in my experience, the Arcam is THE player to beat under $1k. It really does do everything well. You have to spend alot more to jump noticeably ahead in terms of refinment and texture.
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once you get rid of the crappy op amps that are in the stock unit and put in better quality ones, it will compete with anything out there. i upgraded to the bb opa627's on mine. it's the only unit so far to keep up with my modified denon 1560ar, which has trounced every sub-$1000 unit i've put up against it.
A very nice CDP dont go the upgrade route, though. This is too pricy. Also, if you are willing to buy used, you can get an Arcam FMJ CD-23 for approximately the same price. This is significantly better than the CD 73 even if you maxed it out with all the available upgrades (to CD 92 specs) at a cost of over $1200 in addition to the original $800. An FMJ CD-33 is sometimes sold for less than $1150 used, and this is really an entirely different class of player than the CD 73.
If you are setting up your two-channel audio any where near a TV in your house, I would suggest you go for a DVD 78. The audio on these is very close to as good as the CD73, and the video playback is unmatched in the price range ($999 list, less used). I was absolutely floored by what it did for me DVDs, as was my wife.
Yes, the CD-23 is a slightly older model. It was replaced by the CD-33 2-3 years ago, which has now been replaced by the CD-36. The 23 is still 1 of the best CD players you can find for under $2500. And it's selling for around $1000 used, give or take. Newmanoc is right, it will kill the CD-73. As it should, since it was originally 3 times the 73's price.
If you can find 1, try to get the 23T version. Which stands for Text. It has a different transport than the 23 version, and on certain encoded CDs the front LCD will display the name of the artist, CD and each individual song. A neat extra feature.