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Suitable CD Player recommendations?!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
As you'll all be aware, I have the X-Cans V2 and Senn HD580s now, and... well, one thing that this combination has proven to me, is that my Marantz CDP is on its last legs (right channel is distant compared to the left, with less dynamics)...

I'm in the market for a compatible.. neutral sounding CDP... costing no more (ideally) than £300 ($450)... Ideally a mass market machine, so that I know that if it goes wrong that I can get it repaired easily... but... I'll leave it to you, the experts to point me in the right direction
post #2 of 17

Are you sure you've set your target high enough?


First up, I'm not honestly sure that you're going to get THAT big an improvement on your CD63SE with only GBP350. The 63SE used to retail new at around 300 quid, and had the reputation of being a budget player that was quite capable of mixing it up with the mid-range gear. When I upgraded my old CD63 I had to spend TEN TIMES what I'd paid for it to get what I felt was an worthwhile step-up in sound quality. (I still have my CD63, and it is currently "filling in" in my main hifi while my SFCD-1 gets its transport recalibrated - doing an admirable job too I might say.)

Secondly, easy and difficult to answer at the same time. Lots of choice and therein lies the rub - perhaps too much choice. Arcam, NAD, Marantz and Denon are all names that spring to mind. Arcam probably sits a little more at the "forward-sounding" end of the spectrum while the Marantz's tend to be a bit more "laid-back", with Denon and NAD somewhere in the middle. My advice is to have a good look, or at least "listen", around at your local hifi store. Also, you might want to try Richer Sounds or Sevenoaks, as they often have very good deals on ex-dem or last year's models.

Organise some appointments (mid-week is usually better, if you can), take your CDs, HD580s and Xcans and park yourself for an enjoyable time auditioning. At the end of the day, LET YOUR EARS (and to a certain extent, your wallet) DECIDE. Just make sure you think it sounds "better" and not just "different".

Good luck
post #3 of 17
I love my new Arcam My Sony portable doesn't have quite the same level of detail.....

Make sure you check out http://www.audioreview.com

- pearle
post #4 of 17
I stand behind pearle when he says that Arcam sounds good. I liked both Arcams I auditioned a lot. But, pearle, unless you know something I don't, aren't the Arcams pricier than Duncan's budget? And if you do know something I don't, then please let me know so I can get one too!

Duncan, if you can stretch the budget a bit, I'd suggest the Sony SCD-C333ES which was the only player under US$ 1000 that I preferred to the Arcam 7se and Arcam Diva CD72. If the budget is rigid, a lot of people are recommending that Cambridge D500SE. I had one here, but sent it back unopened when I received the Sony, so didn't get to listen to it. I, like many here, would also recommend the Denon DCM-370. I own one of these. It's a phenomenal player for the money (<US$ 250). And people can knock carousels all day long, but the Denon sounds better than any single-tray priced anywhere near it that I've heard so far. And my Sony was the best-sounding (to my ears) unit I heard under US$ 1000, and it is also a carousel. What I love doing with my carousel players is, for example, throwing five jazz CD's in and hitting random for an automaton-DJ'd jazzfest. Or putting in all the Radiohead CD's and having a Radioheadfest. And so on.

Good luck in your search!
post #5 of 17

I bought the NAD c541. IMHO great sounding CDP in the $400 - $600 price range. My home rig is the NAD and MG Head via Nordost Solarwind ICs. The NAD also plays HDCD. Great, neutral sound especially with classical music and jazz.

When you demo listen to your music. Whatever makes your music sound better, that's the one.

Regards - reynman
post #6 of 17
In that price-range the Marantz CD6000 OSE and Arcam 7SE are generally considered to be the best.
I liked the Marantz slightly better, it's a bit warmer but but also a bit less detailed.
post #7 of 17
I have a Yamaha CDC-675 5 disc changer that I really like. I really like the sound quality, but I haven't compared it to anything more expensive. I bought it because all of the reviews on audioreview.com said it sounded really good at the price. I also prefer 5 disk changers. I think huge 200+ changers suck. They're a pain in the ass to load and they break easier. 5 cd's in a row is good IMO.
post #8 of 17
Hmm, if you like living dangerously, you could consider secondhand cd players... How about a Meridian for £250? IMHO it sounds great, but it does depend on what music you like playing, to a certain extent.
post #9 of 17
Originally posted by wab
In that price-range the Marantz CD6000 OSE and Arcam 7SE are generally considered to be the best.
I liked the Marantz slightly better, it's a bit warmer but but also a bit less detailed.
Yes, true, I agree..... but I reiterate - Duncan already has the CD63SE (check his profile) which the 6000 OSE is the descendant of. Any improvement is going to be minimal for the financial outlay of buying a new cdp.

Originally posted by Deuce_Bigalow
I think huge 200+ changers suck. They're a pain in the ass to load and they break easier.
And who can ever remember what CD no. 137 is???? Most people have enough trouble keeping up with their 10-disc car changers, let alone a 200-disc job!!
post #10 of 17
duncan: There's a new Denon out, the DCD-685, which is rather cheap (german list price is 479 DM incl. 16% vat), but has already got a few very positive reviews: They say it sounds way better than you'd think for that price. Maybe it's worth a look...

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
post #11 of 17
Lini: I can see the DCD-685 on the German Denon
site, but I can find anybody that sells it in the
US. Any advice?
post #12 of 17
I would get a External DAC, I assume the transport on the Marantz is still working, get a Musical Fidelity X-24K. I found one not long ago for £250 new, that should bring your CD player near to the X-RAY/A3 territory. And spend the £50 remaining on a decent digital i/c, like a VDH.
post #13 of 17
raymondlin: That might be worth considering. But what if the old Marantz breaks completely down, when Duncan just spent his money for the "accessories"? He'd have to repair the old unit or spend additional money, then...

Well, it was just a thought...

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

P.S.: Maybe I should post a poll in General, asking whether you all already find my "Greetings from Munich!" boring...

P.P.S.: topher, I'm going to have a look, whether I can dig it up somewhere - maybe it just has a different name in the States.
post #14 of 17
[four hours later ]

topher: I didn't find anything on Denon's japanese and asian sites, but I compared. On the US site the smallest single-cd (no changer) model (of total 2) is the DCD-425, which uses an 1-bit-dac. Whereas our new entry level model (of total 6) is the DCD-485, which operates with a multi-bit-dac. I don't have a real conclusion, because this could mean a lot: mid-price models not desirable for the US; product line not yet refurbished in the US; single-bit-dacs favoured for the US-market (for whichever reason that would be); or any combination of these... So, I think, all you can do is wait and see, whether Denon will introduce the DCD-685 to the US, too. I wouldn't recommend an import version that needs an additional external 220V/110V-converter...


Manfred / lini
post #15 of 17

Check the Richer sounds website www.richersounds.co.uk or stores if there are any near you! If you like the 63se sound then the best bet would be to stick with marantz. Maybe something like the cd6000le or something similar? I know (not from personal experience mind!) that the Arcam 7se has had great reviews as well. Don't forget that as well as the headphone amp it's got to go well with the Marantz amp and speakers that you have!

Do you want a replacement machine or an upgrade
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