How does one shop for a CD player nowadays?

notmyusualuserid

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That is how it looks. And all the prices just jumped up. There are dates on some of them of when they expect more. If you click the "why", there is a note about global supply chain issues and microchips.
Maybe it's the same reason I'm still waiting on a pedal I bought last fall.

It would seem that people are still buying CD players.
They're an essential item in a hifi separates system.

I have a turntable, CD player, music streamer, amp and floorstanders.
 

CharlieO

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I have a substantial cd collection, but honestly it largely sits unused.

But home system- economy home theater with a dvd player that I KNOW I didnt pay over $60 for. Works fine for movies or music.

Two of my primary vehicles still have cd players, but yet again, largely unused except on cross country trips (as if!)

Even my tech handicapped wife has been using usb drives.
I have about 3k songs organized on several drives by genre, redbook cd standard bit/sampling rate, and only seem to go to the cd player once in a great while.

My carefully curated collection of cds is now obsolete.

Just the facts.
How much time did you spend recording your music to those drives? It is not worth the time and energy for me to do that when all I need to do is take a CD out and put it in a player. I still have two CD players hooked up in the house. My Cadillac did not come with a CD player, so I added one. It took less time to install the CD player than I would have spent recording two albums to my computer or a USB stick. Truthfully, though, the CD player mostly gets used on long trips. Streaming from my phone is more convenient.


My CD collection will never be obsolete. I still play my vinyl records, too.
 
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oldunc

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Good luck- I went shopping a few years ago; ended up with an Onkyo player that has terrific sound, but is maddening to use; it has trouble reading cd's, which sometimes have to be reinserted several times, or it will skip, or suddenly stop, or go nuts if someone walks across the room. Reviews of other players in the price range ($2-300) mentioned similar problems with other brands; the one I wish I had (from Emotiva) has equivalent sound and is pretty much bombproof, but it's around $600, or was last I checked.
 

beninma

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If you think about what a CD player actually is electronically then you realize all these CD players that still cost hundreds of dollars are mostly selling the DAC and a steaming glass of snake oil. The digital portions of the whole audiophile scene are the most laden with the snake oil. A CD is digital data and it has checksums and error correction built into it. If the $5 CD player you put in your PC produces the exact same series of bits off the CD as the $500 or $5000 on from the Audiophile company the audiophile one does nothing except make you feel special and your wallet lighter.

Once you've got the digital data off the CD it's just a question of pumping it out a digital interface to a receiver or feeding it to a DAC and sending it out on an analog line. Fancier stuff might have a fancier DAC. If you're hooking the player up with a digital interface that's out the window too though.

I have thought about this.. cause I miss sticking CDs in the player and listening to them straight through on a nice stereo. I got rid of my setup 5 years ago cause it was too loud for most use cases. I have thought about getting some kind of bookshelf setup and putting it in my music area.

But I am not sure what that buys me versus using my HD audio player (Fiio) that has a 128GB card in it and has all my CDs on it and just hooking that up to an amplifier and some monitors. A lot of my music on that player since I mostly stopped buying CDs is higher quality digital music than CD. Once the music is into a computer the CD is meaningless. My Fiio Audio player is mostly used with headphones. But there's no reason it can't just get hooked up to a high quality amp + speaker setup. The whole paradigm of a giant stack of Hi-Fi components in a cabinet is just basically dead as a doornail at this point with the way modern technology has gone. If you buy that stuff in 2022 you're just buying a bunch of empty cabinet space that they upcharge 100x for. If you had looked inside a CD player in the 80s or 90s there would be a big board full of custom chips on there. Today you can do the whole thing on a tiny little board smaller than a playing card that costs nothing.
 

telepraise

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Unfortunately, the Onkyo C7030 is no longer in production. Both Yamaha and Denon make CD players in the ~$400 range. Look for metal transport (not plastic) and quality D/A converters.

Edit: Too late as the OP has already ordered a $35 Sony, but
• the concept that cheap and expensive players will sound identical because digital is digital is false if you have a quality amp and speakers. Besides cheap plastic transports, the real expense is in the D/A converters. The Wolfram converters in my Onkyo make my old Technics player sound like the POS it was.
• My entire music collection is burned into itunes and most of it lives on my phone for portability. But I still buy CDs because as a musician I like to access the credits, etc. That, and to support the artists because they don't get squat from the streaming services.
• I have a decent (not audiofile) analog system with tower speakers and I like to listen to it at a good volume. The difference between quality components under these conditions is very noticeable and appreciable. I expect (like the OP) to be listening this way for another 20 years. *I've already made my lifetime contribution of cheap Chinese junk (espeically plastic) to the landfill. I learned my lesson the hard way with cheap tools: yeah they're cheap but you end up throwing them away in a year and buying another cheap replacement.
 
