Music CD player: how to choose it, mechanics and conversion


Guide to the choice of the music CD player for a hi-fi stereo system, a crucial source in the final listening.

How to choose a cd player

In a hi-fi stereo system, the CD player is of great importance among the various sources that can be connected as the one potentially most capable of providing high-level sound.

An audio compact disc or CD player is one of the digital sources that can be connected to a hi-fi stereo system.

This type of player is made to read only the original version of the CDs, that of the 16-bit audio CD with 44.1 khz sampling capable of holding up to 74 minutes of music.

One of the main features of the CD player is the reading head which, not touching the surface of the disk, must read the digital data engraved on the support through a laser beam.

The rotation speed of the disc is kept constant by a servo-controlled mechanism and will be higher when the head is near the center and lower when it is at the outer edge.

Correction of errors is a very important circuit in a CD player that allows you to avoid that some disc reading problems due to dirt, fingerprints and scratches make the disc "jump" during playback.

In these cases, the circuit reconstructs the missing data by interpolation.

However, it must be said that it is advisable to keep the compact discs in a perfect state of preservation, to avoid that by ruining they make the error correction circuit come into operation which still represents a manipulation of the original sound that cleverly hides the defect but does not return the data that they are not read with consequent loss of detail.

The mechanical part of reading in a cd player is very important as it is capable of extracting data from the compact disc.

The more precise it will be, the better it will be for the final sound. Some high-end readers use special disc stabilizers and materials for this purpose to ensure perfect reading.

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Since the signal engraved on the CD is digital, it will be necessary to ensure that, once read by the laser head of the reader, it is converted back to analog.

This is an additional delicate process that heavily affects the final result and depends on the quality of the converters (dacs) used for each stereo channel.

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Tags: Electronics