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Wanting to upgrade my CD player. Any advice?


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Hello,

I have an old Kenwood DP-2080 CD player. It works fine but I'd like something better. I've long since been looking at players like the Rotel CD-14 as a potential replacement. I need to keep expenditure under $1,000AUD.

The rest of my setup consists of a Luxman M02 power amp and a Luxman C02 pre-amp. I have Time Window 1A speakers. The CD player is an important component of my system that I'll always use.

Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Thanks!

 

 

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If you are after a modern (meaning brand new) player that is a one box solution, this actually might be a good choice. MARANTZ CD6006    CS4398-CZZ    CJDKT690 (Sanyo SF-P101N) The Cirrus Lo

I may have a Denon A11 Universal player (PCM 1738 chipset) for sale. Low hours, does DVD-A and SACD as well as cd. It has been sitting as a back up and was only given a check over this week.  Built li

I’m a +1 on an external DAC and adding a quality transport later on. It gives you future options when DAC technology inevitably moves on, as well as access to streaming should you want to. Good l

29 minutes ago, harfdef said:

Add the Ares dac for sale in the classifieds then later on add good CD transport or if you only want 1 box an early Marantz like the 85

Has the Ares DAC sold? I might be looking in the wrong spot but I can only see a sold one.

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We all have our like and dislikes as far are brands and technical aspects of gear. Mine are shaped by what I have learned by fixing them for the last few years.

Whereas Rotel is a good brand and I had RCD-991 for many years and it was full of highest quality components, it somewhat failed to deliver the excitement. Only in the week I put it up for sale I managed to get hold of the Service Manual and found that its balanced output was not truly balanced but simply a single ended one with cold leg achieved by inverting a signal with an op-amp.

A triumph of marketing over engineering.

As far as your choice of CD-14 I cannot comment, because I simply do not know what's inside for it is not featured in any of the CD player databases. It obviously is new and hasn't made to any workshop that cared to submit the results. Rotel does not say what mechanism it is using because there isn't mech there to be bragging about.

My preference is therefore for older designs, for currently there aren't any mechanisms made for CD players that are any good, and good CD player starts with good mechanism.

I looked up some Luxmans to see if they made any nice players with good mechs and they did but many moons ago and they are hard to come by.

So if you are after a brand new one, any good ones cost thousands for they have mechanism loaders made almost by hand (like Esoterics) and there isn't anything that comes to mind that is affordable and decent.

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@rockeater Thank you for your detailed response Roman. I'm very patient, so if I were to wait and be on the lookout for something older and second-hand, would you be able to make some recommendations?

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2 minutes ago, Irek said:

you can get a Marantz 6006 under $1k, especially that new model is coming soon. 

Thanks Irek. I see a lot of recommendations for Marantz cd players, especially that model.

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I knew the RCD12 and RCD 1570 pretty well. I wouldn't own either and guessing the CD 14 isn't a giant advancement.

 

Have heard a few Krell players and they always impress. There is this at the moment that does a bit extra.

Might be worth considering if it breaks, if it can be repaired and how much though....

 

 

Primare CD players sell around your budget and smashed the Rotels in my opinion

 

 

As always best to go listen for yourself when dictator Dan allows...

Edited by Bunno77
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45 minutes ago, Irek said:

you can get a Marantz 6006 under $1k, especially that new model is coming soon. 

If you are after a modern (meaning brand new) player that is a one box solution, this actually might be a good choice.

MARANTZ CD6006    CS4398-CZZ    CJDKT690 (Sanyo SF-P101N)

The Cirrus Logic DAC is used by many top end manufacturers (and none of the budget ones) which is a good indicator not only of its price but also its sonic quality.

My favourite manufacturer, Electrocompaniet uses it in 4 of its players and DACs so it must be good for they are anal in their choice of important components.

The Sanyo SF-101P mech is still readily available, and although not a masterpiece of engineering, it is a proper CD player mechanism that costs $30+ in its original form. Most players these days that claim to have something extraordinary under their hood (like CD-PRO2) have a $5 DVD mech encased in metal or carbon fibre box to look good and to disguise what they really are and most prople fall for that.

 

The player mentioned by Bunno77 above is also very good.

SOLD: FS: Primare CD32 CD Player

This also should be a good player for it has Burr-Brown PCM-1704 ladder DAC, the last of the really good expensive DAC chips and the same Sanyo mechanism as Marantz.

Look out for one. Its weakness is that it is... sold :-)

 

As far as my stock I only currently have Roksan Caspian and Sony CDP-338ESD that could be considered - both relatively ancient.

