So, I'm considering a new CDP for my set up. I still use CDs for much of my listening and would like to get a good player that should give me many years of enjoyment. I've been making do with a Cambridge 640C V2 for a while now as I upgraded everything around it but now it is time for it to be replaced. I'm thinking £500-1000 with a little headroom if a CDP really catches my ear. Sound is a key concern but I also want a player that I enjoy using with a nice solid feel and one that will last me for years to come. These are the front runners at the moment (feel free to add more):
Yamaha: CD-S1000 - £800; CD-S2000 - £1150
Gorgeous looking. Reviews I’ve read say it has a silent transport. Forums I’ve read commented that early models of the S2000 suffered from bad transport noise. I’m hoping this was with early models and it’s now fixed. Does anyone know the difference between the two models? Is it just the balanced outputs?
Cambridge Audio: Azur 840C - £800
I know this player fairly well. While it is very good it isn’t top of my list, but there are some lower price b-stock ones on sale which could swing it. Must be due for a replacement soon.
Quad: 99CD-P2 - £1100; Elite CDP – soon to go on sale
This is my default choice unless something else tempts me or my girlfriend finds out how pricey it is. I know this one very well after having one in my system for about 6 months. The front buttons are it’s weakest aspect and feel spongy in use. I might also consider the 99CD-S.
Creek: Destiny - £800
Don’t know much about this one, but seems to fit the bill and I used to like Creek products. Big discount on RRP at the moment.
Roksan Kandy K2 - £900
Highly regarded. I’m looking for a local dealer in London
Arcam CD192 - £500 (discontinued some stock still around)
Well reviewed at £900 and Arcam used to make good, if very mellow, CDPs.
Linn: Majik CD - ~£1200 (discontinued some stock still around)
Brilliant sounding if the price drops a little further before they’re all gone this could be a possibility.
I'm looking for dealers near where I'm staying (London) to audition at least some of these. If any of the dealers carry Cyrus or Naim players I’ll give them a whirl, but in the past I’ve not really enjoyed their gear. I'm not in a huge rush to buy but will try and pick it up before the end of September.
Any CDP must have digital out (most Naim players don’t) as it will run to my Linn DS-I. The analogue output will be fed to a Sugden Headmaster headphone amp. It will be used to play all kinds of music from badly recorded hardcore punk through to brilliantly recorded classical. HDCD compatibility would be very welcome for playing the Greatful Dead remasters.
If anyone who has experience of these can comment that would be very much appreciated. I'm looking for comments on the sound but also on usability and living with the CD player. The Cyrus CDPs I’ve used really fall down on usability - snatching discs; not returning discs; occasional hard power off to make it eject... and that was the one on demo in a shop! - to the point where I didn’t care how good they sounded. I'm interested details like: transport noise when playing; durability of transport; remote control line of sight; if it takes a long time to load a CD...
Lastly, I'd prefer a CDP that doesn't use a grid for showing how many tracks there are on the CD. The Cambridge 640C has a 16 track grid but I've got a lot of CDs with more than 16 tracks. It's a minor niggle but ideally avoided.
Thanks for reading.