Recommend a small CD Player

  • 22 December 2015
  • 31 replies
  • 17894 views

Just set up my new Connect-Amp and as I've got loads of CDs I am looking for a small, stand alone, CD player to connect to.

Similar proportions to the Amp would be good.

Thanks.

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31 replies

Can't help feeling you're somewhat missing the point, you should be ripping your cds to some networked storage and playing them from there. I've got loads of cds, but I haven't owned a CD player for years.
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Instead of spending money on CD player buy a cheap $125 NAS drive and have every cd always available at your fingertips.
I might be "missing the point" but I would still like the option of slapping on a CD when I'm not streaming from Google Play.

Don't have the time to rip my collection (over 400) to a network drive.

So any suggestions please?
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A cheap bluray player
I agree, with Bluray, though a DVD player if available may be even cheaper. And both usually have a smaller footprint on the depth side than a typical CD player.
For either BD or DVD, look out for available socket types on it so you aren't caught out on then having to look for hard to find cables that can connect it to the Connect Amp.
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I've just bought a new CD player- I have about 600 audiobooks that are on CD and whilst they have been ripped to iTunes, if I loaded them to Sonos, I'd go massively beyond the 65,000 track limit. And I also have some very lovely CD box sets that are well worth playing. So I don't think it is a question of "missing the point". I now have a completely integrated system of CD, vinyl, MP3 and Internet radio.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a mini CD player that would on connect to my Connect and had to go with something larger.
My experience has been that many new users are adamant about retaining the capability of playing CD's. No amount of discussion will sway them from this path. However, beyond kicking the tires on day one, the CD player is never used again.

Be careful about purchasing a Blue-ray player for this purpose because it may not provide analog output.
Good luck finding one in working condition, but the only CDP I've ever really liked is one of the first, made by Phillips and sold under their Magnavox brand here in the US. I still use it on occasion. Nothing beats a manual flip top, which is faster than a tray and never, ever jams.

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Living in Engkand, there is a company called Cambridge Audio. Have just purchased one of their excellent CD players. Great quality.
but the only CDP I've ever really liked is one of the first, made by Phillips and sold under their Magnavox brand here in the US.

Good looker too, that! So it doesn't exhibit any of the early days digital nasties? I suppose where these existed, it was more a recording to CD issue and nought to do with any player?

I agree with the CDP experience though; I held on to mine for over a year after Sonos/NAS was fully operational, but I then let it go once I got a good price.
Haha, have yet to hear a difference between quality DACs. This has the earliest of them, the TDA-1540, 14 bits, which Phillips had produced in quantity before Sony insisted on 16 bits. So, they had to do some mathematical wizardry to derive the last two bits, not that many recordings have ever needed them. ;)

There's a Polish guy with lots of followers (Lampizator?) who insists that the 1540/1541 are far better sounding than the newer, 1-bit DACs. Meh, I just listen to the music.
I get why you want to hook up a CD player. I did exactly that when I set up my CONNECT:AMP, and for the same reason. Lots of CDs with the yet unrealized intent of ripping them all to a NAS. Fortunately I still had my old Sony 50 CD player lying around. It works like a charm through line-in. The carousel turns and it's always a surprise to hear what plays next, as of course artwork and metadata don't come through to the Sonos controller. A very brief look at Best Buy didn't turn up anything that matches the CONNECT:AMP in size or color. Good advice in this thread about checking that any Blu-ray player you might be considering can output analog audio.
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More reasons to have a CD Player are those albums I may want to hear only one or twice, and really don't want in my Library. Also, the wife brings home these obscure folk tune collections that would have to be laboriously tagged by hand. If she isn't gonna do it, I'm sure not gonna volunteer! I zombied this thread looking for reviews of the Denon DCD-50, which seems like it might sit nicely beneath a Connect Amp. The NAD C-715 was another interesting candidate, but it's gone extinct. The DCD-50 looks to be a better fit anyway, feature-wise.
Get the cheapest one that fits in the space. They aren't worth spending more money on.
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Interestingly, a year since this post was active and I still haven't felt the need to consign my CDs to the attic. And Spotify is a really sterile experience, as well.
My NAS works like a dream but still like the physical possession of CD and vinyl.
I still haven't felt the need to consign my CDs to the attic. And Spotify is a really sterile experience, as well.
My NAS works like a dream but still like the physical possession of CD and vinyl.

No arguing with that subjective preference that may even merit a CD player of a higher price point, for the visual/tactile inputs it may bring to the table. But for the casual kind of listening to throw away CDs, cheapest is perfectly adequate given the state of the tech now in making CDPs. GBP 50 for a new one should be ample. DVD player, if CDP isn't available that cheap.
Interestingly, a year since this post was active and I still haven't felt the need to consign my CDs to the attic.

I have.... The big advantage of moving to Sonos was that we didn't have to have the CDs readily available, taking up lots of wall space. I still have my 21 year old Sony CD player in circuit, as sometimes people bring CDs round, but never use it myself.

