player, but I'm far more likely to stream content off my hard drives through my Sonos.
I will emphasize this, because it's come up before and will continue to be an issue: Streaming devices are all about the user interface, which means software, and software continuously changes, and costs R&D time, forever. Unlike, say, a CD player. The standard for CDs hasn't really changed since their debut in the early 80's. This means that a CD bought today, would play on a (still working) player from forty years ago

AMEN. I have digitized my entire library of CDs so I effectively stream at home all the time. I made that choice knowing all the issues with software etc etc. Believe me, if one isn't a computer guy or a technical guy, this constant update crap is a hassle and a problem. For me, its just part of the attraction, part of the deal. And as you said, a simple CD player will suffice as well as a super expensive one and will continue to work without "updates" for decades to come. I tell people when they ask me about building a digital system, if you can live with just a CD player, you may be worlds better off doing just exactly that. Simple. Easy. Nearly foolproof.

If one wants a streaming service, ala Spotify or choices like that, there's a lot to be said in praise of it. Right up until you fall out of love with one purveyor or they fall out of love with you for not paying them. Then the music stops, and your library disappears. I got no issue with streaming services. But for me, I love "owning" my library and knowing exactly where it is how I get to play it.
 
1

1911

Audioholic
@Bucknekked: Agreed. While I certainly use Spotify, as well as other streaming services, I too prefer to own physical media. Like you said, all this digital/cloud/streaming media can disappear in an instant, for a variety of reasons, and that's not something I would be too happy about.

As far as physical media, I own CDs, cassette tapes, and LPs, which I can always access. I'm also thinking about a RTR sometime in the near future.
 
Bobby Bass

Bobby Bass

Audioholic Chief
@Bucknekked: Agreed. While I certainly use Spotify, as well as other streaming services, I too prefer to own physical media. Like you said, all this digital/cloud/streaming media can disappear in an instant, for a variety of reasons, and that's not something I would be too happy about.

As far as physical media, I own CDs, cassette tapes, and LPs, which I can always access. I'm also thinking about a RTR sometime in the near future.
Agree it’s great to have the physical media. Love that Rhino etc. still comes out with remastered/remixed versions of classics like the 2 Little Feat CDs being released on Friday. Moved from 8 track to albums to cassettes and finally CDs over the years. With all the required equipment. Purchased a new higher-end CD player when I upgraded my 2 channel system because I noticed limitations in the sound. Happy with the new sound. Got me back to playing and buying CDs again after a few years of streaming. Stream Qobuz now in my new system playing Hi-Res tracks whenever possible. It’s a great time for music lovers with all the choices and portability available. Just takes time, money, and passion like any hobby. My kids think I’m nuts because they think streaming on their iPhones is enough but my wife understands. Says it’s cheaper than if I was into sports cars. Best of luck 1911 getting another player.
 
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Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Samurai
@Bucknekked: Agreed. While I certainly use Spotify, as well as other streaming services, I too prefer to own physical media. Like you said, all this digital/cloud/streaming media can disappear in an instant, for a variety of reasons, and that's not something I would be too happy about.

As far as physical media, I own CDs, cassette tapes, and LPs, which I can always access. I'm also thinking about a RTR sometime in the near future.
I know its a great thought, owning a reel to reel, but have you priced one recently?
I got the itch to own one for my music room even if its only purpose was to add ambience and a cool look.
Shopping around I found them to be outlandishly expensive, even for a non working one.
I was never a big reel to reel fan back in the day when they were for real (a pun attempt).
Unlike other medium that has fallen out of favor, RTR has grown more expensive with time.
 
1

1911

Audioholic
@Bucknekked: Yes, I have priced them. Some are indeed very expensive, but I did just find a recently serviced Pioneer RT-707 for $545.00!

Scratch that. Daughter and I went to look at it today and it was an RT-909 for $3,200.00!
 
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1

1911

Audioholic
Nope, but if blank cassette tape costs are any indication, I'm sure RTR tape is expensive.
 
1

1911

Audioholic
There are NOS TDK Metal cassette tapes available on fleabay ranging from $80.00 - $2,000.00 EACH!

Ridiculous.

Dad had a big box of reel to reel tapes around the house somewhere. I'll have to see if I can find them. I remember using his old RTR back in the day. I had fun with his sound effects tape and recording my own stories. Maybe I can find them.
 
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