Cheers

Roman

 

 

Edited by rockeater
minor spelling
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I may have a Denon A11 Universal player (PCM 1738 chipset) for sale. Low hours, does DVD-A and SACD as well as cd. It has been sitting as a back up and was only given a check over this week.  Built like a tank, I have three Krell cd players and the Denon is a heavy weight (13 kgs) with very good build quality.

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I’m a +1 on an external DAC and adding a quality transport later on. It gives you future options when DAC technology inevitably moves on, as well as access to streaming should you want to.

Good luck!

Mick.

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12 minutes ago, DRC said:

I have three Krell cd players and the Denon is a heavy weight

What model of Krell and Denon do you have?

The best CD player I have ever seen in my workshop was a Krell KPS-28c so I am keen to know.

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7 hours ago, Tao said:

Hello,

I have an old Kenwood DP-2080 CD player. It works fine but I'd like something better. I've long since been looking at players like the Rotel CD-14 as a potential replacement. I need to keep expenditure under $1,000AUD.

The rest of my setup consists of a Luxman M02 power amp and a Luxman C02 pre-amp. I have Time Window 1A speakers. The CD player is an important component of my system that I'll always use.

Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Thanks!

 

 

https://hifidisposals.com.au/collections/cd-players/products/creek-evo-50-cd-black
https://hifidisposals.com.au/collections/cd-players/products/marantz-cd-6006

Sorry, one player is over budget but it looks nice!

 

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1 hour ago, rockeater said:

What model of Krell and Denon do you have?

The best CD player I have ever seen in my workshop was a Krell KPS-28c so I am keen to know.

I have a 28c, 505 and a Cipher.

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@Tao, i suggested the Marantz because i bought the 5005 for a friend, compared in my system to my Creek CD $2.5k+ and my Musical Fidelity X-Ray3 $2k +, at $499 for the 5005, it did not disgrace itself in sound quality. the link from @DET for the Marantz at $699 would be great value, i also have a Mazantz CD52 MkII SE in my vintage system, sounds great in my main system as well

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It may also help to know what sound signature you tend towards?  Personally, I prefer an “analogue” smooth sound over a detailed “digital” sound.  Some players can seems to manage both, but not often!

As a result I like the Burr-Brown pcm-1704 signature, and I love my Denon Dcd-3000 player.  They can be found used for good prices well below your budget, and have a really good headphone amp, as well as a really useful “digital in” input, so I use an old iPhone via a USB>spdif converter to the CD player and use its DAC.  Makes for a great cheap streamer!

good luck.  Mat

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If you're willing to try something older, a Cyrus CD7 with the Qdac upgrade is a great player. It has probably the best transport Cyrus ever used, Burr Brown chipset, and has digital out if you decide to use a different DAC down the line. When the optional PSXr power supply is added, you will pay a lot more to better it, even with current model offerings. I've compared mine side by side with a Halcro SACD player, and there isn't much in it. 

Edited by t_mike
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On 23/09/2020 at 6:54 PM, rockeater said:

We all have our like and dislikes as far are brands and technical aspects of gear. Mine are shaped by what I have learned by fixing them for the last few years.

Whereas Rotel is a good brand and I had RCD-991 for many years and it was full of highest quality components, it somewhat failed to deliver the excitement. Only in the week I put it up for sale I managed to get hold of the Service Manual and found that its balanced output was not truly balanced but simply a single ended one with cold leg achieved by inverting a signal with an op-amp.

A triumph of marketing over engineering.

As far as your choice of CD-14 I cannot comment, because I simply do not know what's inside for it is not featured in any of the CD player databases. It obviously is new and hasn't made to any workshop that cared to submit the results. Rotel does not say what mechanism it is using because there isn't mech there to be bragging about.

My preference is therefore for older designs, for currently there aren't any mechanisms made for CD players that are any good, and good CD player starts with good mechanism.

I looked up some Luxmans to see if they made any nice players with good mechs and they did but many moons ago and they are hard to come by.

So if you are after a brand new one, any good ones cost thousands for they have mechanism loaders made almost by hand (like Esoterics) and there isn't anything that comes to mind that is affordable and decent.

The RCD-991 is an unlistenable  P.O.S. Sounding CD Player Stock Standard. With the Burson Op-Amp & Clock upgrades, completely transforms the Player and it gets pretty close to some Very Good Players. Absolutely staggered at the improvement with the upgrades, 

 

Might be an option if he can pick-up a good nick RCD-991 at the right price and get the Burson upgrades.

