Author Topic: Multi-disk changer, bookshelf stereo advice needed  (Read 5797 times)

SunDummy

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Multi-disk changer, bookshelf stereo advice needed
« on: February 25, 2008, 08:31:13 PM »
My Denon bookshelf unit has been getting progressively less reliable over the past couple years (getting it to play a cd is an ordeal), and my Onkyo multi-disk changer on my main system gave up the ghost tonight. >:(

I've had it with Denon and Onkyo (NAD, too; long story).  I need a new bookshelf system, and a new changer for the main system. 

The changer must be able to play CDs, CDR's, and MP3 disks.  Single players need not apply; I want a changer.

The bookshelf system must be able to play multi-disks too; I don't care about the speakers, I have good monitors for both systems.

Any advice?  What do you use that really sounds good and is reliable?  Both systems get lots of use, usually 3-4 hours a day.    Anything to stay away from?
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Bill Binkelman

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Re: Multi-disk changer, bookshelf stereo advice needed
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2008, 08:22:34 AM »
Well, I have nothing but raves for anything from Panasonic/Technics. Man, they're stuff NEVER breaks. My 5-disc carrousel must be at least, I think, 12, 13 years old and not even one little burp - ever. The remote still works perfectly too. I've bought nothing but Panasoinc TVs since...well at least the late 80s and they're damn near indesctructible (which sucks since I want to replace them eventually...I still the 20 inch set in the bedroom I bought in 1990!) . Yeah, it's not a "high end" brand, but I've never been disappointed.

Don't get me started on Sony!  ::)

I gotta believe Panasonic/Technics makes a changer that plays all formats by now.

Hope this helps a little bit. :)

SunDummy

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Re: Multi-disk changer, bookshelf stereo advice needed
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2008, 11:02:07 AM »
Thanks Bill.  I've always bought 'high-end' gear, mainly because I thought it would be better sound-wise, and quality-wise.  With all the failures in my gear, though, I think I've been misled.  ;)

A little history:

NAD integrated amp:  Had to have it serviced twice in 8 years; one channel keeps dropping out.  It's still doing it intermittently, so it needs replacing.  Great sound, poor quality control.
Onkyo CD-changer:  It's now died, but for the last year, it's had trouble closing the tray, and gives a "mecha err" message every month or so.  Piece of crap.
Denon bookshelf unit:  FANTASTIC sound, but I have to load a CD about 10 times before the system will read it.  It will NOT read CDR's anymore.  Skips if I just look at it wrong. 
Technics CD-changer:  Stopped reading CDR's after about 5 years; started skipping all the time.  And I know you're not supposed to do this, but it was a last resort, so I used one of those laser-cleaning CD thingies; it didn't help.
Sony CD-changer:  Lasted about a month past the warranty.  Pure garbage.

I'm just about done with so-called high-end brands; I have heard good things about Rotel, though, so I may look at their stuff.  (some people never learn...   ;))

My wife says to just go to Best Buy and get a cheapie; when it breaks, I can just get another one; cheaper in the long run.   ;D


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ffcal

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Re: Multi-disk changer, bookshelf stereo advice needed
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2008, 11:54:42 AM »
Iíve had some success with the Adcom GCD-700 5-disc changer, though they donít make it anymore.  My 1st one lasted over 10 years, and I found another on on ebay for about $300.  Rotelís a very good company.  I have a Rotel receiver that has an extremely low noise floor, especially through headphones.

Forrest

Undershadow

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Re: Multi-disk changer, bookshelf stereo advice needed
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2008, 12:02:57 PM »
My last two amps have been Rotel - both fine. Very good. No complaints at all. They generally need to be on for a while before reaching full performance. Don't know why - I think, something to do with 'valves' - I'm not a techie type.
My last CD player was a Yamaha. Had it for 15 years with no probs at all. Reasonably priced to boot. Never refused to recognise a CD-r either.

mgriffin

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Re: Multi-disk changer, bookshelf stereo advice needed
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2008, 01:30:54 PM »
I've owned two Rotel amps and a Rotel CD player, and while I'd say they're not a "high end" audio gear company any more than NAD or Denon (more of a mid-range audio line, I'd say), the stuff is great for the money. 

