Are "Redbook Only " CD players Obsolete?

With the advent of Universal Players ;ones that play DVD..CD..SACD..and DVD-A; Are standard "cd only" players OBSOLETE.......The "NEW BREED", like the MARANTZ DV 9500 can play ALL these formats and do it Better than most of the cd only and dvd-cd players at ANY PRICE...and all for under $2000.....why would anyone want to limit themselves......SACD and DVD-A are awsome for us audiophiles..and how much better can the "video" get?...Combine this State of The Art technology with the Fact that the Redbook CD playback is totally natural sounding..very analog like....and better than CD only players I've heard costing much more.... IS This is a NO-BRAINER........
They are a dieing breed. IMO Accuphase DP67 is best red book player on the market.
Rotel RCD 1072 is a perfect example of why that is not the case. A standard redbook only cd player. I have yet to hear a player that can touch it's performance for the same amount of money. Universal or otherwise. Does that mean there isn't one? No. That means I have yet to come across one. In the budget area (you can have the rotel for 600 bucks brand new) there is no way you can get that kind of performance when you also have to pay for other format playability.

Check your cd collection. How many redbook discs do you have compared to all your other formats COMBINED. My guess is your redbook collection out weighs the rest by a large margin. My point? For 600 bucks you get an awesome player that can play the MAJORITY of your collection, whether you continue to add other formats to your collection or not..
Since most stores that sell recordings have Redbook CDs as about 80 - 90% of their stock, I would have to say that Redbook CD players could hardly be considered obsolete. As for your statement regarding the Marantz universal player, you are of course welcome to your opinion, but I'm sure that you will find many that disagree with you. I certainly do.
I'd like to see a list of the redbook only CD players that you have used in your comparison to the Marantz DV 9500. Considering your statement "at any price", I expect the list to be extemely long.
I've got a Levinson 37/360 combo which sounds outstanding.
To prove a format is listenable, it takes only ONE excellent disc. There are many, including XRCD's, Sheffields, Three Blind Mice, etc. The variability in
redbook is more the mastering of the recording than the
format itself. I have no interest in moving to SACD or
I'd rather listen to redbook through my $1k Audio Refinement than to SACD through the $2k Marantz any day!

I've heard the DV 9500. I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. Your statement that the Marantz can play redbook CD better than most players at any price is close to indefensible.
At this time, absolutely not. Universal players that play every format are OK for Audiophiles that want an affordable digital front end. However; Audiophiles that have near or state of the art Redbook CD front ends are generally disappointed in the compromises in sound, that have to made in these Universal players. Universal players as seen as some, to expand their choice of formats and software and sort of protect them from the outcome of the format war. This is never the case because the redbook front ends are really now coming into their own, with better software that is competetive to Hi-rez formats. Remember the Cd was suppose to kill off vinyl and vinyl last year sold more than DVD-A and SACD combined. Listen to the music and not the format. IMHO
Brianmgrarcom you had me rolling this morning.

Dont worry the condition you have now is what is called Complacencitis
---symptoms are a feeling that the gear you have now is not only sota but the best their could ever be. Leading to an increased feeling of happiness.

The problem is it ironically leads to the uncurable
Upgraditis at which time you will become very sure that the post above is the most silly thing you ever said be cause you feel the extremely powerful desire to spend money on a digital front end that you heard that most definitly makes the one you previously loved sound well in a word inadequate.
Absolutely! May I have first dibs on your obsolete redbook CDs at a dime each?
Even my wife can hear the difference between my universal player and my stand alone redbook player. That's why she let me buy it.

BTW - Her permission is not required but appreciated.
Dennish, do some research and read about all the wonderful and popular "redbook" players out there, such as the Ayre Cx-7e, Meridian G-08, Resolution Audio Opus 21, to name a few.

