Advice for a decent CD player in 1000 euro/ 1500 usd price range...for a beginner in HiFi...

roholidays -- Thu, 03/18/2010 - 05:25

 I am interested in getting a decent CD player (might be a SACD also) for my system: Denon AVR-2808, Klipsch RF-82, Dual 1229 pick-up.
I use for the moment as CD a Samsung DVD with optical out to the Denon. 
I am looking at the following CD players: Denon DCD-1500AE, Astintrew AT3000 Hibrid, NAD C565BEE, Arcam FMJ CD17, Rotel RCD 1072. 
Can anyone give me an advice since I cannot listen to all this to make an oppinion? I am listening mostlly to jazz, country, classic and some '60-'70 bands (CCR, Beatles), Elvis and so...
Thank you ..

Steven Stone -- Thu, 03/18/2010 - 09:07

 I would add the Oppo BD83 SE to the list.
With the money left over you could buy a Squeezebox Touch and be able to stream your entire music collection as well.

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound,, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

CraigMN -- Fri, 04/16/2010 - 12:31

Hi Steven,
Have you had much listening time with the SE version? A lot of comparisons I've seen out there focus on comparing it to universal players. But if I'm focused on audio-only non HDCD playback do you think it stacks up well against those type of cd players? Wondering if $1k spent on a redbook only player might be a better investment?

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roholidays -- Thu, 03/18/2010 - 12:37

You think the Oppo will come close to the quality of the Arcam, Denon, NAD, Rotel in playing CD? I have never heard an Oppo nor saw it in shops near me. Thanks for hte suggestion I will consider it.


rossop -- Tue, 10/05/2010 - 16:13

Not in my opinion.

seals (not verified) -- Fri, 03/19/2010 - 18:24

My suggestion would be to google Allen Wright at Vacuum State Electronics. He's based in Europe now. If u actually talk to him rather than email I'm sure u'll get a lot more out of it. He gave me quite an education in hifi over 25yrs ago when he was based in Australia.

roholidays -- Sat, 03/20/2010 - 05:00

Many thanks for the suggestion. i really need a "guru" in this..:) I have read quite a lot about it , thank God for the Internet but some practical , applicated theories would be best...:)


Robert Harley -- Sat, 03/20/2010 - 18:24

I recommend the Cambridge Audio Azur 840C CD player. It doesn't do SACD, but I don't thnk you'll find better CD sound for the money.

mecolwell -- Thu, 05/26/2011 - 15:57

What are your thoughts on the 840 vs the new Oppo BDP-95? Chris martens thinks the 95 is a fine piece.


rwortman -- Sun, 03/21/2010 - 11:27

I have a Marantz DV6001 universal player.  It plays everything but Blueray and sounds great.   It is discontinued but if you can find one they are dirt cheap and you can spend the rest of the money on a Squeezebox Duet.   These folks seem to have some.

BTW what is a Denon 1229?

roholidays -- Fri, 10/01/2010 - 09:34

Many thanks Robert Harley, I will follow your advice and I will go for the Cambridge Audio out of all this. I have seen a CA 640 at a very low price (about 320$), so I will look for the 840.
rwortman - Sorry for the error, I correct it, it was a Dual 1229. I was looking at Denon's CD capabilities and I got stuck on the name :)


markslay -- Fri, 10/01/2010 - 09:28

I also have a Universal player, which I would highly recommend for the obvious versatility. I can pick up air bear radio and that is enough convincing for me

malvern -- Sat, 10/02/2010 - 15:35

As stated above, also my suggestion would be to search for Allen Wright at Vacuum State Electronics. If you actually talk to him rather than email I'm sure u'll get a lot more out of it - he gave me quite an education in hifi over 25yrs ago when he was based in financial edge, orkney.

rossop -- Tue, 10/05/2010 - 15:27

Can you get a used Meridian G08 in your price range? If so i think it would be way better than the Azur 840C. For a short time I had a Marantz KI Pearl SACD player and the Meridian was alot better than it too. From the ones on your list I would say the Arcam would be best.
If you can, try and listen to players in your system and let your ears be the judge.
As Mr Stone seems to imply streaming from PC would appear to be the future of digital audio.
Good luck.

Amstore -- Thu, 10/21/2010 - 01:50

I am surprised that there is a demand for CD players, with MP players flooding the market and online purchase of your music it does not appear viable. Yet there obviously is still fans of the player.
DVD Replication

roholidays -- Thu, 05/19/2011 - 05:44

 Indeed, after I have look for a CD player, I didn't like the idea of paying 1000 pounds / 1600 $ on a CD player that has 16 bits and 44ooo khz, so I got a DENON iPod dock, that had network connection. I bought a good digital cable and connect it to the Denon AVR-2808 via its digital input. I bought a CISCO 4200 router and I allready had a Western Digital external HDD with 1 Tb capacity. So I moved all the CD collection in WAV format to this external HDD and I am very happy with htis seting. Music come out beautifully from it and if you get 24 bit /96 Khz recording they sound even better. I enhanced on the computer several recordings from WAV 16 bit to WAV 24 bit and it is ok. The size of the external HDD seems bottomless, so I will remain this way.


