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Top 3 cd players in the world. - Page 3

post #31 of 43
I spent the better part of a year auditioning players in my system,at meets,dealers and shows. I still have three borrowed players that have to be returned. There are a lot of great players out here and my earlier theories about the gap between the best and worst being very small were proven at least partially false. I'm willing to admit that I learned a lot about the state of high-end digital and that's saying a lot about an analog freak like myself.

Anyway,My top three:


Meridian G08 - This player reminds me of clean water,it's clear,liquid and satisfying. This is the most analog sounding player I have yet heard. There is detail,dynamics and smoothness in great measures and an overall resolution that I have not heard in much more expensive players. This player truly sounds like a well executed analog rig. I bought the unit I borrowed.

Accuphase DP-85 - I came very close to buying this player until the G08 showed up. My decision to go with the G08 had more to do with my disgust with the way SACD is being marketed than any shortcomings of the DP-85. It had great redbook playback and absolutely stunning SACD playback. It lacked some of the analog midrange qualities of the G08 but still was hard to return at the end of my audition.


Teac Esoteric DV-50 - this is a tough one. I am really not enjoying the latest "universal players" but the DV-50 is the best I've auditioned so far. It sounds good with redbook,very good with SACD playback and absolutely amazing on DVD-A playback. The redbook playback was a bit of a letdown and the SACD playback is a little better than some Sonys I've heard but the DV-50 is so far superior to the latest Marantz,Denon,Linn,Bel Canto and McCormack players I've auditioned ,that it deserves at least a mention. If Teac could work on making this player sound less "digital" it would be even better. I did'nt keep this and instead went with a Musichall Maverick which offers equal SACD and superior redbook playback to my ears. Right now this is the universal player to beat.

I hate that I can only mention three because there are so many players I've heard that deserve some consideration. Standout players that I really like are the

Wadia 302- excellent in so many ways and a big departure from the Wadia sound. Very nice build,great midrange and stunning treble detail.

Musichall Maverick -I bought this player after an audition and have enjoyed it immensely since. It plays back SACD nearly as good as I've heard it and does a very good job with redbook playback as well. Upsampling does'nt hurt and this player has downright killer dynamics and bass definition. QC has been an isuue and the "quirkiness" of this player keep me offering a budget component alert.

Cambridge Audio Azur 640C - To my ears this player sounds almost exactly like the Arcam players I like so much. Definition is very good and bass is great. This is the least expensive player I've heard that does really good redbook playback. next to the Philips 963SA,I think this is THE budget source component,especially if SACD playback is not required.


Sorry,I mentioned six but I think these players are great for a variety of reasons and all should be considered amongst the "best"
post #32 of 43
According to my own prejudice and preference:

Naim CDS3
Krell kps25s

...and Naim CDX

Nothing like 'em on earth.
post #33 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan
The LHH2000, not quite sure of its application, i'm guessing its a studio based player (although its not rack mounted) - anyway... going by its following, and the lengths that people will go to own one... its gotta be good....

The last one that I've seen on an online auction went for the equivilant of €11,000 (Yes, eleven thousand!! for an old school player)
This one? -- http://page8.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/h18044220
post #34 of 43
I will now throw mine in the ring.......the Modwright Platinum Sony DVP-NS999ES. I recently bought the thing to improve my redbook lot over my Sony XA777ES-to-Scottt Nixon Tubedac+ redbook setup, and to possibly improve upon my SACD quality out of the XA777ES. Well, the SACD quality has been improved, but the tubed output section that drives both the 2 channel SACD and redbook (separate power supply, cryo-d silver umbilical, balck gates, etc.) is absolutely breathtaking, especially on redbook. As I stated over in Audio Circle, the thing is making good redbook sound like good SACD, at least. The micro-detail, imaging, palapability (air, soundstage 3-d ) and overall analog ease that this player now puts out is MUCH better than anything I've heard, although I haven't heard the G08 or the DV-50. Those who have have commented that the Modwright holds its own, and of course Robert Levi's recent review of the Modwright is way over the top. I now agree with him...but I'm biased.

So, not to knock any of these incredible players you've listed...just to add one more. Oh, and let it break-in a good 250 hrs before listening....

Ted_B
post #35 of 43
It would be interesting to compare

Combak Reimyo CDP-777

Audionote CDT2 transport/DAC5 signature

Theta Gen VIII+suitable transport
post #36 of 43

time to plug my new source

arcams DCS players (the 92 and cd23) were unbelievable for the price but sadly discontinued.

