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Best CD player under $3000.00 new? - Page 4

post #46 of 52
might have to give DAC1 a shot
post #47 of 52
admittedly i've only heard a few high-end CD players but the G08 to my ears is one of the best that i have listened to. and i think it is far better than any of the external DACs in the $1000 range.

what was your favorite setup with the G08 in terms of ICs, power cords, and footings. i'm looking into some vibration/isolating products to put under my G08, but have not decided on anything. i was looking at the cardas myrtle blocks. they are very reasonably priced, so no real downside.
post #48 of 52
all this talk about diminished return with digital is very disturbing..maybe we just need to step up to the $10k plus club
post #49 of 52
I’m not advocating 10k digital front ends, actually just the opposite. I’m way tired of over priced digital that doesn't deliver. I’m just happy to have found wonderful sounding and afford products. The Benchmark DAC1 and Cambridge 840 offer real and appropriate value.
The reviewers have consistently compared these two products to digital costing 3 to5 time their reflective retails. I was skeptical too, now I’m surprised, very content and have money left in the bank. Now I might be ready to afford a pair the HD-800s if they arrive this winter!
post #50 of 52

my path to a kW SACD, and I was lucky

Just want to share what I did recently.

Over the past 6 months I was bugged by the idea to upgrade my source. I went from a Musical Fidelity A3.5 to a heavily modified Marantz SA14 CD/SACD player. With my advances in headphone and headphone amp experience I started to believe the source is becoming a bottle neck.

Initially I wanted to jump on the Marantz SA7S1 bandwagon. In Hong Kong, it is the latest and hottest favorite for anything player below US$6,500 (I am doing simple conversion from local strike prices, not MSRP). I almost wanted one but this player is in such demand that no shop wants to set up a demo for auditioning - so it is a raw deal - you pay and get one, or you don't. I feel a bit uncomfortable spending this amount of money without first listening to it.

Then a friend recommend the Ayre C5xe which really tempted me. But a new machine is still not cheap. Still I was in a state of indetermination wondering over SA7S1, C5xe, DV60, and kW SACD and didn't know what to choose.

The kW SACD is a limited production flag ship player from Musical Fidelity and when it was launched 2 years ago it was listed at around US$8,000 and definitely out of touch for me. Even considering retailer discount it will still cost around US$5,500 - 6,000.

But luck strikes this time when a local audiogoner put up a new kW SACD for sale - for only US$3,500! He allows me to listen to it first to make sure the player works and I liked the sound. And to be honest, this is the best US$3,000 (US$3,200 to be exact after some bargaining) I have spent this year.

the kW SACD put me to a total different level of sonic satisfaction. Its sound is musical, highly resolving, elegant, balanced and more importantly, very organic and engaging. Now the bottle neck is gone and my RPX-100 is able to deliver more of everything. My WA6 delivers better music, and all my headphones sound better. What an experience !

The only downsides, if I am picky enough to point out, are :-
a. no choice to player redbook or SACD player - pop in a hybrid SACD and it will always play the SACD layer.

b. no balanced output ! this keeps me hestitated for a long time. But on the other hand, it provides both solid state and tubed single end output, both active at the same time.

c. The CD tray can be better for a machine of this class

d. The response to remote command can be a bit faster.

But all these do not affect how it sounds, and this is the most important thing afterall.

So, my suggestion - if you find a kW SACD Player for less than US$3,000, take a serious look - for me, it was a very satisfying experience.

F. Lo
post #51 of 52
Originally Posted by NMyTree View Post
Have you heard the PimaLuna ProLogue Eight CDP?
I have the ProLogue 8 (PL8) hooked up to a Cary SLI-80 Signature F1 (pure triode) as my headphone amp and have compared it to an Audio Research Reference CD7. Headphones are either Grado HP2, JVC DX1000, or Sony SA5000. The PL8 is an extremely smooth sounding CD player without a hint of graininess, etch, or digital nastiness. There is a lot of bloom to the sound and warmth, something that is unusual for a CD player. Compared to the CD7 which is over 3x the price, the PL8 lacks a little in rendering instruments and vocals with body, and in reproducing hall ambience and decay. But hey, this is comparing apples to oranges, price wise, and if the absolute sound may be trusted, the CD7 is one of the worlds best CD players and it should trounce the PL8. With that being said, the PL8 is an extremely enjoyable player.
post #52 of 52
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