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Showing 1-10 of 188 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 212 reviews
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.
88 comments| 319 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon November 29, 2012
I love this Yamaha 5-disc cd changer. I've had it for 7 moths now and with much daily use it hasn't faulted at all in any way. My old Panasonic 5 disc cd player stopped reading my cd-r's and stopped moving to read the next disc in the rotation. I'd had it for over 5 years and obviously it just died. When I went looking for a new 5 disc unit I was shocked at the limited options available. CD players just weren't the norm anymore. I wanted a quality product at a reasonable price. I did my research here on Amazon and also on other consumer rating sites. This Yamaha 5 disc changer got very high marks all around.

I love everything about this unit. There is one thing it says it has which it does not and that is being able to change 5 discs at a time. If the unit is not in play and you open the tray 3 discs are easily accessable but 2 are partially obstructed. You can get them out but they will hit part of the unit possibly scratching the discs or hitting the unit. So technically you can't change 5 discs at the same time easily. But if 1 disc is in play and you open the tray you have open access to the other 4 discs so this works perfectly for me. So you can't change 5 at a time but you can easily change 4.

My unit is in constant use. I play music at least 5 hours a day and play a cd on repeat of rain noises to sleep by all night long so for 7 months my unit has on average been in use over 12 hours a day. I have never had a problem and I download many mp3's and then burn them to cds. The Yamaha player has read every cd I've burned and also reads every cd I've burned in the past, sone well over 5 years old. On every cd it reads the time showing full cd length, time remaining and the same for each track. Whether I set my own program to play, play 1 cd in repeat or keep all the discs in the player in constant play the changer has never skipped, jumped cds or stalled in play. I also find that the quality of sound that comes from this player is much better than the previous one I owned. The difference with this unit from others is that very few functions are programmable on the unit itself and must be done on the remote or is easier to do on the remote. I find it all very user friendly. On some cd's the unit does show the artist name, cd title and the title of each song. This is fun but not a necessary thing.

I must admit I was worried when I purchased this due to some of the negative reviews here but I did my research and am thrilled with the product. Also Yamaha is excellent and the unit comes with a 2 year warranty and they are known for handling issues under warranty very well. As with any electronic item you must read the manual completely, make sure you follow all directions, keep your cds and discs clean and don't use products to clean the cd changer that will damage it. And with a carousel type tray like this you must be gentle on the tray when changing discs. Do all this and I'm sure you will love this unit the same as me. It plays great, is easily programmable and reads all my burned cds as well with high quality sound. I give the Yamaha CDC-697BL high recommendations.
44 comments| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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 August 29, 2012
I bought this unit from Amazon because it was so favorably reviewed. It works great but none of the reviewers mentioned that the display size is too small, too dim to read from 6 feet away so their excellent remote is worthless. the model 600 unit has the same problem. If you think you can sit across even a small room and use the remote and read the display you are in a coma. I have excellent eyes and can't do it nor can any member of my family. I have to get up and go over to the unit with the remote in my hand to find out what disc is playing and what track. Another lauded feature is text display. If you have a CD that has that feature the unit shows the artist etc. Great idea except you cant read it. To make it hurt even more I have 15ish year old 5 disc Sony that has large LED display and it is lit brightly that I have no trouble seeing from 20 feet away. I rest my case.
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on May 9, 2013
This changer does exactly what I want it to do: play store bought CDs and WAV file CD-Rs burned as an audio CD. I've had very good experience with Yamaha stereo equipment over the last 20 years and recommend Yamaha to anyone. Any manufacturer can have a bad product slip out the door or be damaged in shipping, so don't put too much weight in the reviews that have problems right out of the box - probably won't happen to you. This player will not play data discs with MP3s on them. Not sure about CD-Rs recorded as audio CD with MP3 files - never listen to MP3s (bad sound). The drawer does not rotate, so it does come way out of the unit (kind of strange, but no issue). Yes, you have to be careful putting the back two CDs in, but I've had no problem with that. And yes, the display is small and yellow/orange, but that is common to all Yamaha components for as long as I can remember. Deal with it. Specs are excellent; excellent sound. I'm fussy. Always buy electronics by audio specs, buy speakers by listening to them.