With these fantastic machines there is no need to move to the expensive, unpopular formats, particularly since "Redbook" has dominted for 20 years and many of us have thousands of CD's.
Let's see, I have 575 cd's and one sacd i bought for the hybrid redbook layer. So do I want to maximize redbook playback or gamble on a format war? Well since I own a fabulous redbook player, a Tube Technology Fusion CD64, I think I'll stand pat. In addition, I'd put this player up against any universal on the market, and I do mean any.
Listen to redbook through any player that Modwright installs their Absolute Truth mods (tubed output stage)and compare it to a SACD disc played through the same unit. I doubt that you will be able to tell the difference. SACD and DVD-a are dead as formats. If you don't believe me go to www.audiorevolution and read the most recent article regarding format wars.
I DO NOT think they are obsolete in any way. Here's my story (if you are interested):

Now that I have spent some significant time with an Exemplar 2900, I ask myself, is SACD really necessary? This player forced me to stop and think.

Prior to owning the Exemplar 2900 I owned the Sony XA777ES. SACD's on the Sony sounded very, very good to me. Way better than my redbook versions of the same discs. But after spending several months with the Exemplar I began to notice no significant difference, on many quality recordings, between the SACD and the redbook. For example, I owned two versions of Bill Evans 'Waltz for Debby': one was the SACD and one was the Super-K2 20 bit remaster. Well, on the Exemplar Denon, in my system, I could not tell a significant difference between the two, and, on a few tracks, I actually preferred the 20 bit remaster. This exeperience repeated itself a few times.

This has given me pause. It makes me wonder whether I should just go for a really high quality redbook only player and forget the whole Hi-Rez thing altogether (especially because I am two-channel and don't need DVD). While I have invested a lot of money in SACD only about 10% of them were music I re-bought and the vast majority were hybrids -- so it would not be hard to divest myself of the single-sided SACD's and keep the hybrids (which is mostly new music for me) if I wanted.

I have learned a lot and one of the things that keeps coming back to me is that maybe I just had never owned a really exceptional redbook player before the Exemplar. I have not come to any conclusions...I will definitely be auditioning hi quality redbook CDP's though in the near future. Thanks for reading,
Dennish's observations remind me of mine when I was a horny 17 year old and had my first naked lady - what wasn't real was made up for by my imagination. :-)
Ask the everyday music listener and they still don't know what SACD or DVD-A is. I have SACD and love it but am ready to spend $1500 on a dedicated CDP. I only spent $400 to check out SACD.
Yep, you bet. Send your entire worthless collection to me, as well as that doorstop redbook-only player. I'll take care of'em no charge and you can move on to the latest, greatest player/format...till the next one comes along in a few years.

HAHAHAHA. You know...I think I got even more laughs reading your "answers" in other threads than I got reading this one.

So who is it that you sell Marantz hype this more than certain integrated amps I've seen in the past.

I love the SACD hybrids and think the SACD layer is superior to the redbook layer in all but a very few cases. In those instances were I haven't notice a substantiantial improvement have been within the rock genre. I listen to primarily classical and female jazz vocals and for me SACD (hybrid) is the way to go. I do not like the single layer SACD's and do feel that format has seen it's end. Having said that I also believe that the redbook layer on the hybrid disc is better than the redbook only disc again more dynamic with better resolution. Most all players that I have auditioned lately have been mutiple format players such as Linn , Esoteric, Mcormick and Sony. As for the Marantz dv 9500 being the best irrespective of price I can not comment as I have not heard it. But I highly doubt that it can compete with a few of the players I mentioned above. Just my thoughts.
I know nothing about the Marantz DB-9500, but I agree with the other posters that the SACD and DVD-A formats are dying and/or dead and should have been declared so long ago. Good riddens.

Are all of you refering to hybrid discs? I disagree that they are going away. I see more releases than ever. I do believe that it will continue to exist if only on a small scale from small producers. More and more players going the universal route.

JOnd, I had never heard of your CD player before. It seems like an awesome unit. The Chord DAC64 with tube output. WOW!

