Audio Research CD-7 versus CD3-mkII

I own the CD3-mkII, which I believe is a fabulous player, especially for its reasonable cost.

Anyone have the opportunity to compare the CD7 to it, especially with the same ancillary equipment??

I welcome your detailed listening comments, as I am considering this upgrade. By the way, I listen to classic rock, r & b, and some classical music, so my tastes are all over the place.
Hi Audioesq.

I just purchased and took delivery of a CD7. Before that I owned a CD3 (the original version) and while I was waiting for the CD7 to arrive, the selling dealer lent me a CD3 MKII. I was able to directly compare the CD3 MKII to the CD7 at the same time, on the same equipment (solid state integrated amp). The CD3 MKII is a fabulous CD player and a great value at $5,500. As the copy says the CD7 is really better in every way. I now have about 100 hours on the CD7. The CD3 MKII has a fantastic sound stage. It produces both width and depth. The CD7 does all that but but also clearly defines the layers within the sound stage. The imaging is incredible. The performers are in the room with you. I could go on and on. I love the player. The only negative is not really a negative. I think the CD3 MKII is so good, some people will have a hard time justifying the additional cost ($5,500 compared to $8,995). If your speakers and other electronics are up to the task (I have Von Schweikert VR7 SE's)then I think the upgrade is well worth it. The CD7 is the best player I have ever heard. I've heard a couple of $20,000 and $40,000 transport DAC combinations that would be embarrassed by the CD7.
So Arthurp, does that mean that the CD3 MkII is world apart from CD3? Is there really that much of a difference that you did not even mention the sonics of the CD3 in your post above? How did the CD3 compare to the MkII version? I know it's off topic, I don't mean to steal the discussion here, but I am curious since not many discussions on the differences of the 2 players are available.
Audphile1 - My intentions in responding to the above post was to simply convey my experiences and opinion of the three players. I was not intending to write a detailed review of the sonic attributes of the CD3 MKII. Audioesq has a CD3 MKII so I didn't feel the need. I found that the CD3 MKII was a little bit quieter than the original version. It also has a little bit bit more resolution. The CD7 takes all of the qualities of the CD3 MKII and takes it to a new level. I feel it is a significant upgrade. It does however retain the basic tonal balance of both it's predecessors which I love listening to. That is why I bought the CD7 and not another brand of player.
Arthur, I like ARC stuff. I have ARC pre and had a CD2 in my rig for about 2 weeks(borrowed from a friend who has all ARC gear in his system) and liked it as well. I never listened to CD3, so I guess that made me curious how it sounds. But thanks for your reply. As I said before, I had no intensions to steer this off topic. thanks.
Audiophile - I just sold my CD3 in mint condition to someone on Audiogon for $2,400 delivered. From my perspective he got an incredible piece of equipment for an awesome price. You might want to buy a used CD3 and see for yourself. Exact presentation of sound is something that is very hard to articulate. I will tell you that the sound is extended and relaxed at the same time. You get all the detail but your ears don't hurt in the process. You can listen to this player for hours on end.
Arthur, I appreciate your thoughts on the CD3. I would like to audiotion it, possibly in my system, but there are just not that many ARC dealers left around NYC. And if they do cary some ARC, it does not necessarily mean they have CD3 for demo or even in stock.
Lyric HiFi is in NYC and my favorit Audio Outlet is in Mount Kisco (Westchester)
Last time I was over at Lyric they didn't have CD3 on the shelf. I specifically went there to listen to it. Thanks for the Mount Kisco place. I'll check it out.

Thank you for your feedback. I realize this is a difficult task, but could you specify in detail the differences you heard on your system, i.e. bass, midrange, treble or similar categories? Could you also specify what other equipment you are using? I value your judgment ahead of an in-store listening session with unfamiliar equipment and room acoustics.

My system consists of BAT VK-51se preamp, Krell 350mcx monoblocks, Dynaudio Temptation speakers, with power cords by Cardas GR and The Essence Reference Plus, interconnects by Cardas GR and Kimber Select 3035 speaker cable. Each component is powered up through separate Transparent PIXLs. The listening room is treated with Echobusters absorbers and diffusers, etc.

I do plan to audition a CD7 in my own system to compare. Thanks for your time. The bottom line: is it worth the extra $$$?

It's been over a week that I've been without the CD3 MKII. You have a very impressive system. You are the only person who can judge "if it's worth the money". With that said I'll offer you a few words about the CD7. I now have about 125 hours on the player. That was not nearly enough to realize full break in on my CD3. It might not be enough time for my CD7 either. The sound is very powerful. The base is stronger than the CD3 MKII. The mid-range has more bloom to it (tubes) and is very three dimensional. The treble, is extended but not what I'd describe as bright. Overall it is similar to the CD3 MKII, but significantly more so. That is a tough concept to comprehend. I find there is a lot of emotion to the sound. I can tell you I love it . It's the best player I've had in my system which is currently evolving. I have Von Schweikert VR7 SE's. I use Verbatim interconnects and speaker cable. Verbatim is made by Paul Garner in TN. He is the set up person for Von Schweikert Audio. The cabling was worked on in conjunction with Albert Von Schweikert. I use VH Audio AirSine power cords on all components. I'll be receiving a new imported integrated amp this week. More about the integrated later.

Well, I pulled the trigger. Received my CD7 last week and it is still breaking in. I look forward to sitting down and spending some time listening to it after about 200 hours break-in.
I will let you know. Once again, thank you for your thoughts and comments.
Arthurp, because I heard so much good about CD3 MkII, I purchased it. BTW, have you used your ARC players, either CD3 or CD7, with XLR cables or single ended into your pre-amps? CD3 MkII with XLR cables sounds significantly better than with the same cables in RCA term. I would think that same would apply to CD7.
Can anyone comment on the difference between the original CD3 and the MkII version? What changes did they make and are the differences substantial? Also, seems people prefer using balanced IC's with these players. I've only got single ended on my SP16--should I be considering another player?
Anyone have the opportunity to compare CD-7 to Meridian 808 signature and Esoteric 01 limited?
Audioesq, any latest thoughts on the CD7 ?

I am very satisfied with the CD7. It takes the listener one step closer to the location of the recording than any other single-box CD player I have experienced. The output stage of this player is taken from the Audio Research Ref3 preamplifier, and is wonderfully accurate.

At this level of playback equipment, it is a matter of taste, for there are MANY single and two-box units that achieve this exalted level of reproduction.

I prefer a rich, full, harmonically accurate sound, one where you may easily separate instruments and their tones and overtones, initial attack and decay, a warm, sweet presentation yet not missing any detail. This CD player fills the bill. I must add that I have tried several excellent interconnects between this player and my preamp, a BAT VK-51se, but by far the best synergy has been achieved by a one meter Purist Anniversary balanced IC. Because of its extremely low noise floor, this interconnect revealed MULTIPLE layers of information and tonal bloom heretofore buried in the redbook CD format. Simply, I am now hearing much more information than ever before.

Many, many times I have listened to an old favorite CD for the first time. To me, that is what this crazy hobby is all about.