Out of all the CD players that I have owned, the 840c is the keeper!
It has almost two weeks of burn-in, and using the new Grover SC [AWESOME interconnects by the way!], or the Signal Cable Silver interconnects, Signal Cable Digital Reference Power Cord, HeadAmp GS-1 amp, and Sennheiser HD650's with Equinox the sound is simply breathtaking!
The sheer smoothness, resolution, detail, and dynamics are awesome. Bass is outstanding, and highs are very extended and detailed. It does not exhibit any brightness, harshness, forwardness, glare, or stridency at all in my system. It is very involving, and I can listen to it for hours without growing tired of it or fatigued by its sound.
It is a joy to listen to my CD's and "rediscover" them.
Overall, this is the best CD player I have tried in my system.
It has improved dramatically with burn-in, unbelievably so.
Do not judge this player until it has at least 200 hours of burn-in on it.
As a testament of its greatness, I have sold both the Rega Saturn and the Marantz SA8001.
It sounds more alive and open than the Saturn, and is every bit as detailed, sweet, and dynamic, IMHO. The Saturn is warmer and a tad more laid back. Vocals sound clearer on the 840c.
The Marantz sounds edgier, more forward, and looser in the bass than the 840c. The 840c is more organic, smoother, and more involving than the Marantz.
I still have not tried it balanced. If it sounds any better balanced, I cannot imagine it!
Overall I am more than pleased with the 840c!
Others out there, with other system components and tastes, may disagree, however.