Note: According to the Yamaha website, this model is no longer made. It has been replaced by a unit that handles MP3s every which way - for $100.00 more on Amazon. If you listen to MP3s, check out that unit, otherwise, buy this model quickly before it goes out of stock.
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on December 31, 2010
I am a low budget audiophile. I love my music and I am almost obsessive about sound reproduction with my component system. Not being a rich guy, I do copious research on the components I buy and I had been searching for a high quality CD player to add to my system. After about six months of web research, store visits and asking around, everything pointed to this Yamaha. It has scores of satisfied customers, great specs, is reasonably priced, and it comes from good stock, so to speak. Yamaha has been producing quality musical and audio equipment for a long time. This is no different. If you are on a budget and want an outstanding unit, look no further. My one minor complaint is that I wish they had put a random play button on the unit itself. You can only select random play using the remote.
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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 July 19, 2010
I bought this product with some apprehension, after purchasing the newer model CDC-600 from another vendor and having it die on the third day. I bought this one due to reduced price at Amazon and because very few reviewers reported that theirs had died.
Since Amazon re-sold this item after obtaining it from an outside source, they "fulfill" all the responsibilities such as returns. This gave me confidence, since Amazon stands by their sales.
The unit arrived repackaged into a larger Amazon box, which was much too big. There was very little packing material in the larger box, so the item was basically loose in the box (although it was still contained within its factory box). The giant amazon box was partly crushed, and the factory box had been place upside down into the larger box. This made me concerned, since the unit is supposed to remain right-side-up during shipment. I could find no actual damage to the CD changer.
I have done a two day burn-in (continuous play for 48 hours). It continues to perform as it should and the unit sounds great. If it continues to perform this way, I will be very pleased with it.
I don't have any issues regarding removing or placing CDs in this unit, as some others have reported. It is convenient enough for me. No issues with the remote, either. The unit lacks a headphone jack, but I don't expect one for this price and have plenty of headphone capability through my preamp.
I've got my fingers crossed on this one. If it doesn't skip, or fail to read discs; I will love it. Many of today's changers die an infant death during the first couple of months. My Clarion car unit has been working for 10 years in all types of conditions and over bumps, etc. I guess that home units must not be built to the same standards as car units.
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on January 3, 2011
Where have all the CD players gone? That was our reaction when we started looking for a replacement for our twenty-something year-old JVC CD player/changer. The field of reasonably priced CD players seems to have diminished markedly over the years, but we managed to find two or three that looked like good candidates: A Sony 5 CD changer, a Pioneer 25 CD changer, and the Yamaha. The first two were about a hundred dollars cheaper than the Yamaha, but the Sony was not in stock locally (and I wanted to hear it), and I worried about the complexity of the Pioneer's 25 CD changing mechanism. I've always liked the sound of Yamaha components, so we decided to go for the Yamaha CDC-697BL. We find that it delivers a warm, rich sound through our JVC receiver (analog), and the changer is very smooth and not at all intrusive. All of our CD's, including our big collection of converted analog LP's work flawlessly. We could not be more pleased. Now we're looking forward to replacing the old JVC receiver so we can take advantage of the optical digital output of the Yamaha. (But it really sounds great as it is.)

No complaints at all. Yes, it would be nice if it could play MP3 formatted disks, but that would only add to cost and complexity for a seldom used feature.

Stan Davis
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on August 18, 2011
I bought this in order to add to my growing audio system that I condider mid-fi. The player itself is sturdy and robust. Does not appear or feel flimsy, plasticky, or inferior in any way. The loading tray is the part most susceptible to damage but is also sturdy and opens smoothly. The motor driving it never sounds strained. I don't feel it is difficult to load all five discs at once as others have felt it is. There is enough room to place the back two discs even though it does not open fully enough to expose the tray completely. Thankfully, the tray can also be opened to exchange discs as one is playing. This player cannot play MP3s in file format but can play them when burned as audio discs. Not a problem for me as I don't like the compressed and stripped down MP3 format anyhow. They lack dynamics. The random feature is nice, but I dont utilize it often as I like listening to an album in its entirety. Nevertheless, when I've used it, it is very quick and comes upon tracks off different discs with ease. Surprisingly fast and relatively quiet as well. The screen is amber colored. The text is just big enough to be seen. It can be dimmed but not turned off. Some of my albums do have CD text encoded and title can be viewed when chosen. Nice feature but never used. Best part is that it is a very neutral sounding player, particularly when using the optical out. My Dark Side of the Moon album sounded as great as my LP of it. Optical out was actually the main reason for my purchase followed by Yamaha reliabilty and thirdly, price. The optical out allows my Harman Kardon 3490 amp use its own DAC which is of very high quality rather than using, what I believe in comparison, the Yamaha's inferior DAC and it's anolog out. These two make a great pair! Great sounding, clear, uncolored music. The player can be mostly utilized without the remote unless random mode is wanted. The remote is properly layed out button-wise. I'm pleased with this player for the above reasons but wish the main power button on the upper left was thicker as it is the only flimsy feeling thing about this otherwise great player.
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