How Important Is The Cdp?


My current set-up includes PSB Stratus Mini's speakers, Cambridge AZUR 540 A and a Toshiba 3950 DVD which i use for cd playback only. I know this is a mismatch of gear, but i originally hadnly planned on using this equipment with each other, then shortly after had some money troubles so im stuck with this gear for awhile.

My system sounds OK at times, its somewhat musical but alot of the time the sound is jsut too harsh and fatuiging- guitar harmonics are especially grainy and shimmery, vocals seem to be yelling at me way too much and overall the sound seems unfocused and veiled.

My room is pretty small, about 10x10 with an open closet and Jon Risch acoustic treatments directly behind each speaker, side walls arent really treated at all. I know my room isnt the greatest, but somehow i get the sence that the room isnt the main problem im having, sure it could use alot of improvement but the bad sound seems to be coming directly from the speakers.

Im sort of confused on what is causing the harshness, some people say its my cdp, others say my amp and then theres a few who think its my speakers interacting with the room.

This brings me to the question on how important is the cdp? Ive heard many people say that the cdp makes very little to no difference and wont tame the harshness i speaker of. Others say the source is most important and that what im hearing is my speakers producing the crappy sound my cdp is feeding them.

Would a better cdp, or say a 1000$ DAC improve my system to the point where the harshness i speaker of will be mostly eliminated, or will it just show more weaknesses of my amp. Or will a better cdp just make my system only slighty less harsh by only taming some of the digital glare of cdp's?

What do you guys think? cdp causing the harshness, or is it the amp?
Lazarus28 it's not the point of accuracy. I think everyone should hear a crossover less speaker. This will at least give them a starting point as to how much they prefer the sound to be coloured. Crossovers no matter how expensive will always effect the sound in one way or another.

I like different implementations of speakers..including the active ones. But the purist midrange I've heard comes from a speaker with no crossover.There are also multi driver speakers that do not have crossovers. Not easy to find but they are out there.

Once Dave spends time with a phase correct/ no crossover speaker.He will then be able to hear the changes in his gear and also know what way he needs to go with it.So many speakers cover up the music to a point where some can't hear the differences in the gear.So they go on guessing and using expensive interconnects and speaker wires as tone controls. There's no real way to explain it. If you listen to live vocals or instrumental acoustic recordings, this type of speaker should be on the list of auditions.

Happy Listening!

I heard several, and actually owned a couple of single drive speakers (including one using the famous diatone driver) and it just doesn't work for me. Personally, I can't see it working for the vast majority of folks out there. Yes, the midrange is excellent, however everything else suffers.

I have not listened to any single drive speakers that would retail for more than about $2000, so I may be missing out on the best, however, a $2000+ speaker is not in most peoples budget. Personally, I could afford it, but don't want the tradeoffs that a single drive system would bring.

No thank you, I'll keep my 2-way monitors.......



I had a small room like yours for 2-3 yrs and they require the most accoustic help you can get. I treated side walls, floor (carpet) and ceiling (fiber panels) and got nice improvements. I also got front wall treated as you now have and was even better.
Another aspect to consider is power. Do you have any treatment or dedicated lines?
What about vibration tweaks?
I read from your post that money is tight and you have to stay with room / components for a while.

IMHO I'd try to tweak what you have now. This way you can get improvements that might satisfy you for the time been and t will yield far more better sound once you get the chance to upgrade source or other components.
Proper setup is the foundation of audio enjoyement.
Good Luck
I wouldn't fault the 3950. I bought mine after reading the multiple AA threads and was pretty much amazed by it. Now, feeding a battery-powered Ack dAck!, it has taken over CD-playing duty from my $2K Sony XA777ES.
No problem Reubent they are not for everyone..What speaker is ? For someone who owns the Reference 3A MM De Capo and liked it. You sure are negative about non crossover speakers. Go figure! Or did you forget your speakers don't have crossovers? LOL

Here's one small town builder. Who builds these to order, The cost is around $1500.00. Just the two 8 inch drivers used in this design cost around $800.00. These speakers will do 30hz bass and everything in between. You do not need to spend over $2000 to get a nice single driver speaker. No crossovers saves quite a bit on cost.Here's a link FTA 2000 . The Omegas are also very nice.

The reason I have waited so long in trying this type of speaker is because of people ..who have made negative comments. No speakers perfect..but for the people who haven't lived with them..listen for yourself in your own home before you rule them out.
Sorry for hijacking your thread David.