The electrocompaniet's SE upgrade to the EMC1UP made it something truely special (yes i had both and yes the SE was that much better)

I sold it on a leap of faith (thank ServinginEcuador) and will recieve this weekend an exemplar modified denon 2900 (scoff!)

I was on the phone with john tucker (asking him when it'll arrive) and he was extremely excited because he had just gotten off the phone with a reviewer who, in many ways, prefered the denon john had modified to his reference player (a reimyo cdp-777)

According to john, many of his customers replaced meitners and esoterics with his player.

Needless to say, i'm excited and bet it'll be one of the best.
post #37 of 43
I've heard the Wadia 860, 530, 861, Meridian, Linn CD 12, and various Mark Levinsons.

The Wadia 860 was the only player that was convincing as real. Imaging is spot on but not unrealistic, strings and piano with perfect overtones and not at all strident. Female and male vocals ARE THERE in space in front you...perhaps 8th row center.

Linn had PRAT but not presence.

ML's , and Meridian not sure at all what the fuss is about...

Most digital sounds like garbage except for rendering synthesized bass. It just never can get anything over 8K correct- Wadia excepted.

DCS Elgar...was god awful... I would pay to NOT be in a room listening to it. HASH HASH HASH.

Oddly the Imod 5.5 which I did not like in the beginning- came into its own after burn in ..and sounds good with the right LOD, and IMHO gets the upper mids and lower midbass more correct than a lot of $4k+ players..

The Linn IMHO loses to Macbook Pro $1100- $3400-->Itunes airtunes free--->Airport express $79 refurb- $99 new--wireworld supernova6 $120---> Apogee Mini Dac

I'm not sure why the apogee mini dac sounds so much better once it goes through airtunes... could there be reclocking going on with that Airtunes codec? It sounds dreadful running direct coaxial though not quite as bad direct optical.

Personally..I would stick with the Apogee Mini DAc (which apogee says is second in sound only to their best converter and IMHO they are correct... I would only pay money for a Wadia 860 or 860X over the above combo. Anything else...really is not worth the cost. But to hear and appreciate these differences ....you need a large format system capable of producing the lowest octaves with integrated mid bass (Sub sats need not apply). You could however appreciate the midrange and some lo w bass if sent to ProAC response 1SC on target stands filled with 100lbs of lead shot and fed by a Audio research VT100MK2 or VSI 115. (Just not hard rock....)

YMMV
post #38 of 43
How long did you own all those players?
post #39 of 43
Delicious 5-year-old bumps.
post #40 of 43
no one mentioned th spch-100x ps1 :P
post #41 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duggeh View Post
Delicious 5-year-old bumps.
It seems to be a trend lately, duggeh. Ironically, often on the same page of a forum where 3 people have asked the same question in separate posts.


post #42 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duggeh View Post
Delicious 5-year-old bumps.
It may be five years old, but I'd still agree with this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuberoller View Post
Cambridge Audio Azur 640C - To my ears this player sounds almost exactly like the Arcam players I like so much. Definition is very good and bass is great. This is the least expensive player I've heard that does really good redbook playback. next to the Philips 963SA,I think this is THE budget source component,especially if SACD playback is not required.
The 640c is a great budget player. It's got a few flaws, mainly that it can sound artificially detailed, but it makes a great introduction to what a CD can sound like if you're coming from a mini-system. It can still be bought and at £200 is worth it if you're just starting out on separates and don't have a huge budget. The newer 550c and 650c may be better, I've not heard them, but they are more expensive. The 640c doesn't feel too much like a budget component, with a nice remote and decent casework.

The two CDPs I'd add to that are:

Quad 99 CDP-2 - I love this player and whenever I'm auditioning other gear this is the one I want plugged. It just sounds smooth, natural and predictable, others may get more detail out or have a bit more punch, but this player does nothing wrong. It comes with digital inputs so you can use it as a DAC, and variable outputs so it's like a digital pre-amp. It's fixed outs are better, but that's just nit-picking. At £1k it's not too expensive and it's performance is much better than some more expensive players I've heard.

Meridian 808.2 - This one is one that I'd like to hear. I've always liked Meridian gear and this is the upto date version of the 808 reference player that I heard a few years back. I'd also love to be given a dCS Scarlatti, but that's not going to happen.
post #43 of 43
I will add my 2 cents:

Cambridge 840C
&
Kavent CD-831- I personally own this one. It is a copy of the Vincent CD-S6 Hybrid. I love the sound of this hybrid tube cd player. And best of all it has a Mosfet headphone amplifier.
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