I have used both the Theta Miles and Resolution Audio players directly into power amps in balanced mode to good effect. Have tried preamps in the mix and they never stay in the chain. Look for a player with an analog volume control. Digital drops bits as volume decreases I think.
Depends on your budget: second hand Meridian 808 (original 3 generations ago), NAD CD players i believe usually have volume control.
The AH! Njoe Tjoeb 4000
and earlier versions of the Ah! players are based on Marantz mechanisms and have remote control.
Thank you for your advice. Which NAD player(s) did you have in mind? Of the few NAD players I have researched none have volume control.
Any of the 6922/6DJ8 tube output Dynaco machines are a decent choice.
You could argue they being long in the tooth, but occasionally, you'll come across one NIB. Also, despite their age, I find these Japanese manufactured machines hold up far, far better than Chinese players of more recent vintage.
several of the Cary players have an internal analog volume control, 303/200, 306/200, cdp-1, 303/300, perhaps some others but imo they are great run direct - 3v output via rca's & more thru the xlr outputs. i've run a 303/300 direct now for over a year w/out any desire for a preamp. good luck.
The Quad CDP is another player to consider. Though I've heard good things about it, I've not listened to the player myself.
Regarding NAD, i think the older ones had volume control. sorry. The current model DAC appears to have volume control. In fact, it looks like you can use it as a full-fledged preamp.
I really loved my EAR Acute cdp. I haven't noticed what they are fetching on the used market in a while though. Excpect around $3,000...maybe cheaper? Also, I THINK the output voltage was 2V. I don't know what the input sensitivity of your Carver amps is.
Used Accuphase 75V.
Used EMM CDSD/DCC2 has the integrated preamp (2 boxes though, probably not what you had in mind).
Thank you again for the advice. With 30,000+ cd's I really need a good player. By the way, how would you play a cd on Linn DS? Audiolab 8200CDQ, Linn Genki, and Quad CDP seem promising, with 8200 perhaps the best candidate for me. Where I am (KY) it will be very unlikely or even impossible to audition any of them. Any additional information on how these units compare would be welcome, also I cannot go over $1500.00.
You do not play CD's on a DS, it is a DAC - just a box (no moving parts), which is part of why it sounds so good. You would rip your entire collection into hard drives via a program called dbPoweramp (free I think, or maybe like $10, cannot remember) as a FLAC file most likely, either 24/96k or 24/192k. Then access your entire collection via an iPad. A DS setup is meant for someone like you (with that many CD's). Trust me... it sounds better hands down, than ANY CD player under $10k.... I have done the demos. My dealer here in AZ has two used units avail. of the Akurate DS for around $4,000. Even the Majik DS would be a better choice than a CD player. And you will have access to your entire CD library at your fingertips. You can check their website for more info. And, no, I am not a dealer, just a really big fan of this particular product from them.
BTW... a pre-owned LINN Genki would be a nice choice - however... you cannot ever get service from LINN on it, even if you offer to pay... they are not supporting any of their CD players any more (even the Ikemi, which I also owned). They stopped manufacturing CD players when they launched the DS line.
30,000 CDs?!?! Wow!!! I cannot even think of an additional 29,000 CDs i would buy! you're like 10 radio stations in one! ;) I cannot speak to any but the Quad which is nice, but i did not walk away thinking it was an exceptional steal relative to others. You could get second-hand ARC CD7, or CD5 which are both excellent.
Audiofreak32, I know you do not play CD's on a DS that's why I asked the question. No doubt LINN DS is an excellent unit but here's the problem: if I rip an average of 10 CD's 300 days a year it would take something like 10 years to do my entire collection! That's an optimistic estimate. If LINN's commitment (lack of!)to provide service for their CD players is anything to go by, I would be extremely nervous to go near any of their products no matter how great they might be. Top reliability and customer service are key for me.
I can understand that... that is a lot of CD's. I am curious how you catalog them so you can find the CD you want to listen to?
Since it is overwhelmingly classical music I've arranged them by country and composer's date of birth and the for each composer by type/genre or instrument. Not a perfect system but it has worked for me. I am certainly very grateful to those of you who have tried to assist, and I welcome additional comments.