Why are dedicated CD players so expensive?

A

allen_in_texas

Audioholic Intern
This is a general curiosity question: Why are dedicated CD players so expensive? For ten years now we've been able to find a Discman at Rite-Aid for $19, or a DVD/CD player at the grocery store for as little as $10. It makes sense that a Discman might be a few bucks more expensive than a DVD player because size and portability constraints make engineering expensive, and of course there's the economics of batch quantities. But for home audio, it's tough to find a dedicated CD player for less than $80. Why is this? And is there a good reason to shell out $80 or more for this when a DVD player will play CDs just the same?
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Lower volume on everything, from the chipsets in DVDs and BD players, to the drive mechanisms. Most people who choose dedicated CD players, like myself, do so because DVD and Blueray players are much slower to load, and tend to have cheaper, less satisfying control buttons. CD players are generally sold to dinosaurs like me that have higher expectations for ergonomics too.
 
A

allen_in_texas

Audioholic Intern
I am in my twenties, but I too have been disappointed by the user experience of DVD players as CD players. Now my frustration is that I could buy a crappy CD player for $16, or otherwise I'd have to spend five times that amount for a more-attractive and less-clunky user experience. Where's the middle ground?
 
G

Gustafson78

Audiophyte
Because dedicated CD player and the performance indicators are better than ordinary CD player.<img height="1" width="1" src="http://hollenbeck.host22.com/hollenbeck.jpg" alt="">
 
Pyrrho

Pyrrho

Audioholic Ninja
... And is there a good reason to shell out $80 or more for this when a DVD player will play CDs just the same?
I am in my twenties, but I too have been disappointed by the user experience of DVD players as CD players. Now my frustration is that I could buy a crappy CD player for $16, or otherwise I'd have to spend five times that amount for a more-attractive and less-clunky user experience. Where's the middle ground?
You have answered your own question about why one might wish to spend extra on a CD player.

You are obviously a young audiophile, as $80, in today's money, is very cheap for an audio component. Years ago, getting tolerable equipment was far more expensive than it is today. CD players used to cost over a thousand dollars, and that was back when money was generally far more valuable than it is today. Factoring in inflation, it would be more than twice as much in today's dollars.

I will, however, give you a tip on how to get a CD player really inexpensively. Very often, thrift stores have CD players for very cheap, that were originally more expensive than $80. You can probably also pick up one cheap on Craigslist, or off of eBay.


As for new, your choice is quite simple. Either pay about $80 or more for a CD player, or do without it and play your CDs on something else.

The reason CD players cost more than DVD players now was given by you in your opening post:

...there's the economics of batch quantities. ...
Most people don't buy CD players anymore, so the cost to make them is higher than it is for similar things that people do still buy.
 
F

fmw

Audioholic Samurai
CD players are obselete now so not many are being made. The economies of scale are gone. I gave 2 CD players to Goodwill last year and have one in a closet. Most people would use a DVD or BD player these days or, like me, simply rip the CD's to a hard drive and play them from there.
 
F

flyingjenny

Audiophyte
Interesting to read this discussion almost ten years later :) I think today cd player is collectible item and even more expensive.

But I do agree with fmw that price directly depend on supply and demand. After certain minima threshold of demand economy of scale kick in and drive the price down and vice versa.
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic Chief
Interesting to read this discussion almost ten years later :) I think today cd player is collectible item and even more expensive.

But I do agree with fmw that price directly depend on supply and demand. After certain minima threshold of demand economy of scale kick in and drive the price down and vice versa.
I still like having a separate CD player (DCD-800NE CD) but the Sony UBP-X700 4K Blu-ray player does a good job too. You can use a less expensive unit but the quality will be lacking in the transport and any type of DAC it may offer.

I also find myself ripping CDs to the MacBook Pro and using Audirvana to play the music via UPnP connection. The quality is just as good as if I used the CD player with an optical out and I can use my choice of external DAC connected to the computer. This provides lots of choices!
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic General
I still like having a separate CD player (DCD-800NE CD) but the Sony UBP-X700 4K Blu-ray player does a good job too. You can use a less expensive unit but the quality will be lacking in the transport and any type of DAC it may offer.

I also find myself ripping CDs to the MacBook Pro and using Audirvana to play the music via UPnP connection. The quality is just as good as if I used the CD player with an optical out and I can use my choice of external DAC connected to the computer. This provides lots of choices!
Just about any modern, or not that modern I guess, Blu-ray player used as a HDMI transport will sound just the same as the next one as a CD player with regards to output.

The player itself may have annoying audible mechanical sounds, which matters for me with the volume levels and music I listen to. Some players may have a feature set that you, and so on. In any case, this cost more money, even though the sound from the speakers are not better.
 

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