Arcam, Denon, and NAD Multi-Format Disc Players

Multi-format disc players
Arcam DV135,
Denon DVD-2930,
NAD T 585,
Pioneer PD-D6 CD/SACD Player
Arcam, Denon, and NAD Multi-Format Disc Players

With such a wide range of media on the market, the appeal of a player able to handle everything from CD and SACD to DVD is obvious. But the question for Audiophiles is - can a ‘Jack of All Trades’ really be as good as a top-quality dedicated CD player for playing CDs? There’s no point compromising CD performance just to get versatility. This test considers three multi-format disc players exclusively from a purist two-channel stereo audio standpoint. We’re assuming that picture quality will be something of a secondary consideration and as such, will be to a sufficiently high standard in each case. But what about sound quality? Can any of these machines stand comparison with a good comparably-priced CD player? If I myself were looking to buy a multi-format player, I’d want something that sounded great on CD, as well as being able to do justice to SACD. I recently tried Pioneer’s PD-D6 CD/SACD player. While it sounded pretty good, I wasn’t blown away by the difference between CD and SACD. Maybe this time – who knows!

For the two-channel hi-fi purist, the question is whether or not it’s better to look at versatile players like the ones here, or sink your money into a top-class dedicated CD player. It’s not an easy one to answer. And matters are clouded by the uncertain future of SACD, and the question of how many record companies will continue to support it.

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