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on April 25, 2009
Before buying the Yamaha 5-disc CD player, I did a comprehensive analysis of all currently available products. It included the players made by Denon, Onkyo, Teac and Sony among others, as well as DVD players that can also play CD's. I wanted a high quality player to work well with a stereo system including large JBL studio monitor speakers, a high-power integrated amplifier, and a direct drive Technics turntable. I had no interest in playing DVD's, only in good quality audio CD's, so I eliminated from consideration many products which are basically DVD players. I found out that most multi-disc CD players compromise their technical specifications compared with the audiophile-quality single-disc CD players, with Yamaha CDC-697 looking better than the others, possibly because it is optimized for playing CD's only, while the Denons and Onkyos also play compressed audio files like MP3 and WMA.
Any product that attempts to do too many things at once, usually does not do anything well!

Investigations of Yamaha's repair record compared with competitive products also appear favorable. Finally, I found out that CDC-697 can be operated both by the pushbuttons on the front panel or by the remote control. All competing carousel CD changers are not fully operational without using the remote. We are sick of having everything requiring a remote to operate. It is just a fake "convenience feature for the user", whose real purpose is to cut the equipment manufacturing costs by eliminating the old-style manual controls from the front panel!

We had the Yamaha CDC-697 for two months now and everything is fine so far. It was easy to set up without the remote control. We have not even inserted the batteries into the remote, the unit operates just fine without it, although there are some functions that are available only through the remote. We had to read only the first 10 pages of the 24-page owner's instruction manual to use the unit, for which my wife is very pleased. The competing carousel CD changers have 60 to 90 page manuals which take many hours to study before you can use the unit!

Let's hope that Yamaha does not make any silly engineering changes in the CDC-697 to make it more alike the Denon, Onkyo or Sony. We do not own an i-pod and will never buy it in the future, we will also never need to play any compressed audio files, we just want high fidelity music.

The fidelity of music from the Yamaha player through our system is just as good as from the Technics direct drive turntable with an elliptical Shure cartridge and new 33 RPM vinyl records, and we do not miss the occasional clicks usually present in vinyl records.
Amazon did a very good job in packing our Yamaha player. It arrived on time through a UPS two-day delivery.
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on September 30, 2008
I was surprised how little user information was available on the web about 5 disk carousel changers.

I tried several higher end players (including Rotel, Denon, Sony, Onkyo/Integra and Marantz*) but I couldn't get past the extremely long time it took to switch tracks between disks while in random/shuffle mode (15 to 20 seconds). The 17 year changer I was replacing could change tracks on different disks in 8 to 10 seconds (measured from the end of one song to the start of another on a different disk).

Yamaha got it right with the CDC-697. It matched the track change speed of my 17 year old changer. If you regularly listen to music in random/shuffle mode, this CD changer is the only one out there (in 2008) that can change tracks on different disks within a reasonable time (8-10 seconds vs 15-20 seconds). Nothing else I tried out there that could do that.

Yamaha also seems to have the best version of the disk exchange feature. All the players I tried allow you to change some of the disks while one disk is still playing but the Yamaha is the only one that lets you change 4 of the 5 disks (the fifth is still playing). The others only let you access 2 of the 5 disks to change.

I think Yamaha put more thought into the "changer" aspect of this model.

One other benefit is that the CDC-697 is one of the few CD changers that supports CD text.

I hope this helps others.

* I did not personally test the Marantz CC4001 but I was able to get someone on the DTVforum to check the timing for me.
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on January 8, 2009
As an owner of some Hi-End/Mid-Fi CD players with rave reviews among the Audio community (DENON Universal Deck DVD-2910, ROTEL Reference RCD-1072) I can say that this Yammy doesn't come too shabby. I looked into other 5-disc decks (DENON & Marantz), but in the end this one made the grade.

I was looking for a simple and inexpensive 5-Disc deck for the moments I just load up a bunch of discs and listen casually while doing other things (attending guests at home, parties, reading, etc). Anything but critical listening. I was dumbstruck by the audio performance and sheer quality that this "cheap" deck pulls out of my CDs. The built-in D/A converters are pretty darn good if I had to rely on them, but it gets better if you use it's optical digital output to feed an outboard D/A converter (like the one in my flagship receiver), and makes this deck a helluva transport. And speaking of transport mechanisms, this is where it shines the most, it's silent, fast and solid. Lists for 300$ on Yamaha's site, but for the steal-deal special price of 195$ with free shipping from 6th AVE NY, I have to say I feel guilty of theft... but happy.

