CDP Upgrade to My Totem Arros Setup - Need Help


New member
Username: Mikew

Post Number: 7
Registered: Jul-06

I need your expert help in upgrading my stereo set-up. I like my current set-up immensely.

My System: Totem Arros, Primaluna Prologue 2, Signal Cable, Hero Inter Connects, old Sony DVD/CD Player.

My upgrade plan is to add a CD Player & Sub-Woofer.

CD Player Options: Rega Appollo, Naim CD5i, CA Azur 840C, Cairn fog V2 (not easily available), Simaudio Moon Equinox , Sony dvp-ns999es, any good tubed CDP (All Pre-Owned)

Sub-Woofer Options: REL Strata III, REL Storm III

So I need your help for the following questions:

1. Which change will make more positive impact on the sound system....CDP or Sub ? ( I will go with the second upgrade few months down the lane ).

2. If CDP needs to be upgraded, what would you recommend between Naim, Rega, CA, Cairn Fog, sim and tubed cdps for my system (primaluna 2 and Arros) ? I like warm organic music with excellent vocals, instruments and strings with good BASS. Just want to remind again that I am using tube integrated (primaluna 2) for getting the warm preso and planning to add REL Sub for the quality BASS.

3. Since I already have a tube integrated in the line, should I be looking for a CDP that delivers excellent PRaT and Bass like Nait CD5i / Simaudio (or) more warm presentation of Rega (or) more warmer tubed cd players?

4. I read great reviews of 840C and it was being compared to Naim CD5i. I would like to know the system harmony of CA 840C with Primaluna 2 and Totem Arros for my music ?

5. Since I would like to add more Quality BASS (using REL), which of these CDPs make more sense ?

6. How does a modestly priced Sony dvp-ns999es (pre-owned) compete with the likes of Naim, Sim, Rega, etc ?

I will be eagerly awaiting your feedback for improving my 2 channel system. Thanking you all in advance


Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 3005
Registered: Sep-04
I don't know the Prima Luna well enough so t6ake this with a pinch of salt but...

You need a new CD player, preferably one that plays music rather than that Sony thing.

Silver Member
Username: Magfan


Post Number: 239
Registered: Oct-07
My 840c while it was a DOA.....was exchanged promptly by the dealer and now I am stuck with there demo. I recently contacted CA's distributor since the
dealer promised me a new-in-box BLACK 840.....

Now, this player is very good. Excellent ergonomics, fit/finish and detail. The Balanced outputs are very nice and I am using Mogami Gold Analogue Reference Microphone Cable!!!!! These are inexpensive, 2pair and a shield wires using nutrik connectors. Thanks Guitar Center.
The additional 2 digital inputs can go to any other digital output device....I'm thinking my OPPO DVD player....Movie sound may be improved by this.

The player itself has incredible detail of presentation sounding better and better as I use it. I wouldn't call it warm, but than my system is not warm, either. But, it is also not clinical/cold. I tried for the most neutral sound....
I wonder if it is possible to 'over warm' a system? With all components considered warm, at some point you go beyond synergy to over-warm.

PSAudio integrated, Magnepan speakers and HSU Research sub comprise my current system.

While this is not the norm for this forum for my combination 2.1 stereo used also for HT use, it is tops.

If you still need a universal player, the OPPO is a reasonable choice. the DV-981 works well for me.

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 2841
Registered: May-05
There are several of us who use a 2 channel rig for HT. My Bryston B60 and Audio Physic Yara monitors do an excellent job with it.

Silver Member
Username: Magfan


Post Number: 240
Registered: Oct-07
Yep, Stu.....I'm a 2.1 guy with no room for anything else. Many posters here have multiple systems. I simply have no room OR money.
If I could afford it, I'd build a nice HT room and let the wife have the living room back. Maybe after I retire?

Gold Member
Username: Gavdawg

Albany, New York

Post Number: 1163
Registered: Nov-06
lol leo...

I know the feeling. I live in an apartment. I had to put my mags in a closet at my parents house because I can not place them properly here.

It's funny... now that my system is really starting to come together (speakers broken in and placed well, new cd player and better cables) that I really don't miss my maggies as much as I thought I would. Art warned me that this might happen.

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 2844
Registered: May-05
That's a big part of why I have a 2.0 system. Another part is that I have no real interest in a full HT system. 99% of what I watch doesn't have any significant surround info in it.

How much surround info is in Seinfeld, The Office, Yankee games, Ohio State football games, March Madness, etc. anyway? The surround info in sports events is more of a gimic than anything else anyway. They put a little bit of crowd noise behind you.

With a system that images well, voices come from the actors mouths, and stuff on the side that's off screen sounds like where its supposed to be anyway.

A full HT system for me would solely be to impress friends the way some people are impressed with Bose systems. I'll pass and buy better stuff for the same amount of money.

Silver Member
Username: Magfan


Post Number: 244
Registered: Oct-07
HERESAY! Maggies in a closet? I'll be buried in the box my 1.6s came in!
I owned some mg-1 (original issue) for over 2 decades and simply can't imagine anything else bracketing my TV!

But, All Kidneys to one side, I don't see me going much past my current 2.1 setup. The PSAudio preouts go to the Sub and thats that. Good CD player, A universal for DVD's and since the PS is an integrated, I have ONE SHELF left over for a proposed Blue-Ray.... The TV has an Extra HDMI input for it all reserved. The other HDMI is occupied by my OPPO.

And Stu, MANY years ago I hooked up a phase shift 4 channel. This was the original type, which you could run from just a stereo amp. My setup was a bit more elaborate, but that was the idea. I will never forget being in the crowd as I played a Richard Pryor live comedy album.
Dim the lights and you were THERE. Dead silence from the surrounds except for crowd noise. The sweet spot was about 2 feet on a side.

Silver Member
Username: Jazzman71

Phoenix, AZ USA

Post Number: 194
Registered: Dec-07
Mike, I agree with Frank that a CDP is what is most needed. I'm partial to tubed CD players (mine has switchable output sections and I think I've used the SS output once in five months. I run it through a tubed integrated amp as well.) Good ones are big money so check out the SS ones as well. Others here can comment better on matching those sources up with your gear. Try and hear them at least through a similar amp if not your actual unit.

Bronze Member
Username: Mikew

Post Number: 16
Registered: Jul-06

Can you let me know which tubed CDP and tubed integrated are you using ?

Also, do you mind throwing in names of few good tubed cdps ?


Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 7095
Registered: Feb-05
Mike I've heard very good things about the Jolida tubed CD player. And from folks who don't trust the Jolida brand reliability...after buying one he is now a dealer.
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