All cd players created equal?

I havent had a cd player probably ever since we always had a dvd player that played cds too. And to my knowledge the dac that can be external and the speaker or headphone you connect a cd player too are the only thing that should affect sound quality right? So my question is, should any cd player that i can hook up to my own dac through usb sound the same as the next one? I barely started a cd collection recently and need a cd player otherwise my bad habit of throwing shit away might start

Not all are equal, but if your DAC is decent enough there shouldn’t be a noticeable difference. Main issues are clocks (jitter), electrical noise (unless you go optical) and acoustic noise from the spinning disc.

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Oooooooooh interesting! To you and anyone in here any good cheap one you recommend?

Another factor is the ability of the cd player to read less then perfect cd’s. Some of the more expensive models can play pretty beat up disks flawlessly.

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Onkyo has a 6 disc changer for 150$ish thats decent. Outside of that, used or not name brand or a portable player from name brands for around 50$ I would check ebay and the like for used to start if you are on a tight budget. At this point in the audio universe, most quality cd players are 200-300$ on the low end. But most also have built in dacs. Like elira said tho, if you have a decent dac already, buy a cheap cd player from some no name brand for 20-30 bucks and call it a day. When it stops reading discs consistently, buy a new cheap unit.


So one of the biggest factors in qualitiy of the drive is how many errors it makes when reading, which have to be fixed with error correction. The better the drive the less error correction is needed. The expensive Audionet CD players are so accurate that they do not need error correction when the CD is clean.
Of course the problems with jitter and the clock are important too. Especially external DACs are very vulnerable if they are connected via optical to a CD player. Coaxial is a little better.

Then, of course, there is always the question of how far this is audible and where your other components just are transparent enough to show it off.
The Rega Apollo is absolutely brilliant on the internal DAC, extrene DACs just worsen the sound.
At least the Apollo would be my recommendation, if you were really serious about CDs.
If you are looking for a reasonably priced alternative: I would look for second-hand technics CD players and connect an external DAC there.
I would not necessarily spend a lot of money on a cheap player. But if it want to buy new, maybe look at Marantz.

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