Audio Research CD-3 VS Cary 306/200

I auditioned both cdp before buying the Cary 306/200. While the Audio Research is an excellent player it lacked HDCD and the ability to upsample. I have a large cd collection, many purchased in the early days of cd and the upsampling does improve many of these older cds as well as many current cds. The Cary can also be used as a DAC with digital inputs, I use it with my DAT player with excellent results.
Hi. I upgraded to the CD-3 recently after listening to a number of players. It is the most musical player I have ever heard. The best thing I can say is that I have listened for hours at a time with absolutely no "ear" fatigue. I never feel the need to escape or take a break due to harshness or other factors. My system has the CD-3 combined with ARC tube components and Vandersteen speakers.

I decided that the new formats are not determined and there was not enough music available to make that commitment. Plus, I have such an extensive red book CD collection already to appreciate. So I looked for a player dedicated to the best possible reproduction of these current CDs. I didn't want any compromise.

The CD-3 is such a player. ARC actually designed it with upsampling and in the end decided it sounded better without. I've never been sure that more samples adds anything that is more accurate, and ARC seems to have comfirmed that. I also like the top loading feature as I no long am bending over or listening to the sound of a drawer going in or out. The unit is very substantial in contruction consistent with a lifetime of reliable service.

I am enjoying my current CD collection more that ever and find that I am listening to CDs that for some reason previously didn't attract my interest. Even music styles I don't really like are finding there way on to the player just because I am fascinated to hear what they have to offer.

If you can borrow one from a dealer, do so. My advice is just spend as much time as possible listening without attempting to discern what is different or better. Then go back to what you have the differences will jump out at you.

Have fun and good luck in your choice.
Both players sound wonderful. I think anyone would be hard pressed to find faults with sound of either player. But, the Cary simply gives you more features for the same money: upsampling, HDCD compatibility, and a magnificent DAC to be used with other digital gear. I chose the Cary, even though I like the looks of the AR better, I just couldn't pass up the features that Cary provides.

Interesting comment on ARC's decision not to upsample on CD3. It takes some confidence and guts not to follow the majority of others. I am not sure when people will start to feel "that's enough for this upsampling thing". Pretty soon, we will have 48, 96, 192, 440, 11XX, 22XX... We might need a INTEL inside to do this thing pretty soon.