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On 23/09/2020 at 1:55 PM, Tao said:

Hello,

I have an old Kenwood DP-2080 CD player. It works fine but I'd like something better. I've long since been looking at players like the Rotel CD-14 as a potential replacement. I need to keep expenditure under $1,000AUD.

The rest of my setup consists of a Luxman M02 power amp and a Luxman C02 pre-amp. I have Time Window 1A speakers. The CD player is an important component of my system that I'll always use.

Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Thanks!

 

 

Probably a step up from where you are,

 

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@Tao, the Musical Fidelity in the classifieds is an absolute bargain for the quality of sound and built, i say this as i have one as my main digital source, it replaced my Creek Destiny, which is now in my second system

1601187989890712438626.jpg

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On 25/09/2020 at 6:53 PM, Nordust said:

Have you already bought something?

Hi @Nordust. The replies have been amazing and I'm completely torn between several options. I've made a list of all recommendations that I want to check out further. I have been leaning towards the Marantz but am also really interested in what people have said about the Denafrips Ares DAC. I'm completely new to the concept of a separate DAC. I've seen people point out the benefits of one for streaming. Does this mean for streaming audio from Spotify? Sorry if that's a silly question, lol. I would definitely like to use my system for both cds and for streaming. I have about 5,000 cds and am running out of room for more, so being able to stream at highest possible quality through my hifi system would be great.

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On 25/09/2020 at 10:10 AM, deanB said:

A mighty fine combo that's a bit above your budget. Won't hurt to put in an offer for the cd player only.

Good point! Checking it out now.

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Thanks to everyone who has replied. I'm blown away by the responses (all of which I want to go with, haha) and am carefully considering all information and options suggested. It's helped me learn a lot more than I expected to. I've made a list of of all the units that people have recommended and am trying to make a decision.

 

I'm intrigued by the suggestion of getting a separate DAC and a cd player as a transport. I was just saying to Nordust in my last post that I have over 5,000 cds and am running out of room for them, and therefore would definitely be interested in the best way to stream Spotify through my system. Is it best to have a DAC for that? Sorry for my ignorance, having a separate DAC is news to me, but I've started reading about them.

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11 minutes ago, Nordust said:

Sorry Tao I don’t stream at all so cart answer your question. What ever you go for I would suggest all in one unit.

No problem. I think I'd prefer a single unit. Thanks again.

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On 24/09/2020 at 2:14 AM, Mat-with-one-t said:

It may also help to know what sound signature you tend towards?  Personally, I prefer an “analogue” smooth sound over a detailed “digital” sound.  Some players can seems to manage both, but not often!

As a result I like the Burr-Brown pcm-1704 signature, and I love my Denon Dcd-3000 player.  They can be found used for good prices well below your budget, and have a really good headphone amp, as well as a really useful “digital in” input, so I use an old iPhone via a USB>spdif converter to the CD player and use its DAC.  Makes for a great cheap streamer!

good luck.  Mat

Hi Mat, good point regarding sound signature, I've never really thought about that. I think my preference depends on what I'm listening to, so a player that could manage both would be great. The Burr-Brown pcm-1704 comes up often. Thanks very much for your input.

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On 24/09/2020 at 6:06 PM, Mutatis Mutandis said:

It might be a long shot, but if you see a Consonance Ref 2.2 CD player come up second hand, that will likely be within budget.  I lucked out with one - and very happy to recommend it.

I haven't heard of those, I'll keep an eye out, and an ear! Cheers.

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On 24/09/2020 at 8:42 PM, t_mike said:

If you're willing to try something older, a Cyrus CD7 with the Qdac upgrade is a great player. It has probably the best transport Cyrus ever used, Burr Brown chipset, and has digital out if you decide to use a different DAC down the line. When the optional PSXr power supply is added, you will pay a lot more to better it, even with current model offerings. I've compared mine side by side with a Halcro SACD player, and there isn't much in it. 

Thanks for that. Definitely willing to try something older. The rest of my system was made in the 80s.  👍

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I'd spend under $1000 on a Klein III DAC with coax/toslink plus USB and send digital from your existing player to the DAC, assuming your CD player has coax output? 

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7 hours ago, DrSK said:

I'd spend under $1000 on a Klein III DAC with coax/toslink plus USB and send digital from your existing player to the DAC, assuming your CD player has coax output? 

Hi DrSK. Unfortunately the CD player doesn't have coax output.

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