Anyone familiar with Resolution Audio CD21?

I am interested in purchasing a CD player and would like to know about this supposedly very good one.

There are lots of discussion on this CD player in this forum. Do a search for Resolution Audio Opus 21. There are also many favorable reviews in magazines (HiFi News, Hi-Fi+ etc.) There's another review in under CD Editorial Reviews.

I purchased a Resolution Audio Opus 21 about a month ago. I did so based only on the good reviews and knowing I could send it back for a 5% charge if I did not like it. Right out of the box it sounded great.

The few negative issues identified in the early reviews (noisy transport, lack of direct track access via the remote) have been addressed. The transport on my Opus 21 is whisper quiet. This cd player brings out an incredible amount of a recording's detail.

The only negative I have encountered is that the Opus 21 sounds does not sound as good as my previous cd player (Pioneer PD-65/Perp Tech P-1A/P-3A) on poorly recorded CDs. Due to the Opus 21's incredible resolving power, it readily offers up the deficiencies of poorly recorded digital music. I encountered this is on less than 5% of the CDs I have listened to. These were all pop CDs from the 1980s. On reasonably well recorded CDs there was no comparison between the Opus 21 and my previous CD player. The Opus 21 is way better. Orchestral, choral works, all the way to acoustic guitar sounded incredibly good.

I was able to compare the Opus 21 versus a Linn CD-12, sort of. The comparison was not an apple to apple comparison, but nonetheless, I found it useful. The top 2 channel digital system at a local hi-end dealer included:

2 - BEL 1001 Mk 5 monoblock ampliers
VTL 7.5 preamp
Vandersteen 5A
Linn CD-12 cd player
Richard Gray power conditioners
BEL interconnects/cable
(and I think a better room)

My system included:

2 - BEL 1001 Mk 5 monoblock ampliers
Sonic Frontiers Line 2SE preamp with Siemen 6922 tubes
Genesis 350 SE speakers
Audio Magic Stealth power conditioner
BEL interconnects/cable
Opus 21 cd player

I spent a couple of hours one Friday afternoon listening to selected tracks on a number of CDs on the hi-end dealers system. These inclued: Keith Jarrett (Koln concert), Robbie Robertson (Storyville), Aimee Mann (Lost in Space), Berlioz (Symphony Fantastique), Mark Knopfler (The Ragpickers Dream), Lyle Lovett (Joshua Judges Ruth), Leonard Cohen (The Future), Jennifer Warnes (Famous Blue Raincoat), Vivaldi (Four Seasons). The high end dealers system sounded terrific.

Later that evening I listened to the same tracks on my system. My system sounded terrific. I had a feeling that if I switched cd players both systems would have sounded terrific. I believe the difference in price between these two players is approximately $16,500.
I picked up a fully updated, used one a couple of months ago. It is two steps above my previous cd player, the Sony DVP-9000ES. The resolution is amazing. (Much closer to analog sound than a cd player has a right to sound!)

My friend, who has an incredible system borrowed my Opus 21, and within an hour or two, decided to buy one also. (He picked one up used as well from a local seller one day later.)

My recommendation is to pick up a new model, the one with the updated (and therefore quieter) transport, along with the updated remote, (which allows for direct track access).
I sincerely doubt you will be disappointed. If you are, you can quickly resell it, as they go rather quickly here on Audiogon.
I compared it to the Wadia 861 basic and Accuphase DP-77. I thought the Opus sounded better then the Accuphase but not as good as the Wadia. I also had a Shunyata Black Mamba power cord that really helped the sound of the Opus 21 making it sound more smooth and refined then the stock cord. Using it direct into the amp I did not feel that I lost that much so if you did not have a pretty good preamp you could also get away without one for a while.

Happy Listening.