Want a great CD player for the price of a run-of-the-mill DVD player? Get this deck. Forget about lame-O MP3/WMA discs, it only plays CDs but it does it RIGHT!
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on December 30, 2008
This is a solid unit but I had to discuss a problem with the power cable that I received with the unit. The end of the cable that hooks into the back of the player would not sit flush with the hole it hooks into (FYI if you consult the manual some versions of this unit do not have this). As soon as I plugged it in I thought the cable didn't seem to fit. Then the player would not turn on. I was required to finally hold the power cable with my hand so it would stay flush and keep juice to the machine going. I gave up and went to my basement and got out a similar power cable which worked perfectly. This is a crazy problem and I don't know who is at blame but it sent me for a loop. I docked the review of this unit heavily for such a hassle.

As for the machine it works great and helps me listen to many more cds continuously than a single disc player. It changes discs really fast and keeps the tunes flowing. You can also change discs while one is playing which is nice.
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on July 24, 2007
I finally got this real performance sound machine from yamaha last week. I wanted a cd changer not too expensive, but a very acceptable cd changer, so I found a marantz cd changer whose cost was higher and this one. At the end I decided for this yamaha and I don't regret, It reproduces sound with a high fidelity, the balance between bass and treble is optimum. You can hear very clearly even the touch of the fingers on a guitar playing.
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on March 7, 2009
I ordered the Yamaha CDC 697 on a Saturday and received it by Thursday. Super fast delivery, the item was packaged perfectly and it looks just like the picture. Thanks Amazon & Crutchfield. Anyway, if you've read my reviews, you'll know I enjoy music. I purchased this cd changer to replace a 110 cd disc changer I purchased back in 1998. I was trying to find a cd changer that fit my style that was affordable but that also made my music selection sound good in the crib. Well, after reading several of the reviews, I decided upon the Yamaha CDC 697. I have a Yamaha receiver with Cerwin Vega floor speakers so it made sense to go along with the Yamaha cd changer. I was anxious to receive the cd player and when I got this changer...oh man what a difference it made from my previous cd changer. The set-up was very easy, the sound is crystal clear and it really sounds great in the house. If you're looking for a great cd changer with easy set-up and terrific sound, this is it. I hope this helps. As always, YMMV...... NEOSOUL
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on April 15, 2008
Same dimension as most 5-CD players, with the usual advanced features.
It stands out from those I've had because of its smooth and quiet changing mechanism.
I especially enjoy the random cut player, not just random CD but random
cuts from among the 5 CD's loaded in the carousel.

The only thing I don't like is that I can't seem to find a way to make
the carousel rotate when it is open all the way for loading.
This requires you to load a CD into the rear-most slot while part of it
is still inside the body of the unit, making it easy to scratch or drop the CD.

Otherwise, I like it a real lot!
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on January 6, 2010
This CD player played CD's fine for 5 days. Then it would get stuck and just hum after about 2 hrs. of playing. Had to turn it off-on to resume playing. This happened on 3 loads of 5 different CD's. Amazon quickly replaced the player without a hassle. Recieved the replacement..playing the first 5 CD's same problem. Returned this one also. Will look for another brand.
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on February 13, 2009
This unit is almost perfect. Great sound with digital optical cable. (a must if you want great sound) Changer is very quiet and stable. The Disc Exchange is a must have feature. It allows you to remove and insert CD's without interupting the current playing disc. (a very nice feature)
1. Display is very small and hard to read from a distance. (also led is amber does not match most current electronics which are blue)
2. If you take the time to program tracks to play it does a nice job, but if you turn off the power or it goes into standby, you loose your program. (a real bummer if you have several favorite discs you want to set up a play list and leave them in the changer. It takes awhile to program and the is no real memory)
Resist the temptation to go to Best Buy and by a Sony unit. This is worth the wait.
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on August 12, 2010
I purchased this CD changer from Amazon as Christmas present for my father. Unfortunately, my father later reported that it didn't work properly. On my next visit, I was able to confirm that the unit doesn't recognize most CDs, all of which play correctly in my car deck or in my home changer. A few CDs will work, but for most you can fill the entire carousel and the display continues to read, "No Disc". Also unfortunate is the fact that my father lives a few hundred miles away, which is going to make it difficult for me to get the unit serviced at a Yamaha factory service center. The closest service center is 70 miles away from my father's home.

I like Yamaha as a company, and I own many, many Yamaha musical instruments and electronic components. I also realize that the changer I bought is not representative of Yamaha quality; clearly this one has a defect. At the same time, when a defective unit is allowed to leave Yamaha's factory, they deserve to get "dinged" for it. Also, as advice to those making purchases on Amazon, it is important that purchases be inspected within 30 days of receipt, as Amazon will only accept returns for that short period. This is true for all purchases, including defective items.
44 comments| 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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