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CharlieO

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I am confident that the OP will be pleased with his new $33 Sony CD player that he purchased on Amazon. I think that he is a victim of inflation, though. If I remember correctly, I paid $19.98 for the Toshiba CD/DVD player here in my office when I bought it at Walmart 10 years ago.
 

Mr Perch

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I'd like to see Beninma and Telepraise go mano a mano on this. I started building my CD collection nearly 40 years ago. I still have some Denon and EMI/Angel (liner notes in Japanese) CDs that came out in 1985. I have had CD players by Onkyo, Sony, Teac, and others. I have used name-brand amp/tuners (currently Technics) and my speakers are somewhat esoteric but considered audiophile (Cizek). My impression has been that the speakers are ultimately the decisive factor in the overall sound (and again, what I listen to at home is classical music.) I haven't noticed much difference between CD players. Please school me.
 

aging_rocker

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I worked for a 'boutique' hifi company in the 80s/90s. I've spoken about it before, but the short answer is that there are indeed vast differences in price, quality, and performance but you should only pay for what you need. Unless you have a huge budget, then go for it. ;)

The law of diminishing returns is very strong in hifi, much like guitars.

I guess it's a bit like the old Fender/Squier or Gibson/Epiphone questions - which is 'better quality', which is more cost-effective, which is more musical? What really matters to you?

Plenty of folks get exactly what they need from Squier/Epiphone, others insist on Fender/Gibson, others require custom built equipment.

No-one is right or wrong.

So that's all I'm going to say here. 😇
 

985plowboy

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The wife and I are on the lookout for a VCR so we can watch our wedding videos.
I’m sure that store also sells CD players.
And encyclopedia sets.
And buggy whips.
I’ll let you know if I find it.
 

Jared Purdy

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I'm an old fart, so I have a large CD collection. The basic Teac player that I have had for many years is on its last legs, and I am discovering to my dismay that they don't seem to make basic home CD players anymore -- you are either going to get a boom box, or spend $1200 for an audiophile player. I just want the basic unit with a remote that I can plug into my old-school amp and speakers. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Check out https://www.canuckaudiomart.com and https://www.usaudiomart.com

You'll find something in either place. Very reputable. 100% legit. I've bought and sold many items on the Canuck side.
 

Jared Purdy

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I worked for a 'boutique' hifi company in the 80s/90s. I've spoken about it before, but the short answer is that there are indeed vast differences in price, quality, and performance but you should only pay for what you need. Unless you have a huge budget, then go for it. ;)

The law of diminishing returns is very strong in hifi, much like guitars.

I guess it's a bit like the old Fender/Squier or Gibson/Epiphone questions - which is 'better quality', which is more cost-effective, which is more musical? What really matters to you?

Plenty of folks get exactly what they need from Squier/Epiphone, others insist on Fender/Gibson, others require custom built equipment.

No-one is right or wrong.

So that's all I'm going to say here. 😇

I went the stop at no expense route a couple of years ago and upgraded the entire system. The CD transport/DAC in a Moon 650D by Simm Audio. You're right, you get what you pay for. The first rule I laid down for myself that nothing in the entire system would be made in China. Goal achieved, at a pretty penny though.
 

MarkieMark

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🙉 Make sure you get the heavy gauge (directional) wire with gold plated connectors.... 🙊

If you think about what a CD player actually is electronically then you realize all these CD players that still cost hundreds of dollars are mostly selling the DAC and a steaming glass of snake oil. The digital portions of the whole audiophile scene are the most laden with the snake oil. A CD is digital data and it has checksums and error correction built into it. If the $5 CD player you put in your PC produces the exact same series of bits off the CD as the $500 or $5000 on from the Audiophile company the audiophile one does nothing except make you feel special and your wallet lighter.

Once you've got the digital data off the CD it's just a question of pumping it out a digital interface to a receiver or feeding it to a DAC and sending it out on an analog line. Fancier stuff might have a fancier DAC. If you're hooking the player up with a digital interface that's out the window too though.

I have thought about this.. cause I miss sticking CDs in the player and listening to them straight through on a nice stereo. I got rid of my setup 5 years ago cause it was too loud for most use cases. I have thought about getting some kind of bookshelf setup and putting it in my music area.

