Audio Refinement cd vs. MF A3 cd

I'm looking towards upgrading my Cambridge Audio CD4se with a player costing in the sub 1,500 price range. It will be used with Maggie 1.6qr's, Belles Hot Rod 150A amp, & Music Reference RM5III pre. The CD4se sounds very nice at it's price, but I'm looking for better detail resolution, a more extended & airy high end, & well defined, solid bass. I'm not a fan of dry, analytical sound. Reliability is also a factor. The Audio Refinement Complete & Musical Fidelity A3cd are two candidates I'm considering.Has anyone heard these in comparison? Or, does anyone have others that they think should be considered also. Thanks, Will.
I would consider a bel canto dac 1 used $700 on the digital out of your cambridge otherwise I have only heard the audio refinement player... I wasn't to impressed and bought a rotel 971 for less money eith better sound . I believe that the MF would be much better as a stand alone. check out the review at for the MF, the Bel Canto and the Perpetual 3A another thought at $699 New..mmm I would definately consider using that 4se as a transport and take advantage of one of these upsampling dacs.. maybe that perp on a 30 day trial. have fun,
ps your system looks great a good digital upgrade is going to make a huge difference
I'll second adding the Bel Canto (which is what I did, though to a CAL Icon MKII). I owned the AR player for a short while and have auditioned the MF twice in the same system (the owner moved on to a Meridien player). The CAL/Canto combo sounds more musical, to me, than the AR or MF players. If you want an all in one player then you may be able to find a used Theta Miles or a Resolution Audio CD50 at the top of your price range. I would just as soon have either of those players as well but didn't feel like spending the extra money at the time (my Bel Canto was purchased used.
The Theta Miles Balanced with volume control directly to the amps is a great performer, and may not be much above you price range.
Also disappointed by BOTH the ARC (too soft) and the 'Canto
(too "whitish"...slightly smeared up top). Rotel on a Neuance isolation platform floats my boat 'til...?