Best CD Player (Transport) for $500?
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Duncan

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Hi All,

I know that my aging Marantz is not the best player on the block, with its high jitter rate, old Philips load mechanism etc etc. And the longer that time goes by the more I realise that its probably time for an upgrade...

To which end, I can go up to around about $500 but with some very strange requirements...

This player can sound totally abismal for all I care through its line outs, because I won't be using them... instead going via my Cambridge Audio DAC...

I do NOT want an SPDIF digital output, i'd prefer a BNC digital output, if not co-axial will suffice.

I would like as little jitter as possible

and... (I don't even know if this is possible, but more of a gadget than a neccesity) a variable digital volume control (to the DAC)

I know its been mentioned before that I could mod my CD63SE, but its too old, and i'm too unknowledgable with electronics to attempt that... so new player recommendations only please


...finally, in an ideal world I'd like to keep it two box, because I like the sound that I get from my DAC, but if there is an unbelievably good sounding one box solution out on the market at the moment... for no more than $500... I might be tempted

Thanks
 
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Duncan

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Wow! 24 hours, and no-ones replied


Is it because I want too much for not enough money? I guess I could either spend more cash, or compromise on some of the things I want...

Please, someone must have, or know of a CD player thats got some of the features i'm after?!

Thanks
 
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rickfri

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The only player I know of in that price range that has a bnc for digital out is the Cambridge Audio D500 SE. It also has advanced anti jitter circuitry (or so they say in the ads). It goes for between $375 and $425 depending on where you look. You might be able to get a demo unit cheaper.
Another good player in that price range is the Music Hall mmf cd 25 but it dosen't have any of the bells and whistles you want. It does have a very good Philips transport. It is also an HDCD player, if that is something that you want. It lists for $600, but I have seen it advertised for around $525 new.
I use both of these players (one with a headphone system and one with a speaker system, and switch them every now and then) and they both sound great, with and without outboard DAC's.
As for a digital volume control, haven't seen one of those, but haven't really been looking, sorry.
Hope this helps a little.
 
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Old Pa

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Ahh! 4000 Njoe Tjoeb? Doesn't fit your spec closely, but might still be interesting to you. upscaleaudio.com
 
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wasifazim

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Quote:

Originally posted by Duncan

I do NOT want an SPDIF digital output, i'd prefer a BNC digital output, if not co-axial will suffice.


Actually, BNC and co-axial connectors are usually used to output S/PDIF digital audio. Perhaps you mean that you don't want a TOSLINK connector...

No dedicated transports come to mind in your sub-$500 price range (new ones, at least). You'd be better off getting the D500SE (BNC) ,Arcam CD62T (RCA) or Marantz CD6000 OSE LE (RCA, but the only one available w/ a variable digital output).

- Wasif.
 
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qwerty870

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There aren't many standalone transports under $500.

You could get an old California Audio Labs Delta transport on audiogon for about $350. It has SPDIF on coax and AES/EBU on XLR. Some of them have AT&T optical.

Or you could get an inexpensive pioneer dvd player and have Dan wright modify it. Check out his site at www.modwright.com

I have a Delta and I like it very much.

By the way, wasifazim is correct. BNC is just the type of connector. It still outputs a SPDIF output, which is probably what you need unless you want AES/EBU or AT&T optical. I avoid Toslink at all costs because I have had bad experience with it sound quality wise.

A high quality variable digital output at $500? Yeah right. You might as well forget about that. The Marantz player mentioned above as well as the Njoe Toeb (which is a modified Marantz CD player) have variable ANALOG outputs NOT digital.

If you must buy something new, why dont you sell the DAC and get a good standalone CD player. Since you like your Cambridge Audio DAC you might try a Cambridge Audio D500SE which is an excellent one box player and can be found for under $400 new. It has a BNC digital out too should you for some reason decide to keep the DAC.
 
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Kubernetes

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If you don't mind buying used, go to Audiogon and pick up a nice little PS Audio Lambda or Meridian 500. Also in the running are the CAL Delta or Theta Data. Awesome transports all.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by Old Pa
Ahh! 4000 Njoe Tjoeb? Doesn't fit your spec closely, but might still be interesting to you. upscaleaudio.com


An interesting looking & spec CD player. What does it sound like?
 
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Duncan

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Thanks for the replies guys...

I'll chew over them (and any others that may follow) and then let you know my decision, as and when it is made...

Thanks for your time... and, keep the conversation rolling
 
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