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mdrc
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CD Dilemma

I want a new CD player to match with my Simply 8 Unison Research amp and Living Voice speakers. Ideally something that gives me excellent instrument transparency when playing acoustic, contemporary and classical music, but with an intimate, rounded, warm sound.....if that makes sense!! Some dealers have told me that because amp technology has progressed so far in the 8 years since I bought the Simply 8, I really need to think about not only a new CD player, but also a new amp/preamp to get what I want. Any views please on either the CD player, or the combo, if it's felt that the dealers are right??

ethanwiner
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Re: CD Dilemma


Quote:
Ideally something that gives me excellent instrument transparency ... intimate, rounded, warm sound.


Here's what you really want: A CD player (and other gear) that is as accurate as possible. It's that simple. When everything has a flat response, no ringing or rattles, low distortion, and low noise, all the rest follows.

--Ethan

dcstep
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Re: CD Dilemma

If you amp is driving your speakers fine, then you don't need to replace them. Yes, you can upgrade, but that's always been true. You can always spend more, much more.

What's your CDP budget? There's a vast difference between a $200 CDP and a $15,000 CDP, with several steps in between.

Dave

mdrc
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Re: CD Dilemma

Budget could be up to $10,000 or thereabouts for the right player

ncdrawl
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Re: CD Dilemma

transparent and "warm rounded" are contradictory.

at any rate, I think I know what you are after, maybe?? Sounds like you have similar tastes to mine. I have similar trouble describing my tastes to dealers. I love every bit of detail that can be extracted, but with a bit of "glue" to hold it all together. (one reason I use analogue tape a lot in my studio)

If it were me(and I am a recording engineer, long time user of one of the brands below, so I can personally vouch for the quality!), I would go with the Nagra CDP

OR the Accuphase DP-500. I am very fond of their gear. When my RAM Oppo dies, Nagra or Accuphase it is, for me. They have a very nice, inviting sound, and built like a tank!

Mr. Winer is right..from a technical standpoint it is best to have gear that is flat throughout the audible spectrum(and beyond).

Buddha
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Re: CD Dilemma


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Budget could be up to $10,000 or thereabouts for the right player

Then I would be remiss if I didn't add the EMM Labs products.

Ncdrawl might disagree, but the Esoteric line, I think, is wonderful.

Also, the Ayre line might be right up your alley and you'd have cash left over!

Lastly, for the tone you describe, listen to the higher end Marantz players, too!

Cheers.

ncdrawl
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Re: CD Dilemma

Hey, I Dont like them, but I am probably one of very few.
I do have a FIRST(!) generation emm ad/da that I quite enjoy, but the later stuff doesn't do it for me. Too much of a clinical sound for these ears.

One thing the OP may consider too is a player with a vacuum tube output stage like the Cary 303 or BAT players.


Quote:

Quote:
Budget could be up to $10,000 or thereabouts for the right player

Then I would be remiss if I didn't add the EMM Labs products.

Ncdrawl might disagree, but the Esoteric line, I think, is wonderful.

Also, the Ayre line might be right up your alley and you'd have cash left over!

Lastly, for the tone you describe, listen to the higher end Marantz players, too!

Cheers.

linden518
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Re: CD Dilemma

+1 here for the Nagra CDP (dammit, nc, I hate to agree with you again! ). I just recently heard one and I have to say, it was the best music from CDP that I'd heard. I love tubed gear of all kinds, but I preferred the Nagra to the more expensive Zanden separates I heard. If you go with Nagra CDC instead of CDP, you can go without preamp, as you can connect it directly to the power amp (it has its own volume control)... that might be a good option if you want your system to be minimalistic, with not so many cables to trip over. Plus, I heard the CDC has a fantastic headphone out if you're into musical solipcism like many of us are.

A great budget option might be Opera Consonance CD120 Linear, which sells for around $1000, I think. Takes the opposite approach from Nagra, as it doesn't over/upsample. But the sound is really musically bold and pacey. I'd rather own the CD120 Linear over a lot of players selling for $5K and up.

One minus for both players is that they don't have digital inputs; kind of limits your options if you wanted your player to double as an outboard DAC for a PC music server.

ncdrawl
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Re: CD Dilemma


Quote:
+1 here for the Nagra CDP (dammit, nc, I hate to agree with you again! )

Its cool man, I aint all bad. You arent either, I know... I am just opinionated. The important thing is not whether we disagree or even have harsh words from time to time, but that we let past issues go, to avoid holding grudges.

I learned this the hard way in the army...the same guys who id be fistfighting with in the pit one day would be the guys covering my 6 the next.

please feel free to gig the hell out of me if you don't agree with something I say or represent. I wont take it personally

any guy that likes Nagra can't be all bad anyhow.

dcstep
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Re: CD Dilemma


Quote:
Budget could be up to $10,000 or thereabouts for the right player

Playback Designs MPS-5 is still available for 10-grand. You can see my review here and others at www.audioasylum.com and www.audiogon.com It's also reviewed in Positive Feedback.

Dave

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