Paul -- Thu, 08/04/2011 - 20:33

I use the CA 840C for two years now and love it. I have the squeezebox touch and another digital source connected to the 840C via the digital inputs. The 840C upsamples all to 24-384 and does it well. The 840C also is a very good disc spinner, in fact I still find that cd's in the tray still sound better than the same music in redbook quality FLAC or WAV on my local HDD connected to the Touch. The HDD is close, but the disc in tray in my system still sounds a bit better, slightly better resolution. You can buy the CA 840C also on the used market for about $1K US dollars or so.


Paul -- Tue, 08/09/2011 - 21:30

Hi Alec,
To clarify some setup options for the 840C. I have my 840C connected to my 840E preamp via some XLR cables. One of the nice options with the 840C are the XLR's out, which I find are better than standard RCA, as long as your amp or preamp has XLR in. I've compared the two and the XLR connection in my setup wins out each time over RCA.
My Squeezebox Touch is connected via RCA digital to the digital inputs of the 840C, which upsamples everything it is fed to 24-384. I have a couple of other DAC's, the CA Dacmagic and the Little Dot DAC II. Both very good DAC's, but the DAC in the 840C is still much better than either of these units.
I also have a HDD full of music in FLAC and WAV, including hundreds of jazz albums burned from vinyl to the HDD. In addition, I have a bunch of hi-res music in 24-96 format from HDTracks, which sounds fantastic. I am definitely going to grow that collection. Watch your CC though, it's pretty addictive!
The Squeezebox Touch accepts 24-96 and outputs the same via it's digital outputs. Feeding this into the digital inputs of the 840C is a pretty sweet way to get access to your HDD stored music, not to mention access to thousands of Internet based radio stations via the Touch. I am an audiophile, but I find that the internet radio stations are decent as long as they output 256K or better, which many do.
In addition, I have an Apple IPod Touch 4G where I have installed the Squeezebox server app. Using this app, I can control all of music on my iPod Touch, from any location in my home via my wireless network. Since the iPod Touch app operates wirelessly, I don't need line of sight to use it as the Remote control for my Logitech Touch HDD stored music collection.
So the 840C which is a great CD player, is also a fantastic DAC that is pretty useful with today's other digital sources like a Squeezbox Touch. In today's market I would never consider buying a CD player that omits the digital inputs.


roholidays -- Tue, 01/31/2012 - 07:00

Thank you Paul for the information. I am also an audiophile myself, begginer compared with my father or some of his friends..:), God rest his soul..
The idea of getting a good DAC it is getting into my mind more and more often...I was thinking that I should get myslef at least DAC Magic made also by CA. Now you say the one in the 840 is better...this is good info...I was using the DAC incorporated intot he Denon itself. The result is preatty good. I have to see how another external DAC sounds to be able to compare them.
I also use an Android phone that has on it a great application that allows me to control the music that it is played, called Eye-C. The Denon doesn't play FLAC, unfortunally, so I was looking very eagerlly to a DENON network player, that cost about 500 euro (about 600$) and that will play FLAC....I might get that to be my player.
Best wishies to you and to all our audiophilles that are in our comunity.


Paul -- Tue, 01/31/2012 - 13:41

You mentioned being able to play FLAC. The Logitech Squeezebox Touch is geat for that. I have one and feed the digital out from the Touch into my 840C player. The touch has decently quality analog out as well, but it's dac is not in the same caliber as the Dacmagic, or even better yet that in the 840C.
I also have the Squeezebox app for my iPod that I use to control the music collection on the Logitech Touch. The Squeezebox app gives you control over the Squeezebox server software that runs on the Logitech Touch so you can use the mobile device (iPod etc.) to control your music from any room in your home.
BTW, I have done a lot of comparison between the Dacmagic and the 840C,both used in the same system so exact A/B comparison. The dac in the 840C is hands down an upgrade over that in the Dacmagic.


G8GXP -- Thu, 02/02/2012 - 15:21

What about the Marantz SA-8004?  Getting tons of good press, including Paul Seydor's glowing review in TAS211 as well as a TAS 2011 POY.  I actually just ordered one and waiting for its arrival.  And it is $1K USD.  Plays SACD as well and can use as a DAC.

bameighan@sympa... -- Thu, 02/02/2012 - 18:45

Sony SACD player XA5400ES has been out of production for a year but purchased one in August 2011. It was $1.5k USD and purchased for less than $1.0k, the successor to the XA9000 player at $3k USD. RBCD is truly excellent in the XA5400ES and SACD has several positives and no faults for a player that has been compared to $5k USD players. There are several functional features worthy of exploring ie: digital input, HDMI,etc

suheil atallah -- Sat, 02/04/2012 - 20:34

I will go too for a cambridge audio 841C this is the best cd player in this price range and if you can try to get a meridian 800 cd/dvd player used it will be higher in price ( you can get o<ne easily for less than 2,600.00). Meridian is by far better than anything else

Zach -- Wed, 02/08/2012 - 13:57

 You might want/ to audition the Naim CD5i, an extremely musical player. 

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