But I am not sure what that buys me versus using my HD audio player (Fiio) that has a 128GB card in it and has all my CDs on it and just hooking that up to an amplifier and some monitors. A lot of my music on that player since I mostly stopped buying CDs is higher quality digital music than CD. Once the music is into a computer the CD is meaningless. My Fiio Audio player is mostly used with headphones. But there's no reason it can't just get hooked up to a high quality amp + speaker setup. The whole paradigm of a giant stack of Hi-Fi components in a cabinet is just basically dead as a doornail at this point with the way modern technology has gone. If you buy that stuff in 2022 you're just buying a bunch of empty cabinet space that they upcharge 100x for. If you had looked inside a CD player in the 80s or 90s there would be a big board full of custom chips on there. Today you can do the whole thing on a tiny little board smaller than a playing card that costs nothing.
I'd add that a current modest consumer grade DAC has as good or better performance specs than one that cost 10x the price 10-15 years ago.
Its really a non issue.

I "get" the concerns over things like durable and reliable transport, plastic drawers, and the usual low end disposable crap. I really do.
But at the same time, I will vouch that the inexpensive unit I mentioned in my previous post has worked fine, while operated by careful adults, for at least ten years.

I consider myself a discerning listener. I do care about the quality of the sound. A lot.
But a $600 component CD player?
I'd kick myself to the curb.

Previous question about the time investment to rip my collection to USB,
Of course it doesnt happen all in one sitting. But I would estimate I can exceed 20-25 cD's an hour at full resolution. No MP3 encoding. And I can add to the drive until its full.
As a result, I end up with thousands of songs at my fingertips, as opposed to 10-20 CD's in my console.
I was a holdout and skeptic myself, but eventually saw the light. 😎

One of the things that got me going down that path was referencing mixing projects. Burn some examples to a drive and throw it in my pocket. Plug it in and listen to a few variations on my commute.
Multi-tasking. Easy peasy.
 
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aging_rocker

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...I'd add that a current modest consumer grade DAC has as good or better performance specs than one that cost 10x the price 10-15 years ago.
Its really a non issue...
Yep, that's very true.

The same applies to 'chip' amplifiers, which are used in consumer electronics of all kinds. A lot of them have better specs than 'component' amplifiers from 10-15 years ago too.
 

Mr Perch

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Previous question about the time investment to rip my collection to USB,
Of course it doesnt happen all in one sitting. But I would estimate I can exceed 20-25 cD's an hour at full resolution. No MP3 encoding. And I can add to the drive until its full.
As a result, I end up with thousands of songs at my fingertips, as opposed to 10-20 CD's in my console.
I've got upwards of 400 CDs, so I'm not looking forward to that level of tedium. Besides, I love the little booklets in the jewel cases. The main thing I miss about LPs is the cover art.
 

MarkieMark

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I've got upwards of 400 CDs, so I'm not looking forward to that level of tedium. Besides, I love the little booklets in the jewel cases. The main thing I miss about LPs is the cover art.
Understood. I would estimate at least 2400± here, (nearly) all in jewel cases with the original cover art, credits etc.
But...
I dont read or study cover art and credits while on a road trip.
But I do appreciate and treasure their possession.
 

JDB2

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If you think about what a CD player actually is electronically then you realize all these CD players that still cost hundreds of dollars are mostly selling the DAC and a steaming glass of snake oil. The digital portions of the whole audiophile scene are the most laden with the snake oil. A CD is digital data and it has checksums and error correction built into it. If the $5 CD player you put in your PC produces the exact same series of bits off the CD as the $500 or $5000 on from the Audiophile company the audiophile one does nothing except make you feel special and your wallet lighter.

Once you've got the digital data off the CD it's just a question of pumping it out a digital interface to a receiver or feeding it to a DAC and sending it out on an analog line. Fancier stuff might have a fancier DAC. If you're hooking the player up with a digital interface that's out the window too though.
I would guess most people in the sub-$1000 player market are not hooking up via a digital interface. Both the quality of the DAC and the op amps in the player will make a difference in the quality of the signal leaving the analog out. Remember every CD player with analog out is essentially also a preamp. As a result you can certainly get better sound from a CD player by investing more in more than a $35 DVD player.
 
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JDB2

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Understood. I would estimate at least 2400± here, (nearly) all in jewel cases with the original cover art, credits etc.
But...
I dont read or study cover art and credits while on a road trip.
But I do appreciate and treasure their possession.
I just wish I had more space for them
 




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