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Player suggestions in the $350 range

 

Silver Member
Username: Tpizzle

Post Number: 574
Registered: Apr-05
Hey everyone, thanks in advance for your help!

I am currently in the process of re-vamping my entire setup and the first installment is likely a cd player. My budget is $350 give or take $100, and I will likely buy used. I have done some research and have singled out a few below, but am definitely open to new suggestions. Since I will soon upgrade my speakers and integrated amp I am not worried about having the player compliment anything in particular.

Rotel 1070
Marantz cd5004
Cambridge Audio 540c/640c
Nad c545bee

Thanks again!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13469
Registered: Feb-05
I think that the NAD would be the best sounding of the lot.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4114
Registered: May-05
I do too. Even though you're starting at the source and upgrading everything else around it, you need to keep in mind what you'll want for amplification and speakers. Synergy is an important thing.

If you're willing to go to $500, you should be able to get a Rega Apollo. That'll mop the floor with what you've listed. The extra few bucks will definitely give you a big upgrade IMO.

Not only does the Apollo sound great, but it works great in a ton of systems. I haven't heard it sound bad in anything that's not drastically below its level. Even with my NAD 320BEE it smoked my NAD CD player. With my Bryston B60, it made my NAD CDP sound like a broken toy. The CDPs you listed can sound very good in the right system. They can also sound pretty lack luster in another. The chances of that happening to an Apollo are far less. NAD in a Rotel system sounds awful, and vice versa.

Just throwing that out there. The Apollo's second hand price may drop a bit when the Rega DAC comes out.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 834
Registered: Dec-06
Not to scare anyone away from the Apollo, I've got one too and I love it, but would you guys be wary of buying it on the used market? I had a Saturn and it had problems (minor ones) and my Apollo was DOA (I had a warranty, luckily, and my dealer got it fixed). Lots of comments online about Rega players having glitches. When buying used there is no warranty. Too bad, because they sound phenomenal. Personally, I wouldn't let this prevent me from buying a used Apollo, I would just be extra careful. The goal is to get the best sounding player you can, and at $500 Rega is probably it. Personally, I'd try to find a dealer who is selling a used Apollo, or someone in the secondary market who will let you demo it first.

Another possibility for you is a used Arcam CD17. It might be a step up from the four you've listed.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13475
Registered: Feb-05
Rega players do often have glitches and most of them are just standard fare with Rega. Not broken, they just have a mind of their own. NAD and Cambridge also have their share of QC issues. I wouldn't buy a used CD player from anyone with less than a long line of perfect feedback at Agon, and even then...

For $850 or less you could get a new Apollo and it really is all that Stu has stated, however, soon the Rega DAC will be out and for just a hair more than that...hmm...lots to think about.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4118
Registered: May-05
I sold my Apollo through my dealer, who I bought it from. They had aregular customer who couldn't afford a new one.

If you've got a Rega dealer locally, they may be able to help you out or they may have a demo or traded in model. Depends on the dealer I guess. I'm a regular customer or their's and so was the buyer. Had I been someone off the street, who knows how they'd handle that one.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4119
Registered: May-05
There were/possibly still are a wave or B-stock and discontinued Arcam players from dealers on Audiogon. Carrying a warranty has it's benefits.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1111
Registered: Jul-07
Your options in this price range are limited. Some possibilities, most a little over your budget.....

http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?dgtlplay&1294692482&/Arcam-cd92-cd-player -with

http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?dgtlplay&1294072590&/Arcam-Alpha-9

http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?dgtlplay&1293729931&/Mcintosh-MVP-831


http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?dgtlplay&1293612799&/Audiolab-8000CD

http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?dgtlplay&1293378561&/Cambridge-Audio-Azur -350C-CD-Player-

http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?dgtlplay&1293231220&/Rotel-rcd-991AEhttp://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?dgtlplay&1292871605&/Cambridge-Audio-CD30 -Compact-CD-Player-
 

Silver Member
Username: Tpizzle

Post Number: 575
Registered: Apr-05
Thanks guys for the feedback. I will likely save a little and do it right the first time. Would you agree that spending extra on a CDP would generate a larger improvement than spending extra on an amp or speakers?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 836
Registered: Dec-06
I think it's hard to say. What you end up hearing will be the result of every component in the chain and your room, and while a Rega source might be better than all the others mentioned in this thread in and of itself and in most systems, that doesn't mean it will be that way in every system. Likewise, your choice of speakers might dictate to a large degree your choice of amp. The wrong amp will not be able to power a set of speakers properly and it'll sound bad no matter what CD player you use. Speakers also have a large effect, needless to say. You want to find a pair that present music the way you like it.

Personally, I've heard big differences in sound going from one amp to another, and one CD player to another. The amp change probably had the bigger effect, but they were both very audible. Had I used a different amp the effect may not have been as large as the CDP change - who knows? I guess the bottom line in all of what I'm saying is there are no definite rules. Also, sometimes the change in sound isn't an improvement or dis-improvement, sometimes it's just a different presentation. I had amp A and amp B, where I felt amp B was clearly better than A. Different presentation for sure, but better sound too. I had CDP A, B, and C; I felt B and C clearly beat A on sound quality, and were both roughly equal. They sounded different though...B sounded faster, with more drive, while A sounded smoother and more natural, with a bit more detail being fleshed out. The differences were subtle, but definitely noticeable. However, you may not notice stuff like this unless you have each component in your system for a while, and that isn't always possible.

I'm finding that what matters more than anything else is, does a system present music in a way that makes it infectious? Imaging and detail and all that are great, but if the music isn't infectious it will not hold your attention. Any link in the chain can throw things off that tiny bit to where this happens.
 

New member
Username: Ekeekk14

Post Number: 5
Registered: Aug-11
You might want to check some of these out
I searched with a price range from $200-$400

PR|200_400,http://www.pronto.com/shop/CD-players#selectedFilters=,PR|200_400

Hope this helps!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 14641
Registered: Feb-05
A bit late to the dance...
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1303
Registered: May-05
db,

I'm selling my used Arcam Diva CD-92. I have no idea how it compares to the Apollo. It's about 10 years old, great condition and just took it out of my system with an upgrade to the Cary CD-500. It's a little more forward than the Cary but a great player - it was $1700 plus new. But, I'd like the other guys to weigh in that have heard many more CDPs than me.

Dave
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