Top positive review
308 people found this helpful
Terrific single-disc CD player especially for the price
on January 9, 2010
I think this CD player is getting an undeservedly bad rep in much of the feedback on here.
I should start by mentioning that I am not an audiophile. I have a decent audio setup based around basic stereo (no digital surround-sound) consisting of a Harman Kardon receiver and Sony tower speakers. While these originally retailed for several hundred dollars each, they are far below the price range of the kind of high-end components that an audio expert would own and require.
That said, I currently own about three thousand compact discs, mostly classical, and because of the longterm investment that this collection represents it has remained important for me even in the age of the MP3 to have a way to play my CDs at home, with high quality sound and a system setup that is easy and convenient to use.
For the last several years before I bought this TEAC player I had been using various DVD players to play my CDs. The results were good enough in terms of sonics but my chief complaint was that the DVD players had been primarily designed for playing DVDs. This meant that the most effective way to interact with them (and, for some features, the ONLY way) was by using the remote control to manipulate a menu that was displayed on my TV. The buttons and display on the units themselves were rudimentary or non-existent: just the basic buttons for opening and closing the tray, playing the disc, skipping to the next index, etc., and not much else. If I wanted to know something as simple as which track number of a CD was currently playing, I'd have no way to tell just by looking at the display on the DVD player itself. All it would show was the elapsed time on the disc (another DVD-centric functionality.)
Other things were irritating as well. For example, because DVD players are engineered to expect DVDs as the default disc format, whenever I would insert a CD instead of a DVD there would be a few seconds' delay while the player adjusted to the differently formatted media.
This all led me to finally decide that I would revert back to using a dedicated CD player to play my CDs. Furthermore, I wanted this player to be single-disc. While multi-disc players have a huge advantage for playing popular music due to their effective shuffle-play, for a CD collection that is mostly classical there is rarely a need to jump between random tracks on the same disc, let alone across several discs. Since multi-disc players also take up more space, are a bit more cumbersome to use in terms of inserting and removing discs, and have more moving parts (and therefore more points of potential failure), I decided that a single-disc player was the only way to go.
Given these requirements, in all respects the TEAC has proven to be a terrific player. It has an attractive, straightforward design with a clear, bright display that gives you an immediate sense of where you are in the context of the CD that is playing. The construction is solid, too, with buttons that don't feel cheap and flimsy and a CD tray that opens and closes with impressive smoothness and a true sense of purpose compared to some of the DVD players I've owned. There is also a quick spin-up of a newly inserted CD so that the player is promptly ready to go almost as soon as you've put in a new disc.
Of course there remains the important matter of sound quality, and shame on me for taking seven paragraphs to finally get around to that! However to my ears the sonics on the TEAC are excellent. In fact I could swear that there is added depth and richness to the sound compared to the DVD players that I've used to play my CDs in the past.
I have not yet used the TEAC's MP3-related playback features and I have not yet had a problem with any of my CDs being unplayable. Another reviewer has mentioned the player's "ESP" feature (Electronic Shock Protection). This enables buffering of a disc's data stream so that if the player gets bumped or shaken its playback can continue smoothly. The TEAC user manual says that this feature is unnecessary if the player is used in a stable setup free from unexpected physical shocks. I have played my CDs with ESP both turned off and on and have yet to experience any issues. (ESP cannot be turned off when playing MP3s.) The only possible annoyance is that ESP doesn't remain permanently off once it's set and must be disabled again each time the player is powered up, and the only way to do that is by using a button on the remote control. There is no "ESP" button on the front planel of the unit itself.
As a single-disc player with only basic functionality the TEAC could probably also afford to be a bit smaller in size, with less of a footprint and about half the height, but at a time when low-cost, dedicated, single-disc CD players are a rare commodity, this seems like a minor quibble. My overall rating for the TEAC CD-P1260 is 5 stars.