Quality difference from 12 years ago on Equipment

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Mike Campbell, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Mike Campbell

    Mike Campbell Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    Is there a major quality difference/improvements in, as an example a $500.00 cd/sacd player from 12 years ago, and a comparable cd/SACD player now? Wondering if an up grade is necessary...and worth changing units...I guess the same could be said for BLU ray unites.....are the good ones now, better than the good ones from 12 years ago. Curious...
     
  2. SOONERFAN

    SOONERFAN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Norman, Oklahoma
    Interesting question. I do not know the answer but will be interested in the responses you get.
     
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    12 years? Not 10 or 15, but exactly 12?

    I doubt it.
     
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  4. POE_UK

    POE_UK Active Member

    Location:
    Somerset
    Do they even make them anymore?

    Its kind of a very small market i think, unfortunately today computers and the internet are rendering all physical formats useless, minidisc, vhs, dat and now the CD itself is going to be a thing of the past very soon, the next 2 years will kill them all off, although i use my Technics RS-BX727 Quartz cassette deck a lot, i only use it to record music from the internet not from other physical formats.
     
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  5. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Except for any parts that may fail due to age.
     
  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Like me.
     
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  7. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Tell me about it.
     
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  8. Mike Campbell

    Mike Campbell Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    of course not.....could have said 8 or 10...just using numbers....or 13.
     
  9. Mike Campbell

    Mike Campbell Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    so there have beeno improvements in SACD/CD units in 8 to 10 years...? interesting....you'd think they would, if for no other reason to sell more units. Well, then no reason to buy anything new.
     
  10. timind

    timind Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brownsburg, IN USA
    I just replaced the failed laser in my 13-year-old cd player. I wouldn't trade it for any 2017 model that I can think of. But then again, I have no idea what's being produced now.
     
  11. Mike Campbell

    Mike Campbell Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    I love the new OPPOS....and they are relatively inexpensive.
     
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  12. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Went back 20 years to a Kenwood DP7090. Great machine. Stacks up comfortably against contemporary models IMO.
     
  13. Dream On

    Dream On Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Canada
    Kind of surprised at the answers here as well. I always hear how DAC technology is constantly improving. With BR players there is also video processing technology...you'd think the same would apply.

    Personally I am content with my digital sources at the moment so I won't be upgrading them, but after 10-15 years I would probably strongly consider it.
     
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  14. Mike Campbell

    Mike Campbell Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    yes sony makes SACD unit as does OPPO....both fine units....computers and internet, will never be a apart of my musical experience. I would never use the word "USELESS"
     
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  15. ggjjr

    ggjjr Active Member

    Location:
    Grosse Pointe
    I had a 1996 vintage NAD cd player that finally went two years ago. I replaced it with the 546, and it is supremely better.
     
  16. Hyperduel

    Hyperduel Active Member

    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    The biggest difference in 12 years is the DAC explosion and good setups for a lot less. Also, less people are buying CD players and doing Media Servers.
     
  17. John Schofield

    John Schofield Active Member

    Location:
    OH
    Although an early model, I'm still very pleased with both the audio and video quality of my Oppo BDP 95. If I had to choose a "complaint" it would be that it's a little slow navigating through a disc.... especially DVD's.
     
  18. POE_UK

    POE_UK Active Member

    Location:
    Somerset
    Ahh sorry i meant recordable media like cds, they will be a thing of the past soon, but yea with a good USB DAC you would be surprised how good computers can sound 368Khz in some cases

     
  19. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    Well the quality of CD transports has severely diminished over the years in terms of build. Electronics should in theory be more reliable being more chip based. I would say for budget digital sound has considerably improved coming closer to more expensive products. Is Blue Ray as old as 12 years?
     
  20. ggergm

    ggergm Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minnesota
    The next great change hasn't really happened yet. It has on the margins but is not generally available. It won't help sound quality or reliability but will make gear more flexible and easier to operate.

    That change will occur when every piece of electronics has its own IP address. A common programming architecture will also be needed. That way your receiver can talk to your TV, DVD player and lighting system over your home network. Press one button on your smart phone and the drapes will close, the lights will dim, the TV will come on, your hi-fi will power up, and your Apple TV version7 will play the season eight of "Stranger Things" on Netflix.

    This can happen now but it is only for the wealthy who can hire good programmers and installers or for the geekiest among us. When this technology gets down to Joe Sixpack, watch out.

    Or as a buddy asked me decades ago, "When will I have a stereo where I can say, 'Play Cinnamon Girl' and it will make everything happen?" That reality is still down the road.
     
  21. Archimago

    Archimago Well-Known Member

    In general I agree with Steve above. Over the last 12 years - since 2005, the sound quality really has not "improved" a great deal for better products.

    First, we must define what an improvement is. From my perspective, items can always sound "different". For example, slight changes in digital filter parameters can result in different high frequency roll-offs and depending on one's preference, it sounds different but not necessarily represent a technological improvement. These filter differences are all the rage these days with many options for DACs and represent a selling point (for better or worse) with things like MQA.

    The one area that things have improved is in objective DAC accuracy. In 2005, you probably had to spend close to $1000 for a player capable of rendering that last 16th bit of CD resolution accurately even though it is unlikely this would be audible. These days, DAC chips in modern Blu-Ray players should be able to reproduce >16-bits with good low-level linearity for cheap. Of course, the quality, life expectancy, and reliability of the drive mechanism can be a problem.

    Here's a post I did back in 2013 looking at quality of conversion for that last 16-bit resolution and a little about the history:
    Archimago's Musings: MEASUREMENTS: DAC "Waveform Peeping" - the -90.3dB 16-bit LSB Test...

    Cheers...
     
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  22. ggergm

    ggergm Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minnesota
    If anything, in general audio quality has gone down over the past 12 years, at least for most folks. CDs have been replaced by downloads. Reasonably good digital audio has been replaced by mp3s.

    I know the OP is talking about possible improvements in better quality hardware. I agree at the top end things have been relatively static for the last dozen years. But for your neighbor or children, their experience of music has gotten poorer. It's unfortunate but then the audio industry has pushed convenience over sound quality for the last 35 years.
     
    Mike Campbell likes this.
  23. Mike Campbell

    Mike Campbell Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    A difference in generations it seems. I never ONCE ever considered convenience over quality. Nor did any of my friends or family....Never. This isn't the format to discuss why that might be....Is it a reflection of modern society? who knows...
     
  24. You would think a Blu Ray player would have better electronics in it, but that's not always the case as there are some cheap ones out there.
     
    Mike Campbell likes this.
  25. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    CD transports have not been the same since the demise of the Philips CDM mechanisms. Nothing in DVD or multiformat even comes close to the build of the best Philips CDM and CD-Pro mechanisms.
     

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