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Looking for a good ($50-$150) Portable CDP . . .

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I’ve been looking for a good Portable CDP to go with my SR-125’s, and since I use my portal system about 2-3 hours a day on the train quality is really an issue with me. I’m looking to spend $50-$150 on this system, and right now I am really overwhelmed with options. Also, since my primary audio source for home use is my Sound Blaster live, which I now realize sounds horrible, turning this into my primary audio system could be an option. Oh, and this must be able to play CD-R’s, and preferably CD-RW’s, but that doesn’t seem to be that big of an issue on newer players.

My first option is to go with a Panasonic SL-CT480. Highly recommended, and cheap. The problem here is that I am seriously considering getting a total airhead in the near future, and from what I’ve been reading it seems like you really want a line out instead of headphone out to fully take advantage of this, which the CT480 doesn’t have. Is this true? Also, durability might be an issue. I’m fairly rough with my equipment.

Second option, keep what I have and just buy the total airhead at $150. My current portable player is a low end RCA model that’s built like a tank. The sound quality, however, is not that good. I know Grado’s are very easy to power, but the sound coming from my RCA sounds a little “thin,” which seems to be at what amps are good at fixing. Also, if I could hook this up to my SB Live, all the better! This does bring up the issue, however, of an amp would change positioning for 3D audio . . . but that’s something that doesn’t worry me too much.

Third option, unknown. My price range is fairly large, and I know there have to be a lot of players I’m missing. Higher end Panasonics, and there are literally 20 or so Sony models in the price range, and I have little clue at what the differences are between them, not to mention Phillips and some other brands . . . Anyone have any suggestions for me? Also, anyone know how the sound quality is on some of these MP3/CD players?

Thanks in advance,

-Chu, who 6 months ago would have balked at spending more then $20 on headphones . . .
post #2 of 4
I've got the Panasonic 480, and you are correct, there is no line out. Only a headphone out. Sounds pretty good w/ efficient headphones, but I dunno about your Grados. And it has no problem reading my CDRs... haven't tried CDRWs. In any event, I certainly wouldn't choose it for the foundation of a good portable system, simply because of the lack of line & optical out. I just got it as a stop-gap measure until I can put together a really good portable system.
post #3 of 4
Chu, would you consider the ct470?
post #4 of 4
I'm in the same boat. I'm looking @ the panasonic 470 and the 570.
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