I took the turntable apart for storage, as I wasn't using it much, and when I did I had to go out and buy a new rubber band at £26 a time (then - don't know how much they are now).
Both my TT and my CDP are sold, with CDs in storage. Which I should gift away before they corrode or rot or whatever. But I can see the attraction of vinyl, with all its visible precision engineering that is on full and glorious display in a quality TT both at rest and when playing, with the associated ritual of playing a record. I found it too much of hassle to flip over sides every 20 minutes, and I did not have a large legacy LP collection, which is why I sold both post Sonos, but I can see the attraction. I can't see a CDP in the same way; it looks like just another box to me. And with the jukebox like capability of Sonos playlists/NAS, I don't see much point in holding on to the CD now. There is - to me - no charm in it of the kind that a vinyl/TT still has. To use an imperfect analogy, I still like to read leather bound, hard cover books with pages edged in gold colour, but Kindle has replaced all my paperbacks.

I suspect that long after no one makes CDPs anymore, new TTs/LPs will still be made and sold.
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For me one of the interesting/exciting things about vinyl albums is that you do have to turn them and change them over every 20 minutes. For me it makes me listen harder, as an immersive experience. The jukebox capabilities of Sonos/NAS are important for when I want some background music to continue whilst I am working or pottering about. But I don't get to feel an affinity or interest with that music in the same way I do holding a possession. (Now, I do feel that some CDs go on for far too long with 18 or 19 new tracks- the artist has churned out loads of music, too much for me to actually want to listen to in one sitting).
But digital music is intrinsically uninteresting, which doesn't mean it doesn't have a place for me, but there are some items I collect that have only been available on CD, or rare items that you can't even find on Spotify, or the opportunity to read the lyrics. Or the 1000s of audiobooks I have on CD. I own them, they are me. An mp3 or a FLAC or a wav are little bits on my computer. And sure, I can have millions of them (or only 65k on Sonos) and my CDs take up drawers and cupboards and shelves- which is precisely what I want them to do. Because I collect them.
I'm not an audiophile, I don't think I could tell you if I was listening to a lossless FLAC, or whatever. because I don't think my ears are that good. But I love opening my double CD of Wings Over America, or Pink Floyd's The Wall, or laying out my collection of Mike Oldfield albums on the floor to loo at.
And to refer to your imperfect analogy, from the other perspective. I've not used a Kindle, but have used my iPad as an e-reader- great for reading on the train, but I'd still prefer to have a book and be able to turn the page, and out a physical book mark in a page any day.
Sonos allows us to do this and everyone has their reasons for their musical experience.
But I love opening my double CD of Wings Over America, or Pink Floyd's The Wall, or laying out my collection of Mike Oldfield albums on the floor to loo at.
I've not used a Kindle, but have used my iPad as an e-reader- great for reading on the train, but I'd still prefer to have a book and be able to turn the page, and out a physical book mark in a page any day.

I am sure you realise that the double CD is designed to replicate the vinyl experience that is otherwise missing in a CD! And like I said, though I don't need it or even care for it, I can understand the need of involvement that a TT provides, for some to get a more fulfilling listening experience.
I suggest you try a Kindle - it is a day night difference from using an iPad that can be understood only by using a Kindle. And the difference leans towards the experience of reading a real book. It won't give you the fragrance of even a paperback when new though! And because I read a lot of books, it has saved me a lot of clutter at home and the effort of taking a trunkful of old paperbacks and giving them away every couple of years. Certainly Kindle is the way to go when travelling; books can rapidly make for a heavy bag to lug around.
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Kumar,
I'm sure you realise that my double CD of Wings Over America is no comparison for the triple vinyl album that it was originally presented as, so it doesn't quite replicate the experience. That in know way detracts from my desire to have the double CD and the triple vinyl. Both are equally desirable items for my collection- but it doesn't add any weight to your argument that the CD is designed to replicate the vinyl experience, especially as the CD was remastered specifically for the release I have.
There also remains the many albums that have never been issued on vinyl- I understand it's not for everyone but I collect. My collection would not be complete if I don't have all of the CDs by my favourite artist. I am sure for you that would be clutter, for me it is what I collect.
I'm not swayed by the desire to own a Kindle- it isn't an investment that has any appeal, as I don't read that many books. I prefer to read on my way to work, and would only ever manage to get through one book on a holiday in any case.
but it doesn't add any weight to your argument that the CD is designed to replicate the vinyl experience,
Fair enough; I was talking from my experience of many jazz CDs of performances of the 50s/60s, that attempt to do just this via a double CD cardboard construction, with one slot for the CD and the other for the original liner notes, even though these notes are often exact replicas that are impossible to comfortably read when reduced to CD size.
Sorry, the posts got extremely long... ? Was there a consensus reached about a CD player?

Myself and my oh have a massive CD collection and have just had wall storage made for it as we are proud of our shiny discs... I Have not missed any point but I have 5 kids so am never going to have time to rip cds and organise in that way, and I still like taking the shiny disc out and pressing play! ☺️
A DVD player will work just as well, and will probably be a lot cheaper. See: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007F9XHBI/ref=psdc_1036922_t1_B007F9XHAY
For all of USD 35.