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Great clean sound!
Nov 7, 2005 (Updated Oct 24, 2007)
Review by dragoon101
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Great sound, plays MP3s, IR Onkyo link, 6 discs, coaxial & optical digital outs
Cons:Lower SNR than Denon, No HDCD support, No SACD support
The Bottom Line: One of the few CD changers available that make it worth buying a dedicated changer over using your DVD player.
The sound quality on this unit is amazing.
Recommend this product?
* Sound Quality
I am very impressed with the sound quality. I was using an old Sony ES single-CD player, and a standard Sony CD changer before that. The standard Sony CD changer, in retrospect, sounded pretty poor. The Sony ES changer sounded great through the optical jack. But, the Onkyo really does sound cleaner and seems to hit the highs and lows better. This is especially true for MP3s. I was previously using my Toshiba DVD/Tivo Player to play MP3 cds, but in comparison, the Onkyo seems to play them more clearly.
* Long Playing MP3s
I haven't fully tested this yet but I believe the feature is that you can play really long MP3 files and go several levels deep in the file directories for MP3s. This is really useful for those of you who listen to long concert MP3s or DJ sets. I can only say that it seems to play my 80min MP3s just fine.
* Digital Jacks
Both coaxial and optical jacks are included on this unit. You'd be surprised but many CD changers only have one type. It gets to be a real hassle if you are running several inputs on digital jacks and your receiver runs out of them. For example, I have a DVD player, Xbox, PS2, MD, Digital Cable and now the CD Changer being inputted into my receiver by digital cables.
* Onkyo RI Link
Works well for what it's supposed to do. I have an Onkyo receiver and the CD changer comes with the RI cable. With the cable installed, the receiver and the CD changer interact together so that when you press play on the CD changer, it will turn on the receiver and change the input to CD. The dimmers are now linked so when I change the dimming on the receiver, it dims the changer. These features are not so impressive that it's worth buying the Onkyo CD changer to mate with your Onkyo receiver, but it's a nice plus, especially since they look great together. The only drawback here is that for the RI link to work properly you must still connect the RCA jacks from teh CD changer to the reciever. It's an unnecessary nuisance since that means I have to run the pair of RCAs, the RI link cable and my coaxial digital cable all to my receiver.
* Displays MP3 Names
The display is clean and shows the track folder name and track name pretty quickly. Not much else to say here except that the display is not very big so the name scrolls quick. As far as I know, there's no way to change the way it scrolls.
* 6 is bigger than 5!
This is a no brainer. 6 discs are better than 5. I dont need to store 100 discs, so no need to go crazy with a jukebox.
* NO HDCD or SACD Support
The competing Denon model DCM-380 plays HDCD's while the Sony CD Changers play SACDs. There are very few cds that support this format anyways, but it's a nice feature to have if you do own one of those cds. Unfortunately, Onkyo doesn't support either. It doesn't affect me though because I only have one HDCD and that alone won't make me pick a Denon.
* Lower Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)
A higher SNR number is better. The higher the SNR, the more music you get versus noise and therefore, a cleaner sound with less hiss. The competing Denon model DCM-380 has a 108db SNR while the Onkyo has a 98. I dont think the difference is detectable unless you are using a very high power amp or very nice speakers.
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