I am leaning toward transparency. You read many topics and when it comes to defining what is neutral people quickly become confused, right. Analog sounding, Vinyl-like sound, theater-like experience, neutral... no one really know what we are talking about. I believe transparency is when you move to another song, you hear that the character of the music player is completely erased from the equation. That means it has the skills to disappear from the audio chain. The frequency response should be flat, the music player should not deliver any character or sound presentation other than what is on the record, it should be loaded with quality components and skilled enough to provide a faithful reproduction of the nuances and dynamics.
To kick this, here is some interesting CD/DVD players that caught my attention and seem to be more or less transparent, according to discussions and youtube (we are in the $1k price range when these units were brandnew, now can be obtain at a fraction of their original price) :
Sony DVP-S7000 /7700
If there is no other dedicated thread about this topic you can discuss whatever type of CD/DVD players you want as long as it is vintage and quality. Enjoy!
I have an Adcom GCD-600 (which is a 5-disc carousel changer) that is about 30 years old. The carousel is all plastic, and can be noisy when changing discs, but I’ve kept this unit because it sounds better than most other CD players I’ve owned, including 2 highly regarded vintage Sony units. I’d love to find a single disc version of this player.