Prpixel, spoken like a true man. P-whipped, that is. heheh. :•)

Newbee, sounds like all you did with that nekid lady is what Wyatt and Gary did. Play chess. At least you stayed. I lost my nerve and ran out the door. I heard mom calling for dinner.

Yes, Dennnish do send all your unwanted redbook CDs to Marco. He has all my old 8-tracks, cassettes, and vibrating rubber duckys.

Beware to all future forum trolls. Ellery Queen the Audiogon Detective is on the job.
Tough crowd??!!! Come on Danlib1! I expected YOU to do a flying reverse double axel on top of the dog pile, heheh. Cambodian style.
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOkayyyyyyy I am getting out of this discussion. How do you spell AUDIONERVOUSA

No, not whipped. I find it easier to run it by the wife before buying something. Most of the time she doesn't even ask the price; she just wants to know if I need it. If she asks the price, then I use the standard WAF formula: if under $1000 divide by 2, if over $1000 divide by 4, if over $5000 divide by 8 etc.

Now, if I try to slip something into the rig without telling her, she'll demand to see the receipt. That's the point I become whipped and have to go buy her something like a new SUV.

I just wish that they would release more worth listening too on SACD. I'm tired of re-issues of the stones.

That audiorevolution article sounds like an ad for dualdisc. I played around with one of these a few months ago. It would only play in an old sony dvd player; not in the car, universal player, or 4 different computer drives.
One thing not discussed here: build quality. Higher end Cd players (should) pay much closer attention to electronic components such as caps, resistors, transformers, transistors, circuit board material, wire, etc. They should have substantial housing materials and connector terminals.
Your all-format machines such as the Marantz probably do not aspire to such build quality.
Pardales writes:

Prior to owning the Exemplar 2900 I owned the Sony XA777ES. SACD's on the Sony sounded very, very good to me. Way better than my redbook versions of the same discs. But after spending several months with the Exemplar I began to notice no significant difference, on many quality recordings, between the SACD and the redbook.
Let's face it - the stock Sony is not a great Redbook player. It does have potential though, and CDs on my modified Sony sound fabulous. I hate to generalize, as there are exceptions to every rule, but on the whole SACDs sound better than CDs on my rig. The modifications that were done to the XA777ES by Ric Schultz (EVS) made a dramatic improvement to the sound of CDs; but they also improved SACDs. The margin on many discs is as wide as before.

It really is great, it got a rave in HiFi+. In fact it's so good I'm constantly trying to sell it or trade it, always the mark of a great piece of gear. What the heck is wrong with me anyway?
Metralla: That is not hard to believe. I agree that the redbook performance of most Sony SACD players I have heard is only adequate at best. They excel at SACD only, unless, as you argue, they are modified. Then the redbook and SACD improve greatly. I still think modified players are a quality, cost effective, way to go if you want a multiformat player. For me though, there is a comfort level in owning modified gear that I just don't have. I am probably going to dump my single-sided Hi-Rez discs and save up for a great redbook only player.

SACD did get me into jazz and classical music though, so I do not consider it a waste of time and will keep the vast majority of my hybrids.
I've had the Marantz dv 9500 for a week now. It's gotten a lot of use so I would say it's broken in. I have several sacd's and cd's of the same title that I've compared very carefully. I can't tell the difference, they sound identical!!! Excellent, but identical. I also have a half dozen dvd-a discs and they all sound inferior to the same title cd. All listening has been in stereo. I was going to sell my Sony cdp-707es, but now I'm thinking I should sell the Marantz. I believe the Marantz sounds as good as the Sony, but no better, and the Sony is 11 years old and works perfectly. The Sony also weighs around 40lbs and may outlast me. The only reason to keep the Marantz is the convenience of an all in one player, plus the ability to play surround sound sacd's which I will soon be able to play. Overall, I believe the Marantz is a fine product if you don't have a high quality cd player, but I am disappointed that sacd's sound no better than cd's, and dvd-a is inferior to both.

All I want is a player that plays redbook, SACD...AND HDCD (the best sounding format). But it won't happen.