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Old 29th May 2006, 02:01 AM   #1
Leolabs is offline Leolabs  Malaysia
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Question CDROM vs transport

I know there are a few hi end manufacturers start using CDROM in their source components,but many are still using regular transports.In term of sound,technical and cost,who is the winner here?
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Old 29th May 2006, 02:34 AM   #2
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Hi Leolabs,
If you are talking suppliers, the guys selling CDROM drives. If you are talking from the consumer side, a good CD transport.

-Chris
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Old 29th May 2006, 05:53 AM   #3
jleaman is offline jleaman  Belgium
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I am starting to see people selling CD players use CD ROM's from computers as CD drives in high in audio CD players. I wonder if they really are good.?
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Old 29th May 2006, 10:14 AM   #4
tvicol is offline tvicol  Romania
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IMHO in term of sound, regular transports are best.
But, please, don't ask me why. The answer is not so simple ...


tibi
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Old 29th May 2006, 01:45 PM   #5
phn is offline phn  Sweden
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What's the difference between a ROM drive and a transport other than the name?

Meridian uses ROM drives in their line. Does that mean the Meridian 808 is not a CD player? Does that mean that the Meridian 808 is sonically inferior to a "real" CD player?
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Old 30th May 2006, 08:40 AM   #6
tubenut is offline tubenut  South Africa
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Implementation rather then technology used imo.

What Meridian are doing is unlikely to be a CD Rom with a 12 V and 5 V supply running it. I am sure they have gone to a bit more trouble.

I have generally been a fan of quality well built mechanisms like CDM1, VRDS, CDM9 pro etc. I was gobsmacked when a TACT CD player using a new plastic "designed for audio" VAM12 I think smacked the beautifully put together Levinson 31......
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Old 30th May 2006, 10:14 AM   #7
phn is offline phn  Sweden
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Meridian adds a second buffer.

This is how I see it.

The 47 Laboratory PiTracer and Teac VRDS are impressive pieces of engineering. As a Garrard 301 owner, I can safely say I appreciate great engineering as much as the next guy. But there's a difference. A turntable benefits from mass, stability and such. Those things are of relatively little concern for a CDM. A CD rotates at various speeds and the information is interleaved.

What you need is a CDM that's "good enough." At best a laser can only read the CD without errors. But because of how the information is stored and because the speed of the CD constantly has to be adjusted, the stream of data will always be off. So the most important part of a CDM has to be the electronics--the FiFo and buffer.

Now, I'm no expert on CDMs. But I believe none of the psychobabble coming from 47 Laboratory and Teac. And the belt-drive CDMs out there are nothing but snake oil as far as I can tell.

The Philips CD-Pro still fills a purpose. It has native I2S support and comes with a remote, nice LED display and more. At 300 it's not cheap. But it's not a rip-off either.
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Old 30th May 2006, 02:07 PM   #8
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Well, I am familiar with the VAM12 (trash) and Teac / Pioneer types. Phn, you are correct in that the disc must change speed very quickly to properly track the disc. Both the Teac and Pioneer transports did it wrong. They put them together as if they were turntables. Bad idea.

But, if you look at transports that do not use a "stabilizing platter" you will see some better examples. The best transport I have ever seen was the NEC used in the original Nak OMS-7 and Alpine (first) units. They were way too expensive to manufacture for the standard consumer market. The very best eye pattern ever displayed. They used a single spot (non-Philips) head. The Nak updated with the servo mod is amazing. It just needs a better DAC section (based on SAA7000 chip set).

Other good machines were ones using Sony heads and chip sets. Technics had a nice machine as well, except for the mash nonsense.

The VAM12 series has about the noisiest, jittery, unstable RF pattern I have ever seen. The RF level varies greatly between samples. Pure cheap junk.

The problem I see with CDR units is that the intention is to read the disc into memory. Once in memory you can process it. I don't know what the error rate is. The problem: You are now copying the CD, once in memory you can modify the unit to spit it out in digital format. Copy protection may be a problem here as some CD's incorporate errors deliberately. Fun and games. Buffering does not help these problems at all.

-Chris
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Old 31st May 2006, 01:27 AM   #9
Leolabs is offline Leolabs  Malaysia
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Quote:
Originally posted by jleaman
I am starting to see people selling CD players use CD ROM's from computers as CD drives in high in audio CD players. I wonder if they really are good.?
Well,you can ask the guys from Audio Analogue and Ayre Acoustics.
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Old 1st June 2006, 08:38 AM   #10
phn is offline phn  Sweden
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Chris, I'm not sure what you mean when you say a buffer can't eliminate/minimize jitter. As I understand it, there are two types of anti-jitter devises--clock and buffer.

Otherwise I think we are on the same page.
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