Things are a little tighter this school year than last, as I've moved out of the dorms and into my first apartment. This Fall is slightly more restrictive for my folks, too, with higher property taxes and a less convenient assessment schedule this year.
So, for these reasons, I have decided to postpone the purchase of a turntable, probably until next Summer or Fall.
Instead, I told my parents that they could get me an Oppo DV-970HD for my birthday.
I made the decision for several reasons:
1.) After I bought an Audio Alchemy DDE v1.2 for use with my music server, I connected my NAD C525BEE to the DAC, and have come to the conclusion that I prefer the (slightly more detailed and rhythmic) presentation of the AA. Hence, I've been using the CD player purely as a transport for some time now. Any other well-designed disc spinner could take its place.
2.) A DVD player would be a very nice thing to have (I don't have one currently). I can check out movies from the media center in the Undergraduate Library for free (!). Also, if I ever have the opportunity to invite a lady friend over, "Would you like to come back to my place and watch a movie?" is much more universally appealing than "Would you like to come back to my place and listen to some well-recorded CDs?"
3.) I'm dying to hear the hi-res digital formats, and the Oppo handles them, reportedly quite well. I find stereo SACD particularly appealing.
4.) Academic curiosity compels me to find out if entry level CD players (like my NAD) can be bested by a half-price giant killer.
5.) Oppo have sweetened the pot by selling refurbished DV-970HDs for $120. That's not a big drop from $150, but enough to close the deal. I'm going to see if I can delete the HDMI cable and freebie analog ICs for an additional discount.
I'll keep you posted! Initial impressions and a comparison review are forthcoming.