I've had a couple different, small issues with these (for one, the power switch in the preamp broke and it won't switch off, which is OK with me since I leave it on all the time anyway) but considering that I bought them in the 80s, I feel I got my money's worth with them.  The CD player is so bad with CDRs that I don't even use it any more, but the amps are in daily use in our household.  I don't view the problem with CDRs as anything specific to Rotel, as 80s era CD players are not so good with CDR media in general.
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Joe R

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Re: Multi-disk changer, bookshelf stereo advice needed
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2008, 03:30:34 PM »
And I know you're not supposed to do this, but it was a last resort, so I used one of those laser-cleaning CD thingies; it didn't help.


Really, you're not supposed to use them? ???  I use those quite often, in fact I'll never be without one. I tried one out of curiosity, many years ago, and I could not believe the improvement it made in the sound quality of my disc players! It was like night and day, so much clarity and so much more high-end sound that was restored. I was a convert right there. I use them every 20 hours or so.

Is it supposed to be bad for the lazer? I've never had a problem, and I've used them in 6 or 7 different CD players.

mgriffin

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Re: Multi-disk changer, bookshelf stereo advice needed
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2008, 03:43:49 PM »
Joe, the reason people advise you not to use those discs frequently is that the way they work is that a rapidly-spinning disc has a cleaning section that comes into contact with your CD player's lens.  It works by rubbing the lens, and the reason people would say you don't want to use the cleaning discs frequently is the same reason you're not supposed to over-clean your VCR or tape deck or anything else with a sensitive, delicate receptor -- possible wear and tear.

It's not bad for the laser at all, it's bad for the surface of the lens, which normally does not come into contact with the CD at all, but which is forced into contact with these special cleaning discs.  They clean dirt or dust off the surface of the lens, and that's all.  If you're building up so much gunk on your lens every 20 hours that you can hear a difference, then I'd say you live in a heavily polluted area, or you're hearing the benefits of the placebo effect!   ;)

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SunDummy

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Re: Multi-disk changer, bookshelf stereo advice needed
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2008, 03:53:01 PM »
Jeez, Joe, you need to stop smoking so much!   ;D

I should clarify; my stereo gear is much more mid-point than high-end, but it IS the high end of my budget... ;)  I'm dealing with two mortgages right now (anyone want a house in the bluffs of west Wisconsin, near the Twin Cities?  I'll cut you a deal...) so money is tight for now.  And likely for a long time... :'(

I looked at Rotel a year or so ago, when both my NAD and Onkyo started acting up; it looks like good stuff, great sound, not too spendy.  Unfortunately, I can't find a dealer in Spokane; I might have to take a road trip.  Or go to Best Buy for a Panasonic.
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Joe R

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Re: Multi-disk changer, bookshelf stereo advice needed
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2008, 04:06:47 PM »
  If you're building up so much gunk on your lens every 20 hours that you can hear a difference, then I'd say you live in a heavily polluted area, or you're hearing the benefits of the placebo effect!   ;)

Believe me, this is no placebo effect. And no, I don't hear any difference when I use the cleaner every 20 hours or so. Maybe I wouldn't even hear a difference after 100 hours-- I just don't know. But I DO know that after a few years you'll notice a HUGE difference when you use the cleaner. But why let it get to that point? The instructions on the cleaners say to use after 10 hours of CD playing; I decided that 20 was enough, and maybe it's MORE than enough. But it doesn't seem to damage the players.

Joe R

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Re: Multi-disk changer, bookshelf stereo advice needed
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2008, 04:09:52 PM »
Jeez, Joe, you need to stop smoking so much!   ;D


I'm happy to report that I stopped smoking many years ago. :)
Now if I could quit this godawful glue-sniffing thing...

ffcal

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Re: Multi-disk changer, bookshelf stereo advice needed
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2008, 04:17:09 PM »
I use canned air to occasionally clean the dust off my CD lens, but only do it when I hear what sounds like a tracking error or skip on the CD.  It does seem to help, as the tracking error usually goes away.

Forrest