It's been a long time since I subscribed to Stereophile and read every article every month with great interest. But thanks to the wisdom gained there I settled on a system that I've continued to use for the past 30 years. My speakers are Magnepan MMGs and they are driven by the sort of legendary Hafler XL-280. I have skipped the pre-amp entirely and gone with an entry level CD player that has an output level control. Set to the minimum (-20dB) it is just about right for home listening. Cables are Monster.
Anyway, I'm thinking about replacing the CD player as it is getting sort of old and rickety. But I will probably stick to my philosophy of not spending too much on the source end. If I'm going to look at low end, entry level CD players, what specs should I pay attention to (if any) and what are the most important priorities?